Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Something old, something new...

This is an update of a previous EduFlickr post on geotagging (the "something old") and a new Flickr toy I found (the "something new") which I don't think is educationally useful, but is good fun!

originally uploaded by DavidDMuir
In my geotagging post, I recommended Geotagr as a good tool for geotagging pictures. I must admit, I still like this site. It is simple to use and it works. However, it does involve going to another site and doing a bit of cutting and pasting.

The Localize Bookmarklet is therefore a good alternative since this allows geotagging directly from the Flickr page and does almost all the hard work for you. However, sometimes I seem to lose the ability to see the map with this bookmarklet (which is a fairly major problem).

A third option is to install the Google Maps in Flickr (GMiF) extension in your browser but I find it almost impossible to position the marker on the map exactly where I want it to go (again a fairly major problem). What I like about it though, is that you can link to a map mashup at Yuan.CC Maps which shows not just the location, but a thumbnail of the picture too. (See for example the link from my Munich Surfers photo or my GeoStream.) Note: You can use a Yuan.CC link in Flickr even if you don't use GMiF to tag the photo. For example, I used Geotagr to create the Munich Surfer tags, but then replaced the automatically generated link with a link to Yuan.CC so that I could get the thumbnail on the map effect.

However, Flickr has now just trumped the lot by providing its own, built in, geotagging tool! It's fairly easy to use, it works well and it provides the thumbnail on the map view that I like. In general, I like it... well, I like it with the following caveats. Firstly, the tool is tucked away in the Organize section - so it's not exactly obvious. By way of contrast, GMiF adds itself to the end of the tools that are displayed above the picture which seems to me a much more sensible place to be.

Secondly, it doesn't exactly add tags to your picture, at least not visible ones like geo:lat=48.143361. What it does instead, is hide this data in the "Additional Information" section along with the picture's other properties (such as the date it was taken). At first I was a bit miffed by this, but the more I thought about it, the more I thought it was a good idea. In general, you create a tag to allow yourself and other people to find your pictures. However, geotags are written to be machine readable so it makes sense to hide them with other machine readable data. If I want to search for photos near a specific location, then a map interface (such as the one provided in Flickr) is a more natural way to do it. The only thing that I'm still miffed about is that (as far as I can see) it is not currently possible to access the latitude and longitude data. I don't want to see all the EXIF data created by my camera, but if I was an Art teacher, maybe I would - and Flickr gives me a link that lets me check it if I want (see for example the data for my surfer picture) but hides it behind a link so that I can ignore it if I want. If I were a Maths or Geography teacher, I suspect there are times when I'd still want to see the latitude and longitude data, but at the moment I don't think I can. Also, at the moment, third party tools (such as the excellent FlickrFly) rely on there being visible tags and so will not work with the internally generated geotags. However, hopefully it will not be long before third party developers start to use the Flickr generated data instead of relying on tags.

Thirdly, and I think this is the most annoying, the map tool used by Flickr is Yahoo Maps. Of course, I understand why they have used Yahoo, but currently its satellite images are extraordinarily poor. It is perhaps understandable (although still disappointing) that parts of the north of Scotland are poorly represented, but Glasgow is barely a smudge on the satellite landscape! (No cheeky comments from Endinburgh please!) Hopefully this will be addressed by Yahoo in the near future.

So that's the update on something old - geotagging. Building it into Flickr is generally a good thing and it is a service that will hopefully get even better soon.

The something new is a new Flickr Toy I found: The Profile Widget. I'll quote from the widget's page...
DavidDMuir. Get yours at
Enter your Flickr username, email, or user ID and this nifty little gadget will create a customized image that you can paste into your profile page (or any other web page) that will automatically update itself every hour. It shows a selection of ten of your photos and some statistics about your Flickr usage. It's the perfect accessory for every Flickr addict.
Although it is called a "Profile Widget" (I have added one to my profile on Flickr) it can be used on any web page (for example in this blog post). As I said, I don't think it is particularly educationally useful (although if pushed I could probably invent an educational justification) I just thought it was a fun way to summarise and display the extent of your addiction to Flickr. :-)


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Monday, August 28, 2006

Why weren't my PE lessons like this?

Daughter number two showed me this when I got home tonight. :-) Better than the Mentos thing? What do you think?

OK Go - Here It Goes Again
OK Go, on treadmills.

{Not sure about the copyright... I can't see any information on Google Video}

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Turn on, tune in... send email!

