Thoughts on teaching, technology, learning and life in an era of change.

Archive for September, 2007

Missing in action
September 30th, 2007

I have been reasonably quiet on the blog side of things for about 7 days. Last week was the final week of the term. Year 12 finished up prior to their final examinations. I have been preparing for the NavCon Conference in Gosford which starts on this Tuesday and finishes Friday. On Sunday I fly to Singapore to give a week’s worth of Web 2.0 workshops and a presentation. I have to update my materials for that as well tomorrow. I plan to clean the swimming pool, have breakfast with fellow adventurer Diamond and sort out some clothes tomorrow. Plus fix up some photographs for the school magazine. Goodness gracious!

Podcast workshop updated
September 30th, 2007

The NavCon conference is on this week and I have been updating my Podcast Workshop pages. I modified my presentation and created new documents for GarageBand, Podcast Maker and ProfCast. I also created a detailed document concerned with audio settings on the Macintosh.

Experimenting with various audio sources
September 30th, 2007

This evening I tested four different methods for obtaining digital audio for podcasting this afternoon and I thought it would be worthwhile to simply publish the results. I used the following devices to record audio on my MacBook Pro.

Logitech Headset
Small stereo microphone
Lapel microphone
MacBook Pro built in microphone

You can see the equipment and hear the results here on my Podcast workshop page. Scroll down the page.

Mark Pearson and Comic Life
September 24th, 2007

This evening I received a pleasant surprise in my In Box. Mark Pearson of plasq software had written an email asking if plasq, creators of Comic Life, could link to my Comic Life workshop page. They were also after examples and ideas for a future education site focused upon the software. I have promised to supply the Plasq team with some ideas.

Comic Life is an excellent software application. This is not a paid advertisement I should add. What can Comic Life allow you to do? Comic Life allows you to drag and drop your digital photographs, scanned photographs, drawings and even still video captures into a comic book page template. You can drag word and thought balloons on to the template and create as many comic book pages as you wish. There are a diverse range of page templates and styles to draw from in the creation of your project. You can publish to the web, create images and even produce a movie. It exports to iWeb as well.

Personally and professionally, the thing that strikes me about Comic Life is the fact that students can bring inanimate objects, such as a brick, to life. They can give feelings and thoughts to objects as diverse as light bulbs and bullets. This can be a medium for very powerful messages within a framework that is seamless. Comic Life as a tool does not get in the way of the message. Students, and teachers, can begin to express the message rapidly. This software empowers students. Many other software tools are clunky whether they be web development, video or graphic applications. Comic Life is not clunky.

I like to get to know a tool, such as Comic Life, well and then I explore the specific knowledge, skills and attitudinal outcomes of various teaching disciplines to see how the tool can be appropriately matched to specific outcomes. Different tools match different outcomes. Comic Life lends itself to many applications across many teaching and learning disciplines.

Is education killing creativity?
September 23rd, 2007

Sir Ken Robinson is simply a remarkable person. He is a world-renowned speaker on how to inspire creativity and innovation. He is inspirational. He delivers his understandings and wisdom with “warmth, passion and wit”. “He was voted Business Speaker of the Year by over 200 global and European companies. In June 2003, he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II for his outstanding achievements as a leader in creativity, education and the arts.” []

In this fifteen minute presentation he delivers a moving and also delightfully witty talk on schooling and creativity. He succinctly points out how education is geared towards ultimately producing university professors. The core subjects dominate the arts and music. There is little room for creativity. An education system that is a by-product of the industrial revolution of the 19th century.

All educators should take the time out to watch this inspiring and thought provoking presentation given at TED Talks in 2006…. “Do schools kill creativity?”