International World Teachers’ day was October 5th and Unesco put out an interesting compilation of speeches urging the world to invest in its teachers. I have chosen the motivational video I found because teachers are all heart and I wish all my colleagues a Happy World Teachers’ Day. In South Australia we are celebrating it today.
It was an interesting exercise to look at the teacher quotes and decide which one represented me. In the end, I decided on this one from Confucius because I have never thought that as a teacher I am telling my students all there is to know. I am sharing what I know with them so that they can add to what I have offered them and make it grow from their own perspective. BestTeacherQuotes has a selection of printable quotes which you can use for your own purposes. Which one is you?
The other day I was writing about using my TEL7J tablet in the kitchen because it is not an expensive gadget and it’s durable. I was suggesting we could have a purpose built gadget for the kitchen – splash proof, basic, durable but web enabled. I know what the interface should look like now and I have put up the mock-up left. It needs to be tiled and preferably each tile should operate independently from within that tile, but I’d also like to be able to shift from small to full screen if necessary. I want the web to check sites just for general browsing but also to access YouTube cooking videos and also recipe sites. Infact YouTube could be one of the tiles. Everyone would have different interests. Some people might prefer to access music and sport as they cook. There could even be a news tiles. I guess you should have a bank of tiles to choose from and that the number of tiles could be changed. I always want to know the time and weather and then it’s nice to keep up with Twitter and Facebook. The last tile I’d like is one for images. A scrolling tile for that one so I can have the interest of images changing. It would be great to be able to wall mount this touch screen dream gadget so it is out of the way but easily accessed in front of me. I could use a gadget like this in my classroom. It would have the school daily notices, news services, Google maps, deadline reminders for the week, aitsl and acara. Why not? The teacher toolkit on the wall on a simple , fuss-free interface on a simple, fuss-free gadget. Maybe, by next Christmas!
That’s what I like! being spoiled for choice. I already have a quite a few choices in how I can and do present material because it is what I have worked on over the last 2 years in particular. It means my students have those choices too. Now, it has just become so much more exciting! A chance to really broaden our presentation scope and to have a real opportunity to choose the right software/tool for the job. This afternoon I downloaded the free Haiku Deck app onto my iPad. I nearly didn’t because I thought it was something for Japanese and then I did because I am trying to learn a bit of Japanese. I realised the word deck was being used to mean slide set ( as in deck of slide cards ) and have duly noted a linguistic change I need to make. The Haiku Deck presentation app is really very good if you want to put together something quickly but you want it to look effective. I just did the one they guide you through and I really appreciated that aspect of the process. They were showing me how to use their software in a really good way. I can make better presentations than the one I made – but supposing I just had my iPad and I wanted to do something quickly and easily? I liked how it allowed me to change themes and find some great images and charts. I could then put it up on the web using my Twitter account and so I had a spot to find my presentation on the web .Now I can access it from my desktop. That easy. I also tweeted about it so I could find the link to my Haiku Deck presentation! I found out about this presentation tool on the Technology Tools for Teachers . If you go to this link you will find a whole list of presentation options for different devices and venues. I know a lot of them but I plan to try the ones I am not familiar with.
Teachers need to use Twitter. It means you can have regular input from like minded people and from people who are involved in all sorts of areas. It broadens your knowledge and your thinking. I have access to a constant stream of professional input from all sorts of sources. New ideas, trends and processes come my way on a regular basis. I can use my own areas of expertise and knowledge to share ideas with others but I can help them too. A problem shared is a problem halved and people often go on Twitter to get technology help. I tweet my issues with devices and software and the same goes for others. An annoying block or difficulty can be quickly resolved – like my Samsung Galaxy Express stopping my Windows 7 laptop from accessing wifi. I just tweeted it. The fix was there by the next day. It means we are constantly helping and supporting each other but we are growing ideas and sharing inspiration too. It keeps you buoyant. You are never hunting for ideas nor blocked because you can’t think what to do. Another real advantage is you can combine with others to cover the content of meetings and conferences. This means that content is preserved so it can be utilised elsewhere in the real or virtual world. They are not separate. They run concurrently and what you do in the virtual world can be of real help in the real world. Twitter facilitates all of that integration of the real and virtual worlds and so takes away the burden of trying to battle it out alone in the classroom day in day out. Teaching can extend into virtual world and make some valuable, viable connections and impact. Those then can be used to grow your real world.
I have just downloaded the free version of Triptico onto my MacBook and it appears to offer a great deal so that I can really get an idea about how this works on my whiteboard. It does look like the sort of thing which teachers and students would enjoy using to make the content more appealing to create, deliver and absorb. Teachers will learn by using the numerous options for creating learning materials. They are all active learning approaches with an interactive edge. I like the sounds, the layout, the fact I can change the layout and the fact I can see already that I could use this to customise materials for my students. I like the timer and the random student picker. It is obvious these learning activities have been built by a teacher. They will not create everything you need but it is clear from the free version that it will make better and more interesting use of the whiteboard you probably have in your classroom.The other advantage it had is that you can obtain a networked version. I won’t have a lot of time to engage with this right now but I plan to look at it over the rest of the year so I can come back to the new year 2014 with some interesting whiteboard activities for my students.
UNESCO has created an interactive infographic so you can see exactly how many teachers are needed where so that every child can benefit from a teacher. UNESCO’s global action week was in April.The campaign would have to be ongoing to get 6.8 million teachers into classrooms.