I had an idea about cameraphones and live blogging at the end of last session, but the idea came too late to try it out properly. The idea came from a number of sources. One was David Warlick's Our Schools are Leaking post (a post that I blogged about some time ago) and another was Ollie Bray's mobile fieldwork idea (which I thought I'd blogged about, but can't find it if I did).

A third influence was my own experience of blogging. For example, I found the process of blogging eLive extremely helpful and I think I learned more effectively as a result of the blog posts I wrote. Extending this sort of on the hoof blogging to pupils and students though could be tricky because: a) not every student has a laptop and b) wi-fi access is not always available. However, it struck me that many have mobile phones and their phones are often very sophisticated pieces of kit with cameras, Internet access and email capabilities built in. I wondered how easy it would be to get students blogging with their mobile phones. Mobile phones have a number of advantages over laptops, for example, they are smaller so they can be used in places where laptops would be too intrusive or inappropriate ...and the students already have them!

I knew I could send email to an address set up in Blogger to post blog entries and I knew I could email from my phone. It took a bit of effort to set it up (I've complained about non-intuitive phone interfaces before) but eventually I found a step-by-step guide on my phone providers website. After bit of experimenting I discovered that I could email text from the phone straight to Blogger but that it ignored picture attachments. I also knew that I could email photographs to Flickr but what I didn't know (but discovered after a bit of fiddling around) was that Flickr can be set up to automatically forward photos, along with the text description, to a blog of your choice. Brilliant!

we want chocolate!
we want chocolate!,
originally uploaded by Unknown PGDE(S) student
So, after setting the scene for the students by talking about how the children they will be teaching are a connected and communicating generation, and inspired by Peter Ford's opening activity at Communicate.06, I told them to turn on their phones, take a picture and send it to a blog by email. I offered "Chocolate based prizes!" for the first and the best pictures sent. More or less 100% of the students had mobile phones and about 90% had camera-phones. Although a fair number thought their phones could send email, only around 15% of them thought they actually knew how to do it! Still, out of the 700+ students currently on the PGDE(S) course, that's still a good number of picture takers. Also, for those unable to email direct from their phone, I said I'd leave things open until early next week to give them time to transfer the image to a computer and email it from there.

You can see the results on the PGDE 2005/2006 moblog. The first post explains what I wanted to do and the post lecture post describes some of the difficulties we encountered. The problems seem to have arisen from too many people trying to send too many photos to Blogger via Flickr at more or less the same time! Otherwise, I think it worked very well. Taking photos and using the technology seemed to generate a buzz in the hall and there were a lot of smiling faces and excited chatter - activities not normally associated with my lectures. :-)

At least two questions come to mind:
  1. Would I do it again?
  2. How might it be used by pupils?
The answer to 1) is, "Yes!" It worked (mostly), it seemed to engage the learners and it was fun. Answering 2) is the trickier bit. If it was just a bit of fun, perhaps the answer to 1) should have been, "No!" However, I think more was going on this occasion, including giving the students a practical example of technology in use and making a point by using this technology at the start of their first formal ICT input on the course. I think mobile photo blogging activities in schools could also be justified educationally. For example, Ollie's mobile fieldwork could involve live photo blogging. Or a visit to a Science Centre could be blogged live complete with photos of the experiments. Or a visiting speaker's talk at school could be blogged from the assembly hall while it is happening (and if we were really smart, parts could be recorded on a mobile and podcast too). Or... do you get the mobile picture?

I am certainly going to experiment further. My texting is significantly poorer than most (every?) teenager's (see my photo post for example) but I think I'll have a go at a mobile post from SETT just to see how it goes. I've also got at least one more idea for the PGDE(S) mobile photo blog that I'll try out in the next few weeks.

As always, send me your own ideas and examples. Watch these spaces!

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Tuesday, August 22, 2006

So little time - so little blogging

The students arrived on Monday and I've been pretending to teach them. Blogging, blogging? I remember blogging. :-)

Abandoned grindstones
Abandoned grindstones,
originally uploaded by Earthwatcher
Hopefully things will settle down in a few days and I'll manage to do some more sensible blogging.

P.S. I'm also trying a couple of new read/write web ideas with this year's students... I'll let you know more soon... probably.

