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Click on the statement to see the answer (you may need to hold CTRL key & click) 1. “Kids can only work on their project at school because they save the file in their folder so I have to book these long blocks of lab time.” 2.” I get frustrated when I see the booking for a full lab then see about 5 kids sitting in there while I could do with a few machines.” 3. “Even though it’s hard to control sometimes, I absolutely must have each kid working on their own computer but it’s hard because I rarely get that chance.” 4. “I always get lost in shared folders.” 5. “I just get in the lab and let go of the kids. They know better than me what to do so why should I worry too much – they keep quiet at least.” 6. “Kids come with innate ability and interest in computers, I don’t.” 7. “I photocopy just about everything. I flog the photocopier beast, even though admittedly most of it ends up in a bin.” 8. “You need to be on computers all the time with Moodle.” 9.” I must always create assessment tasks for the kids. I mean, what if the kids could design their own test… it would probably be unprofessional.” 10. “I just want to talk to students in person straight away or at least write remark as they submit their piece of work but then I carry the marking for tree weeks in the car.” 11. “I can see a few others using Moodle, I would love to learn it but I don’t have the chance to.” 12. “I don’t know about Moodle because I don’t know how to log in. Ah, yes, I don’t even know my password.” 13. “I want the kids to create and edit the same document together and improve it but it’s impossible because they all have separate student folders.” 14. “You really need to be an expert and tech savvy to use Moodle” 15. ” I have heard people talking about Twitter – that’s where Demi Moore tells you what she had for breakfast, right? What a waste of time!" 16. “I reckon we come across so many good online resources in our department but sharing them is a problem because we bookmark them on our own laptops and then never get together to look at and share.” 17. “I want to learn about Microsoft Office – you know, the basic Word, spreadsheets and all that because I have no idea about them. I am a bit embarrassed about it too.” 18. “Moodle is just another thing we need to learn, deal with and worry about now. Admin will probably switch to something new in a year or two anyway so why bother using in and learning about it now.” 19. “Why the hell did they have to change the email system? How do you work this one?” 20. “Bloody wireless is not working.” 21. “Fair enough to try with those on-screen tutorials but I just don’t like them. I’d rather someone just to show me quickly, I can take some notes… but I don’t really know who knows what they can do.” 22. "I procrastinate."
23. “It drives me mad when I see kids spending the whole period of precious lab time twiddling with powerpoints and colouring the fonts instead of writing. What can I do about it?” 24.” Nah, I don’t need any photos I what I do. Besides, you need to pay for most of them anyway, then the photocopying and all…” 25. “Time and time again kids just type in things in Google and then get hit with millions of results. I can’t really help them either because I am not that good at it either.” 26. “I am too old for all this computer stuff.” 27. “I want each kid to record a real life example of what we are doing in class but I just don’t have 20 cameras or voice recorders to give out to them.” 28. “Moodle is just about fun and games, it’s a time waster and does not encourage ‘real work’.” 29. “There are times I want to share something really good I have done but I don’t want to clog people’s email or brag about it.” 30. “Some people just don’t seem to care what happens to computer gear, as long as they get through their period OK. “ 31. “Ah well, someone else will put the laptops to charge. The other classes probably won’t use them much.” 32. “I am over these hundreds of long messages in my email inbox – I am not interested in just about all of them, some I find no time to read.” 33. “I don’t know if it’s me but I somehow computers hate me.” 34. “I often want to ask kids the questions and stimulate discussions but I get callouts and then only the loud ones, the confident ones and the quick responders get it.” 35. “I am starting to get kids to do mind maps but I don’t know how to create one together and then keep adding to it as we go and keep it handy.” 36. “What sort of things can I do with Moodle anyway?” 37. “I just can’t get my head around Moodle. What exactly is it?” 38. “All software is so expensive, I just can’t afford it.” 39. “I have a whole folder of files that I want kids to be able to access but I don’t want to fiddle with shared drives and kids folders all the time.” 40. “There are some websites I want the kids to look at but they keep getting lost or either keep typing wrong address so it takes ages to do the internet research.” 41. “I just can’t get a lab for my class.” 42. “My students will love Moodle because it is online and in ‘their world'“ 43. “I don’t have time for all this ICT stuff.” 44.” Why don’t we have one of those TV recorder things at school. There are so many shows I see and I think to myself – that would be so good in my class but then I fumble for tapes, forget the thing…” 45. “I get confused which network and password I need to use.” 46. “I don’t want to stop here now but continue and add to this because I reckon people could benefit from it.” 47. “What ever happened to those literacy resources we talked about. Can we acces them, maybe add some of our own?” 48. “Don’t know if there is some good external PD I can do?” 49. “I can never catch Tomaz.” 50. “I can’t find Russell half the time.”
