Thursday, February 21, 2008

Assignment 2 is DONE!

What a relief it is to have submitted the 2nd Assignment. I feel that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. I am so upset that I missed the end of Semester Conference. My Internet connection has been exceptionally weak. Jakarta is flooded and sometimes that means that the communications go under water. It has rained very day for weeks and my kids are running out of dry clothes. It is so cold that I have not used air conditioner for ages. I even sleep with a blanket. It must get down to about 20C at night - that's freezing!

I have just introduced Grade 3 to blogging. It is wearing me out replying to their panic emails asking "Where is the compose button in Blogger?" or "How do I put my avatar on my blog?" or "Please help me to change my blog template - I can't wait until Monday for computer lab time."

I will give a Parent workshop soon to help this. I'm thinking of going to a nearby Internet Cafe where we can sip cappuccinos whilst I teach about Internet safety and blogging. The school lab is impossible to get into.

Here are Some Comments From my Students About Using eBooks

Ebooks in Grade 3

An Ebook is a book. A book that is in the computer. Sometimes people like to read from a book. Now I have learned how to read an ebook. In the ebook I read The Famous Five story and I’ve read to chapter 13 only. Bu I like reading from this book better. Sometimes people like to read on paper or print the book out with a printer. We can read from the computer so people don’t waste paper. So they read on the computer and that’s called an ebook. Abby

What I fell to read the ebook? I feel happy. I see lots of words that I don’t know. I’m happy to use new technology. It’s fun to try new technology and new things. The Famous Five ebook is a long story. The difference between a book and an ebook is the pages. An ebook is an electronic book. An ebook doesn’t use paper pages but electronic pages. Raymond

An ebook is so long and I really feel like I have read one whole book. I feel that there are some difficult words. If I read the ebook on the computer it is blurry but when it is on paper it is not. Sometimes when I saw the hard words I looked at the computer dictionary and I can find the meaning. We couldn’t read too long on the computer of it will make our eyes hurt. It is fun to read an ebook. An ebook is an electronic book that is in the computer. Ebooks have long stories. Moelan

An ebook is a book but it is from the Internet. I like it because it got contents that let you click to go to the page. I like it and we can read it without paying for it. Yudhis

I was happy to have an ebook because its the first ebook that I have ever read. I like the ebook it’s fun but the pictures won’t come out on my computer. It’s really fun reading an ebook. It’s good and the story is really long. I like it very much. Kayla

Reading an ebook is like the same as reading a book, but an ebook is a book on a computer. Reading from a computer is fun. The first time I tried, I had trouble opening the Famous Five ebook. Ebooks are fun because it has the iTunes version. (audiobook) I heard the iTunes on then I read the ebook. I love to read the book. I’m a thinker because I think and read. Theo

An ebook is an electronic book. An electronic book is a book but we read it using a computer. When I read an electronic book I felt that I am reading a normal book. Now we are reading an electronic book called The Famous Five. Now we are making a summary about one chapter. Everyone got one chapter each. Jeremy

At school I learned about ebooks. The ebook title was the Famous Five and we were learning about ‘Famous Five on a Treasure Island’. There are four people and one dog. I really like the story it is really nice. I story has seventeen chapters. Priska

It is much easier to read on the computer that reading a normal book because a normal book must be flipped. If it’s an ebook I can just scroll down. Also if you are not doing anything, we can hear the audio. When I finished reading the Famous Five I sometimes write a summary. Nabila

Another Frustrating Lab Lesson

It's enough to make you cry ...

Finally after the kids waiting all week, today we went in to the labcom. The server was very, very slow and when I clicked on the class blog to show the kids how to access their podcasts there, the player was blocked by the school Fortiguard filter. So I tried to access by going there directly. It was blocked again. So I told the kids that they could have the time to catch up on the sites. 

Several students could log in and the Googlepages wouldn't load. Ahhhhhhh

After the bell rang for home time and the kids left the class. I finally caught up with the lab tech to ask why GCast would be blocked. He asked me to show him the site and you wouldn't believe it - it worked just fine!

Why why why? Is it just me or what just happened?

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Googlepages Coming into Focus

Today I had a double lesson 90 minutes in the labcom with Grade 5. I got to the bottom of the missing sites for four of my students and managed to teach the kids about keeping a consistent theme and always putting the navigation in the same place on each page. I haven't had the staff support from school that I hoped for but at least the kids sites are mostly working and I can see it all finishing somewhat on time. Actually the computer teacher has made it know that she wants "Nothing what-so-ever to do with my Googlepages". 

