DIL/Massey University

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Pre-survey - When you start the DIL workshops, please take the DIL pre-survey here.

Post-survey - When you finish the DIL workshops, please take the DIL post-survey here.

List of Blogs

Workshop meetings

Notes of each meeting are posted here.

Workshop Friday 20 June 2008 - compulsory

Present: Chrissy, Anil, Gabrielle, Bill, Jo, Rachael, Jane, Sabrina, Jess Apologies from Juergen

Handed out a number of documents (explained paper would not be used like this in the future in future): • Agenda for the first workshop • Project requirements • Information sheet • Consent forms • Reflective framework notes • Action research diagram

Brought up my delicious site using a data project on which I’d put all the urls we’d be using.

Started with introductions: Most people mentioned their purpose in joining the project, though these still need to be finalised. The group has a range of skill levels from basic to very sophisticated. We have four students (graduate and undergraduate), 1 student/staff (student retention), 1 academic, an IT manager, the head of counselling services, the manager of student retention and the disabilities manager. A very diverse group.

Discussion Talked about project objectives, informed consent and the collaborative nature of the project. Until this point I had total control and we were following the structured agenda. However, when we moved on to discussing the project requirements we came across the section on the different modes of recording evidence, and the workshop took on a life of its own. Somebody asked what Web 2 was. The delicious site and Wikipedia were used as examples. This immediately prompted a lively discussion on the nature of truth and reality. The more academically inclined were concerned about the validity of contributions and the ‘truth by popular vote’, others found the concept empowering. We concluded that the kind of peer review that governs sites like Wikipedia are probably superior in some ways the journal review process that academic value so highly because it is done more transparently and by a larger number of the community. We also decided that knowledge on Wikipedia was serving a different purpose to the research results and theorising of journals.

Activities We discussed Action Research, which they looked up on Wikipedia, collaboration started here as they helped each other. Jo was so taken with the idea of becoming part of this online community she registered with Wikipedia and made her first contribution.

The group then moved on to delicious and decided they needed to set up their own account. Rachael discovered how to set it up our own Massey directories even though we were in a computer lab and she helped others with this. Anil also made a great contribution with his knowledge. Jess and Sabrina started to investigate e-portfolios. There was a great deal of collaboration generally. By the end of the session virtually everyone had a delicious site.


  • There was a great deal of excitement and enthusiasm with some people streaking ahead. However, not everyone felt comfortable in this apparent chaos and it is essential the workshops remain inclusive to everyone.
  • There is a huge demand for this knowledge being made available in an accessible and relevant way. Some of the group made such comments, not just about themselves but also about other colleagues. The inappropriateness and ineffectiveness of the formal University programmes for training of these kinds of skills was commented upon.
  • The barriers to this new world are more apparent than real. Jargon is the first major hurdle. The terminology is intimidating to those who are unfamiliar with it. The second issue relates being given the skills/information to use the tools on the Web. Once these two barriers were removed people made huge leaps forward.

Workshop Friday 27 June 2008 - voluntary

Massey Workshop 2 Friday 27 June 2008 Present: Chrissy, Gabrielle, Bill, Jo, Rachael, Sabrina, Jess. Juergen Apologies from Janet, Anil

Review of week’s activity and objectives

Jess: Worked at settingup her blog but had some difficulties with this. My objective is to improve my computer skills in an interactive atmosphere. Particularly, I would like to learn more about the social networking softwares, such as social spaces and group mail which could help me to contact as many people as possible in a fast and efficient way.

Sabrina: Interested in e-portfolios. Had problems with Mahara but got help from several people. Also set up a blog, linked it with her e-portfolio. Put up her first reflection on there. Objectives: 1. How to set up e-portfolios. 2. How to set up blogs and work with them. 3. Using project management software $. Be able to set up and manage a website 5. Become familiar with DIL jargon and concepts so that she can work more efficiently. 6. Engage in a knowledge and experience exchange with others in the group.

Bill: Not achieved anything during week – too busy. Objectives 1. Learn more effective ways of sourcing information in his research area rather than spending fruitless hours scanning. Problem maybe more related to on search phrases in the engine. 2. Set up a research website and use it to elicit information from people that can be used as research data so doesn’t have to go around and physically collect it. Wants input from a wide variety of sources both inside and outside NZ.

