Slideshare for education

This is ‘The Story of H’, by Lubomir Panayotov, and it recently won Best Storytelling in the Slideshare, ‘Tell a story in 30 slides or less’ contest. It tells the story of the Helicobacter Pylori bacteria that effects over 50% of the population. It’s a very informative presentation and would be useful in science or health classes.

Teachers should be aware of the fantastic content available on Slideshare. You can search for a topic to see if somebody has already uploaded something that may be useful for the classes you teach. It’s another example of a useful resource that can help us to not have to reinvent the wheel all the time. We all know how time poor teachers are, so check out Slideshare before you dedicate yourself to hours of slide creation. Do give correct attribution to the source however; it’s only right!

The idea of telling a story in 30 slides or less would be a great exercise for English classes. So much of our literacy these days is dependent on our interpretation of visual images in our world. The kids we teach should be conscious of how you can use visuals to great effect.

Here’s the winner of the aforementioned Slideshare competition, ‘Drunkenomics – The Story of Bar Stool Economics‘.

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School’s out Friday

Flash mob tribute to Michael Jackson in Sergels Torg, Stockholm.

Same song, same flash mob, this time at Central station, Stockholm. 

Flash mob in London : tribute to Michael Jackson on June 26th, the day of his death.

Wikipedia explains a Flash mob as being;

A flash mob (or flashmob[1]) is a large group of people who assemble suddenly in a public place, perform an unusual action for a brief time, then quickly disperse. The term flash mob is generally applied only to gatherings organized via social media or viral emails. The term is generally not applied to events organized by public relations firms or as publicity stunts.

Michael Jackson’s recent passing has seen a spate of Flash mobs coming together to pay tribute to a singer who had an enormous influence on people the world over. You can find evidence of this by searching on YouTube for ‘Flash mobs Michael Jackson’. It appears there are more to come. On August 9th in London a mass ‘Thriller’ dance is planned as a ‘Goodbye Party’. I’ll have to keep my eyes open for the YouTube footage of that one.

It’s interesting how technology has enabled people from various backgrounds to congregate for action, be it a tribute to Michael Jackson or protests in the streets of Iran. In the videos above, what is most noticeable are the mobile phones raised high in salute, capturing the evidence so that it can be passed on and shared.    

I hope your weekend holds something exciting that you can share with friends and family. Enjoy it.   

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The future of innovation


Don Tapscott, author of Grown up Digital and Wikinomics, has just uploaded to Slideshare a presentation he has called, Grown Up Digital: The Net Generation and the Future of Innovation. In it was the above slide. The words on that slide have ecapsulated for me the difficulties we have convincing others of the need to change our approach to education. It is a paradigm shift we are experiencing. We are expecting others to come along for the ride with us and get frustrated when the rate of adoption is slow. We are dealing with disruptive technologies that require teachers to rethink the way they have always done things. It is uncomfortable and people who feel uncomfortable often resist change.

Much to think about in those words. Thanks to Elaine Talbert for alerting me to the presentation via Twitter. See the full presentation from Don below. Visiting the Slideshare site will enable you to view the notes for each slide.  

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Body Pump via YouTube – forget the gym fees!

Before I dedicated my life to blogging (it seems like that some days!) I used to go to the gym regularly. I was a devotee of Body Pump classes. I got to a stage where I was lifting pretty heavy weights and I was pretty impressed with my triceps and biceps.   

I can’t say that now. Blogging has led to me learning a whole heap, but it is a fairly sedentary pursuit and my fitness level has suffered as a result. I walk regularly with my good friend Nina (who I have converted to blogging along the way) but I’ve felt the need to get back  to the weights. I have my own weight bar and weights but trying to remember the routines when you are at home has been difficult.

I was contemplating getting back to the weights over the weekend when it occured to me that someone might have posted Les Mills Body Pump classes on YouTube. (Don’t know why I hadn’t thought of it a lot earlier.) So off I went to YouTube and there they were. It seems the Germans are the ones uploading so I spent some time over the last day or so using kickyoutube to download them to my computer.

So, if you’re wondering what a Body Pump class is like and the order in which you complete the routines, here is what I’ve been doing for the last hour. Stefan and a couple of other mostly German instructors have done a very good job of taking me through a class. It hasn’t cost me a cent in gym fees and I can do it all over again tomorrow should I choose to. I’m aiming to do three classes a week and that should get my fitness levels moving in the right direction.

