Clean and restore a whiteboard

whiteboard cleaning It took a teacher, didn’t it? At last, an intelligent and sensible use of those animated gifs which have been plaguing the net recently – because they can. They are rarely inserted with  thought and purpose and the whole visual loop thing is hardly ever used to add to and enhance content. This is a wiki about how to clean your whiteboard. It is not only helpful and practical, it shows you clearly how to do it by using gif files. How did I come across this information? On my Facebook feed. One of the good uses of Facebook is you can sign up to pages which will add interesting information to the feed. I’ve signed up to the Teaching Ideas Facebook page and it always has something practical. I had chosen that particular whiteboard cleaning post because it used animated gifs  well but also because it used WD40. I use WD40 for everything but had not thought to use it to clean and restore a whiteboard. There are  5 other whiteboard cleaning options here.

Pushy Push Technology


TeachThoughtLet’s start with the opposite. Pull technology is when you go out on the Net looking for things. You perform searches or you look for information on a site. You are pulling that information towards you and using it. Push technology is when it is driven at you. It might be software that has pop up screens to tell you about new information. It might be apps which are telling you they have updates or new items for you , like if you subscribe to particular magazines or books on your tablet. It could be news information from a news site you have an app for. It can also come up in your Facebook feed if you “like” particular pages. Part of the problem with my new phone was inappropriate use of push technology. Things were coming at me on the screen and it was a matter of going through settings and software to stop this unsolicited and unwarranted use of push technology. Pushing you to go here, pushing you to update when you are not ready, pushing you to go there and pushing you to do what you are not inclined to do at that moment in time. It can also be presumption. My Facebook feed sometimes has push notifications from sites where I have not clicked the “like” button or I have not asked for notifications. The fix I have found is to block that notification. I don’t block the whole company/organisation or report as spam. I would if it happened too often. Once you have blocked that message, then Facebook understands you are not interested and won’t bother with any push notifications for  quite a while. They try it on a bit. They think they can guess what you might be interested in. No. They have no idea. On my iPad I enable the push notifications for the apps I install. It keeps them up to date and it keeps me up to date because they are usually apps with information. It also updates me on Twitter activity and Facebook statuses. That kind of push notification saves me having to go to the apps , start them and then find out what is new. It’s a time saver. I also have my phone set up now so it will send me push notifications about some things when I am on wifi. Sometimes you have to go to the settings in the software or app itself to turn these notifications off. Tablets make that easy by having the apps in the settings so you can check them. On a computer you have to go to the settings or preferences of the software. Mostly push notification is good and I get worthwhile notifications like the one left where  Teach Thought came up with the Oaths for iPads notification on my Facebook feed. When sites and software do not easily offer you the opt in/opt out option for push notifications it then becomes harassment and that never works because it gets people flustered and offside. There’s a fine line between push and pushy.

Teach your children about Facebook

Kids, don’t share too much online

This Facebook page highlights the dangers of children being online and not prepared for it. In the real world adults generally teach children about how to conduct themselves to keep themselves safe. We need more conversations about how children can keep themselves safe online. We even need a decent global conversation about whether children should be on open social media at all at a young age. They can join Facebook at 13 but as the young girl says in the video , she just copied what her older sister did. We can also see that children understand the implications of the real world better than the cyber world. An understanding of cyber reality is not going to happen without education. The comments under the video are worth reading since they contain so much common sense. I don’t have school age children and have often wondered how I would manage this. At the time , computing was always done in the lounge. It was a social activity where we could share and learn. There wasn’t a mobile phone which had a capacity to connect to the internet and download images. It was just for texts and calls. It isn’t quite so easy these days so the best line of defence is open , honest conversations and education. When I was explaining the personal capabilities for ACARA to my Year 8 students Facebook came up because the personal capabilities include looking after yourself. We quickly looked at easy things to do to help and they were pleased to have some input. In many ways the world is letting children down because they have the choice of no social media or being thrown in the deep end and to the wolves, perhaps. They manage it in the way they think fit and that might not be based on sound judgement. We can give them that and we can also help them by creating safe online sites to practise social media skills without being at risk. Like anything else in growing up, it ought to be a well thought out, gradual process . We have isolated the issues, the problems, the pitfalls – why don’t we make some changes and create safe areas for younger people to learn? The debate about whether 13 is too young for Facebook needs to continue and we need to consider the options. It’s a teachable moment crying out for some decent resources. This video is about 4 years old. Have we moved on from where it is ?

Get your Facebook together

Facebook Image : my image via

I know you have been checking your Facebook settings on a regular basis because I keep telling you to. will take you to a higher level and put you right in control of your Facebook. It’s a tool which can be used to support you and your life. When you see the tips and tricks they offer at , you may well subscribe to their news feed, but you will also understand there are plenty of really useful and helpful things you can do with Facebook. It’s not just faffing.

Facebook Likes Profiling

Facebook likes profile We are being profiled on the internet, you know that. The more you enable Location, the more you forget to check your settings, the more information you are offering. We are profiled in the real world too but to a lesser extent. You are the one who has to take control of your profiling as much as you can and as much as you want to. I’ll let you go over to the post You are what you like   at makeuseof so you can read the details yourself. . I subscribe to their email so I get a great deal of useful information and this is something they have explained very well. I then did the one click personality test. Please do not forget to log out after you have your assessment. Mine is pretty accurate given my Facebook isn’t the whole of me and just what I choose to share on Facebook. Some will laugh at the shy and reserved since they are not qualities I am noted for and yet, they are a part of me. Don’t think there will be any disputes over the emotional given I am Pisces.

