Thursday, 29 November 2012

Webinar recordings: 'Bring Your Own Device – does it work?'


In this webinar we discussed BYOD (Bring your own device) which is a current buzz word. Basically instead of schools going to the expense of buying and maintaining technology devices the students are encouraged to bring their own devices from home – smart phones, laptops or tablets of one sort or another. What is your opinion on this? You would imagine that something like this wouldn’t work because of perhaps teacher skills in managing different devices or students forgetting their devices at home or not owning a device. Our two ladies in this webinar tell us what they have experienced at their respective schools..

Our two presenters

Nina Adams is the Innovation head at St Cyprians in Cape Town and she is responsible for technology integration throughout the school. Michele Botha is the Head of the Intermediate Phase at Somerset House Primary in Somerset West and she is also responsible for technology integration at her school. In this webinar they each relate the ins and outs plus successes of introducing the BYOD approach at their schools.

Thank you to these two ladies. (Adobe Connect can be troublesome at times but these two ladies persevered). 

Nina Adams from St Cyprians in Cape Town

image


Title:‘To BYODly go…’
Webinar recording:http://meet78641452.adobeconnect.com/p67ctfy140o/ (23 mins)
Prezi Links: http://prezi.com/mqzvyevtmkv4/to-byodly-go/


Michele Botha from Somerset House Primary ‘



Title: Bring Your Own Device Pilot Project”
Webinar recordings:
Part 1http://meet78641452.adobeconnect.com/p7djdadlj3g/ (3 mins)
Part 2: http://meet78641452.adobeconnect.com/p2pioozxfja/ (9 mins)

Presentation: Slideshare presentation can be viewed above.
Presentation LinkBYOD? Our Grade 6&7 pilot (Michele Botha) 



Wednesday, 28 November 2012

30 Days of Google #10: The versatility of Google Docs via @soxnevad

I love exploring Susan Oxenvad’s amazing blog Cool Tools for Teachers – do visit it and also follow Susan on Twitter. On her blog I came across a post with this this brilliant representation of ‘Great ways of using Google Documents’. Not only does she illustrate how amazing and versatile Google Docs is for learning in the classroom, but she also demonstrates a fabulous way to use a Glogster for giving out information visually.  If you click on each part of the glog you will be taken to a post explaining that particular section of Google Docs. I have looked through those and they are great posts.  I am SO impressed with this! How about you? 

Susan's glog gives the option to embed, so that is what I will so! Don't forget to visit the original post here.





Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Webinar recording: Get the hang of a Google hangout (27/11/2012)




What is a Google hangout?
Google+ is Google's new social networking tool. I have only just discovered its amazing potential since attending the Google Teacher Academy in New York in October. Google has put a lot of funding into developing Google+ and they are committed to making it work well for education, so it will just get better and better I am sure. Once you have created a circle of friends in Google+ you can choose to hang out with them on Google+. This allows you to video chat, IM chat, watch YouTube videos together, and more.

Summary of benefits
Google Hangouts are part of Google+, Google's new free social networking tool. On a Hangout 10 people (possible 15 on Google Apps) can:
*video chat
*IM (instant message) chat
*watch YouTube videos together
*collaborate on a Google Doc
*use a whiteboard collaboratively
*add effects for fun
*record the Hangout directly on YouTube
*live stream for more viewers
*A minimum of two people
*and more…

A Slideshare showing the steps
This slideshare was used in the SchoolNet webinar of the same name and shows the steps in creating a hangout.



Webinar recording:
Last week SchoolNet had a webinar whih was presented by me (Fiona Beal) on 'Get the hang of a Google Hangout'. Here is the recording
http://meet78641452.adobeconnect.com/p6kgz1ndmhz/ (22 mins)

Ideas for using a hangout in the the classroom
• Read a story
• Bring in an expert/guest speaker/author|
• Share from a Slideshare
• Homework tutoring
• Professional Development meeting
• Work on a project together
• Virtual penpals
• Global classroom discussions
• Career Day wit panelists
• Attend other hangouts (Google has a whole library of hangouts)
• Extended discussion on a class topic
• Subject-related hangouts
• Conduct workshops and seminars

Additional reading and viewing
a) A tutorial 
Please note that Google updates its products continually so some features in this video might look different.



b) Further Reading
*How to use Google Hangouts 
*How to Use Google+ Hangouts for Teaching
*How to create a Google event

Monday, 26 November 2012

SchoolNet webinars 27 November – 29 November 2012


webinars1


These are our SchoolNet webinars for this week - Do join us if you can.

