Yet more catching up!

Introduction

Again, I am still lagging well behind the events in posting webinar overviews. So as with my last post this week is a a catchup with topics and recording links for several recent webinars

If it’s on the Internet it must be true! (27/28 June 2013)

This recorded session was a FineFocus session in which @philhart took us on an exploration of the quality of information on the Internet. We shared our own concerns and Phil highlighted some of his. Phil also shared some the ways he assesses/evaluates the quality/credibility of information he finds and invited us to share our strategies.

Serendipity

A very active  session – recorded as always in which our intention was to look briefly at all three of the suggested Serendipity topics. However discussion was lively and extended about the first two, so we didn’t actually reach the third! The two topics were:

  • How do you re-charge your batteries? (prompted by end of school year for several of us)
  • Who gives PD to those who give PD? (this extended into a look at the ways we access PD).

Both topics gave us full whiteboards and we ran out of time before reaching the third topic “Is numeracy and maths really a poor cousin to literacy?”

Curation tools

One of our semi-regular FineFocus recorded sessions in which we explore a few apps with similar purposes and share our ideas on their ease of use, potential for engagement and possible use with students. These sessions are always great fun and very practical as we each find out about a different tool and then share our thoughts.

Another Serendipity!

This was another recorded session facilitated by Jo (@jofrei) and Sandra (@Marndon). Both the other Jo and Phil went AWOL to present at a conference! The topics explored were digital stories and ideas for “five minute fun fillers” for whiteboards.

Why/why not? Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn

In this recorded session we discussed why or why not we each used one or more of “the big four” social media platforms and also looked at our activity levels and our particular likes/dislikes for each of them.

Conclusion

My apologies for the very short topic descriptions! I hope to return to more complete overviews soon!

Our Next Webinar

SerendipitybsmallOur next webinar will be an Edublogs “Serendipity” session on Thursday Aug 1st at 23:00 GMT/UTC (Afternoon/Evening USA) or Friday Aug 2nd at 7am West Aus, later in the  morning Eastern States Aus depending on your timezone (check yours here) – in the usual BlackboardCollaborate room. This is one of our fortnightly unconference sessions where we invite you to bring along your “hot topics” and “burning issues”. We post these on the whiteboard and then choose the topic for discussion by poll.

Catching up! Recent Edublogs webinars

Introduction

I am still well behind in posting webinar overviews So this week is a a catchup with topics and recording links for several recent webinars

Some iPad apps

This recorded session was a FineFocus session in which I used “AirServer” and BbC App Share to share, very briefly, some of the iPad apps I have on my iPad. This prompted great discussion, and sharing of apps they use, by other participants.

Serendipity

A very lively session – recorded as always in which our focus was on multiliteracies. We also touched briefly on: innumeracy in primary school teachers, vulnerabilities to hacking in some hosted blogging platforms and the best time of year to hold online conferences.

Small, small things!

A FineFocus session in which we took a look at some of the small tools and tricks that make our lives easier. This was a great recorded session with some terrific tools and tricks shared. We all have little things that we use to help us streamline our busy lives and it is always useful to find out what others use.

Another Serendipity!

This was another recorded session in which the consensus was to look briefly at all of the suggested topics which were:

  • how do you use PLN in your classroom
  • coding in the classroom
  • how to get busy people to join voluntary PD sessions

Conclusion

My apologies for not the very short topic descriptions! I hope to return to more complete overviews from the FineFocus mentioned below which was yesterday, and was “If it’s on the Internet it must be true!” with Phil Hart. I hope to publish the overview & recording link for that one tomorrow.

Our Next Webinar

Our next webinar will be an Edublogs “FineFocus” session on Thursday June 27th at 23:00 GMT/UTC (Afternoon/Evening USA) or Friday June 28th at 7am West Aus, later in the  morning Eastern States Aus depending on your timezone (check yours here) – in the usual BlackboardCollaborate room.

Edublogs webinar overview – Serendipity, ISS watching & Facebook apps

Introduction

In this recorded Serendipity session we actually took a look at two topics – “spot the station” and “Facebook apps”. For both we asked the proposers to expand a little before we decided this.