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Friday, August 18, 2006

TeachMeet: Acting the Goat

I cannot tell a lie... The only reasons I suggested The Goat as a possible venue for a social event on the TeachMeet wiki was because it said it offered free wi-fi and, more importantly, because it was close to the Ashoka West End ...which is where I wanted to eat. :-) However, it looks like curries are out and The Goat is the venue of choice. Since I'd suggested The Goat, I thought I'd better check it out in case it turned out to be a dog!

The Goat
Outside The Goat,
originally uploaded by David Muir
I went in at lunchtime and it was reasonably busy. I decided just to go for a bowl of soup. (I think I've mentioned elsewhere that I am an old, balding, fat man. There's not much I can do about the first two, but I'm working on the third!) . There were two soups on offer Summer Sweetcorn and Red Pepper. I went for the sweetcorn even though the chap serving was unsure what distinguished summer sweetcorn from winter sweetcorn. :-) It was very tasty (although it could have been a bit hotter). More importantly, the portion size was reasonable. I hate these places that spend more time making food look pretty than they do putting it on the plate! A surreptitious glance round the room suggests that they give you decent sized portions what ever is ordered.

The Wednesday menu looks OK but is a bit limited. The weekend menu has a few more dishes. I wonder if they would offer us the more extensive choice if enough of us were coming or if we pre-ordered? Also, I don't know if we should be worried, but there's a sign in the window advertising for a full time chef! :-)

teachmeetbbb.jpgI took a few photos and posted them to my Flickr account. Have a look and let me know what you think. There's an upstairs bit that it says can be used for functions. I'll have a look at it before I go. I wonder if we could commandeer it for the post TeachMeet meet? I'll have a word with the duty manager before I go and see what she/he says.

I should also add that this blog entry and all the Flickr stuff was done via their wi-fi connection - which worked very well. I had a bit of a panic when I first tried to connect because it asked for a security code. However, when I asked, one was provided and even my steam-driven laptop managed to connect which it didn't manage at the Jolly Judge (scene of the last ScotEduBlog meetup)!

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Thursday, August 17, 2006

The Web: Remember when we were young...

I know I'm a bit late with this as other people have already commented on the Young drive 'radical media shift' story (e.g. Hot Milky Drink). For me, this story connected in my head with the web being 15 years old. Not only are these children plugged-in to the Internet but almost all of them will be unable to remember an Internet without the World Wide Web. To all intents and purposes, for every child currently at school, the Web has always been there.

I, however, am an old, balding, fat man. I remember the first time I downloaded (using telnet to connect to an FTP server) NCSA Mosaic of the Macintosh. (Is anyone else old enough to know what I'm talking about?) I remember using Mosaic to go to a test page someone at the University had created. On the page was a picture, a sound file and some text - all on the same screen and all accessible with the same program! (Amazing!)

I remember running courses to teach people how to use the Web. We collected examples of web address to share because they were so rare. We had a picture of a Chinese restaurant with a web address on its awning. (Wow!) A colleague brought in a conflakes packet with Kellogg's web address printed on it. (Stunning!) I almost got arrested in Portugal for taking a picture of a police car with the web address of the Portuguese police on the side. (Scary! Ask me to tell you the story some day. I can make it sound much more interesting than it was.)

I remember running courses to show teachers how to use the Web... or should I say, how to use web browsers. We had to show people what a hyperlink was and how to move from one page to another. Did we really have to teach people what a hyperlink was? Apparently we did! For the students in school today, the web has just always been there. Hyperlinks are followed without even thinking about what a hyperlink is. ("It's just how the Internet works. There is no other way to do it... is there?")

I wonder how much that I'm teaching people today will just be "normal" in fifteen years time? Will all the confusion and worry currently caused by podcasts and wikis and blogs (oh my!) have gone? ("You mean people just read stuff that other people had created? Weird!") Or will podcasts and wikis and blogs (oh my!) go the way of Gopher and Archie and Veronica (oh what?). Will they be replaced by something else, something with a name of its own? (Rather than a stop gap name like Web 2.0 which to me says we don't really know what to all it yet - like when cars were called horseless carriages.) In fifteen years time, I wonder what our students will make of what we are doing with the Web today?