(1) Bring Your Own Device – does it work?
Summary:
Two educators relate the ins and outs plus successes of introducing the BYOD approach at their schools. In the ‘Bring Your Own Device’ approach the students are encouraged to bring their own technology like smartphones, tablets, and laptops to school for educational use in the classroom.
Presenters:
Michele Botha from Somerset House in Somerset West will speak on ‘Our BYOD pilot in Grades 6 and 7’ 
Nina Adams from St Cyprians in Cape Town calls her presentation ‘To BYOD'ly go....’
When
Tues 27 Nov 2012: 6:00 PM - 6:30 PM
Time Zone:
(GMT+02:00) Harare, Pretoria
Link: http://meet78641452.adobeconnect.com/byod/

(2) Get the hang of a Google Hangout
Summary:
This webinar introduces you to Google hangouts which have great potential for educators. Hangouts are free video chats from Google that enables both one-on-one chats and group chats with up to ten people at a time (apparently now up to 15 if used for education). You can watch YouTube videos, share documents, collaborate on a Google document or use a whiteboard to name but a few of the amazing features.
Presenter:
Fiona Beal
When:
Thursday 29 Nove. 2012: 6:00 PM - 6:15 PM
Time Zone:
(GMT+02:00) Harare, Pretoria
URL: http://meet78641452.adobeconnect.com/hangout/

Friday, 23 November 2012

30 Days of Google #9: Google Apps in the classroom

It’s incredible what you come across on the Internet. While I was researching today I came across a fantastic video presentation (webinar) showing 32 ways of  using Google Apps in the classroom. I am very keen to learn all I can about Google Apps so I immediately bookmarked it and thought I would share it here. This webinar was presented by Julia Stilitz, Google Apps for Education Team @juliastiglitz

The write-up says, ”This session will demonstrate some of the most powerful ways that teachers can leverage Google Apps tools in their classrooms. From using Google Docs for collaborative lesson planning with grade level colleagues, to using Google Chat to have a virtual guest lecturer in your classroom, to giving your students a formative assessment through Google forms, this session will show you had to get the most out of Google Apps.

32 ways of using Google Apps by Julia Stilitz on YouTube

I was lucky enough to find the Slideshare presentation of the same video/webinar (uploaded by someone else) so that you can just view the slides without sound should you so wish.


Thursday, 22 November 2012

Webinar reminder for tonight - 'The Power of Popplet'

A snippet from one of Michelle's popplets

Our guest webinar tonight features Michelle Botha from Somerset House Primary School in Somerset West. She has made good use of an amazing classroom tool called  'Popplet' in her classroom experience and you don't want to miss what she has to share!

Please join us in an Adobe Connect Meeting:
Meeting Name:  The Power of Popplet
Summary: This webinar features the lovely mindmapping/sticky-note/collaboration application
Popplet (http://popplet.com/) with which you can do much.
Presenter: Michelle Botha from Somerset House in Somerset West.
Invited By: Fiona Beal (fiona@schoolnet.org.za)
When:  Thursday 22 November 6:00 PM - 6:15 PM (15 mins)
Time Zone:  (GMT+02:00) Harare, Pretoria
URL: 
http://meet78641452.adobeconnect.com/popplet/

The recordings will be placed on the blog the day after the webinar. 

30 Days of Google #8: Get to know Google+ (Includes a webinar recording)



Social networking is a way of life for most teachers today. It is a marvelous way for us to share and learn about new ideas that can really enhance our teaching. We know about social networks like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn for example, all designed to let you share up-to-the second updates, ideas, thoughts, links and media with your colleagues. But have you discovered Google+? This is a social network of note that I have only recently explored. One thing I am discovering about Google is that they usually bring a very creative and different slant, with additional features, to something that others might be doing; and the result is very pleasing.  These are a few features which makes Google different from the other social networking networks.
  • Google has integrated Google+ with its other services (and continues to do so) e.g.Search, YouTube, Gmail and more.  Google+ is already built into services you use every day.
  • Google+ uses the concept of circles (groups), and this differentiates it from Facebook for example as it allows users precise control over who sees what. 
  • Google includes the free use of 'hangouts' with Google+ and this feature has incredible positive implications for education. 
Slideshare presentation
This is a Slideshare on Google +. It covers:
What is Google +
•Highlights of interesting features
•Circles
•How to write a post
•How to receive a notification
Benefits to education 

'Google Hangouts' will receive a post of its own later. 


