Blended delivery, online learning, flexible delivery - whatever you want to call it.

Currently::: moblog.co.uk/blog/engageme/

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Today's Links To Learning Workshop

AFter three months, the Learnscope team for the WorldWide Graffiti project have met again!

Links to Learning teachers have once again met with project mentors in Sydney.

Check out some photos of our day.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Oh, I've been oh so quiet!
My latest fun things are:

Sunday, September 11, 2005

wwGraffiti in Cessnock

On Friday I finally went to see Anne-Maree at the Cessnock Links2Learning outpost, CDLC.
I drove in to Cessnock in the Hunter Valley, and easily found the turn off to the CDLC. It was marked by the burned out house that used to contain classrooms ownded by CDLC. Anne-Maree had told me kids had burned the building down - such a pity...

What was left of the CDLC was cool - a classroom and some offices, with a large yard overlooked by a huge mural created by the kids. The Police Citizens Youth Club adjoins out the back.
Anne-Maree showed me a Powerpoint presentation she had created for a big day at the centre. It featured images of the kids on various trips and projects throughout the year, with a music soundtrack.

It was at this point I was struck by the fact that Anne-Maree was already doing digital stories in Powerpoint. But then this project is about the kids doing the digital stories.

I asked Anne-Marie what might be the difference between using Powerpoint in this way (which she already knew how to do) and using MS Photostory.

We decided that the advantage of using MS Photostory was that is was free (if you have a registered copy of Windows).

We made a quick digital story of the day they made the mural, to a rock backing track. Cool!

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Downloading Micrsoft Photostory 3

For easy to use, free digital story software, using Microsoft Photostory 3 is a fair option.

Most of us are familiar with the Microsoft interface, so its not hard to learn the new software.

1. Downloading the Sofware

Go to the Microsoft Photostory 3 download site.
Click on the Download button.
A dialogue box will appear asking you to Run or Save the file 'PStory.msi'. Select Save.
A new box will pop up, showing your files.
Navigate to where you would like to save the file. My Documents is fine for now.

2. Installing the Software
Go to the My Documents folder (or where you told the file to save).
Double click on the file PStory.msi
"Run" the file, when asked by the next dialogue box.


You will then be asked to go to a website to validate your software.
This is a checking process by Microsoft, to make sure you have a real copy of Windows.
Only then are you entitled to the free Photostory software.

So follow the prompts to validate your software at the website.

You may need to return to the folder you downloaded the software to, and double click the MSPhotostory icon, to restart the installation. For some reason, the validation interupts the installation. You may have to start it again.

Follow the prompts in the Installation Wizard, clicking "Next". Just accept all the default settings.

Once you click "Finish", the software will appear in your programs list
(Start > Programs).

The software is easy to use, click around, have a look and have a go!

You just need a folder of images...

Friday, September 02, 2005

Flickr shows me Hurrican Katrina

Flickr delivers today, with some amazing shots from New Orleans itself.

This photo is beautiful
http://www.flickr.com/photos/ratterrell/39315285/

Here are the whole lot
http://www.flickr.com/photos/ratterrell/tags/hurricanekatrina/

Wow...

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Configuring a mobile (Nokia camera phone) to moblog.co.uk

If starting from scratch to create a new moblog.
  1. Go to http://moblog.co.uk
  2. Create an new account. You will need to select a username and password. You will use these again, to configure the phone.

To configure the mobile to send images to your new moblog.

  1. In the phone, create a new contact (Contacts > Names >Options > Add New contact), with the same name as your moblog username. Eg if your username is moblogbaby, name your new contact moblogbaby.
  2. Go back to the main screen on the phone.
  3. Click the down button once. Your new contact name (moblogbaby) should appear on the screen. Select it.
  4. Select Options.
  5. Select Add detail.
  6. Select Email Address.
  7. Type in the special moblog email address. The format of this email address is:

mb-username-password@moblg.net , ß yep, moblg

To take a photo:

  1. Click the Up button once. The camera is activated.
  2. To take a photo click the Centre button.

To upload a photo you have just taken:

  1. Select Send.
  2. The phone will say “Object Added”. This means it has attached the photo to your email.
  3. You can now type text to accompany your photo. Don’t remove the file name (imageXX.jpg).
  4. Select Send.
  5. Select To Email Address
  6. Select Search (you are just pressing the centre button over and over).
  7. Select your contact (eg moblogbaby)
  8. Select the email address you had entered..
  9. Select OK.

Your image is now on your blogger. To see it go to:

http://moblog.co.uk/blog/username/

Hurrah!

