Posts Tagged ‘Resources’

My other book in press!

February 7, 2012

Yay! I wrote this one cos I needed it myself and I had lots of info in my head that I just needed to get out. It’ll be available later in the year, published by Sage.  Not too shabby.

Bits of the blurb/preface say something like this:

“The book aims to bring together the information you need to safely, knowledgeably, and creatively integrate social media into your teaching practice. It aims to provide novices with a place to start, those who are unsure with some confidence, and the already-adept with, potentially, a more nuanced and in-depth understanding of all that makes up successful social media use in education.

It covers everything from theory and pedagogy, to everyday practice; it describes the ‘big stuff’ of blogs, wikis, social networks, and podcasting – and how those things can support longer-term classroom projects – and it details the ‘small stuff’ that can give you quick classroom wins, such as instant messaging, clippings, Twitter, mindmapping, and document sharing. But, just as importantly, an entire set of chapters is devoted to discussing the socio-cultural contexts of social media: digital literacy, ‘digital natives’, digital participation, and the ‘digital divide’ are all explored in relation to you and your students. Finally, matters relating to online risk and in-class practicalities are presented, as a way of helping you through the intricate ground of copyright, privacy and confidentiality, Terms of Service, content distribution, bandwidth quotas, backups, data control and security, and more.”

It’s this last stuff that I think is particularly important — and it’s what makes this book a bit different, imo. I’ll let you know when it’s out.

Lifeline: Essential information for students using Web 2.0 services

September 22, 2009


As a follow-up to my previous post about developing a risk analysis template for Web 2.0 services, I thought it would be useful to share a document (Word, 64 KB) I’ve developed for use with University-level students who are using ‘external’ services (such as WordPress, Wetpaint, Ning, etc.) as part of their course. This document provides what I consider to be essential information about the Terms of Service they are being asked to sign up for, as well as advice on how to manage the service for their class. It covers areas such as

  • the nature of the relationship students create when they sign up with a service
  • posting of offensive material
  • responsibility of work done under individual logons
  • copyright, privacy, and IP licensing
  • visibility of content
  • spam emails and notifications
  • turning off cookies and monitoring

If you are going to use an external service with students, I strongly suggest you develop a similar document to suit your own circumstances, that you go through it in class, make sure students understand it, and post it somewhere for students to easily access. It may be useful for school teachers, but I think you’d need to think more closely about the duty of care involved and how you might use such a document with parents or guardians.

Feel free to adapt/modify/reuse/improve/whatever you need for non-commerical purposes:

wordiconInformation for students on the use of an externally hosted web service provider (Word, 64 KB)

pdficon Information for students on the use of an externally hosted web service provider (pdf, 68 KB)

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Lifeline: Web 2.0 risk analysis template

September 22, 2009

LifelineLargeI have been doing a looooot of work recently on how to keep teachers and students safe when using ‘externally hosted’ (i.e., outside of your institution) web services, such as those we find in ‘Web 2.0’. Of course, Web 2.0 allows for clearly constructivist and connectivist pedagogies, which is all good for education … BUT … There can be problems when teachers ‘go rogue’ and use external services in inappropriate or uninformed ways, thus exposing their institution, its staff or students to risks to reputation, to legal liability and other such nasties that I’m sure we would all really rather avoid.

If we accept the educational rationale for staff and students wanting to use externally hosted services in class (as opposed, or in addition, to the dreaded LMS), then we must also find safe, responsible and sustainable ways for them to do so. The issue, then, is not whether or not we should prevent staff and students from using externally hosted web services, but, rather, what procedures, processes, guidelines and recommendations we need to put in places to avoid exposure to unnecessary risk.

Some of the risks you need to consider in any assessment of external services include:

  • breaches of privacy, confidentiality and data security
  • loss of service and loss of student work
  • loss of student work
  • breach of confidentiality
  • unauthorised access to data and loss of data
  • performance problems

This might seem like a whole lot of Terrible, but it’s not, really. If you conduct a proper analysis, you will be able to find ways of managing risk to acceptable levels. After all, that is very idea of risk management: that you manage risk!

