Sunday, June 20, 2010

Own domain name

Sooo after creating a funky website that I was really happy with I realised it was pretty expensive to host it with them using my own domain name. 

I decided to purchase my own domain name and use another web 2.0 application ( to make a new website - not as pretty but still functional... and they let you host the site with your own domain name (the name/address that you type in when going to a website).  I purchased my name for a year (only $22.50, not too bad!) and am hosting it for free.  I would definitely consider purchasing a domain name in the future to use with my class - easier to remember and pretty cool for the kids.

I don't for a moment think that teachers need to have a massive amount of technical knowledge relating to e-learning, but I do really believe that it doesn't hurt!  If a teacher has more knowledge and confidence, maybe the are more willing to embrace e-learning within the classroom.

Experimentingwith websites, transferring domain names, linking them through to existing sites etc. has really developed my skill set.  See

I didn't know that emails can be forwarded to another email address and then be made to appear sent from there too - eg. my hotmail email is but I've forward all emails through my domain name, so that emails sent to appear in my hotmail inbox, and are sent out looking like they're from - the email address doesn't really exist but looks like it does - neat!  All free of charge too and the result?  A much more professional looking email address.

The email address finding isn't quite so useful for the kids but all building my knowledge.  I love that this course has encouraged me to experiment with technology and e-learning.

The downside...

I suppose the main downside of this course is the requirement to publish comments relating to readings... being a busy bunch as we all are, I've found it hard to make the time to continuously feedback on the readings - my folder is full of notes and highlighted points, but to actually get that all onto screen has been a challenge and unfortunately not at the forefront for me.

On the bright side, I've volunteered myself to share my new knowledge (well the beginnings of knowledge!) on web 2.0 at our next e-learning cluster day... I will be introducing teachers from 2 schools to different web 2.0 tools that add excitement and interest to the classroom - motivating learners.  Exciting and a little daunting but will be a good challenge for me and really get me thinking about e-learning again.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Building a website

Hi everyone,

Things are progressing very slowly but one thing I have managed to chip away at is a website of my own.

I've been reading a forum and finally decided upon using - a free and easy way to build a decent looking website.  At times it was a little frustrating but all in all, not difficult to use and something the kids could definitely do!

The link to my site:

I've got a few things to finish up, then I must get onto loading up my thoughts on the readings!  I've gone through and highlighted and commented on things as I've been going but don't have a heck of a lot of feedback on my blog - whoops!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


What a fantastic resource for the classroom!

Podcasts are digital 'episodes' that can be watched or listened to easily, uploaded onto iPods, and are easily created.  Shamburg (2009) stresses the importance of students learning through this technology, rather than simply learning how to make podcasts (a common theme in e-learning).

JISC (n.d.) define e-learning in general as "learning facilitated and supported through the use of information and communications technology [ICT]." (para. 1).  This suggests a focus on learning and skill acquisition taking place through the use of ICT; a key point as some teachers may wrongly assume e-learning to simply be the process of learning to use the technological components correctly.  Of course it can be a "discrete subject taught in schools to equip students for the workforce, but, more importantly, [it] can be used a a means to transform learning and teaching." (Finger, Russell, Jamieson-Proctor & Russell, 2007, p. 74) through all curriculum areas.  Podcasting is a great technology that allows students to present and share what they have learned, their opinions etc. with the focus clearly on the learning.

According to Shamburg (2009), podcasting is:
  • Accessible
  • Powerful
  • Inexpensive
  • Authentic
  • A way of encouraging active participation in our society
  • Ideally the result of research, reflection and risk taking.
"Real-world activities connect to student interests and powerful ideas" (Shamburg, 2009, p. 10); when podcasting and these real-world activities combine, effective learning can really take place.

I've seen podcasting used successfully in classrooms (both with images and voice/sound only) but haven't used it myself yet... I'm more motivated than ever to give it a go with my students, and hope to have them take photos themselves for the presentations to add another aspect.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Time to get back into it

Well with tour and then school camp things have been all go and unfortunately university has had to take a back seat... and just as I was about to launch back in our poor little puss, Oscar got hit by a car.

Fondly remembered Little Buddy  :( 

I'm going to take a couple more days, allowing myself to do not much and then will get back into the readings.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Facebook expands...

Click the picture above to be linked the an article from the New Zealand Herald.

Facebook has announced the ability to create a more personal experience for people browsing the internet.  A little 'Big Brother' for some, I'm sure, but an interesting idea.


Saturday, April 3, 2010

A great quote...

"Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass... Its about learning to dance in the rain!"

A great little quote a friend of mine posted on Facebook (Barry, D., April 1, 2010) - I'll follow up the origins of it when I'm back from tour but a nice saying to live by and teach by I think  :)