I was asked recently what presentation tools can I recommend. We have moved away for felt tip pens posters thank goodness. Children would spend a lifetime colouring in borders and copying writing fonts from books.
I wanted tools that are easy to put on line in one step- that is apps or sites that give you an easy embed code without having to upload it to a third party site.
My first thought was of using Google Slides. Kathy Baker from Chisnallwood Intermediate used Google Slides with her students to make these static images and poems.
You could also use Google Drawings in a similar way.
Canva and Haiku Deck are nice and simple but you only get an image or a PDF to download then you have to do something else with it to out it on line. I have never been a fan of Prezi because it took me a long time to work it out. It does however give you an easy to embed embed code like with this Prezi on using Twitter by Ray Burkhill.
But over the week I was looking at a rather slick resource which was Adobe Slate made on an iPad. I used my Adobe account to sign up and very easily put this together on the iPad as an example. Once put together you can easily share it via a link in an email or via the embed code.
Click on the image below or this link to see the cool presentation on all its glory!
While attending the Breathe TechnologySitech IWB Conference I was able to attend a couple of workshops that I want to share with staff at my school next term. What better way to share than through the blog.
First up, ‘What’s new in the Lab? Cool stuff from Google’ with Chris Betcher and a bit of my stuff mashed in as well.
Google searching– there is more to it than typing in the box and pushing search.
Click the little circle next to pages from New Zealand to refine the search.
Put speech marks around a couple of words to get an exact match to the words other than a combination of either. eg “Allanah King” will get better results than Allanah King.
If you go to Advanced Search you can look for just pdfs or powerpoints. I have found this search to be quite useful when I want to make a slideshow for the kids. I can use someone else’s that is close to what I want and just tweak it a bit rather than starting the whole thing from scratch.
After you have made a general search you can click on Show Options- Chris pointed us to the Wonderwheel option which lets you see your search in a mindmapping sort of view.
The Time Line view puts your search on a timeline of when it was mentioned.
Also look at images, news, blogs to further refine and pinpoint your search,
Firefox– because Chris was using my computer and it wasn’t synching suitably with the data projector you couldn’t see the URL he was able to move the size of the address box by dragging the little space between it and the Google search box. It was only an incidental new learning but it will overcome an annoyance when synching with an un-cooperative data projector.
A tour of some of the tools from Google Labs
How to embed a Google map– save it, put your markers or whatever in and click the little chain next to the word Link to get the embed code.
Google Translate– in the past I have used external sites to write in other languages but would definitely use Google Translate next time as they have more options and a cleaner interface. I wonder if I can use this to translate National Standards information into Thai for one of our school families?
Google Account Settings- Log in to Google and go to Settings- Account Settings and see the Pandora’s box of Google things to play with- like web history.
Use 1 Click for Firefox one click downloading of YouTube Videos.
I was then able to attend couple of IWB specific workshops.
I managed to get to Simon Evans’ workshop IWB and the Internet. Handily Simon provided us with a pdf handout of notes from the session that he was OK for me to share. Thanks Simon- you rock.
Writing a single sentence and expand it- we have been doing this in class using our own data projector but it would be more effective moving the phrases around on an IWB. Wanted to share http://www.telescopictext.com/ but there wasn’t a right moment.
Put a Google Map of your school on the big screen and have children write instructions of how to get from home to school.
Inferring- reading a photograph- put a news photo on the big screen- children record their inferences, could be done with text as well. To get this screen shot I grabbed a photo from a news web site, dropped it into Pages, captured it with Skitch and used my Wacom tablet to write. Easier on an IWB but achievable with ordinary data projector. My screen in my classroom is just the ordinary whiteboard- in the classroom I would just write on the whiteboard- you couldn’t capture it but at least you could share it in real time with the whole class.
Thank you to Jason Neidermeyer, Simon Evans and the team at Sitech- you guys are great. It was a great learning opportunity.
People have been asking me how I am enjoying being back in the classroom after a year out and about seeing the world and working with teachers instead of eight and nine year olds. Generally I am enjoying being back in the classroom but had forgotten the hours that classroom teaching needs to keep all the balls juggling in the air.
