Jul 29

Via Learn Online comes a timely reminder about free culture in this infamous presentation by Larry Lessig. Educators interested in the public domain, Google, the web’s influence on intellectual property and digital rights management should find this thought provoking.

[slideshare id=81766&doc=larrys-talk-free-culture903&w=425]

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Jan 26

Digital Chalkie mascotHappy Australia Day Digital Chalkies,

Just a short note to look back at the success and tell you about some new features. With the small successes we’ve had this year, Digital Chalkie will continue in 2007.

A big thank you to all of the posters and commenters for taking the time to join this collaborative effort to discuss ideas and best practice as we do our best to combine education and technology effectively. I’d like to single out Brad Hicks for his efforts in supporting the webcasts, and Kim Flintoff for his many varied and interesting posts. If your blog isn’t mentioned in the blogroll at the bottom of the front page please let me know.

I may not have the time to contribute as much with my new position at DET. So if you are inclined to take up the batton please feel free to post or comment on topics related to life as a ‘digital chalkie’ by following the simple how-to.

Posting to the blog is a good way to get eChalk ideas and interests out on the web beyond the walls of an email list. The best aspect of this independent group blog is the connectivism it provides. I’ve enjoyed the collaborative opportunities that have come from it and dialogue with colleagues interstate and overseas. If you’ve got some ideas you’d like to share please get involved.

Some success have been:
- there are currently 80 posts and 123 comments, contained within 19 categories.
- 53 educators from Australia and beyond have signed up to take part via posting ideas or making comments
- mentioned in a couple of top 100 edublog lists here and here
- nomination for best group blog in the Edublog awards
- 5 live webcasts run by Brad and Paul with various Australian and International guests

To get 2007 started I’ve added a few subtle features in the hope of enhancing the interactivity between authors, commenters, and readers:
- option to subscribe and notification by email of new posts
- the ability to subscribe to postings by email using a Feedburner service (see the left sidebar)
- a multi-user editable wiki (using the fabulous wikispaces) to start gather a simple list of links for educators using ICTs
- links from comments can be directed to that commenters blog
- links to authors blogs, aussie blogs and international blogs at the bottom of the main page (suggestions most welcome)
- “Snap” visual previews for links inside posts - web2.0 gimmic or useful visual triger - you decide!

Warm regards,
Paul Reid

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Aug 06

The stars are amazingly clear up here in Paraburdoo and the Space Shuttle flight that was visible earlier last year captured the students interest in the night sky. In fact we blew our monthly download limit in two days with many classes watching Yahoo’s live broadcast from the shuttle.Stellarium Maybe this is old news to you, but I suggest anyone teaching Science add the free Stellarium to their teaching toolbelt, especially for the Earth and Beyond outcome. Being able to see a live depiction of the sky above from any geographical location certainly has a wow factor (but the pièce de résistance is the ability to turn off the atmosphere on a sunny day to see the space behind has instant education factor). Stellarium is an open source desktop planetarium for Linux/Unix, Windows and MacOSX. It is quite impressive, so much so I’ve included it on our labs disk image for this year. Displayed with a projector it’s almost like having a planetarium in the classroom. The fact that it’s open source and cross-platform is just bonza. Stellarium - try it out, but if you want a bit of a preview you can check out the screenshots. Just amazing.

From the project FAQ:

Stellarium is an open source desktop planetarium for Linux/Unix, Windows and MacOSX. It renders the skies in realtime using OpenGL, which means the skies will look exactly like what you see with your eyes, binoculars, or a small telescope. Stellarium is very simple to use, which is one of its biggest advantages: it can easily be used by beginners.

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