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  • This was contributed by Gina Cathro, CORE Education and posted by Simon Evans on 10 June 2011. This is cross-posted as part of the transition of Software for Learning to Enabling e-Learning.

    Have you ever wanted to capture a conversation between people scattered about the country or the globe and then edit it to use again and again?

    For example, a debate between scientists from separate organizations, a group of authors who could stir up students’ reading and writing, or groups of students from other earthquake-affected schools round the world… If this is something you or your students would like to do, I have found one way of doing it that is a lot of fun.

    I was recently asked to facilitate a symposium between four New Zealand writers who live from Auckland to the deep South and there was no budget for travel! After much research, which mainly involved bothering my colleagues Matt, Glen and Jedd, I did the following:

    1. Purchased Call Recorder for Skype which I thought was brilliant!. This allowed me to have a five way recorded conversation and the resulting file was able to be neatly downloaded onto my desktop in .mov format.
    2. I dragged and dropped the 90 minute file into GarageBand and edited it into ten minute chunks. I was surprised how easy GarageBand is to use. Kids seem to take one look at it and figure out how to use it within minutes. If you don’t have an Apple, there is a free sound editor for both Macs and PCs called Audacity. For online tutorials and a variety of help solutions, visit the following links on the Audacity website:

    What possibilities can you see for your class?

  • This was originally posted by Simon Evans 23 May 2011. This is cross-posted as part of the transition of Software for Learning to Enabling e-Learning.

    "Half of New Zealand's computer users believe they have adequate internet security but are putting their data at risk every day," wrote Technology Editor Chris Gardner in this Waikato Times article Basic rules to prevent PC disaster.


    The same is potentially true of schools and their networks. So what are the key things to watch out for?

    • Computer virus - is a computer program that can copy itself and infect a computer.
    • Spyware - can be installed on computers, collecting small pieces of information about users without their knowledge.
    • Spam - is the use of electronic messaging systems to send unsolicited bulk messages indiscriminately.
    • Malware is the collective term including computer viruses , computer worms, Trojan horses, most rootkits, spyware, dishonest adware and other malicious and unwanted software.

    So what needs to be done?

    Whether your school network, laptops and desktops are managed by an ‘in-house’ technician or outside company, it is essential to ensure that appropriate antivirus and anti-spyware security software is kept up-to-date. Three of the leading providers are listed below, but do check with your network-support provider before making updates or changes.



    Symantec's Norton

    Who manages your computer network- in-house technician or outside provider?

    Which antivirus and anti-spyware security software does your school use?

    Useful Links:

    Managed internet services solutions for schools - Ministry of Education

  • This was originally posted by Simon Evans on 1 Sept 2011. This is cross-posted as part of the transition of Software for Learning to Enabling e-Learning.

    image from mr thompsons classroom

    Find out about Voki. Below are a number of ideas to get you started with using Voki in the classroom

    • Creating Vokis – online animated characters that speak.  Creating an animated character and giving it a voice is real fun to do and breaks down the inhibitions that students often have when faced with recording themselves speaking in English.
    • Learn a foreign language – Use voki to motivate students to practice speaking in a personalized way. 
    • Reviewing vocabulary and grammatical structures- Use voki to isolate and highlight particular terminology. The example here is with learning Spanish as a second language but the lesson holds true regardless of language of choice.
    • Character Analysis – Use Voki to deliver a speech in character. This example is from George Orwell’s Animal Farm but the principle’s hold for any literary deconstruction.
    • Research a famous Explorer of the 16th century.  Students work in groups to create a Voki which is designed to reflect their chosen explorer. Audio is included which explains their exploits as explorers.

    Other lesson plans can be found on the Voki site. A variety of curriculum foci are covered.

  • This was originally posted bSimon Evans on 18 Jan 2012. This is cross-posted as part of the transition of Software for Learning to Enabling e-Learning. 


    With 18 million users and the number continuing to rise Goolge+ continues to set records as the fastest-growing social network in history…

    There are many within the New Zealand teaching community who have been inviting one another into Google+. If you are wondering how to get started here a few things that might help:

    +You Stream

    When you’ve logged into Google+ you’ll notice the Stream title; this is where you can add text, images, video, links or location - just as you would in Facebook.

    But don’t click send just yet. There is an +more people button which will allow you to focus your message to the right circle of friends, colleagues or relations. You can add or delete the circles as you see fit.

    +You Finding Friends

    Once you’ve started sharing your thoughts or links with the world you may want to narrow that audience down to the groups of people closest to you. Select the circles icon beside the Find people text box.

    You have three options here. Select people who have added you or select, find and invite or type in the details of individuals you wish to connect with in the find people text box.