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Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Preparing for SETT

I've started thinking about about this year's SETT and I wondered what its Technorati tag should be, so I went to HitchHikr to see what the suggested tag was. I was surprised to discover that SETT wasn't listed there although the ScotEduBlogs TeachMeet was. So a meeting of twenty-odd bloggers (or is that twenty odd-bloggers?), with a programme that is being made up as we go along on a wiki, have got themselves an entry and agreed a tag, but nobody has thought to add SETT which last year had over 5600 attendees and has been organised for months! I think that says something about bloggers... but I'm not sure what! Suggestions on a postcard will be gratefully received. :-)

The 'Armadillo'
The 'Armadillo',
originally uploaded by krmuir
Anyway, I have now added SETT to HitchHikr (with a little help from David Warlick because I made a bit of a mess of the tags.) My first suggestion for a tag was , which seems sensible enough. However I was recently given a row by an LTScotland person for calling it a technology conference - I was told in no uncertain terms that it isn't a technology conference, it is "The Scottish Learning Festival"! Silly me. (What do the two "T"s in SETT stand for again?) I therefore wanted to get the Learning Festival bit in a tag as well. I thought "ScottishLearningFestival06" was a bit of a mouthful, so suggested instead. In retrospect I'm not sure that was wise. It looks like a compromise - too short for Richard and too long for Dick. What do you think?

I've been wondering if SETT will have free wi-fi access this year. I wrote a post about eLive (Coming to you live...) where I raved about the free wi-fi access they provided and how much it added to the experience. I contacted one of the SETT organisers shortly after eLive and he said there would not be wi-fi because it would be too expensive to provide. I must admit to being surprised. If a much smaller conference like eLive can get sponsorship to provide free wi-fi, surely SETT could find someone to do the same for them? There was a suggestion that the problem might be that the SECC want to charge a huge amount for providing wi-fi. If that's true then shame on the SECC - are they not making enough money from SETT as it is? At the risk of being called a cynic again, I feel that had there been a will, a way would have been found.

Perhaps I'm worrying unduly - they may have managed to sort something out for this year. An encouraging sign is the number of active bloggers that are now working for LTScotland/SSDN. (I wont name names. You know who you are!) Perhaps they will be able to push from within for free wi-fi at SETT for next year if not for this.

What do you think? Would on its own do as a tag? Any thoughts on free wi-fi access during the Learning Festival? What are you looking forward to at SETT (...apart from the TeachMeet obviously!)?

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Monday, August 14, 2006

Empowering students

On of the things I meant to do in the ICT: The C is for Control post was to talk about Alan's book - Empowering Students with Technology. It's a few years old now, ancient history in ICT terms, but many of the issues it raises are just as important today and the examples he gives are still fascinating. I thought I'd explain in this post how I got my copy of his book.

Alan November
Alan November,
originally uploaded by Faragher
As I mentioned, I first saw Alan a number of years ago at SETT and was so impressed by what he said that I hung about at the end to tell him how much I'd enjoyed his presentation. Now when people thank me for what I've said - which is not very often :-) - I usually just mutter some embarrassed thanks. Alan, however, asked me why I thought he was good. Maybe he thought I was being a sycophant and wanted to check my sincerity. (Quick - where can I learn to fake sincerity!) Or maybe it's an American thing. Whatever the reason, I was happy to tell him.

Now I can't remember exactly what I said, but I think I gave three reasons along these lines:
  1. His enthusiasm and passion for what he was talking about was clear. Positively infectious!
  2. His examples were brilliant. They were rooted in the real world of learning and teaching (if that's not an oxymoron). He wasn't just talking in the abstract but was giving examples based on his own experience. This was not pie in the sky stuff but was practical and presented in a way that made you feel you could do it too.
  3. His main interest was in the learners not the technology. As a wise man said, "It's not about the tech - it's about the teach!"
Either I baffled him with my Glaswegian accent or answered his question satisfactorily because when I asked him if his book was available in the UK, he said, "Here, have this one" and handed me the copy he had shown during his presentation. I offered to pay but he insisted on giving it to me free. Even if I hadn't been impressed before, this would have convinced me that the man was a genius. :-) (Am I guilty of perpetuating an example of kilture here? The mean Scot happy to get a freebie?)

Now, if only I'd got him to sign it. :-)

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Saturday, August 12, 2006

Too smart for my own good

I boasted at the end of It's deja-vu all over again that I'd managed to get Technorati to recognise a new tag I'd added to an old post by changing the posting date. After achieving this I returned the posts to their original date because the URL of a post in Blogger is related to its posting date. If anything referred to the old posts, they'd have to be found at the old date or the link would be broken.

