Thing 7: communicate

I haven’t had much to do with Google hangouts although I participated in the EdTech Crew end of year podcast hangout at the end of last year.
I hadn’t realised, till I started reading the post for this topic and exploring some of the links, that you could broadcast the hangout live, that you don’t actually have to be a participant to view. This opens up lots of possibilities I think, particularly for presentations to large distributed groups where several people need to interact while others just listen (or participate via backchannels perhaps). Hangouts in general would be amazing at the organisation where I work as there are 3000 employees and many volunteers spread across the country. There are teleconferences held all the time but how much better would it be to see who you’re talking to, and to be able to record the conversation for anyone who missed out live. Even on a smaller scale it would be fabulous. My manager is in Brisbane and our partner from another organisation is in Macedon. Unfortunately the computer system doesn’t currently allow the use of Skype and the only browser is an old version of IE! Oh yeah, and we don’t have audio!
Skype I’ve used more. I once had a job interview on Skype; my husband has travelled a bit for work so we’ve caught up on Skype (much nicer than a phone call but it confuses the dogs no end), and I’ve attended several conferences where keynote speakers have presented virtually through Skype. The most recent was at EduTech in Brisbane in June. Sir Ken Robinson lost none of his charisma or impact even though he was thousands of miles away and it was 2am where he was.
The Skype an author wiki is a great resource and well worth checking out for schools and libraries alike. In my current job I have suggested that a similar central listing of emergency management personnel could be a useful addition to existing disaster resilience education resources.

Postscript 21 July

I just came across this fantastic list of 50 Ideas for using G+ Hangouts in Learning by Category from Teachthought Can’t wait to try some of them out!


Thing 6: video

So, the limitations of completing the challenge only using mobile devices are starting to appear. I can’t find any way of grabbing YouTube code to embed here. It seems the best I can do is get the link. Well, I’d rather embed so even though that goes against the spirit of what I’m trying to achieve, so be it. I’ll publish this now ( from my phone, on the train ) but I’ll come back and edit next time I’m on my PC.

I’ve used video in a number of ways, both in the library and as part of my ICT coaching role. I’ve used both YouTube and Vimeo for uploading video; Jing, Debut and Screencast-o-matic for screencasting, and I’ve played around with various phone and iPad apps for video.

Talking Tom library welcome from Heather Bailie on Vimeo.

Some examples: as part of library orientation we made some short videos to incorporate in an online quiz; for book week I made a quiz for teachers and had some people read famous passages from books for the participants to identify author and title;

Nette1 from Heather Bailie on Vimeo.

I’ve videoed guest speakers and uploaded the videos to YouTube and then embedded the video in a Ning network. I regularly make screencasts for quick “how-to’s” – it’s so much simpler and more efficient to “show” rather than tell. My favourite tool for screencasting on a computer is screencast-o-matic – it’s great because you don’t need to download any software and it is very easy to share your video using YouTube or Google docs and you can save to your computer as well.

Creating instructional videos using an iPad is also quite easy and very effective using apps like Explain everything. Here’s one I made about the Flipboard app as part of a workshop at Slide2learn last year.


Thing 4 : Maps and checking in

So this is new. Instead of my usual blogging on the train on my phone I’m at Adelaide airport, waiting to catch my flight home, using my ipad.
GPS and maps on mobile devices, how could you travel without them these days. From making sure the taxi driver is on the straight and narrow to negotiating an unfamiliar public transport system to locating places of interest…it’s all good.
Geo caching is another fun use for your mobile’s GPS, as are apps like Walk watch and Map my run so you can record how far you’ve walked/cycled/run, where you went and elevation climbed. I hadn’t considered setting up geo caches in the library but it could be part of a special event like book week.
Checking in…hmmm not so much.
It has disturbed me the frequency which some people check in their every movement and report this for all the world to see on Twitter. To the point I know where they live and whether or not they are at home. Now I’m an honest, law-abiding citizen but not everyone is. Just sayin’.