Spot the station

This intriguing title gave us a fascinating subject. The International Space Station (ISS) and related matters in the context of learning. “Spotting the ISS” was something recently discovered by one of our participants but unknown to the rest of us. So none of us had in-depth knowledge to share on how we could use this with students.A cartoon image suggesting the ISS as a teaching resourceHowever we all had snippets of information about the ISS and other space related resources, so we each spent five minutes exploring and then shared links and thoughts on the whiteboard, in chat and through audio. The NASA ISS webpage has lots of exciting content and the ISS tracker page shows the current position and track of the ISS. Lots to explore and huge potential for educators especially as the astronauts are on several social networks!

Facebook apps

We moved on to talk a little about Facebook apps, although inevitably there was some broadening of this into other social media. Concerns raised were about security issues and the increasing amount of advertising in one form or another. We all recognise that advertising is what enables Facebook to be free for us to use. However with Facebook and with other social media this seems to be on the increase and becoming more and more intrusive. In terms of security most of us are cautious about using apps in social media. It often seems that the security and privacy settings are far from simple to use and that they sometimes revert to defaults! This is a potential topic for a future FineFocus session.

Conclusion

As always Serendipity gave us much food for thought!

Our Next Session

Our next Webinar is a FineFocus session where we will take a look at learning style inventories and their usefulness or otherwise. Join us on Thursday April 18th at 23:00 GMT/UTC the time for you will vary depending on your timezone (check yours here) Thursday afternoon/evening in the USA, late night Thursday in Europe, and Friday morning April 19th in Australia – in the usual Blackboard Collaborate virtual room.

Edublogs webinar overview – A cuckoo free Twitter nest!

REMINDER

It’s that time of year again! Over the next few weeks timezone chaos will reign. Half the world goes onto daylight saving and half comes off daylight saving. Except for a few regions such as here in Western Australia where we don’t have daylight saving. Just to make it even more complicated different places change on different dates. This is one of the main reasons we use GMT/UTC for our webinar times – because (like our West Australian time, but with much more “credibility”) it stays the same all year round.

If you have just lost or gained an hour then double check the times for anything trans-global in which you are involved. In the Northern Hemisphere you are heading back into winter so will “lose” an hour when your clocks are set back, thus our webinars will be an hour earlier “your time”. In the Southern Hemisphere you are going forward into summer so you “gain” an hour resulting in webinars an hour later “your time”

(For the link for live webinars and info about the times and topics scroll to the bottom of this post)

Introduction

It’s a long time since we had a session related to Twitter and as there seem to have been several waves of spam DMs around recently it seemed a good idea to take a look as some of the strategies we can use to help guard against becoming victims of the people in “black hats”. In other words to stop cuckoos laying their ph*shing eggs in our Twitter nests!

The session

In this recorded session I started with a few questions about how the group uses Twitter. Sometimes our own usage patterns can put our accounts at greater risk of attack – some of these patterns were raised in these initial questions. We then moved on to use the whiteboard to share some of our individual thoughts on the risks posed by attacks on our Twitter accounts.

Next we thought – again using the whiteboard about potentially suspicious Twitter activity that might set our own “alarm bells” ringing.

This included sharing my personal “alarm bells” that have emerged over 4 years and approaching 20,000 tweets.

Next came a look at what to do about these activities – the fake DMs and other potential issues. Catch the recording for the full strategies! One of my main concerns in this is that if you get a fake DM please don’t blame the messenger (ie DON’T block & report) – it could be you next time! We are all vulnerable to attack – if we take some precautions we become less so, but it only takes a moment’s inattention or just something that we don’t know about and those fake DMs could be going out from our accounts! For me personally I think my most effective strategy has been close management of my followers and being careful who I follow!

We finished up with a look at our best take-aways!

Conclusion

A good session – Twitter is a topic that I always enjoy discussing and I do have strong feelings about the community supporting one-another in combating the “black hats”. Over the four years I have been tweeting I have worked out my own strategies to deal with some of the issues that arise and I think it is important to share these widely.

