Sue Waters Blog

October 18, 2007
by Sue Waters
8 Comments

Smart Conference Sharing With Your Readers! How To Do It And Survive!

mlearn 2007Decided to give myself another title to add to “Most Disorganised Traveler of the Year Award!” and “Crazy Mutlitasker” “Smart Conference Sharing To Your Readers!” [image by sridgway]

Before I came to the conference I debated how to share the information from mLearn 2007 conference with my readers, without overloading them! My concerns were live blogging may overwhelm my readers (too many posts) and at the moment live blogging does not fit how I like to learn and write posts.

I would love to be able to live blog like Carole did at Alan Levine’s session on Being There. She was absolutely incredible — was able to listen to what Alan was saying and then blog live about her reflections on what he was saying at the same time — compare what she has posted with what I wrote. I like to write what is being said and reflect more deeply later whereas she was reflecting as she was writing! I have to give her the “Incredible Reflective Live Blogger” title as she was sitting next to me writing this post!

So my brain was ticking over–how do I ensure that readers that want regular updates from the mlearning conference get what they want, I learn how I like to learn and other readers get the posts they like?

Simple the answer is my wiki! What I have done is set up a page on my Mobile Technology in TAFE wiki specifically for the conference. I searched technorati for posts on the conference and added RSS feeds from each blog site to this page. This means that my readers can read news as it is happening from people who are live blogging — I can add new feeds to the page when I find new bloggers posting on the conference and it takes the pressure of me to feel the need to satisfy readers on my own blog! Team work in action from everyone!

How did I know to add the RSS feeds from blogs? Well Frances is a great friend and she showed me how she did it with her student blogs — check out her instructions. Frances ROCKS!

So on my wiki page for the mlearn 2007 conference I have:

  • Elluminate session schedule that people can download so they can join the live sessions if they choose
  • RSS feeds from each blog that is posting on the conference
  • Photos feed from the conference
  • Links to websites where people have located information about their presentation
  • Twitter feed from mlearn2007

This makes it easier for:

  • My readers to keep updated with the latest information
  • Me to go through the information from the conference, reflect on what has happened at the conference and then write the information in a form that suits how I want to learn

Please let me know your thoughts? Is the wiki helpful? If so, have I missed anything?

Apologies to all the fantastic people that I have meet in the past few days – and my readers who want to hear about them — but even for this multitasker it is hard to keep on top of all that I am doing — the posts are coming. In the meantime stay tuned and watch the wiki page for the latest updates.

October 16, 2007
by Sue Waters
8 Comments

So, yer in Melbourne? Dinner? Want to Join Us?

Well I had wanted to catch up with James Farmer (Edublogs founder) when I came to Melbourne but did not want to bug him as he is SO BUSY. So was incredibly pleased when he found out that I was here and sent me an email asking me if I wanted to catch up.

Knowing James love of him with added speech bubbles I thought it was best to use images to write this post and invite those in Melbourne into edublogging to join us for dinner!

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[Image adapted from photo by Cogdogblog using online photo editor Picnik recommended by Alan Levine]

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[Image by Claudecf using online photo editor Picnik recommended by Alan Levine]

Please if you are in Melbourne, into edublogging, and you want to chat up with James Farmer and myself, join us for dinner. We are meeting at 6.3pm tomorrow night (Wednesday 17 October) on steps at Flinders Street below clocks….as per picture below [Image by The Beethovan Connection]!!!!!

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PS If you can’t join us…but you want me to ask James questions…let me know and I will ask on your behalf.

October 16, 2007
by Sue Waters
4 Comments

Exploring Ports, Libraries and Chocolate! What a Day!

ferryMMMmm not sure what I can say? DON’T trust Google weather predictions?

Melbourne is known for being a lot colder than Perth and I was told to pack my warm gear even though it is spring. Melbourne weather on Google for the week did look like it was going to be colder and wet later in the week (Annelieske even bought an umbrella yesterday based on my weather updates). Just looking out the window and looks like another fine day! So decided to check the Bureau of Meteorology web site — looks like weather reasonably fine all week in Melbourne and slightly warmer than Perth for the week! And I have no summer clothes with me!

