Thursday, March 31, 2011

This widget works

Recipe for assignment

Or, why Jenni Parker wins my Favourite Tutor of the Week award!

It's been a great day for uni. My little boy was sick, my beloved husband was home and I had a headache that was probably more about stress than anything else. I so didn't want to go to uni. However, I had an assignment to prepare for and I wanted to meet up with my study-buddies to find out where we're at. So, I packed up, bought a coffee and a Red Bull and allowed Lee to drive me away from him and our baby.
I'm so glad I went. Not only was FDN102 fun and interesting, but a talk with my Jenni, my EDN 113 tutor, led me in the right direction regards my powerpoint.

Let me say, right here, right now, AuthorSTREAM rocks the granny's panties. It's like Flickr in that you can upload ppts for others to see plus embed them ala right here. It's not perfect. The chimes are just slightly out of sync and I've still lost the page-turning effects but it's a lot closer than what I had on my website. No more making with the clicky as the pages turn by themselves. I've tinkered with it a little, too, because I'm like that. I'm a fiddler, I know...

However, everytime I put it on here, I find that I can view it on "View Post" but not on "View Blog" (it just comes up with a blank white screen). So, here's the link you can use to find it.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

"Cutting edge 21st century accessory ware for the tech-savvy Amish" - Lee Battersby

Lee also calls it Quaintpunk and it's what I do when I'm not writing, studying or looking after the hordes.

It's an iPad cover and I made it while watching the online lectures (so it counts as unit-bloggable!)

 And when it was still a baby and going to lectures with me:

Monday, March 28, 2011

Study study study

Oh my goodness! Smartboards ROCK! I can't wait to be a teacher!


One of the reasons I like this unit

Thanks to a sick child I had to miss today's lecture - again. Thankfully, it was an online lecture week, which I didn't realise until a few minutes ago. I'm doing many of my lectures online at the moment because of child-illness, Aiden's compensation appointments etc. This way, at least, I have some catch-up time.

I was disappointed today to find that my recipe slideshow doesn't work on my iPad. For cutting edge technology, there seem to be some glaring holes. There's a lot I can't do on my iPad, such as watching Biggest Loser, listening to lectures (but that might me my shortfall, not Apple's) and watching my slideshow. Writing isn't perfect on it either, but Angry Birds - Rio is a charm.


I'm also disappointed not to have heard from my tute buddies. We've got a join assignment coming up and I've emailed them with an idea, but have heard nothing back. I'm a person who likes to take ages to prepare then do the real work in the last couple of days. It works for me, but now I have to rely upon others, which is where my nervousness sets in. I want to get cracking on this, but so far I've heard nothing.


Fortunately I am also extremely patient and can wait until Wednesday when I see them at the tute. The only thing is, I'm worried that we'll be concentrating on 2B by then.

Meanwhile, I'm studying up on authentic learning. The thing is, I totally agree with the concept of authentic teaching, but I do think there's a place for rote learning too. I can instantly say what 7 x 12 = because I learnt my times tables by rote. Any other system of learning seems laborious. Surely there's a place for both in the learning environment?

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

While I listen to the week 5 lecture.

It's our non-contact week at uni. Lee and I are going away to Busselton for our anniversary this weekend, so I'm using these four days to catch up with uni before I go. So far I've put up a to-do list featuring the on-line lectures, readings and Real Life (tm). What I've actually achieved is much Plants vs Zombies, crochet projects and arguments with Darth Barbie (aka Adult Daughter from Hell).

This morning I decided to side step Darth Barbie (leaving her watching 'Friends') and listen to the Week 5 lecture while crocheting. I have come to the realisation lately that, unlike the on-site lecture situation, I can't sit still and listen to the computer. I need to be doing something creative with my hands. This morning I'm crocheting a blanket using a stitch that is both unusual and easy to execute and my mind is going wild with the assignment 2A possibilities.

I'm feeling a little trepidatious about 2A. We need to create a Teacher's Resource using Multi-Media. I have ideas, but I also have one problem. I have to work with others.

This isn't the problem per se. I'm a people person and as the mother of oh-so-many I'm used to working in with other people. However, as a mother of oh-so-many I'm also used to taking charge, to handing out roles, to delegating chores. I'm aware that this is both my virtue and my failing. I have a great relationship with my children (apart from Darth Barbie, but then she didn't grow up with me) and we work well as a team. I don't want my assignment-buddies to see my management skills as parental heavy-headedness. That leads to resentment and a sub-standard assignment. So, I'm going to have to put forward my ideas and then let the others have their say.

Repeat after me: Must not take over. Must not take over. Must not...

