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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Apr 01

Eduau LogoWikipedia is living proof that open-source, creative commons and web2.0 works. With vision our very own Education.AU is bringing Jimmy Wales is founder of Wikipedia, co-founder of Wikia and the Wikimedia Foundation. This self-organizing, self-correcting, ever-expanding, and thoroughly addictive encyclopedia of the future is an amazing resource for students and educators alike. I try to approach Wikipedia place in K-12 education optimistically, finding the guts to say yes, rather than approach with fear wanting to say no. Students, even primary school kids are amazed when you tell them that anyone can edit it. Triggered by a critical thinking response, they then approach the resource with a more skeptical, thoughtful eye. It will be great to have Jimmy Wales setting some valuable dialogue alight here in Australia - education.au should be congratulated for trying to engage the occupants of industrial age institutions to join, engage and participate in the discussion of our digital age. An EdNA group will be a central focus for this dialogue. Deanne Bullen sent in this information for interested digital chalkies:

Source: http://www.energylab.de/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2006/08/JimmyWales.jpgJimmy Wales, the founder of Wikipedia, will be the keynote speaker for the first education.au National Seminar for 2007. The seminar will be held in four locations; Adelaide, Perth, Sydney and Melbourne beginning the week of April 23. Jimmy’s seminar presentation will discuss critical issues such as:

  • The culture of the online community and the implications for education
  • The opportunities for collaborative learning in a globally connected world
  • What does it mean to be discerning in the online world
  • If content can be created and distributed cheaply, what is the future for entrepreneurs
  • Who has the knowledge in today’s global community
  • Creative Commons and the public good – what are the barriers to knowledge sharing.

To access information about the seminar online go here, to register for the seminar go here.

600Px-Wikipedia-Logo-1From the authors own Wikipedia page:

Wales’ father worked as a grocery store manager while his mother, Doris, and his grandmother, Erma, ran a small private school “in the tradition of the one-room schoolhouse” where Wales received his education. Most of the time there were four children in his grade so the school grouped the first, second, third, and fourth grade students together and the fifth, sixth, seventh, and eighth grade students together.

Jimmy Wales was the first person listed in the “Scientists & Thinkers: the lives and ideas of the world’s most influential people” in Time magazine’s May 8, 2006 issue. Forbes magazine, in naming him one of the Top 25 Web Celebrities for 2007, says of Wales: “only on the Web could an encyclopedia geek become a superstar.”

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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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