Today I was even able to teach my students how to manipulate the Html coding on their sites and embed a video in the pages. It's much better now that I have uploaded all the photos to Dropshots and passworded the page so that the kids can pick and choose the pictures that they want to insert. I have had a few comments from others about how kids misbehave during computer time but I can't imagine that as my students are glued to their monitors. They even cry out at the end of the session as they want more time. I wish that I had a classroom with computers. Next year I'm going to try for a laptop program. All I need is secure lockers for the kids to store their laptops when they have break time or sport lessons. 

Today I also got my Grade 3 students to write a reflection of their first experience reading an ebook. We have been studying The Famous Five via ebook and audiobook. Their comments are very interesting and I will post some on the ebook wiki in kG. One kid said, "My eyes get tired reading from the screen and I like to read books in bed before sleeping. I can't really take my PC in my bed! I need something smaller to read it on." They all liked the audiobook as they could put it on their ipods. Unfortunately the words are different as I couldn't get the unabridged version of Five on a Treasure Island. My Grade 5s are reading Charlie and the Chocolate Factory with the unabridged audiobook. I must get them to write reflections so that I can compare.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Googlepages Getting More Interesting

On Wednesday there was a BIG meeting to sort out all the class times in the labcom. I managed to get a double lesson for my Grade 5! Now I can help them with their sites. I have the somewhat daunting task of uploading all the photos for their sites to Dropshots for easier access. Yikes it will take ages. I'm choosing Dropshots because there is a fast uploader.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008


The Googlepages websites for Assignment 2 has been giving me so much stress. I must publish the other posts that I have written about it. The computer teachers have announced to me that they will not give any support even though I put in the proposal to my principal at the start and got the go ahead. Just today I had my computer time canceled at the last minute. That means that the whole project has been pushed back by another week again!
I feel like I'm really treading on the 'territory' of the computer teachers. I'm not sure if I will attempt anything like this again that requires support from different faculties in the school.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

PD Today

Today I gave a short PD at school about Emerging Learning Tools. I kept it simple and focussed on ebooks, audiobooks, podcasts, videocasts and screencasts. My colleagues were most surprised at how many ebooks, audiobooks and quality podcasts are freely available over the Internet. I don't know if the teachers will try any of it but I think that it has made them more aware.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Moving to this Blog

Today I moved all my Moodle posts to this blog and dated them accordingly. I feel better now that they are all together in the one place. I am rather freaked out about Assignment One. I can't seem to get to a point where I am happy with my kG page. It looks bad to me and I feel that I haven't really put as much as I should have. But then again will this kG page ever get finished? I was reading on Kate's blog that she feels that her kG page will never be finished. So I'll "let it go". Ok now I have to write up the process and then add in the resources on my kG page and that will have to do.

Computer Games in Education

What have been some of the most profound things you have learnt through games and gaming.

I love games. I mean, who doesn’t love learning when it is highly interactive? I have always used games in my teaching. My most successful use of a computer game was the game ‘Amazon Trail’. It is a CD ROM that allows you to travel up the Amazon River as an explorer. You have to choose a guide which you can speak to and choose questions to ask - the guide talks to you and answers your questions. It is like an inset video. The game took me 3 weeks to play with my Grade 6 class as we often stopped to find out more through research. We had a giant map of the Amazon River along one side of the classroom on which we kept a record of our journey. Students also added clippings of their own further research into the places that we had visited. Each student also kept a travel diary of the trip. I really liked to use this game as it made the whole unit of explorers come alive.

Talk to some computer game players (a child, teenager and adult) and ask them what have learnt when they play the games.

My husband likes to play games on the PC as a way to unwind. He says that he has no expectations to learn anything from computer games. My students all play games and they tell me that they have learned a lot of different things depending on the game played. Mostly the games that they prefer are just for entertainment.