The aim here is not just to complain but to actually DO something about it.
You can add to this document via Staff Forum on Staff Intranet (blue Moodle). Your questions, suggestions and solutions will be incorporated into the document.
Apologies for TeacherTube links not working – just noticed, will publish new version of this document with correct links soon (T/Tube fault, not me )
1. “Kids can only work on their project at school because they save the file in their folder so I have to book these long blocks of lab time.” Top
Did you know students have access to all their files on student drive through Moodle? All they have to do is login to Moodle from home or anywhere with internet connection, look up the Home Access, My Network item (just above the login, top right) login with their regular username and password to access and edit files as if they were at school. Please note that size limit applies, each student has allocated quota but if they need more (eg media students) please see Russell and he can increase it.
2.” I get frustrated when I see the booking for a full lab then see about 5 kids sitting in there while I could do with a few machines.” Top
Well, it’s a human factor thing. I teachers booking the room would care enough about you and put the number of kids in their class & year group on the booking you would probably be OK more times than not. It would just give you an idea of possibly a few spares you could share. Do you believe in flogging?
3. “Even though it’s hard to control sometimes, I absolutely must have each kid working on their own computer but it’s hard because I rarely get that chance.” Top
Well, you are probably right in many cases but possibly not always – there are better ways. Sure you have heard of cooperative learning, guys like Barrie Bennet have even made a career out of it – look him up and/or ask me for Barrie’s resources on cooperative learning. The guy is brilliant! One of the big things he talks about is how you can actually do more with less. Think about it – structure things cleverly and eg. three kids per one machine will be less taxing to control, they are much less likely to stuff around and watch one play silly games etc. In case you wonder – it has been done thousands of times before. As far as ICT/software use goes, a humble wiki in Moodle is an awesome tool you can try this with. Here is how you set it up (link): http://www.teachertube.com/members/viewVideo.php?video_id=37191&title=Adding_ a_wiki_in_Moodle and maybe ask me for some details, creative uses and common traps. Here is some general info on what is wiki that may just help you get your head around it first: http://www.commoncraft.com/video-wikis-plain-english
For those times you absolutely have to have all kids on their own machine – book in advance (NO MORE than 2 weeks please) and then use the booking please.
4. “I always get lost in shared folders.” Top
OK, there is no magic wand to navigating shared folders. But from experience, most of the time people go to shared folders is for something that is only a click away on staff Moodle (the blue one – have a look today) – forms, schedules, standard letters, policies etc. and all pretty much up to date! So… If the stuff you are looking for is not on Moodle, here is a quick guide to shared drives: (TBA Russell) By all means, try to use Moodle – uploading a file is pretty easy, here is how: http://www.teachertube.com/members/viewVideo.php?video_id=33880&title=Adding_ files_in_Moodle
5. “I just get in the lab and let go of the kids. They know better than me what to do so why should I worry too much – they keep quiet at least.” Top
Computers make a poor nanny. It often keeps them quiet but (s)he is (well, can be) a pretty wild one, taking kids to places and doing things they really shouldn’t be doing. As an example, if say 25 of your students play online games or download videos for the whole period, it could chew up as much as 3% of the total school internet quota for a month as given and paid for by DET – guess who pays the rest?). Please do not think that taking the kids to use a computer is necessarily ‘a reward’ these days… you’ll be ‘showing your age’ a bit and ignore the fact that your students spend big chunks of their time in front of the screen every day anyway.
6. “Kids come with innate ability and interest in computers, I don’t.” Top
Oh, this is the digital natives (kids) and digital immigrants (adults) nonsense. Kids need you, the human being, and will be only to happy to show you a thing or two – just ask them to. It is a great way to establish or improve the relationship with your students – the “game-set-match” of just about any school and particularly ours! Show them that you are willing to learn and by doing that demonstrate that learning IS valuable and it should never stop.