Does anyone see the obvious problem here? I was walking the dogs when it hit me. Technarati has now indexed the old posts... but it has indexed them at the new date not the old one. Doh!

The only way around this that I can see is to duplicate the old posts at the new date. The moral of the story is: Don't try to add new tags to old posts!

P.S. I am not feeling 100% at the moment and on reading over yesterday's post I said much less than I meant to on the subject of control. I fear I went into a bit of a ramble. (Which reflects the current state of my brain - sorry.)

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Friday, August 11, 2006

ICT: The C is for Control

When I first posted ICT: The C is for Conversation, I thought it was going to be a one off prompted by a something I'd heard in one of David Warlick's podcasts. Shortly afterwards though, I was struck by something else I'd heard and so followed ICT: The C is for Creativity. Well it seems to be turning into a series... This time though, I was inspired by some holiday reading.

I took three books on holiday this year. One was The Remains Of The Day. This book has been in my To Read pile for ages and I'm really glad I finally got around to it. I highly recommend this book.

I almost finished one of the others - Finding God In Unexpected Places. This was written by Philip Yancy a Christian author and journalist and this book is essentially a collection of his magazine articles - some are OK, some are good and some are very interesting. A good read.

However, it was the third book that prompted this post. I re-read Coming of Age. It may seem sad that I took a work related book on holiday, but in my defence I'd like to say... OK, it is sad that I took this book on holiday. However, in theory I am still writing up my MEd and I have been feeling guilty about my lack of progress so I thought I'd better take some MEd related reading with me.

So what inspired this post? Principally it was Alan November's chapter on Blogging: shift of control. Among other things he says:
Unlike word processing, or using an interactive whiteboard, or having students present a PowerPoint presentation to classmates behind closed doors, blogging shifts the concept of the control of information. Perceptions of time, space and relationships are expanded. The audience moves from teacher and class to the world. Teachers are no longer the sole or even the primary arbitrator of student work. [Page 30]
I heard Alan speak at SETT a few years ago. He told us about a school in the USA where a teacher gave the pupils some software from NASA and asked them to find out something about the universe that nobody else knew. (I may be paraphrasing!) A couple of students found out something that was so new, the teacher had to get some NASA scientists to check it! I can see that a shift of control like that could be scary - but I think it could also be exciting. A teacher left a comment on a previous post on this blog to the effect that some of the most exciting times he had ever had in a classroom came from times when pupils had taught him something new.

dance line
dance line,
originally uploaded by foreversouls
The old cliché says there should be a shift from sage on the stage to guide on the side. I've never been entirely happy with that. I agree that the teacher should not be seen as the fount of all knowledge, but I do not think that means that should be relegated to the sidelines. A phrase I have heard David Warlick use a few times is (and again I fear I paraphrase) "Our pupils can play with the software. They need us to learn how to work the information." There is more to this role than just guiding from the side. We need to be working the information with our students. The best I can come up with is: not a guide on the side but in the classes with the masses. Yes, I know it's poor but can you come up with something better - something that implies working and learning with our students rather than just guiding from the sidelines? Something that shows a shift of control without implying teachers are redundant... unless you think we are. :-)

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Thursday, August 10, 2006

It's deja-vu all over again

Man At Work
Man At Work,
originally uploaded by Kiki J
I complained in Getting ratty with Technorati :-) that a few of my posts hadn't been indexed by Technorati. However, I should also have given credit where it was due since their helpdesk got back to me and suggested changing the date on the the missing posts. The idea is that Technorati thinks they are new posts and will index them properly when given a second go. Since a couple of people said they had similar problems I should have thanked Technorati for the advice and confirmed that it worked. I changed the time on one (I moved it forward an hour) and changed the day on the other (moved it forward a day) and both were picked up and indexed.

The only downside is that this trick also fools aggregators into thinking the posts are new. This means that people may end up reading the same thing more than once. The only downside is that this trick also fools aggregators into thinking the post are new. This means that people may end up reading the same thing more than once.

Anyway, despite this problem I am going to change the time of a few other posts too. I had already written three posts on educational uses of photosharing before I thought of the tag EduFlickr. I added this tag to the earlier posts but Technorati didn't pick up on the addition. I'm hoping that changing the time of these three posts will make Technorati notice the new tag. The only downside is that this trick also fools aggregators into thinking the post are new. This means that people may end up reading the same thing more than once.

