Huddlemind.net – Great minds gather

Nico Baird

IN today’s changing world where collaboration and social networking have become vital, it is important that you do not stay behind. Huddlemind.net has just been launched and I believe that this platform will be a vital resource and collaboration space for all educators.

The website describes itself as “A network for people interested in collaborative learning, new teaching methodologies and organisational development through education.”  

Our country is faced with unbelievable challenges when it comes to education.

We need to accept that the changes which have taken place around the world will happen here and that there is no sense in trying to stick to old methodologies. I have found that even though the world is filled with digital immigrants and digital natives we are being kept back by “digital ignorants”. Those who are not willing to change and stick with what they know rather than embrace innovation. 

I believe that Huddlemind.net could be the one place where through collaboration and knowledge sharing these educators could start to take the first steps to becoming better educators. The problem with many other educational websites is that they are US or UK based and therefore we sometimes feel that it is not the way things can be done in South Africa. Huddlemind.net is local, it is South African and it is relevant.

Registration is free and once you have signed up you can join in the discussions that are already taking place or create your own discussion on topics that interest you.

Because Huddlemind.net is a social network you can build your own collaborative network of friends. You can also expand this network by forming and joining groups on various educational topics.

If you are an educator interested in new media, new learning, new teaching and staying up to date with trends and innovation in education, visit Huddlemind.net today and register.

After you have done that go to podcampsa.com and register to attend PodcampSA in April. Remember PodcampSA is free to attend.

 

Podcamp South Africa to be hosted in Bloemfontein – 19 April 2008

DURING November 2007 I attended the first Podcamp to be hosted in South Africa.

Podcamp Cape Town was a huge success and my greatest wish was for Podcamp to come to Bloemfontein, to the centre of South Africa.

I am proud to be able to announce that Podcamp South Africa will be held in Bloemfontein on 19 April.

A PodCamp is a usually free BarCamp-style community UnConference for new media enthusiasts and professionals, including bloggers, podcasters, YouTubers, social networkers and anyone curious about new media.

The first PodCamp was held from 8 to 10 September 2006 in Boston, Massachusetts. PodCamps   are now being held worldwide.

PodCamp is not just about podcasting.

If you are interested in blogging, social media, social networking, podcasting, video on the net, if you are a podsafe musician (or want to be), or   just   someone curious about new media, this is an event you cannot afford to miss.

PodcampSA is free to attend and at this stage we are looking for sponsors and people in the new media community to get involved, not only to attend, but to spread the word and lend a hand.

I was asked “why Bloem? Why not Cape Town or Johannesburg?” and my answer has always been, “Why not Bloemfontein?” We may not have the biggest new media community, but I think it is because we are not aware of each other, everybody is busy with their own thing, not knowing that there are others in Bloemfontein that could possibly assist you.

If you want to get involved please visit www.podcampsa.com and register to attend this event. The new design of the website should go live soon!

People or companies who would like to help or sponsor any part of the podcamp, can send an email to nico@clicksa.co.za.

The Knowledge Age (TED)

WE are living in the knowledge age and having access to information on demand is vital to the way we live and do business. Through the Internet we can now easily access knowledge we would otherwise probably never have had access too.

An example of this knowledge being shared is TED. TED stands for Technology, Entertainment and Design. It started out in 1984 as a conference bringing together people from these three worlds. Since then its scope has become ever broader. Each year TED brings together the world’s most fascinating thinkers and doers who are challenged to give the talk of their lives. These talks are on average about 18 minutes long and are just amazing to watch. They gather to spread their ideas and share their thoughts.

Only a 1000 people are allowed to attend the event each year and a ticket is a sought after item. This year TED has put one ticket up for auction on Ebay. Amazingly in a matter of two days the bid for this single ticket has gone up to more than $30 000,00, that is just over R210 000,00. The bidding is still continuing and there is still a few days left for this auction.

But you do not have to be rich to have access to this conference. All you have to do is go to www.ted.com and there you can download and watch all the talks. You can even subscribe to the Video or Audio feed in iTunes and each week you will get two new talks.

This is a vital resource for educators because these videos are released under a Creative Commons license, so they can be freely shared and reposted.

If you want to view some of the best talks available given by some of the world’s thought leaders and pioneers then you should go to the website today.

It has been announced that a South African version of TED will take place in Cape Town later this year, but I will keep you posted as information becomes available.

 

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Podcamp in Kaapstad was Ongelooflik

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DIE afgelope naweek was dit die PodCamp in Kaapstad. Wat ’n ongelooflike ervaring. En om alles te kroon wen die Bokke toe ook.

Ek was uit die veld geslaan oor die ongelooflike sin van eenheid en gemeenskap wat ek in die Kaap ervaar het.

Die New Media-gemeenskap gesels saam, kuier saam en ondersteun mekaar geweldig. Dit het ontstaan, omdat die gemeenskap gereeld bymekaarkom om te gesels en gedagtes uit te ruil.

Ná gesprekke met van die groot name in New Media het ons besluit om ’n poging aan te wend om dieselfde soort eenheid hier in die Vrystaat te vestig deur gebruike daar ook hier te implimenteer.

Die eerste hiervan sal op 27 November wees.

’n Geruime tyd is daar elke maand op die 27ste van die maand ’n 27 Dinner.

Op hierdie aand kom almal in die New Media-gemeenskap bymekaar vir aandete.

Daar is gewoonlik ’n spreker, en indien jy die spreker wil wees, kan jy dit net aandui en jy sal die geleentheid kry.

