Social Media Counter

Social Media counter shows the ever changing amount of data we are churning out every second of the day in real time.
This counter is from Gary Hayes and is shows how many likes and comments we are making on Facebook,  the amount of Apps we are  downloading, videos watched and uploaded to YouTube, Tweets sent, photos uploaded to Instagram, visits to Pinterest and much much more.

Click on Social, Games or Mobile to view the different live stats.

I’d like to that Gary for making this available to us all to use and embed in our blogs, if you want to see historical data and where Gary has sorced his data have a look at his post

Ada Lovelace Day

AdaLovelaceDay Bringing women in technology to the fore

Black3

24 March 2009
Ada Lovelace Day is an international day of blogging to draw attention to women excelling in technology.
Women’s contributions often go unacknowledged, their innovations seldom mentioned, their faces rarely recognised. We want you to tell the world about these unsung heroines. Entrepreneurs, innovators, sysadmins, programmers, designers, games developers, hardware experts, tech journalists, tech consultants. The list of tech-related careers is endless. http://findingada.com/

I signed the pledge to say that I would post an article on my Blog on March 24th about my tech heroine, someone who I think could be a female role model in technology.”In technology” can be interpreted in many ways and I have chosen someone who is leading the way and encouraging others to become involved in using technology in education.

Sue Waters stands out as someone who is dedicated to encouraging others to see the advantages of using “Web 2” technologies like wiki’s, twitter and blogs in education. She is a mum and wife, works as a TAFE lecturer, posts to two blogs, answers questions in user forums and twitter and runs numerous online sessions on how to use these technologies. She is masterful at engaging people with and through these technologies specifically wiki’s and twitter. By asking conference attendees to tweet what chocolate they like and where they are from she gets responses from people who may have been reluctant to even try twitter. She has found that using the word chocolate is not threatening and everyone has an opinion about it. She is an inspiration to me, a very positive female role model and I am lucky enough to call her my friend. You can find her personal blog here http://aquaculturepda.edublogs.org/

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Teenagers and the Web

ClassPods Five Weeks of Fun

I haven’t written a post for nearly 2 months but have been spending nearly ever day of the past 2 months on my laptop, I have been teaching and developing software. This is a short rundown of my experience with a group of great teenagers that I introduced to the web one day a week over a five week period.
In the last term of school I have had a group of 14, 15 year olds for one day a week over 5 weeks showing them all the wonders of the web. They were a great group of kids from 3 different high schools, they created blogs, added to a class wiki, created iGoogle pages and lastly created podcasts.

I was surprised how little of these technologies they knew or had even heard about. I think the more we use these things like blogs, wiki’s flickr, twitter and facebook ourselves we assume that others, especially the teenagers also know about them. They had a great knowledge of what games they can play online, chat programs and some knew about MySpace and most had an email account and all knew about YouTube, but that was about it. They did not know what Blogs, wiki’s or podcasts were.
The challenge with this group was how to show them how to use these technologies, keep it interesting, relevant and get through the work in the small amount of time we had. They had set tasks to complete each week and this was all detailed for them on a class wiki that I set up, this also contains links to their blogs, del.icio.us accounts and podcasts.

When it came to creating podcasts I had visions of copyright issues spinning around in my head and eventually I thought of using Nursery Rhymes. I decided that the easiest way to get them to create their podcasts was to give them a list of Nursery Rhymes. These are the steps that they followed:

They each picked one Nursery Rhyme and then created a PowerPoint presentation of the Nursery Rhyme.

A new slide was used for each line of the Nursery Rhyme and they had to add appropriate images.

The slides from the Presentation were saved as images, a handy feature of PowerPoint.

Then using Windows Movie Maker they imported the slides, recorded the Rhyme and added transitions and effects.

Once this stage was completed they saved the Movie file.

Then using SUPER © they converted it to a mp4 format.

I created a podomatic site for the class, they uploaded their podcasts and now they can been seen by all.

Most of them created 2 podcasts and really enjoyed it, although some of the recordings don’t sound “too enthusiastic“, as the first thing they said when recording their voices was ” I don’t sound like that!”.

