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

TeachThought

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 BeFunky.com

I know you have been checking your Facebook settings on a regular basis because I keep telling you to.

hongiat.com 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 hongiat.com , 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.