I do miss the adult conversations and the variety of being in a different place and working with different people each day but learning opportunities that we have been having lately at school keep me connected with people and places outside the walls of my classroom.
We also worked collaboratively with Myles Webb’s class at Melville Intermediate in the Waikato. A couple of keen students at Appleby had taught themselves how to use Pivot to make simple animations. I follow Myles through Twitter and his kids were keen to learn how to do it as well. We set up a session using Skype for audio and Adobe Connect Pro‘s screen sharing capabilities. Because Pivot is a Windows app and we are an Apple School I used my personal MacBook Pro laptop with Parallels (thanks Ben) to screen share. Children were able to see what George was doing with Pivot at our end through sharing our desktop while he was explaining what he was doing using Skype.
The session went exceedingly well and both groups enjoyed the challenge of the exercise.
It is very powerful for young children take control of their learning and make meaningful connections to ‘expert voices’ of a similar age to learn from one another.
The title of this post was going to be ‘When the real and the virtual collide’ but as I grow in the use of these Web2.0 tools the virtual becomes the real. Just because you haven’t met people before or don’t see them on a daily basis doesn’t mean that the interactions with them aren’t real.
I have just spent the last few days at the New Zealand Learning at School Conference in Rotorua. Unfortunately I missed the Andy Hargreaveskeynote as my plane didn’t get in on time but from all accounts he was well received and his content was relevant. I will catch up with his keynote when things settle down a bit.
After quickly meeting up with some of my Twitter/blogger mates I launched into my first breakout session with Tony Ryan. I took a quick screen grab of one of his slides which was an excellent quick resource as to what I need to do to move on some of the sparkly ideas from the conference. I agree- you have to integrate what you want to do smartly or it will get gnawed away at by AsTTle tests, planning for camp, Meet the Teacher meetings ……. I have already moved on a couple of things so all is not lost. Best quote from Tony to me mid breakout session- ‘It’s all right, I can speak louder than your cellphone.’ Note to self- gotta put it on vibrate for next time! Thought of Jamin who last text me mid-keynote in Tauranga last month to ask if I had remembered to switch my cell phone off and to find out where I was sitting!! Congratulations Jamin and Jamie on the birth of your son, Noah. Love to you both.
✩ Next up was a spot of Blue Screen Magic. Like most things- its a lot easier when you have friends to help you.
Jane left instructions for the ‘how to‘ on her blog so all the hard work was done there. Fun techy stuff that you could use with kids. Thanks David, Disa and Jane.
✩ Next up was my workshop on Free Adobe Apps on Line which was done in the heat of the day. Unfortunately participants didn’t have wi-fi access of their own so the session was limited to a show and tell- not as interactive as it might have been. If you want to see the slides in a Google Presentation click here.
✩ I was in awe when Wes Fryer turned up in my next breakout talking about making enriched pdfs embedded in Google Apps for Educators and made into digital portfolios. He live blogged the whole thing which was great. Thanks Wes- that’s never happened to me before!
✩ I had the privilege in attending Wes’ breakout session on Powerful Blended Learning. We used Chatsy as a backchannel which worked well if you had had wifi- which I didn’t!
If you’re not sure that hyperlinked writing really is the most powerful form of writing try clicking on any of the words- they link to web sites randomly plucked from my recently bookmarked Delcious bookmarks.
✩ Next was a taster presentation ‘It’s all about Learning’ talking about unpacking the Curriculum and engaging children in meaningful dialogue about what it really means for them as learners. Good stuff. I liked that they had examples of the kids work- all messy and real. They had taken direct quotes from the curriculum and de-constructed it- just like you could de-construct a piece of text in a story you were reading as a shared book. Thanks Lisa and Belinda.
✩ Pam Hook shared her vision with SOLO taxonomy. I have read about the rubrics before and frankly if hadn’t made a lot of sense to me but hearing her talk about it an and seeing videos of children talking about it all made it make sense to me.
✩ The last workshop was a one I aimed at beginners just talking about the sorts of things that I do in my classroom to foster a sense of community and collaboration with my class. During the session we quickly Skyped in with Brian Crosby from Nevada while he had a little classroom release time. I didn’t provide much in the way of a handout for this one but some of the key postings are here on a quickie wiki I made last year to show ERO some of the things we did. If you were in that workshop please ring me, email me or Skype me if you get lost or need some help.
