Wednesday, 14 November 2007

Final entry

Thank you for completing the questionnaire; twelve responses were received and you can view the detailed results here. I reiterate that I do not know who wrote what as the responses appear completely anonymously.

Apart from giving me an idea of what you thought of the project, (which items were useful and which not, etc.), they also give the project sponsor, (Australian Flexible Learning Framework) feedback that their funds were not wasted and allow us to show that learning was seen to have taken place.

Once again thank you for your participation and till the next time…


Wednesday, 7 November 2007


I added the missing question marks and full stops at the last session, and finally got around to uploading the edited video. So here it is, not perfect yet, but at least punctuationally sound: "doing the housework".

Sunday, 4 November 2007

Final f2f Learnscope

Friday saw the final session with the show & tell of videos, review and survey.

Firstly, thank you for sticking to the end and I hope you will continue with your videoing and youtubing. All contributions received can now be viewed from the Contributions page.

I will let you see the results of the survey when everyone has filled it in - there is just one more online session next Thursday and then presumably some reports for Learnscope to justify the vast amounts of money they have invested in you.

The photo shows where we had our close of project dinner with the Perth f2f team (Clare, Wendy, Annabelle, Anna, Me, Jean. Ann-Marie was sick and Sonia expecting surrogately.) Thanks for the chockies.

If you have any more contributions, please send me the addresses.

Tuesday, 30 October 2007

Final Week

Learnscope is creeping to its final close and apotheosis, so please have some work to show and tell on Friday. It is also hoped that you will be able to put something onto the Web.

In this session we are also going to have a review of all the points we have covered, as well as a "skill audit" / questionnaire and then I suggest we can go out and eat somewhere in a restaurant nearby (if spice allow).

At some time in the near future you may also be asked to fill in a low-impact report form from Learnscope itself to justify the vast amounts of money expended on this project.

So see you (those in the City anyway) on Friday at 1615.

Wednesday, 24 October 2007

WA E-Learning Experience (1)

Gave a presentation on Picasa and Flickr at the above conference and promised the participants a spare handout. Please download it here.

Thanks to the audience for their support.

The photo shows West Coast Learnscope personalities, Louise, Me, Jackie and Harriett (cropped with picasa) at the conference.

Thursday, 18 October 2007

Inactive Interactivity

At the beginning of October I attended the AMEP National Conference in Mooloolaba, Queensland, where I was to give an interactive workshop on our Learnscope project “ITube, YouTube, HeSheItTube” in particular and accessing online ESL videos in general. I had prepared a PowerPoint wondrous to behold for the 90-minute session so was fairly confident the session would go well especially as I had made sure that the technology would work by informing the organizers that I would need Elluminate and YouTube access and even telephoning the IT section in Mooloolaba to confirm there would be no hindrances to the smooth running of the session.

Wednesday: I arrived in Mooloolaba and having checked in and checked out the beach and the spa I thought I had better inspect the lab too and it was here the problems began. The lab had about twenty five computers but the IT company that had been contracted to look after the technology at the Conference told me that they had been given only twenty logins for the whole Conference which meant that only about fifteen would be available in the lab. This was not such a great obstacle as on examination, only about fifteen PCs were actually functioning and in complete possession of all their facilites (viz. mouse, screen, keyboard). Okay, then fifteen can participate and others can lurk over the shoulder. Most important of all is that they can look at the videos even if they can’t explore them themselves so just check “YouTube”: and what should come up but the message: “This site is blocked”. However, after a few calls to Brisbane to the TAFE Internet Directorate (or someone), the IT guy managed to unblock it and it was ready for the session. (Did you check to see if the videos actually worked, Philip?). Onto Elluminate and yes it opened up very nicely, so I could go to bed, calm and assured that no technogremlins would put me off my stroke in the workshop the next day.

Thursday: the day of the workshop; up at the crack of dawn, quick swim in the sea and a relax in the rooftop spa before breakfast to meet the demands of the day.

T-1h and I thought I’d go and look at the Lab again just to make sure; enter and yes this day it opened, no problem; but had just better click on the video to see how it runs and…”Flash is not installed on this computer”. Now as you may not know, Flash is the little program that lets the videos play and without it there is no Youtube and no videos to see, so I, as you do when a program is missing, tried to download the Flash program. Message: ”Downloading of programs prohibited”. Once again I called in the IT guy who then had another go at ringing up the Director-General of TAFE (or someone) in Brisbane for permission to download Flash and while he was fiddling with the teacher’s computer, the participants for the "interactive" workshop started to stream in. “Only fifteen computers are working and you won’t be able to view anything anyway… . but if I can’t show YouTube vids then at least we can play with Elluminate, it was working last night." So I logged onto Elluminate while the IT guy was on the phone to the Queensland Premier (or someone) and of course Elluminate refused to make a connection. So for my interactive workshop presented through Elluminate we had thirty-five participants, standing room only at the back and crouching room on the floor (why stop them coming in when their computer doesn’t work?), no YouTube videos, no Elluminate and no Powerpoint, because the IT guy was once again attempting to get Flash working and seemed to have stripped the PC down to its component parts. The good teacher is a flexible teacher and so improvisation back to memory and board, while I gave the introduction to my session following those time-respected methodologies unchanged since Wackford Squeers. After about fifteen minutes of improvisation I felt myself flagging as I thought that the photos of the Learnscope team on the Powerpoint would be better to show than my rough sketches on the board and I asked the IT guy to give up on his phone call to the Federal Minister for Communications (or someone), re-assemble the computer and let me get on with my Powerpoint. Originally, I had intended to show the Powerpoint direct from the Net as this saves having to find the hidden IT office at the conference to get it put on a shared drive but of course when I did try to download it, I was informed that “Access was forbidden”. so it was a good job I had put it on a stick (in fact two).