Gabrielle: Also had a difficult and busy week at work that made it hard to find time to consolidate the previous workshop. Anil helped her to set up her blog. Last week so excited and found it frustrating that she was unable to find time to think things out. Objectives: Developing an e-portfolio 2. Blogging and using audio and video attachments in blogging.

Rachael: Inspired by Jo’s success, set up blog, emailing the group. Couldn’t get delicious buttons at home – but did at office timed out will do later. Find get excited and then getting frustrated. Excited and feeling like its a bit of a black hole. The issue of safety is important- as setting up for students. Opens up new questions and not time to answer them all. Go for a jump then stooping then jumping forward again. Objectives: 1.Create something on the net where my students can go to put information and receive information from me. What sort of things should it be: Eg goggle group etc. Know what she wants as the end result but is unsure of how to get there.

Jo: Gets frustrated at times. If can’t do things quickly its easy to feel overwhelmed. Rachael helped set up her Delicious account. Confident now with blogging. Set up Facebook at home and work. But email didn’t come through for the work one. Checking with Massey that it’s not being firewalled. Wants to use Facebook for her client group but not sure if this is the most appropriate way. Don’t want to keep getting 10000’s of email at work everyday. Facebook may not be right tool. Objectives: practical applications such as Facebook, podcasting and downloading videos, photos etc. Don’t know how to load video clips into powerpoint or photos.

Chrissy: Felt overwhelmed by big jump of level. Main thing is to understand jargon and concepts. These are a barrier to effectively using the web when you keep bumping into them. Keen to do powerpont cause needed for 3rd year presentation in degree. Have grandchildren and children overseas on email who send lots of pictures. Need to know what to do with them so she doesn’t lose them. Objectives: 1. Power Point presentations 2. Comprehend jargon 3. Group e-mail initiation set up & use. 4. All of what ever else I could learn along the way

Juergen: New to group so introduced himself. He is doing a phd in biology of little worms in the Arctic. Want to get info from other sites and groups.

Anil (by email): Objectives

1) The promise of Web 2.0 and how is it likely to shape the future of consumerism ( I intend to focus on the Banking and Financial sectors) – Primary work 2) Learn more about Podcasting and video streaming technologies available and also gaze into the futuristic technology space in these areas – Secondary work.


Gabrielle kicked off the discussion on safety and security on the web. This interest was prompted by seeing Sabrina’s picture on her Blog. Others expressed concern, Chrissy felt that while she was happy for others to see what she wrote on her blog, she was uncomfortable writing personal stuff and putting it out in the public domain. Juergen gave an example of the ease with which people’s activities and lives could be intruded upon without them even being aware. Two main concerns 1. Safety: making personal information publically available so that it can be used by others for cause harm in some way such as discrimination – examples of employers searching on people’s names and then discriminating against them for employment purposes. The second issue relates to privacy. Not wanting outsiders to have access to personal or private information. Resolved to find out more by next Friday.


Gabrielle worked at trying to get passwords and account's sorted and added to her delicious site

Rachael spent her time Investigating possible ways to have a virtual meeting place, and setting up a Google Group.

Jo copied pages off the web into PowerPoint and continued to work at setting up Face book

Sabrina worked on her e-portfolio.

Bill and Juergen explored the OIL modules on searching.

Chrissy worked on her powerpoint with help from Lynn . Worked with Jo to download pictures into powerpoint from the web. Found out from Juergen about memory sticks..

Massey Workshop 3 Friday 4th July 2008

Present: Chrissy, Gabrielle, Jo, Rachael, Jess, Jane, Anil Apologies from Sabrina, Bill, Juergen

Review of week’s activity: Jess: Found out what a wiki is. Set up an account on wikispace. Set up a page and a group mail.Useful for sending to large groups of people at the same time including newsletters. Not finding it too difficult but not too easy either.

Jane: Her son up loaded Firefox 3 but it crashed her Skype, Del.icio.is and Explorer, none of which she can now access. Broadband access was lost and Vodafone unhelpful.

Chrissy: Working on computer is tiring. Working away on powerpoint. Wrote a large reflective piece but lost it by hitting edit button – very frustrating. So did it again in Word emailed it as an attachment. Learnt last week about memory sticks so went confidently to Dick Smiths to purchase one. Felt good. Gone from feeling very down to feeling very excited.

