Student journals – some approaches (Claremont College 21 Apr 2009)

Online journal techniques for students to document their learning.


Students can take responsibility for documenting their own learning, and much of this can be documented in a digital form. Access at college and at home (and after leaving college) can extend the concept of learning beyond a classroom.

The approach of personal online journals could be useful.

Techniques for journalling


either “live” as in a weblog,  or saved from an application


  • use inbuilt Sound Recorder +microphone,
  • Audacity (free) + microphone
  • student mobile phone if it records audio
  • audio off video capture on many digital still cameras

photos and images

  • draw themselves (eg SumoPaint)
  • digital camera
  • stills from webcam
  • student phone images.


  • from cheap still camera
  • from webcam using MovieMaker (free)
  • From cheap video camera (eg Flip Video under $200)
  • from better-quality video camera (caution – big files are not good for web use!)

How to manage this:

Students and teacher each create a personal weblog (blog) on a service like

Depending on how much you want to manage it you can let them do this themselves or set them up yourself. (use the Gmail extended name trick if necessary eg

Make a list of links to the student blogs on your own blog, this acts as an index.


Tags vs categories. – it’s not obvious what the difference is at first, but perhaps the simplest approach is to sit down in advance and decide on the way you want to categorise, and use these as categories. Tags are decided more on the fly. I’d suggest that a common set of categories could be used by all students in one class (eg the dimensions of assessment)


Online safety is a huge issue. Main thing is to ensure ALL students (and staff 😉 ) are aware that personal information should not be disclosed. This includes, obviously, the blog name and other identifying materials.

ASLA conference August 16 2008

Empowering Students with Web 2.0 tools. 

Presentation – asla-2008-august-final1 

Bookmark file for use in session – aslabookmarks (zip file, as edublogs won’t upload an HTML file – will need to unzip prior to uploading). You can import this into your delicious site by logging into the deiicious site and going to Settings -> Import/Upload bookmarks


ASLA site.




Pageflakes and (Rosny College, April 2008)

Pageflakes is a free web2.0 tool that “aggregates’ content from other places. It is sort of a personal dashboard for students and staff, which allows individuals to see the things they want to see via a web interface. Almost anything that has a “RSS” feed can be made to show in a PageFlakes box, as well as many many pre-defined flakes. It now has a “teacher” version which has nice educational “flakes” is a free web2.0-based tool to let you manage a collection of “Bookmark” or “Favourite” websites, in a way that generates social networks. It allows you to share them selectively, tag them with your own tags, identify people with similar interests, and of course they are available anywhere you can browse the web. As it is web2.0 it talks to other systems, with RSS feeds.

And here are the notes for the session at Rosny College. Pageflakes and in education (46KB, MS Word)

Materials for Online Learning Network, Launceston 21-22 February 2008

The presentation used in the sessions in Launceston 21-22 February is available here.

PowerPoint file from Online Teachers Workshop 21-22 Feb 2008

The MS PowerPoint file is quite large so please be nice to others and download it when your network is not in heavy use.

I’ve licensed most of my work under Creative Commons licensing as non-profit , with attribution, so you can use this anywhere you like as long as you don’t charge for it and you attribute its authorship.

Rosny College Feb 2008

Here are the resources for the session for Rosny College staff, Feb 2008. Feel free to share these under Creative Commons share-alike conditions.

Presentation for Rosny College Feb 2008 (PPT file, approx 4Mb … download when the network is relatively idle)

Grapes of Wrath Google Earth File (either save and open in Google Earth, or save and rename as .kmz instead of .txt)  (from Google Lit Trips)

Pulp Mill for Tasmania kmz file

Podomatic podcast – sample site