The lecture (not interactive workshop), then went along quite well and satisfactorily and fortunately I had also remembered to pack a few video samples on my stick, not really expecting to have to use them but which proved invaluable when I wanted to show a few samples of the participants’ work. (However, this did not help Claire-Marie who had assiduously stayed up all Monday night finishing off her video ”Doing the housework” so I could show it at the Conference. Thanks anyway, Claire, your two minutes of fame will come.) That is to say that I was able to show some of the videos; some I had saved as mpegs but others which I was intending to load up into my Elluminate room I had converted to “mov” format. (It doesn’t really matter if you don’t understand the difference). Now MediaPlayer functioned excellently but when I double-clicked the file to open one of these movs, I got the message “MoviePlayer” unavailable” and of course no point in trying to download it (save through a phone-call to the Governor-General himself and anyway the IT guys had disappeared in frustration and despair).

Despite all of the above, I completed the ninety minute session in good time and I believe that I successfully managed to spread the word about technology in WA despite the lack of technology in QLD.

What have I learnt from this?

  • Never trust the technology, despite assurances that everything will work.
  • Always take back-ups in at least two forms; in this case I had my Powerpoint on two sticks, a CD and on the Web; I also had it as a print-out although I did not intend to distribute hand-outs. I also had some (but not all) of the group’s YouTube videos on my stick, which I had time-consumingly downloaded from the Web and converted using the file converter “Zamzar”. I should have taken more and then all in at least two formats to anticipate that one type of player was not going to work.Of course, maybe I should also have had the Powerpoint presentation on OHTs but, there didn’t seem to be an OHP in the room anyway, so it wouldn’t have helped - you have to draw a line somewhere.
  • IT help desks are notorious for their lack of celerity when it comes to fixing bugs but these IT guys at the Conference were extremely helpful and accommodating and really made an effort to get things up & running. My thanks to them.

What I don’t understand:

  • The roots of the problem lie in TAFE policies. Why do TAFEs block access to such a wide range of resources? yes, okay some of the students may download inappropriate materials and programs with possible viruses, but how can we implement and promote online learning and teaching if videos and downloads are completely unavailable? This does not seem to be the case just in Queensland alone but all over Australia.

Monday, 1 October 2007

It worked!

Well, it took a long time but it finally worked! Here's "doing the housework". The quality isn't great and I've forgotten a couple of question marks. Also, note how water conscious I am when doing the dishes (no water needed!). But there's no way I'm putting myself through this again, so it will have to do.
I had trouble uploading my video and checked the size, format etc. In the end, the problem was my internet connection which had dropped off . So I didn't have to use Zamzar after all. But I'll keep that in mind for next time. It might upload faster as a mpg file.

Wednesday, 26 September 2007

First video

Thanks to Anna for putting up the first video

If you have any in the final stages, please let me know.

Saturday, 22 September 2007

Session 8 - enhancing and effecting

Good attendance yesterday evening at the F2F session and I am glad that some of you brought your own videos and I had fortunately remembered to make that video of exercises in the park for the others to work on.

As I said before, I am due to tell the rest of the AMEP world of the wonders of online ESL video at the AMEP conference in QLD the first week of the holidays. Now, it would be extremely more worthwhile if apart from rabbiting on about what we have been doing and how we have been doing it I had some samples to show. I have your Photostories up there but I would also like some videos - it doesn't matter if they are incomplete or rough or unedited or look terrible or do not teach anything or anything like that - your names and faces will not be associated with them, so please this week, either put them up on YouTube and tell me the address OR give me a copy of them. I will be approaching you on Wed or Thurs re this. Ta.

Apart from that I forgot to tell you that you may have problesm opening your MOvieMAker project files to work on again. Sometimes, if you are on a different machine. and you open your project you get little red crosses on the boxes in the storyboard and not your images.

Now, this is because MM doesn't actually import the video clips into the program it just makes links to them and if you have changed your location it can't find them. So just tell it where they are. You can do this by shouting at the PC but this doesn't usually work. so ....

Double-click on one of the red crosses and you'll get this message:

Click "Yes" and browse through until you find your video.

Double click on it or one click and "Open" , wait and your clips should appear!

If you have any problems, please contact me on GoogleTalk (pgnichols) whenever.

Happy working.

PS Good news for the Casual Participants - I put through yur pay cliam for the term for Learnscope participation so you should have some extra do$h in your bank.

Sunday, 16 September 2007

Online session 7

Well this session went pretty smoothly for me. So far, I found that having a look at the worksheet prior to the session is a big help; it allows me to get a general idea of where I'm going and work on potential problems beforehand, some of them anyway. I agree with Philip, the problem is not how to do things (we are all smart and talented!), but getting suitable ideas, especially for advanced levels, and willing participants. I'd love to record a short oral presentation as a model for students to have a look at but, not surprisingly, most people are reluctant to be filmed and posted on YouTube. I guess I'll have to do it by myself again. Love your interview example Philip. By the way, How did you do the rolling credits on your clip about image resolution? It added a very professional savoir-faire. Impressive!

Saturday, 15 September 2007

The best of times, the worst of times

In this case, being Geraldton and Albany but it's the ideas in the first paragraph that I like.

Anyway, if you go back to last Saturday's entry, you will recall I had my doubts about attempting to teach MovieMaker online as the face2face session had had so many pitfalls. Thankfully (with one exception), it went much better than anticipated. I modified the worksheets to make them clearer and easier to follow and Thursday saw the 2 Cla(i)res settling down happily in their own Elluminate room conversing with and assisting each other while they went through the worksheet and even went beyond it in their video editing. Meanwhile, Anna had her private room where I was able to talk her through the trimming process.

Friday off to Albany and I think this was the most successful Elluminate session we have had. The Application Share really came into play as I was able to first demonstrate how to trim the videos and then got them to share their desktop with me so I could talk them through the process and view at the same time. Elluminate does have its good days. In fact, Albany had been one week behind due to their Lab being booked when we needed it, but now so efficient were they that we managed to do both Sessions 6 and 7 in the two hours!