7. “I photocopy just about everything. I flog the photocopier beast, even though admittedly most of it ends up in a bin.” Top
Ah you must be popular. If not, I know a tall bloke in Humanities who reduced his photocopying to a tiny percentage of his previous by using two things:
data projector for things that could be read, followed and worked through as a class, thus saving piles of photocopies of those class sets, and Moodle for uploading files, folders, photos, cartoons, giving instructions, reminders, feedback, printable and editable worksheet templates…all that paper chewing stuff
OK, if you were a Head of Department – who would you invite for a drink based on photocopying expenses?
8. “You need to be on computers all the time with Moodle.” Top
Moodle IS an online management system and at some point you and your students will have to spend some time in front of a computer. But the extent of time spent in front of a computer depends entirely on what you use Moodle for. Moodle supports delivery of courses ranging from fully online to the occasional use to perform a certain activity or access a resource. The extent of screen time is entirely up to the teacher. The majority of teachers at our school and around the world use Moodle in courses that are a mixture between offline and online teaching, learning and assessment. In fact, a hybrid model of courses where Moodle simply supports and/or extends the face-to-face and other activities is by far the most widely used way of using Moodle by teachers and students worldwide.
9.” I must always create assessment tasks for the kids. I mean, what if the kids could design their own test… it would probably be unprofessional.” Top
They talked about the thing called meta-cognition and that pesky Bloom’s taxonomy at uni, remember? Well, you may be thinking that students designing their own test is cheating and depending on the situation – you may be right. But for four classes of Career and Enterprise students this year and last year, it worked an absolute treat (although a bit unusual at first). Here is what happened: Using a simple Moodle forum, students had to come with either short answer, true/false and multiple choice questions AND answers (eg multiple choice 3 wrongs and 1 right without making it too obvious) for their end of term test, all based on the things we had been covering in class. Within 4 days we got about 90 questions, some repeated admittedly, from which one teacher copied and pasted (with minor edits only) about 30 of them and put them in a test format and ran the test in four classes. Students sat the test, even marked each other’s work and, very importantly, learned BY designing a test, not just studying for it. People present happy with that? Oh yes. Want to know how to use Moodle forum? Here is how http://www.teachertube.com/members/viewVideo.php?video_id=37189&title=Openin g_a_forum_in_Moodle but you can always ask me for a demo too.
10. “I just want to talk to students in person straight away or at least write remark as they submit their piece of work but then I carry the marking for tree weeks in the car.” Top
Ever burnt a tonne of CO2 while carting student files between home and school dreading the marking. Get clever. The most straigforward method – write stuff on their paper as they submit it. Yes, still number one but if this fails here is a couple of beauties. Quick feedback – open an Assignment in Moodle, enable quick feedback and just type in the comments to kids work. You can even assign a grade with a click but you don’t have to – here is how you open and assignment in Moodle http://www.teachertube.com/members/viewVideo.php?video_id=47461&title=Assignm ent_in_Moodle Verbal feedback (obviously when not around the student) – hold the kids work in front of you and talk into your laptop microphone (can pause if you have to feed your cat), save the file and do a two-click upload to Moodle for the (desired) student to hear. Marking becomes an absolute breeze, you can provide a much richer feedback, faster and in a much more personal way than a few scribbles of paper. How? Ask me and/or come to one of ICT workshops Monday, Wednesday or Friday.
11. “I can see a few others using Moodle, I would love to learn it but I don’t have the chance to.” Top
Come and see me from 3 – 4pm Mondays in Library Lab, then every Wednesday and Friday during the last period in Adult Learning Room (BT block, BT5). If you can’t make it there, there are entire workshops online (created by TL), people around you who can help you, or just drag me to one side and say what you want to do with or about Moodle.
12. “I don’t know about Moodle because I don’t know how to log in. Ah, yes, I don’t even know my password.” Top
Russell and I can help you with the password and login. Personal contact preferred, can call or email too. It is usually a 1 minute job.
13. “I want the kids to create and edit the same document together and improve it but it’s impossible because they all have separate student folders.” Top
Many ways to skin this cat but since we have Moodle up and running, we might as well use one of the most versatile tools called wiki. Heard of Wikipedia? Where everyone can edit a page on a topic and create an encyclopedia entry? To learn how to create a wiki in Moodle click this link (enter
http://www.teachertube.com/members/viewVideo.php?video_id=37191&title=Adding_ a_wiki_in_Moodle and maybe ask me for some details, creative uses and common traps. There is also a whole world of collaboration tools out there – come and have a chat and we’ll see what will work fo you.
