September 14

A Model to Transform your use of ICT

The SAMR model has been around for a while, but I think it is time for a revisit. Most of us have been working with some element or other of 1 to 1 access, but has our pedagogy – the way we use the technology to teach in our classes – changed or shifted in that time? I would like you to take some time to reflect on how you are using ICT in your classroom. Think about which level of SAMR you are at, and what steps you can take to get to the next level.

First what is SAMR? was developed by Ruben R. Puentedura  who has shared a wealth of pedagogical development resources on his website.

 Substitution and Augmentation look at keeping things basic, but enhancing the learning, while Modification and Redefinition Transform Learning opportunities for our students.

Substitution

 In substitution technology is a direct replacement for non technical/digital tools. There is no real change to how the learning occurs. Function remains the same.

Examples: Students use the Internet to search information, as they would have done with encyclopedias in the past. They write up a word document assignment, adding in images collected from web sites and print this out as evidence of their learning.

AugmentationIn Augmentation technology is a direct tool substitute, however function is improved.

 

Examples: Using Google Maps or Nearmaps (in Australia) students can view  up to date changes of global issues. Learning is supported by students being able to view multi modal learning objects, and enhancing the function of the learning. Students are able to play online maths games, and get immediate feedback on results. improving the function through the immediate feedback.

ModificationModification allows for learning tasks to be significantly redesigned through the use of technology.

Examples:  Instead of presenting a poster on a famous person students can create a multimedia presentation, or website which includes video, text and images. This transforms the learning, and students develop deeper thinking about the subject when a range of modalities are used.

RedefinitionNew tasks, previously not even thought of or possible can now be created through the use of ICT.

Example: Students with a topic of civil unrest use Twitter to follow the hashtag #Eygpt (which was the hashtag used during the 2011 and recent civil unrest). They post a question onto Twitter with the Hashtags #Eygpt #Freedom and follow the responses. They end up connecting with a woman on the streets of Cairo, who is a lawyer, and Skype chat with her about what the civil unrest in Eygpt is about. (This is based on a true story) Students can connect with others around the globe and create truly powerful transformative learning opportunities.

I think I use all elements of the SAMR Model… the most transformative in my classrooms has been using Google Drive for students working on a collaborative task to be able to edit together (they are still getting their heads around how that one works, and it is easier for them to slip back into old paper based habits, but after a miss-saved document went missing they are starting to really see the benefits.) The live blogging we are doing sharing processes and products on our blog and on YouTube are pretty exciting. And creating electronic portfolios, as they develop their work – this has been fantastic, as they are finishing off their folios, realising they didn’t take photos, but they are all available on our group Flickr page. I am giving my students the option for producing a presentation on a Fashion Designer… they can present it as a website, podcast, powerpoint or keynote, which will be presented to the class.

So… you have the tools in your classrooms, the kids have the tools in their pockets, what is stopping you from transforming the way your students learn? The most important person in the classroom should be the learner, and we all know that the most engaging learning is the deepest. We are all learners…so add a comment here, particularly those who are using iPads, netbooks and laptops, to share with us which stage(s) you are up to? How are you transforming your classroom?

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September 7

My iPad my classroom

I have had the the iPad2 for a few months now, and thought I would share how it is transforming my classes, and the way I reflect on my teaching, and my students achievements.
So….here are my top 10 iPad features or tools which make my life easier.

My Number 1 feature is the camera, which allows me to record assessment tasks, students working, video myself to create podcasts of processes or procedures they may like to refer back to. I do take into account student privacy, and most photos of them at work are just hands and garments, and I check with them to make sure I have their approval to post images to our shared group on Flickr, blog posts or YouTube, and our Facebook group.

My number 2 goes to Evernote: the must have app on all devices, android phone, iPad, tablet, pc, MacBook, or any computer connected to the Internet. I am able to take notes, and they are then stored in the “cloud”, allowing me to be able to access them from any computer. I can also publish my notes on a range of platforms. For example is notes I make while doing professional learning can immediately be tweeted to my followers on Twitter. You can search through Evernote to find a specific topic or discussion very easily.