Do you have visions of how you might be able to use educational games in your out teaching or learning.
I am always on the look out for new games. I use them to keep my students interested in logging into the class blog. I am careful to choose games that relate to current learning. I originally used a non-educational game on my Grade 5 blog because they were a tough class to crack. They all told me that they hated computers! I needed to show them that I could be cool too and not always focussed on learning outcomes. It did the trick - most of the class now love blogging. At the moment I am using a game based a Famous Five story. It is CD ROM but very interactive and 3D like Second Life. My students are having to read the story so that they know what to do in the game. This is their first novel study and they are using an ebook with audiobook. It is working really well. We have even made a podcast about where the students think that the treasure is hidden.

Monday, January 21, 2008


Discuss the ideas and experiences outlined in Prensky's article?
The main idea in this article is that schools or educational institutes have not evolved very much. They remain places for left brain learning and require students to adapt. Prensky argues that the Digital Natives need learning to reflect the world that they have grown up in. They live in a world of interactivity and engagement. He implies that the classroom has little to offer these learning styles.

Do these match with your experiences?
In my own schooling I must agree. There were very few teachers that made the lessons engaging. However now that I’m a teacher I apply my own style. I have always been considered ‘unorthodox’ in my methods. I like my students to learn through experience - hands on learning.
Like recently in an inquiry into natural resources I took my 3rd Graders to dig up some clay in a nearby village. The kids had already looked up some websites that showed how to identify which layer of earth is the clay layer. On this trip the kids got thoroughly dirty. The nannies freaked out! We then went to a local brick factory to see how the clay was made into house bricks and then back in the classroom make pinch pots with our village clay which we later dried and fired in a sawdust firing at the back of the school. We found out how to do this by watching some videos on You Tube. A normal school could not cope with this. I would have my lessons divided up neatly and expected to meet the learning outcomes within the 40 min lesson slots. At my current school I’m encouraged to integrate and can use the whole day when needed to pursue an inquiry. Oh don’t get the wrong idea, I have curriculum scope and sequences to fulfill as well. It’s just that if you are clever you can integrate Math, Science, Art and language together giving a much bigger block of time. Technology is integral not integrated.
Thankfully I’m no longer the odd teacher that does ‘weird’ stuff. I am now teaching at an IB - International Baccalaureate school. Whenever I plan a lesson I must ask myself the following:
Is it worth knowing?
Is it engaging?
Is it true?

Have you been in learning situations where you have been enraged by the methods that you were expected to use?
Yes, at boarding school. I crossed each day off on a big calendar until the next holiday. The teachers were so dull! I hated computers too. I couldn’t work them and it was all too technical. I hated the mouse and wished that I could just write directly onto the screen. I felt so disconnected.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Blogging using audio (Podcasts) or video (videocasts)

What has been your experience of listening to Podcasts? Have you listened to a podcast of an audio conference session held in this course?
I have only recently got into podcasts, thanks to this course. My husband is trying hard to improve his English and subscribes to a few EFL podcasts. I have also become recently aware of the many quality podcasts devoted to teaching Indonesian. There is one at That has new episodes each week and there is also a forum. I will recommend this site for new teachers coming to my school. I am very excited to learn about podcasting. Thank you Peter, but honestly this course has been rather expensive for me as each time I learn about these new technologies I find myself buying more and more gadgets. Am I AGD - addicted to gadgets disorder? I love my new iPod classic with its’ extra microphone which allows me to ‘podcast on the run’. I also listen to many podcasts for EFL which work great with my Grade 5 class. I found one recently all about Go Karts from English Bites.
What potential do you believe podcasts have as an educational tool?
Huge potential. My parents can listen to their child and can compare their child’s
speaking skills to the others in the class. I love the fact that you can multimedia podcast. My son is experimenting with that as a way to present his project about the water cycle. I totally recommend for podcasting. It is free and easy to use. I also like the way that Podcasts are free to download! Did I mention FREE!
If you have a blog or have used blogs with your students can you please share some of your positive and negative experiences.
Positive - My students LOVE blogging. I have been using it for 6 months now with my current Grade 5 class. We are connected in a way that just wouldn’t be possible in a traditional classroom. The widgets for blogs are so cool. Each student is able to ‘personalize’ their blog. The visitor trackers teach about geography and have made my students realize just how many people are reading our Grade 5 blogs. We use our blogs to post homework and reflection writing. Actually you can use them to post all kinds of things but I do insist that postings must connect to our learning. At present the counter on our class mother blog is at 5,400! I just added a new visitor tracker and after one week we had about 300 visitors from all over the world. Just amazing! They learn to learn from one another. They learn to share with the wider community. Their writing improves as they think more carefully about their writing that will be read by more than just the teacher. Their reading levels improve. Bottom line, my students ‘get’ why we should use technology. The weekly computer lessons were just not getting the message across.
Negative - Some parents just don’t understand it and can be hard to persuade. They can’t handle ICT and think that it is too much for their children. Actually the kids discover new ways to use the blogs faster than me. Plagiarism is rife. I am always battling that, but I think that it is a problem regardless of blogging. You need to allow sufficient time for the students to post their work. This allows for the dodgy Internet connections and for other issues such as when sites just won’t work. I usually give about 2 tasks per week at the very most. is the most reliable but it sometimes does strange things when used with Safari 3. When the students move onto another teacher the blogging is usually dropped. This can be very disappointing for the students who have become used to ‘blog life’.
Essential Elements: An AUP is a must. Ongoing Internet safety lessons too when you are blogging with younger kids. All students must have access to a computer and the Internet at home. Blogging at school only, doesn’t allow sufficient time to browse other blogs which is a most important factor. I couldn’t get my class blog to be so active if we had to rely on in school access only.


