Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Looking for Blogging Mentors

This is a very interesting way to use blogs to stimulate students.

Interested in developing the worldwide blogosphere? Like working with young people?

We are looking for bloggers from around the world to be a blogging mentor for 1 week sometime in February, March, April or May 2006.

The project, Young Caucasus Women, is a group blog for young women from the Caucasus region (Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia). The young
women will be given a topic to blog on each week, although they are welcome to blog on any topic throughout the week.

We need bloggers to blog on a specific topic on Sunday, hence inspiring the young women's blog entries. The topic and week need to be determined at least month in advance.
Then throughout the week, the adult mentor blogger would need to comment on the young women's blog postings.

THAT'S IT - simple, yet a project with a lot of impact.

You don't need any background in the region. Just be culturally sensitive, have a topic that would be of interest to international young women and have a blog. We'd love to have English language bloggers from around the world.

Interested or know someone who is? Contact katy (at) katypearce (dot) org for more information.


There are almost NO blogs written by national individuals living IN-COUNTRY in the Caucasus. Generally blogs are written by ex-pats or diasporas. The students participating in this project are high school aged foreign exchange students currently in the US. The hope is that they will continue blogging once they return home in the summer of 2006.

The immediate aims of the project are:

To highlight the similarities and learn about the differences between young women in these neighboring countries.

To promote citizen journalism in developing countries as an alternative to mainstream media.

To promote weblogs as a method of democratic expression.

To expose young women to journalism and technology.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Gmail - [DDN] Making Computers Useful in Education

Quoting from an email on the Digital Divide Network mailing list:

Take a look at this meta-study of 59 computer-assisted instruction
(CAI) reports. http://www.nwrel.org/scpd/sirs/5/cu10.html
It indicates that:

* The use of CAI as a supplement to conventional instruction produces higher achievement than the use of onventional instruction alone.
* Research is inconclusive regarding the comparative effectiveness of conventional instruction alone and CAI alone.
* Computer-based education (CAI and other computer applications) produce higher achievement than conventional instruction alone.
* Student use of word processors to develop writing skills leads to higher-quality written work than other writing methods (paper and pencil, conventional typewriters).
* Students learn material faster with CAI than with conventional instruction alone.
* Students retain what they have learned better with CAI than with conventional instruction alone.
* The use of CAI leads to more positive attitudes toward computers, course content, quality of instruction, school in general, and self- as-learner than the use of conventional instruction alone.
* The use of CAI is associated with other beneficial outcomes,
including greater internal locus of control, school attendance,
motivation/time-on-task, and student-student cooperation and collaboration than the use of conventional instruction alone.
* CAI is more beneficial for younger students than older ones.
* CAI is more beneficial with lower-achieving students than with
higher-achieving ones.
* Economically disadvantaged students benefit more from CAI than
students from higher socioeconomic backgrounds.
* CAI is more effective for teaching lower-cognitive material than
higher-cognitive material.
* Most handicapped students, including learning disabled, mentally
retarded, hearing impaired, emotionally disturbed, and language
disordered, achieve at higher levels with CAI than with conventional instruction alone.
* There are no significant differences in the effectiveness of CAI
with male and female students.
* Students' fondness for CAI activities centers around the
immediate, objective, and positive feedback provided by these
* CAI activities appear to be at least as cost effective as--and
sometimes more cost-effective than-- other instructional methods,
such as teacher-directed instruction and tutoring.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Educational Weblogs:

Technology resource blog for educators - Disruptive Technology Resource for Educators using Weblogs, Blogware, Collaborative tools, RSS & Podcasting, web services and digital tools at home, school, university and community.

Friday, December 16, 2005

NSW Open Source :: Open Source for Education

NSW Open Source :: Open Source for Education
useful document (pdf format) that discusses the use of FLOSS in education (free and open source software - makes sense for impoverished schools in developing countries)

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Mambo Server up and all your base websites created.

Please check with Mr. Paddington or email me directly for the information. I have finally received all the information necessary from the Department to set this up, and I apologise again on behalf of the Department for the length of time it has taken to get this done.
You can find the site at www.educationuwitt.com.
Note - you can also register on the main site to be able to post and stuff... it'smoderated, so I will need to finalise all registrations - this is to reduce SP@M on the site.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Teaching, Learning, and Other Uses for Wikis in Academia

Teaching, Learning, and Other Uses for Wikis in Academia
All Users Are Not Necessarily Created Equal
By Jude Higdon, Project Manager
The Center for Scholarly Technology
University of Southern California
Complete story at Campus Technology:


A Learning is For Everyone, Inc. article recommendation.


