Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Digital Literacy Across the Curriculum

Digital literacy is an important entitlement for all young people in an increasingly digital culture. It furnishes children and young people with the skills, knowledge and understanding that will help them to take a full and active part in social, cultural, economic, civic and intellectual life now and in the future. To be digitally literate is to have access to a broad range of practices and cultural resources that you are able to apply to digital tools. It is the ability to make and share meaning in different modes and formats; to create, collaborate and communicate effectively and to understand how and when digital technologies can best be used to support these processes.
Digital literacy involves critically engaging with technology and developing a social awareness of how a number of factors including commercial agendas and cultural understandings can shape the ways in which technology is used to convey information and meaning.
Digital literacy across the curriculum is an important handbook by the British Future Lab  is aimed at educational practitioners and school leaders in both primary and secondary schools who are interested in creative and critical uses of technology in the classroom. It is definitely woth reading and bearing in mind!

Digital Literacy Across the Curriculum
A Future Lab Handbook

Saturday, 25 January 2014

Happy 30th Birthday, Macintosh!

Thirty years ago today, Steve Jobs introduced the Macintosh 128k at an Apple shareholders’ meeting. Excitement was high after the airing of the now-classic commercial “1984” (which you can watch below) during the Super Bowl two days before, and the demo — complete with the “Chariots of Fire” theme song - lived up to the hype. Life would never be the same again... HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MACINTOSH! 
And... we miss you, Steve. 

Monday, 13 January 2014

A Short History of Blogging

The Word

The first use of the term weblog in relation to the delivery of content on a website comes from the delivery of a paper titled “Exploiting the World-Wide Web for Electronic Meeting Document Analysis and Management” by Raikundalia & Rees, two lecturers from Bond University, Australia made to a conference on August 14, 1995. The paper discussed the use of:" (...) a Web browser access to various meeting document information, such as minutes, tabled documents, reports and document indexes. Applications are being developed to take standard electronic meeting log files, postprocess them in a variety of ways, and generate a series of indexes and summary files. These files are formatted in HTML and exploit hyperlinks to the full in order to relate the different types of information." Although the paper is aimed at the recording of electronic meetings, the processes described reflect strongly on what blogs evolved into. Popular use of the term weblog as we know it today cam from Jorn Barger of the weblog Robot Wisdom ( in December 1997. 

The concept 

The origins of modern blogging are often as argued about as what blogging is. Many point to blogs as websites or webpages that provided links and comments to other pages, and its is from this basis that modern blogs emerged. Tim Berners-Lee, father of the World Wide Web, first posted a web page in 1992 at CERN that kept a list of all new web sites as they come online. The National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) started a What’s New list of sites in June 1993. Notably the site provided entries sorts by date and the What’s New links included commentary. This service was eventually taken over by Netscape in what became on of the more popular web sites of its time. In January 1994, Justin Hall launches Justin’s Home Page which would later become Links from the Underground. The site included links to and reviews of other sites. Notably on 10 January 1996, Hall commences writing an online journal with dated daily entries, although each daily post is linked by through an index page. In February 1996, Dave Winer writes a weblog that chronicles the 24 Hours of Democracy Project. In April, Winer launches a news page for users of Frontier Software, that goes onto became Scripting News in 1997, one of the oldest weblogs remaining on the net today. After Jorn Barger introduced the term weblog into popular use in December 1997, blogging as we now know it continued to develop. In early 1999 Peter Merholz coins the term blog after announcing he was going to pronounce web blogs as “wee-blog”, that was then shortened to blog. At this stage, a list maintened by Jesse James Garrett recorded that there were 23 known weblogs in existence. As blogging started to grow in 1999, the first portal dedicated to listing blogs was launched, Brigitte Eaton launched the Eatonweb Portal. Eaton evaluated all submissions by a simple assessment that the site consist of dated entries, one of the criteria we use to day in identifying a blog. In May 1999, Scott Rosenberg at writes one of the first media articles on the emergence of weblogs and refers to the growing number of “Web Journalists”. In August 1999, Pyra Labs, today owned by Google, launches the free Blogger blogging service, that for the first time provides an easy set of tools for anyone to set up a blog. Other services launched around the same time include Pitas and Groksoup, neither of which capture the imagination of bloggers in the same way as Blogger did. Over the following 12 months, blogs explode, new companies and tools enter the market. The rest... is still being written!

Photo credit: Annie Mole via photo pin cc

Monday, 6 January 2014

Vyclone - Social Video Editing

Vyclone is a social video platform that lets you co-create, sync and edit multiple views of a shared moment, effortlessly. It is a free service for collaboratively editing videos on your iPhone, on your Android phone, or on the web (does not work in Firefox, only with IE 10 or Chrome). It can be an incredible ELT resource if you assign your students with a group project, for example. Give it a try!

How it works:

Credits: Vyclone

Sunday, 5 January 2014

Eusébio da Silva Ferreira

Eusébio da Silva Ferreira, the biggest football player in Portugal and one of the most important
players in the whole world has, unfortunately, left us today, aged 71, victim of a heart attack.
The eternal Sport Lisboa and  Benfica striker scored 733 times in 745 professional games and was top goalscorer at the 1966 World Cup.
Born in Mozambique in 1942 when it was still a Portuguese colony, Eusébio da Silva Ferreira went on to play 64 times for Portugal, scoring 41 goals.
The Benfica striker's nine goals at the 1966 World Cup in England included four mythic goals against North Korea.
He had been admitted to hospital several times over the past years for the treatment of heart and respiratory problems.
Famed for his blistering acceleration and dazzling dribbling skills, Eusébio was named European Footballer of the Year in 1965. He won the European Cup with Benfica in 1962 and was in the side that lost to Manchester United in the 1968 Wembley final.
Eusébio enjoyed 10 League Championship victories and 5 Portuguese Cup triumphs in his 15 years at the club and was Portugal's top league scorer seven times.
For all SLB fans, for all Portuguese people and perhaps for the whole world, Eusébio will never die as we love and admire him deeply. He was an extraordinary player and an amazing human being. This is a sad day for SLB, for Portugal and for the world of sports...

Thursday, 2 January 2014