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...