    In whichever case simply drag the person’s pic and name into the appropriate circle below.

    +You Creating circles

    Now that you’re in circles you will notice the limited number of circles to; friends, family, acquaintances and following.

    If you select the drop here to create a new circle you can create and name as many circles as you wish. You can drag contacts to multiple circles. Your contacts will not know which circles they have been allocated to, unless of course you tell them.

    Once you have created and filled your circles return to your stream and try writing an update, only selecting specific circles. It will look just the same on your stream but the update will only appear for those who are contained within your selected circles.

    +You and your profile

    To the left of the circles tab is profile. Select it and from here you can view

    • posts you have written in your stream
    • about containing your personal information
    • photos and videos you have shared
    • +1 likes you may have clicked on
    • any information you have within buzz.

    Select About (your personal information)
    Select Edit profile. Remember you only need share what you wish in this section. The uppermost edit box is called Introduction if you don’t want to share any other information about yourself a short sentence here to distinguish yourself from others with the same name may help others connect with you.

    There are options when editing each of these fields. You can select whether to share this information with yourself (private) just with those in your circles, extended circles or with anyone on the web.

    Things to consider:

    • What do you think are the educational possibilities of Google +?
    • For you, what does Google+ offer that may entice you away from Facebook?

    Megan Melvin 26 July 2011

    I have been 'enticed' already! Google + is more in tune with the modern day work/life imbalance - the lines are now blurred between family, friends and colleagues - sometimes one person is all three! Google + means I have all my tools in one toolbox instead of spread over five drawers of the kitchen that means I have to keep opening and closing all the time and remembering which ones has the can opener! My only reservations is putting all eggs in one basket and the threat of the 'big brother' business model that is rapidly becoming Google.

    Karen Melhuish SpencerKaren Melhuish Spencer 27 July 2011 

    Thanks, Simon.
    I too have got set up in there (will see if I can track you down, MeganSmile
    Perhaps the question for educators is: will/does Google+ offer particular opportunities for extending/enhancing learning that are not already supported by other tools? There may well be a perceived efficiency; as Megan says, the interweaving of other Google apps in a single platform would be a strength to schools already using Google, I'm sure
    In terms of education, once membership is open to all, I can see a few applications:

    • closed circles for dedicated teaching/professional learning groups that offer a flexibility in terms of timing, content sharing
    • shared hangouts for small group discussion
    • the use of Sparks to channel relevant information to a circle
    • the way you can overlap circle membership to integrate activities at certain points across multiple groups.

    For me, FB has always been a personal space, which has slowly been integrated with professional stuff; I like the way circles can separate the conversation when required.

    As with all these, though, the challenge is managing what you share or don't share - and why and how - and while Google+ doesn't have the complex privacy settings, it is not as straightforward as one might assume.And the digital citizenship competencies are just as crucial.
    I will watch the space with interestSmile

    Jenny SheJenny She 5 August 2011

    Hi Simon,
    I love Google Plus!  Its privacy feature is most impressive.  With careful deilberation, the circles are very easy and convienent to use.  Facebook will not die but I can see that a lot of people have found G+ extremely attractive as the alternative social media platform.  For me, facebook is really a personal space and I don't use it on the profeesional level as a teacher.  On the other hand, I think it is possible to use G+ in the classrooms.

    Enabling e-LearningEnabling e-Learning 21 February 2012

    This link re: the changed age limit on Google+ has come via Kelly Faulkner/ICTs in English forum:
    Google+ Now Open for Teens, With Extra Safety Precautions.
    Anyone used/using it in school?

  • Pulpit rock

    This was originally posted bSimon Evans on 18 Jan 2012. This is cross-posted as part of the transition of Software for Learning to Enabling e-Learning.

    Fotopedia has a vast array of stunning photography available for view. It is a collaborative photo encyclopedia that hosts high-quality images whose subjects are matched to Wikipedia articles. Fotopedia magazine has a vast array of quality pictures supported by insightful text on various topics and themes. The most recent at time of publishing being on San Francisco Bay.

    But topics range widely from “10 things to do in Tokyo” to “The Song of the Passerines”. Members can sign up independently or through a facebook account and have access to the community space, the forums and user guides. Users are able to add photographs or articles they have written, link these to other supportive material on the site and share their knowledge.

    With a focus quality articles and a need for exemplary material this community seeks and offers support to creators as they expand the knowledge base in this resource. Topics, photo albums and articles vary so secondary students and teachers could well find material to support their learning or use this platform as a place to showcase that learning.

    Members are able to create photo-driven articles which include Wikipedia and Google Maps information. They can add a limited number of photos per day resulting in a high quality selection of photos.