If you have something to share either about Twitter safety strategies or anything you would like to present a webinar on please let us know (add a comment to this post, or Tweet us – @JoHart or @philhart). Then join us to facilitate a session about your e-edu passion! If you are not familiar with BlackboardCollaborate we can help you plan how best to do your session so it works for you.

Our Next Session

Our next Webinar is an Edublogs “Serendipity” session where we invite you to suggest your “hot” topics for discussion – we then select the topic by poll.  Join us on Thursday October 11th at 23:00 GMT/UTC the time for you will vary depending on your timezone (check yours here) Thursday afternoon/evening in the USA, late night Thursday in Europe, and Friday morning October 12th in Australia – in the usual Blackboard Collaborate virtual room.

Edublogs webinar overview – all about #gtchat

Introduction

This is the overview for our most recent (recorded as always) FineFocus webinar with guest presenter Lisa Conrad (@ljconrad).Lisa gave us a fascinating look at the Twitter (Gifted and Talented) #gtchat from its inception to the current position and on into the future. She also gave us opportunities for and answers to many questions!

The session

Lisa began with an explanation of #gtchat and a poll to find out our awareness of #chats in general on Twitter. Then she talked about the origins and history of #gtchat from its foundation by Deborah Mersino the first moderator, through the transition to Lisa herself as moderator, and also the support from the Texas Association for the Gifted & Talented.

Next Lisa gave us a run through on joining Twitter and also: ideas on finding relevant people to follow; suggestions on setting up a Twitter client for #chats; and some explanations of Twitter jargon.

Then came a look at the format of #gtchat

With a look at how topics are determined by Poll. This led into a look at some recent topics, and some recent guests.

Lisa then moved on to the future, starting with upcoming events and then moving into the future with exciting ideas for future developments in other social media to enhance the undoubted value of #gtchat as a professional development opportunity.

This concluded the formal part of the session and we moved on to a great question and answer session where Lisa did a terrific job in responding to many questions.

Conclusion

This was a great session! Lisa gave us a fascinating insight into the “inner workings” of #gtchat and much food for thought and inspiration through the potential future developments that will add another layer of “richness” to #gtchat. Thank you Lisa for such an interesting session!

Next Webinar

Our next session will be an Edublogs “Serendipity” session on Thursday August 16th at 23:00 GMT/UTC (Afternoon/Evening USA) or Friday August 17th at 7am West Aus, mid morning Eastern States Aus depending on your timezone (check yours here) – in the usual BlackboardCollaborate room. This is one of our fortnightly unconference sessions where we invite you to bring along your “hot topics” and “burning issues” for our poll on the topic

Edublogs Serendipity webinar overview – emerging tech et al

Introduction

As has been the case a couple of times recently this was  a Serendipity session where we didn’t vote on a topic! The consensus was to take a quick look at all three that were proposed – “Emerging technologies for the classroom”, “Introduction to PLNs” and “rscon4” The last of these is a little cryptic. It refers to the Reform Symposium Conference for which a date has not yet been finalised. The hashtag seems likely to be #rscon4. The session was, as always, recorded.

(For the link for live webinars and info about the times and topics scroll to the bottom of this post)

The session

A lively session with much sharing on the whiteboard and in text chat, although I felt – as so often that I talked too much!

We began with a whiteboard of ideas about emerging technologies. 

Then shared our knowledge of those we had any experience with – my particular fascination out of this part of the session was with the concept of 3D printers. Something completely new to me & definitely out of the realms of science fiction! This was the longest part of the session.

Our next topic was “Introduction to PLNs”. Again we used a whiteboard to share our thoughts on the variety of tools and strategies we use as part of our own individual PLNs. Any discussion about PLNs is always worthwhile because there are always new thoughts and angles on how we each view them. This was a “flying visit” to the world of the PLN but sufficient to give a flavour!

Finally another “flying visit” this time to “#rscon4” this is actually the probable #tag for this year’s (or maybe early next year’s) – the date is yet to be finalised – Reform Symposium Conference. This was a very short chat as the planning for rscon4 is still in the early stages. However it seems it will be a very exciting event using multiple strands and platforms.

