Edublogs Serendipity webinar overview – gifted & talented students


Our first Serendipity session of the year was a great session! As always the session was recorded and is well worth a watch/listen for the huge amount of sharing of ideas and links. I’m sorry for the delay in posting – a combination of migraines, a visitor staying and too many things still to do before I go back to work has left me without enough time!

The Session

We started as usual by putting our topic ideas on the whiteboard and then polling to choose the topic for consideration. The winner was a double topic “IEP for gifted students” and “Behaviour strategies for gifted”.

Once the topic was chosen we started with a whiteboard for the headings and to collect some of our ideas and thoughts on this including some links. As usual ideas were also shared via text chat and audio. This was a lively session with much of the sharing via audio leaving me with a dilemma about an image/interactive for this week’s post. The whiteboard has only a very small part of those things that were shared as does text chat. So what I have finally done is to experiment with a survey!

While the survey doesn’t give us an image in the post it does give us something different to do and so meets my personal criteria for something other than just plain text in every post 🙂



I enjoyed this session – this is one of the topics that we have visited before from different angles and I am always fascinated by the different directions taken when topics are re-visited. Because we never have exactly the same group of people each week Serendipity sessions are truly serendipitous in that our direction is informed by the particular experiences of out participants each week. Love it!

Our Next Session

Our next Webinar is our first Edublogs “Fine Focus” session for 2012, where we invite you to share your favourite online survey tools in “What survey was that!”  join us on Thursday January 12th 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 January 13th in Australia – in the usual Blackboard Collaborate virtual room.

Edublogs webinar overview – online/social bookmarking Diigo & Symbaloo

Advance Notice

We invite you to our Christmas Party on 15th/16th December – come along with virtual “goodies” for the festive table, and if you feel inventive bring a game to share and play. After the party the webinars will be taking a two week break returning on 5th/6th January with the first Serendipity session of 2012!

PS We have been shortlisted for the Edublogs awards Thank you so much if you nominated us. If you want to vote for us (Serendipity/FineFocus Webinars in Edublogs awards click HERE to go to the site and see nominations


This recorded, session was a look at bookmarking. I recently did a session for my colleagues on this and thought it might be worth sharing more broadly through Fine Focus.

The Session

My first task was to find out how many of us use bookmarking and which applications we use. It turned out unsurprisingly that most of us use an application to capture our favourite links. We moved on to look at the two applications beginning with Diigo. I moved all my bookmarks to Diigo a few months ago during the uncertainly about the future of Delicious. I shared my screen to look at and talk about how I am currently using Diigo. I find it works well for me and that the opportunity to highlight and sticky note links is useful because I have a lot of links with almost the same tags so seeing a couple of summarising lines really helps. I am just starting to use groups and was delighted that @TracyWatanabe was with us and willing to talk about how she uses groups extensively.

Moving on to discuss Symbaloo was an interesting contrast because Symbaloo is very visual. Again I shared my screen to show how it enables links to be organised, colour coded, categorised symbolically. It doesn’t work in quite the same way as Diigo in that you don’t simply store a link with a click on a toolbar, you have to create a tile and put it in a webmix (category) which is a bit more time consuming. However you can create great visual collections that you can share with others.

We finished with a brief look at favourite bookmarking apps and how we use them.


I enjoyed doing this session although I felt I that perhaps I should have modified it more – when I talked about bookmarks with my colleagues I was largely talking with an audience who don’t use them so I included the signup. I find the contrast between the two applications is interesting and feel personally that Diigo is the one I will continue to use for most bookmarking but that I will increasingly use Symbaloo for sharing – especially with students because it is so visual!

Next Webinar

Our next session will be an Edublogs “Serendipity” session on Thursday December 8that 23:00 GMT/UTC (Afternoon/Evening USA) or Friday December 9th 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 – “cool tools!”


We were a small group this week, however as usual the session was  recorded, so if you missed it you can catch the recording.

The Session

The session followed the usual Serendipity format with a whiteboard for topic ideas from participants and then a poll to choose the topic for discussion. The consensus was for us to merge two topics “Tech toys for motivation” and “Cool tools” and talk about and share some of our personal favourites.

A small group means that everyone has an opportunity to talk on the microphone and this is what we did! We started with a whiteboard on which we wrote some initial tools but soon moved the taking turns to talk about personal cool tools (mainly via audio but with some textchat particularly for sharing links)

When it came to my turn rather than just talk about a tool I Application Shared Wordle – one of my personal favourite “cool and motivational tools”. Then we took turns to have control of desktop so everyone could add their own choice of cool tools. Thus we were able to build a collaborative “Cool Tools” wordle of some of our favourites.

We had time for a further “round” of sharing. Once again each briefly talking about a tool of our choice, with some Application Sharing and links shared in text chat.


This session was a great one to be part of! As usual with sessions where we share favourite tools there were ones new to me, so I have new tools to explore.

Our Next Session

Our next Webinar is an Edublogs “Fine Focus” session, in which we take a look at the contrasting examples of Diigo and Symbaloo for online/social bookmarking in “I’m sure I saw that somewhere!”  Join us on Thursday December 1st 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 December 2nd in Australia – in the usual Blackboard Collaborate virtual room