Saturday, 31 October 2009

Dorothy in Autumn - or What Quilary did next

How do 2 (almost) utter novices learn how to quilt? Easy - we recruit 2 other novices and do a Block of the Month (BOM) sampler.
The one we chose was Correspondance sampler by chocolate-coated. We are eternally grateful to, the then owner, Dorothy Clark for her beautifully clear patterns that arrived each month and the delightful colourways that she put together for us.
Over 16 months we'd meet fortnightly to work our way through each block.
We all chose different colourways - and here is my version:

Go on - have a go- you KNOW you want to...

Come and take a peek

"My name is quilary and I am addicted to quilting..."

There I've said it! But take a peek over the fence into my work space and you will see why.

Here is the first quilt I ever made: 

It was made for my then 2 yr old and was finished when she was 12. The intervening years involved the arrival of 3 more babies, 3 older children starting school and house extension to name a few.

Then my dear friend, Marisew, and I, both discovered we had a long held desire to quilt. That was in 2004 and life has never been the same since.

Sunday, 25 October 2009

Module 10 - toondoo or not toondoo

I have really enjoyed this last module. There is so much in it - it has taken me almost 2 weeks to assimilate  - or in Bloom's Taxonomy - evaluate the infomation. 

I now have a better understanding the value of digital technologies in teaching to childrens' different learning styles. I think I will be more critical in evaluating the value of the internet and various tools in education, and less quick to judge them negatively. Having a rubric to mark students progress by will also help reassure parents that it is a valuable learning tool. (I checked my blog posts back to educational origami site and realise that luckily my blog posts are NOT at level 1.

To prove that education can be FUN also, I've amused myself with toondoo. Here is one cartoon (apologies to my daughter) - I won't leave my day job anytime soon


Sunday, 18 October 2009

Module 9 - from C64 to Second Life

I feel like the octagenarian who's seen the changes from horse and buggy to man on the moon.

I confess to having used a commodore 64, graduating to a C128...and onwards and upwards. Having a brother and husband both 'computer nuts' from the beginning I even go as far back as using 'bulletin boards'. So to see things with the complexity of Second Life where users are involved in the creation...well it's a long way from text based - turn left. You see a cave and an axe. What do you do?

We are so used to condemning social networking sites for the negative impact they have on people (and mostly I guess we are talking about young people) - and I see it myself, as I try to limit my own children's hours in front of facebook, msn and networked games. It is refreshing to see the positive side of tools such as secondlife being used for educational purposes and engaging students with the sort of technology that interests and engages them.

This is the first time I have looked at Scootle. I am amazed by the quantity of information and the detail that is there for each topic - from size of the files, to who has copyright. It's very easy to navigate around and has a huge range of topics to choose from. It is also interesting that there is information in video, audio and image format as well as a variety of interesting interactive games that are relevant to the topic.

I am quilte familiar with Facebook and Twitter and have accounts with both sites. I find them fun, but would not see the educational advantages of either of them.

It all comes down to a balance between using technology in the classroom to aid learning. It's no good if you can find all the information in the world if you don't have the skills 
  • to read it, 
  • keep what's useful,
  • discard the irrelevant, 
  • order into a logical sequence and then 
  • present it 
so that your audience (teacher, boss, client) can understand what it is you are presenting. 

(Yes - in case you were wondering - I did search Scootle for Quilts and found 5 there!)

Thursday, 8 October 2009

Module 8 - RSS read-a-thon aka 'information overload'

The mighty 'wikipedia' provided the following quote: ' "Information overload" is a term coined by Alvin Toffler which refers to an excess amount of information being provided, making processing and absorbing tasks very difficult for the individual because sometimes we cannot see the validity behind the information.'

RSS is an attempt to make sense of some of the vast, incomprehensible amount of information (and dross) that is the internet. It is an effective tool for putting the flow of information onto one page. However I find that I am duplicating where all this information is ending up and Google reader is just another page I have to go to.

For example, on my blog I manually add a link to 'blogs I follow". I can also hit the ' follow button' on blogs  read which sends me a feed showing updates on my blog dashboard 'reading list'(complete with date of last update if I choose that option). This tends to make me think a separate RSS page a bit redundant for blogs.

For news information I tend to have a few sites that I trust as news providers and these are either favourites or a gadget on my iGoogle homepage, making me less likely to use RSS for that.

There are a HUGE number of sharing and feed options around (just click on the orange share button on any CEO wiki page and you will see options ranging from twitter, stumbleupon, digg to outlandish names like plurk, posterious and propeller!!!!)...

So it's back to managing 'information overload' by being VERY SELECTIVE, knowing what's around and my best tip of all - 
use the option that gives you the most information for the fewest passwords
- and you can quote me on that!

Sunday, 4 October 2009

Module 7 - Delicious - I hate it...oh wait...I like it!

Ok I started off by creating a delicious account and adding the buttons to the tool bar - so far so good. I am impressed that I can access delicious and thus my bookmarks from several computers, from the web. That is really handy in our multi-computer household, as the kids 'homework !?!' gets priority (why did I make that rule?).

Then I got really enthusiastic and decided to export my internet explorer bookmarks. Hey presto - several button presses later there they are all 500...WHAAAAT????? How did 500 bookmarks get exported?????

A HUGE problem is that it exports ALL BOOKMARKS ON THE COMPUTER.

I wasted an hour trying to find and delete the entire families bookmarked pages and contemplated deleting the lot.

.....(some time later) I persevered, tagged my bookmarks, sat back, patted myself on the back and thought that would be last time I would ever use delicious.

Except...maybe I would just have a little look around the site and type 'quilt' into 'tag search'
and up popped 12768 bookmarks and I like the look of (most) of them.

So if I'm not around for a while - you will know why...mmm delicious...

btw if you know how to export bookmarks from a selection, please let me know, I have to get my bookmarks off the laptop, family room computer and the iMac (Don't look so shocked - didn't I tell you there 6 children in this family - 2 at uni, 3 in high school and 1 in primary!)


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