Monday, January 31, 2005

Another Day.....

Another day in an Adelaide life. I did something rare for me. I got up early and went for a walk along Tennyson Beach before breakfast. It was beautiful. Just a few early morning walkers and a few dogs to share the sand and views with. Spent much of the morning at my desk planning the next two weeks work, before going to Port Adelaide TAFE to do some admin and see who’s back from holidays. Not many as yet.

Back to my desk for the afternoon writing some introductory notes for distance students who may choose to use the Talking Communities virtual classroom this semester for linking in to on campus lectures. Visited a local shopping centre in the afternoon after that – went to the post office and then bought a couple of lovely plants – Cordyline (one of the attractive tricolour variety), and Scaevola.

So nothing startling. Just another pleasant summer’s day as I ease into the working year.

Sunday, January 30, 2005

Myponga - and the road home

Originally uploaded by mikecogh.
Here's an example of using a photo and an audio blog in tandem.

A Day at Myponga

Originally uploaded by mikecogh.
Spent a delightfully tranquil afternoon gazing out over Myponga Reservoir from the verandah at the back of Michelle and Rob's. All was right in the world!

PS Am posting this in to see if text and photo arrive at Blogger.)

Saturday, January 29, 2005

Instant Audio and Reading Transcripts

An example of listening to an audio text and reading the transcript.


An advantage of an audio blog for language learners is that they can read and hear the text at the same time. So as you hear the text you can be following the written text, or transcript. For people with low literacy levels it may be a worthwhile exercise to have students write out their oral text after they have created it, or if that’s too hard, a teacher or fellow students could perform that task.

Wimba has been providing tools that enable these dual language channels (audio and written) for years, so the concept is not new. But this audio blogging feature provided by Instant Audio enables individuals to create these dual texts at little cost. I guess then it might qualify as an LTA, or low threshold application.

Friday, January 28, 2005

Crashing Browsers and Ambience

Mmm. I thought I was pretty clever getting that embedded video to work...until James Farmer told me it crashed his browser. Sorry James. I'm loathe to move it to another page so I'll just have to keep adding new posts so the offending embedded video is pushed down off the front page. Whatever gets me writing I reckon.

I'm thinking of changing browsers actually. IE may have won the battle with Netscape (sadly), but it just gets more and more dangerous. Mozilla and Firefox seem viable and sensible options. Anyone out there care to comment?

I didn't take the digicam to the beach tonight as it didn't like the sunset would be that grand. Wrong. It was an Adelaide classic. Here's where I was.

I had a good chat with Stephan Ridgway today. He has just spent a week at Henley Beach and he raved about Adelaide's ambience. (Stephan's from Sydney.) Nice to hear that. I'm kind of searching for Adelaide gems after the experience of Perth last week. Perth's public spaces are superb - eye-catching and people friendly - and it left me wondering what I would do with them if I had a visitor from Perth. Well Stpehan's solved the problem. Show them the ambience! :) Anyone know where it is?

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Monkey Mia Revisited - with embedded video

When I say the sea is the same size as the sky, I mean colour!. It was amazing actually - very hard to see where the sea ended and the sky began. It was like an endless horizon. Also ignore the annotation "Eliz was here" if you don't know Eliz! It may take a minute or three to load, and probably longer over dial up. (sorry)

This digital story was made in Microsoft Photo Story.

Sunday, January 23, 2005

Monkey Mia

So much to say about this extraordinarily beautiful place, but for now I'll just leave you with a photo.

