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2010

A super belated happy new year!

It seems that I now have a habit of starting a personal web space and neglecting it for a long period of time! In the last two months, I only managed to keep my facebook and twitter active.

Checking my drafts folder, I see about 12 unfinished drafts waiting for about an hour of my time to read and re-read before I hit “publish”.  My hesitation to publish is not only due to the lack of time as I try to juggle different things in my personal and professional life. It’s also because I do feel self-conscious writing in English at times. Besides, I prefer to talk about things, than write about things.

Microblogging is heaven-sent for those who, like me, feel the need to share. When I get around to it, I’ll link my twitter to this blog so that at least it gets some regular action.

What I have not blogged about in the last month and a half:

  • meeting on the role of information and communication technologies in teaching and learning
  • meeting on how best to share effective practices and how can PLNs support this
  • BETT show in London
  • working on the Peterson Symposium event
  • SL conference

Perhaps, I’ll retro-blog.

For now, I am off to rehearse my oath of allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and my pledge to the United Kingdom while I wait for the next SL concurrent session from the EDUCAUSE 2010 conference in Austin, Texas. You get teleported to the session by clicking here: http://slurl.com/secondlife/PSU%20World%20Campus/145/17/27

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In this slide presentation by Mark Wooley, he talks about the value of creating your own personal learning networks using various Web 2.0 tools like blogging (including micro-blogging), social bookmarking, and social networking and, at the same time, he also invites you to learn with others.

There are 60 slides in this presentation (a bit long for me) but it has useful information for those who want to get started exploring web-based tools to access and manage information.

There are so many (Web 2.0) tools to choose from and a lot of them offer the same thing. For example, in choosing the right RSS aggregator or RSS feed reader, I think about how best to use it in terms of managing access, controlling settings, and how it connects to other things I use like my iPhone. But then I am not an average web tools user and I can (usually) tell a cumbersome new application and a potentially useful one after a few clicks. So, the decision to pick out the best tool does not take me long. For some, getting started in venturing into these  profusion of web tools is daunting, and Mark’s slide show does the trick in simplifying what you need to get going.

On another note, in the September 2009 article from Educational Leadership, Peter W. Cookson, Jr. proposes a concept called LearningSphere which is a “free and open-source Web-based portal and platform [that] would enable learners to access organized inquiry, demanding courses of study, and communication capacities that would join people all over the world in mutual discovery”.

I know it sounds like Google but apparently it’s not.

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Tweaking the blog

old PowerBook G4 © kloza

old PowerBook G4 © kloza

With two clear hours this evening, I thought I’ll write me a blog post. Instead, I found myself dusting cobwebs off my blog and spending an inordinate amount of time choosing the “right” theme in WordPress. I wanted a theme that has flexible-width, customizable header, widgets, and possibly dark coloured. It seems that there is no right wordpress theme that I can fashion to suit my liking. So what you see here will have to do for now.

Is it worth going for the wordpress.org?

If I get my own domain, can I choose any WP theme?

Gosh, how much CSS do I need to know to edit the themes?

I didn’t really want to talk about making adjustments to the look of my blog. What I really want to start writing about is a record of the things I get to do for work, which is usually very fun and very interesting, and I get to pay my rent by doing it!

Perhaps, next time.

Meanwhile, I’ll start with getting to know Mr Snow Leopard by turning off my computer and reading a book.

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Virtual community

I feel lucky to be in a job where there is always something exciting happening. Today, we are getting the virtual community ready for project groups so we get to play with the new virtual community set up by the Digital Space Initiative team.

The virtual community has various tools we can use that allow group members to post a blog, join a discussion, upload files to share, and use wiki. These are common web 2.0 tools that many educators find essential to support curriculum work and participate in web-based communities.

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a not-so new blog

I am not really a new blogger. I started in livejournal ca 2000/2001 when I got an “invite code” from one of my high school students. I accepted and started blogging but not really sure what to blog about. I read other people’s blogs and found it interesting like reading a gossip page. It’s amazing what people will write about themselves and their lives. Nothing really exciting happens in my life that everytime I write about it, I feel slightly less important.

Then I was pre-occupied and stopped blogging. After 5 years, I left high school teaching in a private Catholic school for girls in Manila and took on the job as a Grade 5 teacher in a small and new international school in Manila. I had a new approach to teaching and learning to get my head around in. After a year, I moved to a new country and international school in London.

I took on blogging again (on blogger) around 3 years ago mainly as a creative and technical exercise. I wanted to learn more about it and find ways how I can use that understanding in the classroom. Was it relevant to know? What is the role of blogging in the classroom? How can it be used?

I started a blog with my class on blogger and then later on with a school-hosted blog using Movable Type. It was the first in the primary school and has set an example to other classes. Now, a few other primary classes are blogging in the school 🙂

After 4 years of teaching primary and a year as curriculum coordinator and ict support teacher in the school, I left and joined an organization that offers international curriculum to many schools around the world. This meant moving and not having time to attend to my secret blog.

So. Now. I am starting a new one! A new blog about me, the work that I do, the things I’m interested in, and things I can say and do in public.

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