Number 3 blogging and reflecting: I am writing this through the WordPress App, which allows me to have easy access to all of my WordPress based blogs (this includes the DEECD’s Global2 and Edublogs as well as WordPress itself). I have ready access to all of my blogs and am able to quickly and effortlessly reflect on learning, achievements, outcomes, ideas and share with my blogging community.
As a part of my VCE Unit 2 Product, Design and Technology course students are investigating the use of ICT in a team based approach to working, so my Textiles blog has regular guest bloggers from the class, reflecting on challenges and projects, sharing the development of their work to each other, as well as a broader community. They are able to take photos and add comments as to how their challenges are progressing. I have shared this blog with the college community, and parents, to have authentic and immediate understanding of what tasks the students are working on.

Number 4 Authentic Assessment: I have been using the Easy Portfolio App (developed by a Victorian teacher – Jarrod Robinson aka the PE Geek) to create my own portfolios of student achievement, which I use when writing reports. This allows me to have a voice recording, add images, documents and links to allow the student to demonstrate levels of understanding. At the end of the unit I will email the portfolios to them in PDF form, so they can add to their own portfolio. I used this for semester 1 reports, and found it was a great way to ensure relevant, authentic, achievement based comments.

Number 5 Sharing: Dropbox is a must have App for the easy sharing of documents or images created on the iPad. Like Evernote, you can put it on all devices and share your documents and files through your secure cloud. You can also create links to files which others can access, saving postage on emails…hehehe…or if you wanted to share a document with people who’s emails you don’t know.

Number 6 Internet: the fact the iPad is so quick to launch allows you to get on to Daymap really quickly to mark rolls, check bulletins etc. Moodle, the Ultranet and email are all ready to go at your fingertips.

Number 7 feedback: Socrative, excellent immediate feedback to students, create quizzes to determine starting points, or exit questions to see how well topics covered in class were understood.

Number 8 creativity: Augmented reality…I am creating a range of triggers and videos which will become a virtual tour of the school at work. I also am looking at using it for some of the mundane classroom tasks like “threading the sewing machine and bobbin”…
Explain everything and Show me are two apps I am exploring to create Support videos for students, and to get them demonstrating their understanding of a range of concepts covered in class. Some fantastic music apps like GarageBand, allow you to create your own music to accompany ideas or podcasts without having to worry about copyright infringement
Inspiration and Popplet lite are great mind mapping tools, allowing you to share your thoughts in an ordered way.

Number 9 lifelong learning: ITunesU is a most fabulous tool for those lifelong learners…allowing you to explore a wealth of inversion standard courses which are open and ready for you to participate in. SCOTutor is an App all about learning to use your iPad….great resource.

Number 10 curating information: Live binders is a an app and website which allows you to “collect” information and then store it in topic binders. I was participating in a MOOC and used this to collect all of my resources on the topic. You can have them open, so you could share yours with a class, or students could share with you. The app makes it very easy to collect and curate the information. DIIGO and ScoopIt are also great tools for curation.

My “to explore and try out more” list includes Nearpod, Wunderlist and others as I discover them on ScoopIt, blogs and Twitter.

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What are your favourite tools or features of the iPad? Do you have a top 10? I found it hard to limit it to so few… Always trying new ones out!

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June 13

That time again

Reports…. although it is mandated that we write reports to let parents and students know how we believe they are going with understanding the topics we present them, just how much is really relevant? Are there better ways to report on student learning. At the recent Alan November conference which was a part of #ICTEV2012, he discussed the notion that kids respond best to feedback given within seconds, not days or even months. So it does make me wonder how we can improve our response times, and I have started to explore a few tools which do indeed make life and responding to students much simpler and faster. There are so many being developed, there is bound to be one that suits your needs and environment. Teaching on the senior campus, I know the students always have their phones on them, and in surveys I have done in my classes there are generally only one or two in the class who cannot access the internet on their phones. Here are a couple of Apps I have had some success with!