It's just that I want to get brain-storming. I've sent out emails introducing myself and asking for their thoughts before offering my own. So far, no reply. My fingers are itching to get going on this, to open Google Docs and write notes and draw up sheets of thought-balloons.

I think I'll go add to my blanket.

In other news, my lovely daughter Erin received a citizenship award last week for being a good example to other students. This is a photo taken the second after hearing her name called out. Surprised, pleased, beautiful. She was all of these.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Japan explains nuclear crisis to kids with a cartoon about poop and farts

My next assignment deals with using technology for education. I discovered this on the web yesterday and had to share it. I feel so helpless in the face of what's happening in Japan. I want to do something real, something worthwhile. When the floods happened I had an opportunity to use one of my stories to raise funds for the victims. This time the problem is too big and my little works are too small to make any significant impact. Here is someone at the heart of the issue who is doing his bit to help.

Video by Kazuhiko Hachiya and shown on youtube via

Friday, March 18, 2011

Today's the day

I'm about to upload my assignment for marking. I'm a bit nervous as it all seemed to be easy enough to begin with, but then got more difficult than it had any business being.

When I began this process of creation and blogging I did most of it without even thinking about it. Most of it was point and click. My husband bought the domain name and the webspace and I attached them as directed. I don't think I'll be advising others to use justhost or crazydomains. My unit has shown me that there are simpler ways of making a page than going down this route. I don't know how well other students have done with Weebly or Yola, but I wasn't impressed with what Google docs did to my PowerPoint so I can't imagine their page builder would be all that better.

I did enjoy the process of building my exercise play-list and my recipe ppt. It's a pity so much got lost in translation. I would love to be able to show the ppt I made, but for now it can be seen in its simple slide show form at the website page. The exercise playlist is on its own page. Both pages feature how I made them and why.

Next up is making teaching pages. I so don't feel ready for this. I'm not a teacher. How do I know what's needed for learning?

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Tech not my friend today

I know I'm an intelligent person, so why can't I put my power point on my website? Time to Facebook the problem I think.

Pingy ping ping.

I don't like it. It hasn't been at all helpful in my assignment apart from giving me something to cut and paste. I don't see the point of it.

After the ease of assignment 1A, I'm quite surprised at how difficult 1B is turning out to be. I decided to focus on making up an exercise playlist that encompasses 1hour of music to take me from warm up to weights to cardio to cool down to stretching and recentring plus a power point of how to make my favourite recipe .

Too easy, or so I thought.

After several hours of trial and error I have finally finished the playlist portion but I don't feel like it's complete. I explained why I chose the songs and the order they appear in, but I can't make Ping work so I feel like I've let myself down. I'm also trying to insert my Power Point presentation onto the site, but nothing I do looks right. Oh, well. I'll just keep going.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


Woohoo! I just checked and I got full marks for the first part of my assignment. Now I have to tackle the second part, one which will see me using Power Point (yes, the recipe cometh) and the other using iTunes. Today I put out feelers for a volunteer position that could well take up a lot of my time and energy. This, along with the assignment, made me think about what it is I want from life.

I've always wanted to be a teacher and now I'm on that path. I've always wanted to be a more vital part of the Australian Spec Fic community and now I may well achieve that dream. Do I have to give up one to achieve the other.

Well, no. I don't think I do.

I live in the age of technology. Anything I do for the Spec Fic scene can be achieved via the internet, thanks to social networks such as Twitter, Facebook, Live Journal, YouTube and Blogs. I also have access to email. 20 years ago I would have mainly kept in contact with authors and editors via phone, dead-tree mail (aka Australia Post) or face to face. Now I can do all this and more without doing anything more physical than connecting my modem. I really do let my fingers do the walking/talking.

When I set this blog and website up, I didn't really think much beyond this semester and the marks I need. But this unit has really emphasised two things to me 1) I use technology A LOT and 2) I'm quite good at it. I can set up a site and a blog without too much trouble and thought. I am intelligent enough to follow instructions and to improve on my knowledge as I go, simply by applying logic to what I've learnt and extrapolating the next step. For this next part of the assignment we have to blog about the creation process, how we created the website/blog and how we went about learning or refining the process. I'm going to have to retrace my steps and see how I did this. I know there was a lot of asking around, a lot of mistakes made and fixed, a lot of self-editing until things looked right.

Which is a lot like life really.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Trekkin' through my assignment.

This morning I was thinking about my exercise playlist for Assignment 1B and experimenting with songs and order. This one came up on my iPod playlist. My six and nine year olds lost their little minds.

Star Trekkin' by The Firm. 1987

Monday, March 7, 2011

Assignment done!