Get to know Google plus! from Fiona Beal

Webinar recording
This Slideshare was presented as part of a SchoolNet Adobe Connect webinar on Google+. If you would like to know what was said, here is the webinar recording: Get to know Google+

Further reading
Many very interesting posts have been written on Google+. Here is a list of some of them:

1) Google + - what does it mean for education?
2) 27 ways to use Google+ to support education (a presentation)
3) Circle me up - exploring circles in Google+
4) 40+ Google tips for newbies
5) The Google+ 50
6) The Google plus project - a quick look
7) A livebinder of Google+ resources
8) Classroom uses for Google+


Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Have you heard of the Nab’Ubomi media project? Read about it here!

image

Submitted by Fiona Beal
A few months back I had the privilege of being invited, as a SchoolNet representative, to be one of  the judges for the Nab’Ubomi Interschool 2011 Short Film Competition. What a marvelous evening it turned out to be watching these compelling short movies. These movies were created and carved by Grade 11 students in the Eastern Cape, and filmed using the guidance and resources of the Nab'Ubomi crew, at their respective schools. The Nab’Ubomi Film Development Project & School Filmmaking Competition introduces the South African youth to the world of Film and TV Production and Media Education Literacy.This is a really incredible project, well worth taking note of.  Bryony Roughton is the Project Director of Nab’Ubomi Film School.

More about Nab’Ubomi
Nab'Ubomi, meaning ‘This is Life’ in isiXhosa, is an inter-school film competition running in the Eastern Cape since 2007. It is now expanding, in stages, into all provinces of South Africa to become a national competition. Nab'Ubomi has been built around six essential aspects or pillars: Education ‐Youth ‐ Story ‐ Film ‐ Content ‐ Development. You can read more on their website (http://www.nabubomi.co.za/) and also on the flier below (which can be read in more detail here - or you could press the fullscreen button in the bottom right hand corner of the frame).




Nab’Ubomi’s playlist on YouTube
Nab’Ubomi has a playlist of all their films on YouTube – if you can spare the time they will definitely make an interesting evening’s viewing. http://www.youtube.com/user/NabUbomi


The 'Best of the Festival Award' film 2011
For example here is the 2011 Best of the Festival Award film. It is a student film from the Nab'Ubomi 2011 inter-school short film competition called 'Eternal Inspirations' by Pumela Sibulele Billie from Molteno Senior Secondary School in Queenstown Education District, Eastern Cape, South Africa.




Awards Dinner for 2012 winners
imageThe good news is that on the 30th November 2012 an Award ceremony for all the 2012 winners will take place at a Gala Event in East London hosted by the Eastern Cape Department of Education. This will include the presentation of nominee and award Certificates & winners, trophies and a screening of the top three award winning films.

 If you would like to see the learners' comments about the positive effect the Nab'Ubami project has had on their lives read about it hereNab’Ubomi is looking to expand to to the Northern Cape and Western Cape working with schools in the same way as outlined above. We, at SchoolNet, wish them well as they inspire the youth of our country with this project. 