Gabrielle: Realised that she’s surrounded by IT experts – her husband and son very computer-minded and she has found that she usually switches off when he goes into lecture mode. Tries to show her something then wants to show her two other ways. He’s learnt she gets a bit twitchy. They are very good when she needs to know. But she has a switch off mode when they are talking. In last week she’s started to pay more attention to their computer conversions. She had a presentation at a conference on Harassment and Bullying. Her presentation was on safety on the net and the resources sent out (from Leigh) were interesting.

Rachael: Inspired by Jo’s success, set up blog, emailing the group. Couldn’t get delicious buttons at home – but did at office timed out will do later. Find get excited and then getting frustrated. Excited and feeling like its a bit of a black hole. The issue of safety is important- as setting up for students. Opens up new questions and not time to answer them all. Go for a jump then stooping then jumping forward again. Objectives: 1.Create something on the net where my students can go to put information and receive information from me. What sort of things should it be: Eg goggle group etc. Know what she wants as the end result but is unsure of how to get there.

Jo: Agreed with Chrissy that little achievements were pertinent. Wanted to know everything but learning needs to be in small chunks. Learning the basics first – not the fluffy stuff. People who know a lot (like husbands!) don’t realise they make assumptions about what you know. Sometimes the best teachers are those just a little bit ahead of you. This week really slow about things, take time and just do one or two small tasks. Put delicious to rest cause can’t use it at home with dial up.

Rachael: Felt not done anything but last night wrote a list and realised how much she had done. Set up a google group for her students then wondered if the right thing. Researched it – talked to people, searched online. Now comfortable that this is the best solution at the moment. More comfortable with an online presence. Being able to set the security options to restrict access to her helped with this. She’s now okay with say 100 people being able to view her blog (her student group is 125). Found she needed time to think through and consider, not just the technologies, but the impact of them on her. Also, noticing the little steps. Thought that until she reached her goal she hadn’t achieved anything. Realised that goal is made up of many little steps. When online and doing something feels good, though sometimes frustrated. But when away from the computer feels overwhelmed, panicy, avoids thinkg and going back to it. Eg. Avoid doing reflections for most of the week. Now set herself the task of working on the project 2-3 times a week to try to get over the fear she feels when not actually online.

Anil : Despite 25 years in IT at quite high levels but when goes home his daughter is still ahead of him and gets him to come on! Sometimes the highly trained people are less familiar with the basics. Important not to get discouraged and remember may be learning things that more advanced family does know. Made an e-portfolio and added the group. Compiled videos on online tools for the group to watch and learn more about DIL. Eg cookies. Suggest the group set up an e-portfolio site so that they can view the videos.

Discussion Firefox as an alternative to Internet explorer was discussed. Anil explained how this was a Microsoft product and preferred by geeks. Jane, who has Firefox explained how it had ‘tabs’ and using these simplified things as several tabs could be open at once. Someone said that Explorer had the same facility but the lab computers at Massey had that facility disabled. Some misconceptions about Firefox were cleared up.

Activities Chrissy worked on powerpoint. Learning how to download pictures, organise slides, save them to a memory stick, use different slide types. Also spent time understanding more about her blog site – how to edit, cut and paste between files, hot keys.

The rest of the group set up their own e-portfolio sites on Mahara as this seemed to offer solutions to some problems. Anil, who has made the most progress with this tool, assisted others in setting up and down loading video clips. The issue of usernames and passwords was raised again and the need to have a system for remembering which ones are associated with which tool or facility.

Massey Workshop 4 Friday 11th July 2008

Present: Chrissy, Gabrielle, Jo, Rachael, Jess, Jane, Juergen, Sabrina Apologies from Anil, Bill, Rachael

Review of week’s activity:

Juergen: Juergen had been away at a conference until the previous evening, however he had looked at Del,icio.us and set up a blog. He wanted to ask Anil in person how to set up and use a Mahara portfolio as he got too frustrated trying to do so himself.

