Posted by: networklearning | August 23, 2007

Faculty Professional Development issues and solutions – THED07

Tourism and Hospitality

Posted by: networklearning | August 23, 2007

Google Calendar in Education

Posted by: networklearning | August 23, 2007

Management , wikis and activity sheets

Wikieducator activity sheets against curriculum – Tour Guiding – WikiEducator

Excellent example of mapping activty sheets against the curriculum from Leigh Blackall. Actiivty sheets can then be utilised in a web 2.0 community blog, wiki book, CD…. e.g.,

Posted by: networklearning | May 21, 2007

I am a Learning Object – Empowerment through each other

Conversation with Vicki Marchant around the concept of the person as a learning object and the systemisation of learning, top down management that enables rather than controls, a bottom up ‘People Learning Management System’ that aggregates people to come together around a particular subject, task, problem…when needed.
I’m lucky enough to be going to the ILTA Edtech conference in Dublin! this week. Looking forward to Don Dron’s discussion on Designing the undesignable around the systemisation of social software where he’ll be presenting on:
‘A range of technical, procedural and pedagogical ways of influencing, rather than designing, learning ecologies are provided, so that the tensions between top-down and the bottom-up control may be resolved and social software can play a significant and integral role in e-learning.’
Hopefully this will provide me with a better understanding of how to address the issues, the cultural shift which is very much needed to make bottom up enabling culture work…
Posted by: networklearning | April 16, 2007

Madness -The price of property in Sydney – April 2007

The Sydney Morning Herald Magazine cover story was ‘What does 400K get you within Sydney’. 400k+ gets you a two bedroom apartment, if you’re lucky, that’s 400k + for a two bedroom apartment! Ridiculous!

Here’s a great of spitting image political satire from 1989, the time of the last major UK housing correction.

This guy talks about the factors leading to a property crash, very informative. 😦 Aspirational home ownership for first home buyers has never felt so frustrating.

Posted by: networklearning | April 10, 2007

The importance of activity sheets (The glue that binds the network?)

The glue that binds the network

I’m appreciatively following the implementation of Learnscope’s new wiki and Leigh Blackall’s participation in the Tectonic Shift Think Tank in Vancouver.

Am also looking forward to the seminar ‘Challenging how knowledge is created’ with Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia.
It seems Media wiki is set to become an embedded piece of software across the education sector (Fingers crossed).

MediaWiki (free software wiki package originally written for Wikipedia) is a great solution as a central node for connecting educators within an education organisation.

I’ve worked previousily on using wikispaces to connect teachers as part of a central organistion node for networking ; The idea: link a profile to a network to a network , no boundaries…this had some degree of success, but little uptake and sustainability… now consider the importance of activity sheets for this aim.

I think media wiki has potential at a basic level as the central node for knowledge sharing; we’re now looking to raise the value and advocate the publishing of activity sheets within an organisation node.

In particular through teachers using media wiki for authoring Activity sheets that achieve stated outcomes and link to resources from the open internet, a la, google docs , wikipedia, wiki university, wiki, educator, wikispaces…using any number of tools and resource freely available on the internet.

The reasoning:

  • Activity sheets provide the context and direction and importantly the process to participate in activities, link to resources and free media utilising a variety of media and publishing tools.
  • Activity sheets can be mapped against learning outcomes and performance criteria and recontextualised by other teachers
  • The language of education is about activity sheets, session plans and curriculum.
  • The activity sheet does not have to be about a technology, it can be about any process, any learning outcome with or without technology a la the capability life based learning approach, (the media wiki being the central node and SIMPLE publishing tool for all, I think we have to divorce the value is in the utilisation of technology, it’s only means to an end).
  • Provide simple standard activity sheet and session plan guidelines for your organisation staff. These can be utilised within hands on professional development for groups and individuals.
  • Ideally all organisations publishing activity sheets should be advocated as policy on a central node with a searchable backend that links to curriculum documentation. Curriculum being a common denominator to connect all organisation staff.

Hands on activities are the glue that binds curriculum, people and their, application of technology and capability development processes. People using any number of tools, all linked to and authored from a central node, in this case mediawiki.

Innovations can occur as others continualy refine and improve the processes outlined within activity sheets on a central wiki.

Focus on authoring activity sheets within organisations. This is where the valuable IP and services are to be offered.

Focus on linking to and authoring resources using free online tools on the open internet.

This is where the valuable cost savings, quality, concurrency and professional connections with others and business will be made.

Posted by: networklearning | March 20, 2007

Making mentoring work across the faculty

Planning for Learnscope 07

Posted by: networklearning | March 15, 2007

ZOHO Creator – Online databases made easy

For those of you desire to create that database you’ve always needed but would rather not wrestle with Microsoft Access tables, queries, primary and foreign keys relationships, reports and sql queries, ole data objects… along comes another free Web 2.0 application,to make your working life that little bit better ZOHO Creator –

Have just had a play, simply create the required fields and specifying the data types. ZOHO Creator also includes a great ‘Upload file’ field and nifty calendar field.

When you are ready ZOHO Creator creates the online form with its own url, this can be public or private by invite only.

In addition ZOHO Creator provides

  • Easy to use search criteria based on your form data
  • RSS Form feeds to track the data input
  • Embeddable code to insert your form into your blog, wiki…

I really recommend this tool.