Webinar recording: Get to know Google+ (20/11/2012)


Google+, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and the like are all social networks. They’re designed to let you share up-to-the second updates, ideas, thoughts, links and media with your friends and the public. There are a few features which makes Google different from these other networks.
  • Google has integrated Google+ with its other services (and continues to do so) e.g.Search, YouTube, Gmail and more.  Google+ is already built into services you use every day.
  • Google+ uses the concept of circles (groups), and this differentiates it from Facebook for example as it allows users precise control over who sees what. 
Webinar presentation
This is a Slideshare of the webinar presentation on Google + from last night.  The webinar covered:
What is Google +•Highlights of interesting features
•Circles
•How to write a post
•How to receive a notification
Benefits to education 



SchoolNet webinars this week



These are our SchoolNet webinars for this week - both short and sweet! Do join us if you can.
(1) Please join us in an Adobe Connect Meeting.
Meeting Name:  Get to know Google +
Summary: This webinar introduces you to Google+ and how to use it.
Presenter: Fiona Beal (fiona@schoolnet.org.za)
When:  Tuesday 20 November 6:00 PM - 6:15 PM (15 mins)
Time Zone:  (GMT+02:00) Harare, Pretoria
URLhttp://meet78641452.adobeconnect.com/googleplus/

(2) Please join us in an Adobe Connect Meeting.
Meeting Name:  Popplet in the classroom
Summary: This webinar features the lovely mindmapping/sticky-note/collaboration application
Popplet (http://popplet.com/) with which you can do much.
Presenter: Michelle Botha from Somerset House in Somerset West.
Invited By: Fiona Beal (fiona@schoolnet.org.za)
When:  Thursday 22 November 6:00 PM - 6:15 PM (15 mins)
Time Zone:  (GMT+02:00) Harare, Pretoria
URL: 
http://meet78641452.adobeconnect.com/popplet/

The recordings will be placed on the blog the day after the webinar. 

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Using a Learnist board to curate information about the iPad Summit in Boston

submitted by Fiona Beal
For a while now I have been wanting to learn how to use Learnist for curating. I have tried (and LOVE using) Pinterest and Scoopit and today it was Learnist's turn. Learnist makes it very easy to share what you know by curating the web. You can use videos, blogs, books, docs, images or anything on the web to explain . In my first attempt I used blogposts and a Google Docs presentation. Perhaps in my next Learnist I'll get more adventurous!

A Learnist board about the use of tablets
Since I am very interested in the use of  tablets in the classroom I thought a worthy topic would be to find out more about the recent iPad Summit which was held at Harvard in Boston earlier this month. I did an Internet search of relevant posts and was delighted with what I found.  So please take a look at my embedded Learnist. In one of our following Schoolnet blogposts I'll relate how to create a board using this great curation tool - Learnist.  

Simply click on the heading in this image to be taken to the completed Learnist board called 'Ipad Summit posts'.  


Friday, 16 November 2012

30 Days of Google #7: Have you discovered Google Hangouts?


Submitted by Fiona Beal
h10 - Copy
Linda Yollis
Most days I think that Google must be the most exciting company on the planet right now. Perhaps this is because I was exposed to their extreme creativity at the recent Google Teacher Academy I attended in New York!  Every day something new pops up with Google.  For example, I have just read and tweeted about another amazing thing that is happening in the Googlesphere from the Google blog! "If you ever dreamed of playing in a band, now’s your chance to be a rock star. JAM with Chrome is an interactive web application that enables friends in different locations to play music together in the Chrome browser on their computers. No matter what your level of talent—from daydreaming air guitarist to music pro—you can JAM together in real time over the web.” This could be such fun! You can read about that here: http://goo.gl/mpZ8K. but back to the topic of Google hangouts…

Google hangouts
imageThis is one of Google’s really incredible offerings and if you haven’t discovered it yet, now is the time. It has enormous implications for education and the global classroom. Google+ is Google's social networking tool. Once you have created a circle of friends, you can choose to hang out with them on Google+. This allows you to video chat, IM chat, watch YouTube videos together, and more. A hangout is a similar concept to Skype but you can do so much more with it. You can chat live face to face with a circle of people, share documents, work on and edit a Google document together during the hangout, create a video of the chat and upload it to YouTube, and a host of other things…all for free!

