Thursday, 29 March 2007

Alternatives to Copyright - Creative Commons and the public domain

Thank you to everyone who attended this session. Please use these materials in as you see fit (they are all licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States license) and share your improvements back with us, too!

Session description

"The World Wide Web, peer-to-peer networks, and other evolving technologies make it easy to locate digital content. Easy access to content does not always include rights to that content. Participants in this session will learn the basics of copyright law and the principal of "fair use", then explore alternative sources of audio, video, text, and graphics. Participants will learn how to find and use copyright-free stock photography and clipart, public domain works of classical literature, free-for-non-commercial-use video clips, and other forms of unrestricted content suitable for ntegration into classroom instruction. Participants will also learn how to label their own work for further sharing with the educational community and the world at large."

Session resources: Presentation

Session resources: Handout

Sunday, 25 March 2007

Keeping Up with the Natives

Whole-School Staff Training in ICT

Many thanks for those who attended my presentation on our approach to staff professional development in ICT. I hope there was something in there (somewhere!) of use to you, although I do stress that this is just one approach – and the one that appears to be working for us. I am particularly grateful for those of you who offered your suggestions and ripped holes in my presentation! This is what makes events such as this so valuable to us all: we come along with an idea, present it to our peers, listen to what others have to say, go back and improve it further.

My notes are available on my fledgling wiki page (many thanks for Julie Lindsay for providing the inspiration for this!) and this will be a work in progress as time goes on. If anyone would like a copy of my presentation on Interactive Whiteboards or would like to chat/visit our school, please drop me a line.

On that note, I would like to thank Pat D'Arcy for organising such a high quality conference and the staff at ISD for making us all welcome.

Saturday, 24 March 2007

A Really Wonderful Conference!

This was a very special conference, with excellent speakers and powerful issues. On the social side there was plenty of time for networking and bridging interests, or simply hanging out. Pat D'Arcy brought it all together with style and made everyone welcome - thanks Pat for making it all look so easy, and thanks for the months of really hard work that led up to it.

More speakers' links and resources may be posted on iSkoodle in the coming days at this link.

Remember you can also author blog entries here by emailing Chris to request author status (this requires you have a gmail account)

Podcasting fun!

Some pics from the podcasting session today

Julie and Chris at Podcasting Tools and Techniques


Creating podcasts at hands-on workshop!



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Podcasting resources

Here are some links to resources to support the 'Podcasting in the Classroom: Tools and Techniques' presentation by Chris Chater and Julie Lindsay.

and for something different...
Further resources from presentation
Online places to upload podcasts/MP3 files:,
Audacity tutorials: (from the University of Alabama) for downloading and using and editing

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Friday, 23 March 2007

Seth Ruef 'Get's with IT'

The ISD ES Choir conducted by Mr. Ian Thompson performed these two pieces:

Colors of the World
Make Peace

After this musical introduction, Neil McWilliam, Director of ISD opened the formal part of the conference with an overview of the realities of a fast moving world and the relevance of content that is growing and evolving.

Keynote speaker at the ECIS IT07 conference today is Seth Ruef from the International School of Luxembourg. Seth gave a sincere and passionate talk about how he sees teaching and the role of IT in this ever complicated world.

Notes from Seth's keynote:
Seth ponders his contribution to the educational field. He speaks about the globalization of education and a celebration of teaching. Appropriate technology to assist us in learning. "Communication is one of the best impacts of modern IT"

IT natives: use of terminology, speaking a new language, new experiences

Digital divide between young people today (born post 1987?) and us as (more mature) educators. Historical perspective is different now for our students.
IT has had a tremendous impact on teaching and learning...Seth relates 'before' and 'after' scenarios. eg Before students who missed school, missed school, NOW students logon. Before, students were given knowledge, NOW they create it!
We teach WITH technology now, not ABOUT it.
The great schools today never stop looking at themselves. Evaluation and re-evaluation is essential.

Ethics is what remains when creating global citizens. Never let them think technology is an excuse or reason to do wrong things...plagiarism, bullying, theft is wrong online or off.

Issues such as online music being free(?), use of digital literacy tools.

Define your passion: what gets you out of bed before your alarm goes off in the morning??
The challenge is to find yours and follow it.

Teachers follow a noble cause and we should celebrate this.

