February 15

Week 2 Adobe T4T part 2 wrap up

The second part of Professional Design Development looked at best practices in Technology training which included:

1. Session Framework:

Making sure in the beginning you outline clear objectives and how you will achieve them.

Middle: referring back to questions asked or looked at in the beginning section

and the End, where you go over how the areas you aimed to cover were in fact covered.

2. Sequence of information

  • Demonstrate product’s real world application
  • show model student work or final product
  • orient to the user interface – introduce what the pallettes and toolbars look like
  • explore specific functionalities
3. Allow participants to create meaning from experience
minimise direct instruction less than 1/4 should be direct instruction
show how, then let them go on a larger task. you be the guide on the side, they take ownership of learning
circulate the room, guide and answer questions, work with each other
4. Encourage exploration and creativity
– encourage them to explore
– let them know there are no mistakes
– encourage to be creative
– encourage discussion, sharing of ideas and tips, tools and strategies

eLearning discussion:

I have been using Jing and Explain Everything to create learning tools for my students… and also just using the cameras on their phones or iPads to get them to create videos to show what they know or have learned.Jing is a capture application, which hangs around on the computer and when I see something I want to capture as video or image, I just grab the sun (the icon) and go. It’s always there, so I don’t have to open anything. I screen capture sections and images, which can then be put together to create learning objects to show steps. It can voice record as well.
Explain Everything I use to do just that. Often by screen capturing and then talking and highlighting I can take viewers through how to use a specific tool. Love this app as it uploads straight to YouTube, or you can save to the camera roll and upload to LMS or email to a class. I also get my students to use this to show me what they have learned about a specific topic…

Week 2 Assignment:

This week we downloaded the Acrobat template to fill in for the pre-planning phase of our major assignment task. This outlined who the PD plan would be developed for, the learning objectives and how we would include best practice approaches for adult learners and technology training.

My PD plan is for a session I will be giving (hopefully) at the DATTA Vic conference in May. I am looking at developing a session to help design and technology teachers develop learning tools to assist them to flip their classrooms. I will be using Photoshop Elements and Premiere Elements, as these are readily available as a part of Department of Ed’s software package for government schools.

Hoping it will all fall into place.

January 30

Not all Web 2.0 creation sites are the same

Whether you want to create a blog, a podcast, a website, etc there are a plethora of sites which are free and enable you to create the web content (Web 2.0 makes us all creators as opposed to passive readers of content on the web.) Which site or app you choose to create your content with comes down to a few things:

1. What you want your content to be able to do, simple or all the bells and whistles
2. How much control over the advertising you have, can you ask for no advertising?
3. Is it to promote a school event/class. Will viewers or posts involve people under 13?
4. Is it to promote a school?
5. Will your “brand” be affected by advertising content? Starting to get to the nitty gritty now….

The majority of free options will give you the basics, however, they need to make their money somehow, and so there will be advertising, or watermarks which will appear on your content unless you pay or upgrade to have them removed.
You may be happy with this, after all, they are providing you a great service, you don’t have to worry about the coding and so on, and if you are using the content for personal use, where you and your friends who will view it are all over 13 the ads may be annoying, but not too much of an issue. It does become an issue when you have inappropriate or annoying advertisements when you are trying to sell your brand or service. How do you get around this? AND keep it free?
Many sites will offer education versions, some of these are great, offer all the same functions of the higher end versions, but with added security and level of privacy, really great for primary kids

Website creation:
Wix
Weebly
Google Sites

Blogs
Wordpress
Edublogs (also under the WordPress umbrella, campus edition with an education focus)
Global2 (another campus edition of WordPress, you have to be at a Victorian government school… although they will open up to most schools with discussion)
Blogger (Google)

Wikis
Wikispaces
PBworks
Wetpaint

Podcast
Podomatic
Apple/iTunes
Audacity
YouTube

These are just some of the many content creation sites available…. it is worth your while checking out which will best suit your purpose!

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

August 28

Creating your Digital Footprint

This week’s thoughts come from the concerns raised by a staff member when exploring the Redback Project (getting started using Web 2.0 tools), and starting to have to put information online.
“How much is safe?”
“Who will see what I post?”
“I don’t want to share so much of myself with the whole world”.

Try Googling your name – what do you come up with? I used to just get me, but now there is some person in Tennessee on Facebook with my name… hmmmmmm, however, if I Google “Starnott” I get mostly my own posted stuff – in fact the first 4 pages, and only one random one on page 5 – I did come across stuff I had forgotten doing, which was helpful.

Check out the sorts of information you may already be sharing Your Digital Footprint

How much is enough?, and will you be opening yourself up for identity theft? are very real issues which one should consider when venturing into the online world. The amount of information about you is called a digital footprint. How large you make this footprint is entirely up to you, as is the type of information you share and with whom you share it. The bottom line is no matter what level of information you share you need to be comfortable with it, never divulge more than that, and there are the obvious don’ts such as home address, phone number, credit card, license number etc. I will take you through a few points which should, hopefully, help you to make a positive digital footprint, while maintaining your security.