    As well as taking part in the encyclopedia, professional and amateur photographers on Fotopedia can create albums to display their works, use Wikipedia articles to add context and to advertise popular albums.

    But the real power of Fotopedia lies in their apps. These cover various topics, themes and locations. All easily adaptable for classroom use.

    Useful links

    Apps Fotopedia Heritage  - Created in cooperation with the UNESCO World Heritage Centre, Fotopedia Heritage provides a virtual passport to the hundreds of sites that constitute the world’s collective cultural and natural human legacy.

    Fotopedia Wild Friends - This app is packed with rare and candid scenes, including of artic foxes, chamois, dolphins, ghost sharks, gray wolves, humpback whales and more…

    Other Fotopedia apps - Available apps cover a variety of locations around the globe.


    Try Fotopedia for Lessons About Wildlife - a couple of thoughts about Applications for Education written by Richard Byrne

    Fotopedia blog  - for announcements, features and the latest on app development.

    Fotopedia Heritage – iPhone App of the Week  - elearningstuff reviews the Fotopedia Heritage app

    Fotopedia Shifts From iPad Books To Photozine With “Wild Friends” App  - Tech Crunch review of the Wild friends app.

  • Green swirly logo Technologies & Infrastructure


    For more technology gems, tips, tricks, related to mobile technologies from across the VLN/Enabling e-Learning groups for the week of 25th September 2013.


    • Speak Pipe: Keryn Wilson shares an online tool that enables visitors to leave voice messages on a blog. Great for promoting formative feedback from a variety of audiences.


    Mobile technologies


    • IOS7 and educationNeil_V offers some handy summaries on how IOS7 can make the mobile experience more user-friendly in an educational context.
    • Printing from the ipad: Community members offer Cindy Woolston a variety of ideas for setting up printing from an iPad. Do you have a solution that works for you?
    • iExplorerMonika Kern asks if people are aware of iExplorer and what they have found it useful for. Do you have some experience with iExplorer?
    • Technology appsMelissa Grant is looking for advice about apps to use in technology with her Y4 class, as they design trolley prototypes. Any other ideas to offer here?



    EEL logo Enabling e-Learning events



      Image sourced from Creative Commons 

  • Green swirly logo Technologies & Infrastructure


    For more technology gems, tips, tricks, related to mobile technologies from across the VLN/Enabling e-Learning groups for the week of 11th September 2013.


    • Google Doc Sharing TAGS: Google drive, Gmail, school accounts LATEST CONTRIBUTORS: Shine Kelly, Rob Clarke, anne roberston


    Mobile technologies


    • Maths apps: TAGS: Maths, resources, apps, learning needs, LATEST CONTRIBUTORS: Vanitha Govini, Mini Joseph
    • Managing Multiple Tablets: TAGS: bulk, multiple, android, liscensing, tablet, management, LATEST CONTRIBUTORS: Mini Joseph, Jaimee Donaldson
    • Evernote, e-portfolios and iPads: TAGS: Evernote, e-portflio, compatibility, digital, archive learning, record LATEST CONTRIBUTORS: Mohi Mete, Anjela Webster, Jacqui Sharp
    • App Sharing: TAGS: apps, sharing, curriculum, educational, mobile, LATEST CONTRIBUTORS: Michelle Robison, Catriona Pene
    • Android App Sharing: TAGS: apps, android, sharing, resources, curriculum, LATEST CONTRIBUTORS: Mary Jamieson, Allanah King
    • Ipad screen repairs: TAGS: screen repair, replace, top tips, LATEST CONTRIBUTORS: Susan McMillan, iDave, Tracey Gibson, Jaxdonald, Monika Kern, Eric Martiniimage
    • Kidblog: TAGS: storage, capacity, recommendations, alternatives, LATEST CONTRIBUTORS: Renee, Jo Dudley, Leigh Hynes, Philippa Cowper, Aaron Frost, Marnel van der Spuy 
    • Videos on you tube: TAGS: Youtube, iPad, videos, Flash, Puffin browser, LATEST CONTRIBUTORS: Kylie Gilbert, Neil_V, Brendon White, Allanah King



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      Image sourced from Creative Commons, Creative Commons

  • Green swirly logo Technologies & Infrastructure


    For more technology gems, tips, tricks, related to mobile technologies from across the VLN/Enabling e-Learning groups for the week of 14th August 2013.