The only mar on the whole thing was for Marnie in Geraldton. She is there all alone with no-one to support her and this week she got the worst of the deal. First of all her camera is an Olympus, which means that her videos were saved as movs and not recognisable by MovieMaker. Then , because she was involved with a sick friend, she had no time to convert them. So on Thursday while the others were happily progressing with their editing, we were attempting to use Zamzar to convert and of course you need an email account and it took absolutely ages so by the time it was all over, the session was all over. I congratulate Marnie on her perseverance though! I will be holding a repeat online Session 7 next Thursday 20th for her and anybody else who missed this session (Jean? Annabelle? Cathy?).

By the way, I have been playing with MovieMaker too - firstly, you may recall in the session on taking videos, I talked about different frame speeds and resolutions. You can look at the different combinations that your still camera probably produces when taking videos here and basically, if you're putting it up onto YouTube, there doesn't seem much difference.

Secondly, I feel that one of the main problems you have is not how to do the videoing, but what to video. I hoped I gave you some ideas with the CSWE assessments but it still takes time and inspiration. Clare is making a pronunciation video, I know, and Anna is negotiating with Claremont council to waive the $1 000 000 indemnity insurance she requires to film within the library (she shouldn't have asked). In the meantime, here is an idea how you can do an interview with just one person.

Tuesday, 11 September 2007

Olympus and Panasonic users


Your camera films videos in an Apple format (*.mov), which means that the program we are going to use, Microsoft Windows MovieMaker 2, refuses to recognize it. We therefore have to convert it to a format that it can recognize.

The easiest way I have found to do this is to use a free online converter known as “zamzar”.

Please download the worksheet here and try to convert your video before the online session on Thursday

Monday, 10 September 2007

better late than never

Sorry this took so long. I couldn’t upload my clip last session because the camera’s batteries were flat (yes, I do keep spares, but my beloved had a cleaning frenzy and threw them out by mistake...). When I was able to do it, I realised the film was completely out of focus and therefore useless. My family members run away when they see me with the camera, but I found another victim, sorry, willing subject. Unfortunately, that time the film was overexposed. I had a couple more tries before I realised that for some reason, my camera does not cope well with outside light for films (something to do with the settings I presume). I must say the thought of giving up did cross my mind at this point, but I soldiered on... So, finally, here it is: Introducing oneself!

Sunday, 9 September 2007

Belated Photo story on YouTube

Hi all. Due to technical difficulties as alluded to by Philip, I have finally uploaded my photo story called ASwissChristmas.
I hope you can view it. I know its a bit rough.
good luck with the videos.

Warning! Online session may be a disaster.

What a frustrating session we had on Friday; I only hope that something was learnt.

Issue 1 (I note that we don’t have problems, difficulties or setbacks any more, just issues).
I decided to go into Lab 1 on Friday as it is roomier, less scruffy and the computers are newer. Although according to Microsoft MovieMaker2 is standard with XP SP2, for some reason it was not installed on the Lab 1 computers and downloading seemed only to be able to happen through Windows Update, which would be time-consuming. Fortunately, Scott, the Data Manager cum IT trouble-shooter, had not gone home and was able to put a copy on the shared drive, which everyone could download. Why hadn’t I checked, you may well ask. Well, MM2 was installed on the “Teacher’s” computer so I assumed it was on the others as well. (It was typical of him that the way he chose to give instructions to us in the Lab when he was upstairs in his room, was to take control of the Teacher’s PC and use the HALish “Text to Speech” function so we could hear and follow what we had to do to install the program).

Issue 2
As we all know MM2 is part of Bill Gates’ MS empire and they don’t really like anything faintly redolent of apples. To our great annoyance therefore, although some of the class were okay, those who had invested in Olympus cameras were most disappointed as MM2 would not recognize their videos as they were in .mov format. We were reduced to editing a Transperth .wmv video which happened to be on the shared drive.

What I have learnt (although this should have been basic):

  • Check all machines to confirm software is there.
  • Have a fallback editable video available.

What others who will be coming to the online sessions on Thursday need to know:

  • Make sure that MovieMaker2 is on your computer.
  • If you are using an Olympus (and possible other brands but not Canon), please check your manual to see what format video it produces. I will check the brands you have told me you have and will let those who sent it to me know.


    Canon Ixus 55 - no prob


    Kodak C530 - Okay I think


    Sony DSC P43 Okay I think


    Olympus Stylus 410 - yikes! conversion necessary


    SONY "Cyber-shot" Okay I think


    G G-Shot DV1110 dunno


    Ricoh Caplio R2 Okay I think


    yikes! conversion necessary


    Olympus camedia model no C- yikes! conversion necessary

I have been searching for a free user-friendly intuitive video converter, but at present haven’t located one, so If you have an Olympus, then please send me a copy of the video so I can convert it to a MS-friendly format for you.

This in effect is rather disappointing and I'll try to find an alternative. If anybody has any suggestions, please advise.

Saturday, 8 September 2007


Loved your video of Adriaan's antics, Sonia - he does a great jig!

I wonder if our friends will start avoiding us when we have a camera in our hands - "Philip's the only one who'll see it!" - famous last words!

It's so good of our friends to be our trusting subjects!

online sessions

Hi Philip,

just wanting to thank you for the choices in your sessions - it was good to start off in the lab and to be able to move on to accessing them online with all the home comforts!

you do a great job patiently dealing with our responses to the rapid learning curve!

and you've opened up a world of potential creativity - if we only had time!

How do we choose between going to a movie or making a movie in our precious free time?


Wednesday, 5 September 2007

Face2face session Friday 7th September

I hope you've managed to shoot some footage for the session on Friday. Basically what is ideal for practising is a video that has some excellent elements within it but with lots of mistakes in the middle, at the beginning and at the end. Make it too long, make it overdrawn and have as many takes as you like in one video or more.

I think we'll begin at 4.15 pm (that's 1615 WAST) so we can use Lab 1.

See you then.

By the way, did anyone read my entry about "Blog droop"? (See below). Seems that Sonia is the only one who is not suffering from this epidemic.

Friday, 31 August 2007

MeYouTube #2

Have a look at my first go at uploading a video. Many thanks to my pal, Adriaan

Now, why isn't it linked?