Monday, August 15, 2005

Visiting Maitland Youth Centre

Last Thursday I went to Maitland Youth Centre to visit Tony Head, as part of the LinksToLearning Learnscope project WorldWideGraffiti. Our project is looking at using digital storytelling software to as a tool to use in engaging these early school leavers.

I arrived to the front door of the centre to find a sign saying "Around the Back". It took a while for Tony to emerge from the new studio at the rear of the centre. He'd been mucking around in the studio with some of the kids.

After the kids left, Tony and I went inside and sat in front of the mighty PC. Tony had already downlaoded the free digital story telling software Microsoft Photo Story 3 and put otgether a cool story with the kids.

Their story showed a few of them setting up a couple of drum kits and having a jam. Over the top was a soundtrack Tony had recorded in the new studio, of a drum jam. It was a simple story called "Too Much Noise (Is Never Enough)" which showcased the new studio and the music created in it. It also showcased the talents of the kids, both in the drumming on the soundtrack, and via their input in to creating the photo story.

I gave Tony a few pointers about images and file size.

Tony's original file was over 32 megabytes, which is far too large for email or putting on the internet. Using the software that came with Tony's ordinary digital camera, we were able to reduce the size of the photos to about 35% of their original size. The batch process (which should be a function in most basic photosoftware) helped us to do this to all of the photos in one click. The file sizes of the photos went from about 1.5 megabytes to only a few hundred (you can go smaller still for a smaller file size).

We put the new, smaller images in the photo story.

When saving the photo story, we selected the "Save for Email" option. This gave us a file of only 750 kilobytes, which is just fine for emailing to a friend. We did notice that when we played this file, the photo story dispplays in a smaller 'screen'.

Tony had done a great job installing and using the software, even involving the kids straight away. We simply went through some of the finer points of files and images to get the best reulst for sharing the photo story.

Next, Tony is interested in building a website, which connects to blogs by the kids, and showcasing the progress of the centre.

Rock on, Tony and Team Hunter!!

Friday, July 29, 2005

Good Games

From goodexperience.com, which focuses on uh, good experience online a selection of Good Experience Games. (Number Hunt from Games for the Brain is a cool one)

I've been working with LinksToLearning teachers, who lament that their students only play games on the computers in their learning centres. So I have been trying to point them towards games with a bit more integrity. Not necessarily educational games, juse games that have more interesting game play, engaging plot and maybe a bit of learning!

(Uh, I've been remiss in doing the rock links into my posts. Today, i will let you know I am listening to Spiderbait "Shashashavaglava:, a bit of Butterfingers "I love Work" and the highly humorous System of A Down)

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Links to Learning: Indigenous Crew and Digital Story Telling

From the Australian Flexible Learning Framework, this information about the Indigital Centre (not sure how this site would run on a dial up connection):

"The Indigital Centre's aim is to reach out to Indigenous and disengaged youth in Victoria and nationally through music and the power of e-learning. The Indigital Centre is a multimedia and recording studio created by Fraynework Multimedia that offers aspiring musicians a range of skills in the music industry including band management, sound management, sound technician skills and event management."

This site can be used in conjunction with the fabbo Deadly Jam toolbox. And check out the other products aimed at engaging Indigenous students.

Friday, July 08, 2005

London Calling

Bet the Clash never thought I'd appropriate London Calling for this purpose. But "London calling to the faraway towns/Now that war is declared-and battle come down/London calling to the underworld"...or underground...indeed.

I've been a news nerd for much of my life. I am, afterall, my father's daughter. Dad used to buy every newspaper, watch all the news services (back in the day when we had two TV channels to choose from) and uh, stay up til all hours watching cricket. I mimic many of these habits, now my Dad is gone.

Now I love the internet, the way I observe the news has changed. And how we might "teach to the news" has changed.

My journey to discover more about the London bombing started at your traditional type of news services:
cnn.com
Google News (where I have my own customised page - try it, newsnerds!)

Then I moved on to my favourite site for finding out pretty much anything:
Wikipedia
(I love this site so much! I browse it as my 'just cruising' internet site. Yesterday I read about islands of the Caribbean, as I had no real clue about the area. When I was a kid, I used to read encyclopedias and dictionaries - much to the delight of the school bullies. Now I can do it again...mwah! Wikipedia!)

But I love photos of news events. And on the internet, there are so many non-news service photos. With the rise of camera phones and digital photography, there are often opportunities to see images you don't see on the traditional news services. So I went to:
Flickr's London Bombing photo pool
The News Is Now Public
Wikipedia Images

Then I decided to see what 'the kids' were saying on their blogs over at Technorati.

I won't be buying a newspaper...