SocrativeThe first one I will mention is Socrative…. available in Teacher and Student versions… beautifully integrates with ANY device. So I am able to set up quizzes, general questions or use those already created on my laptop, PC, Macbook, iPad, tablet, ipod, iPhone or Android phone, any mobile device which is able to access the internet. This also means you can harness the powerful devices found in the students pockets… their phones – regardless of the platform they use. When you create a Socrative Teacher account you are allocatted a “Room Number”. When students login to the m.socrative.com they are asked to enter Your “Room Number” and then join – no creating accounts, or having to remember passwords…. simple and straight to the action. The exit quiz gives you immediate feedback as to how the kids are understanding the concepts you have taught them. Very much in the vein of Eric Mazur and his Flipped Classroom. The feedback I have had from the students I have used this with is very positive, they are engaged, and enthused to learn more.

Teachernotes in the App store

The second one I will mention is Teachernotes – developed for iPhone and iPad – not there for Android yet. I had been looking for a simple recording device where I can take photos of students work, record their progress, and primarily use it as my marking book…. This App offers all that and more. I can create up to 3 classes with the free version… the paid version is $5.49 and you can have unlimited classes. I can enter the names of my students, and record details of assessments on the fly, from conversations, folio development, interaction etc, the stuff that often gets overlooked in the recording and reflection processes, unless you have an amazing memory. Each note can be saved under the student’s name, and come report writing time, you have a list a mile long to draw from, reflecting on their learning over the semester, including potentially images and voice recordings. But wait there’s more….. as I have been recording my assessment of folios, I am then able to email their assessments/my reflections on areas which need work etc directly to the students! Win – win as far as prompt feedback and reflection is concerned!.

The last app I will mention is Nearpod… currently only available for iOS devices (that’s iPhones. iPod and iPads) and I have been hearing wonderful reports about it…. so once I finish my reports I will put together some personal feedback and a plan of attack.

 

NearPod

Engage and create

 

Of course all of these apps can only be really useful with effective teaching practices. These tools give us the opportunity to reflect on how we teach the kids we have in our classes, and it has the potential to transform the way we teach to produce better outcomes….. if we use the tools and don’t change how we teach, the bottom line will be not much change will happen! Let’s transform learning and teaching!! What do you think? Would love to hear from other people as to what apps they find most useful! And how they have transformed your classrroom…. are you flipped yet??

 

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June 2

My List: A Collection on “ipads” (ipads,ipad,ios,apps) | Diigo

My List: A Collection on “ipads” (ipads,ipad,ios,apps) | Diigo.

Oh this is cool, I have added the “Press this” button to my bookmarks bar, so I can share what I find on the web directly to my blog… sensational.

Diigo is a fantastic social bookmarking tool, which can be used to share sites with groups, or just to store your bookmarks in the cloud, so you can access them anywhere… if you create a Diigo account, make sure to add me as a friend/contact “starnott” so we can share.

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May 29

ICT and eLearning Feedback

Thank you for completing the ICT survey I put out a few weeks ago, here are the results.
At least 50% of staff are using ICT resources frequently in their classes – Yay, with only 2 respondent never using new and emerging technologies as a part of their teaching
People have requested they would like to know more about how to use the following tools in their classrooms:
Interactive White board
Digital video camera
Graphics tablet
iPod/MP3 player
Mobile phone
CD/DVD burner
Handheld game console (Nintendo DS/PSP)
Interactive Game console (Wii, Sony Playstation 3, XBox etc )
iPad/Tablet
Staff have skills at various levels in a range of software applications, many are willing to share their expertise
Staff would like to know more about how to use the following tools in their classrooms
Moodle
Blog (for your subject, not the College blog)
Wiki
Ning
Other social network (MySpace/Facebook etc)
Twitter
Google Docs
iGoogle
RSS
Del.icio.us or Diigo (Bookmarking)
MMS (multimedia message service)
SMS (short message service)
Teachers feel on the whole that students should know how to use the MS Office suite when they start in Year 7, and many teachers assume that students already know how to use Moodle.
Teachers expect students to know how to use email at year 7 and Moviemaker by Year 9.
The majority of respondents, interestingly, don’t teach explicit ICT tools/skills to their classes, apart from assorted maths software ie:
classpad, Mathmatica, Mathstype
1 response for Moodle, a few Photoshop and Garageband, Gamemaker, Wikispaces, Prezi and Animoto
Some expect students to teach themselves.
It will be interesting to see how the student results fit in with this.
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April 27

Are you free on……..?