Now it is, click here (PN)

Thursday, 30 August 2007

Week 6 Comments

Although I did this session on-line, I managed to upload my video (as it was!!) to the PC. Thanks for your patience Philip. I would've put my video onto YouTube except that for some reason my internet connection shut down -often does this at work - don't know why. I'll try to upload to YouTube tomorrow.I'm still not sure how to speak in the Room and find it frustrating when I ask a question and it doesn't work. Despite technical hitches, I find that the procedure is quite straightforward because your instructions are so clear! As usual, I am looking forward to using this exercise with a real class.

Blog droop antidote

I must admit I have been neglecting this blog lately as I have been suffering from that ailment that afflicts most online discussion boards, forums (fora{?}) and the ilk, namely after initial enthusiasm and daily entries there is a pause where nothing is posted.

So firstly, let us all commend Anna for her photostory. (at the moment you can view it here in my account). So what you may ask, excellent story but ..? well the answer is that none of the photos are hers but all were taken from Creative Commons in “flickr” – there are even migrants (or at least tourists) in it. Good work! ( I now owe Claire, Sonia and Anna a Freddo – just wait until they’re on special again please).

Secondly, let me reiterate, if not say again, that if you miss a face to face session here in The City, you are most welcome to attend an online session later. See the Calendar for when these are about to happen. With regard to this, some of you are having problems accessing Elluminate from home so go to this address and test your settings (see pic below). Jean was having this problem last week but was able to contact me via GoogleTalk while I was on Elluminate. Surprisingly, the computer supported both programs without coming up with an error message or crashing or freezing. This meant that when I spoke into the mike, both those people on Elluminate could hear me but the Albanyan Elluminati could not hear what Jean was saying and vice versa. It must have been a strange situation for them as I could follow all conversations but they only had one end of it – like trying to eavesdrop a phone conversation through the wall. Anyway, it was a good stop-gap solution so make sure that you have GoogleTalk open when you go online. My Google ID is pgnichols(AT), make me a contact if I am not already in your list.

An additional issue is that because the lab in Albany is being used by others when we need it, our Great Southern colleagues are now a session behind – this means for me I have to remember which session I am meant to be doing, but does enable you to catch up later.

We have also had problems with uploading videos to YouTube. Although they are ostensibly the right format (wmv) when saved in PhotoStory, something about them is rejected. Even Great Scott could give me no solution, so if you have any videos that are continually rejected, give them to me and I will convert them to a YouTube acceptable format. (Wendy?).

Last night I found that my son had pilfered the book I was reading and as a consequence I was reduced to reading the junk mail, but look what I found! If you haven’t bought a camera yet, rush off to Target at once. There are two I recommend: if you want a pocket camera get the Ixus ( of course it’s a Canon) and if you want something a bit more exciting go for the Fuji – it’s not a Canon and it won’t fit in your pocket, but it’s got 10x zoom and is excellent value.Lastly, if you want to personalise your Elluminate (or Skype) sessions then also grab the Logitech webcam at 40% off. But be quick, Target tends to sell out rather quickly.

By the way (BTW) I feel that I am not the only one who is suffering from the above-mentioned complaint of “drooping blog”, so let’s have some comments, feedback and impressions of what you have been doing.

Thursday, 23 August 2007

Hello Everyone,
finally getting round to posting address of my Photostory as directed, viz:

Am enjoying the course very much, in spite of the occasional technical glitches - but they are themselves a learning experience.
The possibilities for language teaching of this technology are fantastic!
Look forward to watching everyone else's 'stories'.
Barbara *~*

Friday sessions

PLease note that because Albany could not attend last week due to their lab not being available, Friday will run like this:

1:30 - 3:30 Online Elluminate session 5 (Review, consolidation and "flickr") - for some particpants this in effect will be Session 4 (Uploading video onto YouTube) as they missed that one too. So please bring your finished photostory and a stick. PLease print out Handout 5 (and Handout 4, if you haven't already done so).

4:00 - 6:00 Face2face Session 6 (Shooting a video): please let me know your camera make and model ( if you haven't already done so) and bring it with you.

See you then!

Tuesday, 14 August 2007

Late response to session 4

Session was great, thanks Philip!
My video is up, but it has taken me this long to follow up. Still some problems for me accessing YouTube, but I'M NOT GIVING UP!
You can view my video at

Talk to you all on Thursday!

Friday, 10 August 2007

YouTube banking

Found this practical and fun lesson on banking from an American teacher in Korea. This video shows him preparing the students. You can also see the students doing the activity. The $2 shop often has good Australian play money if you're interested.
If you click more from this user, you''ll another interesting preparation and role play on applying for a job.

Wednesday, 8 August 2007

Melancholy Flower

Hi everyone,
Here is a link to my video:
Have fun watching it!

Monday, 6 August 2007

After Session 4

Session 4 is over and thank you for your attendance and your contributions. Your videos are great! You can see them all here. I find the idea of having the first lesson in class (or in lab), followed by the online session effective – it allows me to realize what difficulties will arise with the content in a situation where I can see what people have on their screen and therefore correct it and anticipate that the same thing will happen in the online sessions. The best example we saw thus time was when I told Annabelle that, when signing up for YouTube, she didn’t have to put her true date of birth ( I usually put the historical 01.01.1980 myself) so two minutes later she called me and told me that YouTube wouldn’t let her in. Hardware crash? Software bug? Wireless down? No, YouTube wouldn’t let her in because she was too young at 8 years old and so that computer was thereafter blocked, even when Annabelle insisted she was over 18, with the result that she had to change machines. Good job she wasn’t at home or she’d never have got in!

I am also finding that the resources that Elluminate offers are becoming easier to use. I not using the whiteboard much (relying on my handouts) but the possibility to put individuals who are having difficulties into a separate “breakout” room and deal with their problems without interfering with the others is superb. (Thanks to Sue W for suggesting this). The other advantage of Elluminate is the “application sharing” facility, which allows me to actually see what a particular participant is seeing on their screen, ands if need be, jump in and take control. Thus I was able to guide Barbara through the process of resaving her Photostory project as a video file quickly and efficiently.

