Edublogs webinar overviews – Feb 2014


A digest of  our recent webinars over the last few weeks. I am still hoping/planning to return to posting a fuller overview or each webinar every week.

Fine Focus (13/14 Feb 2014) – “Columbus Cheetah Myth Buster Part 2”

This was a fascinating, and very interactive, recorded session (the second of two). In the session @jofrei continued to share and discuss with us some of the myths about giftedness. Jo has recently posted a series about busting the myths on “Sprite’s Site”.

Serendipity 20/21 Feb 2014

In this recorded Serendipity session we discussed and explored:

  • the upcoming #OZeLive online conference, including some of the logistics, moderator roles and communication strategies through the Australia e-series Ning
  • some of the BlackboardCollaborate tools available to moderators and their potential usefulness for volunteer moderators at OZeLive.

Fine Focus (27/28 Feb 2014) – “Are ‘cheap’ tablets worthwhile for use in class”

This week’s very different style of recorded session was a look at some of the pros/cons and possible uses for cheap tablets in the classroom.  The session was facilitated by @philhart who reviewed a relatively cheap (AU$120) Android tablet and shared his thoughts throughout. This provided a “great” hook for discussion and enabled him to explore the practicalities of the device in response to points raised by participants.

During the session there were also a number of ideas for classroom use discussed (particularly in a Kindergarten environment). We also briefly touched on some of the pros and cons of Android versus iPad for the teacher during which I shared my iPad screen through AirServer and AppShare.

The consensus was that with careful research into the features provided there is lots of potential for using relatively cheap devices in a classroom environment to enable students to undertake varied activities. This was a totally fascinating session and is well worth catching the recording because of the very different style of session compared to our usual FineFocus.


Once again I am finally up to date with posting webinar links. Sorry again for the short session descriptions.

Our Next Webinar

SerendipitybsmallOur next webinar will be an Edublogs “Serendipity” session on Thursday March 6th at 23:00 GMT/UTC (Afternoon/Evening USA) or Friday March 7th at 7:00 am 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


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.


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


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 Serendipity webinar overview – a lucky dip!


This was one of those sessions where we talked about several topics. As always the session was recorded and makes interesting listening. The consesus was to spend some time on each of several topics, these being: the vocational education system; online maths programs & making maths easy; and a quick chat about some iPad apps.

The Session

We used a whiteboard for each topic for a heading to help us maintain topic focus, but also to be available for ideas and sharing as needed. It was interesting that each of the topics was addressed differently in terms of the way we used BbC. This demonstrates well the capability of the platform as a learning space. The first topic (TAFE) was almost entirely discussed via audio and text chat. The second (online maths & making maths easy) made heavy use of the whiteboard for ideas and link sharing. Our third topic of iPad apps also used the whiteboard but to a much lesser extent mainly for sharing app names.

We were a small group – all Australian which  gave rise to one of the topics. Our public Vocational Education and Training system is currently the centre of much debate regarding funding. It is under pressure to compete for students with private trainers who do not have the same government imposed constraints – hence the heading of TAFE (Training and Further Education). I know I had far too much to say about this because it is my own sector and I care about it intensely! There were many comparisons to be drawn with other sectors and globally.

The maths topic – as is always the case with maths generated much activity. We had a whiteboard in two columns – for sharing links and ideas for making maths interesting. However so many links were shared that the second column was largely taken over by the first! If you access the recording and use the bottom scroll bar in it to scroll to about 3/4 of the way through you can access most of those links live from the whiteboard. These lead to a positive “treasure chest” of online maths!

Our final topic was a quick look, with short descriptions, at some of the apps that those of us with iPads have and find useful.


This was fun! As always (for me anyway) the great thing about our Serendipity sessions is that we never know where they will lead. Sessions where we range accross several topics are particularly interesting because of the diversity of information shared and views expressed.

Our Next Session

Our next Webinar is an Edublogs “Fine Focus” session.   Join us on Thursday May 31st 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 June 1st in Australia – in the usual Blackboard Collaborate virtual room.

Edublogs Serendipity webinar overview – iPads in class?


This recorded Serendipity session was again one where the topic chose itself. There were only three of us in the room a topic choice time and we were all interested in the initial suggestion of “iPads/tablets in classrooms (1:1 models)”. This being a Serendipity session the consensus was to go with that topic.

The Session

This was a great session, mostly audio with some text chat and a number of links shared both through text and on the whiteboard.

As always the discussion ranged across a wider field than the topic title would imply. We were talking mainly of iPads, however much of the conversation would apply also to other tablets.

We also talked briefly about sharing devices in class and also about the added difficulties of “bring your own device” scenarios and the need for activities not device specific.

One of the main themes running through the discussion was how difficult it is for many teachers adopting iPads in class to get started.

Reasons for this may include:

  • lack of availability of pre-existing activities “lessons” that can be used as they are or easily adapted;
  • lack of time to learn the device

I think that these issues apply to introducing any new device/technology but that the problem is becoming more apparent as new devices and technology proliferate. Also increasing adoption of devices/technologies in “schools” is forcing those who are not by nature “early adopters” and experimenters to use these new tools before they are ready!

We shared many links, tips, ideas and solutions to issues of using iPads and other devices in class – particularly with respect to the various non-compatibilities.


I personally enjoyed this session immensely, not least because I came away with a couple of new apps to try out on my own iPad!

Our Next Session

Our next Webinar is an Edublogs “Fine Focus” session. “More quick & easy online tools!” In which we will explore and share our opinions about a few online tools that are potentially quick and easy to learn for teachers and students.  Join us on Thursday March 22nd 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 March 23rd in Australia – in the usual Blackboard Collaborate virtual room.