Dolphins Posted by Hello

Saturday, January 22, 2005

Cutting Edge Tools in the ESL/EFL Classroom - Presentation Follow Up

Well that's another Webheads MVP done. I *think* it was OK. Listening to
the archive on playback was interesting as always. I think I sound a little
irritable and bossy at the beginning! This is what happened:

1) the agreement was that I would meet the IT support guy at 8.15 am (45
minutes before start time)
2) he arrived at 8.45
3) I had to load Elluminate (this was supposed to have been done beforehand)
4) we had Elluminate up and running and sound checked
5) I tried to play my movies and found out the laptop did not have a recent
version of Media Player
6) loaded and installed Media Player 10
7) before I could stop him the IT guy found some other problem and rebooted
8) as I was using a temporary log in this meant Elluminate and Media Player
had to be reinstalled!
9) we got started at 9.15 (15 minutes later than scheduled start)

By then I was annoyed and trying desperately not to be but you can hear it
in my voice! (:

Thank you to Christine and Buth for joining the presentation (Buth was up
at 2.00 am her local time in Kuwait!), and especially to Bee and Daf for
their excellent input. (Bee and Daf, sorry again for being such a time
freak! I hate cutting people off but I always seem to be running against
the clock.) Also thanks to Jonathan for keeping the whole thing flowing
online before and after. As is nearly always the case, the conference
audience was blown away by the MVP (multiple venue presentation) aspect of the presentation, and couldn't wait to get into Elluminate in the workshop
after the presentation. I think they were quite amazed too at what Daf has
being doing with guest lecturers and oral presentations.

I have created a page <>
where all the tools referred to are listed. The archive is at (slow loading but it does work).
See Daf's blog on this session HERE.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Types of Student Blogs (with Userplane)

Instant Audio Mark 2

An example of an Instant Audio recorded directly into the PC.

So you have the option of using the phone or doing it this way. Bravo!

Instant Audio

Amazing - how good is this! Listen to more:

Courtesy of Instant Audio.

Phone Blogging

This is amazing - I've found a company that has phone blogging via an Australian number. Well at least Jonathan from LearningTimes did! Let's see if it works.....

Monday, January 10, 2005

Comments Feature

Have changed the template so hopefully now the comments feature will be visible....

Sunday, January 09, 2005

Using a Blog to House Student Work

(This is actually working better over at livejournal where I have the comments feature working properly.) BUT, it seems only those who I have invited to be 'my friends' over there at livejournal can see it! Mmmm.---------------------

Blogs can be used to house student work, together with teacher feedback. If students post their work in a blog it is a convenient way of housing all student work and teacher feedback in one location. It might look like this:

Student Writing

My name is T. I come from Vietnam. I had been in Australia over ten years. I refuge because my country has war. I has three children. When I came here they young. I had a part-time job. I work in Vietnamese Restaurant a few month. Then I work in factory The Raptic and son. Although butcher shop in Kensington.

The first time I came to Australia I find everything too strange and difficult. For example: I can't speak English to communicate with people. He food's different in my country and the weather made unwealthy to me.

I like living in Australia because Australia has a tranquility and freedom. I think I have a new life and I started. Furthermore, I learned a lot of new things I open my knowledge lived in Australian society.

In the future, I would like to do aged-care or nail technology. I hope I have a successful in the future. I think I'm very lucky to lived in Australia.

Saturday, January 08, 2005


Someone told me the other day that some people are now clicking their digicams randomly and constantly out of the window of a moving car as you drive. Theory is that you produce some gems and just chuck out the rubbish. I gave it a shot the other day - 99% rubbish. Here's the only shot vaguely worth keeping:

Car Blog Fluke Posted by Hello

(And even this didn't work very well. The word freedom should be visible above didtribution centre. Like having to explain a joke.)
It’s been a crazy 24 hours. Domestic disagreements at the end of a long night and I woke up a little the worse for wear. I ambled out into a gentle beautiful blue Adelaide day to pick up milk and paper from the deli (that fast fading Adelaide institution), and felt the vitamin D recharging my system.

Thoughts of the Asian Tsunami still provided a moody backdrop as I walked, and the evening news was filled with recently found amateur footage (some of which can be found HERE.