Anyway, before Session 5 (Next Friday face2face; next week online – see the Calendar on the right – please:
have pasted up your Photostory YouTube address on the blog (some of you have done this, I know)*.
If the version up there is only a draft, then finish the video in Photostory, save it as a video file**, put it up onto YouTube and remove the old video. Please note that the address will change so please keep me informed so I can change them on the “Handouts and Links” page. (

It would also be interesting, if in addition to posting your video addresses, you could post some comments about how you are finding the sessions. (Thank you Sonia for having done so (Freddo on the way)).

Some of you also looked at dotSUB, so if you wish, please add subtitles to “Barnaby does the washing” thus:
  • Sonia - Croatian
  • Wendy – Schwyzerduetsch
  • Jean – Scots Gaelic
  • Barbara – Italian

(Claire has already done French).

According to the plan, Session 5 is down as “Review and Consolidation”, so what I suggest is the following:

  • Fine-tuning of Photostories

  • Development of new Photostories (there are quite a few “how to…” videos, do you have any other ideas?)

  • Looking at dotSUB – subtitling other videos in dotSUB

  • Looking at adding speech bubbles to videos using “mojiti
  • and of course, for those who missed Session 4 due to reasons beyond their control (Sara is definitely excused), the opportunity to go through Session 4 again.

Now as there could be 6 different activities going on here, it could be a bit of mix & match or a bit of a mishmash. We’ll just have to see how it goes. Incidentally, if there is anything else related to the above that you would like to discuss, please let me know ASAP if not before.

*A couple of you have posted up onto the blog, not your video address, e.g. but your user address. e.g . .Now if you’ve only got one video up there, it doesn’t really matter, but once you have your hundreds up there it might get confusing. Click on “My account”, then on “My Videos”; you will see the address in the box marked URL which you can copy, OR you can click on the image of the video and then copy the address from the address bar.

**I will try and explain the difference between the two sorts of Photostory files again. When we go along developing the story we save it as a project file, by clicking on “Save Project”. This is a working document but cannot be viewed outside the Photostory program. Lets’ think of an analogy… ummm…when you’re writing an essay you have all your notes and drafts and plans; you can read them but nobody else can. Before you put it in, you have to convert it to a readable form by typing it up. Now in the same way, we have to convert this project into a viewable video and this is done on the penultimate screen of Photostory where it says “Save your story”. Unless you have changed the names (the default is “Photostory1”), when you click in "Next", you will have saved two files with the same name (possibly in the My Documents>My Videos folder). When you come to upload the video to YouTube, if you upload the PROJECT file it will not work and you have to upload the video file. How do you tell the difference? If you can see the three letter extension after the file name, make sure that you are uploading the .wmv file and not the .wp3 file. Now, not everybody’s computer is set up to view extensions, so you have to look at the icon and choose the correct one, otherwise a lot of time will be wasted.

I've shown you what you DON'T want to upload - I haven't showed you an example of the .wmv icon, because they may be different from computer to computer.

See you next session.

Saturday, 4 August 2007

Post-post (YouTube)

Thank you Philip - I'm so glad that you encouraged me to start this year's Learnscope - didn't think it'd be relevant in Home Tutor but who knows? I was very excited when I finally got it right. However, I still have a long way to go, especially with the audio.

I actually learnt more at the on-line session on Thursday than I did from the face-to-face session I attended previously, but it could be because I had all my photos, etc, ready.

I'd like to congratulate my colleagues on their great D. Stories (and for some also on their culinary expertise).

I wish Annabelle had time to post her D. Story as it's fantastic -set to a song and utterly fab!

My first effort at a digital story

Here is my first effort.

Can't wait to experiment with a class.

Thursday, 2 August 2007

Online session Thursday

Here's my contribution: How to make gnocchi, to go with Jean's salad perhaps...

Saturday, 28 July 2007

Thrilling weekend entertainment

I expect most of us can think back to 1983 and remember the video that accompanied the song “Thriller”. Well, I was reading the BBC news on the web and came across this article about YouTube and what inmates in Filipino prisons are doing nowadays. So I followed the link and it’s nothing like what you see in jail movies (Prisonbreak, OZ, Porridge, etc). While you’re there, have a look at the “Algorithm Dance” too, which reminded me of Pat’s class’s effort at the Refugee Day Concert this year (See pic). Something for our next student concert – so start training them now.

Having watched this video, I then went and reminded myself of the original choreography here and you have to give it to the inmates, they're pretty good. As I said on Friday, related videos are listed at the right, and I chanced on one on the same theme which must have taken hours to make. It's all single frame stop motion video! Have a look here. So if you don’t know what to do in your free time or you don’t have any ideas for an ESL video, then get your kids’ lego out, begin filming and try and match this!

Better go and do something more useful now....

Saturday, 14 July 2007

Migrant workers in Beijing

Just viewed the video Sonja recommended ages ago! An interesting way to draw attention to their situation - along with artwork etc
I wonder about our shortterm overseas workers here in Oz eg in abattoirs etc - it's all kept pretty quiet!


Friday, 13 July 2007

Photo source

I first opened my “flickr” account over a year ago, but didn’t really investigate it, having other things to do. Then I became embroiled in Google so naturally set up my own Picasa Web Album for my online photos. But then….I thought I had better see what the talk about “flickr” was about and so had another closer look this holiday when there is time to do this sort of thing and after discovering I already had an account ( I had forgotten, so it’s a good job I keep my username the same for all applications) I was impressed with a capital V and I am even going to give my picasa web account away.

Plus: Browsing for photos and uploading them is extremely easy – you can do six at a time and add a generic tag for all six. Once up there, you can easily add individual tags, descriptions and titles to the six photos you have just uploaded. So ease of upload and tagging, although you can’t upload direct from Picasa ( that is until Google buys up Yahoo!) is a definite plus.

