Home > Social Media, teaching > Bobsleighing for Beginners

Bobsleighing for Beginners

Grab a helmet and an old tea tray. Come hurtling down a virtual sled ride through some of the cool new online tools for communication and collaboration. In ‘Bobsleighing for Beginners’ Graeme Smith and Colin Maxwell will demonstrate some of the web based tools they use to enhance lessons and communicate with students.

Web 2.0?
Q – Is it things like Facebook, Twitter, Google?
A – Main feature is that web content is created by the user. It’s also about collaboration and sharing.
When we were students age we would hang out at street corner or outside local chippy to chat. Nowadays, the web offers tools to chat and socialise (and we can do this anywhere via computer, mobile phone, games console).
Students don’t have barriers online about what they post. Online bullying has occurred. Some tutors would like to keep personal and work life seperate on Facebook. Need to teach students how to use social networking effectively and responsibly. Some people have been sacked from their jobs because of (irresponsible) information or photos posted on social networking sites. Remember that some people have been sacked for e-mailing manipulated photos. Bebo banned in Graeme’s classroom, but used outwith class for quizzes and discussion, as well as socialising. Bebo used by drama tutors for rehearsing for Macbeth – quizzes, videos, how to put on makeup, evaluations of students performances. Some students using Twitter or Bebo to criticise classes and tutors (sometimes positive, sometimes negative). Drama students using social media to promote themselves, using videos, photos, online CV’s, etc.
Web 2.0 suicide (wipe your online history)

Twitter – is a ‘microblogging’ tool allowing messages of up to 140 characters to be posted and shared with ‘followers’ and the world.

Used by both Colin and Graeme to extend their personal learning networks. Follow other educators who teach in similar areas, vendors, education leaders, etc.

Graeme’s Twitter Notes

Bebo – is a social networking site allowing users to create and customise their own pages, blog, post messages, share photos, videos, etc.


Graeme demonstrated how he uses quizzes on Bebo to help students prepare for tests and exams. Graeme has found that NQ students like using this system and use it for communicating with him.
Link to Graeme’s notes on Bebo

Delicious – is an online bookmarking tool, allowing you to access and organise your bookmarks from any Internet connected computer, and to share the links with others.

Timeglider – is an interactive timeline that can be shared with and updated by multiple people.

Facebook – is the most popular social networking site, allowing users to communicate with friends, share photos, share videos, play games, etc.

Acrobat.com – provides a free online Wordprocessor, Spreadsheet, Presentation tool and 5GB of storage space. Documents can be shared with others and edited collaboratively.

Used by Graphic Design and Photography to manage meeting agendas and shared documents.

WordPress – blogging site. If you’re reading this, then you’re on it now!

Used by Colin as a reflective journal on classroom activities.

Just to say thanks for the workshop that you ran yesterday for staff – I looked to see if there was any bobsleighing going on in the car park at lunch time today but couldn’t see any! The feedback on your blog is great and informally I’ve also heard other very positive comments about the workshop – what is really good is that people not only enjoyed the session but have learned about lots of immediately useful tools that they plan to take away and use with their own students.
Geraldine McLuckie, Lead Staff Development Adviser

Categories: Social Media, teaching
  1. Laura
    January 5, 2010 at 10:29 am

    Mintit tutorial today! Actually useful info for a change!!! Hahah

  2. Mel
    January 5, 2010 at 11:39 am

    Thanks Guys
    Most interesting staff dev event I think I’ve ever attended…..

    Good wee debate too!

  3. sarah halliwell
    January 5, 2010 at 11:41 am

    Well done Colin and Graeme. Found this session informative and interesting. Don’t know if I’ll twitter personally but can see how I might use it as a library resource and to help deliver sessions via this and delicious…………….. opens several debates regarding use and abuse of technology

  4. Ann Playford
    January 5, 2010 at 4:28 pm

    Thank you for my technofix. I have and do use some of the thing covered today but there were a couple of new “toys”. I like the timeline and will be looking for a chance to use that asap. The Adobe.com stuff was also new and I will be sharing that one with hubby tonght – I know ,it’s sad, but we have been married for 20 years! No doubt I’ll get “Oh yeh, I use it all the time!” but hey I’m easily impressed. If I didn’t need to earn a crust I’d be signing up for your course straight away. This is one old dog who still likes to learn a few new tricks so keep them coming.

  5. January 5, 2010 at 6:03 pm

    I am so excited by new technology and it just keeps getting better. Currently already use some of the stuff demo’d but learned a great deal from today’s session – especially liked the Twitter search and Timeglider.

    Just read on one of my Tech Republic Feeds that stars of tomorrow in business may be those that can apply current technologies such as those demonstrated today in your workshop to how they operate in the workplace. It could be that stuff like that demo’d today is more important than the actual skills we deliver in our lessons.

    Many thanks to the STARS of Staff Development

  6. Colin
    January 5, 2010 at 7:24 pm

    Useful workshop, found all of the features shown very interesting though I doubt if I will use any of them on a daily basis (may use the odd one occasionally).

    Def one of the more interesting events I’ve attended 🙂

  7. Caron
    January 5, 2010 at 9:12 pm

    Great workshop, one of the best I have been to – very imformative and although I use technologies in teaching etc I still picked up some useful tips and new toys. Good examples used and demonstrated by both Graeme and Colin – inspirational. Thanks guys. Colin, don’t forget the sleigh tomorrow so we can explore these new skills further!!

  8. Linda
    January 6, 2010 at 9:32 am

    Thanks Colin & Graeme

    Useful workshop, found all of the features shown very interesting though not sure I will use Bebo or Twitter but I did find the information on Adobe.com very interesting and am sure I will be able to use this facility on a regular basis.
    Def one of the more interesting events I’ve attended.

  9. Pat
    January 6, 2010 at 2:34 pm

    This was interesting and I’m hoping I can figure out how to apply some of it. Meantime, I’ve updated my del.icio.us account which had just been sitting there and had a look at Acrobat.com.

    A useful event so thanks to both Graeme and Colin.

  10. Iris Thomas
    January 6, 2010 at 4:29 pm

    One of the most useful technology workshops I have attended introducing new teaching tools that actually work! The Timeglider is definitely one to try out

  11. January 7, 2010 at 8:41 am

    Hmmm… this was originally billed as “Developing Independent Learners”. What we actually got was a workshop on i) how to use social networking to manage student relations, and ii) some new collaberative technologies. Fair enough, I suppose, just not what I was hoping for.

    • colinmaxwell
      January 7, 2010 at 8:51 am

      You’re right, Andreas. Graeme and I were asked to deliver on using social networking tools and collaborative technologies, but somehow someone gave it the title ‘Developing Independent Learners’, which didn’t fit. The description on the staff intranet was better and did explain what would be covered.

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