Sunday, December 6, 2009

Module 10 - Wikis and Final Reflection

Wikis are very powerful in the classroom, or more to the point - in creating a virtual classroom. They are the epitome of Web 2.0 and collaboration. I have witnessed some wonderful wikis created by some great teachers to facilitate the collaborative work of their class, communication and feedback with ease (all of the things we would like in a LMS... Editure are you taking note?).

That being said, Wetpaint have let themselves down with the advertising and new requirement to keep a class public whilst inviting in members. To this end I have been experimenting with and promoting 'Ning' Another advantage of Nings is that they have a Social Network format that students understand but are far safer than Facebook by not including any of the students' private life goings on.

Overall as a reflection, this has been a wonderful course that has opened up so many possibilities in terms of professional development, flexible learning, empowering teachers and reaching out to students with contemporary learning. Well done again to Helen and Diane. Enjoy your break Helen! Watch this space as we develop more courses, taking full advantage of the flexibility of learning with technology.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Module 9 - Scootle, Second Life, Facebook and Twitter

A strange combination for Module 9:

Scootle is vastly underutilised resource in CEO schools, it varies from school to school and teacher to teacher. I strongly recommend the interactive 'Learning Objects' as the best resources in Scootle.

Second Life has been described as a 'time drain'. As such I've briefly played with it and dismissed it as such.

I once suggested that teachers find ways of using Facebook in their teaching. I've since retracted this due to the potential dangers if a teachers links to a student's personal profile as a 'friend'. A safer alternative is 'Ning'.

I find Twitter extremely useful for picking up the latest information and resources from various eLearning gurus and teachers. By all means follow me: @simoncrook

Module 8 - RSS and Google Reader

RSS feeds are great way to follow regularly updated sites and blogs. You can even RSS the CEO. Google Reader is excellent at organising and collating all of the feeds one follows. However, following so many blogs on this course has clogged things up somewhat. Under normal circumstances I would only follow a few people's blogs.

Module 7 - Delicious

Delicious is for me the most useful Web 2.0 application facilitating collaboration and sharing of resources between teachers and schools.

Module 6 - and Glogster

Online mindmapping with the likes of is the way to go.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Module 5 - Digital Storytelling

For me Digital Storytelling is the pedagogy behind Podcasts. Last year there was lots of training around Garageband and Photostory but only when this was given the context of the genre of Digital Storytelling did it really make sense as to the value of creating podacsts in the classroom. The whole creation aspect of making a digital story is accessing the highest order of Bloom's Digital Taxonomy and allows for very personal reflections.

There are some great Digital Storytelling resources at:
and of course

There are great free podcasts at iTunesU (and soon some content will come from Southern Region schools) and ABC. Students can be listening/viewing relevant podcasts whilst on the bus or at the gym etc.

To kids and many of us, YouTube is king. I particularly like how one can make their own playlists of favourites and subscribe to good channels. For educational content check out:

Monday, August 17, 2009

Module 4 - Flickr

I find Flickr a fantastic tool, not least to share pictures with family abroad

Creative Commons is extremely important for responsible use of images. A good website to use for any creative commons (image, video etc.) is

Module 3 - Google Docs

Ok, so I've been away for a while, sorry :)

I've been using Google Docs for a while, mostly thanks to Mick Prest's insistence and usage. It is a great way share documents and collaborate. If you want to allow for multiple editors its excellent. 'Forms' are fantastic for evaluations, monitoring responses immediately in tests and surveys. If you simply want to upload and share documents with no editing I prefer 'Scribd' which can then be embedded in a Wiki or Blog

Science Centres for 21st Century Schools

Friday, June 5, 2009

Module 2 - Blogs

There are lots of excellent blogs out there, Chris Betcher's 'Betchablog' is one of my favourites, particularly for eLearning (read about mobile phones in the classroom):

I also think there will be a lot of great blogs to come out of this course.

Blogs are particularly good for journalling with students e.g. for a TAS project

Thursday, June 4, 2009

xtranormal Animation

Ok so I'm not following the order again but I found xtranormal and thought it was great! Here's my first attempt.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Avatar from Voki

Module 1

Oops! I've already made a mistake and made my first post without reading the instructions. I don't endorse this impulsive, experimental action....honestly :)

A much better intro than last year's course!

First Impressions

Well first of all I'm gutted that some other bloke has got simoncrook.blogger for his blog and doesn't even use it. I was chuffed when I got back in the mid-nineties.

As for the theme for my page it looks a bit North Korean but no atomic tests here.