Catching busy people for a face to face meeting can be a real challenge, email and phone ping pong can be frustrating, and then you just put it in the too hard basket. There is a solution, but it does involve you using your calendar effectively.

There are a couple of online programs which can help you to schedule meetings, or share your availability with others… either in a local group or much wider, depending on who you share your information with. Tungle  and Timebridge work seamlessly with Outlook or Google calendar to allow you to share your availability with your audience. You copy a link and send people directly to the times you are available, where they can “book in” a meeting.

Using just Outlook you can achieve a similar result, by being able to look at your contacts availability.

By filling out your calendar with each class, yard duty, regular meetings etc you give others the opportunity to see when you are available and schedule a meeting with you.

To access your calendar open Outlook and on the left of the screen you will see your mail boxes, and a list of other options, including “Calendar”

To create a new Meeting click on “New Item” and select “Appointment, then fill in the required details

To avoid the email ping pong, and get the best time you can click on your contact to get their available times (provided of course they have filled in their calendar see below)

When you click on the “Schedule a Meeting: link on the contact card you will get information on each person you have invited to the meeting – as to when they are available or busy.

So I hope this clarifies and simplifies meetings on Outlook. There are no doubt many ways to set up meetings online, but I have found this to be effective for me. So the tasks for you now are to set up your calendar, blocking out your busy times (teaching, yard duty or meetings already scheduled) and start booking your meetings through Outlook. Questions? Thoughts? would love some feedback.

 

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March 6

Getting your class into blogging

Blogging and bloggers are a vibrant part of the online communities many of us belong to. Technorati investigates what is going on in the blogging world with their “State of the Blogosphere” report. As well as you and I and our blogs, there is much blogging going on in the corporate world. Every company seems to have a blog link on their website, where media news and reviews are often posted. There are even people who get paid to write blog posts…for a writer, what a wonderful opportunity…

What better way to get your class going with their own blogging adventure, than to be a part of a global student blogging challenge. It’s not to late to join in. Simply pop along to the Edublogs Student Challenge information page, and look around to get some ideas if you have not blogged before.

Totally confused about what a blog is and where to start, check out the Redback Project blog for some info on what a blog is, and what it is used for.

So you just want to jump straight in and set up your blog? Go along to http://global2.vic.edu.au this is an Edublogs campus site set up by the DEECD, so you get all the safety and functionality of an edublogs subscriber, with none of the cost (if you are a Victorian Government or Catholic school).

Kathleen Morris has put together a brilliant “Getting started with blogging” post on her Integrating Technology blog, so for the nitty gritty on setting up your blog take a look.

Blogging is a great way to let parents see the good stuff that happens in your classroom. It is also a valuable reflection tool for your own ongoing learning. Developing a professional blog where you can reflect on your reading and learning is another weay you can record your professional learning hours for VIT registration.

Feel free to post questions here… the comments, feedback and dialogue is just part of what makes blogging so very powerful, and a fun way to learn, regardless of your age.

What do you enjoy about blogging? What is stopping you from blogging? What is stopping you from getting your class into blogging?

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February 17

Social Media and the Educator

’21st Century education integrates technologies, engaging students in ways not previously possible, creating new learning and teaching possibilities, enhancing achievement and extending interactions with local and global communities.’ MCEETYA.

There is no escaping it… social media is here, and no matter how much a teacher may want to ignore it, they need to embrace it to give their students more informed approach to using these tools. Educators also need to be well aware of the pitfalls…. many which are widely publicised in the news media.

Unfriendly Fire

Porn Star Teacher

It’s not however all doom and gloom and scariness, social media can be used safely and effectively with a few simple guidelines. It can bring a new level of connectedness to you and your students. An example, one of the first comments my 2012 Year 12s asked is if we were still going to use Facebook, as they found my reminders for due dates etc very useful. Other staff have told me their discussions with students about using online tools have been along the lines of: “If it’s not on Facebook, we won’t see it”.