Like many academic technology groups at campuses around the country, the Center for Scholarly Technology (CST) at USC has been wrestling with how to implement various types of social software, such as blogs and wikis, in the classroom. Over the past few years we have found some very good uses for blogs, including peer-reviewed journaling, Just-in-Time Teaching (Novak, et al, 1999), and meta-cognitive reflective practice. While we hit a few stumbling blocks early on, we seemed to be coming to some level of sophistication and adoption with the use of blogs as tools for enhancing teaching and learning as we entered into the 2005-2006 school year.

Use of wikis in the classroom has proved more elusive. While we never like to advocate the use of technology as an end of itself, our group saw great potential in the affordances of the wiki for teaching and learning. Students co-constructing meaning in a democratized digital space has a certain social constructivist (Bandura, 1976) elegance. And yet we struggled to impart this sense of potential to our faculty collaborators. By and large, people didn't seem ready for the freewheeling, uncontrolled wiki environment.


Learning is For Everyone, Inc. is a nonprofit 501 C(3) organization whose goal is to provide information resources on the web and assistance through its activities in all aspects of education from cradle to nursing home!

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Class Blog List

You should also post links to your own blogs - if you email me I'll put them in the sidebar.

Protecting your kids from online predators

Given the concerns about children blogging that have been raised, here's an article from MSNBC that offers some tips. May be useful to hand this out to your students and their parents.


Expert offers tips to parents to help keep kids safe while on the internet.

On the heels of a 'Dateline NBC' investigative report exposing sexual predators who attempted to lure young teenagers into sexual encounters, MSNBC's Alison Stewart welcomed John Shehan from the Center for Missing and Exploited Children to Tuesday's MSNBC Live to discuss how parents can keep their kids safe online.

Shehan, who heads up the center's cyber tip line said that since the program's inception in 1998, they've received over 350,000 reports regarding some sort of child sexual exploitation. Through their work, they've learned that predators have no favorite way to lure children into bad situations.

"There isn't really one specific method. It's really how they can communicate, how they can establish a bond with that child," he said. "It's estimated that 30 million children in the United States are accessing the internet, and it's estimated that one in five children has received an unwanted sexual solicitation while online."

"It's an entirely different world where anyone can be anybody. They can pose as a friend, a nemesis, they can be anyone they want, and a lot of times the predator is just looking for a child that needs attention. They are quickly there to initiate that conversation and to be a best friend," he said.

Within that anonymous world, the vulnerable are the easiest targets, he said.

"It's dangerous in the fact that while that child is online for hours and hours at a time, they're seeking something, whether it's assurance, whether it's a friend, that child predator is going to be online, they're going to read those online blogs, they're going to be in chatrooms, and they're going to be looking for children," he said.

Shehan noted that there are several things that can be done by parents to keep their kids safe.

"First and foremost, parents need to educate themselves before they can even talk to their children about the issue," Shehan said, noting that most parents know far less about the internet than their children.

According to Shehan, in addition to learning about the problem, supervising children while they are online is key, as is communicating with children.

"As we get through the holiday season with Halloween, I'm sure parents took the time to talk to their children of the real-life dangers with strangers," he said. "But are they taking the time to talk to their kids about the cyberworld?"

© 2005 MSNBC Interactive

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Team blogging

For those of you who would like to post to this blog, please email me and I will add you to the team permissions.

Blogging as a tool : innovative approaches to information access

DDN Document: Blogging as a tool : innovative approaches to information access
Blogs and RSS (Real Simple Syndication/Rich Site Summary) feeds and their applications in libraries are increasing exponentially. These applications range from current awareness type of settings in keeping up-to-date with new information, table of contents alerts of journal articles, feeds based on a research query in electronic databases, and news alerts from different subject areas. Other library related use of blogs and RSS feeds may include availability of new books based on selected keywords, feeds based on new subject guides, creating simple blog entries for course related useful
information, and announcing library related events such as the Scholarly Communications Speaker series. This presentation provides information on these applications and recommendations on how they can be implemented in any library setting. A particular emphasis on the Engineering Resources blog created for the College of Engineering and the School of Biomedical Engineering, Science and Health Systems is given to highlight a variety of information published so far. Future directions and vision of how blogs and
RSS can be used in academic library settings are discussed."

Monday, October 24, 2005

Schools can be joyful places

An interesting blog re education. You can take some ideas from Marilyn's blog to help you with your own.Schools can be joyful places

Friday, October 21, 2005

Programme approved.