Plus: Once you’re there, you will be overwhelmed by the quantity of information up there. For example click on a photo and look down the right – unknown to you, when you uploaded your photos, you also uploaded further details, including the camera type and technical settings. Click on the camera type and get a whole load of useful(?) information about your particular camera. You can also click on location and find out (if the uploader has put it in) where the photo was taken. Who recognized the tree? I am beginning to find this a bit scary…

Plus: The quantity of photos up there. Millions – put a word in the search engine, as obscure as possible, and you will find photos galore. What is good about them is that you can borrow most of them yourself for your own nefarious purposes. The uploader can stipulate what sort of copyright is placed on a photo and the majority have a free-to-use-as-long-as-it’s-not-commercial-and-you-acknowledge-me licence. When you search, go into “Advanced Search” and click on the “Creative Commons” tick-box (you have to scroll down the page) and then you can use these in your worksheets, newsletters and novels without worrying about copyright. An excellent resource and, in fact, obviates the need for you to go out and take photos yourself.
Have a look and make an additional photostory with flickr pics.

(Photo of tree courtesy of klopstock)

Saturday, 7 July 2007

Photostory at a distance

Fortunately, I managed to avert the problems as we had in the live session (i.e. Photostory wouldn't run because MediaPlayer was too old a version so had to download new MediaPlayer etc) by asking the IT Tech staff at Geraldton and Albany to install Photostory3 before the sessions so we could go straight into it.

Because I was not able to practise teaching the session with Elluminate during the live session because so much time had been wasted with MediaPlayer, I didn't know what to expect , but fortunately, once again Sue Waters was available to help (even though she was on leave) and we managed to trial the application-sharing capabilities of Elluminate and to our joy, it was possible to see what was happening the other end.

The Thursday session went very smoothly (we knew Photostory was installed and Elluminate functioned) and I was able to conduct the lesson from the safety of my own home (isn't this what we all want to do?) and Marnie produced a story about her students' trip to the bush.

Friday was a bit more problematic and after a delay due to headsets not working in Albany (thanks John for sorting that out on the last afternoon of term) and in Perth (to get out of the way, I went to Lab 2 with its ancient steam-turbine driven machines but had to give up due to the gas escaping froom the valves and causing hissing in the headset and so returned to my PC in the office where my monologue made it difficult for others to work), we started. It had been easy with individual tuition in Geraldton on Thursday, but it seemed that the work was increased exponentially in Albany as there were five down there all making their individual stories. Once again, Sue W, who was there to observe again, aided and abetted and suggested the five be put into separate Elluminate sub-rooms (this means that they can only hear others when they are in the same room) and work at their own speed. While they did this Sue and I went from room to room, asking them to application share (too long hereafter jargoned to appshare) so we could see their progress. Delay was longer than Perth-Perth or even Perth-Geraldton so often I could see what Jill or Lillian was doing and advised them to click on the rainbow icon, but in fact they had already done so and were miles ahead doing something else. It also seemed very intensive to jump from room to room and help out; repeating the same instructions to each person over their shoulder as you go round a real room is not as exhausting as doing the same when there is a couple of seconds gap and you can't see the person's face. Sue was assisting me here as co-moderator but even with an average of only 2.5 participants each, it was tiring.

However, we completed the session with an average grade of "C" (Jill brought the average down with her "E" because of no mike) and everyone had the seeds of a digistory (you know I hate contracted portmanteau words but I am realising that it is easier to create these than type out the full version - of course I could also write it in Word and use Edit>Replace {maybe next time}) . I understand some of you had already had a session on Photostory, but I think you learnt some extra useful tips with zooming and transitioning etc.

Things that came up with Elluminate:
Problems moving people to rooms: Elluminate does not allow instant right-click on names; so left-click to select and then right click to action.
Giving instructions: often difficult due to delay and participant has already done it (or worse something else) before you have seen it. It was not possible to see the completed video through appshare - I will have to investigate more the Media Library function in Elluminate.
Individual rooms: successful in being able to see what one person is doing without disturbing the others; but have to remember to click mike and re-request appshare every time moderator flits from room to room.
People lost: sometimes people left alone in a room did not know how to proceed and it took time to go to help them after disengaging from one to go to another.

It will be some time before we meet again because of the holidays so you have plenty of opportunity to complete a superior photostory - next time we will look at disseminating these so others can view them.

NB If you have any questions over the break, don't worry about interrupting me if I am online on GTalk or Skype (klopstockalling); I am quite willing to assist.

PS (5 hours later) Just noticed that Sue W has also posted her comments here.

Tuesday, 3 July 2007

Into digital stories...

First of all, well done all of you and particularly, Jean, Clare and Anna for producing such excellent “how to“ resources. It just goes to show that preparation does help. I am also sorry that Wendy and Claire were unable to access their sticks and make their own (I daresay equally as excellent) digital stories. We have been able to isolate this problem of the non-acceptance of memory sticks and it’ll be alright next time….(doesn’t help you last week, does it?)

It was also unfortunate for me that because we spent so much time actually getting started after upgrading the computers to the correct form of MediaPlayer, that I felt it expedient not to spend so much time and teach through Elluminate. This means that I will be flying blind in my online session next Thursday and don’t know what problems I can expect!

Once again I ask those participants who will be attending the online sessions on Thursday and Friday, to read through the pre-reading, look at some of the digital stories I have linked to, have some ideas as to what kind of story to create and lastly, print off the notes for PhotoStory. Till then.

Thursday, 28 June 2007


I found the following semi-interesting: ......migrant workers???? What do you think of this one? ......cute?....for some reason the video never plays to the end (so all I could see was upto A, A A, A A A etc). Does anyone else have this problem? Yes, I do wait until the red line is right across.

Monday, 25 June 2007

My first session

Well, Friday on-line was my first session -impressions?? A mixture of satisfaction and frustration!!!! I was delighted to be able to help my colleagues with iGoogle as (I had already created my own page and "dressed it up") However, The Room requires a certain protocol which I kind of had to suss out for myself - hopefully next time around my participation will be routine. Thanks for your patience Philip, you cineaste (not sure I agree or even care for hagiology!) YouTube?? Philip, can I use powerpoint to make a digital story or do I have to use photos?