Felling overwhelmed? Well, don’t! Thankfully, Meg has done a risk analysis for you and you are free to use it as you wish :).  I have based my risk analysis template (Word, 180 KB) on the University of Edinburgh’s excellent Guidelines for Using External Web 2.0 Services and JISC infoNet’s JISC risk management infokit, both of which are released under Creative Commons licences. I’ve beefed things up a bit, so go crazy: download it, adapt it, rework it, improve it, whatever — whatever you do, use it for the greater good of employing Web 2.0 technologies to good pedagogical effect!

wordiconRisk analysis template (Word, 180 KB)

pdficon Risk analysis template (pdf, 180 KB)

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Lifeline: 7 things you should know about …

July 11, 2008

If you’re having trouble keeping up with what Second Life, Google Apps, Skype and Ning might actually be, let alone how they could be relevant to education, then you really should take a look at Educause’s 7 things you should know about … series.

7 things you should know about … provides hit-and-run information sheets about emerging Web 2.0 technologies and their implications for teaching and learning. So, if you don’t know what Twitter is, or if you’ve never investigated Skype, visit Educause to learn about how these things work, the upsides and downsides of emerging technologies, and where it’s all going.

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Target: Benefits and opportunities for social networking

July 8, 2008

Target is a terrific Childnet International website promoting good digital citizenship for young people. The site focuses on social networking and cyberbullying and has produced some excellent, balanced materials on both topics that educators and parents will find accessible and no-nonsense. In fact, if you want a primer on what social networking is, Digizen give a very clear overview on their What are social networking services? page. Or you can just go and visit some social networking sites yourself and do some fieldwork …

Digizen has released a research report on young people and social networking services and one section, in particular, outlines the benefits and opportunities of social networking for learners. According to Digizen, social networking (p. 14):

  • Helps young people develop a voice and build trust: it’s good for cultivating debating, discussion and personal skills.
  • Encourages content creation, management and distribution, which supports creativity and encourages discussion about content ownership, data mangement and licensing options.
  • Teachs collaboration, teamwork, listening and compromising skills by encouraging users to work, think, and act together.
  • Promotes exploration and discovery by helping young people develop and deepen their interests as well as finding like-minded individuals with the same interests.
  • Builds independence and resilience as young people learn to manage risk, judge and evaluate situations and deal with potential hostility online.
  • Fosters real-world skills such as being able to adapt quickly to new technologies, as well as building literacy, interpretive and contextualisation skills.

Young peopleThe same report also points to the opportunities that social networking provides for education (pp 15-16):

  • Developing of e-portfolios
  • Enhancing literacy and communication skills
  • Collaboration and group work
  • Learning about data protection and copyright issues
  • Learning about self-representation and presentation
  • Learning about e-safety
  • Producing public showcases for work, events or organisations
  • Forming communities of practice
  • Organising and scheduling work (time mangement)
  • Being where the learners are

It’s obvious that social networking provides a huge opening for learning in the online world … but, like everything, it comes with risks that need to be manged. I’ll describe those risks as identified by Digizen in my next post, but, for now, if you want to check out how teachers have been using social networking in class, visit the report’s ideas and examples page for some inspiration — or let me know your own experiences with social networking and education.

The full report is also available for download (pdf, 1.2 MB).

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EdCom: edna resources and social networking

June 2, 2008

PodulesLogoIn this episode of EdCom, Mark Tranthim-Fryer, Manager for Education and Training at, describes the many services and resources that edna, Australia’s free online network for educators, provides for teachers. Mark and I also discuss integrating IT into education, communities of practice and how edna is applying the principles of social networking to teaching and professional communities.

For more information, keep listening to EdCom and visit

File size: 16.2 MB
Running time: 20.08

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Podules working scripts

January 11, 2008

PodulesLogoI’ve added a resources page to the website and on them, I’ve included the working scripts that Mel Jones and I used when we were recording Podules. The scripts give some information about the basics of podcasting, in bullet-point/note form, as outlined in my Podules podcast. They’re meant to supplement Podules rather than take its place, so I strongly recommend that you listen to the audios as well.

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