My online professional network

online professional network At the end of March last year I blogged about my Professional Network and was surprised with how complex it was now since I had branched out into being a connected teacher. I am lucky to have so much valuable input both inline, online and offline!! I had been thinking about how this had changed so I  looked at that presentation again. As I reviewed my online professional network I became aware of how much that had changed in a year. My blogs constantly force me to think about what I am doing professionally. To keep blogging, though, I have to have input and that often comes from my online connections, either because I want to share or because I want to follow something up. My Facebook feed now has a number of pages which keep me on the ball professionally. This is also the role Tweet Deck fills. TweetDeck runs my Twitter feed but as TweetDeck you can customise it to run one or more hashtags so you can get up to date information, participate in discussions or simply look for trends and ideas. The TweetDeck timeline also has random input from people other than those I follow. Initially I did not like that change but now feel that it sometimes offers a new look at things from other perspectives and does so out of the blue, so there is a fun aspect to it. Pinterest has also become very quickly one of the corner stones of my online professional development. I can share and gather resources, I can look up theory and practice. It is a rich resource. SlideShare is a community I have long valued since it has improved my presentation skills,  allows me to connect with other tertiary educated people, has a wealth of knowledge to access and provides some good challenges and encouragement. I ought to be able to include LinkedIn but I am finding it difficult to get traction. One of the reasons is you need to have email addresses to connect so if I don’t know them I cannot send out the emails and I am not paying for Inboxing on a site which has, as yet, to prove its worth in my life. Other communities I belong to are easier to connect with and develop in a strong way. In this last year I have also made good use of my iPad apps. There are a number which bring me good information or help me to think things out. The iPad has a solid place in my professional life. It makes it very easy to engage with what I want to engage with or it brings me material to consider which I might not otherwise see. This is often courtesy of TeacherCast or FlipBoard. It is quite remarkable how quickly online communities and resources have contributed to my knowledge and development .If it can change this much in a year I am certainly looking forward to the next level of learning.

Are you logged out?


Check you are logged out

One of the unpleasant sides of human nature, it would appear, is if they find your account of any description is not logged out then they will go in and wreck it in one way or another. Friends and family seem to do this to others particularly on Facebook. My way of looking at it is to translate that behaviour into a REAL life situation. If you visited a friend or family member and their front door were unlocked and left open, what would you do? Would you go in and graffiti? Change their furniture? Write on their walls? Would you shut the door , secure it and let them know? If you find someone has forgotten to log themselves out – LOG THEM OUT. It’s about respect. It is particularly difficult if you are away or if you cannot easily go to where you logged into Facebook. Mobile people will be logging into Facebook on other computers. It’s back to CHECK YOUR SETTINGS. You go to settings top right, then privacy, account security and then click on account activity. Facebook will give you a list of computers which you are logged into or have been logged into. Next to each of them is an edit option. You can shut down any open sessions. This can be done on a mobile phone or tablet if you need to. You can always access your settings. It is also good to set Facebook to the secure settings and if you do have to use alternate devices and computers often to also activate the notifications of devices and Facebook will send you a message if you are logged into a computer/device you do not normally use. People need to be reminded that these options exist. You can protect yourself.

Get your Facebook settings out


Image: GitHub

The world is active and a-twitter with the new Facebook graph search. It is probably a major marketing push but its implications need to be understood. Facebook’s explanation of the Facebook Graph Search in beta is here. CNET has had a good look at the beta version and has recorded its first impressions here. It’s another tool which you can use and tends to make Facebook more like Twitter and Google. Those are both searchable for content. Facebook will be too. It might be useful to find local restaurants or events. It might be handy to find teachers in your area. Like anything else it can be used for good purposes or bad and when it is rolled out it will become clearer how it will be used. Someone could search for photos of Sydney and yours might come up. They should not be using them without your permission but I am not sure how that will work other than to be thorough with your settings. It might mean people will want to reinvent their Facebook page and image but what you have uploaded will be there even if you delete it so it is not on your page. It’s a learning curve. We have been playing with social media for a while and we can see the advantages and the disadvantages. It is important to CHECK YOUR SETTINGS. Go to the settings on a regular basis. Use the option of looking at your page from someone else’s point of view. Search for your content on Google and other search engines. If you do not like what you see then change your privacy settings. It is probably also important to remember to ask others before you put their images up on your page and whether they want to be tagged or not. We are growing into the next phase. We have built a lot of online content . I think the idea now is to make it useful and useable. If you do not like what is happening then you have to find the avenues to address the issues. I noticed that WordPress had a rating for its Gravatars when I changed mine. I see this as responsible site ownership. I believe we should rate the visual content online so that schools and parents can make appropriate choices. I am just wondering how that search function on Facebook will work in terms of child protection and viewing suitability of images for school age students. We’ll see.

Facebook feed playing up?

Facebook feed Fed up with your feed on Facebook having a life of its own? Need to take a bit of control because things are there that you don’t want? Facebook has changed the feed because it is monetizing business pages. If you subscribe to a page there is something you can do to ensure it stays in your feed. Go to the page, hover over the LIKE button and click on SHOW IN FEED. You can also click the one above to get notifications. The reverse is true for pages you do not want to see. So, click the top two to ensure you get the information you had planned to get. Facebook friendsWith regard to friends you can hover over their avatar. You will get a little window where you can check the SHOW IN FEED. If you click on the settings underneath, you can pick and choose what you want shown in that feed from that friend. You may or may not want to see their pictures, you may or may not want to see their statuses etc etc. You choose what you want. Facebook can be a bit annoying because it will just change things. Always check settings and always play the hover game.