This is how you do it!

ooa rev's art oo rev’s LifeArt is a wonderful example of how you put together a blog and then link it to your other sites on the internet so that you offer a full and rich media experience for people. This person obviously has talent and the blog focuses on the exploration and showcasing of their art skills. From the blog you can then go to ooAmerica and follow the road trip. The author of these sites integrates art, written posts, videos and images to create an environment which educates and informs. It is very 2012 and an excellent example of how you can take content and drive it through the internet and create some really good meaning for others. It is a comprehensive use of talents and skills. It uses both visual and linguistic literacy skills which encompass so many of our curriculum areas. Showing this to students would enable them to see just how much is possible and how our world is changing for the better in its communication strategies . The author then directs you to links to Facebook and Twitter to complete your experience but it also ensures them a wide and varied audience. This in turn makes sure the author gets some good feedback to grow on. I love the educational possibilities of this approach.

Social Media really are here to stay

facebook Social media are not going to go away. They are a part of our lives as cars, boats, planes, trains and washing machines are. Social media are becoming more and more important in shaping our world and like transport there are some considerable impacts to come to terms with. Jeff Bullas site looks at them from a marketing point of view but in lots of ways that is what educators need to do. We need to understand social media and how they operate so that we can provide an educative approach and look at how we can use them for ourselves and ensure our students are able to use social media to their benefit. Jeff Bullas is living proof of what you can do with social media but he is also very easy to read and learn from. This particular post has a lots of really good infographics on social media and what they now mean.

What do Digital Natives need?

Last year I started to make some inroads in getting a much clearer idea of what students who have been brought up on technology need. A computer is as normal to them as a pen and paper would be to older people. They are not print based. They are connected and everything moves and shifts all the time. In the end I connected it to Bloom’s Digital Taxonomy and realised their world of connectivity is serving them well in term’s of Bloom’s. It warrants further exploration. What I need to do now is get some sound research on how 2012 students learn and look at it from a Bloom’s Taxonomy perspective. This is just a quick look.

Bloom’s Digital Taxonomy

bloom's digital taxonomyWhen applying Bloom’s Taxonomy in a technology setting it is good to have an idea of what that looks like. Educational-origami is a wiki space which has already done a lot of thinking along those lines and some of the resources have been translated into Spanish. We are revisiting the new Bloom’s Taxonomy this year at school and need to make it a focus so I am thinking that looking at the digital application of it would be a worthwhile pursuit. The thing which appealed to me the most is the digital technology summary map. It looks at the taxonomy and then applies it in a practical way to the technology possibilities which we could then consider for classroom use. My own personal mission, I think, will be to see how many of those communication skills I can achieve with my students this year. Technology is about communication and the more far reaching and profound the communication the better our local and global connections and collaboration will be. This wiki has a list of global visitors on the side so when you are there looking at it , take note of how many people from how many places have been using this site to help support their classroom teaching and learning. There is so much more to this site than I have mentioned so please take a look for yourselves.

TeacherCast app keeps you fully informed

teachercastTeacherCast is a dynamic hub for teachers. You can find everything you want and need and more. It is lively, informed, interesting helpful and incredibly positive. It adds the coolness factor to education.We know it’s a cool job. Others don’t. TeacherCast has created a lively centre so that you can go there and get real information which will really help you because they know what a real classroom needs. I downloaded the app and can now access all that lovely stuff anywhere. You can access the site from your computer so don’t feel you are being left out. That’s the point. TeacherCast knows we all have our own way of being connected. I love it! It has heaps of resources, discussions, things to ponder, apps reviews…something for everyone. Why am I so excited? You normally get longwinded theories and explanations on teacher sites. You get policies, frameworks, guidelines. Page after page after page. I read it, I use it. I do what you do and take it all in and put it into practice. It’s just nice to have a lively place to go with a bit of a buzz which will make me look at what I am doing from a different perspective.

New Year start up – lean or not

start up Getting ready for my new school year is always a busy time with technology. I can tell this year I am better at mustering and creating resources than I was this time last year. The students will be back on the 30th so I still have time. Not sure if this is a lean start up or not. The “customer” feedback won’t come in until I get Twiducate up and running for the year. That will start in lesson one. My plan is simply this. I need the class and home group lists in electronic form. I need my curriculum guidelines. I need to muster my resources into folders but have back ups online so I and my students can access them . The first lessons are designed to get them up and running quickly with their language skills because they have just had a long summer holiday. This is where little videos and well prepared slide presentations play their part. They create instant attention and absorption of content and I can bring in the other elements of lessons from there. Part of my overall organisation has been to sort my files out on my computers and ensure my USB flash drives have the materials I need organised in a way where I can locate information quickly. So, what exactly have I been doing? I thought it would be good to keep track of how I am starting my year with technology:

1.Get class lists from SMS and put into Excel
2.Get TT from LMS and make an image
3.Set up to do app
4.Set up reminder app
5.Set up notes app
6.Look for YouTube videos, Vimeo and Daily Motion videos
7.Organise LiveBinders and think which other ones I can do.
8.Clean and charge MacBook
9.Change desktop and icons
10.Download TT template and then make a colourful version in Excel and save as Word file as well
11.Add term dates and Easter to tablet notes
12.Record phone nos and other numbers on tablet
13.Download and / or locate current curriculum guides and guidelines
14.Set up senior classes on Twiducate
15.Look for videos, images and complementary online texts for course units
16.Add comments in Word doc to a newspaper article to fast track the year 12 start up
17.Keep blogs up to date with useful materials
18.Back all resources up
19.Check emails
20.Make little videos and slide presentations to fast track content absorption

Nest your apps

nested apps

Create nested groups for apps

If you share an iPad or you have lots of apps then nested groups are the way to go. This way individuals can set up their own group of apps or you can group your apps into a category. So how do you do it?

1. Locate two similar apps like Italian cooking and French cooking.
2. Press on the icon of one of them until all your apps wiggle.
3. You will notice the apps have a black cross in the corner too.
4. If you press the back cross you will DELETE the app from your iPad (it’s still stored in iTunes and your back ups)
5. Hold your finger on the app icon and slide it on top of the other app.
6. It will disappear and your iPad will come up with a screen to suggest the name of your new group.
7. If you like the name keep it. If you don’t tap on it to get the keyboard and change the name of your group.
8. Tap the top screen to get rid of the group name screen.
9. You will now see your new group icon.
10. Move apps you want in your new group one at a time down onto your dock.
11. Now slide them up into your new group.
12. Repeat process for similar apps

You now can create another nested group. I have them for bookmarked apps, reading, productivity, reference , cooking and so on. Much easier!