Creating a generic email.
When signing up for blogs, wikis, Nings and other Web 2.0 “stuff” you will be required to give a username and an email. Although it may at first appear easier to use the one email for everything, it is a good idea to keep your work or home ISP email separate and create a new web based email account for your web2.0 journey. I have always done this, just to provide some anonymity when I add my email address to various sites, as both my work and home email accounts include my fullname. You can easily create a web based email account using Google, Yahoo, Hotmail, or a host of others.
My preferred one is Google’s Gmail because of the power of the linked accounts at your fingertips.

Creating an online identity
This can be as much of you or as little of you as you care to share. I have, for most of my online eLearning sites, given myself the online name “starnott”. I know others who have used their whole name, some just a first name and others a made up name entirely. To start building your digital footprint try to use the same name, and this will become a presence you can find. A Twitter friend who uses his whole name also uses that to tag anything he posts online, so all of his information becomes linked to him, and if he has posted something online which he wants to access, and can’t remember where it was posted, a quick Google search will usually turn it up.
You can link your online name/identity with your web mail by using the same name for both.
When filling in your name on random sites I tend to play it by ear a bit, depending on the “quality/reliability” of the site I may use my real name – such as on iTunes, but for the most part I just put a letter, or a couple of letters. Date of birth is the same… you can go a year or so either way, in most cases it is just to check you are either over 13 – laws in the US state children under this age are not permitted to give certain information to web sites, or hold accounts – COPPA – or over 18
No one is going to know if you shed a couple of years, making you… 30 instead of 52…hehehe, again, just think about who may use the information, and why, as to how honest you want to be.
I wasn’t sure about Twitter when I first joined up, and chose a different name, however, I do share my blog updates and information through it, so many of my followers know “who” i am.

Passwords
Clearly these should be kept safe and private – I have a little black (well green) book where I keep all of my passwords and login details for different accounts, which is not kept anywhere near my computers. Handy for those random sites I know I have joined and can’t remember the password I may have used.

These are just some of the ways you can safely create and develop your digital footprint. If you have thoughts or other ideas, please feel free to add your comments.

We do need to think about safety, even as adults, and be aware of the information we post online to create a positive digital footprint, as well as staying safe

I hope this helps you on your journey.

June 28

End of term two…. update

Well….. another term bites the dust…. I haven’t heard anything from the people running the TPL as to where we should be at and how and why…. ahhh welll we carry on regardless….

This is the first time I have been able to log in from work for ages…. and I still can’t access the wikispaces site :(. That area should really be jumping… but by the time I get home I don’t have the energy to add anything to it….. jumping online over the holidays. I will have to hassle Trev and Sue to get some of what they have done onto it… as it is creating a great resource.

Moodle is really working well, there are many courses now being offered with a Moodle component, from Art to Humanities and Science, as well as the ICT based ones.

I have also explored some of the Cybernetrix stuff http://www.cybernetrix.com.au/ with my Web Design Group, and they loved it, and I think they even learned from it. It is a government site which gets students to play some online games (shhhh don’t tell anyone) and run through some online and mobile technology scenarios where they have to make decisions. We had a discussion forum set up to discuss aspects of online safety and ethics.

I participated in an online conference through Australian Flexible Learning while I was home sick, which was awesome…. covered some great ideas for ways of using elearning, including the use of Virtual worlds such as second life. That may be a bit beyond our scope at secondary level, and would need a lot more research, but a very cool idea.

Working with my Multimedia kids we explored some ways to create podcasts and vodcasts, and I am working through how to create them using Photostory… a great little piece of software. Camstudio also works well, but I keep making the files too big. The Photostory program lets you create media suitable for “SmartPhones” which leads me to my next thought about harnessing the hardware technology the kids have in their pockets to assist their learning. I know my Multimedia kids all had phones that could play the software, and are excited about making some stuff suitable to go on for viewing.

WEB 2.0 I am loving the flexibility of the tools… however, being hamstrung through lack of access, as many are blocked like flikr and youtube… which I can understand…. but it would be reat to be able to use some more…. I have been using iGoogle for my planning, but can’t access it from school…. however, I can access my protopage one – I was sorta hoping to just have one resource…

I also checked out motionbox, which is a new video posting kid on the block….and you can upload straight from your phone… and it’s o new it’s not blocked…. yet …LOL

Ohhh I also did a great little TXT project with my web design kids… they had fun and it was interesting to see the range of use of that form of language.

Next term I am working with two Year 9 Digital Art groups… I hope we can use some of the mobile technology, I will take some ideas from the yellow arrow project. I would envisage using photostory to create some portable web galleries of their work, that they can add to their phones or websites.

I hope to be able to post some links to some of the trials I am coming up with, particularly the fractal art gallery…. but that may have to wait til the holidays….

phew