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Open Source Source June 27, 2009

Posted by davidit in Uncategorized.
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I have been approached by an author in the US who is writing a book on bartering, the book title is The ABCs of Barter and Trade Exchanges by Trish A. Truitt. The book is due for publication at the end of July at the earliest. They will also have a web site which is due to go live soon the link is: http://www.ABCsOfBarter.com The reason for the contact is that she wants to reference one of my tutorials on You Tube in her publication, I have of course said yes. The tutorial that she is interested in is my Open Office tutorial, which is just an introduction to the program. I figured that a tutorial was not really necessary as most users of the Internet would already be familiar with a myriad of word processing programmes. However Trish thought that the style was clear and concise enough to warrant a mention in her book.

We have been chatting for a while now and it was clear that she did not want to reference a You Tube link in her book. I suggested that I create a wiki and embed the video there. The result is that I have now created an open source wiki for all of my Open Source software tutorials. It is a repository of tutorials organised by application and will continue to grow in the weeks and months ahead. Indeed today I will be sitting down and re-creating the ‘addons’ tutorial that I have already created and will also create a series of Calc tutorials for inclusion on this specific Open Source wiki.

The address is: http://opensourcesource.wikispaces.com


Virtual Tours in Google Maps November 4, 2008

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I have been working closely with one particular class on the Supertanker this year and one of their long term tasks has been an enviro project.  As you know we have this fantastic native bush clad gully that bisects our school, it is a fantastic teaching resource and one that I am anxious to share with the wider world.  As we are a Green Gold Enviro School (shortly up for renewal) we have many Enviro projects and initiatives on the go.  It was with this in mind that this particular class decided that they wanted to produce some sort of guide to the Enviro resources and initiative that we have on the Supertanker.  I decided that they would create a tour using Google Maps and now that work is coming to an end, it is time to share.

The students have been researching and recording their findings.  To do this they have been using the Internet, books (surprise surprise!) they have used digital cameras, Audacity and Photo Story to record all aspects of their research.  This has all been rolled up into WMV files and posted to their teacher’s YouTube account, where the videos are now being geotagged for viewing in Google Earth and inserted into placemarkers in Google Maps.  Links and a review to all of the above resources and more can also be found on my resources page..

The net result is that the students have been integrating many ICTs into many aspects of their programme and now their efforts are available for you, the public, to view.  They are still uploading their files and creating placemarkers (we actually used a GPS plotter to get the exact Eastings and Northings for the locations that we are illustrating!)  These have yet to be put into the place markers, but it is on our list of to dos.  At the moment I have proved the concept and now it just has to be tidied up.

If you want to see our Geotagged videos in Google Earth, all you need to do is fire up Google Earth, ensure that the You Tube icon is checked in the Gallery Section of the layers panel to the left of Google Earth. Then all that you have to do is type in ‘Meadowbank School, Auckland’ and you will be whisked off to the Supertanker and see our videos.


Alternatively if you wish to see our Enviro tour as it has been designed you can view it in Google maps.  To veiw the tour as it currently stands, click on the link below. (Google Maps can not easily be embedded into a WordPress blog)  I now have lots of other ideas for using Google Earth and Google Maps in classrooms. Watch this space…. View Larger Map

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International Education Week – Day 1 November 12, 2007

Posted by davidit in Education, Education 2.0, International Education Week, Web 2.0.
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What a wonderful and inspiring day today has been.  In the space of 15 hours I have taught in three different countries, without the use of a passport and international travel.

Today I have taught, as usual in New Zealand, but this afternoon I tutored a teacher in the use of Audacity.  I showed her how to download, install Audacity, record and export an audio file.  I then showed her how to  send that file via Skype to anyone that she chose to send it to; naturally she sent her first recording, via Skype, to me.  Nothing odd about that, except that she is in upper New York State!  She left that session buzzing as did I.   Sandi is a specialist music teacher and has now seen the potential of this program to be used as an assessment tool to gather evidence on the musical ablitities and progress of her students.  A free program that she did not know about has now provided the initial impetus for her to further explore the limitless possibilities of ICT and to integrate ICT into her daily lessons and crucially, completely without pain!  The possibilites for peer tutoring like this are limitless, forget dial a pizza, dial a peer!

It is now 11:16 pm and for the last hour I have been teaching graphics to a class of Year 4 students in Plymouth in the UK.  You can see the resource that I used in conjunction with a video Skype call at my skrbl pad I also recorded my end of the session using CamStudio and will post the finished video to You Tube later.   The students loved it.  The session had quite an entourage, the Principal of the school and several members of the Board of Governors were there as were the local press.

The most bizarre aspect of the whole event was having my picture taken via Skype by the lcoal press photographer!  Very odd indeed, but very global and proving that we can move beyond the boundaries of our four walls in class. With a little planning and effort we can access peer support and expert advice from all over the planet.  Our students deserve this and we should, as Captain Picard says. “Make it so.”