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Mogulus – live feed October 15, 2008

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http://www.tiritirimatangi.org.nz - Welcome Swallow

Source: http://www.tiritirimatangi.org.nz - Welcome Swallow

I have set up a web cam by a Welcome Swallow’s nest outside my room here on the Supertanker. Some of you may recall that I want to use Mogulus to stream live our flora and fauna from the gully to the rest of the world so that we can share our wonderful natural resource. This live broadcast today was a proof of concept, not that I really need to prove anything as I have already done plenty of live broadcasts.  However, what it has done has illustrated the concept (therefore it is a bit rough and ready) to the staff on the Supertanker and they have become very excited about the potential.

It has long been my intention to create ‘feed stations’ for the birds and other fauna in our gully, with wired and wireless ip cameras attached to them so that we can observe and create virtual field trips or science experiments. The beauty about Mogulus is that you can also record the live feed for later playing and this is exactly what I have done today. What is more, I will get the students tomorrow to download the recorded footage and edit it so that we can see in a short space of time how many times the birds flew into and out of their nest. They will then re-upload the edited file to accompany the raw footage.

We will continue to broadcast daily and to record the footage until the chicks have fledged. The nest is still in the construction stage so there will be plenty of footage over the coming days and weeks.

If you want to tune in live to this broadcast we will endeavour to broadcast between 11:00-15:00 NZST daily. If you are out of our timezone or want to view our off line footage, you can click on the ‘On Demand’ button on the player that loads and select any of the footage labelled ‘Welcome Swallows’ with the appropriate date and watch.  What is more, you can even embed this footage into your own blog, wiki or whatever. Please feel free to do so.  To do this simply click on the embed button on the player when the clip of your choice is playing, then click embed this clip option and copy the code to the destination of your choice.  

To check out our first days filming or to view our live broadcasts please go to:

http://www.mogulus.com/mpstv

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Ulearn08 – reflections October 12, 2008

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Post war teaching evangelists...

Post war teaching evangelists...zzzz

A growing disquiet has been welling in me throughout this year’s Ulearn08 conference and now that I am home, this disquiet has turned into more of a roar! The euphoria of the event has subsided and a couple of good nights sleep later I now gaze at the reality of re-boarding the Supertanker and the game of chess that is managing the politics of change, no longer is it sufficient to use the Nike ad slogan of “Just do it.”

One of the words that kept coming up throughout the discussions that I had with other delegates was ‘disconnect.’ We were using disconnect in relation to creating relevant and authentic learning experiences for students, but increasingly I began to recognise that there is also a level of disconnect with teachers and this is the cause of my disquiet.

My main concern with events like Ulearn08 is that they are a tabernacle, a temple, a crucible of self affirmation. Each keynote is preaching to the converted and each breakout, provides more initiatives, tools, tips and techniques for the eager devotees; they in turn internalise the ICT/C21pedagogy gospel and in dewey eyed and rosy cheeked  fervour, add what they have heard to their own large and growing armoury of web2.0 tools and to their individual e-learning pedagogy. All that is missing is the occasional euphoric ‘Hallelujah!’ and ‘Amen’ from the floor to complete the picture. To continue the metaphor, the eager disciples were released from the Ulearn08 temple on Friday to return to their schools to evangelise the needs of the C21 learner. My question is, how effective is this model?

Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach and Will Richardson in their opening Keynote speech ended their presentation by arguing that we have a moral obligation to rapidly change our teaching styles and learning environments to meet the needs of the C21 learner.  Bruce McIntyre argued from a business perspective as did Steven Carden that out of the box thinking, creativity, and an entrepreneurial approach are the hallmarks of modern business success.  Mark Treadwell has long argued that the new education paradigm is here and the old industrial model of education is redundant, but still it persists.  In one of her spotlight sessions Sheryl got us to think about  how education has changed over the last 100 years and what is needed to be changed in order for students of today to be successful.  She recounted the words of Seymour Papert who reportedly asked who would fare better today if we went back 100 years in time, grabbed a C19 surgeon and teacher and transposed them into the C21 environment of their respective professions.  Who would fare better patient or student?  Surgery with  an ether mist and non sterile scalpels anyone?  We all know that the teacher would be fine and that the students would notice odd clothes and little else different.  What a damning indictment of educational innovation over the last 100 years that vision is.

And yet we could see it, the future that is, we have all internalised and agree  (those that attend Ulearn type conferences that is) with the blend of arguments for change and rapid change now. We could all see the brave new world of engaging, relevant and authentic student learning.  So where is it?  The final keynote got perhaps the loudest applause from the floor, the great work that is happening at Manaia Kindergarten is a joy to behold, but the saddest moment was perhaps the story of the student who had transferred from Kindergarten to Year 0 and presented his new teacher with a business card with his blog address on it, with the statement “This is my blog address, you will be needing that.”  I have no idea of the ICT enthusiasm of that child’s New Entrant teacher, but I got the distinct impression from the presenter that the notion of blogs and all things web2.0 were not on the agenda of that student’s new teacher.

