Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Presentations, Concepts and Questions

The Glassbiscuit Development Team set a very high standard when they gave the first project presentation for the year. It was informative and well structured with clear visuals. (I'll edit this post when I can link to some of their content.) Thanks to Zoe on video and camera we will soon be able to see some of the action - and review it for future presentations.

This week we looked at concept mapping - using Cmap - an excellent tool that is easy to use and enables you to share maps online. This map shows where the tool might be used in the SDI course. Boxes in the map can contain a range of resources - such as web links.

One of the resources attached to the above 'Key Questions' box is a very useful Questioning Toolkit. Asking questions is a key part of SDI project work and research.

In other news... many excellent projects are well underway now with some high quality prototypes and products beginning to appear. Even though most projects have a long way to go you can get some sense of the range of work being done by looking at the slide show on the top-right of this page (and here) and the journals further down the right-hand column.

In particular checkout the recent work in Enigmarta Productions, Buggs Blog and Project CLOUT,

Thursday, April 17, 2008

...brought to you by the letter C

Today's lecture was brought by the letter C - Middle C and CC Copyright.

The presentation began with some impromptu piano renditions by a number of people - one of whom got a big round of applause - and attracted the attention of a passing music teacher. She's played before! After the lecture we were treated to a duet.

The lecture on Creative Commons copyright had some hitches however as the letter B made several appearances with the boring buffering bogey spoiling the otherwise flawless performance :-) (Our internet bandwidth from our service providers has been throttled for some unknown reason - they are still working to fix it.) I should have downloaded the .mov files before hand...

The videos Wanna Work Together? and Get Creative present the Creative Commons concept very clearly.

I also like this explanation: A Tale of Two Fish by yiibu but I didn't try to show it...

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

A Buzz in the Air

The Interactive Media and Digital Projects classes are now buzzing! The students are great and the project work is of a high quality. Everyone is either designing or making or researching... and the ideas are fantastic!

And even better - many are now routinely documenting - updating journals and activity logs, commenting on other journals, taking an interest in other projects and being part of a supportive learning community.

Last week's State Quality Assurance Meeting reinforced how important it is for students to be recording their journey. While projects may race ahead or stall or take unexpected turns it is critical that documentation continues.

Most of the documentation at the moment is descriptive rather than reflective but we can focus on more on reflection after first term reports. Another thing we need to look at is questioning... students need to be much more skilled in asking key questions related to their project. This can have a profound effect on the quality of projects.

We are progressing very well through the mandatory content for this course - and in a fairly painless fashion. We are up to our 8th 30 minute lecture and it is clear from reading journals and looking at project work that many students have taken on board the material presented.

Online research and organisation skills have also improved. To be frank these were very poor at the start of the year - and while most still have a way to go in this area it is good to see the progress that has been made.

As far as my own skills go I'm getting better at managing such a large group - 42 students now - and I feel confident that those who are aiming for the top level course are on track to achieve it.

Some my project support work has not been ideal with many students having to wait too long for items or advice that is critical for their project work. But I've noticed more students asking for, and getting help from other students and teachers which is good to see.

Some issues have arisen with students who need high enough TE scores for universities but can't count the full range of pre-tertiary subjects they have done because they include different versions of the same course. eg Art Production, Media Production and Student-Directed Inquiry are all framework courses and each have multiple course options. Hopefully we can resolve this issue through the use of folios and negotiation. This issue is far from satisfactory when one can clearly see the wide range of different knowledge, skills and understanding that students are developing.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Top Tools for Learning

We're in the top 10!

OK it doesn't mean that much but it's interesting to see that many of the learning tools we are using in this course have been rated highly in a survey of 155 educators by the Centre for Learning Performance Technologies.

We use seven of the top 20 tools:, Firefox, Google Reader, Gmail, Blogger, Moodle and twitter.

Wikis also feature in the top 20 and this tool was chosen by seven members of the Glassbiscuit Development Unit.

Also of note is that in the top 100 tools Facebook now comes in at 28 and Second Life has risen dramatically since last year to be number 41.

Google Earth comes in at 48 and this is certainly reflected at HC where many classes used it in 2008.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Feeling green with innovation...

Check this out! My mind is spinning with possibilities already :-)

Blended Reality: A look at bringing Second Life into Real Life

I had fun last year with the ads for Interactive Media - what could we do this year?

Ideas anyone?