With such fine weather yesterday we went for a quick sightseeing ferry ride to Melbourne Port and back. My work is located in the Fremantle Port area (actually on the South Mole behind our Maritime Museum) and I work with lecturers who train people how to operate the large ships. So I am always really fascinated to look at how different ports operate — michaelthinking now that one of my colleague from our Maritime Operations section will need to bring me back to Melbourne for a proper tour of the Port because it is the 8th busiest port in the World. Looking forward to chatting with my work colleagues so they can explain some more details when I show them my pictures of the Melbourne Port.

Next we were lucky enough to meet up with Michael Abulencia from RMIT. Apologies to all my librarian friends have I been in the dark ages? Michael showed us through RMIT’s library which has now been set up to encourage collaboration and sharing. What a bubbly place it was – I wanted to hang out in there! The library is broken up into zones — quiet zone and a zone where interaction is encouraged (thus noiser area). Everywhere you looked students were working in groups, excited, interacting… so full of life. They are allowed to eat and drink. WOW wanted to take photos but did not want to offend students. Would love to hear from people like Kathryn and Con what the libraries are like at their Universities – are they set up similar? What are your thoughts on this type of set up?

Michael also showed us his work location–yes, have to say he has a nice view of Melbourne but does it beat my view of the ocean? We finished up with a lovely lunch followed by dessert at a chocolate shop (lets hope Noodlez does not hear about this!). Mmmm death by chocolate mousse. Thanks Michael– I was great catching up with after chatting online for more than a year!

chocWe finished the day with a nice dinner with Carole McCulloch sitting outside at a Cafe on Southbank Promenade. Melbourne really beginning to grow on me! Looking forward to Alan Levine’s session today although I hope he is feeling better? — and welcoming reception for mLearn tonight!

Believe that my readers that helped me with tips for traveling forgot a few important ones: 1) Pack comfortable walking shoes — have very sore soles on my feet 2) Pace your eating — food is a major part of networking but go for small portions if you have any hope of surviving conferences

But I didn’t think of them — so if you have any more tips keep them coming!

October 14, 2007
by Sue Waters
4 Comments

Help Required For Disorganised Tourist!

horseWell the good news is the “Most Disorganised Traveler of the Year” managed to arrived in Melbourne with all essential items thanks to lots of guidance and tips from my readers! Unfortunately I should have also asked for ‘must see tips’ for tourists because we arrived in Melbourne early so we (Annelieske and I) could be tourist and then had no idea what is worth seeing/doing in Melbourne! Bummer!

We did manage to check out a bit of Melbourne starting with a lovely breakfast at a restaurant on Southbank Promenade overlooking Yarra River. A customer and the waitress told us we must check out the Queen Victoria Markets — apparently not to be missed — so we went for a nice walk to the markets. Along the way we just HAD to have a ride on a horse and carriage… while I also made sure that I took lots of tram photos (something that you have to do when your city does not have trams!). You can watch the adventures of my trip in my Flickr account.

Please note always a good question to ask your friend — do you actually like shopping?–oops!!! After a nice long walk to the Queen Victoria Markets we discovered that we both really hate shopping! And to top it off there was no good clothes or hair for my Second Life Avatar! So instead we went searching for a bookstore because when I get an opportunity I really love to read a good book…

grahamThis afternoon I meet up with Graham Clark — who was nice enough to invite us to join him and his friends at the Pixar Exhibit for their 20 years in Animation. WOW the pictures drawn by the artists for creating the films were so amazing. Thanks Graham for letting us join you!

There will be a few opportunities to check out some more sites during my stay — so please tell me–what sites should I be checking out in Melbourne?

Before I finish this post I just have to say right now I am thinking I am in total heaven! Annelieske has gone out for dinner with a friend and I have the place to myself…. No noise — no kids fighting–no what’s for dinner–just me lying in bed with Mac! Chomping on a bit of chocolate….and we each have separate rooms. Best part is mine has an ensuite bathroom —bliss!

Sorry everyone who wants to catch up this week I may have to choose Mac over you! Except there may be a small issue of Internet access. Now this apartment may not have a plug in connection for a laptop above toilet (YUCK) but it does have wireless that I can pay for. Normally I have to pay a daily rate at a hotel. Here I am paying for Azure Wireless which unlike the access I have had in other hotels has a download limit. So I have paid for 5 days or about 580 MB download. I am thinking we should have a bet as to how many days I will have Internet access for based on a download limit? 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5?