14. “You really need to be an expert and tech savvy to use Moodle” Top
Can you attach a document to an email message? That is about as advanced as you have to be to start using Moodle in a way that most users begin to use it - as a ‘digital cupboard’, a storage space for your files and folders where you and/or your students can view and download them 24/7. Even some of the basic activities like Choice for example, do not require a great deal of skills - just a little bit of imagination. You can certainly get a lot more out of Moodle as your proficiency grows but don’t burden yourself too much about it. Do you have to know all about the fine inner workings of a particular car before you drive it?
15. ”I have heard people talking about Twitter – that’s where Demi Moore tells you what she had for breakfast, right? What a waste of time! Top
A friend of mine said “From the outside it looks like the dumbest things ever but it can be an incredibly powerful resource for professional learning and connecting with fellow teachers”. Don’t believe it? I’ll cut the story short here and point you to a document called “Twitter Handbook for Teachers” I published online two weeks ago. Since then, the document has been viewed by over 19,000 people (yes, thousands), downloaded over 800 times and distributed among staff in I dare say dozens of schools worldwide. Yes, I have free copies of it too – be quick. Here is the link to it, don’t forget to read the very last page http://www.scribd.com/doc/14062777/Twitter-Handbook-for-Teachers If you ever want to see which staff members are using Twitter at our school, see this document (http://docs.google.com/Doc?id=dd4xvd36_40hn9k62gf&hl=en ) You’ll be surprised! If you start twittering, please let me know and I can add you to the list.
16. “I reckon we come across so many good online resources in our department but sharing them is a problem because we bookmark them on our own laptops and then never get together to look at and share.” Top
Well, there is an amazingly simple way of doing what you are trying to do and it is a skill that will be hugely useful to you when you shift schools, locations, even different
computers. Here is a link to a handy video that explains it http://www.commoncraft.com/bookmarking-plain-english and a link to the site to get you started http://delicious.com
17. “I want to learn about Microsoft Office – you know, the basic Word, spreadsheets and all that because I have no idea about them. I am a bit embarrassed about it too.” Top
Our school has just purchased a one-year licence for Atomic Learning tutorials, made for people just like you. This is the best, clearest and largest collection of such tutorials in the world - see why. These tutorials cover not just Office but just about any mainstream piece of software imaginable, as well as lesson and use suggestions. Please ask Russell, Paul Olnyk or myself how to get to it and activate it. If ever stuck, don’t forget to ask people around you for help or as the old Chinese saying goes: “If you don’t know and ask you are a fool for five minutes, if you don’t ask, you are a fool for life.” May be a bit harsh but there something in it… If you are a shy type, come and see me or your best friend to help you out – a ‘buddy’ can make a huge difference.
18. “Moodle is just another thing we need to learn, deal with and worry about now. Admin will probably switch to something new in a year or two anyway so why bother using in and learning about it now.” Top
While certainly hugely popular around the world, Moodle is just one of the many content/learning management systems with similar features around these days. Regardless of the brand and functions, the use of such systems is increasing at a rapid pace in schools, businesses and other organisations. If your students attend tertiary study they are very likely to use such a system as essential to complete their studies. By learning about and using Moodle, you will build a range of highly transferable skills you can take to your next job, even your retirement! Most importantly, you will build a way of thinking and the confidence to harness and use the power of increasingly ubiquitous digital technology in a merger with the timeless task of education - safely, manageably, one module at a time. And if Admin decide to change from Moodle to something else (and why would they want to do such thing :-) ? it will take you much less time to learn the tricks of a new, similar software. More importantly, you will know how to put it to good use.