I fought the urge to just lay on the couch and be tired in front of the TV and forced myself to go out and see an old friend, Meng Meng. Meng Meng was an English student of mine when he first came to Australia in the 1990’s, and is now happily entrenched in Adelaide society. He had discovered the Seven Stars Hotel in the city and suggested we meet there. We sat outside in the cool night air drinking cokes (yes cokes), relived old times, and then broached areas of conversation too personal to add here. While we were outside on the pavement I noticed Mark Keough of Archer College fame come into the inside bar. Before we left Meng Meng introduced me to the manager as a musician, and lo and behold the pub are looking for musicians who might be able to attract an over 30’s crowd and I reckon I could fit that bill. I also dobbed Mark in to help out and he accepted the challenge! So stay tuned to this space for more news on an exciting new kind of musical soiree at the Seven Stars coming soon.

So once again the effort to drag myself out into the night was energy well spent. And Meng Meng was the link man. He is one of those few migrants who come to a new and very different culture (Meng Meng is from Beijing), embrace the local elements and find ways to link locals.

So Adelaide, education and life came together in the last 24 hours. Maybe it was the inspiration provided by the latest in excellent Walk on By series . Last night’s show was on the 60s and highlighted the confluence of remarkable musical trends that occurred in that decade – the Beatles, the songwriting teams like Bacharach and David, and Holland/Dozier/Holland, the Motown sound, Dylan, folk, and protest lyrics. Corny, but it made me feel proud to have been part of it as a small boy in Port Lincoln making my own Top 60 chart as a I listened religiously to 5DN – which is about to close after 80 years on air) - after school every day and sang along with all those songs. My parents were frustrated that I didn’t go outside and play, but I did do plenty of that. I was one of the children described in this excellent piece that just arrived from Bill in Israel. I has been wanting to see (or even write) a piece like this for ages. Thanks Bill. What a different world it was.


To those born in the 40's, 50's and 60's:

First, we survived being born to mothers who smoked and/or drank while they carried us.

They took aspirin, ate blue cheese dressing and didn't get tested for

Then after that trauma, our baby cribs were covered with bright colored
lead-based paints.

We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, doors or cabinets and when we rode our bikes, we had no helmets, not to mention, the risks we took hitchhiking.

As children, we would ride in cars with no seat belts or air bags. Riding in the back of a pick up on a warm day was always a special treat.

We drank water from the garden hose and NOT from a bottle. We shared one soft drink with four friends, from one bottle and NO ONE actually died from this.

We ate cupcakes, bread and butter and drank soda pop with sugar in it, but we weren't overweight because WE WERE ALWAYS OUTSIDE PLAYING!

We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were
back when the streetlights came on. No one was able to reach us all day. And we were O.K.

We would spend hours building our go-carts out of scraps and then ride down the hill, only to find out we forgot the brakes. After running into the bushes a few times, we learned to solve the problem.

We did not have Playstations, Nintendo's, X-boxes, no video games at all, no 99 channels on cable, no video tape movies, no surround sound, no cell phones, no personal computers, no internet or internet chat
rooms..........WE HAD FRIENDS and we went outside and found them!

We fell out of trees, got cut, broke bones and teeth and there were no
lawsuits from these accidents.

We made up games with sticks and tennis balls and although we were told it would happen, we did not put out any eyes.

We rode bikes or walked to a friend's house and knocked on the door or rang the bell, or just walked in and talked to them!

Little league, football and baseball had tryouts and not everyone made the team. Those who didn't had to learn to deal with disappointment. Imagine that!!

We did what we were told, most of the time, and were soundly corrected when we didn't -- we were held accountable. Imagine that.

The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke the law was unheard of. They actually sided with the law!

This generation has produced some of the best risk-takers, problem solvers and inventors ever!

The past 50 years have been an explosion of innovation and new ideas.

We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned HOW TO DEAL WITH IT!

And YOU are one of them! CONGRATULATIONS!

Please pass this on to others who have had the luck to grow up as kids,
before the lawyers and the government regulated our lives for our own good.

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Sunday, January 02, 2005


  I recently created a book of this blog. I must confess part of my desire to do this was based on the assumption that it might be of intere...