Web2.0 Wednesday 1

A Web2.0 Bilingual Approach

After trying hard to create an online portfolio – until I realized that I had only read half of Michele Martin’s last post – I finally understood what we were meant to do for our first web2.0wednesday

Then, having gathered some inspiration from the awesome contributions of my fellow bloggers Carla and Kevin I made up this one minute presentation of the prevailing values in web2.0; I used different possibilities offered by  Photofiltre to transform a photo.

The upload system didn’t recognized it at first and kept saying the file was empty; I noticed that I hadn’t name the file at all; I also saved it as a j peg. file, although I’m not sure I needed to.

Web2.0 Values

We are going back Home again!

Reading with Discipline


I’m very happy with the great news: Web2.0Wednesdays is about to start!

To me it’s like coming back home again, like the return to real life, like gathering again with loved persons. I’m ashamed of not coping so well with the total freedom “regime” we have been on the last two weeks, but I simply could not discipline my readings.

Every time I look on Google Reader, my Delicious or Diigo I discover yet a brand new useful tool – as gliffy –   or an irresistible discussion  – as “How do you use Metaphors…” –  or an international event – as k-12online 08 – or an amazing reflection – as some EURODL papers –  that keeps me under its spell: no way to stop reading until I reach the end.
The issue is that there seems not to be an end at all: inventive tools just seem to  pop up each day from every corner, discussions link to new perspectives that multiply into more conversations, deeper reflections  open over unknown territories of thought …we are, indeed, engaged in an endless quest.
From behind  this concert of enchanting and multiple voices I can still listen to  Kirsty Dyer ‘s advice: “Stay focused“. What  meaning  unfolds to me from this call?
I turn again to the Bamboo Project, I take once more Michele Martin‘s questions to discipline my reading, to silence all the inner voices and commit myself with the risk of sharing:

1. What have I learned today?

R: From a Colleague: The light of the Sun takes 8 minutes to reach the earth.

2. About the progress of a particular project:

R: My “blogging pioneers” started the process of commenting; some of them learned how to insert links.

3. My progress in achieving a specific goal:

R: I’ve stopped reading and started writing again. But that’s only because I’m so happy for a new Challenge is about to start!

4. Advice I’ve received from other people:

R: From Michele Martin: engage in reflective practice through simple daily steps.

5. A Question you have about anything:

R: I really  enjoyed reading about digital literacy in the paper: “Towards a Theory of Digital Literacy” I would like to go deeper in this subject, I wonder where to find more of this “stuff”.

6. Joy of the week:

Having been nominated for the Challenge by Britt Wattwood: that’s a great encouragement and a total surprise that I deeply appreciated. thank you, Britt.

From New York through Lisbon to Sydney

Father Stan Came to Town

F. Stan in Cascais

Every year – for more than 13 years now – a Franciscan friar from South Bronx, New York, keeps coming to Portugal, to visit and preach a retreat to his youth group – “Jovens de S. Francisco”.

Father Stan is a musician, he composes all sort of different kinds of music, such as Jazz, Folk or Rap; he sings and sells his songs all over the world to get some money in order to help his friends in Bronx, where he lives with other friars and friends that were homeless once.

He also goes all over the world to preach, sing and visit friends, specially young ones, as this time he did with us, giving his concert in our school, in June. He came earlier than usual as he was heading to Australia, to collaborate in the organization of the youth world meeting that will be held next July, in Sydney, Australia

The Power of Visual Metaphors

Webilus, Understanding the Web trough Visual Metaphors

As Michele Martin says in “If you behave like a disease…“:

“…using metaphors to think about concepts is one of the more powerful ways for me to both learn and to get creative.”

I would add to that the surprising power of visual metaphors to show, simultaneously, a whole set of implications and co-implications that may lay hidden within a complex concept.

I will try to embed Webilus gadget in this post so that anyone who doesn’t know it yet may visit it: it is a French site where we can find the best illustrations and images circulating in internet and whose common subject is the web in general.

These images, duly quoted and linked to their source, may be useful for several different purposes, from marketing ones to educational, and it seems to me that knowing not only how to use them but also how to make them becomes part of 21st century digital literacy.

The Empowerment of Young Students

A lesson with Hubble

Today we were going to visit our blogs during lesson time, but our net connection failed; as I had a new brand lesson prepared in my pen, students weren’t disappointed. I must remember that it is not enough to prepare a lesson in our wiki or in one of our blogs or in our Moodle platform; I must carry with me several lessons prepared, just in case.

For the technical set up of the lesson, as usual, my students did everything: to connect the laptop, the net connection, the projector and the pen; next, Filipa opened the power point and monitored the whole presentation; the other students read, asked and answered questions; I just stood at the back of the class commenting and provoking questions.

I’ve tried to present the role of conjunctions as linking words connecting ideas according to logical relations; I’ve downloaded photos from Hubble’s site and I’ve wrote all the sentences as legends or commentaries to these photos. They were enthusiastic about the amazing galaxy we live in and conjunctions didn’t seem so abstract after all.

Empowering Students

If I spent some free time with a small group at a time, I know they will be able to present the lessons themselves; and that is our ultimate goal, as says Sheryl Nussbaum Beach in her wonderful post Letter to my Colleagues where we can read:

“Want to know how a 21st Century learner learns? Ask them. You will be amazed at what you hear and if you are smart- you’ll act upon it. (…) Turn your classrooms into learning ecologies- learn with and from your students. Get rid of top down, expert driven instruction methods and nurture self-directed discovery- both your own and theirs. Turn your passions into classroom curriculum. Get excited and mentor your kids integrating your passions with core content and foundational knowledge. Help them develop a love and understanding for culture and our rich heritage.”

I agree with these words; it’s a question of time and passion, for us, to empower our young students and they soon will break free. We may verify it by visiting the beautiful blog of Laura

Building Community

Alberto asked me how to embed music files in his posts; I’ve suggested that, if he wants, I could write all the practical instructions about using web tools in his Blog; he would cooperate and ask other colleagues to collaborate; everyone looking for a particular practical information would go to his Blog and look for it.

Tomorrow I’ll ask two other students if they are willing to take in charge the work related with our library, including book reviews and so on; any other student looking for a book or wishing to post a review would go to their blog.

We may distribute by all the students’ blogs several different tasks at the service of our small new born community. Thus students would be progressively strengthened in responsibility, autonomy and initiative. Moreover, It would give them a motive to not stop blogging when the personal inspiration would seem to them to be “absent”, as they would feel that they are also in a mission, at the service of others.