✩ A scary, fun, last thing that finished up the conference was Wes’ keynote. We sort of flashmobbed it with the Collaborative Dance Video that we made last year. Just as Wes was about to start we all leapt up and did our happy dance. Not to be left out Chrissy and a few kids from her class were able to join us via Skype at 6.45am from Bangkok International School. How cool is that. Wes was such a good sport about it all and joined in the fun. I am sure the video of Wes’ keynote will be on line soon but in the meantime here is a short clip of how our beginning bit went recorded on my computer with Skype and Call Recorder. If you are keen to find more look for the Flickr tag #lats09.
Here is Chrissy’s post and video about how it looked at her end. It was great fun for us all to catch up with Chrissy so far away in Bangkok and for her to catch up on our news!
After my heart had stopped racing at the scariness of doing a happy dance in front of all those people I was able to listen to what Wes had to say but again my battery let me down so I wasn’t able to record what he said but I am sure others were able to more eloquently than me any way but the two things that stuck in my head were…
Hyperlinked writing is the most powerful form of writing there is.
He aha te mea nui. He tangata, he tangata, he tangata. ( In my own words- What is the most important thing? It is the people- we need to give kids the tools to be able to connect and learn.)
At the end of the day Wes, Glenda, Pesa and I had a great look around Whakarewarewa. What a nice way to end the conference- and I bought a beautiful possum and merino wool jersey for winter for half price when I went shopping on Saturday morning. Bonus!
Only one week of my 2008 employment to go and on my last official visit to Riwaka School the kids sat me down to watch a video they had made entirely by themselves over the last week and then presented me with a stunning bunch of flowers. This year has passed by in a whirlwind and I have loved every minute of it- the kids, the opportunities, the connections, the freedom, the learning, the people, the friendships.
On Thursday I am chipping in my 5c into a conversation and ICT celebration at Mapua School. They have invited parents to come along to school and children are going to show them their blogs, Flickr & Delicious sites and other ICT projects they have been doing recently.
Then I am going to have a bit of a chat with them about how to help their children participate responsibly on the internet. To this end I have made a pdf resource that talks of how to make safe Google searches, cyber-safety using Hector’s World, awareness of your digital footprint and a ‘Think Before You Post’ video.
Apart from the content I am particularly pleased with the clever way I have been able to embed the video into the pdf using Adobe Acrobat Pro. Next year I would like to have a go at using this tool to create digital portfolios to add to children’s Google Apps page linked through our school website. How geeky is that!
I am heading off to Blenheim on Friday for a workshop on Voicethread. They want a paper handout to go with it so I made one and updated the Bling4yrblog Voicethread post while I was on a roll.
If you would like a copy of the paper handout pdf click here. These sorts of things are good for me because I delve more deeply into these Web2.0 tools and this time uploaded a video to the Voicethread and did a spot of doodling which I hadn’t done before. You may like to look at the full page version by clicking here.
Thanks to all the good folks who commented so quickly on this new play Voicethread. It will definitely show people how useful they can be for fostering global links. You rock.
If you are a loss of what to do between 4-5pm this Wednesday 13 August you may like to join us in a conversation about blogging arranged by Angela Page of Centre4 fame. To participate ring the audio bridge at 0800 693363 PIN 1506#
Angela posted these ‘Rules of Engagement’.
Please dial in between 3.50 – 3.55pm (and no later) as this interrupts the flow of conversation after 4pm
You may record your name after the tone and then hold to join the conference
Log off after 5pm please, and not before, as this interrupts the flow of conversation
To mute, press *6
To come off mute, press #6
You are most welcome to bring your questions, ideas, experiences
To speak, state your name and then ask your question or respond to a discussion point
You may experience some over-talking, but please be patient and continue when there is a pause in conversationEnjoy!
I came across this link in my blogroll that I thought might be worth sharing with parents who are concerned about the consequences of their children using the internet. Art Wolinsky, the Educational Director of Wired Safety presents via a web survey the facts and myths behind on line sexual predators. To view the presentation click on the graphic to be taken to the website.
