Daily Archives: January 24, 2006

Cheers to Kevin Perkins from who tipped me off to the fact that their service, Skweezer accepts RSS feeds and reformats them for the small screen. I still have yet to work out how to set Mobile Favorites in Explorer to update it for me automatically because going to each individual blog's Skweezed page and re-doing Create A Mobile Favorite is rather defeating the purpose of saving time by offloading to my IPAQ for offline viewing. I know Skweezer will keep a list of Favorites for me on their site and they will always have the latest version of a feed but what trips me up is setting the list up once in Mobile favorites does not guarantee that Explorer will "harvest" the Skweezer mobile pages and sync them for me automatically. Maybe I just need to save my pennies for a wi-fi IPAQ. I know Leigh is in love with his.

Interestingly, maybe because I'm just not that bright, I didn't connect Kevin to his company straightaway and I did a Google search to see where he was mailing from. It wasn't until I stumbled on this link, that I realised he was from Skweezer, and his company have been copping some flak from bloggers who were unhappy with their pages being re-formatted, losing their Google ads and having Skweezer's advertising partners featured instead. There were a batch of complaints following this post where bloggers complained of lost revenue due to decreased traffic and their intellectual property being hijacked (their words, not mine). I have to admit, I had noticed advertising but I didn't really care because of the great job Skweezer did of making blogs readable offline. And tonight when I tested Kevin's tip and loaded my own feed in, there were no ads at all. So, Kevin and Skweezer, I think your service is great, I appreciate the advice and maybe these bloggers should be contacting you to strike up a deal and being proactive with their income stream instead of reactionary.

Ran a successful training day today on our IWB program that looked to provide time and training for three distinct groups on our staff - (1) teachers who currently have an ActivBoard in their classroom [mentors] (2) teachers who have been advised an ActivBoard will be installed in the early stages of 2006 [proteges] and (3) other staff who aren't ready to make the plunge yet but want to be kept in the loop. So it was a challenge trying to design a program that gave a bit to everyone. I went with a quick mini-keynote style presentation at the start outlining our IWB journey so far. Link to ppt presentation here. I then wanted staff to start getting their mindset around where education is going and what impact technology is having on themselves and their students as learners. Another simple ppt file shown to support this.

The mentors and proteges spent time working together and then I introduced del.icio.us to the whole group as a collaborative way of building a communal digital library. Interesting that even after I explained the concept of social bookmarking, someone asked if they could make their account private. Got to love what del.icio.us calls it - antisocial! Maybe someone who wants that privacy factor would be better off sticking to backflip.

After lunch, I spent some time with the proteges giving them a taste of constructing a mock lesson in ActivStudio which they then presented back to their mentors. Great day - got positive feedback from a number of staff. I was glad it hit the mark and maybe my presentation skills are getting better. Or maybe it's because I got away from the "sage on the stage" routine and truly was a "guide on the side" for the best part of the day after using my initial presentations to set the scene. Cool. Back to the real start of the school year tomorrow.