Tuesday, October 10, 2006

16? 18? 21? Coming Of Age...

Coming of age version 1.2Over last weekend and into the start of this week I put the finishing touches to wrote all of my contribution to Terry Freedman's new version of Coming of Age: An introduction to the new world wide web. The first edition had contributions from such luminaries as Alan November, Peter Ford and Ewan McIntosh - the second version is considerably larger with many, many contributions covering as wide a spectrum of the even-newer worldwide web as you could hope for. There are a few chapters in the on Moodle, one of them on (ahem) Implementing Moodle in an LEA or School District which was written in a bit of a hurry, so I'm looking forward to re-reading it in a day or two and shocking myself with my grammatical errors... it should cover factors to consider if you are (or someone else is) thinking of creating a medium- or even large-scale Moodle implementation in a School District (US) or LEA (UK) - things about usernames, infrastructure, hosting, training and development, etc. I hope it's useful, otherwise it's 2,000 words of wasted electrons!
As it was a book (largely) concerned with Web 2.0 and all that, it didn't feel quite right writing the chapter in Word, emailing it off for comments, etc., so I used my Google account to create and edit it in Writely, the first time I've ever used this for some serious document creation, and it was great. Terry F and Josie Fraser were able to look at it in preparation (don't know if they did though...) and it's easy to save the document in lots of formats (including PDF) and even publish it to a blog. Couple this with the ability to email Word, RTF and other documents direct to Writely where they're converted into online editable documents, and I think I'm done! The first version of COA is available from Terry Freedman's site or by clicking on the image above, the second should be available (I guess) from the blog.
BucksArt image from FlickrNeedless to say, a useful tool such as Writely is blocked by the new "improved" web access policy at my place of work - as are Google Spreadsheets, Flickr and even this blog... the first two are down to data protection policy - understandable, but a bit like saying "we don't want you taking important information out of the building, so we're attaching everything you can write on to the building with a (short) piece of string" - surely a well-wrtitten acceptable use policy should cope with this for most organisations? I've got to make a "business case" to get certain things unblocked - we shall see how this pans out - but with some of the work being done using Flickr by Dan China, the County Adviser for Art, I'm willing to bet on Flickr getting back in...
Enough grrrrs - it's the first thing I've written in a while since a little piece for the Association of Learning Technology Newsletter, and I enjoyed it. I hope it'll be useful in some way somewhere.

1 comment:

  1. Let me know when the second edition is available.
    It looks like the Idiot's Guide to the latest developments that many of us at the chalkface have been waiting for.

    You also mention 'Writely'. I only discovered it this weekend. It had not occurred to me that it could be blocked by school filters. Doh !

    I also discovered www.think.com
    It made me wonder if I need to set up a wiki when this site seems to do it all better.

    I wonder if 'think' is covered in the new `'Coming of Age'

    Alan Crease