Sabrina: Had also been away for the week but had tried to catch up with what the group had done during her absence. She received a message from Anil saying her had set her up as a friend on Mahara so this prompted her to work harder at investigating how to set her own portfolio up. Also still concerned about safety on the Net. [The previous week discussion and access to information about these issues had reduced the level of anxiety in the group but Sabrina had been away].

Jess: Spent time working on group mail. Wants to make a newsletter but doesn’t know how to start it. Concerned about privacy and security issues, especially when setting up an online account and they require your email address. Facebook and Myspace , these open areas you can see your friends’ friends information so problem to keep your privacy. They seem to ask for lots of personal information such as date of birth.

Jane: Feels frustrated that all the systems at home are still being changed by her son. Came in and was struggling with Mahara. Received many emails from the group but thye were unread. Needed a holiday so took a break. Got a list of useful websites from a computer magazine, especially a site for people over 40. Has found that computer magazines are quite readable and full of useful information, eg how to use your digital camera.

Chrissy: Had some problems with email and wondered if hers were getting through. Got confirmation from the group that this was the case. Has had problems with her blog. Her three contributions don’t appear when she initially tries to access the blog, but can be accessed from inside the site. Had set up a Mahara portfolio the previous week but did not receive the confirmation email.

Gabrielle: Haven’t made great progress but illustrated how the workshops were changing her behaviour – she and her husband were out to dinner with a young couple and the issue of Skpe came up. Normally would have tuned out of the conversation but found herself listening and contributing to the discussion. This was a great shift for her. Working on blog and understanding how they work and how they are different to emails.

Jo: Had had a busy week with orientation [start of the semester!] but had made a commitment to do something each week. Felt frustrated at passwords and bumping into things she didn’t understand. So decided she wasn’t going to be distracted by things like Facebook which weren’t going to help her longterm, and would rather look at getting skills that were going to help her on an ongoing basis. Quite liberating to have gone from feeling frustrated and to saying okay lets review the whole thing a refocus the objectives.

Discussion Jo wanted to know what a sedgepod was but nobody knew. Passwords: suggestions a notebook, Juergen suggested thinking about passwords as a street address – a number and then name; Gabrielle: using a sentence and them using the first letter of each word. Jane: using a word and then revolving the letters systematically. Further discussion on accessing the Del.icio.us buttons which keep disappearing on some computers.

Activities Introduced Twitter. A number of people thought this might be useful to them so spent time exploring it. The nature of tags and other metadata was discussed and photos of an article from a computer magazine on metadata was circulated. A DVD with disability software was brought along for Rachael but needs to be replaced – it didn’t work. An article from the computer magazine on four lots of free software was distributed and many in the group explored these. Also a free DVD from a magazine held software for building a website – Silversite. Jess took the DVD home to try.

Sabrina worked out how to get websites into ones Del.icio.us file without using buttons. She showed this to others in the group.

Gabrielle set up a second blog in her to use for her family and friends to follow her overseas holiday over the next four weeks. She found that she could email her blog to her blog site and include photos and videos as attachment. She also worked out how to load photos and videos directly. Her Del.icio.us site is set up with the URLS of websites she will need overseas.

Chrissy made further in roads into powerpoint and will give a demonstration to the group next week. Jess helped her to fix her blog site. The problems she’s been having was due to having set up three separate blogs instead of three contributions to her blog.

Massey Workshop 5 Friday 18th July 2008

Present: Anil, Chrissy, Jo, Rachael, Jess, Juergen, Sabrina, Margaret, Leslie Apologies from Rachael, Gabrielle on holiday

Review of week’s activity:

Juergen: Spent time on blogging. Experimenting on profile, set up security settings. Learned how to use comments. Edited a blog and it was gone. Tried customising it. More research searching on on Del.icio.us. but it didn’t get him very far. This doesn’t seem to be as useful a tool as he had hoped. Many tools out there. Received link from Anil on podcasting and a 100 other useful sites: that was very useful. Many tools out there but too much to figure it all out. Share information with friends and family (overseas) through podcasting. Sent to the group a very useful link for an online manual on podcasting. Notes package on Google Docs for jotting down ideas. Set up own Google Docs. Some of the Google products are not very private, stuff is stored automatically. Google ranked last of all search engines for security. They sell the information to companies. Found old Google email he’d set up years ago and forgotten. Had a productive week.

