Block Posters

I was immediately impressed with Block Posters.

You can take any of your images and then decide how you’d like it sliced up. Download the pdf file and each of these slices can now be printed out and put together to create a great big poster.

This can be used to create artworks around your home, blow ups of your favourite photos at a fraction of the price, etc. Also, it can be used in the classroom for displaying material to students, or by students to display their ideas and emphasis their points. Extending that idea, when university students have to produce posters this could be an alternative to expensive production via professional printers; I’m all for reducing the cost of education. But for an alternative approach remember Glogster.

Internet safety – OnGuard Online

I’ve posted previously about Internet Safety and the work of CEOP in Britain. Today I came across the OnGaurdOnline.gov The information is US centric, but there is much generic advice that is also useful for the UK. There’s a list of useful topic titles, including email scams, identity theft, malware, P2P security, phishing, etc. In addition there are some useful online question based games to get you thinking about the issues on a number of areas.

However, the item I’d like to draw particular attention to is the Net Cetera: Chatting With Kids About Being Online pdf document that helps adults (parents or carers) to talk to children about their internet use. This really is packed full of useful information; the main point being openly talk to your children, explain things, listen to them, and tell them your values for on- and off-line behaviour. Quoting from the site with regard to this publication:

OnGuard Online encourages you to use this guide with your kids, in your school, at your PTA meeting, or anywhere else parents might gather. Feel free to order as many free copies as you’d like, put your own sticker on it, reprint sections in a newsletter or on a website, download a button or link to it, or even reprint it with your own logo. These materials are in the public domain.

Net Cetera

Keynote: Chris Lehmann

The PETE&C Tuesday Morning Keynote: Chris Lehmann:Chris Lehmann is the Principal at the Science Leadership Academy in Philadelphia. http://scienceleadershi…

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Digital Literacy

BECTA does some great stuff. School age is where digital literacy is instilled and developed, not HE.

BECTA has come up with a short guide (pdf) which explains what digital literacy is. Also, there is a Digital Literacy Planning Tool (pdf) that helps digital literacy to be incorpoated into teaching.

Next Generation Textbooks – Flexbooks

Sometimes you encounter something that changes your own mindset, the way you work, the way you want to do things. You want to get involved, to make this better. I’ve just come across one such idea.

The work of the CK-12 Foundations is mindblowingly excellent. Their mission is to create access to cheap textbooks both for the US and Worldwide. How will they achieve this? Well, they’re pioneering the ‘Flexbook‘, which is an open-content, web-based collaboration model where it’s possible to take Creative Commons Licensed content from one of the available standard text on the site and repurpose it for the learning experience required. This is achieved using the online software to extract chapters or sections from the text, mix it with your own content from a Word file for example, and package it together into a ‘book’ that can be exported to a pdf file for printing out and use with learners.

For cK-12’s much better explanation:

Screenshot of Flexbook site

This needs to be made to work in a much wider contexted. This template could be used throughout education. It’s brilliant. It works for both formal learning setting and individual, informal learning.

Kwercus – primary school social network

Last week I saw a tweet about Kwercus, a secure social networking site for schools. I did a search to find out some more, but there wasn’t a whole lot out there. So I sent out a question on Twitter, hoping that someone who knew a bit more would provide a link to more info, but no response.

As my tweets are displayed on my blogs, I’ve noticed over the weekend that others are interested in finding out about Kwercus as I’ve been receiving hits from others also searching for more info. So today I’ve done a little bit more work and this is what I’ve found.

There was an article on BBC Radio 1’s Newsbeat:

Kwercus will be a secure system, based on the internet, but managed by teachers.

The company behind it hopes the site will be used as a learning resource for pupils, parents, and staff, as well as somewhere for young people to have fun.

Kwercus is due to launch in 2010.

The company behind the software is imJack PLC and they are working with the child psychologist, Professor Tanya Byron who is acting as an advisor. I’ve found the web site relating to Kwercus, though there doesn’t seem to be all that much information available on there at the moment.

But there is a video on Vimeo that went up three days ago from the time I’m writing this. It’s an hour long panel session that includes Prof Tanya Byron and also a student. There is some interesting discussion about the current use of social networking amongst children, who are below the minimum age required for registration under their terms and conditions. Also, how children are using these networks, and why. In addition, there is some talk about the benefits of using social networking with children within schools. There is also some talk about online bullying, and how this needs to be address, along with development of digital lieracy.

There are a few images around about what the environment looks like:

Kids and comics – online

Yesterday I stumbled across a video that really got me interested in something – making comics online. I know it sounds daft, but when kids are using words like artistic, creative, amazing, sensational, awesome and cool, it gets me thinking there’s something in this.

Here’s the video:

and a link to a post ‘wot I wrote’.