All in all it was a great exercise, exhausting but enjoyable. My adventure into the world of web 2 and more my inspiration and knowledge comes from my friend Sue who introduced and taught me how to use them. She is a wealth of knowledge and shares it with all, thanks Sue 🙂

Gmail warning

logo Timely warning for students

Today my students received a timely warning on personal security on the internet. In class we have created Gmail accounts then gone onto create iGoogle personalised home pages. They have created del.icio.us accounts and signatures for the Gmail email accounts. One task required them to email all of their class mates and their lecturer (me) and send a link to their del.icio.us accounts. This was as way of all students getting each others contacts and del.icio.us links.

As always in these sort of classes I go over security, guarding your personal information on the internet, logging in and our procedures and student code of conduct and internet usage policies that they have all signed and agreed to at the beginning of term.

On Thursday several students and myself received an email full of swearing and sounding very upset at the rest of the students in the class from one of the other students. I spoke to this student to ask if they were having trouble with the other class mates? No and the student when shown the email knew nothing about it. On further investigation we found the student was not at TAFE on Thursday and when going through the history on the PC where the email originated we found that the browser automatically signed into his Gmail account. Now after this episode all the students in the class Sign in and Sign out of their Google accounts. Just because a browser is closed and internet connection is also closed does not mean your account is also closed especially if you have selected to “Remember me on this computer” then someone else can come along and log into your accounts. Beware.

Sign in & ALWAYS  Sign out

FrancesSign

Blogging good or hell?

blogit e-consultation

The Australian Federal Government is preparing itself to enter the blogging realm. An article in the online Australian IT titled Canberra plans citizen sample blog yesterday states “FEDERAL plans to enter the world of blogging are well under way, with a discussion paper due soon on the proposed “rules of engagement”.” The blog will be up and running by March and will be a place that the public can comment on policy, it wont be a free for all and genuine and constructive comments would be welcomed!

They have concerns that the lobby groups or other anonymous identities may infiltrate and manipulate the blog. Will this just be another place on the web that the government places information for us to read and if we wish to place a  positive/constructive comment then that comment may appear on the blog? Censored comments – that’s an interesting concept, we have the ability to censor, delete and even change comments that are placed on our blogs but most of us would only use these options if we get comments that detail illegal activities, pornographic, spam or are racist and discriminatory.

At the end of the day a blog provides a place for conversation and I would have thought that e-consultation would benefit from conversation not censorship, will we see a spin off of blogs that will continue the conversations? Just by denying it they will in fact make it flourish elsewhere way. I suppose that is just another case of  “not in my backyard”.

The article states that a spokesman for Special Minister of State Gary Nairn said ….”genuine and constructive comments”, I could not find another mention of this, a speech delivered by Mr Nairn in August mentions the possible introduction of blogs and talks about the things like the need for  moderation of comments would need to be looked at. I hope they do look at this and not take the Big Brother attitude and take the time to consult with people from the blogging communities both users and readers, not people who “know” about these things about do not “participate” in them.

I have tried to stay pretty much on track with this blog and that hasn’t been too hard as technology is a wide and varied field. I don’t want to get into political discussions (am I now censoring?) but as this does loosely relate to technology I thought I would place it here.

FrancesSign

Wandering the Web at night

walk Tonight I had a wander around the web in between talking on twitter and gtalk, answering comments and sending emails. One of the things  I found was this great video on Social Bookmarking by The Common Craft Show.
Video thumbnail. Click to play
The Common Craft Show is written, directed, produced, etc. by Lee and Sachi LeFever using basic materials.  The Show is presented by Common Craft, a social design consulting company. Their videos are under 5 minutes and explain things like Social Bookmarking in easy to understand terms. They  call our format “paperworks” and think lo-fi is the new hi-fi.
I have several of their other videos on my What is that? page. I have just been introducing my students to del.icio.us and we will be viewing this in class next week. These are really wonderfully simple but get the point across so well. Well done guys!
edublos tag cloud
I also found that on the home page of edublogs.org if I selected tags like bb31days from the tag cloud at the bottom of the page it brought up all my posts about the Blogging Challenge. I selected a lot of tags that I had included on  my posts and could also see what other members of edublogs had written with the say tags. Very interesting way to be able to view post. This is a great tool Thanks James!
BlogsOfTheHour
One of the other great feature that is on the home page of edublogs.org is the “Blog of the hour” of which Sue and I have been in several times over the past week due to our readers support. James also has an article to help you make your edublog frontpage news

FrancesSign