19. “Why the hell did they have to change the email system? How do you work this one?” Top
For all its (teething) problems (yes, I have complained a tad too), webmail is not a bad thing. Yes, ‘they’ can send you emails during holidays but the choice of checking is
yours. And just when you think having an email you can check from anywhere at anytime is a bad thing - it may just come handy. I believe Richard Kujda will be giving a little presentation/demo of how to get the most of it, he is ‘da man’ for it but you can always tickle me for the basics too. By the way - there are lots of other alternatives to out-of-work emails, best ones are usually web-based (means you can get to them wherever you are on the planet) – sign up for maybe Gmail (Google mail) today and see what it can do for you. Here is link to a 10 reasons for it http://mail.google.com/mail/help/about.html
20. “Bloody wireless is not working.” Top
Our school wireless network is amazingly stable and not down often really. Considering the coverage, stability, speed, convenience and lots of other things, it is one of the best and forward looking things we have done as a school. If sometimes it does not work on your laptop, please see Russell, plug your laptop into a network socket in the wall, borrow someone else’s laptop, use one of student laptops and a projector, or simply revert to Plan B involving old-fashioned paper, chalk and talk. If you have other gripes with it – sorry to hear, but let’s see what we can do about it. If you want to have a laugh for about 4 minutes on the topic of attitude and gratitude when it comes to technology, you have got to see this guy – very funny and spot on www.youtube.com/watch?v=LoGYx35ypus
21. “Fair enough to try with those on-screen tutorials but I just don’t like them. I’d rather someone just to show me quickly, I can take some notes… but I don’t really know who knows what they can do.” Top
OK, there is a mixture of tech and people solution here… Go to orange Moodle (Student Intranet), go to Staff Area, click on ICT Database and type in the search window what you are looking for – chances are the names of staff members who know how to do the thing you are after will pop up so you can go and ask them. That IS the best form of PD! That IS the people part. If you haven’t filled your entry there – now would be a good time. If you haven’t updated it since the first time – now would be the time to do that too. We learn best by teaching, don’t we?
22. “I procrastinate” Top
Don’t we all sometimes. But you don’t procrastinate with things that are or may be interesting, exciting, helpful, engaging do you? Sometimes, we just need to find them that way - technology is no different or above anything else.
23. “It drives me mad when I see kids spending the whole period of precious lab time twiddling with powerpoints and colouring the fonts instead of writing. What can I do about it?” Top
OK, strip away all fancy stuff and get them to write text first with less functions than a typewriter – no fancy text, no bullets, no fonts, no pictures. How? It’s called Notepad (Windows) and to get there: Start-> All programs -> Accessories -> Notepad … that’s it, the bare bones text editor. That’s your simplest and best! There is also a way on Moodle, feel free to ask me about that one (Create a text page> Plain format)
24.” Nah, I don’t need any photos I what I do. Besides, you need to pay for most of them anyway, then the photocopying and all…” Top
Heard of visual learners? I for one love a diagram, picture, photo etc to go with it and probably at least 30% of kids sitting in your class do to. So … Google Images is a start to a freebie (please do mind copyright provisions but as long as you don’t charge $5 for someone else’s photo and claim it as yours you will be OK). But THE best solution is probably Flickr (http://Flickr.com ). To see how photo sharing works, have a look at this: http://www.commoncraft.com/photosharing If you work with and/or want images of all kinds, FLickr is for you. There are around 50,000 new images uploaded by people from around the world to this site EVERY MINUTE so there is bound to be something you want or need. Give it a go!
25. “Time and time again kids just type in things in Google and then get hit with millions of results. I can’t really help them either because I am not that good at it either.” Top
Many ways to skin this cat too. The simplest things first: - Have a look at this clip – a great intro to searching the web http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CWHPf00Jkqg - Use Boolify – it does not get easier than this http://boolify.org - If you like smart visual searching – use http://kartoo.com Our librarian Marilyn has done a Masters degree on search techniques – she probably has a clue or two and a resource of two. There are also lots of ways in which you can make Moodle work for you here. You can always ask me too or someone next to you – shame is not to ask.
26. “I am too old for all this computer stuff.” Top
You are as old as you feel, you may be right. But somehow I don’t think all this technology will go away before you retire.
If you are simply bamboozled with all this technology – you are one of the VAST MAJORITY of population that is. Take it easy and imagine all this technology like a giant buffet table (smorgasbord for Swedish speakers) the size of a city that just keeps getting bigger too – pick and choose, get comfy with a couple of things and be OK with it. You will never try or eat it all.
27. “I want each kid to record a real life example of what we are doing in class but I just don’t have 20 cameras or voice recorders to give out to them.” Top
Hm, true. But did you know that probably 90% of kids in your class carry a computer with text, video, audio and transfer capability in their back pockets? It’s called a mobile phone. If you want to have a go at using them with your class I would love to have a chat with you.