Hierdie is ook die ideale geleentheid vir beleggers om kontak te maak met ontwikkelaars.

Jy as ontwikkelaar of ontwerper kan kontak maak met ander ontwikkelaars en so word nuwe samewerkingsgeleenthede geskep.

Die aande is gratis om by te woon en jy betaal slegs vir jou aandete. Dit vind gewoonlik in ’n restaurant plaas en daar heers ’n feestelike atmosfeer.

Indien daar iemand is wat belang stel om die geleentheid volgende maand by te woon of om die gasheer te wees kan hulle my laat weet. Ek glo vas daar kan ’n sterk gemeenskap in die Vrystaat wees. Ons moet net die eerste tree neem.

 

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Make Podcamp happen in Bfn

Training Course

I am working on the idea of a national Podcamp, which will bring North and South together, in Bloemfontein.
All the people in New Media – online video, blogging, podcasting and online companies – will come together in Bloemfontein and have an UnConference.

This is a place to meet one another (and maybe collaborate in the future) and share ideas.
Podcamps are always free and the costs are covered by sponsors.

The Podcamp will go hand in hand with many technology exhibitions which will also be free to attend. As with all ideas there are people who think that Bloemforntein is not the right place to have a national Podcamp. They say that nobody from Johannesburg or Cape Town will actually come all the way to here.

I wish to prove them wrong. If you are a company involved in New Media, an individual who is working online, a software developer or just interested in the things taking place online, please let me know.

With the necessary support from you, I can make sure that PodcampSA is held here in Bloemfontein. Otherwise I will probably have to give someone else the opportunity to arrange it in Johannesburg or Cape Town.

Let’s show the guys from the main centra around South Africa that Bloemfontein is up there with the best of them.

Training Course

 

Heltasa 2007 Conference

 

Shrek Third!

Each week I write about technology and the Internet, the way it influences and impacts our lives. I think that if there is one area where these new technologies and social media will have an ever increasing role to play it is in education.

The problem is that educators do not always have opportunities to find out about all the changes taking place in education around the world and in the end we end up just sticking to the past practices. Because of the rapid pace at which the world is changing we need to stay up to date and implement new strategies. We need to make use of a variety of delivery methods to enable us to reach each and every student. We need to adapt to each individual’s learning style. When we stick to the old methods this is not possible. By utilising these new technologies we are able to do more and truly educate more effectively.

This year, the Central University of Technology, Free State, will be the host for the 2007 HELTASA (Higher Education Learning and Teaching Association of Southern Africa) conference. This is the ideal place for educators to get in touch with peers from other institutions to gain and share knowledge and experiences. The conference will have a strong emphasis on new learning and the use of new technologies in education.

This is a great opportunity for local educators from schools and tertiary institutions to attend an international education conference right here in Bloemfontein. If you are an educator who would like to participate or maybe a company who works in the education field please contact me and come and share in this educational experience. Please visit the conference website at www.heltasa2007.com.

 

Shrek Third!

AdobeLive!

eMusic

ONE of the biggest software companies around is Adobe. It is possible that you do not know the company’s name, but I am sure you will know product names like Photoshop and Adobe PDF Reader. In the Adobe range there is a huge number of products which cover everything from graphic design, video production, web design and general utilities you just can’t go without.

Adobe has just released their Creative Suite 3 and after using some of the beta products in the past few months I must say that these new versions of these programs are definitely worth a closer look.

On 31 May Adobe will be hosting the AdobeLive event in Johannesburg.

AdobeLive has become a firm favourite on every creative and business communicator’s calendar. The event is in its fourth incarnation and promises to offer even better value to attendees with tracks for design, video, web, document services, e-services, motion graphics, best practice and more.

Aimed at a niche design market, the event is sure to be one of the most sought after events on the design calendar in Southern Africa this year. AdobeLive in Concert will cater to some 1 500 industry and enterprise designers treating you to both an exhibition of fabulous products and services, as well as a full day conference with some of the most informative industry personalities and experts.

Dreamagineers International have provided ClickKliek with two event tickets to the value of R1 260. If you are a user of Adobe products and you are interested in attending the AdobeLive event, email your name and details to info@dreamagineers.com. (Terms and conditions apply and transport to and accommodation in Johannesburg not included).

 

 

eMusic

Online Conferences – EduOnline2007

EVERY evening this week I am attending a conference in South America. Yes, through the wonder of the Internet, I am able to work during the day and then from 17:00 to 01:00 I am attending live conference sessions and interacting with other delegates at the EduOnline2007 Conference.

This is the second online conference that I have attended and the previous one was about a year ago. Things have changed quite a bit. The quality of the audio and video has increased unbelievably. This has all happened not only because of the improvement of the infrastructure of the Internet world­wide, but also the software and compression techniques used to manage the delegates and their connections to the main venue.

When I was first invited to attend this conference I was worried about the bandwidth that would be used each day as it is quite a few hours that I will be receiving audio and video over the Internet.

The reality, however, is that the bandwidth usage was very low. How they manage it will be a topic for another column.

Another first for this conference is that each presentation is presented simultaneously in three different languages. The presenter presents his talk in English and two other presenters translate it live into the other languages. The delegates have no idea that it is not the presenter giving the presentation in the other languages. When entering the virtual conference venue you choose your preferred language and off you go.

This medium for presenting conferences is in my opinion so effective that it may reduce the need to physically attend conferences considerably, and may reduce the expenses to attend conferences to such a degree that more conferences could be attended. This in turn will increase our ability to interact with specialists worldwide.