Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Intro: workshops 24th-28th May 2010

Full details of this series of workshops lives at
Date: Monday 24th May to Fridays 27th May 2010
at Cliftons Training Facility 190-200 George Street, Sydney
Organiser Syba Signs Phyl Williamson
Facilitator: Chris Smith

In May 2010 I'll be flying down to Sydney from sleepy Chiangmai, in Thailand, to facilitate a week of workshops.

Details are all below and although they may seem to have an emphasis on the skills aspects ... throughout there will be discussions about how these applications and tools relate to teaching and learning.

I'm also hoping that we will all benefit from your own experiences ... the good and the not-so-good ... so please arrive with a willingness to challenge what I offer and also with a willingness to collaborate.

So please start now by adding your comments for each workshop you attend ... click on the 'comments' button underneath each blog post below.

If you have questions that are not answered here then have a look at ... ... e.g. what to bring, preparation, skills expected ... is there lunch etc ..

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Blogs in Teaching and Learning

Mon 24th May : 9:00-12:15
BLOGS ... in teaching and learning

What is a Blog (Weblog), how do you make one and what can they be used for in teaching and learning? ... we will answer all of these and you will create one for yourself in real time.
We will also look at how to embed images, sound, video and PowerPoints into a Blog.
Note ... you will need a gmail web account for this session ... if you do not have one then just create one for yourself at before the session.

We will end the session looking at "
Twitter" (micro blogging) ... which has (surprisingly) become a very powerful professional development tool for teachers.

If you have time before the workshop then have a browse around and

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Podcasting supporting Teaching and Learning

Mon 24th May 1:45-5:00
PODCASTING ... in teaching and learning
Podcasts are really very simple (once you have been shown) ... they are audio (sometimes video) recordings that are put on the internet (subscribed to) and have the potential to be brilliant resources to use with students and by students of all ages.

We will go through the whole process of making an audio recording, editing and then putting the file on a website so it can be listened to (and subscribed to) by anyone in the world with an internet connection.

Subscribing to a Podcast is done using an RSS aggregator ... we will only have time to cover these briefly, if you need to know more about RSS then you are advised to attend one of the other workshops that covers this in more detail. RSS also has the capability of saving teachers a large amount of time if they need to check multiple student podcasts, blogs wikis or websites.
If you have time before the workshop then have a listen to some of the Podcasts we made in earlier workshops in Singapore ... they really are fun to listen to

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Google Extended

Tuesday 25th May 9:00-12:15
Google Extended

It's highly likely that you are already familiar with the Google search engine (
In this session we will take a closer look at some of the not so well known search functions in Google and some of the strategies that could make you and your students better searchers. (researchers)

Google, though, is now much more than just a search engine ... we will also cover some of the other Google applications that are available to educators.

In particular we will look at Google Docs which allows you (your students) to set up free collaborative Word documents and Spreadsheets online.

In addition you will be shown places to find free (legal) resources for students to use (images, videos and sound files) .... and how to copyright your own resources.

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A Social Network for your Classroom

A Social Network for your Classroom (inc. Virtual Worlds)
Tue 25th May  ... 1:45pm to 5.00pm

In the last few years Social (online) Networks have grown enormously in popularity with students around the world ... but these have not yet been adopted or used by many schools. In fact quite a number of schools around the world have blocked access on the school network to some of the social network websites like, '
myspace' and 'facebook'.

In this session we will look at what a social network site is and see some examples and discuss the pros and cons for a school community. We will also look at some ways of setting up your own social network for use with your class, school, or club .... or even outside work for your own family. 

Finally in this session we will look at Second Life, a 3D virtual world that is a potentially valuable tool to support teaching and learning, more than half of UK Universities have a presence in S.L.

I will introduce you to my own Estate (3 SIMS) in Second Life designed to support the professional development of k-12 teachers ...
If you time before the session then have a look at the pages and

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Beyond PowerPoint

Wed 26th May : 9:00-12:15 ... 1:45-5:00 (full day session)
Beyond PowerPoint

If students are bored with ppt then these alternatives will stimulate.
Are you or your students becoming bored using PowerPoint as the main tool for producing presentations ... are you or your students suffering from "Death by PowerPoint" or "PowerPointlessness"? .... then this session is designed specifically for you (or your students).

We will look at some of the alternatives for spicing up presentations and making them more exciting ... not only using software but also web 2.0 online applications.

The alternatives chosen are mainly free, can be learnt in just a few minutes by teachers with very little experience and make use of the slides you have already produced in your old PowerPoints.

We will also look at ways in which students can build and share their presentations collaboratively. In addition you will be shown where to find free (legal) digital resources for presentations (images, videos and sound files) .... and clarify how to copyright your own resources.
Please note that this is NOT a workshop about PowerPoint although we will be spending time at the beginning covering some of the mistakes students make when presenting and also ensuring we all have at least the basic skills of reducing file sizes and exporting slides.

Please bring a simple PowerPoint presentation with you to this session .... consisting of about 6 slides.

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A Social Network for your Classroom

Thurs 27th May  ... 9:00am to 12:15pm 
A Social Network for your Classroom (inc. Virtual Worlds)

A repeat of the session held on Tuesday

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Advanced Internet Applications

Thur 27th May 1:45-5:00
Advanced Internet Applications designed to save teachers time

Do your Students already have Blogs, Podcasts, Wikis, Websites and other online resources .... and you are needing to spend great amounts of time online checking their work.
One of the tools to help with this task is
RSS ... Really Simple Syndication ... in this workshop we will clarify what this is and also set up an RSS aggregator so that the work from the Blogs of all of your students can be seen clearly all on one webpage.

We will also look further at what an online "Personal Learning Network" (
PLN) is ... and how it might be visualised and quantified to save you even more time managing your own professional development.

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Video in the Classroom

Fri 28th May 9:00-12:15
Using Video in Teaching and Learning
Video as digital media is now highly accessible on the internet and is becoming a more common multimedia resource to use with your students.

We will cover 'where to find videos', and what to do with them once found. We will also look at some of the production and editing tools, especially those that can be used in a web browser.

Other video-related topics covered will be screencasting, streaming video and embedding video into blogs and other webpages ... and, of course, YouTube

If you already have a video camera then please feel free to bring along to show others ... I'll be showing my favourite ...
the Flip Camcorder

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Advanced Internet Applications

Fri 28th May 1:45-5:00
Advanced Internet Applications designed to save teachers time

A repeat of the session held on Thursday 

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Some Computer Fun

Don't take this too seriously!


About Chris Smith and this Blog

A bio about myself can be seen at
My own personal learning network ... a bit like a map of what I'm up to on the web can be seen at
... and if you want to see some pictures of what I'm about ...  then visit

... what am I up to in virtual worlds where my avatars name is Shamblesguru Voom (don't ask) ... visit

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