LisaHillSchoolStuff's Weblog

'If students can't learn the way we teach, we must teach the way they learn' (Ignacio Estrada, via Tomlinson)

Classroom 2.0 and our cruel time zone

Posted by Lisa Hill on March 21, 2009

Classroom 2.0 is a really useful online professional association and I’ve been a subscriber since last year though I don’t participate in discussions much.  However, today I discovered that I can access archived Elluminate sessions and that there are some most interesting topics available.

Elluminate is a program that facilitates online conferences.  With a microphone and earphones, you can see the slideshows, videos, images and whiteboards; hear the speaker, ask questions, and join an online discussion; and even click emoticons to express dis/agreement or applause.  DEECD uses it for Knowledge Bank conferences and I’ve ‘been’ to two so far.  Next week Julie Evans and I are ‘going’ together and will participate in ‘Joining the Virtual Classroom’ – but joining Classroom 2.0 as a subscriber enables you to ‘attend’ many more – all for free.

classroom-20-blogOur cruel time zone, of course, means that any US conferences are on at obscene times here.  This week’s one on podcasting in the classroom, which I’m really interested in because I don’t really know how to manage using it in the classroom, is on at four in the morning.  However, once you’ve signed up and configured Elluminate, you can access the archives and there are some beaut topics available.  There’s how to use Moodle, Twitter, Ning, Voice Threads, Skype, Diigo (huh? that’s one for me to explore), Blogging with Students, Google Forms, Feed Readers and Social Networking.  A whole pantry full of  Web 2.0 goodies to play with, all online, and available to play with any time you feel like it. lisa-on-elluminate

Elluminate is very easy to use, except for one tricky little security feature.  If you click on the link above you get the Elluminate home page – and it’s a commercial product.  There are demos and all that, but you can’t get in to anything without a user name and password.  However Elluminate have very generously agreed to host Classroom 2.0 activities, and if you sign up for one of their activities, you get the URL which lets you in. The other thing is that while it doesn’t take very long, if you want to participate live, you need to configure your mike and earphones beforehand.

I was astonished to discover today that I feature (sort of!) in the Student Blogging program!  The presenter was talking about how to find interesting blogs, and lo! there was my Blogspot profile page, which has links to my Travels With Tim and Lisa blog and my presence on The Complete Booker.  It’s a very big world out there in cyberspace but apparently Steve Hargeddon (who is the guru behind all this) maintains a very extensive list of educators who blog, and somehow he’s trawled from my professional blogs (this one, and the two I maintain at school, the MPPS LiBlog and the MossgielParkPS blog) over to my personal ones which also includes the ANZLitLovers blog.  Amazing.

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