About Me

For the last ten years I've been working in international schools in Thailand teaching ICT (Information Communication Technology) and Computer Science, prior to this I have worked for several years in software support and also taught English as a Foreign Language. I'm particularly interested in using ICT as a tool for transforming education and in the impact of open source technologies upon learning. Twitter ID @ajduckworth

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Social Bookmarking

Just wanted to plug the social bookmarking tool, Diigo, that I use for recording interesting and useful sites connected with ICT, technology and education. Having tried one of the long established social bookmarking sites, del.icio.us I've found Diigo to offer much more functionality. Some people say it's more complicated, but really I found it takes only a little time to adapt. It's widely used by others in education and makes finding material and resources so much easier. The one main disadvantage I do find is that the toolbar for diigo doesn't work too well with Firefox. Diigo doesn't always seem to have compatible add ons, so you somwetimes have to switch to Internet Explorer in order to bookmark a new site. Nevertheless, as with any social networking site, it offers a good way to improve your expertise through groups and by following people with similar interests. My personal bookmarks are at http://www.diigo.com/profile/royston_vasey.


Screencasting is the real-time recording of screen activity. It is used largely as a means to create how to tutorial videos for software. I use screencasting to produce tutorials for students, but it is also nice to have the students themselves create videos themselves. Camstudio is a popular option, however one of its main drawbacks is that the files are created are rather large and need to be compressed afterwards. Jing on the otherhand produces videos that are uploaded to the jing project website. Both these programs are free, however if you are more serious about producing screen tutorials then Camtasia may be your program of choice. Unfortunately, this comes with a price tag.

Update 27th September 2010
Thank's to Chris Smith I'm now a convert to Screenr. The main advantage is the high resolution and direct storage on the Web. If only more tutorial videos were produced at better resolutions like those made with Screenr.

Curriculum Resources

Just came across this great new site with ICT curriculum resources. www.gr82bgeeky.co.uk which has full lessons for a range of of ICT stages.
KS3 Year 7 schemes of work include: E safety, Scratch, Spreadsheets, DTP Travel Brochure
Year 8 includes a Scheme of work using Alice, the programming environment to make an animation. Alice offers a nice step up from Scratch and unlike Scratch characters and objects can be rendered in 3-D. There are a good set of self assessment materials for each SOW.
The resources for GCSE aren't quite as extensive but include some good revision resources.