Even more collaborative software

The hot news seems to involve Google’s latest wonder – a totally integrated format of real-time communication called Wave. The implications for education (let alone entertainment) haven’t really sunk in yet, but it seems ideally suited for remote learning.

A beta gets released to guinea-pigs later this month (a lottery) but later in the year it should emerge.

Check out the preview


Social Networking for businesses

After the training I did last year I fell into a slight hole about actually using these skills in the real world.

My employers have set up an e-learning zone (but it hasn’t been much promoted) and I have gained access as Admin to the Moodle-based system, to experiment, and offer examples to fellow workers, etc.

Now it appears we really are looking at the implications of Web 2.0 in relation to libraries.

As this blog really only appeared as a test, and a resource collection, I refer you to Anon the Librarian’s blog for current stories directly related to our work.

Relevant to ‘resources’ the one we have been asked to consider seems really excellent – Centre for Learning & Performance Technologies – click on Social Media and Learning.

Now to fill in the gaps! I still don’t really use RSS, for instance…

Spring forwards

Time flies by, and I have received my certificate from the Net-Trainers course.

It’s official! I am qualified! 🙂

Anyway – I had been dabbling in using Google’s Page Creator (I like their new approach to things, like Gmail, for instance, so was willing to be a beta tester again). They caused a bit of a stir, by letting people establish themselves using Page Creator (although it was always a beta project) and caused an uproar when announcing Google Sites – and the necessary migration, etc.

Anyway. I have created a Google Site from scratch, for a holiday cottage my partner has poured time, money and energy into, and which can now be rented for holidays in the mountains of Wales.

I am still learning about Google Sites. I find it a bit tricky (it’s a bit like a Wiki, you don’t ‘Hide’ pages you are working on, but ‘Delete’ them (even though you can recover them, revert to earlier versions, etc).

It takes a bit of getting used to. Here is the Ty Cariad site

Slightly more relevant to the training – I have gained access to the Cardiff Council remote learning site, organised through Learning Pool (the public sector e-learning exchange), and based on Moodle, where I have put up a beta version of possible library training and communication channels. The experimental library section can be found under Miscellaneous.

Net Trainers course completed

I have finished my portfolio, and submitted it ahead of deadline…I only have to fill out a course evaluation form, and then wait.

One less thing off my routine list.

Still contemplating re-writing the hasty book, but I could allow myself off the homework, I suppose.

And I still moderate an Arts Council website, but that’s only a few hours a week…

I’d love to take a proper break, as I have the dark days blues, but perhaps that’ll shift after the Solstice…and the days start getting longer again.

Oh, and the compulsory shopping festival passes, along with the over-indulgence even if you can’t afford it party has finished.

Back to more regular posting

NaNo Winner 08 with Infinite Monkeys

NaNo Winner 08 with Infinite Monkeys

This may have looked like a dead site, but it was merely dormant!

Since July I have

  • learned Moodle
  • devised a whole pilot scheme using a Moodle-based DLE for the library service
  • added Learning Pool modules to it
  • completed my Net Trainers course with Sheffield College (just)
  • started a Wiki area for the Libraries on the Council Knowledge Bank
  • received the hard copies of our (previously) online magazine, Maybe Quarterly (you can still get a copy from me!)
  • completed a 50,000 word novel with NaNoWriMo (called Infinite Monkeys). 

So I have been busy.


I will be back to adding good links and stuff to this page, and will also be in touch with Anon the Librarian, as he is putting a lot of good Library 2.0 stuff up on his blog.     Library 2.0 and all that.

Meanwhile, Learning 2.0 looks fun (and the 23 things to try). And now there’s Learning 2.1

Net Trainers and Learning Pool

I am just back from two weeks of holiday, so forgive me if this all went quiet.

I am enjoying the Net Trainers course a lot, but am well aware that I do not know what kind of content I would offer as an e-trainer. I don’t have a degree (to tutor A-Levels) or A-Levels (to tutor O-Levels, etc).

My first idea was that I would be offering familiarisation modules for using Word, Internet, etc – but there are so many excellent resources already online it feels like re-inventing the wheel.  I started to focus on particular training for the library where I work – both for staff induction and for assisting the public who use our People’s Network PCs to access the Internet from the library.

This led me to noting that Cardiff Council have begun to offer brief modules for staff training using Learning Pool – and I managed to get a place on a two day course for designing new modules, or customising existing ones. I now have access to a Moodle Learning Environment, and the motivation to create some specialised, library focused modules to supplement the general ones available.

Perhaps this career shift may drift towards creating and supporting learning modules, rather than directly tutoring people.

I don’t really know yet, as I am groping forwards to a way of working from home, so that we could move to the country with the dog!

Learning Pool have started WordPress blogs, which you can find here (permanent link in sidebar).





I think these are still in development, but I wanted to make the link now, as this blog of mine is still fairly sparse (although I have plans).


Thanks to them for the support so far, and the easy access they have offered me. Excellent stuff, great idea.

Back again


I say I may be gone a few days, and here I return six weeks later (sigh).

Apart from a two week holiday at the cottage, I have just gotten very busy.  We hope to produce a hard copy of our online magazine, which has involved re-reading 14 editions, and annotating word counts, images, authors, etc.

I still do my work for the Circus Arts Forum (an hour most days), and have been closely involved with all my Net Trainers classes (including ‘leading’ one of the modules).

Currently thinking about navigation, quite a lot, so may return soon with some thoughts and links.



Here and there and everywhere

Over the next few days my web presence may appear a bit reduced.

I have taken the ‘lead’ role on a group project at Net Learners for the next ten days – so have to focus, pay attention to the discussions, encourage everyone to contribute, etc.

Julie and I are also (finally) managing to get two weeks leave together, at the same time.  I haven’t had two weeks in a row for a couple of years!  So I will be attempting to ‘lead’ just with the use of a Mac laptop from a cottage in the country, rather than PCs at home and work, and a Blackberry on the belt.

Should prove interesting!   Still, we’ll have a break, and time together and with the dog, and I reckon it’s going to be fun and relaxing…

But my web presence and interaction will go down…


Where do we start?

Hi Hartmut!    I like the idea of us combining these software programs we find.

Perhaps we should put up a Wiki, add to it a mindmap with links to our various projects (blogs, etc) and also links to any online ‘chat’ groups (like the Yahoo group).

One real problem remains getting lost out here!    If we have too many channels going at once, then people don’t know where to start, or how to join in.

So many choices.


Anyway – I took your suggestion of Mind42 – and started a node for us to work from. (maybe)


More and more new software!

Contact with fellow students has led to a flood of links to pursue, software to sample, etc.

I find it easy to resist any that cost money…I sometimes go for 30 day free trials, but often not (I’ll either hate it and have to uninstall again, or love it and be tempted to spend money I don’t have).

I don’t want to link to anything I haven’t tried…but may stick them into these posts, and only ‘graduate’ them to my permanent links after sampling.

[and no, I have no idea why my links appear in both columns at the moment, a consequence of the bug that made me go back to blog format, when the recent update messed with the static Home Page, etc – oh you really don’t want to hear about it!]

One of Hartmut’s that looks really interesting, however, is the Circle of Excellence. Even if you don’t feel sure about NLP, you will find a lot more and different tools there.