Sabrina: Read articles from the previous week and checked liunks from them out eg Google alerts. Subscribe to it. Give a word or sentence and everytime anyone writes those keys words you get an email telling you. So she put in her name. Useful if in business, don”t have to search. Lots of free software some of which she has downloaded, eg Picsa links with all your pictures and allows you to work with your photos – like photshop. Looked at safety links Lynn had sent around. Logged in to Mahara and Anil helped her to catch up on the session she had missed. Able to sort out a problem in logging in she had had. Now has her blog address. Linked all blogs together through Mahara. Wants to set up own website. Maybe using the Silverside software from the previous week. [Juergen explained how Picsao works in finding photos].

Jess: Installed Silverside software – but kept running into a command to buy the software. Didn’t know how to get around this. Still interested in building own website.

Anil: Had added to his blog. Objectives: Web 2.0, podcasting, video formats. Realised objectives had been too ambitious so focused on podcasting. What is podcasting? Looked at various sites and made progress in understanding more about it. Put a variety of diagrams and text on his blog for others to look at. These summarised the main ideas very simply. Explained what podcasting was at its simplest, in particular the subscription part. Not as intimidating as he had thought. Next step to become a pocaster. Next started looking at video formatting. So started playing around with these. Again not as difficult as he had thought.

Chrissy: Wearing new memory stick around her neck. Did a beginners powerpoint presentation but moved from feeling very chuffed with herself to thinking she was right back at square one. After seeing big screens in lab decided to buy a 22 in screen so she could use a split screen and view 2 documents together. She found she has damaged drives so screen can’t load the wizard. Googled error message, download a scan to diagnose problem. Which it did, and offered software (for money) to fix it. She did and received a long key but it didn’t work. Bought a new graphics card. Its cost $500 and feeling brassed of because problem not solved. Anil will help her sort it out. The business she bought screen from are busy and unhelpful. Has caused her headaches, depression and marital discord! Her husband commented that it was a wonderful thing that she got into this project! Was up to 2 in the morning and husband shouted at her to get to bed. General discussion on the lack of support from businesses. Anil also pointed out the need for compatibility between products. But never entered her head to give up.

Jo: Important thing about this week has been a psychological change. At home only have dial up, which is limiting – really need the right equipment for working on the web. What happened is the growth in confidence and feels that if needed to find something out able to have a good go at finding out about it and probably getting about 80% of the information needed. Other 20% might need to ask someone. Blogging – decided to add comment on someone else’s blog but couldn’t see where to do it. Interested in podcasting. Referred back to Gabrielle’s comments in previous weeks of ‘zoning out’ when the conversation turned to IT matters and described how the previous evening people had talked about broadband and she felt quite comfortable joining in. It didn’t seem so scary anymore.

Margaret: Interested in pocasting because uses video clips on news for her class. But not able to download these anymore. Wants to find a way around the restriction on downloads. Son and husband good at this type of thing (computers) and elbow her out of the way to do it for her so never learns to do things for herself. Wants to change this.

Leslie: Scattered range of computer knowledge learnt on the run. There are holes in this knowledge she would like to fill. Been to many courses on powerpoint but never been asked to make a presentation so keeps getting behind as new versions come out . Wants to know more about blogging, powerpoint and podcasting so that she will be able to set up her own website, maybe for a business.

Discussion About Microsoft and Adobe as alternatives. They both have many similar products. The pros and cons were discussed. A lot of Adobe stuff is free. Chrissy demonstrated her powerpoint presentation which was interesting and very professional. Lots of pictures and interesting format. Group offered some tips on using powerpoint.

Still consternation at the multiple user names that are needed and easily forgotten. Also some sites seem to ‘forget’ who you are after signing in.

Activities Leslie and Margaret worked on catching up on some of the things the group had already done. Got them started on creating their blogs, looked at Del,icio.us and Wikieducator. Ran another session for Margaret And Leslie before the next workshop.

Others worked on podcasting. Considered whether we should buy Procast but only available for Macs at the moment.

Chrissy had trouble removing her memory stick safely so Anil helped.

Jo got help on making a comment on the blog. There was more discussion on the nature of feeds. Jo suggested we all work together on creating a podcast. Will bring laptops to next session as audio not available in computer labs.