Sunday, 24 June 2007

Getting there!

Survived the first on line session! I don' feel confident that I know what I'm doing yet but found the introduction to youtube very interesting. Not sure if I'll be able to get students to access it directly but we'll surely make use of it somehow.

A winner already

Sonia, looks like you're not going to win as many prizes this year as last. Claire has already answered the question (below) with this excellent response:

It's a homage to Stanley Kubrick. The movie is based on the ELF scandal, so the company is thinly disguised as FMG in the film. In 2001 Space Odyssey Kubrick went down a letter in the alphabet to go from IBM to HAL. Chabrol went up a letter in the alphabet to go from ELF to FMG.

So there is a computing connection and also allows me a chance to include my 3rd love, the cinema. But tell me Claire... did you know this or google it?

In case you others have forgotten what the question was, it was in yesterday's post and said:

Did anybody read the footnote on page 1 of Handout 2? Well, nobody asked me about it.... so the first one to explain will get a Mars bar, and, by the way, the same code was used in the recent film "L'Ivresse du Pouvoir", as a veiled reference to ELF - think I 'm getting off the subject here a bit but is just an excuse to get a picture of Huppert on the blog....

YouTube in the classroom

I got some CSWE 1 students to watch an animated Arnie/terminator saying “I’ll be back” on You Tube as part of a lesson on note writing eg: I’m at school. I’ll be back at 6:00. They loved it!

I also found some other interesting sites you might want to check out.
PodEnglish has some good beginner/intermediate podcasts. Here's one on complaining and the past continuous: Click more from this user to find other interesting topics.
The Australian network has vodcasts, quizzes etc with Aussie content. They have different programs for varying levels from elementary to advanced: living English, English bites, Nexus... Here's an example
They post their older videos on you tube
This is an English bites episode on Quorn Store:
Another good site is EnglishPod : you need to subscribe to get transcripts and worksheets, but you can listen for free.

Saturday, 23 June 2007

Post Sessions 2

Thank you for attending the sessions and I must admit I congratulate you for not despairing and making it to the end despite the confusion and frustrations. I think Claire has summed it up quite well in her post below, although I'm not sure about the hagiolatrous aspects. Sue Waters (from Challenger) was also there and in her enthusiastic, inimitableway has written up her thoughts on the session. Thanks to Sue for her help, inspiration and feedback.
In Albany on Friday, after initial trouble with the sound set-up (those Realtek soundcards again) and deciding that there was not enough time to do iGoogle, the session went fairly well and I even heard laughter the other end at times. An absence of iGoogle just means that you will have to go out there to check the blog every now and then and will not get the joke of the day, your horoscope or Bush faux pas delivered to their door. It does point out, however, how difficult it is to deliver online to active particpants - showing a remote powerpoint is easy but it can be extremely problematic to check that the participants are doing what they are supposed to be doing when you can't see their screens. Sometimes I just wanted to disconnect and pretend there had been a power cut.

I have now put up the pre-reading for Session 3 so please have a look at this and the mentioned links so that you can have a good idea of what a "digital story" is and hopefully get some ideas together of how you could plan one for teaching purposes.

Look at the calender (this is one word I can never spell - have I got it right this time?) to see when the next sessions are - the link is on the right.

Endnote: Did anybody read the footnote on page 1 of Handout 2? Well, nobody asked me about it.... so the first one to explain will get a Mars bar, and, by the way, the same code was used in the recent film"L'Ivresse du Pouvoir", as a veiled reference to ELF - think I 'm getting off the subject here a bit but is just an excuse to get a picture of Huppert on the blog.....

Also spotted on the Web this week which may provide inspiration for your stories:
a cat cam just attach a camera to your cat and wait till he comes home again
best ways to sleep at work.

and how about some more entries from you?

Thursday, 21 June 2007

online session

A bit confusing at first. Not seeing people makes it hard, but hearing everybody is good. Philip has the patience of a saint. Im'sure we'll get the hang of it after a few sessions.

Monday, 18 June 2007

Handout 2

Just to tell you all that the Handout 2 has been amended and can now be printed off if you wish.

Saturday, 16 June 2007

Second session

Thank you for attending the second session. I find it was useful to do it this way ( i.e. practise with real people without a data projector and then go online next week) as it made me realise that although my notes are useful for the F2F group there are times that what you saw on your screen was completely different from what I was seeing or had seen before so I was able to amend the sheets and plan for those eventualities. (although no doubt there will be different ones online). A good thing about Elluminate is that it does permit me to bring every one back to focus when they are off wandering on their own around the Web. I wonder what it'll be like next week...

Bandwidth wasn't an issue and everyone was able to download videos without them slowing down and hiccupping; I hope that in Geraldton and Albany will be the same.

Just to remind those who didn't / couldn't make it (JB, JB, SL, BW, LW, RT, MR, CW, CD, SM, PM have I forgotten anyone?) yesterday that the online session will be on Thursday 4 - 6, with a repeat on Friday 2 - 4. Just click on the "The Room" link to the right and wait. It may be advantageous to download and print the Handout out before the session. Don't do it today though, cos I haven't amended it from last night.

Endnote, what I learnt from the Web today: the BBC is using "digital stories" as an alternative to just showing photos one after another in a gallery. {They call them Audio Slideshows}. I hope to be covering these next session (i.e. Session 3) (DV) so have a look at how real professionals make them and we can work towards those standards. Look here or here. Incidentally I also learnt that in additon to K2 being higher than Everest (although we don't seem to hear about that any more) the Amazon is now longer than the Nile although to my disappointment it wasn't discovered through Google Earth close-ups or StreetView but by real people on site.

Friday, 15 June 2007

really keen

Aren't we all keen coming here on a Friday afternoon.
But Philip makes it so entertaining by producing his little surprises!


I think I should have practised more during the week!
Face to face is better for me - what about you?

Aging brain . . ?

It did take me a little while to remember how to get here - must be use it or lose it . .