Latest news on hangouts
Another new thing has just happened today! Google announced today that it has extended the limit for the number of people you can invite to a Google+ hangout from 10 to 15 when it is used for education. http://goo.gl/GIkBD

How do you create a hangout?
It is a really simple process. You schedule a hangout in a calendar entry, join a hangout directly from Gmail. For a detailed step-by-step process read this article in Wiki-how http://goo.gl/cu5aQ

My experience of a hangout today
The possibilities available with hangouts are endless. I have just been part of an amazing hangout that was a reunion of eight friends from the Google Teacher Academy in New York. How it all started was that Brent Catlett, a District Instructional Technology Trainer in the US wrote a post called #GTANY Part 7  reflecting on several of the people he had met during the Google Teacher Academy in New York. He then tweeted those he had mentioned and next thing we had arranged a reunion hangout which has just happened. The time was 3:30 am for me but I wouldn’t have missed it for anything!



h6
Brent Catlett

It was awesome just catching up and hearing some news. Linda Yollis a Grade 2 and 3 teacher in Los Angeles has a world famous blog Mrs Yollis’ classroom blog . Her class recently had a hangout with JR Ginex-Orinion's class (JR is a chemistry high school teacher). You can read about it in her post. http://yollisclassblog.blogspot.com/2012/11/mr-jrs-science-stop-matter-matters.html.  JR’s class imparted Science safety tips and  information to Linda’s class and got them really excited about Science!



h4
JR Ginex-Orinion



h5
Linda Yollis


Brent Catlett from the USA and Tanya Avarith from Canada mentioned how they are already creating digital footprints for their own very young children at home and teaching them safety online while they are young. In fact Tanya is part of a big safety online research project that is taking place and she will be going to visit Facebook soon as part of this project. Others on the hangout shared about how their schools conduct professional development sessions which was very interesting to hear about. And so we chatted and shared our news….

Google effects in hangouts
As everyone was signing off Linda and I were experimenting with the Google effects you can use during a hangoout. Google has added 100+ apps to their hangouts.


h7
Linda Yollis and Fiona Beal

You never know what you might learn on a hangout! Last week Brenda Hallowes and I were having a hangout and Brenda invited a teacher from the Global Classroom project in Mexico who happened to be online to join us. He was busy teaching a Grade 6 class which he introduced us to. Lo and behold his students were all working away on their iPads as though using a tablet was the most natural thing in the world. Incredible for a South African teacher to observe!

So please explore using a hangout. It will be an incredibly enriching experience.


30 Days with Google #6: Create a classroom newspaper using Google Docs (a SchoolNet webinar presentation)


Google Docs is an amazing way to create a classroom newspaper. Last night we scheduled a SchoolNet webinar featuring Brenda Hallowes from Port Elizabeth, where she outlined how she uses Google Docs to create classroom newspapers with Foundation Phase students.


image


First she starts off with a template like this one shown below. This template can be accessed here.
image

Here is another template sample that can be accessed here.


image


The class is then assigned different parts of the template to write on at the same time. This is the beauty of working in a collaborative programme such as Google Docs.

Here is the screencast that Brenda created for the webinar. Take a look and listen.



I am hoping that Brenda will send me a link to the finished product. This is a fantastic lesson to do with a class that has computer access. Thank you for sharing this Brenda.


30 Days of Google #5: The AMAZING Google Chrome (webinar presentation)


Submitted by Fiona Beal
My experience of Google Chrome is that it is one of the fastest internet browsers available today. It also offers some great features, including synchronization across computers, multiple browsers, autofill, application and extensions for every browsing situation. The webinar last night mentioned some of these features. 
Thank you very much to all who attended the SchoolNet webinar last night entitled 'The AMAZING Google Chrome'. I hope you were inspired to try more of what this browser offers.


The presentation on SlideShare


If you would like access to the presentation used in the webinar it can be downloaded from Slideshare as a PDF. Here is the link:



The AMAZING Google Chrome from Fiona Beal


Recording

If you missed the webinar (18 minutes) and would like to list to what was said, here is the recording link: http://meet78641452.adobeconnect.com/p29kfsqcsu3/


Thursday, 15 November 2012

Webinar this evening - do join us!



A classroom newspaper using Google Docs 
Meeting Name:  Create a classroom newspaper using Google Docs
Presenter: Brenda Hallowes from Port Elizabeth in South Africa
Summary: This is a webinar from Brenda Hallowes showing how she uses Google Docs to create a lovely classroom newspaper with her Foundation Phase students.
Invited By: Fiona Beal (fiona@schoolnet.org.za)
When:  11/15/2012 6:00 PM - 6:15 PM
Time Zone:  (GMT+02:00) Harare, Pretoria

These webinar recordings will be placed on the blog the following day in case you cannot join us at the time of broadcast. 

