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

Archive for September, 2008

Twelve Canoes
September 8th, 2008

One of the most successful Australian films of recent years has been Ten Canoes. As the Wikpedia entry points out the film is “notable as the first full-length feature made entirely in an Indigenous Australian language. It was directed by Rolf de Heer and Peter Djigirr”. It is narrated by David Gulpilil and stars his son Jason. It provides rich insights into indigenous society and is an invaluable educational resource for all students.

Today a new web site, Twelve Canoes, was launched. It is an evolution from the film Ten Canoes and continues the stories of the Yolngu people of the Ramingining in the northern part of Central Arnhem Land. This regions is located in the Northern Territory, Australia.

It is a beautifully designed web site that incorporates multimedia and other interactive elements. It is an excellent oral history resource. It is still evolving and will provide a rich resource for educators from primary through to the tertiary sector.

Fish head
September 6th, 2008

Fish head in a microwave oven. It inspired me today. Has it inspired you?

Stormy Illawarra
September 6th, 2008

This afternoon Shao Ping and I took our homestays Jenny, Aya and Shiho for a drive to the ocean in order to view the high seas. We have had quite a good bit of rain during the last two days. I captured a quick movie of the seas.

Is there an easier way to password reset 60 edublogs?
September 5th, 2008

This week I set up 60 Edublogs for my two of my three Year Nine History classes. They are about to begin their time diaries. The students will hop into their own imaginative tardis and export their minds back to Australia of the 1930s and 1940s. They will keep a diary of their experiences during those turbulent times in Australia’s history.

My main aim was to add the 60 students as authors to the class blog and the easiest way to do so was to simply use the multiple Blog and User Creator in eduBlogs. I created the 60 blogs, 15 at a time. I created 60 student ‘temporary’ gmail accounts using that neat little short cut that is described here. You know the one…

I kept the students’ names, gmail account address, edublog username, edublog address and edublog password in a word document. I also subscribed to the 60 blogs in a Google Reader account od I could easily monitor the student progress.

I set the permissions for each blog and also the permissions for each of the students in the class blog. As you can imagine I devoted some time to these activities. When I first logged into edublogs to begin this process I had to reset the password of the main class blog due to a software upgrade. That only took a moment.

This morning I began to share the new edublogs with the students and I set about to demonstrate a blog set up for a fictitious student, Fred Ziffel. Anyway, upon logging in that message regarding regarding the software upgrade and password reset appeared and I initially thought,”Well, that is not a problem. The students can reset the password when they log in to their new blogs.”

But, then it hit me! I had used a single gmail account to create the blogs! I was the only person with access to that gmail account. I would have to reset the passwords for all 60 blogs myself. These are the steps I will need to take.

First of all I will need to log into the specific student account.

Then I will need to click on the link to reset the password.

Then I shall type in the student’s username.

Then I need to check the gmail account.

I will open the gmail account and read the message from edublogs.

I will click on the confirmation link.

I will be taken to this page where I will be asked to recheck my email for the new password.

I will then go back to the email to retrieve the new password.

I will open the email to obtain the new password.

I will record the new password in the word document.

I will need to repeat these steps for each of the 60 student blogs. If you know an easier way please let me know. I guess the Edublogs Campus edition is the real solution.

Boat Quay, Singapore
September 3rd, 2008

These photographs were taken at Boat Quay, Singapore. Years back it was a busy port with small boats and sampans lining the shores, busy with crews loading and unloading their cargoes. These days it is a tourist mecca with restaurants, bars and pubs. One can eat and drink outside, under the stars, by the Singapore River. It is busy of an evening and relatively quiet by day.

During my first job in Singapore the programmers, designers and I would occasionally set up camp in a quiet coffee shop by the river and work there, swapping files via a local wireless network set up by our Macs. Our office was a kilometre or so away in Chinatown.

Shao Ping and I did not go to Boat Quay all that often. We would take our visitors there for dinner or a drink. There are a few bars that are the haunts of expatriates that work in the CBD. I never felt that comfortable in those venues. I felt that there was an air or pretension in those places.

I took these two photographs with a Sony DSC-70 digital camera. I sat the camera on a stone fence and left the shutter open for a few seconds.