2nd Session

Here we all are again poised for some instructions from Philip. Have just managed to put up a new post without looking at my notes!

Am I in yet?

Well, there are some very impressive postings to view... most inspiring. Looking forward to being able to do all of the below with confidence. Cheers.

Thursday, 14 June 2007


After seeing Philip's last blog with comestibles, I thought we all deserved some of these. Couldn't resist! Must say that it's a case of use it or lose it - you wouldn't believe how long it's taken me to remember how to paste a picture from the internet!

Wednesday, 13 June 2007

Bargains of the Week

Have you not got a Webcam yet? well pop down to Harvey Norman and there you can buy a twin pack for $58.00. Not the best quality but sufficient for your purposes...
Why do you want two? hmmm, give one to your friend or send one to your loved one. Load Skype (not at work) and have videophone conversations for free. The quality is surprising good.

For those in Perth I spotted these two non-techno bargains...

a) Mars and Snickers at The Golden Hay Supermarket in Hay street @ 80 cents.

b) 20% off all spirits at the Re Store (spotted when I took back the Gourmet Platter platter) so treat yourself to those contintental liquid delicacies you crave but don't usually buy.


I'm making progress! I'm sure this blogging will expand my mental capacity enormously. I'm looking forward to exploring more possibilities and sharing lots of experiences and information with you all.

Monday, 11 June 2007

First session

It looks as though the first session was really great! I'm sorry that I was unable to make it. Have had a go at Elluminate - wrote stuff & drew a few coloured squiggles, but I didn't actually know what it was that I was trying to do (can't do without a filip). Have downloaded GTalk -just waiting to attach the mike - lots of possibilities! How exciting!!


Hello fellow bloggers, I hope this message will get through.. I am sitting at home reading emails and experimenting with this techno. I'm trying to remember what we did on Friday- seems like ages ago .. Well will attempt yet again to post this.. Cheers to you all..

Practising Learnscope

I am just going through what we learnt on Friday. I even had fun drawing on the whiteboard but nobody else was on at the time.

Introductory session in Perth

Thank you to all for coming along last Friday - I hope you manage to run the was also good to have various programs of AMES represented in the project: City, HT, DL, Community, Freo and the Country.

We are all at the same stage now both in Albany, Geraldton and Perth, viz, have an inkling how to work Elluminate and GTalk. We now have to put that into practice. Now, originally I intended to do one session both live and online but I have once again been over-ambitious with numbers so have decided to do a live session followed by an online session. This will also allow me to get a handle on the content before presenting it online. Now, there was much discussion about timing... some things were provisionally decided but I have to consult with Albany to finalise matters....

However, it is most likely that the LIVE session will be this Friday from 4pm -6pm in the Level 1 at the Victoria Centre in Perth. The online sessions will follow next week...

sorry for the delay Albany

Thanks also to Sue Waters from Challenger TAFE for coming along and helping out. She has written her impressions of the first evening here

See the rest of the photos here (some by me, some by Sue W).

I will give you another update when I have spoken to Albany.

Sunday, 10 June 2007

Trying to remember it all . . .

I am discovering that it's a little different revisiting it all at home - but gradually it's coming back . . . :-)

Friday, 8 June 2007

Possibilities of Gtalk

I am sure it will be a great way to communicate and spend many frustrating and exciting hours of my precious time.

The possibilities of Gtalk

With Gtalk you can see who is online. You can type a message or phone someone. You can add new friends too.

google talk

I found this very interesting but a little challenging all at once! I like this practicing to consolidate our learning.

possibilities of GTalk

It's a great way to communicate with people - you know whether or not they're there and it costs you nix!


Possibilities of G Chat

1 We can chat to our friends and colleagues when they're on line.
2 Our students can ask questions....and have instant answers!
3 Students can practice English interactively on line.

gtalk comments

G talk is great. Would be wonderful to use in DL and also with community classes - between different students /in different classes.

Possibilities of gtalk

  • Saving money on phone calls?
  • Making secret calls without using the phone?

Possibilities of Gtalk

Cheaper phone bills.

What I think of Elluminate

I think it is great and opens up a whole new world. I hope I can put it to good use.

What I think of Elluminate

So far so good. Have not overloaded yet.

What I think of elluminate

It is a little confusing for a beginner, but I can see it has great possibilities. The secret will be remembering what to do.

What I think of Elluminate

I think this programme has great potential for students of all levels. I hope we'll get time to play around with it and entertain each other so we build up our confidence with it.

Thanks for an illuminating elluminate session, Philip!


What I think of Elluminate

What an interesting evening! Elluminate seems to be a whole new ball game and will be thoroughly engageing.....for at least three weeks!

Elluminate musings

I would like to try with students, but wonder whether I could show them what to do at a distance (given that Philip was here with us . . . )

Cert III? Cert II? What do you think??

learnscope lesson 1

The first lesson is going well and the break with yummy food was great.

Elluminate looks very interesting and if all the technology works the project will be great. Am really looking forward to it.

Tuesday, 5 June 2007

and here some pictures from Albany....

Great Southern TAFE

Jill, Justine and Lillian

Barbara, Sara and Ray.

A view of Albany (who would want to live elswhere now you can have delivery online
Posted by Picasa

Learnscope First Session in Albany

Some of the previous posts will indicate that the first session was held in Albany and the six participants approached the project with enthusiasm.

Originally, we had planned for two AMES lecturers to particpate but others wanted to join in, so the more the merrier. Present were: Sara L, Jill B, Justine B, Lillian W and Barbara W, all of the Social Sciences department of Great Southern TAFE, and Ray Tuckey, Principal Lecturer, provided me with moral support.

After overcoming problems of bandwidth restrictions we started the session and covered these areas:
Introduction to Learnscope and background to the project
Planned sessions and outcomes
Operating the "virtual" classroom, Elluminate
Communicating through GoogleTalk and Blogger.

We had some problems with the sound (as always) but the particpants in Albany should now be in a position to commence learning the content about videos online.

A repeat session for the particpants from Perth and Geraldton will be held this coming Friday.