A while ago posted about Photoshop Express but hadn’t used it in a while as at that stage it was very new and rather slow. While with Adobe I learnt about the upgrades and the speed is vastly improved.
I had a great chance to play with the new features and learnt a little about non-destructive editing. For example Photoshop Express has this cool effect where you can pop the colour. This is what it can do with an image of a bright red tour bus. It takes the two predominant colours and by rolling the mouse over the samples it changes the colour you decided to pop. Your photo changes instantly but you can still reset all your changes back to original if you want to.
It can also do the basics of crop, rotate, resize, correct exposure, red-eye removal, colour saturation and do touch-ups like blemish removal and fine tune your photo. Under the fun effects you can play with the hue, tint, change varieties of black & white, cartoonise and distort.
Today was our first day of real work at the Adobe Educational Leader’s Summit in San Francisco. Colin Gover, from Marina View School in Auckland, and I came over a few days early to participate and soak up the sights and sounds of the big city.
I have never been across the equator before so it was quite an experience for me. We had to fly first to Sydney and then the big hop to the United States, cattle class on United Airlines. Fortunately Colin and I managed to swing to aisle seats with no one in between us so took turns to lie down and cat nap. The flight was tolerable as we left New Zealand at nine in the morning and arrived here at 11:00am! It was like we had woken from a sleep so cold enjoy a whole day exploring the town. My biggest concern was that my poor old knees would not hold up to the pressure of prolonged sitting followed by prolonged walking but they have been magnificent- not fast but solid and sure which is what counts.
Colin and I packed every minute of our time here with trips across the Golden Gate Bridge, strolling along Fisherman’s Wharf, numerous visits to the Apple Store and making friends with wandering policemen and street homeless people. We used Colin’s laptop for keeping connected in the cheaper hotel so I only had time to blog for my personal and class blog.
One of my goals while here was to buy a Flip Video after Suzie and I both lost a Trade Me bidding war for one but I ended up spending $20 more and buying a digital video recorder which I am really very pleased with- a great choice. Better quality recording and more features.
At the Apple mothership I bought myself an iPod Touch as a consolation prize for not throwing money away on an iPhone.
It was a great choice and I have been enjoying tweeting and checking my email from anywhere with an internet connection. Innes Kennard encouraged me to update and be able to buy extras through the iTouch so went back later to have a chat to the Apple genius. Ha! I was able to ask two questions that he didn’t know the answer too without further assistance. How can I consolidate purchases from the USA, Australia and New Zealand iTunes Store?? And how can I move videos that were imported into iMovie08 in incorrect chronological order?? There were even three guys there from Cupertino itself! Colin was very patiently waiting while I enjoyed the experience and ended up buying himself an iTouch as well!
On Friday Colin and I did our own thing and I hit the shops in a serious sort of way as we moved into the flashest hotel in San Francisco- The Westin St Francis, on Union Square. I have spent my time at the St Francis looking for famous people and saw a man that looked like Dennis Connor! The hotel itself is opulent- I had to climb onto the huge bed to get into it. My room-mate is the bubbly, Roxana Hadad, from Illinois. It is good how they have mixed everyone up so you get to know more people.
Last night the Adobe Educational Leaders’ Summit started for real with a wine and cheese type of thing in one of the hotel rooms followed by a meal out at a nearby diner with the Commonwealth delegates!
Today, Tuesday, we bused to the old Macromedia headquarters for our Adobe learning- I opted for three workshops- Flash, Soundbooth and Photoshop CS4. Can’t say too much about them as they are covered by our non-disclosure statements we had to sign before joining up, but these versions will be a great step up from CS3. I was particularly interested in Soundbooth in regards tidying up our podcasts- so it was great to speak with the guys who make the software directly and offer ideas and suggestions.
Then we had a presentation from Jim Guerard, Adobe VP of Dynamic Media, as he talked about future trends in digital media- personalization of learning, distributed learning- students don’t need to be in the space or time zone, collaborative, creative.
An independent survey had asked business leaders what they wanted from job seekers- they wanted them to be technologically literate, creative, effective communicators, critical thinkers and to be able to collaborate at the top of the list. I liked the list- it reminded me of Mark Treadwell’s presentation on the paradigm shift.