What are some of the most powerful educational features of wikis?
They allow students to work on a document collaboratively. It teaches us to allow others to contribute directly to a project.
What are some potential negatives?
I guess that it comes down to management. How to you stay on top of cyber-vandalists?
Do you believe a wiki might be useful in your own learning or your own teaching? How? Why?
Yes, I think that we should use wikis for writing curriculum documents. I have to keep a planner for each UOI (unit of inquiry). This UOI is taught across the curriculum involving many different teachers and having a wiki-based planner would allow all teachers to contribute. Has anyone used a wiki like this in their job?

mLearning in my school

Have you had experience using m-learning devices in a learning environment?
Currently the use of mobile phones at my school is more directed at the parents rather than the students. We use SMS to inform/invite parents to workshops and meetings. My parents often contact me using SMS but I only reply if it is before 7pm. I believe that after that time is my family time so I will reply the next day. My students in Grade 5 all have mobile but I prefer to email with them because it’s free rather than using up my personal phone credit. Our school has a dedicated mobile phone for each Principal for school meeting announcements. Teachers must use their own phones and pay for phone credit themselves.

Do you see possibilities for using e-learning devices to either enhance existing learning practices or enable emerging learning practices?
I have heard from a friend of mine who used to work in Japan that SMS is used to track students as they move from tutoring class to tutoring class. As the child checks in an SMS is sent to the parent’s phone to alert them to the whereabouts of their child. In Japan mLearning is a happening thing. Here is a link to a blog post about a new university course offered

I have been experimenting with podcasting in my classes recently. This has developed into also using ebooks and audiobooks. I was surprised to find that there are many free ebooks and audiobooks available on the Internet. Podcasts are numerous and mostly free. I found some great ones called English Bites from iTunes. These are video podcasts and focus on real situations. In each episode words and phrases from the footage are focused on.
My students love making podcasts in the classroom and my Grade 3 are calling these podcasts Gigglecasts as they really like to tell jokes. I will take them to the Jakarta Gemstone markets this Wednesday and I hope to make use of my new voice recorder there. I have bought a new iPod classic and a microphone attachment that enables recording. It is really clear. We hope to make or first field trip podcast about what we will see on the trip. I like to use podcasting as it has made my students more aware of how important it is to be able to speak loudly and clearly. You can hear our podcasting attempts here on my blog,
As well as this we are also doing a novel study from Enid Blyton’s Famous Five and I have bought the audiobook and ebook to use with my students. The novel is an ebook and on a Mac you can get the computer to read it to you. The new voice ‘Alex’ that comes with Leopard actually has a degree of intonation. The audiobook doesn’t follow the story word for word but is quite entertaining as it is like listening to a radio play. My students are able to load this MP3 onto their iPods and listening to it as much as they want. The problem here is you only get authorization for 5 users. It’s a pain if you have 20+ students in your class. I am going to give a small workshop about all of this to the other teachers next week as I want to persuade the school to build up an ebook and audiobook collection. There are many free books online but I really wanted my class to do the Famous Five. I wasn’t able to get enough copies of the paperback and that was what led me to use the ebook.