I should probably also mention that Telstra was nice enough to send me an SMS to tell me I am at 109 % usage of my data plan on my PDA—that has been only from 2 days of use!

And if you’re enjoying this blog, please consider subscribing for free.

October 12, 2007
by Sue Waters
12 Comments

Help Required For Most Disorganised Traveler of The Year!

todolistLets admit it…I am a bit concerned! Tomorrow I am leaving for Melbourne to attend the Mlearn 2007 conference and we all know that unfortunately I am a TAD absent minded when traveling. So shocking that I deserve the “Most Disorganised Traveler of the Year Award!” (Mlearn conference is all about the mobile technologies and their use in education i.e. mlearning or mobile learning)

Since I will be away 8 days, I seriously need HELP! So this time to organise myself I decided the key was to write a to-pack-list (with highest priorities at the top of the list) unfortunately I did not plan on running out of room on the list!

My highest priority is to make sure that my readers and networks also gain from what I am learning from the conference — so I am planing to use online tools to remain connected and would love tips from others. Here is where I am at so far:

  • Live Blog or not? - Kate Foy has shared some great tips on live blogging at conferencesnot sure that I will live blog only because I personally prefer to read concise information. Am thinking I will use desktop application or Google Documents to write notes during sessions. The article she linked to gave fantastic tips for locating yourself at conferences so you do not annoy others with your computer.
  • Limit myself to max. one post per day. My thoughts are if I write more posts per day this can be overwhelming of my readers so I might be better putting information on my wiki?
  • Want to use Twitter to stay connected with my network outside the conference and to maintain connections with other participants. Would love tips on maximising the use of twitter at conferences!
  • What have I missed? Are there any other tools and tricks you have used or seen used at conferences that I should use?

While you are at it… you may like to give advice on other travel tips e.g. items I must pack or tips for meeting new people (without freaking them out)

October 7, 2007
by Sue Waters
4 Comments

Holidays–Less or more of Sue? Well must mean time for Alan Levine Interview!

alan levineAlan Levine (Cog Dog Blog) is just about to start his Australia Cross Country Tour and was nice enough to do an interview with me. Since James Farmer was so pleased to be me, with added speech bubbles, I felt that I could not let Alan miss out by just uploading the audio to my podcast site. [image by umwdtlt]

So here is a snippet of Alan’s full interview made into a video! And you can check out the audio from the full interview on my podcast site.

[kml_flashembed movie="http://video.google.com/googleplayer.swf?docid=-7464432904770163706" width="400" height="326" wmode="transparent" /]

Australia Cross Country Tour

Alan has customised sessions he will be presenting in Australia based on input from the local Australian Flexible Learning Framework contacts. If you are in Australia, into technology or elearning, I strongly recommend you attend his sessions, you can check them out here and contact your local Australian Flexible Learning Framework person to book.

I am lucky enough to be attending his sessions in both Perth and Melbourne but I am bit very pissed off that I will be missing “50 Web 2,0 Ways to Tell a Story”. After listening to a large portion of the 50 Domino stories, and Elisabeth Clark pointing out participants in the workshop will use one of 49 Web 2.0 tools to create a story—what can I say? sense of ripped off. I would really love to see how he runs this workshop!

Then I discovered that I would also be missing the “Small Precious Web Gems” workshop – major bugger! I gained so much from working through his 50 story tools and 50 Domino stories so now will need to work through his precious gem list on my own!

FINAL THOUGHTS

So does missing two workshops that I really wanted to attend mean I deserve my money back? mmm probably NOT!

Wonder how work would feel about me flying to the other venues to attend the workshops I am missing out on? mmm definitely NOT! Party poopers!

Okay — will work through his precious gem list on my own! If you want to join me in reviewing them let me know and we work together.

Thanks Alan for the interview.

Special thanks to Jo Kay and Sean Fitzergerald for helping me out with screen captures in Second Life that I have used on Alan Levine’s videos. Especially like to thank Jo for giving me a dress to make me look prettier in Second Life and Sean for taking me on a tour of Second Life (and giving me new skin —which apparently is a SL must! — think he got sick of me complaining!).

