Creating the first blog entry

Ferdinand Krauss discusses some early outcomes of a recent class blogging project which involved a mix of paper and technology blogs. In October, they looked at examples of blogs and blogging practices then shared in groups about why people might want to write and read blogs.  They looked at how to create a great post and encourage discourse  with comments but this is an area which he thinks needs more work. There are some great photos of the paper blogs.

One of the lessons learned is

I provided the students with a class code so that they could create their individual accounts according to the convention I had outlined. I did not anticipate that the students would memorize the class code and continue to use it to create additional accounts when they re-visited the site (in some cases 3 or 4 times!!).

In full

Closing the gap on aboriginal education

Brian Tompson writes about the exclusion of indigenous students and communities in education. He explains how teachers have looked at issues such as misbehaviour and absenteeism and attributed a lack of achievement against an indigenous label.

If we are to help our students learn then we need to look at student-centred classrooms and learning techniques that encourage learning. It is recognised that Aboriginal students learn best by doing rather than by theory. Neil Harrison recognises that students learn by imitating others (Harrison 2011). Teachers need to differentiate their teaching methods which include avoiding the overuse of textbooks and provide authentic learning experiences which deal with real life situations or themes that students can relate to.

He stresses the role of collaboration with the local communities and parents in developing a meaningful education and have a more informed cultural awareness, moving away from textbooks and other formal learning materials

In full

Chile Brings Science to the Community Through Television

Raul Quispe reports on a recent TV initiative in Chile to educate communities and showcase scientific and technological developments that are improving communities. There are 25 one minute long episodes and they are also on display at the Salvador metro station.



Nicole learns cellular biology while playing her computer, guided by virtual scientists with whom she has to save, repair and move different kind of cells on seven missions. Kokori (initiative funded by CONICYT’s Fondef) is a 3D strategy videogame in real time and the goal is to promote learning through entertainment.

In full




Learning in Networks

Brian Harrison reports from #DENSI2012 on a discussion about networked learning. He believes that learning networks can enhance and develop collaboration amongst educators and show how learning amongst students as well as educators are connected. He mentions a taxonomy provided by Judith Warren Little which includes

Sharing: There is an exchange of learning that flows in two directions (think of sharing units, links or resources) but there is no expectation that the parties will actually use what has been shared. We are great collectors of ideas and resources but tend to stick with what we know and prefer. Sharing is important because it fosters a norm that sharing is a good thing for teachers and builds positive interdependence; a precondition for true collaborative learning. It is worth noting that this phase, and the next one, are non-hierarhcical and based upon the principle of mutual benefit.

In full

Pottstown Mercury opens Community Media Lab

Steve Buttry posts about the opening of the lab which allows people in the community to engage with digital media to report and share news.

This community newsroom we open today recognizes three important facts of the digital marketplace:

  1. People in the community can and want to tell some of the stories of community life themselves.
  2. The newspaper archive is a valuable community asset made more useful by digital technology.
  3. As valuable as digital communication is and as much time as we spend with it, we still value face-to-face interaction.

In full


What I learnt at school

Stacey Sewell looks at an article referring to what was gained from a music degree and reflects that she learnt more than how to market herself for a job

My music degree has proved to be an invaluable preparation for almost all of these roles and for life in general. While I don’t support a view of higher education that sees it as little more than a tool for getting a job, Dartington, for all its flaws, struck a good balance between the vocational/practical and learning for its own sake. I learned a lot

She lists what she has learnt including to be different, to be self-reliant, to explore, to play a part

In full