Saturday, February 28, 2009

New on this page: Following + subscribe

I've just added a couple new things to my side panel: A Followers box and a new Subscribe link to replace the atom-feed link I had before. Both of these should make it SUPER-EASY for you to subscribe and keep track of What's New in PinkFlamingo's Resource Lists!

What's "Following"?
  • If you use Google Reader: After you click Follow, you'll see a folder in Reader called "Blogs I’m Following".
  • If you have a site, you'll see the sites you follow in your dashboard.
  • More details in Blogger Help.

    You can choose to follow anonymously (so your profile pic won't show up in my Followers box) or publicly. (Of course, I'd enjoy the public option, especially if I get a lot of Followers to show off here. ;)
  • Friday, February 27, 2009

    PRISM: Free Video Converter Software

    "Prism is a free video converter for Windows and Mac. It can convert video files from avi, wmv, 3gp and more into avi, asf, wmv, mp4, 3gp and others. It can also convert DVD discs to your hard drive or compress video files to reduce size. Use this video converter software to convert video files into the formats you need to watch on TV, load to a cell phone, put on a website, create a presentation, watch on your portable device and much more. In fact, the possibilities are endless using this powerful video file converter."

    Monday, February 23, 2009

    Why an iPod Touch in education?

    "...a list of iPod Touch apps that are appropriate for education. Some teachers have begun purchasing the devices, but really don't know what kind of apps can be put on them. [The author] may list some 'paid' apps here, but most will be the 'free' ones."

    Teachers TV

    | Thousands of education programmes on TV and online |

    "With over 2000 videos available online, the Teachers TV website is an invaluable resource for any busy education professional. Watch videos when you want and download great resources including lesson plans, worksheets and more. ...Our programmes cover every subject in the curriculum, all key stages and every professional role – from teaching assistant to headteacher. You can watch us on digital cable and satellite and programmes are also available anytime, on-demand and for free on this website. We have 15-minute CPD offerings packed with useful information, exciting pupil programmes for use in class, and a daily education news summary. ...award-winning documentaries on everything from global citizenship to education practice in other countries. Regular specialist hours cater to new teachers, governors and other specialist audiences, and core curriculum hours cover primary and secondary maths, English, science and ICT."

    FREE tools and templates for creating educational Flash games, interactive learning materials and activities, and more.
    "Host them on your own blog, website or intranet! No signup, no passwords, no charge! ...A fantastic way of building cutting-edge technology into the curriculum! is a brand new, FREE website allowing teachers and students to create interactive Flash diagrams for learning and revising material. All diagrams created can be saved as data files or web pages to host on your own school website or intranet!"

    Thursday, February 19, 2009

    Scheduling the Moot

    The draft program schedules has been posted for the 2009 Canadian Moodle Moot. There's a really good mix of sessions -- about 68 in total. This is my first time working on a conference schedule. There are so many factors to consider! I'm sure I'm leaving something out but here are a few factors that some to mind:
    • perception of popularity of topic (to decide what to combine in a time slot)
    • similarities in topics
    • variety in concurrent sessions
    • presenter's suggestion for stream
    • presenter's willingness to partner
    • distribution across streams for each time slot
    • distribution of popular sessions across daily time slots and days
    • time zones
    • suggestions from forum (topics available to virtual delegates)
    • multiple presentations by an individual (to avoid time conflicts)
    • emerging streams (ones we didn't identify at the beginning, like research, and working with faculty)
    We used the Moodle database tool for proposal submissions. This seemed to work quite well. It requires logging into the site to both view other proposals and to submit your own, and this has the added advantage of gathering names of people who are interested in updates about the conference.

    As a committee we each reviewed the proposals and added an agreed upon set of tags to the database. This turned out to be a great way to manage some of the top level sorting -- like topics we thought would be popular and should be in a large room, and sessions that could be combined with others in a 75 minute time slot.

    But mostly the process involved cut - paste - cut - paste as sessions were moved around the schedule in a big text file. This took a l o n g time. I keep thinking about how to make the process easier. Probably sticky notes and a huge wall would have made more sense! Maybe there's some software to handle this type of work?

    In any case it will be a great event! I'm especially excited about the international participation, and of course the 'open mic' with Hot Cottage, an Edmonton blues band, along with Martin Dougiamas on drums.

    Wednesday, February 18, 2009 Online Degree Programs, Subject Guides, and Resources

    For your students:

    Most of their headings fall under categories of links to online schools & colleges, accreditation, degrees, and sources of financial aid. They also have links to Education blogs and other education resources (directed at students).
    "An online education resource center with extensive subject guides and distance learning information. Our mission is to provide free, independent and accurate information and resources for prospective and current students (and other researchers). We currently feature over 25,000+ hand-picked resources and update the website on a daily basis."