Do join us!

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

The Global Education Online Conference is well underway


image


This is just an update from Lucy Gray on the amazing, online global conference that is currently taking place.

“My co-chair, Steve Hargadon, and I would like to extend a warm welcome to new members of our online global education community. Nearly 1000 people have joined in the last day, and we're astounded by the response to our online and free conference. I predicted that we'd reach 15,000 members by the end of this year; I think we're going to be over that number by the end of the week!
I'm most impressed, however, by the sheer professionalism and generosity of spirit shared by participants, presenters, and volunteers so far It's lovely to watch the conversations that are going on in our community.
At any rate. this is a mid-conference update that may help everyone get oriented to live events going on this week. Please read this memo carefully!

UPCOMING KEYNOTES

We've been privileged to hear from a slew of global thought leaders thus far, and more experts will be joining us in the second half of the conference. Please check out their biographies and schedules here: http://www.globaleducationconference.com/page/2012-keynotes.

RECORDINGS

Don't worry if you missed a session. All are recorded and will be available shortly after their conclusions:
http://www.globaleducationconference.com/page/2012-global-education-conference-recording-links-and-information

PRESENTERS INFORMATION

We asked all presenters to join our 2012 Presenters Group (http://www.globaleducationconference.com/group/2012-presenters-group upon proposal acceptance. This is essential because we communicate conference updates to presenters in this community subgroup. You will find tips for promoting your session, a speaker's checklist, and your presenter (moderator) links to your Blackboard Collaborate rooms. Remember, there are public links for participants found in sessions and schedule page, and private links with moderator privileges for presenters only.
Please make sure you've viewed training videos ahead of your time and practiced a bit. If you want more information on this, visit our training page: http://www.globaleducationconference.com/page/training. We have people staffing our conference lounge, too, in case you need assistance: http://goo.gl/1AnnL.

JOINING CONFERENCE SESSIONS

Our free, online conference started Monday, November 12 and runs around the clock for five days. All sessions take place in Blackboard Collaborate webinar rooms linked from our web site. No registration is required but we do encourage you to join this network for email updates and to connect with presenters and participants.
To participate in live webinar sessions:

STEP 1: Go to the
SESSIONS AND SCHEDULE PAGE.

STEP 2:Select your time zone and click on its corresponding blue link to the left of the locations listed.

STEP 3:The conference schedule should load on this page and you should be able to see all sessions in YOUR time zone. To quickly locate a session, search the page by using Control+F (Command+F on a Mac).
TIP: The schedule is in a Google Calendar. You can add events to your calendar or subscribe to the entire calendar by clicking on the button in the lower righthand corner.


STEP 4: Open up a session calendar entry and click on a blue SESSION link.

STEP 5: You should arrive at a purple Blackboard Collaborate page. Enter your name and login. Blackboard Collaborate will take a bit of time to launch. You will see the Blackboard Collaborate environment shortly.
Note that you may have to download a small java applet to run Blackboard Collaborate. We can provide some help in our conference lounge: http://goo.gl/1AnnL. More technical support is available here:
http://www.blackboard.com/Platforms/Collaborate/Support/Support-for-Blackboard-Collaborate.aspx

If you want more basic information and links to suggested sessions, please download our conference guide: 2012GECGuide.pdf
Thanks again for your support, and hopefully we'll see you online soon.”
Lucy Gray


Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Webinar this week - 'Google Chrome' and 'Newspapers in Google Docs'


There are two webinars this week:

1) The Amazing Google Chrome

Meeting Name:  The AMAZING Google Chrome
Summary: This webinar sets out to show what one can do with Google Chrome! It is an extraordinary browser with all sorts of tips and tricks you might not know about to make browsing a breeze!
When: Tuesday 11/13/2012 at 6:00 PM
Duration
: 15 minutes
Presenter: Fiona Beal
To join the meetinghttp://meet78641452.adobeconnect.com/chrome/