    • Apple Configurator TAGS: tutorial, support LATEST CONTRIBUTORS: Jo Hall, Allanah King, Stuart Hale, redbeard45
    • Locking the app store and settings TAGS: iPad, restrictions, monitoring, managing device LATEST CONTRIBUTORS: Leigh Hynes, Catriona Pene, Eric Martini, Allanah King, Innes Kennard, Fiona Young, Andy Parker
    • iBookAurasma TAGS: iPad, display, mirror, tips, tricks LATEST CONTRIBUTORS: Tori Wilby, Philippa Cowper, Jacqueline Hill, Jennie L
    •  iBooks TAGS: electronic books, published, iTunes LATEST CONTRIBUTORS: Tara Fagan, Sarah Parker
    • iCloud storage TAGS: iPad, cloud storage, classroom management LATEST CONTRIBUTORS: MrsORoom12
    • Multiple iTunes accounts TAGS: iPad, iTunes, VPP, multiple accounts, LATEST CONTRIBUTORS: oliviabrown, Klaris Philipson, Enchante, RedBeard45, Sonya Van Schaijik 
    • e-portfolios on an iPad TAGS: BYOD, iPad, Google Sites, e-portfolios, yr 7/8, schools sharing LATEST CONTRIBUTORS: Christine Hansen, Sam Hamilton, JaxdonaldAngela Scoullar, Klaris Philipson, Brendon White                                             
    • NZ Money Apps TAGS: apps, shopping, life skills, money LATEST CONTRIBUTORS: Fiona Young, JMKellow, Allanah King, redbeard45
    • Technology apps TAGS: apps, technology classes, design, yr4 LATEST CONTRIBUTORS: Melissa Grant



    EEL logo Enabling e-Learning events


      Image sourced from Freedigitalphotos.

  • Green swirly logo Technologies & Infrastructure


    For more technology gems, tips, tricks, including mobile technologies from across the VLN/Enabling e-Learning groups for the week of 14th August 2013.


    • Lovely app for recording short message: Coral Butler shares "Tellagami" as an ideal app for ESOL students. Children can create their own avatar and place themselves within a photo of their choice.
    • App Sharing Multiplication (Hooda Maths) is a strategic multiplication game, good for aiding recall of multiplication facts. It's also Free at the moment.

    Can you help?


    • Ipad. a mac and drop box: Ceri de Boo is looking for some advise on where/how students can store a copy of their work, such as Book Creator from an iPad.
    • ipad spelling apps for yr 2/3: Michele is looking for some good spelling Apps to challenge learners in year 1 -3, who have a spelling age of 10.5 and above. 
    • apps for ECE: Heather bell is looking for Apps that support developing sight word recognition, early reading and literacy skills for kindergarten and early school entry levels. 
    • imageStoring music files/sound files: Marion Kirby is wondering if anyone can recommend a cloud storage for music/sound files that they have successfully used and accessed from iPads.
    • Building Own Vocabulary Apps: Te Mihinga Komene wants to know suitable Apps for building vocabulary lists, aplhabetising, archiving and using as a reference - when learning new words, colloquialisms, sentence starters.
    • Screen Recording App for iPad: Tania wants to know how to record the Minecraft screen - as a virtual tour. Can anyone suggest a way to capture the screen and voice at the same time?
    • Reading eBooks: Lyn Ross is asking advice, top tips, organisation, effective classroom practice around good eBooks for a junior class. 



    EEL logo Enabling e-Learning events


      Image sourced from Creative Commons

  • Green swirly logo Technologies & Infrastructure


    For more mobile technology gems, tips, tricks from across the VLN/Enabling e-Learning groups for the week of 31 July 2013.


    Mobile technologies


    • Clicker apps: Two new clicker apps on the app store which look really useful and similar to clicker on the desktop. Has anyone tried these and willing to share some feedback?
    • Apple TV: A thread where community members help each other to solve issues associated with using Apple TV in the classroom.
    • App Sharing: Susan Feron shares how ireadwrite app is now avaliable in NZ for ipads - similar to wordq.
    • Dictionary: Mike Allen asks, Does anyone know of a good dictionary for iPads?image
    • Great free app: redbeard45 shares how Apple has just made 5 apps (and some non educational games) free to celebrate the fifth anniversary of the Apps Store. Might have to be in quick for these!
    • ipad spelling apps for yr 2/3: Mary-Anne Murphy shares a literacy strategy (Biks and Gutches) where students can create their own nonsensical words/stories using spelling patterns and rules. Want to know more?
    • Building Own Vocabulary Apps: Te Mihinga Komene asks which apps are suitable for housing and building your own vocabulary lists, aplhabetize them, use as a reference when learning new words, colloquialisms, sentence starters etc? All ideas appreciated.

    Can anyone help with Apple Configurator?

    • Apple configurator: Jo Hall wants more information on how to use Apple Configurator. She is also asking if anyone in the Hutt Valley area is available to help support her with this.



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    • For all other Enabling e-Learning round up news, go to the Enabling e-Learning blog.

      Image sourced from Flickr.