28. “Moodle is just about fun and games, it’s a time waster and does not encourage ‘real work’ .” Top
Moodle does not come packaged with games (but you can install them). ‘Making learning fun’ is not the driving force behind Moodle, ‘making learning valuable’ is. It really comes down to pedagogy - the science, or rather art of teaching. If students are not engaged and want to waste time, they usually will (or at least try to) waste time with whatever they find - each other, pens, computers, paper clips, phones, anything really to be off task, including Moodle. Moodle is an all-in-one package of fantastic tools to engage, encourage and/or extend students in the primary purpose of education - learning. This goes particularly for learning by doing, sharing, observing and working with others, including yourself as a teacher. If you don’t see this type of learning beneficial, Moodle will probably be of less use to you. We actually have a set of games in Moodle (Miscellaneous category, Game Zone) designed and maintained by a Year 12 student. It’s called Game Zone. All games there are OK, minimally taxing on resources and kids are free to play them at chill out and/or reward times.
29. “There are times I want to share something really good I have done but I don’t want to clog people’s email or brag about it.” Top
Here is another part technical , part cultural solution. There is a Staff Forum on the blue Moodle (Staff Intranet) where you simply add what you have done. I BET $20 of my hard-earned post tax money that if people start posting their achievements, successes, strategies, tips (they DO NOT have to be technology related, please!) in the Staff Forum, the replies and collaboration will follow. Ask me about this at the end of the year please.
If we don’t stand for excellence and initiative, please don’t expect our students to. If we don’t share it, please don’t expect others to magically pick up on it.
30. “Some people just don’t seem to care what happens to computer gear, as long as they get through their period OK. “ Top
If you are one of these people, be it known that your colleagues are very likely to curse you when they get to a lab and there is stuff missing, broken, chairs and keyboards and mice and screens are everywhere (or missing!). You are the teacher because of whom we had to often temporarily suspend letting certain labs to be booked. Of course it can happen to any of us but minimising the incidents will make you sleep better at night (hoping for too much here, you think?). If you need help – please ask.
31. “Ah well, someone else will put the laptops to charge. The other classes probably won’t use them much.” Top
Yeah right. Even without invoking Murphy’s Law but simply the Law of Common Sense & Courtesy please put the laptops to charge every single time after use. And if you find that extension cord so attractive so you have to keep it in your class – please see me and I will buy you one, just don’t take it from the trolleys. Please.
32. “I am over these hundreds of long messages in my email inbox – I am not interested in just about all of them, some I find no time to read.” Top
Here is a low tech solution - how about talking to people directly. If that does not work - thinking twice before sending it, especially the ‘whole staff’ emails, before you burden the people with reading it. Email can be extremely handy but not always, they can quickly become a dumping ground and a frustration to many. There are many other technical solutions (forums in Moodle and Twitter are just two superior alternatives, depending on the purpose and length of the message/discussion), as well as non-tech solutions. This may have to be a school-focused effort but you can always come and have a chat about your personal circumstances.
33. “I don’t know if it’s me but I somehow computers hate me.” Top
Don’t flatter yourself, they may be a sophisticated piece of engineering but they are as dumb as the lid on a can of drink (but then there are always computer fairies…they can be a real pain, can’t they ). Relax, seek help but don’t worry too much. You know what they say “worry is like a rocking chair – it gives you something to do but it never gets you anywhere”.