Body Pump – the YouTube way.

Warm up.








Abdominals.  (This is actually too short, but I couldn’t find a complete track)

Cool down  

So there you have it. Body Pump without the gym fees. Another example of the kind of learning you can do via YouTube these days.  


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Agents of change or arrogance?

This comment appears on a Google Doc called ‘Your biggest take away at NECC 2009’. Interestingly, the contributor did not provide their name. 

“That our PLN is distancing themselves from the “norm”. There is the sense that most teachers are falling behind. But is the issue becoming that the PLN is getting to far ahead to even notice the difference?
Being a leader also means being a teacher and sometimes that includes repeating things several times.
The biggest take away I saw was Arrogance.”

I found this very interesting. Mostly because it rings true. I think we have to be constantly aware that just because some of us have adapted to new technologies and think they are transformative for teaching and professional learning, we can’t anticipate that others feel the same way.

We need to help others understand, be what our profession expects us to be; teachers. Not just for students, but for our colleagues too. If we don’t model, support and encourage, we do run the risk of appearing to be arrogant. We want knowledge to be powerful for all, not just in the hands of the few who make others feel inadequate without it.

“The biggest take away  I saw was Arrogance.”

A damaging statement. We need to work hard to ensure this is not the perception people have. If we don’t, we can’t expect to see others adapt and change their practice.

School’s out Friday


The Colbert Report Mon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Jeff Goldblum Will Be Missed
Colbert Report Full Episodes Political Humor Jeff Goldblum

I felt it only appropriate to use The Colbert Report‘s, Jeff Goldblum will be missed as this week’s School’s out Friday post. (Click above on ‘Jeff Goldblum will be missed’  to see the very funny eulogy Jeff delivers for himself.)

Considering I had to write a lengthy post to keep my online reputation intact after I’d tweeted about his possible death, I have to admit to having a good chuckle watching this. I hope Richard Wilkins is able to see the humour in it too. He’s copped a bit of a serve from some media commentators over the course of the week.

If you want to read where the whole rumour emanated from, take a look at John Skelton’s post. He’s a Scottish blogger laying claim to sending out the tweet that started the frenzy of activity.

Lying low this weekend; looks like a cold one coming up here in Melbourne. Fire, blanket, cup of tea (maybe a glass or two of wine). Hmmmnn—-sounds good really. Enjoy whatever it is you are doing.

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Today I found myself reading a newspaper. An unusual event for me.  These days my access to news is usually via my computer.  I was in a coffee shop with no computer in sight so the newspaper was it.  There was a double page spread about The Black Eyed Peas and included was an interview with, frontman for the group.

Interestingly, had quite a bit to say about use of the internet and its importance to the record industry today. Much of it has relevance for education and the way we can be teaching our students to harness it to make meaningful connections. Here’s a bit of what he had to say;

   “I was telling my record company ‘It’s all about the internet’ and they were saying ‘No, that’s piracy, we’re suing those people’ and I said ‘No, that’s what you need to do, put the song on the internet’.  They wouldn’t listen. So I executed all the things I was talking about with Yes we can.”

The celebrity heavy video for’s Obama ode Yes we can clocked up three million online views in a week. went on to say;

“It’s about connecting people, giving them tools  to connect, if it’s a song or a blog or a sketch or a speech you’ve turned into a song. As long as they’re passing it around. We did that with Boom Boom Pow.  That was leaked, it was all over the net, DJs played it, radio stations found it. I learned a lot from that solo record. It taught me a lot. We wouldn’t be here had I not gone through that.”    

Boom Boom Pow has had 11,346,947 views on the official Black Eyed Peas channel on YouTube.

(Interestingly, in the same paper appeared a report that an Australian retail store, JB Hifi, has made the decision to stop the sale of CD singles. I can’t remember the exact details, but it was something like only 340 singles were sold in stores of the number one single in the last week. By contrast, it was downloaded over 13,000 times in the same period of time.)  

As educators, we need to be paying attention to what has to say. Who knows? We may just have the next big thing sitting in one of our classrooms.  And even if we don’t, shouldn’t we be imparting this kind of knowledge along to all of the students we teach? Let them showcase what they do, share it around, give them an audience. Who knows where it might take them and the meaningful connections they may make in the process?   

Given the success of The Black Eyed Peas latest release I’d say they’ve figured it out. Time for school to catch up.   

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