E-learning wish list 8

iPadI still really haven’t worked out a 100% sure way of knowing every student is engaged properly on their laptop. I guess I have kept them very busy and changed my tactic so they have to report back on something they are doing or I walk around and help them as I go. They like to come to my desk though. I am pretty used to seeing a student get up and carefully bring their laptop to my desk after they have asked if I will help them. Sometimes it is so quiet but I am generally happy that if I set them absorbing work they like then they will so the right thing. So on with my next wish list.

1. iPads. I want iPads in my classroom. I have been really impressed with how the one I have borrowed has gone to work and made a difference. One iPad can do a lot of work in a classroom. For the class which has no iPads I’d like to have enough so that the class could use them. I have learned how each level has used them and my year 8s would really like to use them to help them do the work I have set and we are doing. They just want to browse the apps. These are Netizens. In my other classes about 5 iPads would be good so the students could do some intensive work on their French. They love the apps and using them to get better at their French. I have also noticed the iPads are good for advancing bright students and helping students who are having difficulties. iPads are very adaptable.
2. Media server. Ever since I saw the programme on media servers I want the school to have one. I want to be able to go to a wall /screen of icons and select the videos, e-text books or files I want to use. If it were developed properly, the whole state, the whole country, the whole world could have icons to choose from which would enable access to hundreds of suitable classroom videos, slide presentations, assignments. No more borrowing . Just like a massive media library for education. Smart TVs are starting to get it, education needs to. Saves paper.
3. Recording booths. I so need recording booths which would buffer sound and enable a private space for recording voice or video.
4. Teachers who can connect with non attenders and reluctant attenders online. We need to be looking at developing a virtual school arrangement so that all students are at school. I hear Los Angeles has a virtual school . I am thinking less of an online school but more of a virtual school with avatars and classes for students who cannot seem to get to a real time school for whatever reason. Bit like our school of the air but a school of the internet!
5. Massive clear out and recycling effort. Get rid of all the old technology. Get rid of all the old papers and books. Get rid of the folders and things we were using which we no longer need. A massive spring clean. I am certain we’d have more space, cleaner work areas and better air!

E-learning wishlist 7

E-Learning Wishlist 7

pictures of my wishlistMy last e-learning wish list is here. I still don’t have an easy way of clipping sound files. Not one that I am happy with. My MacBook screen hasn’t grown but I have made inroads with screencasts, teachers are starting to get on the Net in a big and powerful way and that is heartening. So on with my wish list:

1. I have found by following Shelley Terrell’s #30 Goals and then setting my own from the TeFL framework that this is a good way to challenge and enthuse teachers. So I’d like to see internet challenges as a normal part of professional development.
2.When I analysed my Professional Learning NetWork I realised that the network which supports me as a teacher is large and complex. We need to give a more formal status to these professional and personal learning networks because it is how we sustain teachers and help them to make inroads into technology.
3. I’d like to see every teacher have and be a technology mentor. If we create the links we shall create the web which supports future development.
4. I want a quick way of monitoring what students are doing on their laptops so I can spot check. Most students are 100% trustworthy. I’d like to be able to know the ones who are not because they are letting the team down and it is just encouraging behaviour which then becomes ingrained which they then pursue at work or in tertiary institutions. We need a way to remind people a laptop is not yet another licence to do as you please if you can get away with it.
5. I want to get past the email, flash drive, paper options of handing in work. I want it all in one place which is safe and I don’t want to use paper. I want to get past paper and pens.

E-learning Wishlist 6

Last time I had a wishlist I was looking at how I could easily change my current classroom into a better e-learning space for very little financial outlay. I doubt it will happen because the school has major commitments to large structural changes and updating which means the small, inexpensive things will be shelved because that is how it is. I can live in hope on that one and it made me happy to think current learning spaces wouldn’t need much to change to more viable e-learning spaces. Try as I might , I cannot get a stable VGA connection to my whiteboard. You only have to brush it and then you get a coloured screen – green , red, yellow. The kids like it and the techies and I have tried hard to stabilise that connection. HDMI would be better I am sure. I am very happy with the remote control of my Mac to the whiteboard through my iPod Touch. All of that has been very impressive and not very hard to do. It is something which gives me more flexibility and really impresses my students. I am able to keep well in touch with the new developments by running this blog and then using the right searches on Twitter so that has really come along and the last thing I wished for was to have my dataview moved down so I could service it myself and take some work away form the technicians. Probably no hope on that one. So what am I wishing for now?