Topolsky, J 2007, College course via mobile phone being offered in Japan [online], Available from: [Accessed: 05/01/2008].

Sunday, January 13, 2008


What mobile learning technologies have you used in your own learning or teaching? What would you like to use?
In my own learning in this course I have used my laptop. I was able to access the Moodle platform using WiFi in JCo Donuts from a Jakarta shopping mall. However, the connection was very slow so I only wrote one post. (It was free!) I often use my PDA phone to access the Internet when I’m in the car. I am able to read my email and look at my class blogs. My students tell me that they often log into their blogs whilst they are on holidays even when overseas. They love that even their overseas relatives can see their blogs and leave a comment.
I have just started experimenting with podcasting. I hadn’t really thought to do this before. It is very easy and really teaches my students about speaking clearly. We have made a Podcast called GiggleCast and I intend to extend this into regular Podcasts about current learning. I have just bought a microphone for my iPod which allows me to be a mobile Podcaster. I will take this on the next school field trip so that I can record my students questions on location. I was inspired by The KidCast Blog. I think that this is an excellent way for my students to develop their speaking skills that allows their parents to listen in as well.
What have these allowed you to do that were difficult before?
Well it has made my life much easier. I am able to catch up on study where ever I am. I know that the parents of my students love that they are able to see their child’s work whenever they want. I am still the only one in my school that is blogging in this way. Some other teachers have a personal blog but are not encouraging their students to do it.

Friday, January 11, 2008


This week I got into Podcasting. I tried making 2 poscasts with my Grade 3 class. I tried several hosting sites but many were slow for uploading.
I tried these ones:
The best one was
The reason why I like this one is becasue the upload was fairly quick, it has options for non-garageband users and it is easy to copy and paste the HTML for the player. The player has colour size choices. I also like that it is easy to subscribe to your own podcasts as there is a link button under the player. I was able to copy the player to my blog and also into Googlepages.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Siemens Learning Ecology

How does your experience of learning communities (either in this course, in other courses or other forms of learning communities) relate to the learning ecology described by Siemens

Well Siemens talks about courses being antithetical to today’s environment. I cannot apply that comment to this course. Maybe because I can use so much of what I am learning about directly in my classrooms. I can see so many advantages of using the read/write web and making it integral to my teaching. I can relate to the comments about how knowledge changes quickly. The advantages of using these new skills in my teaching helps we to stay current. I have even witnessed just how many more online tools have become available over the past year whilst I have been engaged in this Masters. Even in this remote area that I’m living in (the hills of West Java), the impact of new technologies can be felt. The Internet connections are getting faster and more reliable. The local rice farmers here have mobile phones as phone credit is now 1/2 a rupiah per second. My own house phone is getting cheaper and cuts out less. Even my electricity is not shutting off as much!
Siemens said, “We need to bring elements into the learning experience that allow for extension beyond classrooms…and integration with ‘real life’.”
I have heard so many comments from my colleagues here at my school like “As soon as you finish that online Masters your knowledge will be out of date”. If I just read the course readings and did the assignments probably that might be true. But what I am learning about is how to harness the Internet so that I can keep up with the changes. I am also using what I am learning in my everyday teaching. The ripples from my actions might be small but I have seen at my own school how those ripples can turn into waves.

What has been the enabling and the disabling affects of different aspects of the communities (online or face to face)
Online when it works is great. It makes our world smaller and more accessible.
Blogs in my classrooms enable my students to learn from each other. Previous to this it just wasn’t happening.
The Wimba and Illuminate classrooms allow us to meet each other from this course and to talk almost as if we were sitting next to each other. It’s amazing when you consider just how far apart we are.
The Moodle environment I see as the homeroom. I go there to get my readings and participate in the forums. It is sad however that there is a lack of participation in some of the forums. I really like forums as I learn so much there from what other people write.
The Knowledge Garden wiki is another learning environment. It sometimes aggravates me there as it is not as accommodating of multimedia as I would like it to be. I have a different expectation from kG as I want to create resource pages there and being so used to the multimedia flexibility of blogs and websites I must admit the wiki really frustrates me!
The start/stop learning concept. When this course is done I wonder how many of us will continue to use these online learning environments. I think that it will depend on needs. I know that I will use the ones that work the best with my students.
The other obvious disabler for me is my weak Internet connection and speed. I use an Internet provider called Speedy which is not what the name implies. Sadly Speedy is faster than the connection at my school! My students work on their blogs and sites at home. I will move soon to Fast Net a new provider. Will it be faster? Indonesian companies are big on promises with little follow through.

