Tuesday, March 02, 2010
  Nice but nubbly!
I love reading stories aloud, and our kids are a bit beyond that now (just a bit, all being thoroughly adult), so I enjoy Librivox as a hobby. As well as the William book Barbara and I are (slowly) reading together: More William by Richmal Crompton I have started a version of the Just So Stories. LV already has more than one, but since I had made my readings of the book available online before LV started I felt it was not unfair to do a LV version now.

If you'd like to see what it sounds like the first story: How the Whale Got His Throat is available in draft form (please report any problems or errors).

Appeal for help: there is a thirteenth Just So Story, added to the US edition in 1903 (which was absent from the 1902 UK edition, and most subsequent editions) called "The Tabu Tale" if anyone can source a copy (published before 1926) that I can use I coulld read all thirteen. (There is also a fourteenth but it is in copyright and does not have the wordplays that make the "real" ones fun.

PS: The heading is a quote, it is how the 'Stute fish describes humans, I think the fish was spot on, we are (usuallly) nice, but (often) nubbly!

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Thursday, November 22, 2007
Before today I knew e-portfolios were really trendy and important but had no idea why, or even what they were! Mark fixed that... It's dead simple, "an e-portfolio is a webpage for life!"

He was speaking at the University of Auckland "Teaching Showcase" session on e-portfolios. He began by revealling the results of googling himself and the other panelists. Consistently and woefully the prominent results were out of date or inaccurate.

I challenge you. Do it now. Google your name (as it is usually heard professionally, with quotes) and if necessary your country, so I'd look up "Tim Bulkeley" (or: "Tim Bulkeley" nz). What do you find?

That's right, out of date static material! Now imagine, instead of those static pages, a dynamically interlinked collection of your information sorted and revealed differently to different sorts of audience.

[Actually at this point I can preen quietly but smugly, googling me - with or without the nz - brings up my Amos commentary site and a pretty up-to-date academic CV :) ]

Family and friends see one selection, students another, your employer another... From all your material many different views... Update once, use in several places...

A collection of different portfolios, for different people, or purposes, but using or reusing data. I'd upload a scan of my Distinguished Teaching Award, link to selected blog posts (not this one, it's probably terribly inaccurate ;-) a couple of my u-tube videos, extracts from student testimonials... Some of that would be for prospective students, some for users of my websites, some for family ...Mahara Home

And, there's a cool open source tool to allow us to play with the concept, Mahara. (BTW it's not pronounced like the desert, try to give each vowel the same stress - the word means "thought".) It is only version 0.8.5, but usable and stable enough so it has already been used by classes, or version 0.9.0alpha2 for the adventurous. They hope to have version 1.0 out "by Christmas".

The educational possibilities... are endless, but as so often likely to be hamstrung but institutional inertia. But just imagine if the teacher's task was to facilitate the student...

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Tuesday, October 16, 2007
  How to pass exams: Part Two: Collaborative Revision
Stephen (in an email) reminded me of one major area I left out of the previous post, collaborative revision. Sharing the load, sharing expertise, the wisdom of crowds... all the advantages of "2.0" and "open" can be claimed for collaborative revision. Stephen's experience and mine were very similar. A small group (mine was four of us) planned our revision together, shared out the topics and each prepared notes on one. We then pooled these and each made our own copy (with our own additions and changes) to the sheets the others had prepared. This process meant we talked through what was on the sheets and why, how the different parts worked together... in short we gave ourselves a revision tutorial.

Photo SamGrover

The key things are:
  • keep the group small so there is real accountability and commitment
  • process the notes others prepare - if you just use them 'as is' you will learn much less and it won't stick, revision is 'about' integrating knowledge into a system not merely cramming 'facts'
  • keep talking - the more you talk the notes through together the better

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Friday, August 17, 2007
  Online meetings, PDA evangelism and more...
I spent an interesting evening yesterday with Chris (who is helping this year with PodBible - he'll be running a PodBible free lunch on Sunday, so if you are interested in seeing how the brainstorming of Think|Pray|Do ideas works email me and I'll send you details) and a friend of his who does web programming.

He is the guy behind the highly featured rich learning environment Collaboroom, which he briefly demonstrated... I can see so many ways to use such a tool, with shared whiteboard, the ability to present PPT live with audio or video of the presenter, file sharing, chat etc.

He also did the programming for an evangelism tool for PDAs
ProclaimIT "ProclaimIT is a multimedia presentation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ." His problem with both products is similar (and familiar) no one wants to pay for things online, yet he has spent time (for ProclaimIT I guess months, for Collaboroom years) work and needs the income...

We need a different economy unless the cult of the free one day dies online, but after all these years I see no sign of that... but how does one connect the dots?

Dot One: producing software and content takes time - people need to eat, etc...
Dot Two: the culture of the free - we have to somehow operate a gift economy...
Judging by the increasingly hard sales pitches from long term shareware sellers like WinZip shareware does not work. Advertising may, but do we want to live in a 100% commercialised world, were even the gospel comes with advertising!? Maybe the answer is a return to patronage, but wouldn't it be nice if this could somehow be patronage of the masses rather than of the already rich and powerful!

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