If it works, a single search for the tag EduFlickr on my blog should bring up the whole series.

{Success... eventually! It took me a while to work it out, but as well as changing the posts date, you have to make sure it is a recent enough date for the post to appear on the front page of the blog. The series (so far) can now be found with the search shown above. :-) }

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Monday, August 07, 2006

A new word?

While listening to the radio the other day, I heard the presenter mispronounce a word. He was aiming for "culture" but what he said was "kilture". I think kilture ought to be a real word and the following definition immediately suggested itself...
Kilture: Aspects of Scottish culture presented to tourists and nations other than Scotland which have minimal relevance to contemporary Scottish culture.
Do you see what I mean? A few examples will help illustrate. I'm thinking of the tartan and stag paintings found on tins of shortbread or the Brigadoon and Braveheart image found in movies. If you want to see kilture - go to the Royal Mile in Edinburgh where you can't swing a claymore without hitting a bit of kilture! Every other shop is cluttered with kilture. (And is the blue faced Braveheart guy still posing for pictures with the tourists outside the Castle? - He's another example of kilture.)

Wallace Monument
Wallace Monument,
originally uploaded by DavidDMuir
Another example can be found at the foot of the Wallace Monument. The monument itself is magnificent. Great architecture and spectacular setting - it commemorates an historic event that still has relevance to Scottish culture today. However, at the foot of hill there is that monstrosity of a statue - the Mel Gibson "inspired" depiction of William Wallace. Kilture? I think so!

Am I alone in thinking that this should be a real word? Does my definition of what it means make sense? If you agree with me, please find excuses to use the word kilture wherever possible. I'm already thinking about how I can use it in some of my classes next year and I plan to use it in future blog posts. :-)

One last time, say it with me: kilture.

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Thursday, August 03, 2006

A is for Assessment

I really enjoyed the responses to my ICT: The C is for Creativity post - despite being accused of being an old cynic. :-) However, I suspect you got bored and wandered off while waiting for me to get back from Germany. As a result, although I have now replied to all the comments, I feel that I was shouting at an empty room. Therefore, I decided to pick up on a couple of the issues here in a new post.

Werk werk werk...,
originally uploaded by Fanis
A number of people implied that the post was anti-assessment. If it was, I didn't mean it to be! I think assessment is an incredibly important part of the education process. However, the unthinking application of check-lists from the approved teaching pack is not assessment! I don't think the pack itself is always the problem here, but rather the way it is used. My worry is that a teacher could arrive at the end of a Blog Unit in the pack, have a full set of ticks for every pupil, and assume that they have "done blogs". They could then move onto the next unit without ever going near blogs again. They may have ticked the boxes, but have they actually assessed learning? Perhaps not.

One of the examples I gave was "Create three line blog post". I have seen checklists items like that for multimedia teaching packs - "Create a mutlimedia resource with three screens". Why three screen? Because it is easy to check! However, I have seen one screen multimedia resources that are more impressive than thirty-three screen resources. To assess a multimedia resource properly, you have to do more than just count the screens!

I can't remember who said this, and I'm probably misquoting, but...
Not everything that is measurable is valuable and not everything that is valuable is measurable.
I think the things that are most educationally valuable about blogs and read/write web tools are the hardest to measure. Certainly, the creativity they encourage, the excitement they generate are almost impossible to reduce to a simple checklist.

That however brings us to another A - A for accountability! John asked (and others hinted at the same issue), "How does the authority make sure I am doing something in my class, not just swinging some 'creative lead'?" That seems to be less about assessment and more about accountability. Perhaps there is a place for the checklist here as it involves minimal administrative overhead and gives physical evidence that can be easily checked and filed by the powers that be. (Oops! Slipping into old cynic mode again!) However better evidence that something educationally valuable is happening can be found simply be reading the blog or listening to the podcast. With even a fairly casual look at what John's pupils are doing, it is clear that learning is taking place. If further evidence is needed, talk to the pupils and listen to what they have to say. For example, I loved John's description of what happened when his class met Muriel Gray - there was evidence aplenty that learning had happened! However, capturing and recording that evidence is tricky.

So, I'm not anti-assessment, it's just that I think checklists are of limited value and can give a false sense of achievement. Assessment takes time, skill and effort - the same can't be said for checklists!

If we want to help our students to learn, we need to know what we want to assess and how we will do it. What do you think we should be assessing when we use read/write web tools with our students?

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