Posted by: networklearning | February 9, 2007

To value mind imagination calls

My first post of 2007, I came across this great video ‘Web 2.0 … The Machine is Us/ing Us’ by Michael Wesch, it resonates with me. At the end of the video Michael puts foward ‘We’ll need to rethink a few things’

Where do I want my thinking to go in 2007? I wrote this poem ‘ Subject Object’ as a young man going through the process of figuring things out, how the world was, the teenage sentiment still resonates for me as an adult, in our world now, where perception is purposely influenced with misinformation and fear impacting on our collective understanding of reality and important issues , where education organisations that foster both digital and critical literacy skills have never been more needed.

Retrospectively I would have loved Web 2.0, to have had the opportunity to express myself openly growing up and trying to make sense of the world through a blog, hopefully with guidance and input from others to help in the process. Now as an ‘adult’ I’d like to know what I was thinking and feeling then when I wrote it, and now be able to look back on my life’s progress through my online identity and the network of people who have been a part of my life leading to who who I am today… slightly more cynical perhaps, I reckon I could postively look back on my personal growth.

Subject ObjectMy abstract mind knows a surreal world
With guns controlling the peace and goodwill
The day has come its going gone
Another life another dawn
It’s one for all and all for one
The souls count up but never down
The winners the losers win
Two sides two deaths one all my friend
More blood is spilled but I don’t care
Seen it, heard it, cried before.


My abstract mind knows a TV screen
With murder lies and ads between
You’ll see it all all to be be seen
But switch it off if it gets obscene
Don’t worry now we can worry then
And in the meantime we’ll pretend
That we’re ok, that we’re alright
That we’ll sleep well in bed tonight
We’re safe and sound if we know our place
But they’ve got missiles just in case…

My abstract mind knows the money man
Who’ll sell the soul to meet demand
It’s easy to take a moral stand
But progress fails to follow a plan
I know heaven doesn’t exist but I’m going there
Anyway my lord.
But everybody wants to hold you back
Shared experience in day to day lives
After everything you’re human an animal
My Time Our Time My Time Our Time My Time PLEASE

Stephen Hawkings world renowned physicist posted this question to yahoo answers:

How can the human race survive the next hundred years?

In a world that is in chaos politically, socially and environmentally, how can the human race sustain another 100 years?

In my mind to address problems, we need to bridge the barriers between human subjective objective perception of their world, my world, your world, our world, en masse not as nations but as informed global citizens, bottom up governance, sharing our emotions, thoughts, and ideas to reveal our commonalities through networks of understanding and common interest, then acting on them. A simple sentiment said many times by many others a la Web 2.0.

In educational organisations working on and incorporating what positively inspires our minds, as outlined by Napolean Hill in his ‘Mastermind’ principles

  • Love
  • Opportunities for financial gain
  • Recognition for talent, effort
  • Music
  • Friendship
  • Alliance between others to achieve shared goals and spiritual advancement

The reponsibility of education

The responsibility lies with education organisations to build open creative education environments for constructive stimuli of the mind that promote the positive aspects to which the mind resonates most freely.

‘authentic voices, speaking freely, can engage each other in a democratic society. They can advance social causes such as education and literacy. They can minimize the self-serving agendas of corporate broadcasters, big money, and big power.
They can do all of these things – but doing these things is not why we blog. We blog because what we want is a free and authentic voice. Because we want, at last, the freedom to be ourselves.’ – Stephen Downes

Educate people how to from their own personal networks through technology, networks stimulating shared ethusiasm, creative imagination, intense desire to express oneself .

Logically, connecting through technology en masse to achieve these aims will not bring order out of chaos but foster a chaotic bottom up and responsive understanding of the world.

Networked learning and understanding as part of day to day life, a global culture that celebrates what’s possible for us collectively as humans in the moment. Communicating through technology, acting on ideas in the moment, collectively, chaotically, inspiring the mind to create a reality that seeks to find solutions locally to global political social and environmental problems in the moment…

Stephen Downes -‘ How I would organise a conference’ hints at the type of space and event that would faciliate these interactions.

For 2007 I want to facilitate group learning processes, large groups collaborating together, connecting with each other, sharing ideas, and in our own ways feeding the machine…empowerment through each other, ‘The Machine is Us/ing Us’, and I’m happy with that…

Posted by: networklearning | December 16, 2006

Alumini graduate with insight for students and teachers

Popped in for a coffee and met Bianca a graduate from TAFE now employed, we got to talking about a teaching event management exercise I helped out on. Jeanie a teacher got her students interviewing and recording their learning using an audio recorder and digital camera. Bianca commented on how fun it was and that it was important that the teachers where keeping up.

As an educator it was great for me to actually meet a graduate now employed and in particular get positive feedback on what they experienced using technology in their learning. Now that Bianca’s getting on with her working life, current students could potentially benefit from her insight, what is it actually like? Through communication using new connecting technologies such as and graduates like Bianca can give current students context and meaning, the prospect of actually getting paid work from those hard yards of studying and submitting assignments could perhaps be a motivating factor.

As an alumni of TAFE she plans to keep teachers in the loop on changes in industry that she may be dealing which can then feed back to current students. Even posting videos of what she is doing in work!!…

Establishing Alumini networks offers real potential for learning, video blogs being one off the tools graduates students and teachers can connect with as part of day to day life…a trend I’d like to see grow as part of VET education in general.

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