2) A classroom newspaper in Google Docs for Foundation Phase

Meeting Name:  Create a classroom newspaper using Google Docs
Presenter: Brenda Hallowes from Port Elizabeth in South Africa
Summary: This is a webinar from Brenda Hallowes showing how she uses Google Docs to create a lovely classroom newspaper with her Foundation Phase students.
Invited By: Fiona Beal (fiona@schoolnet.org.za)
When:  11/15/2012 6:00 PM - 6:15 PM
Time Zone:  (GMT+02:00) Harare, Pretoria

These webinar recordings will be placed on our Webinars blog the following day in case you cannot join us at the time of broadcast. 

a) Here is the link to the recording on 'The AMAZING Google Chrome' 

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Sign up for SchoolNet's free 'Google for Professional Development' short course


submitted by Fiona Beal
Recently, in October, I had the amazing experience of being selected to attend the Google Teacher Academy in New York - an experience, I think,  every teacher should aim for!  I have written a couple of blogposts about this experience should you wish to take a quick peek!


1) A South African Educator heads off for the Google Teacher Academy in New York  
2) Reflecting on the Google Teacher Academy experience  
3) Gleanings from the Google Teacher Academy NY 3rd and 4th October  

I came back feeling VERY excited about the potential of Google products in our classrooms. In the light of this I thought it would be great to end off the year with a SchoolNet short, free online course called USE GOOGLE FOR PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT.  This will be a three week course for SchoolNet Premium Members offered during November centring on three aspects of Google that could be useful to you in your professional development with your colleagues.   

The suggested outline is:
WEEK 1 (12 November): Get familiar with Google Chrome's AMAZING offerings
WEEK 2 (19 November): Get to know Google+
WEEK 3
( 26 November): Get the hang of Google hangouts
 

The reason I am calling this a Google For Professional Development course is because Google+ is restricted to age 13 years and older, and Google hangouts are restricted to 18 years and older.  Both these products however have  great potential for connecting you to your colleagues.   

This course is supported by optional 'how to' webinars and offers a Certificate of Completion from SchoolNet if certain requirements are met. Please fill in the form below if you would like to join us. You will then be sent an email directing you to the course platform. Your introductions from the sign-up form will be added to the course platform so that we can interact and get to know each other. This course will be fairly interactive in Weeks 2 and 3 as we will be joining a Google + circle and participating in a Google hangout.  

Sign up for the Use Google for Professional Development course here

Sunday, 4 November 2012

30 Days of Google #4: Back up your Blogger blog



Submitted by Fiona Beal
Recently I was opening my Blogger blog when I was directed to a message from Google saying that people in two parts of the world (Austria and Sweden) were trying to access the blog. Google gave the IP address of the devices concerned  They had refused permission to these unknown people but wanted to know if I wanted to give them access – good old Google! They advised me to change my password in case it was someone trying to compromise my account…which of course I did. So I knew it was time for me to back up my blog!


Other reasons for backing up a blog
I remember Richard Byrne on this blog Free technology 4 teachers urging his readers one time, as a weekend project,  to back up our blogs; so I crossed over to his post for guidance.  He gives some good reasons for backing up a blog, 'The fact of the matter is, if we rely on a free web-based service we should be aware of the possibility that it could shut-down or move to a fee model at some point. To that end, we should be in the habit of periodically creating offline back-ups of our data.’

How to back up a blog?
It is a relief to know that nothing happens to the original blog when you backup!  I have put the steps I took into a Slideshare. It was rather nerve-wracking at first as I imagined how it would be if something went wrong and I lost the whole blog! To allay that fear I practised on a not-too-important previous blog and all went well. So here is what I did...



What else can be done with the exported file? 
If you decide to change blogging platforms you can import the xml backup files to the new blog. Amazing! The other thing you can do with the xml file is convert it to a PDF and make it into a book using BlogBooker – a free service! It takes about 5 minutes. Imagine how nice it would be to do this for your students’ blogs at the end of a year!  BlogBooker points to some public examples on the web to look at.

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You can also get this done professionally on the web into a hard cover book using blog2print. I have seen one of these at a friend's house and they are lovely.

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If you are the proud owner of a Blogger or Edublogs/Wordpress blog please think about backing up your blog. It would be a terrible plight to lose all those hard-earned hours of work just like that!

Further reading
1) 7 tips for turning your blog into a book
2) How to back up your blog and why you should