lørdag, mars 29, 2008


Easter holiday's over and it's back to work. Read up on books, can absolutely recommend Morten Strøksnes' Automobil as well as Davis Vise's The Google Story.

Preparing a presentation I'll be having on Monday for colleagues on digital learning tools after lectures and workshops on the ECIS conference in Madrid which I attended in November. That could be interesting. I will focus on the positive sides of Internet, ICT and digital tools in a learning environment. I'll be talking about the experiences I have made at the middle school.

Just discovered that NRKbeta has collected Norwegian (for the most part) twitterers on this site, and it's fascinating to see realtime updates on twittering across the nation. Check out twittervision too for a global take on the phenomenon.

Hoping to make the move to Wordpress soon, but not happy with the template and tweaks yet.

lørdag, mars 15, 2008

streaming in the classroom

On Thursday this week I had a lecture in Norwegian class on "Farlige Bøker", dangerous literature in regards to the freedom of speech and violating it in different contexts and how it has been challenged in Norwegian literary history as well as in world literary history. Names such as Agnar Mykle, Salman Rushdie and Anna Politkovskaya.

NRK, Norway's national broadcaster, has a massive archive of in-house programs available for streaming on their website. The program Bokprogrammet presents different thematic approaces to literature and society. I had a specific program in mind (Farlige Bøker, 06.02.2007) that would compliment and exemplify the lecture.

After a brief introduction I used a PC, projector and an online connection to stream the specific programme on the whiteboard. No asking around for a VHS cassette in case some teacher had taped the program a year ago.

virtual learning environments

The Norwegian daily Aftenposten writes that the Norwegian school is catching up on the digital revolution. Exemplified by VLEs (Virtual Learning Environments) like It's Learning and Fronter (along with minor platforms (in Norway) such as Moodle, PedIT and Microsoft Learning Gateway) teachers, students and parents alike can keep up to date on assignments, projects, events, grades and feedback. Still, VLEs are mostly common in high schools and middle schools. In elementary schools communication still finds its way home to parents through the students' backpacks.

When I taught at Horten VGS a couple of years back we used It's Learning in a very easy and meaningful fashion. Assigments were turned in, corrected and returned within the digital learning environment. Communication with students was supplemented with the digital arena where other information like upcoming tests, teaching material, my lecture notes (available for downloading) as well as attendance records for students were available.

Now I teach at a small private school and we do not use any VLEs, but maybe in the future? I have previously blogged using blog as a teaching tool for the students and the teacher's communication through Yahoo Groups. We're still adapting as a team to find the best way to keep up to date on information, and personally I find that Yahoo Groups suffice, but it would be beneficial for our future students and teachers to facilitate a VLE in our working environment.

However, it does not eliminate the need for human interaction in the classroom or staff room of course, but helps with the workflow for students and teachers as well as giving the school a digital fundament for communication in a thriving learning environment.

lørdag, mars 08, 2008

literary hiatus

It's been a busy week with Ski Days and parent conferences and I haven't been able to post anything here in the past week. Saturday's here and I try to sort out some paperwork and get time to read up on the weekend newspapers while I hope to benefit from the glorious spring weather outside by taking a walk.

Saturdays are peculiar. I got up early this morning and I feel I have gotten lots done, but remembering back to younger days I kept up on my reading on weekends (sounds sorry, but it wasn't). For some puzzling reason I cannot find time to read books anymore. I almost stopped buying them. It's puzzling because I really do enjoy reading. I guess it's a question of priority. I recall a revelation many years ago after living in Italy, where I worked 24/7 for the most part, that I had to admit to a friend that I read too much - and expanding on this insight I realized I escaped the mundane reality (yes, Italy can be mundane) and read instead. In my case overconsumption of literature was a sign of unhappiness.

Does this mean that my life is so damn interesting now that I don't find time to escape into literary worlds? I'm not sure. It feels like it's a time issue. But that's not it either. When I do have time I do other things. Hang out with people for one, watch movies and surf the net and try to keep up with my penchant for photography.

Nonetheless, I still miss reading. At the moment I am trying to read a few books actually, alternating between three or four different reads. I'm not sure it that's a sign of information overload and the exhausting art of multitasking...

lørdag, mars 01, 2008

instant screen sharing

A cool, nifty and useful feature in Mac OSX Leopard is the Screen Sharing app. It's a bit hidden away for some reason, but a well known feature in iChat. Screen Sharing in Finder let's me access my stationary Mini Mac in my livingroom from my Macbook laptop. This is particularly useful when I need to print out, get or move files from one computer to another. I know I have the possibility to wirelessly print from Macbook over my local network using my Airport Express, but that has been slow and not very convenient the few times I have tried it. (With more persistence and patience perhaps..?)

I am a fond user of Leopard's Time Machine feature and by using a MyBook external drive I backup all my valuable files form both my Macbook and my Mini Mac and lost files are easily fond and restored by both using Time Machine and drag-and-drop form one computer, but accessing data on both. Screen Sharing is simple and a visual toolfor the slow-witted like myself.

Time Capsule and Airport Extreme Base Station would help me making these task even more streamlined and simple, but that's not within my budget yet.

Expert Village, a how-to-video website, has a good tutorial on how to use Screen Sharing.

More info on how to utilize Screen Sharing at Macworld.