Siemens, G. (2003). Learning Ecology, Communities, and Networks: Extending the classroom. In elearnspace: everything elearning. Retrieved on 11 November 2004 from [].

Effective Learning Communities

What do you think are the major characteristics of effective learning communities?
Feedback, feedback, feedback! I think that it is imperative that you get responses to your posts whether they are blogs, forums, wikis, chats, SMS etc. We need that response to know whether anyone has seen what we have put out there. My students love getting responses from their peers but they have told me that it is the teacher’s comments that they really hang out for. I guess they want confirmation from a person in authority. They are not as satisfied with peer response as they don’t quite trust it. I can understand that. I have tried many times to employ peer assessment in my classes but my students just don’t trust that. I still feel that peer assessment is very valid as it can help students to realize how the teacher assesses the work. I even used it to combat plagiarism.
An alternative way to find out if your blog has had any traffic is to put either a hit counter on it or a visitor map/statistic tracker. (Links) This however is not as powerful as actually getting a comment.
What technologies can be used to empower such learning communities? Blogs, wikis, forums, virtual classes, email etc. The tools that we have been using in this course.

What strategies can be used to empower such learning communities?
I am currently setting up a blog community for Indonesian children. As I understand that kids - actually everyone - needs feedback I am making a mentor system. Each child will be given a mentor who will read their blog each week, leave a comment and award tokens for outstanding work. The mentors will have about 200 blogs each and will be required to read each one. We will ask that the comments written on each blog be sent to us for monitoring. Mentors will be able to choose from a list of generic comments until they become more used to the system.
The tokens awarded by the mentors will work like Timezone. The bloggers will be able to trade them in for prizes such as hats, pencil cases and even club jackets. My part will be to write a weekly column for a children’s newspaper. I am the ideas person and will give small tasks via the column for the bloggers to post to their blog. We will also have ‘Posts of the Week’. The URL is This is an attempt to educate children about responsible Internet usage. We have a huge social problem in Indonesia of Internet addiction. I have been working on this over the past 6 months and I am now just about to start the pilot group. This is exciting stuff as this will be a first for Indonesia.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

The changing educational context

What factors have impacted on educational institutions with which you are most familiar with?
Educational factors
Explosion in volume & sources of information
This relates directly to the more direct use of the Internet in the classroom as a resource both for teachers and students. Thankfully in my situation we are required to use Primary resources first. This helps students to make more informed choices about what to use from the Internet.
Pressures to teach more students, more flexibly, with fewer resources
Yes, this has noticeably increased for me in the past 17 years. I am seeing more ADHD and Autism in my classes. Unfortunately I am no better able to deal with this. I must rely on my own initiatives and experience. Autism is particularly difficult and I have had many kids with varying levels.
Teacher as facilitator not controller of learning
For me this is a happy transition. I no longer have to be the ‘expert’. My most challenging part of teacher as facilitator is dealing with the parents as only a few show up at the parent workshops at our school. They still see the teacher as the expert and cannot understand when I step back and let the students take over.

Technological factors
Increased availability of more powerful ICT tools
Increasing availability of more powerful internet connectivity
My motivation to take on this Masters has come about from the above two points. I felt the need to learn more about current technologies. Being in West Java I had little access to workshops about this. I have found even in the IBO circle that there are few workshops as a lot of teachers are behind in this area. I intend to apply to be a IB Trainer after completing my Masters so that I can change this.

Changing content
Change from learning facts and a stable curriculum to needing to learn how to learn.
This Indonesian curriculum is all about rote learning. That’s what makes it difficult to have a IB school in this setting. Unfortunately the government is not very supportive and my school still must run the national exams in Grade 6. These exams are based on the national curriculum. It has created quite a headache for us!

Knowledge is "static and universal" to knowledge is "changing and context bound".
This is central to inquiry learning. The emphasis in my school is the local area and the local primary resources. I really like empowering the students and assisting them to become the ‘experts’. I am only just beginning to help them to share their expertise with a wider audience via the Internet.
What technologies are people using to try to respond to these factors?
I am using more digital media than ever before. Using videos in blogs, podcasts, e-books, and digital portfolios. This year at school even the Year book will be a digital one. Hey, this saves heaps in printing costs!