September 28, 2007
by Sue Waters
1 Comment

Needed! Global Community Participants!

Global communityWell todays the day! Now the countdown has begun for the presentation on social networking for NSW Learnscope. The trouble with social networking is it is really hard “to get” social networking and the incredible value of a global community helping one another unless you are “already in that space”.

Most of the participants will have limited exposure to networking so my plan is to make the session interactive and model social networking with them in action — which will be interesting we will being presenting to a room of people using a virtual classroom. The participants will be in groups at tables and we will get them to do activities as part of a physical social network and a global community will join the session via Abode Connect to assist with answering their questions!

The good news is we now have a titleYou, Me, Us — The Global Community!

The bad new — we could really do with some more Global Community! We have some people from my network joining us from Queensland and parts of USA but the more the merrier. So if you are free please join us! Session is from 9 – 10 am Perth, Western Australian time – click here to convert for your time zone!

Who are the participants - mostly vocational education and training lecturers (teach trades areas). Most of the global participants are educators (K12), technology specialists and other VET lecturers.

You are welcome to join us by using this link!

September 26, 2007
by Sue Waters
6 Comments

Busy! Been Neglecting YOU! SORRY

back-soon.jpgWell I know some of my readers are feeling pleased that I am busy at the moment – so they can catch up with reading my blog but my apologies to those waiting for me to finish my post series on the use of Web 2.0 with students! I will continue soon!

But I’ve been really busy…..and this week have some online presentation that I have to take care of!

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Today I will be doing my Video in E-learning online session for Etools n Tips for the Australian Flexible Framework. Please feel free to join the session in Elluminate – anyone can attend and it is from Wednesday 26 September at 3.30pm to 4.30pm Australian Eastern Standard Time.

Don’t stress if you will be asleep when the session is on - I am sure plenty in the session will be joining you! You can always join us our discussions at Etools and Tips for Educators community.

Presentation with NO TITLE on Social Networking for NSW Learnscope
On Friday morning I will be doing an online presentation for NSW Learnscope on social networking.

Lets be honest– these guys are totally screwed! CLARIFICATION! Apologies when I said they are totally screwed, they AREN’T, and never am I. My organisation and friends who know me stress at my high standards of work dedication never worry about me delivering the goods – they work about me overworking and doing too much!

And when I said this what I am really saying is people are relying on me to do a good job - they are giving up their time to listen to me – and I take this serious… as it is on social networking – can you please help me with the following:

I have been so busy with all the work preparing for video in elearning that I haven’t been able to think of a good title for their presentation! To make matters worse I’m not convinced that my twitter social network has been able to help me with a catchy title.

Here are their suggestions so far:

  1. Putting the ‘We’ into Web!
  2. Nodes, Knowing and Networking: Building Communities and Connections with Social Software
  3. “Social networking – the world in your home!”

Now most of the participants in the session are vocational education and training lecturers e.g. trades lectures like automotive, hairdressing, youth at risk. Majority will have just be starting out in their online journey with limited use, if any, social networking themselves. Hello– they may not even know what the term social networking means!

So what are your thoughts on the title?

And if you were going to talk about social networking and why educators should use it for their personal learning and with their students what would you talk about? — being mindful you don’t want to overwhelm them!

September 24, 2007
by Sue Waters
7 Comments

Multitasking — Embrace The Future!

On Friday I decided to let the cat out of the bag on how I fit everything in and still manage to sleep by multitasking at an incredible level. Quite a few of my readers found it extremely funny and many could totally relate to it! And I ROFL when I read Kevin’s post, so we ran a multitasking competition — to see who is the greatest multitasker!

But before I show you some of the entries by readers — let me tell you that I was totally busted on Friday morning because I was invited to join an Abode Connect session (another type of live classroom) and one of the participants had read my post so asked how many virtual classroom session I was in at that moment! OOPs maybe I should not have let my secret out! So since I was busted I told them that while in the session I was also running a multitasking competition and would they like to join it?

Here is my screenshot to prove it! And what a fitting image! We are going to have to embrace multitasking to maximise the potential of social networking!

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Here’s some entries by readers!

Now there were some that called themselves an unitasker e.g. Darren Draper — however with 5 kids I find that really hard to believe! This is Darren photo (if the words are too hard to read they say “What was it I was working on?”)

