Thoughts on teaching, technology, learning and life in an era of change.
Getting started ~ putting knowledge into practice
December 19th, 2008

During the afternoon I gave a presentation via the Net to a group of teachers gathered together in Ungarie in far western NSW, Australia. They were attending a two-day Weaving Technology workshop. The title of the presentation was “Getting started ~ putting knowledge into practice”. The presentation was in conjunction with the NSW CAP programme, the DET and the Weaving Technology group. Anne-Maree Moore and Stacey Kelly were the prime movers behind the day.

A number of educators worked with the teachers during the last two days. In addition to Anne-Maree and Stacey the participants heard from Adam Currey, Phil Nosworthy, Darron Watt and Greg Alchin. A couple of new tools were brought to my attention during the two days: Kahootz and Shoutem.

The workshops that happened in Ungarie were a follow up to the excellent Weaving Technology conference that was held in Wagga, NSW, Australia last October. Following that conference I composed a few ideas regarding the thought or process of getting started with technology in the classroom. I blogged about those ideas at the time.

Essentially, when starting out with technology in the classroom I feel it is useful to keep the following three rules of thumb in mind…

1. Choose an aspect of the curriculum with which you hold a passion.
2. Choose an online tool with which you feel comfortable or ‘clicks’ for you.
3. Steer a simple, straightforward path at the outset.

As well, timing is also important… For example I find term III is favourable moment when the pressure is off somewhat. No final exams and no reports to write.

I pointed the participants in today’s presentation to the following resources…

Web 2.0 links and resources: Here you will find online guides and resources for applications and tools as diverse as Twitter, Second Life, Wikis and more. There are links to classroom blogs, wikis, Second Life sites, teacher blogs and a variety of advice from educators near and far. I have just updated the list with additional Nings and Twitter resources.

How to guides. This page is chock-a-block full of pdf guides to blogs, wikis, Twitter, RSS feeds, Posterous and much more. Feel free to download and use these guides. Worpdress has just been updated so that guide is a little out of date. I have also added these resources to my home page.

Blogrolls. These are some of the blogs that I read some of the time, not all of the time. This needs updating. Need to import my latest OPML file into Google Reader.

I have also uploaded four rough edits of an interview recorded by Nanyang Technological University. Four questions were answered. These videos could have acted as a back-up in the event that I could not connect with the participants for whatever reason. Click on each question to view the relevant video. You will need to ensure you have Quicktime installed.

What is Web 2.0?
How can teachers and students exploit Web 2.0 technologies for teaching and learning?
How can teachers benefit from web 2.0 technologies?
How can students benefit from web 2.0 technologies?

The presentation that was conducted this afternoon was recorded and is available here. Jump to 37.11 when the presentation actually begins. There were, initially, some issues with audio at my end. That was ironic as we had been experiencing some issues with video earlier this week. Technology keeps you on your toes, eh?

Cheers, John.

2 Responses to “Getting started ~ putting knowledge into practice”

  1. Darcy Moore Says:

    John, I really admire what you are doing with w/shops like this one. Great stuff!

  2. Tomaz Lasic Says:

    THIS is one of the biggest beauties of Web 2.0 – amplifying goodwill. What one person spends hours on end collecting, interpreting, presenting, improving and, importantly, sharing saves not only hours of work by someone else but bottles a bit of the wisdom we sometimes forget to see when doing the ‘busy work’ of creating resources like these.

    Just so you know…your resource (will link and credit of course) will very soon make way to our network at here in the West (well, the network is worldwide really and ain’t that the beauty too) and probably to dozens and dozens of educators, teachers and students alike, in the coming months and years.

    Thank you John, a great Xmas and a productive, satisfying 2009 to you and your family from Perth

    Tomaz Lasic