Conclusion

This was a great session – I always find something new and interesting to me personally in every session. However some stand out more than others and 3D printers are a definite standout for me. The whole idea is getting so close to Star Trek “replicators” that I can almost hope for “transporter beams” to enable me to travel without the claustrophobic “tin tube” experience of flying!

Our Next Session

Our next Webinar is an Edublogs “Fine Focus” session. This week Lisa Conrad (@ljconrad) – the Moderator of  the lively Twitterchat for Gifted and Talented (#gtchat) will give us a “heads up” on #gtchat and on moderating a #chat.  Join us on Thursday August 9th at 23:00 GMT/UTC the time for you will vary depending on your timezone (check yours here) Thursday afternoon/evening in the USA, late night Thursday in Europe, and Friday morning August 10th in Australia – in the usual Blackboard Collaborate virtual room.

Two Edublogs webinar overviews – Fb privacy & Google power search

Introduction

This overview covers our two most recent webinars. This first was a Serendipity session where we discussed Facebook privacy sessions and the flow-on effects that happen between accounts. The second webinar (a FineFocus) was inspired by the recent short course in “Power Searching” from Google.

Serendipity – Facebook privacy settings

In this session, recorded as always, we discussed issues around Facebook privacy settings. This arose from one of the group recounting an experience where a family member had changed something in their profile and this had had a knock on effect on other people’s accounts.

Facebook privacy (and other) settings seem to cause issues for many people. We took a “walk” through some of these and shared how we try to use them.

They do seem inordinately complex. For example I am not entirely sure what would happen in terms of my privacy if I ticked the boxes in the window shown above. Personally I don’t use any apps and games, and I think I have all these things turned off but I am not really sure!

This was an interesting session. My concern is that if a group of quite “techie” and social network savvy people have trouble “getting our heads” around Facebook’s privacy and other settings what chance does the average user have!

FineFocus – Are you a “Power Searcher”

The second session, again recorded, was a look at some of the search features that were explored in the recent “Power Searching with Google” course that I joined. Although the interactive (forum posting) parts of the course have finished the content and activities are still available.  I was already a fairly sophisticated searcher using many of the tools explored but I enjoyed the course immensely and certainly learned some new ideas.

Once the scene setting was complete I started as I so often do with some “where are you coming from” activities, including a question about current favourite search tricks and strategies.

 

Most of the session was taken up with brief explorations and opportunities to “play with” some of the search options that I had found interesting in the course. However there was also some discussion about how we see different results and even differenct tools depending on which Google domain you are searching through. For example the “.com.au” domain gives different results to the “.com” domain. My preference is usually to use “.com” so we looked at how to force this – Google is very persistent in forcing the search into your country domain, often just typing the “.com” domain doesn’t work and the domain reverts back to the country.

We took a look at some basic search points straight from the Google course these being choice of words and the order. Then we moved on to look at images (colour filtering and finding a specific image). Next we explored the right hand information panels that appear with some searches. These are not visible in search outputs from all Google domains. They can be seen in “.com” but not (at the moment) in “.com.au”.  We finished off with a look at the “SearchResearch” blog where there is regular weekly search puzzle and an image search on “Yarn bombing” – try that one yourself if you haven’t heard the term :).

The session worked really well – quite fast paced, with a blend of whiteboard activities, app share for examples and opportunities try out the tools. Certainly for me the hour flew by!

Conclusion

Both of these sessions were great to be part of. As always privacy issues are of huge concern to us all, so sessions on this are always very worthwhile because they heighten awareness. The power search session was fun and hopefully also informative.

Next Webinar

Our next session will be an Edublogs “Serendipity” session on Thursday August 2nd at 23:00 GMT/UTC (Afternoon/Evening USA) or Friday August 3rd at 7am West Aus, mid morning Eastern States Aus depending on your timezone (check yours here) – in the usual BlackboardCollaborate room. This is one of our fortnightly unconference sessions where we invite you to bring along your “hot topics” and “burning issues” for our poll on the topic