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Performancing, Zotero, Firefox 2.0 and Getting Back to Blogging Here…

BrainstormWell I welcome myself back to this blog and beginning to post more frequently as I start to bring my ideas together for my next assignment and action research. This time I have to choose an educational initiative that I have undertaken or am undertaking and look at in terms of the current literature we are reading into on the MA Module 5251. This is mainly to do with issues of WHY are we really using ICT within School and does it actually make a difference?

On the right you can find my initial ideas into some projects of which I am favouring the School Email Setup or the ICT staff INSET that I have set into action this year and its successes, failures and consequences. More research into Moodle does not appeal, and the weblog initiatives are still in need of tweaking although responses from an Egyptian culture to weblogging with pupils has led to a lot of worry from parents.

With the school Email or INSET, the rationales can be looked at in detail as to why the school wanted it in the first place, and beyond that we can look at detail at teachers reactions to these initiatives both from a cultural point of view and an overseas teaching point of view. Anyway click on the thumbnail to access a gigantic version outlining my thoughts.

Other news includes the release of Firefox 2.0 with inbuilt spell check which is fabulous (Download it now!). The new Plug-In called ZOTERO is worth a look as it integrates fully with the browser and provides a ready to use citation tool like EndNote without the cost or the problems. I have yet to work out the export facilities, but it should lead to a much easier. The performancing plugin seems to work well too, although I still haven’t posted with it yet. Something stops me from using it… time maybe.

On the reading front George Siemens has another LMS review which as always bangs the nail in the coffin of any VLE. And maybe he is right. Worth downloading and having a look.The Myth of the Digital Native is a great snapshot and post, which really made me think of what is happening in my classrooms in Egypt and how the supposed Digital Natives don’t seem to be as native as they are supposed to be. In fact maybe the native is more willing to just let technologies wash over them, and not really even understand the processes behind them? Finally don’t forget to take a look at the lecture by Mr. Greenfield relating to his everyware book, which looks into ubiquitous computing in a simple and effective way.

Enough, and hopefully this blog will be much more active over the coming months. And its wonderful to realise that I have only just realised what a trackback uri is…..always more to learn.

Delicious links for 2006-10-13

  • China Unblocks Wikipedia By E&P Staff Published: October 11, 2006 10:40 AM ET NEW YORK The online interactive reference site Wikipedia announced Tuesday that the site had apparently been made accessible in China, after being blocked for just over a year b

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Interesting discussion emerging from…Virtual Society?

Interesting pieces of research have been popping up within our M.A. EDUC 5251 course including this wonderful / or maybe not YouTube video which could be seen to flounder the ideals of the rules of Woolgar. Although it must be pointed out in both a practical nature that the video is out of context and often YouTube vidoes are fake, and from Woolgars’ point of view the five rules were meant to dispel the two polar views of technology and ICT’s as either the most wonderul innovations or absolutely of no use at all in the area of education.

Does this second article from New Scientist give the same response as the video, one in which a polar view is shown against ICT’s and their effects on society? The article looks at the fact that yes more communication goes on by ourselves often as ‘tethered selves’ never away from communication whether it is the net, email, sms. myspace etc. However is the communication becoming for communications sake, and so as such the quality of thought behind our communication dissapearing? The end quotation is very interesting:-

‘Technology pundits may talk in glowing terms about new forms of social life, but the jury is out on whether virtual self-expression will translate into collective action.’

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Waking up the giant….

Back at school, and rushing around trying to organise two new ICT suites and all the problems that come with them. Technicians have moved, faster Internet connection and two new teachers. Should be an exciting year at El Alsson British International School. Hopefully Moodle will cross over into being used with Business Studies, especially as the new Head of Department is very much into electronic resources.

But what about the M.A. well I have the feeling it is a few weeks away until we start yet. Still scrabbling over the small disappointment’s of not scoring as highly as I had wanted after so much work on my Moodle environment and hoping that the next module will have a more rigorous explanation of what is needed when it comes to writing the assignment. I have been endeavoring to read the ‘Virtual Society? Technology, Cyberbole, Reality’ and initial feelings are the scepticism that is subtly written within the first chapter about virtual worlds and beyond might be a good way to bring back some of my over-enthusiastic feelings towards ICT within Education. Although the FirstClass experience and distance learning which does not produce always a collaborative and supportive working environment has also gone some way into making me think more deeply about simply what works and what does not?

3 weeks and counting…..

Delicious links for 2006-08-13

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