Seth's Keynote complete Speech Notes (pdf)
Seth's Speech - LoFi mp3 stream

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Thursday, 15 March 2007

Tagging the ECIS IT Conference

David Warlick has kindly added this conference to his online RSS tool at HitchHikr. This means that all images and blog posts that are tagged with the Technorati tags of ECISIT or ECISIT07 (lower case works as well) will feed into this page.

This facility is a great way to keep track of who is saying what about the conference before, during and after the actual event. If you are not sure how this works follow these easy steps:

For Blogs:
  1. Create a blog post.
  2. Open the ECIS IT Conference page on Hitchhikr.
  3. Click on where it says 'make tag code'.
  4. A new window will open with the two suggested tags for this conference already processed. If you wish to add any other tags do so but leave spaces in between individual words. I tend to run two words together (see davidwarlick example on this post).
  5. Now, click on 'submit' and the code is created for you.
  6. Copy and paste this into your blog post in the Edit HTML window.
  7. Don't forget to then use the 'Ping Technorati' feature David has also added to the tagging window by pasting the blog address into the window and sending it to Technorati.
For Flickr:
  1. Post an image or picture relevant to the conference.
  2. Use the tags ECISIT and ECISIT07 tags.
  3. Watch how they feed through hitchhikr!

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Free Audio Tools

is the Open Source application that is free and quite powerful enough for most needs. It gets better with every version. Be sure to use the latest stable release.

Read about it.
Download it for Windows, Mac OSX or Linux
Download the Manual
The Manual in printable PDF Format
Follow some tutorials
the emtech tutorial

Output can be a stereo mixdown of a wav file for burning to CD, or exporting to MP3 (this requires a Lame Encoder to be downloaded. This is explained in the documentation).

Click on the picture for a bigger view:

Click on the picture for a bigger view:

Download it here
Listen/subscribe to EdtechMusician Podcast
(created on Podproducer)
Downloadable pdf manual

Click on the picture for a bigger view:

Developed by Adam Curry - the Podfather of podcasting who helped develop Castblaster which has abeta version that is free for a four-minute show (enough for most school takes)
Download it here
Watch the 20 minute flash tutorial here
The Levelator
The simplest way to optimize a sound file for uploading

Download it here
The ultimate tool for stage shows - it can trigger sound effects in real time from a computer keyboard - storms, explosions, creaks and rumbles, phone rings and footsteps...

Download it here.
I like to load all my files and save everything in the same folder (no installation needed in Windows). Then I copy it onto an USB key and the only thing necessary is to update the keymap file in a text editor such as notepad - this is well explained in the FAQ.

Click on the picture for a bigger view.

Karaoke is something I use constantly for class rehearsal and online support. The kids get really into it. Isn't that how commercials sell soap powder?

The stuff below is FREEWARE and has no virus or spyware risks (except for any third party sites you may travel to - see below).

The best program for running files on the fly is Vanbasco (not a chile sauce). It takes a bit of tweaking to stop Quicktime from highjacking all your music if that's also on your machine. But the difference is awesome. Vanbasco has resizeable text, and allows realtime control over pitch and speed. A child can run it (and usually does in my room). It can be set to automatically interpret any files received through a web browser and if the file attribute is renamed from kar to mid it'll play just as well, but on machines without a karaoke reader files will still play under the default midi player.

Before I leave this program, it has one of the best search engines for midi or karaoke files out there. Beware of using the search in front of students unless you have extensive pop-up and ad blocking. This is because of the target sites, not Vanbasco's own code. Search and you shall find.

Click on the picture for a bigger view.

Karakan for Windows permits editing of lyrics to existing kar or mid files. So when we sing Avril Lavigne or Green Day the 's' or 'f' words can be replaced. So far nobody has busted me for changing the lyrics, and the kids are cool about respecting the difference.

This basically means you can record a simple melody on a MIDI sequencer, then associate the lyrics (oops I mean syllables) with the melody track. Students look up at the screen instead of down into their scores. Who actually needs sight-reading of notation during rehearsal? There's no bouncing ball, but enough anticipation of text to make reading a pleasure.

Click on the picture for a bigger view.

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Wednesday, 14 March 2007

Podcasting at ECIS IT07

This is where we'll be putting together the tricks and techniques for making your own podcast at ECIS 2007 IT Conference in Dusseldorf.

Julie Lindsay's WIKI on Podcasting in the Classroom is here

Basic recording tools are here

A great Podcasting tutorial by Jason Van Orden is here