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Kristin said check out “the image of my desktop need I say more :) I knew I liked you for a reason” This entry is right up there just for liking me :)

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I made Kevin cry from how much he laughed at my post. And he even sent me an email explaining his screenshot of multitasking (he has dual monitors).

  • On screen 1: have Firefox open with 9 tabs (gmail, campus mail, greader, two wiki windows, google analytics, mybloglog, facebook, Blogger dashboard, Acrobat reader (conference call background info), Textmate for taking notes, A very clean dock :) – cause I use Quicksilver, and a few minimized apps.

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  • On Screen 2 – Second life (shopping for land), iSight video session (where you can see I’m on another call as well :) ), calculator (required for doing currency conversions in SL :) ); several chats (6) IM, Jabber, and one GTalk (though I don’t know where it went cause that was my most active window – behind SL?; Twitteriffic; and Mail – my primary mail account that gets its own window.

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Poor Michael went home for lunch and ended up getting drawn into Sue World while he also had lunch, read a book and I believe he mentioned had a bath?

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Gary has been very busy at a conference blogging and twittering while listening [image by IaRuth]. EvilSue has challenged that this is actually multitasking and another commenter said good point I think that only qualifies as bi-tasking.

My thoughts are that it is so amazing now that at conferences we do multi-task and venues that don’t provide Internet access are not looking after their participants!

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Here are some of the comments by readers (sorry forgot to record the tweets)!

  • Poor Michelle – she thought she was doing well with “10 tabs open in Firefox until she read my post”
  • Frances – “multi tasking is a regular occurrance for Sue. She certainly leaves us all in her wake. We can only look up to you in awe :)
  • Julie - I multitasks well but wishes I could ‘type’ faster and with more accuracy, also that my laptop memory was a little larger”
  • Laura – “I thought I was doing okay until I read your how you do it…I have my freelancing mac for design in the middle of my kitchen, plus my laptop for my main work next to it…i can communicate, design and cook/clean/attend to kids and pets at near enough the same time…but…never will be as multi as you! Wow!”
  • Rachel – “The one thing I can’t stand is when I’m working on comp at home and I have about 4 or 5 skype chats randomly starting all at the same time (professional and personal)… that does my head in” Me – too Rachel even I struggle with that!

FINAL THOUGHTS

Thinking I might need to get a dual monitor? Wonder how much more I can achieve with two?

So what are your thoughts? Are you multitasking? Do you multi-task more than these people? Who do you think is the greatest multitasker?

Are you embracing the future?

September 21, 2007
by Sue Waters
13 Comments

How Do You Fit Everything In! DO YOU Ever Sleep?

Well! A common question I get asked is how do I get so much done in my day! There are some that believe I never sleep! My secret is simple….. I multi-task! Probably at a higher level than most.

So I thought I would share yesterday morning with you (between 8-9 am) so you know how I multi-task… and why no-one should be this crazy.

Woke up early…hubby again being noisy and this is what happened:

  1. Realised from Darren Draper’s twitter that his class which he had invited educators to assist him with was not on Wednesday morning our time but was on Thursday morning. So at 7.00 am our time I logged into the session!
  2. Coming up to 8 am, while still in Darren’s session, I realised that the etools n tips session that I thought started at 9 am was starting at 8 am. Pondered whether I could run two Elluminate sessions (virtual classrooms) on my computer at the same time and decided if both sessions could run then it meant my computer could cope so I must be able to cope!

Had to, and wanted to stay with Darren’s session and wanted to attend Digital Story telling etools n tips session because I am presenting for these participants next week so needed to see the skills level of the participants.

So what was it like?

It was like sitting in two different lectures and you had to participate in both sessions with two separate voices coming into your ears. Text typing in both.

How did it go?

Well okay except for typing in the chat not to run video in application sharing (in etools session) and opps response to Sue was “SUE we are in Web tour!!!!!” And then caught out by MR Draper who asked me to talk…spin out you can not make sense when someone else is talking loudly in your head!

What else was I doing?

Googling answers, assisting with moderating one Elluminate session, twittering with friends, locating information on web sites and finding bookmarks in my del.icio.us account for both sessions.

What am I thinking?

Wonder if computer can cope with 3 Elluminate session?

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