DEECD and VIT  have very clear guidelines for the use of Social Media and working and playing in an online world.

Teachers warned not to friend kids on Facebook

CONTACTING students by mobile phone or email “without a valid educational context”.

POSTING any “offensive or slanderous” material about students, parents or colleagues.

SHARING content from personal social media sites, such as their Facebook accounts, with students.

UPLOADING images of themselves that have “potential to negatively affect their reputation”.

“VENTING” about their work, or posting personal or political opinions.

Victorian Independent Education Union secretary Deb James welcomed the campaign, saying social networking had become a minefield for teachers.

So how to work around this minefield, stay safe, with integrity AND use that fantastic resources on offer? A few simple steps is all it will take for you to be able to have personal fun with friends, AND have professional relationships with students.  The DEECD website covers a range of elements you will need to be aware of, and strategies for staying safe, respectful, responsible and showing integrity in your digital footprint. In general:

  • You need to be aware of the code of conduct under which you work as a teacher, the VIT one is linked to above, and any other local policies your school may have in place. Does your school have a Social Media policy?
  • Is you profile/account on a Facebook/Twitter/etc for personal or professional purposes? The recomendations are that you set up seperate work and play accounts. I find this really useful personally, particularly when you want to chill out, and not think of work!! I actually have 3 online profiles, one for personal, one for students and one for professional – which is where I have developed a wonderful personal learning network through blogging, twitter and a range of other social media sites.
  • If you are working with students – particularly at junior levels you may need to get parental approval, and you will need to be explicit in your expectations of online behaviour. We are the ones it falls upon to ensure the students leave us with better netiquette, and understanding of the ethics of living in an online world. More often than not, parents are at a loss about how to best support their children, and sadly the news media is filled with tales of children (and adults) making silly mistakes which will hurt their reputation in the future. Things we may well have done as younger people – but we didn’t have the ability to share our stupid acts with the world as easily as the kids do now. Some social media sites require users to be over 13, and it is policy of the department that this ruling is supported by teachers.
  • Privacy – are you aware of the DEECD privacy policy, have you checked that appropriate approval has been given to allow student’s images and work to be posted online? Have you restricted your personal privacy settings to ensure unwanted visitors are not able to see your information, images, etc.
  • The DEECD guidelines takes you through a range of other considerations, mainly relating to professional image, reputation and copyright. Remember that just because it’s on the internet does not mean you are free to use it.

What are some of the strategies you use in your classes to maintain the teacher student protocols? Have you used social media with your students? How have they responded? Thoughts??

Further resources

Educator’s guide to Facebook

The Case for Social Media in the Classroom

Policies for staff use of social media

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October 5

Holiday meanderings, Google+ and Digital Story telling

I have spent these holidays catching up with reading and getting my head around the new Google Plus… which I had an invite to a while ago, but had few people I knew using it… so it was left on the backburner as the end of term chaos consumed life.

So Google + wow… I have been using Twitter since the early days, and have loved how I can expand my professional learning network by following people whose tweets I find interesting and relevant. I have eLearning connections all over the world now as a result. The only thing is that most comments are limited to 140 characters – which can be good, a bit like a haiku, you really have to think about how you say what you want to say, to get the full meaning and context.

Facebook I have mainly kept as a friend space… not wanting to bore my non techy friends with tech stuff… and vice versa with my other pastimes. I did create a “school” facebook account this year, because with a range of other tech issues and unreliability I at least knew all of my students would be able to log in and see my reminder posts etc.

The benefits so far with what I have played with and seen on Google+ is all the great things about twitter…lots of sharing of ideas with people you allocate to circles… you can also share publicly with the world. You can share your thoughts or ideas with as many or few people as you like by simply selecting the relevant circles.

g+01

G+02

Google+ is still in testing… but so far it’s looking very good for educators wanting to develop their skills and knowledge with educators worldwide.

One of the features is a “Hangout” where you can get together with others and have a face to face chat over the internet. At the moment I believe up to 9 people can be involve, but this can present a great range of sharing opportunities not only locally but globally.