    Tuesday, February 17, 2009

    From the height of this place

    "At Google we are all technology optimists. We intrinsically believe that the wave upon which we surf, the secular shift of information, communications, and commerce to the Internet, is still in its early stages, and that its result will be a preponderance of good."

    The whole article strikes a chord within me. If you haven't read it, do. I'm impressed by its optimism. There's wisdom, too, in the author's predictions for the future of the internet. I'm blown away by Google's "observations on the future of the Internet for all of us to assess, consider, and carry as we do our work."

    THIS is the kind of article that leads.

    Describing Googlers, the author is surely describing all of us who live and work online:
    "We are standing at a unique moment in history which will help define not just the Internet for the next few years, but the Internet that individuals and societies around the world will traverse for decades. As Googlers our responsibility is nothing less than to help support the future of information, the global transition in how it is created, shared, consumed, and used to solve big problems. Our challenge is to steer incessantly toward greatness, to never think small when we can think big, to strive on with the work Larry and Sergey began over ten years ago, and from this task we will not be moved."

    The moose is loose!

    Lucky ticket holders are counting the days to Northern Voice 2009, a fantastic gathering of individuals interested in blogging and social media in general. I think what makes this conference so interesting is that delegates are from such a mix of professions. I don't get an opportunity to attend conferences that aren't just for educators very often.

    As someone who is very involved these days in organizing both f2f and online conferences, I'm noticing conference details more than usual. I'm also attending the Spaces of Interaction: An Online Conversation on Improving Traditional Conferences conference this week, so my observations about running successful events are heightened.

    One aspect that I really appreciate with Northern Voice is how accommodating they are with registrations. I purchased 2-day pass, but recently had to change my schedule and can only attend on Saturday. No problem! I just sent a quick email to the registration folks to give them the name of the person taking my place. They promptly responded. All taken care of.

    Here are some other things I noticed about the conference organizers.

    1. They provide a conference wiki space so delegates can post information that, face it, delegates want to know -- like who is attending, (some kind sole even put it in alphabetical order) what happened at all the past conferences, and who is offering rides.
    2. They are proactive in encouraging delegates to take public transit through their correspondence with delegates and also offering all the relevant links to transit sites, etc. Folks are also self organizing car-pooling on the wiki.
    3. They are encouraging recycling of lanyards. I mean how many do you have in your desk drawer?
    4. They use language that is light, inviting, and friendly. For example, in an email message sent today this note about registration was included: "Registration opens at 8:30 on Friday and Saturday (maybe a few minutes earlier if we're organised)." This warm tone is important. I mean how can you complain when everyone is so nice? (Not that I could find anything to complain about!)
    5. Everyone is encouraged to document what happens at the conference and share it openly. You don't have to pay fees and attend the sessions to have access to the great presentation materials, podcasts, videos, photos, and dialogue. They're also careful to point out that you shouldn't publish photos or video of children without their parents' permission.
    6. They organize daycare. I don't have anything else to say about this. I mean, they organize daycare!
    7. They publish a tag (northernvoice09) for people to use for their blog posts, bookmarks, photos, etc. By doing this in advance anyone posting about the conference will use the tag. This helps with marketing (not that they need help with marketing -- the conference sells out fast!)

    Hope to see you at Northern Voice!

    Monday, February 16, 2009

    A Job in Paradise

    PLEASE CLICK HERE TO VOTE FOR IAN Please bear with me. My blog and resources site never have ads, just great links. And I never do self-promo here. But today is an exception......

    Our video application for "The Best Job in the World" (Island Caretaker) has been accepted and now appears on the Island Reef website. Please watch (it's only 1 minute) and PLEASE VOTE! And you can vote again if you open a different browser. THANK YOU!

    (If you have any friends who might get into the spirit, please send them this link and ask them to vote too.)

    Here we go...woooohooooo...Watch and VOTE FOR IAN (and me)

  • You need Javascript enabled in your browser.
  • You need Flash plug-in version 9.0.45 or above..
  • Please be patient; sometimes the website is so busy that it takes minutes for the page to load.
  • To vote, mouse-over on the "rating" stars.

    Thanks for viewing and voting!
  • Wednesday, February 11, 2009

    West Coast Screenwriting - Learn to Write For The Movies

    "From Blank Page to Big Screen - Learn to Write For The Movies"

    Vancouver Island screenwriters Keith Digby and Brian Paisley offer regular, personalized workshops in screenwriting. Link above is to their main website. Also check out their new BLOG here. A recent post: "Ten things to do… or not to do with dialogue." I'd say they are just as applicable to storywriting as they are to screenwriting.