I was able to be on line properly for the first time in ages and caught up on a few emails and the like and even a couple of Skype conversations which was great. The only AELs who are in my network are @KathyShrock and @iUsher. I think others are tweeting but I don’t know who they are! The evening finished off with a buffet tea and a version of the American game show- Jeopardy. Colin and I were at a bit of a loss as nearly all the questions were American based but it was fun anyway. The night finished badly with Roxana’s hard-drive deciding to die when she is doing a presentation on Thursday.
Tomorrow we are off to San Francisco State University Multimedia Center for an in depth look at CS3 Video Production Tools. I know that will be fun.
My life seems to be a whirl of late which could be a good thing or could be a bad thing. In case you missed it- Adobe have asked me to join Brenda Frisk and Colin Gover from Auckland to be Adobe Educational Leaders and last week I went to Sydney for a couple of days to find out more about what was involved.
I thought I had better get my thoughts about our Adobe meet-up recorded while they are still fresh-ish in my mind. We spent a good deal of time learning about the Adobe family of products. Adobe gave us the entire Adobe Creative Suite 3 Master Collection which was pretty jolly generous if you ask me. I don’t think any one person could know everything about all of the products that are in the package but Soundbooth, Photoshop and Visual Creator are the ones that I would like to focus on. The thing that I like about Soundbooth is the graphical way you can edit annoying sounds that you can see on an audio track- great for podcasting when the bell goes in the middle of a great sound byte. The draw of learning more about Photoshop is obvious and I have a project in mind already. And Visual Communicator is a video editing software that I know that Colin uses for television editing in schools.
Another great outcome of the meet was that Wacom gave us each a Intuos3 tablet to use when we are playing and presenting. It took me a bit of brain exertion to work out that it was not just one enormous track pad and once I was over that I was surprised at how great it was in speeding up my workflow and how much easier it is to use a pen rather than a mouse to move about the screen. I have a friend who is a really good artist and can’t wait to let her play with it and see how she goes.
They also gave us some insider information about the sorts of things that Adobe does and plans for the future which are really exciting. We got to talk to some of the people like Paul Burnett who is a Worldwide Evangelist for Adobe! What a great job title! Just for fun he showed us his Adobe Air app Melissa that he made. Turn the sound down and Melissa sits on your desktop and lip-synchs with you when you talk- aren’t these people so clever. Melissa reminded me a little of Marvin but without all the tricky input code- give her a try- she’s very clever.
The two days flew by and I was very fortunate to be able to extend my time in Sydney with a quick visit with my cousin and fly home on Sunday which was an added bonus. We only had the one day but we managed a wander round the Opera House and Botanical Gardens.
I strolled across this little beauty this afternoon- this Be Funky cartooniser makes an outline from your photo and then you colour it and add some cartoon like text- great for a bit of fun or to make an interesting avatar for a Voicethread or for those who are not allowed to put their direct images on the internet.
Here I am in Sydney by the bridge. BTW this is my first post written with the aid of my new Wacom INTUOS 3 tablet that Wacom gave me to play with while I was at the Adobe Summit. I am quickly getting the feel of it and I think it is speeding up my workflow.
I am on a Boeing something or other sitting in cattle class, flying at so many thousand feet above the earth with only Mini-Dylan to keep me company. I am off Sydney for an Adobe Asia/Pacific regional meeting. The whole invite thing only happened a dozen days ago so it was all a bit rushed and ever such a little bit stressful as the tickets arrived by email yesterday lunchtime. Fellow NZ AEL Colin Gover from Auckland isn’t joining me on this one. I shouldn’t say cattle class today as there are only about 30 people in our section of the plane built to hold heaps. If we wanted we could all stretch out and have a lying down nap which I might actually do when my laptop battery runs out.
Knowing Mini-Dylan’s love of travelling I invited him along this time round instead of having to stow away in my handbag.
Lessons learnt already- Before you try and fill in three hours of flying by playing on your laptop make sure before you leave home that it is fully charged. I will know this one for the trip home.
It was good advice not to buy a 17 inch Mac Book Pro as light is good and my 15 inch sits nicely on the tray table in the plane.
