Personal Learning Networks & New Challenges

For the last six weeks or so I have been interacting with a myriad of educators, superintendents and teachers, in America as an ‘expert voice’ in a Ning administered by Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach and Will Richardson. The idea is that six ‘expert voices’ from around the globe are asked to contribute their voice and assist in the building of a Personal Learning Network for those educators.

I am most honoured and humbled to be invited into such an austere community and hope that my contributions have proved to be worthwhile. As the first round draws to a close I would hope that some of those connections made can continue from outside of that Ning.

Because our school holidays were on I was able to join in a couple of Elluminate sessions with the cohort. It was great to be able to participate live in rich conversations about harnessing the power of the connections made on the web to create a Personal Learning Network.

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In this introductory video Will talks about how we might build these networks, how they might look, the transformative nature of a PLN and how we might help children navigate their own networks safely, ethically and effectively.

I am so looking forward to facilitating the 14 schools in the Discover IT Tasman ICT cluster throughout 2008 achieve just those sort of connections. In case you haven’t heard via Twitter I have taken leave from Appleby School for 2008 and will work as a roaming ICT facilitator based in Motueka.

What a wonderful opportunity for me learn and make a whole lot of new face to face connections and develop that sort of network with students and teachers so close to home.

Exciting times are ahead.


In Nelson we have a Mac User Group meeting that meets once a month and I tottle along and add my five cents worth of tips and tricks that I have picked up along the way, as you do.
Following an email request for help I went along to help new Mac users, Lindsay and Jan, get the best from using iPhoto. I enjoy helping people and on the promise of a fresh orange and date muffin and a good cup of coffee along I went. I realised that I had visited the beautiful property once before while on a garden trail a few years back.

I got a very pleasant surprise as I turned up the driveway- the Lindsay was Lindsay Yeo! New Zealand readers would know Lindsay. I feel I have grown up with Lindsay– popular Wellington radio personality on 2ZB– creator of Buzz o’Bumble.

I told him of the time when I was teaching in Foxton and a largish earthquake hit Wellington. Lindsay told us via the radio to get in a doorway or safe place- I did and a few seconds later the shockwave reached us! Knowing in advance helped prepare me for the shake ahead.

Jan makes environmentally friendly, innovative cloth nappies (diapers for my American readers) for sale via the internet and wanted to be able to manage the photos he was taking for adding to their website,

It was really great to spend the morning with them both. Lindsay was a large part of growing up in NZ when I was younger. Another face-to-face connection that I would never had made without the power of the internet.

If you listened to 2ZB and know how to sing the Buzz o’Bumble song please leave a comment and I will pass this link on to him.

Making Sweet Music

Today was a slow day on the net- in all sorts of ways. Darren Kuropatwa tweeted about a Muxicall, a fun musical toy he was playing with and invited us to join in to make music in a collaborative Web2.0 sort of way.

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The idea is that each user decides on an instrument- strings, drums or piano and we all get together to play on a large chord grid. You can chat while you are doing it and give each other prompts and maybe orchestrate your contributions. When I first toyed making music there were about eight of use all banging away- a cacophony!

I gave it a rest and came back later when only Assaf and I were playing. It was almost a conversation of music as we communicated only through the keyboard. Magic really.

Have a listen! For those interested I used Audio Hi-jacker to record the audio.


I quite like it in a soft sort of sweet way!

Transferring Children in Blogmeister

A couple of days ago I posted a question in the Blogmeister Forum.

Can I transfer a student from my Blogmeister class to a new Blogmeister blog set up by another teacher at my school?

At the point you couldn’t! But David Warlick got onto it real quick and now you can! How cool is that!

Here are some visuals to help you through the process…

The new teacher needs to create a Blogmeister blog with the same school password as the blog you are going to transfer students from.

Firstly log in your class and go to the class panel.

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Then go to your class roster.

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Locate the students you want to move and click EDIT.

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See where it says student. Click on the dropdown box and change it to orphan.

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And then change the teacher to the new teacher’s name in the dropdown menu.

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Do that for all the students you want to move.

Now log into the newly created blog that has no students as yet.

Do the same procedure and this time change the orphans to the new teacher’s class.

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Now the children and all their content from last year is safely in the new teacher’s class blog all ready for the new school year.

Thank you so much, David. I know my kids will think it is mint that their blogs are safe and sound with the new teacher’s Blogmeister Blog.

2007 Top Five Photographs in Review

Inspired by Ewan McIntosh’s top five photo review I thought I would give it go myself.

My first is of Tiny Ted the small geocache bear sent to us from Paul Harrington in Wales. I staged this photo down at Nelson’s Tahunanui Beach- so typical of the NZ summer. Paul and Tiny Ted were the springboard from which we forged links between our classes. Children could so relate to him and he became an integral part of our day. We miss him as he is now with April Chamberlain in USA.

Tahunanui Beach on Flickr - Photo Sharing!
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My second photo is of Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach and I as she visited Nelson for the TUANZ conference. I am indebted to Sheryl for her friendship, openness and how she took me under wing to mentor my entrance in to the Web2.0 educators’ learning network.

Sheryl and Allanah on Flickr - Photo Sharing!
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My third photo was one I shared with Sheryl as Queen Elizabeth visited the College of William and Mary where Sheryl works. The photo tells the story of how I met Her Majesty when she visited Nelson when I was a ten year old. Sheryl posted it to her Flickr account and invited people to share in my 50th birthday celebrations. That photo garnered 36 global comments. Click on it to see the story in note form. I was in awe and it showed me the power of networking.

Happy B-Day Allanah King and The Queen on Flickr - Photo Sharing!
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My fourth is of a group of children in my class collaborating on a wiki and learning together oblivious of the camera- the way learning in the 21st century should be.

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My fifth is a photo taken by Jane Nicholls at ULearn07 with a group of New Zealand edubloggers and Ewan himself. It was a great learning experience when virtual friends became real life ones. Click on the photo to see who’s who!

NZ Blogger's Cafe on Flickr - Photo Sharing!
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My last is one of Mum and I taken recently. Mum and I have been through a difficult time with her diagnosis of Parkinson’s Disease but I still appreciate the time we still manage to have together.

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I know I can’t count well. Happy New Year to one and all.