Michael Wesch at Be ConnectED Conference DCU

Michael Wesch gave an amazing keynote address at the NCTE / Diverse Conference in DCU on Wed last 29th June 2011 on the impact of the Internet on learning . The gist of his argument is seen in this YouTube clip. I think it certainly raises very important issues for teaching and learning.

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The YouTube video which brought Professor Wesch to worldwide attention was this famous video entitled “The Machine is Us/using Us”

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Why pay, when you can use Open Source software for education.

This list has been compiled by  the OpenDisc / Education site. All of this software is free and of excellent quality. There must be something here that you will like!

Office and Design

OpenOffice.orgFully compatible office software for your school work
DiaMake technical diagrams and flowcharts
ScribusCreate professional looking posters and magazines
GanttProjectPlan your school projects with this project management software
FreeMindCollect your ideas with this mind mapping Software
PDF CreatorMake PDF documents from any program
Sumatra PDFRead PDF files quickly and easily

Internet

FirefoxA safe, secure and fast web browser
ThunderbirdManage your emails better than ever – Reclaim your inbox!
PidginTalk to your friends whatever instant message client they use
KompozerCreate web pages easily, without having to code
RSSOwlKeep up with your favourite internet news feeds on your desktop

Art and Graphics

GIMPEdit digital photos and create graphics
GIMP animationCreate animations
InkscapeMake professional looking vector graphics
Pencil – Animate your own cartoons
Blender3D graphic modeling, animation, rendering and playback
TuxpaintDrawing program for children ages 3 to 12

Multimedia

VLCPlay music, videos and DVDs
AudacityRecord, edit and mix music
TuxGuitar – Compose your own music
Piano Booster – Teach yourself the piano
AvidemuxEdit movies and add special effects
Infra RecorderBurn your own CDs and DVDs
CamStudioRecord your actions on a computer
Really Slick ScreensaversGreat looking screensavers

Science and Mathematics

Nasa Worldwind Discover the earth and other planets~
Greenfoot – Teach yourself how to program
GraphCalcA graphical calculator
Guido Van RobotLearn how computer programs work
CarMetalCool mathematical modelling tool
Maxima – University standard computer algebra system
CelestiaExplore the universe in three dimensions
StellariumA planetarium on your PC

Games

FreeCiv Control the world through diplomacy and conquest
FreeColDiscover the ‘New World’ and build an empire
Numpty Physics – Solve puzzles using physics
TuxTyping 2Learn to type like a pro
Tux of Math Command – Test your mathematical skills
Winboard ChessThe classic game of chess

Video of David Puttnam on Educating for the Digital Society

In this talk (in Dublin, Jan 2010)  David Puttnam emphasises the need for the education system to embrace technology and foster digital literacy at an early stage to create the next generation of informed and responsible digital participants. He called on Government to prioritise education spending and provide the resources necessary to meet this challenge. As a resident of County Cork,  Lord Puttnam takes a keen interest in developments in Ireland and he concluded his speech with his observations on the Irish education system.

BECTA’s demise

As I am sure you are aware, the new British Govt have decided to close BECTA. This is a real pity as that organisation has produced some excellent work to support technology integration. While their site is still available, why not take the opportunity to download some of their excellent support materials and publications. For example, they have a nice concise pdf document on supporting the ‘21st century teacher‘ which has simple advice to get the best out of today’s technologies.