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.

Overview Edublogs Serendipity webinar – Maths failure? & Assessment with tech.


The recent Serendipity webinar recording here was one of those where we looked at two topics. We had a full house of five to choose from very quickly. There was a tie between “Why do so many people fail maths?” and using technology for assessment. The consensus was to look at both rather than tie-break them. Both topics generated a lot of discussion through audio and text chat with many ideas on the whiteboard also.

The Session

We started with a look at why many people fail maths. A quick poll revealed that most of us did not teach maths as a named subject those teaching science or technology inevitably had aspects of maths in their delivery. Everyone had much to contribute either from their own experience as teacher or learner of maths or from their own children’s experience. We finished this part of the session with a whiteboard of possible strategies that might help to reduce maths failure.

MAthsFailWordleResizeFor the second part of the session we moved on to using technology for assessment. Again this generated considerable discussion with much sharing of ideas and current tools being used.


The wide variety shown here suggests that we could have many future sessions looking at the use of these tech tools and strategies for assessment.

Links shared – this week as a “one off” I am including the links shared during the session. They have simply been “grabbed” from text chat and I apologise that I have not attributed the sharers, checked the links, or reviewed the content. Lack of time!


This was a great session with lots of interaction and much sharing of experiences and ideas. As often happens many of the ideas and strategies shared could easily become the basis of the more in depth “Fine Focus” sessions.

The session topics and link to the Elluminate/Edublogs Community Partnership Elluminate room can be found here and also usually on the following calendars:

Edublogs Webinars (scroll down for the calendar)

LearnCentral under Events or the Australia Series

The Educator’s PLN

Next Session


Our next Webinar is an Edublogs “Fine Focus” session. This week in “Free and Easy” we will take a brief look at and compare some of the free, and relatively easy to use, tools (downloadable and online) available for generating quizzes, other assessment activities and content presentation. Join us on Thursday Oct 21st at 23:00 GMT/UTC (7pm USA EST, Midnight BST) or Friday Oct 22nd at 1am CEST, 7am West Aus, 10am NSW, depending on your timezone – in the usual Elluminate room

In the Future

If you are a regular visitor to our webinars you will know that we alternate “Fine Focus” sessions on specific topics with “Serendipity” the unconference sessions where we choose a topic by poll at the start of the session. Sometimes the very fact of being asked for “hot topics” or other ideas for discussion or learning tends to make our minds blank. This has prompted me to start a Serendipity Wallwisher for topic suggestions. Please visit the wall and add your ideas for Serendipity topics so that we have more choices to consider. Some of these ideas might also form the basis for future “Fine Focus” sessions.

Serendipity Webinar Overview – Maths anxiety and other matters!


This week’s overview is a strange experience for me! I wasn’t there in the session (I was laid low by a migraine) but am still writing an overview. I can do this thanks, of course, to the recording, technology is a wonderful thing!

The Session

It was one of those Serendipity sessions that happen occasionally where we don’t have many participants and so it is much more of a chat than a formal session. For me one of the strangest and most frustrating aspects of only being a spectator after the event was that I so much wanted to join the conversation!

The discussion was mainly around issues of anxiety in teaching and learning maths with digressions into wider considerations of teaching and the need for teachers to be learners as well as teachers and to work across learning disciplines. Again the discussion turned as so often to motivating and empowering colleagues as well as students. The question of teacher burnout and the balance between the risk of stalenes/boredom and being overwhelmed by the workload was also raised.


For me as a listener after the event this was a very thought provoking discussion and one where I was longing to take part. Because this was so much a “conversation” the discussion was almost entirely through audio with some text chat and for me it was a session well worth listening to.

Next Week

TechieSmallOur next Webinar is an Edublogs “Fine Focus!” session a “Techie How To” on getting the most out of Elluminate Webinars from the participant’s point of view in “Be an ‘Elluminated’ participant“. If you would like to know more about the tools and options available to you when you attend an Elluminate session, or about how you as a participant can help the session flow more smoothly then this session is for you!

Join us on Thursday June 3rd at 23:00 GMT/UTC (7pm USA EST, Midnight BST) or Friday June 4th at 1am CEST,7am West Aus, 9am NSW, depending on your timezone – in the usual Elluminate room