34. “I often want to ask kids the questions and stimulate discussions but I get callouts and then only the loud ones, the confident ones and the quick responders get it.” Top
Run a forum in Moodle – no shouting, no callouts, all equal, all recorded, great diagnostic, assessment, learning tool. Here is how to set one up (http://www.teachertube.com/members/viewVideo.php?video_id=37189&title=Openin g_a_forum_in_Moodle ) but you can always talk to me and/or tickle one of your colleagues who knows about setting one up. You know how to find them, right? That thing called Staff ICT Skills Database…
35. “I am starting to get kids to do mind maps but I don’t know how to create one together and then keep adding to it as we go and keep it handy.” Top
First option is paper – cheap, quick and effective. But if you want a bit more oomph, if you want students to build it together and manipulate easily, contribute to it, insert images, links, videos and all of this being available 24/7 (ie long after you finished your class…isn’t that homework?) there are a few really good options available. Ask me and/or come to one of my workshops. If you want to explore yourself, look up: - FreeMind (free, yes, download http://freemind.sourceforge.net - Scribl - http://www.skrbl.com - Twiddla - www.twiddla.com We actually have Inspiration software (mind mapping) installed on our network too… There are simply hundreds of collaborative tools out there, from Google Docs (www.youtube.com/watch?v=eRqUE6IHTEA ) to something that was released probably today – remember that buffet table reference? Come and have a chat and we’ll tailor something to suit you (that is such an awful pun but you know what I mean…)
36. “What sort of things can I do with Moodle anyway?” Top
Here is an idea – watch a video about our school that has been seen many thousands of times (last count around 25,000 !). Guess what – it’s about OUR school and what we have been doing with Moodle. Here is the link http://human.edublogs.org/2008/08/06/how-can-moodle-change-a-school/ If that isn’t enough, you can watch ‘What can Moodle do for you?” from a school in Preston, UK: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BgSkE1K9g_E
37. “I just can’t get my head around Moodle. What exactly is it?” Top
Ever played with or at least heard of Lego blocks? Here is an analogy that explains Moodle and what you can do with it http://human.edublogs.org/2008/09/30/moodleexplained-with-lego Simple! Home grown, seen and liked by many thousands around the world - see why. If video is too quick or too blurry, here is a PowerPoint http://www.slideshare.net/moodlefan/what-is-moodle-explained-with-legopresentation (that one has only been seen about 4,600 times)
38. “All software is so expensive, I just can’t afford it.” Top
These days good things are built and shared by communities for free – software is no different (heard of Moodle?). You would be amazed what you can get these days for absolutely free and often better quality than the proprietary software. No, we are not talking about ‘piracy’ here AT ALL, just some very clever and generous people out there. Just have a look at this Australian-designed catalogue of FOSS (Free Open Source Software) (http://www.cc.com.au/files/Free-Software-for-Schools.pdf ), or look up this hugely popular list of genuine ‘freeware’ (http://www.techsupportalert.com ) and you will see what I am talking about. You can always ask for these sorts of things too you know…
39. “I have a whole folder of files that I want kids to be able to access but I don’t want to fiddle with shared drives and kids folders all the time.” Top
Well, you can have it all in neatly stored in your spot in Moodle for your students to access at any time, regardless of any shared drives and network access privileges. If you ever want to learn how to do this, here is a little clip to help you with files (http://www.teachertube.com/members/viewVideo.php?video_id=33880&title=Adding _files_in_Moodle ) and folders (http://www.teachertube.com/members/viewVideo.php?video_id=33886&title=Display ing_a_folder_of_resources_in_Moodle and http://www.teachertube.com/members/viewVideo.php?video_id=33888&title=Working _with_files_and_folders_in_Moodle (general info) but you can always…you guessed it (and if you haven’t guessed, the answer is “ask me or someone who knows by finding them in person or via We & ICT Skills Database).
40. “There are some websites I want the kids to look at but they keep getting lost or either keep typing wrong address so it takes ages to do the internet research.” Top
Whether is just one website you want to point your students to or a whole bunch of them – Moodle IS probably the best place to do that at our school. Here is how you can create a link to a single website (http://www.teachertube.com/members/viewVideo.php?video_id=33883&title=Adding _a_website_link_in_Moodle ),
here is a link to a tutorial on creating a list of websites in Moodle http://www.teachertube.com/members/viewVideo.php?video_id=33885&title=Adding_ a_webpage_in_Moodle There is also a very super cool and straightforward way (yes, I get excited, such a bloody geek sometimes) of creating a customised search engine that searches only up to 25 sites that you specify… time saving anyone? Talk to me or go to http://rollyo.com and find out for yourself. You may also look up the answer for question #25.
41. “I just can’t get a lab for my class.” Top
The common one. Situation will improve with new machines online…soon. Having said that, there are about 200 machines at our school (excluding teachers’ own!), vast majority of them in a perfect working order but often behind locked doors and/or sitting in rooms that had been booked but not used. You may want to ask your colleagues not to book labs ‘just for the sake of it’ (it does happen), lobby your Team Leader to put all computer resources on a booking sheet (but then bear the brunt if you don’t play fair!), examine the possibilities of 1:1 laptop programme with parents footing the bill for a laptop that becomes students (leasing in a way), examine allowing students to bring their own laptops to school and use them on our network, examine using things like mobile phones for some tasks, using after hours network access via Moodle, using Moodle more etc. It’s a conversation we need to have.
