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Hello again.

This blog is back in action! I have recently got a job at the local college, so I’ll be using this space as I originally had intended – for educational notes, records and research.

My other blog, Nautiloid Burblings, I shall keep for literary, artistic and other interests.

First up, the amazing Google Form.

I am working on a system to make lesson planning a little easier and quicker.

Google forms allow you to save to a spreadsheet that updates automatically and can have any number of contributors. Fantastic for teachers and students and anyone who needs to share complex information.

Note: I have removed the form to avoid possible confusion if anyone decided to add data!

Please comment if you are interested in working together on this type of project or if you want a link to my form.

Matt Staggs was talking about ludicrous spam with semi-inviting titles on his blog and at first I thought this email was an example. But it isn’t. It’s real and it looks too good to miss.

I cut and paste from my Gmail box:

Speaker: Dr Mark Norman
When: Monday 18 August at 9.20am
For: Primary and Secondary teachers and students, Grade 4 and up
Where: Online in Elluminate.
Sign up: http://knowledgebank.globalteacher.org.au to sign up.

Earlier this month, Melbourne Museum held its first ever public dissection of the largest giant squid Australian researchers have encountered. In this seminar, world-renowned squid expert and Deputy Head of Science at Museum Victoria, Dr Mark Norman, will be talking about what was learned in the public dissection and how it might contribute to greater awareness and understanding of these little-known and rarely seen deep-sea creatures.

This seminar follows our hugely successful “Meet the Motherfish” seminar with Dr John Long where we had more than six teacher-led classes join us online giving their kids a chance to speak direct to Dr Long. This second Science Superstars event is a great opportunity for science teachers to attend with their classes by joining in via electronic whiteboards. Participants will get an opportunity to talk direct with Dr Norman about the squid and what it can teach us.

This event is free but you need to sign up. For more information and to sign up go to:
http://knowledgebank.globalteacher.org.au

Thanks to Knowledgebank for this! I expect all you squid-crazy kids to get on down there and sign up at once.

Open Learn, a free collection of Open University course units and a collaborative learning space, offers a basic introduction to fiction writing skills.

The great thing is, once you have signed up and enrolled on some courses you can get the content via RSS in your reader.

Open Learn, a free collection of Open University course units and a collaborative learning space, offers a basic introduction to fiction writing skills.

The great thing is, once you have signed up and enrolled on some courses you can get the content via RSS in your reader.

Google’s answer to Wikipedia is now up. I’m off to check it out now.

OK. It seems heavily biased towards the medical so far. Give it time I suppose and it will probably stop discussing its ailments and move on.

At present, if you click on a subject – say ‘wind energy’ – it takes you to a decent article, but the embedded text links then go off-site. It’s going to take a long time for them to get to Wikipedia levels. And who is going to do all the editing and moderating to make content ‘authoritative’? The Google announcement answers these questions up to a point but it will be interesting to see how it shapes up.

I’m still excited and hopeful about the idea, but it’s definitely an addition rather than a replacement for Wikipedia.

Something else I’d had on my previous blog and wanted to link to here.

Something else I’d had on my previous blog and wanted to link to here.

Freemind is a mind-mapping program. It is, as the name suggests, free, as well as being open-source and cross-platform (it runs in Java).

I am a user and fan of NovaMind, which I could buy because at the time I had long-term paid employment, but, while this program lacks many of NovaMind’s bells and whistles, it still looks excellent.

From the site:

The Knowledge Bank online conference this year is focused on Web 2.0 in education: what it is, how it’s being used today and its potential to radically change education.

Topic: Learning in a changing world – Web 2.0 and beyond
When: Six sessions held over July 22 and 23 2008
Where: Online in Elluminate
Sign Up: The conference is free but you need to Sign Up.

Highlights
Web 2.0 is not new – many of us have used social networking sites like YouTube, TeacherTube and FaceBook. We know about Wikipedia, Skype and podcasting. We read, even write, and comment on blogs. But what might happen to education as Web 2.0 becomes mainstream?

  • Introducing Web 2.0. Who are you? Where have I met you before?
  • How can reading and writing a blog change your way of learning?
  • How does a direct connection with an expert shift your relationship to knowledge?
  • Who are the content experts?
  • What skills should we be teaching to young people, and what can we learn from them?

Freemind is a mind-mapping program. It is, as the name suggests, free, as well as being open-source and cross-platform (it runs in Java).

I am a user and fan of NovaMind, which I could buy because at the time I had long-term paid employment, but, while this program lacks many of NovaMind’s bells and whistles, it still looks excellent.

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