An iPhone and a bit of imagination …..

International Literacy Day

September 8, 2011

Unesco’s International Literacy Day is being marked by a series of events across a range of countries. This year’s event will focus on the link between literacy and peace.  As highlighted by UNESCO,  literacy continues to remain an elusive target: almost 800 million adults worldwide lack minimum literacy skills i.e.  about one in six adults. Females particularly are at risk of being denied access to basic education, a situation that UNESCO seeks to address.

Uses of the popular micro-blogging tool in the instructional setting. These resources provide over 110 ideas for incorporating Twitter in the educational/instuctional process.

ó100 Ways to Teach with Twitter.

Given the self-directed nature of online learning, the amount of free open courseware coming to the fore is a welcome development for learners seeking alternative routes into education.
As well as iTunesU, the list of providers includes early pioneers such as MIT, Yale, Harvard and the Open University in the UK.  The unique opportunities provided by The Open Educational Resources Movement OER for learning and for scaling up in terms of educational qualifications has an undoubted business component, as reflected by the level of interest in those colleges which connect their courses to workforce requirements, such as the community college system in the United States. (Surprisingly, many potential users have less interest in the elite institutions such as Harvard and MIT in the US, one of the findings which has prompted the OU, for example, to develop services that give students exactly what they want).

Leading research into open courseware by the OECD continues to highlight the transformational nature of a movement which promises to open up more choice and get beyond the big brand names of the most exclusive universities. Thus, the privilege of going on to higher education is not something that is connected to the wealthy or to the smartest or most well-equipped students but is becoming a wider social imperative.

Project Gutenberg

February 9, 2011

Project Gutenberg is the place where you can download over 33,000 free ebooks to read on your PC, iPad, Kindle, Sony Reader, iPhone, Android or other portable device.

Those are high quality ebooks:  ebooks  previously published by bona fide publishers and digitized by us with the help of thousands of volunteers.  Over fifty languages are represented, including Irish.

All  ebooks can be freely downloaded: Choose between ePub, Kindle, HTML and simple text formats.

The aim of the Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation is to:

  • Preserve literary and other intellectual works, and
  • Make copies of (or products based on) those works available free of charge or at the lowest possible cost to the people of the United States and the rest of the world.

An invaluable and free resource for all teachers and students of literature.

Tell me a (digital) story

January 26, 2011

It’s not difficult to understand the success of digital storytelling, given that the art of telling stories has been around since the beginning of time. Now, with the advent of Web 2.0 technologies, the narrator is able to move his/her expression to an entirely different level. For one thing, the story is not confined solely to the human voice or to a piece of text on a page. Other dimensions have opened up – physical pictures, video and animation as well as sound effects all contribute to enhancing the narration. In the web 2.0 classroom, a shift in the pupil/teacher relationship is inevitable given the way in which knowledge is co-produced. Old ideas of the pupil as a ‘tabula rasa’ and of the teacher as omniscient are no longer tenable.

And so to the stories.   Among the flood of online sites which carry digital stories, this is one of my favourites – a story from History > from World War Two > germans in the woods

http://storycorps.org/animation/germans-in-the-woods/

Digital Christmas

December 16, 2010

A digital take on the Christmas story – should have wide appeal to the technically engaged of all ages.