Kids in the Kitchen - Current Stand
Uploaded by on Aug 3, 2009

My EDN113 assignment has been submitted and now I await approval. This assignment comes in two parts with the first part 1A, setting up my website. 1B will be adding bells and whistles. What I'm being assessed on is: the set up, my blog, my contacts page, a picture and ummm something else. I know I covered all five so it should be okay.

1B will be an extension on this, using social networking. I'll be using iTunes to set up a play list of songs for a complete one hour workout, with reasons for the songs chosen. I've sort of done something similar with youtube on site, so I'm a little familiar with the process. I think.

For now, here is a song that makes me run (good strong beat, up and down rhythm for walk - run transition), makes me get up and work (my personal Eye of the Tiger), makes me cry (reminds me of a dark time in my life), makes Lee throw up (because he has no musical taste :)) If only I could have worked out how to put the song after my post.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Update on techy goodness

I love my iPad. Lee's commandeered the laptop but I can still update my blog. Today, after joining and scouring Flickr I managed to find new photos for my Power Point. Tomorrow I shall begin to rebuild it.

I got a fright while editing the first version. A pop-up, well, popped up, telling me that Norton had picked up 5 major threats from worms, viruses and Trojans. It then offered to fix the issues, to which I readily agreed. It said it had come from an image I'd downloaded which freaked me all the more. I immediately deleted all the images I'd previously taken from the net plus deleted the Power Point. Okay,a slight over reaction, possibly, but the last thing we need is more computer issues.

Sometimes, they really are more trouble than they're worth.

Welcome to the information age.

Georgie showed me how to do a Power Point Presentation on Tuesday. I was so excited. This is tech that's been around for a while, but I've never had cause to do one. So, I chose my subject and wrote it up. Then I surfed the net and found pictures to work in with my subject. Again, much excitement. I found fantastic pictures and made sure to reference them all properly.

Two hours later...Ta da. A complete PPP.

Then I went to uni yesterday and the subject of pictures and copyright came up. I discovered that I was breaking copyright all over the place, thanks to the downloads I'd made. So, now I have to contact all the sources and ask for permission to use the piccies, or else hunt through Creative Commons and find new ones. Lee and I can't afford for me to pay a lot, so I'm hoping I'll be able to find suitable replacements for those who ask for money.

Colour me disappointed, cos my Power Point rocked the granny's panties.

Thinking on the three weeks so far.

You know, I called this blog site Lyn the Luddite, because I perceive myself to be a bit of a techno-phobe, but one thing this unit has brought out is how untrue that is. I use tech lots! I use the internet for Facebook and for email, but I also use it for so much more.

I use it for banking.

I use it for shopping (catalogue surfing to see what's on special and buying stuff via eBay, the Nottingham Forest website, Book Depository etc)

I use it for reseach both as a writer and as a student. And as a mum. And for recipes. And for weight loss tips.

I use Google Calendar to keep track of my week so I know when I should be studying and when I should be going to the gym. Talking of which...)

I use it for music downloads (of course I pay. Don't even think to ask :))

I now use it to buy books for my iPad (although, generally, I download the freebies).

And, of course, I access the uni site for information, discussions etc.

I use the internet all the time.

I can also confidently use Microsoft Office, iTunes, Plants vs Zombies etc.

I am not the Luddite you are looking for.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

A new skill is learned

Today I worked up my first ever Power Point Presentation.

Yaaaay! Thanks to some guidance by Georgie, I managed to put together my recipe for "Chilli-Mushroom Chicken." It took two hours (thanks mainly to looking for pictures to accompany the instructions) but it's done.

For now.

I'm off to the gym but this evening I'll be looking at how to upload the presentation to my website.

Now I feel as though I've made proper use of my study time.

Real life catching up

I seem to have hit the point where I'm losing motivation for this semester's workload. I only do one hour on a Monday at Rockingham (for EDN 113) and really, with the cost of fuel as high as it is, it's actually more cost effective to watch the on-line lecture.

So, yesterday I stayed home with a view to doing so.

Such a mistake. Yes, I could do that, but I'm an interactive person and I find I learn best when face to face with my teacher. I know I still have to listen to the other lecture and I'm wondering where I'm going to find the time. By going to the lecture, this time is already provided for me.

Today has been allocated as catch-up day. No housework, no TV. I'm going to work on my reading log and my web-page and download skype. I've done two of the library modules with two to go.

I'm not a technological person and I don't get excited about this stuff, but I do realise I need the marks to graduate and yes, this is important information for when I'm actually teaching, but right now I'm feeling a lack.

I think what I really need is a change of scenery. Time to pack the baby into the pram and my work into my bag and go study on the foreshore with a cup of coffee.