And this is the point.  We can not rely on student pressure for change, how truly empowered was that Kindergarten student? The educational revolution we aspire to will not happen through student agitation or revolt.  Students are already disconnecting during school hours, they do not see it as relevant to them or their world, especially and increasingly at secondary level.  So why hold conferences like Ulearn?  Do not get me wrong, I loved going and will want to continue to attend and present, but I now know that unless the message changes or the audience changes, then change will be slow and we as a nation do not have time on our side.  Every day we continue to think about change, discuss it or debate it; it is a day wasted for our students be they at Kindergarten or in Year 13.  The problem is that united at a Ulearn type event we can see the future and know that it is right, but back in our schools we are lone or minority beacons for change.  How do you argue against an experienced teacher who argues that they have had consistently good results for years that they  produce literate, numerate students using worksheets? How do you persuade a management team who measure their success against student test results from the self same teachers, to change?  It is just that they do not see or  do  not want to see, that the old paradigm is just that, old and outmoded.  It is these teachers and management teams that are disconnected from the needs of the students in their charge…

My epiphany from the conference is that none of us who attended this year should attend next year and that the conference name should be changed.  I will be recommending that next year it should be  representatives from the BOT, senior management and teachers who do not recognise the need for change, who should attend and what is more the conference name should be changed from Ulearn09 to Theyneedtoknowandunderstand09.

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The 10 000th visitor October 12, 2008

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10 000 visitors to the Supertanker
10 000 visitors to the Supertanker

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Congratulations, the 27th visitor today was the 10 000th visitor to my blog since its inception, according to Clustr maps.  If you would like to stake that claim, to be my 10 000th visitor, please let me know by claiming your spot in the hall of fame, yet to be built but acknowledgement will be public!

Breakout 5b recording of presentation October 11, 2008

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Despite having a few technical issues with the connection to the Ulearn08 network, I did manage to stream my breakout live via ICTtv, although it was after 5:00pm by the time the techs had sorted out the problem.  One of the great things about Mogulus is that you can also record these live feeds for later viewing.  I have just moved my recording of the presentation into the ‘video on demand’ part of the ICTtv player, another great feature of Mogulus.  For those of you who did not make it to my session, you can see what you missed by tuning into:

http://www.mogulus.com/icttv 

(When the player loads select the ‘Video on Demand’ button then choose Breakout 5b)

In addition the slide show that accompanied the session is below.

Interface Innovation Awards October 9, 2008

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I have been selected as a finalist in the Interface awards for 2008.  You can see all the finalists here, but you all need to vote for me!

http://nz-interface.co.nz/vote.cfm

Breakout 5b October 9, 2008

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My next presentation in about an hour or so will be a new departure, I am going to broadcast a live feed from the Green Room in the Town Hall to my ICTtv channel on Mogulus.  I will tweet this too, and see if others tune in.

And the winner is…. October 9, 2008

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….well the truth is we are all winners.  In fact the true winners are the students who are exposed to the innovations that the twelve of us have created.  I was delighted to be shortlisted and to see the range and creativity of initiatives of my fellow finalists gives me great hope for future innovations in New Zealand schools.  However, for the record I was one of two teachers to receive the Highly Commended award.

Pitching the poster, oh and the innovation! October 9, 2008

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Pitching the poster

Pitching the poster

Thanks to Fiona, who was passing at the time, she grabbed this image of me in full flow with the judges, we will find out what they think of my poster and innovation in about 20 minutes, more later…

Ulearn Breakout 1 – Mogulus October 8, 2008

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It was with trepidation that I embarked on my breakout 1 presentation at Ulearn08 today.  I was doing my Mogulus presentation and I knew that the people attending would love it, my fear was the Internet.  The room was set up and ready to go and the techs were great, thanks guys and girls for all of your efforts.  So into the session I launched.  I feared that the bandwidth hit that Mogulus would create would conspire against me and bring the lesson to a grinding halt!  The net was slow, sure but it held up and the session was a great success.  32 happy punters left the room.  I now wait to see their TV stations appear.

Well here it is… October 8, 2008

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Well here it is, on display with me.   The poster is quite large as you can see, thanks to Jeremy at Ellar Graphics for sorting it out for me. It was a real breeze to put up and fitted the space perfectly.  I have made my presentation now, so now we wait and see what tomorrow brings and what the judges think of my initiative and presentation.  Time will tell.