I had a little weep as I left my homeland thinking of how Mum would have loved to know about this trip. I like to think as I write this that she is with me now but it is not the same as her being here. But then I also think that I can go and enjoy myself without looking over my shoulder and worrying about how Mum is faring on her own in New Zealand.
I am feeling a little whakama as regards the Adobe get- together. We are supposed to present a 15 minute number on our favourite Adobe application. Adobe has promised me a wonderful range of software to pick from but none of it has arrived yet so it is a bit hard to pick just one- apart from Photoshop Elements that I got for my old PC that I haven’t fired up in ages. So I went to the net and am going to show the participants Buzzword, ConnectNow and Adobe Photoshop Express which are all on line tools that anyone can access. Anyone with internet access that is. I am not sure how much access we will have during the sessions so I have done a little screen grab with Keynote- not very inspiring though with me saying, “Imagine if you will the power and wonder of the these on line apps that you can’t see.” We live in hope that we will have decent access. I am sure the other people are way more knowledgeable about Adobe apps than me- I feel like a bit of a fraud.
What I hope to get out of the meeting…
Meeting up with a group of like minded types from the Asia/Pacific Region- apart from Chris Betcher I don’t recognise any of the names of other participants. Learning about the sort of products that Adobe has to offer will be magnificent.
Meeting Chris face to face will be a highlight. Chris, Chrissy Hellyer, Simon Evans and I did a hilarious get together via Skype a while back that was podcasted. We were in an irreverent mood at the time and it was lots of laughs. Chris is very skilled with Adobe applications so that will be fun.
In support of Adobe the good folks at Wacom have offered us an Intuos 3 tablet to use with the Adobe software. Getting to grips with this ‘new for me’ technology will a highlight also. Cool bananas- a new toy to keep me going until I can buy my new G3 iPhone on July 11.
I am looking forward to the whole thing. Bring it on.Sydney
Chris Betcher recently blogged about another new Adobe tool- Buzzword– an online word processor written in Flash. Very cool. The features that I particularly like are that you can upload a Word document and it looks just like it does in Word. You can create documents in Buzzword and export as a pdf or a Word document onto your desktop. Ideal for those without the $$$ to spend on Microsoft products. You can insert tables and graphics and do all the usuals that a normal person would want a desktop publisher to do.
Then you can share that document with others just as you might do in Google Docs. But here’s the really cool thing you can do as well. On the far right hand side of the screen you can see the icon- MEET. Thought I would give it a try and find out who I might meet.
Turns out it takes you to Adobe ConnectNow- through which I can share my desktop with others. OK this looks fun but I need someone to share with. Enter Skype and Twitter. Raewyn from school was on Skype and I sent out a general Tweet asking if anyone wanted a little playtime! Colin Warren a educational tertiary level blogger from from Geelong, Australia, answered my call. Together we played and found out pretty much how to work the screen sharing application by talking about it with Skype and sharing the iSite video. The screen capture is of how it looked from my end as Colin opened up his desktop for us to look at. Through this medium we shared photos and movies directly from my desktop.
So it’s pretty much official with a visit yesterday from Brenda Frisk from NextSpace in Auckland. I have been invited to be an Adobe Educational Leader and have registered for the Adobe Educational Leader’s Institute in San Francisco. There are 118 others globally so it is quite an honour. We fly out in July for a week of fun, learning and frivolities.
I have been invited to join my fellow AELs at Adobe’s San Francisco office as well as San Francisco State University’s Multimedia Studies Program (MSP) for hands-on work with the latest Adobe technology and open discussions on best practices in teaching and learning with technology.
Take part in focused instruction on Adobe creative solutions.
Learn new ideas for integrating digital tools into the curriculum.
Talk with product managers and provide them with crucial feedback.
Hear the latest about Adobe technology and what it means for teachers.
Network and collaborate with fellow AELs on the latest innovations in teaching and learning with technology.
For a small town girl who has only ever been over the Auckland Harbour Bridge once it is a pretty big deal. It would never have happened if I had not opened my classroom walls and let people in through the power of Web2.0- blogging, wikis, podcasting, collaboration, networking and on-line creativity.