Friday, January 4, 2008

What are the "emerging" technologies?

I am teaching in an elementary school. I have Grades 3 and 5. I am in Indonesia in West Java in the mountains near Bogor. I teach in an authorized International Baccalaureate School. We are a K-12 school and the fees are around AUS $10,000/year.
We have one Elementary school computer lab with 17 working PCs and 6 Macs. All classes get 2x40 minutes each week and an extra optional time is allowed. Extra time above that must be negotiated and is very limited. There are 2 other labs with only 10 working PCs in them. There are a LOT of broken computers around the school. I counted 30 last time I was on a “Ask-the-principal-to-allow-some-budget-to-fix-up-the-broken-computers” campaign. We have 1GB bandwidth Internet access shared by 500 users. It is slow as we have people bypassing the filter to download music and videos. We use Google Apps for our academic portal because it’s free. Our portal is here

Each classroom in my area has one PC and you can book out routers for wireless access, projectors (there are 3 in my area), digital cameras, handicams and wireless mikes with speakers. In the Senior school most of the students use laptops - but it is not compulsory.
What technologies do you think will become available over the next 2 years?
Hopefully more computers in the classrooms. I am trying to get that to happen! I don’t really agree with having them stuck in a lab. I don’t dare wish for a Smartboard as I can’t see this school going for that. Our school Heads are Gaptek! (Indonesian for technologically challenged)
What technologies do teachers use that students don't use.
The teachers are starting to buy Macs. We have a group of about 12 teachers now. We recognize that Mac has a lot to offer but they are a bit expensive. The teachers update the Googlepages websites but I have just started Grade 5 making their own ones. The teachers are into Facebook and Yahoo Messenger. The children in the Elementary school are not really into those sites.
What technologies do students use that teachers don't use? Most students have PSP and the latest mobiles as well as the iPod touch or at least iPod classic. These kids have a lot of money so there is little that they don’t have.
What technologies do you have in your lounge room that you don't have in your classroom?
We don’t really have a lounge room! There is a meeting room for staff with a fridge and a microwave, but I have made my own ‘middle room’ between the Grade 3 and 5 classrooms. There is a phone, a very old PC and a hot/cold water dispenser. Hardly emerging technologies! I personally have a MacBook Pro, a portable HDD (120 GB) for Time Machine backups, a PDA O2, and an x-mini speaker for my iPod Nano or notebook. I also have a Canon Ixus camera and a Sony Handicam which I really use all the time. Yeah Ok I’m a bit of a gadget freak. School provides very little.

Scrapblogs the Emerging Multimedia Blogs?

Here is a Scrapblog that I created fully online. It was fun!

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Luli's First Reading

Photo Sharing - Video Sharing - Photo Printing - Photo Books
This is Luli's first time reading in Pre-School. I have linked this post to my page in kG to show the power of vlogging.

Multimedia Podcasting

This is a multimedia Podcast from an IBO school showing the Learner Profile. It makes me want to make one with my class! I like the use of 2 languages here. Oh dear I feel this is another project about to be started!

Studying Online

Think of two experiences of studying online:
the first in which there was little interaction between yourself and the teacher and/or between yourself and other students
the second in which there were good quality and quantity of interactions between the teachers and yourself and between yourself and other students
Well I have to admit that this course for me has been of little interaction. I am trying to get more people participate with me in kG but it hasn’t really worked so far. I am also surprised at how little interaction there is in this Moodle platform. It seems that only a few are keeping up with the readings.
I really enjoyed the course EDU5471 Computer Based Resources in Ed, because there was a lot of interaction. I’d say that’s because it was part of the assessment. That certainly motivated me but it was nice to have so many participate. I felt that there was a real exchange going on. I have trouble using the WIMBA because my Internet connection is so weak. I much prefer to leave a comment on the forums for this reason. I am about to change my Internet provider as a new competitor has just become available.
I’m also not very good at talking on the phone. I barely use the phone to be honest. I much prefer text. I think this is because it allows me to think things over more carefully. That’s why I like blogs and wikis too that can be changed. I don’t do so well when put on the spot. I always think things over. It’s my way.
When I’m asked to contribute I find myself changing my mind later on. At school I always respond better after a few days to think things through.