42. “My students will love Moodle because it is online and in ‘their world’ “Top
Probably the most dangerous of Moodle myths! Do not assume that just by using technology and having courses online will instantly make your subject somehow more desirable, that students will love your teaching or the content, get better grades etc. Good use of Moodle is all about asking good questions and good, insightful, reflective teaching with the selected tools at hand. And no matter how digitally advanced your students, they will look to you for the human ‘touch’, knowledge and guidance. Regardless of how technically (un)sophisticated you are in using Moodle, good teaching and built human relationships remains the key to success in using it. An orchestra conductor can have access to the greatest musical instruments and individual virtuosos but (s)he still has to make sure they play together well.
43. “I don’t have time for all this ICT stuff.” Top
Can’t beat that one, only to say – if you find ICT worthwhile, chances are you will find time. I can’t nor will tell you what to think but I will always help you. Sometimes it is the case of people simply not knowing what one can do and simply reverting to things
the way they have always done. Stretch out a little, there is plenty of support around you. You CAN be a great teacher without a computer in sight, you can be a poor teacher with all the computer bells and whistles in the world. The key question is not technology but the quality of your teaching and learning (yes, learning). That’s the business we are in, aren’t we?
44.” Why don’t we have one of those TV recorder things at school. There are so many shows I see and I think to myself – that would be so good in my class but then I fumble for tapes, forget the thing…” Top
Well, thanks to Russell we actually do have this recorder thing at school. Any you can programme it to with a couple of clicks of a mouse from orange Moodle (Student Intranet) – it’s called MythTV. Ask me or Russell for a demo or have a go yourself – all there for you!
45. “I get confused which network and password I need to use.” Top
Your normal login when you come to school and turn on your laptop or login at the station in your office is your e-number (DET) and the password you chose. This will log you in on Admin network (BelmontCC)– only staff can access this. When you login to Moodle (orange or blue), your password is 1simpsonh (that is if you happen to be Homer Simpson but you can see the protocol “1 + surname + name initial”, all lowercase). This logs you in on Curriculum Network (BCCDomain). Login to SIS requires your e-number and corresponding passwords. Login to DET portal (to access your email from now on) requires DET Single Sign On – your would have received a letter from Russell about that one, please ask him again if lost.
46. “I don’t want to stop here now but continue and add to this because I reckon people could benefit from it.” Top
After this session, this document will become public and accessible via Staff Intranet for all to keep adding to it. The Staff Forum is also open, an invitation is open.
47. “What ever happened to those literacy resources we talked about. Can we access them, maybe add some of our own?” Top
There is a whole database of literacy resources waiting to be filled, accessed and worked with by all across the school. Ask the Literacy Committee members about it, I will give you the technical part if you need it. If you want to go straight to it, here it is:
Student Intranet (orange Moodle) -> Staff Area -> BCC Literacy Database (here is a link, you will have to login to Moodle to see it http://moodle.belmontcc.wa.edu.au/course/view.php?id=107
48. “Don’t know if there is some good external PD I can do?” Top
Yep, there is, please ask me. You can also find out things yourself then come to have a chat about funding it. I will (try to) keep you up to speed but feel free to poke around yourself a little for good PD opportunities (ICT related in this context of course). One that springs to mind immediately is EDNA workshop on 7 May. SLICT will cover the cost if you are happy to go. Here are the details: http://www.edna.edu.au/edna/go/events/workshops/WA
49. “I can never catch Tomaz.” Top
Yes, I teach four classes. Yes, I do run around a lot, Yes, I am always happy to help you if that means I am not breaking some other important promise or commitment. I love what I do. Drop in to a workshop and pick anything you like to talk about ICT-related –> Monday, 3 – 4 pm in Library Lab, Wednesday and Friday last periods in BT5. I also run a blog at http://human.edublogs.org where I publish lots of short tutorials called 2 Minute Moodles. You can also find me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/lasic
50. “I can’t find Russell half the time” Top
A busy man trying to run a million things at once. Be kind to him, remind him of things – he is human, too. If you are having issues with student logins, Paul and I can help too. Paul can also help more on the technical side of things – together we can make things work. By the way, Russell does not send many emails – when he does, please read them. They may cause you pulling some hair but in the long run they will save your scalp. Thanks & keep adding! Tomaz
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