The Diploma in Educational Technology programme has been approved by the University and all students should complete the application and registration forms next Thursday. Mr. Paddington suggests students should come early, at 8.30am, in order to not disrupt the digital audio class.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Update on server and assignment

Mr. Paddington has responded re the server issue and the assignment.
"The assignment was that the students would write and post a blog and develop the first page of a web site using Mambo or HTML."
About the server, he has indicated that he will finalise the permissions today. As soon as I have the go-ahead, you will receive emails with the location of each website space.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Web Logs Go to School

An interesting article on using blogs in the classroom.

As a middle-school teacher, Clarence Fisher is used to spending some time each evening grading papers and reviewing lesson plans. But this year he's got an additional after-school task: updating his students' blogs. Fisher set up online personal journals--Web logs or blogs--this fall for each of his students at Joseph H. Kerr School in the Canadian town of Snow Lake, Manitoba. His combined seventh- and eighth-grade class generates about a dozen entries a day on topics ranging from classroom assignments to weekend plans, which Fisher reviews before posting online.

He's more than glad to do it. Like other teachers bringing blogging into the classroom, he thinks the online journals will spark students' enthusiasm for computers, writing and opining.

"They're learning the technical skills, but they're also learning that they have a voice online," he said. "They may be from a tiny town in the middle of nowhere, but they're writing online, people are commenting on it, and they're learning that they have a voice."

Fisher is among a small but growing number of teachers and professors experimenting with classroom blogs. The exact number is hard to pin down but it's well into the thousands, said Will Richardson, author of "An Educator's Guide to Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts and Other Cool New Web Tools that are Transforming the Classroom," which is set for publication next year.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Another Mambo tutorial

What makes this guide different from others, is that it is written by someone relatively unfamiliar with the concept of Content Management Systems. So this easy simple guide is aimed specifically for newbies. It might help those of you who are having difficulty with the concept of a CMS, even though youhave the manual processes covered.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Mambo Hosting Providers

In reply to the requests about hosting a website, here's a link to a series of hosting providers who support Mambo.
Mambo Hosting Providers

Friday, October 14, 2005

The RSS feed for this blog

In case you want to add it to your newsfeed list in your Mambo site.
It would be good to create a wiki page with useful feeds - feeds and links that you find interesting and useful in your work. The Wiki is at http://uwiclass.wikispaces.com/

Yeah! The Wiki is up...

The wiki for the class is up at http://uwiclass.wikispaces.com/.
A Wiki is a website or similar online resource which allows users to add and edit content collectively. Excellent for working on a group FAQ. The Wikipedia is a hugeonline encyclopaedia, that's edited collectively.
A wiki is a great tool for class use, as group projects are made very easy using it.

Useful Mambo Links

Mamble.com is a Yahoo style webdirectory for the Mambo Open Source content. You can find links to dozens of templates, components and commercial weblinks. www.mamble.com
Official Mambo site - www.mamboserver.com
Download Mambo - if you have the prerequisites on your PC, you can download and install a local copy of Mambo - www.mamboforge.net
Mambo Forums - Discussion boards about Mambo - how to use, how to administer, development. Try Mambers - www.mambers.com or MamboForum - www.mamboforum.com
MamboNotes.com - Web Links An online repository of instructions, observations, tips, hacks, website links, and other bits of information that have been compiled by various developers. www.mambonotes.com

About the assignment - from Jacqueline

The assignment is something that you will have to confirm with Mr. Paddington, as he set it. I am not sure what it is exactly, yet. In our original discussions he suggested that the final project was to create a website. Period. Using whichever tools that were taught. I believed that it would be a final assignment ustilising all the tools/workshops - as it is pretty much impossible to build a really good site without having a good grasp of images and image editing as well - which you haven't yet done. Podcasting and audio/video are also very useful tools to include in any comprehensive final project.

If the assignment is per workshop, and you have to do a site with what you went through in the workshop over the past two Thursdays, then you can do a site with either a blogging tool or with Mambo, using a template.

When the Internet hosted Mambo server location is agreed, it will be posted.

In the meantime, I believe the server that was used for the class is still up and running. If so, you can use it for training purposes. You can check with Mr. Paddington.

UWI Class - intro to Internet and CMS/Webdev Support

The UWI class is about multimedia in education. The students (who are also teachers) have done a lot of workshops to introduce them to different areas on ICT and multimedia, so that they can apply to their own work.
This is the blog that the web and CMS training team (Jacqueline Morris and Kayode Anthony) have put together so that the students can refresh the information that they learnt as well as ask questions, and build a FAQ.