Last Tuesday I ran a session at Limmud conference on E-tools for education and community building at Limmud Conference UK.

As promised I am including links to all the resources discussed here, this post also gives me a chance to thank all the people who helped me put the session together.

You can watch the session replayed via Flashmeeting here http://flashmeeting.e2bn.net/fm/fmm.php?pwd=6091f7-11930&jt=00:19:52
It’s all taken via a laptop webcam so no great quality but if you listen with headphones you should be able to hear the audio fine and I will link to the presentation below.

During the presentation I explained 4 main tools, Flashmeeting, Twitter, Voicethread and Google Apps as well as passing references to Wallwisher and blogging via posterous.

You can see the voicethread I created below or via this direct link

Thanks to the following people who participated, many of whom have excellent blogs and websites that are linked to via their twitter profiles.

Allanah King @allanahk
Drew Thomson @mrthomson
Peter Eckstein @redmenace56
Mark Carls @mcarls
Judy Mckenzie @judykmck
Chris @infernaldepart who also linked to his blog post on using twitter here

Thanks to the 5 Flashmeeting contributors including the following who left their twitter names.
Caren @jlearn20
Peter @redmenace56
Adena @PELIE_org

For those that don’t know Flashmeeting it’s a great and really simple tool for online meetings and discussion, I usually use the E2BN server at www.flashmeeting.e2bn.net which is free for UK Educators, an alternative is the Open University Open Learn server which seems to be open to all as long as you are happy for your meeting to be syndicated.

A couple of online participants mentioned the open Google Document “Useful Web 2.0 Tools for Jewish Educators and Staff Developers” – it is a a quickly growing and already large resource listing so many great web tools but also with links to tutorials and examples of each tool being used in education, a great resource for anyone in education.

Another list is one I compiled last year for a similar presentation where I asked people to submit their favourite tool via a Google Form, you can see the results at this link.

And an example use of wallwisher to compile yet more tools is here

Finally a link to my presentation from the session here also embedded below – it’s not a standalone presentation but maybe if you watch it alongside the flashmeeting linked to above it will make sense!

One of the major tasks I will have this year implementing our new VLE is to train staff.

To get staff on board I will need as many staff  on my side as possible and one idea I had was to run a separate group of teachers not just learning to use the VLE but learning, playing and sharing other web tools. So I advertised for enthusiasts – didn’t push anyone to come (except offering cake) and we got a very nice turnout. (About 8 staff of 7 specialisms)

We started off playing with voki, next I got staff to have a play setting up blogs on posterous and we finished off with a flurry looking at voicethread, delicious and classtools. Okay this was a lot to fit in a 45 minute session – ideally we would look at a tool, examples of how it has been used in a subject and then work out how to do it. But I think I and the staff enjoyed a fast place and having fun after school rather than planning. I finished off by setting a little homework – to find a blogger of their subject and to report back on what they found. To help them get started I pointed staff towards Doug Belshaw’s list of edubloggers as well as the edubloggers directory

Overall it was a fun evening and we shall certainly have more. I hope by the time we have our next big ICT Inset we will have lots of examples that our staff can demonstrate of their ICT use in the classroom.

I will write a separate post on our plans for VLE training which I’m still working on – I would love to hear feedback and ideas on how to train 100 staff of different subjects with different specialisms and IT skills. I also wonder how my budget of £30 per staff member (which is probably quite generous for a school) compares to the amount that would be spent in industry?