I was luck enough to participate in viewing a hangout session about Digital storytelling.  There were educators from all over the US who shared with us how they have used Digital Storytelling to get students to develop not only their literacy, but a wide range of skills including digital citizenship.

VoiceThread allows you to collaborate via text voice or image as you and your class discusses images, either as a starting point, or analysis of an artwork. There are education versions, which allow students to post with more security http://ed.voicethread.com/

Youth Voices Youth Voices is a school-based social network that was started in 2003 by a group of National Writing Project teachers. They have found that there are many advantages to bringing students together in one site that lives beyond any particular class. It’s easier for individual students to read and write about their own passions, to connect with other students, comment on each others work, and create multimedia posts for each other.It’s also an opportunity for educators to develop their knowledge about curriculum and digital literacies.

Storybird is a lovely site which has artists who collaborate by providing artworks which can be used to stimulate and illustrate story creation.

Teachers Teaching Teachers check out here for the next talk

GoogleLabs is being phased out… but has an amazing set of resources… imagine 3D Google earth for the body…or the Google Art Project, giving you tours of the worlds greatest galleries…Get in quick!!

Sketchfu is an online drawing and sharing program… very easy to use, and some great artworks to stimulate ideas.

Handling the enormous amounts of information is something we have to try to help our students resolve… Where do you find reliable sources? How do you know what is reliable? Where do you store the information. The easiest way is using a social bookmarking platform such as Diigo, Delicious or Google, where you can save your bookmarks on the cloud, and always have access to them, using keywords and tags to search for them.

Another couple of apps I came across over the break have been Scoop.it and Storify both allow you to create a “feed” of information on a specific topic.

With Scoop.it you can have a tool which sits within your web browser, and allows you to scoop any relevant topics for your area of interest. You then add new links each day or week, or when ever. Others can follow your topic, and add further relevant “scoops” to your page. You can in turn follow others who are “curating” topics which interest you. The topics are wide and varied.

Storify uses a range of social media such as Twitter, facebook, Google+, YouTube etc to draw information together to form a “story” on a specific topic. This could be a unit of work you have created with your students, or it could be the information you want your students to explore.

Both of these would be great ways for students to collaborate and sift though information to create a really useful knowledgebank of information.

Whatever way you want to delve into the digital classroom of the 21st Century, don’t imagine it can just happen… it needs a lot of pre-planning and organising by the teacher to ensure students don’t get lost in the information, or the technology.

Well… some correction to get done…..

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June 13

eLearning update

iPads
The time has come…. when we got the iPads into the College last year we made the decision to allow staff to have some play time with the them, and develop strategies and plans with how they could be used in the classroom…
If you have used an iPad for any amount of time would you please take a few minutes to complete this short survey

http://www.ipadsforeducation.vic.edu.au/education-apps

iPads in Education – and the iCloud

I was fortunate to spend time on Friday and over the long weekend participating in the Flexible Learning Network’s eRealite conference. Many areas of eLearning were covered including a look at the Horizon Report – as well as exploring a range of tools and applications, issues and concerns which face educators and the use of eLearning in a number of situations.

Using audio as formative assessment…

Digital Artists Competition

The Horizon Report is a report put out each year which looks at emerging trends in the digital age. It has been fascinating over the past few years watching what I have read in the reports come to reality. In this year’s reports the trends looking at less than a year for widespread adoption are electronic books and mobile devices. Two to three years to adoption – augmented reality (overlaying the real and the digital world) and Game based learning. Four to five years to adoption sees gesture based computing and learning analytics

http://www.ohgizmo.com/2011/04/21/shelvar-augmented-reality-app-automatically-sorts-library-shelves-will-librarians-ever-catch-a-break/

http://www.pcworld.com/article/157231/minority_report_style_gesturebased_interfaces.html

And some other things to be thinking about….

What you have missed in education discussions if you were not on Twitter
http://bigthink.com/ideas/38698

Leveraging Social networking in the classroom

http://www.educause.edu/blog/kwalsh1/7ReasonsToLeverageSocialNetwor/230035

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