1. A Mac laptop with a bigger screen. The white MacBook is cute and a good size but I find I get eye strain. Enlarging things mean I scroll around and that is inconvenient. No amount of wearing glasses has helped. I just want a bigger laptop screen.

2. I am still looking for a suitable programme to do desktop screencasts for tutorials. I just can’t find the one which suits me that I can use and it will run audio and sound as well. I don’t want to do the bits separately.

3. Solid internet connections which never run out! I always have plan B but faffing around isn’t how you develop the new learning environments and approaches.

4. An easy way of clipping audio or sound. I mean easy. I want to start, press a button, play and then press a button to stop it.

5. Teachers to get on the Net – on Twitter, blogging, on teacher community sites. It will strengthen , broaden and deepen the knowledge pool. It will keep us all in sync.

E-Learning Wishlist 4

I like blogging my wishlists since it seems to make them come true. Since I started this blog , most of what I have wanted and wished for has indeed become reality. I have good access to image and music resources now, I have located a lot of cross platform resources, my students now have their laptops, I have technical support in a real and virtual capacity, I get plenty of feed back and I have found since my students have their laptops they have been very good at sharing helpful and constructive feedback. They even clapped one of my Producer LMS packages which was really touching. It meant they understood how hard I had tried to produce something they could learn from. It also meant they are now not frightened to try out their own ideas and push the boundaries in learning. My e-learning wishlist 3 is here, so onto my fourth one.

1. I think HDMI connections on whiteboards would be better but our MacBooks don’t have HDMI connections nor do some of our whiteboards. It is a more stable connection and the jacks are more stable . VGA produces a grainy picture and the leads keep walking off. Maybe we need to just have our own VGA cable.
2. We are talking about safe sites and there is a slow move to an awareness we need rock solid , bona fide online interaction. The regulation needs to be identical to real life expectations.
3. Teachers are sharing their knowledge and experiences so more opportunities need to arise where teachers share technology – just using it , ideas for class use and trouble shooting. It is happening naturally so it needs to be encouraged.
4. I want a remote slide controller!
5. I want my dataviewer where I can look after it . It’s a job I can do but it’s on the ceiling!
6. Spare power cords for laptop charging. There is a student every lesson whose battery is running down.
7. Someone to show me how to keep my Apple tidy. I am very neat on Ubuntu, super neat on Windows but my Apple Mac is like a dog’s breakfast.

E-learning Wishlist 2

This is what my brain looked like when I was gathering thoughts on my e-learning wishlist. Here is the post about my wishlist in a much more sensible form! So I need to review and update it and I am really happy because I have achieved a lot of these things. I can easily and freely access banks of images now but I still haven’t found a good source of music files I can freely use. The music industry is very particular about what is used where and given it’s their income, rightly so. Music makes such a difference though when you are presenting material. Students really respond to it. By creating my locally published websites which I have written about in the posts iWeb for best PIM and Improved Organisation with Web Pages I have solved the problem of rallying my resources and materials in one spot. Unresolved from that is easy electronic interaction with students. I have located a number of cross platform applications and they seem to be popping up more often. The reliability of internet access is not in my hands but in very capable hands. I still have concerns about how much time it takes to prepare and organise e-learning materials. There is an assumption that computers make it better, but not until you have mustered and mastered resources. I have worked out the best storage and filing system is a portable drive and when they get their cloud act together, and that is not too far off, that will help considerably. I am also happy with the amount of resources I can locate to help me and help others. I think globally we are working better together to produce decent pathways through the e-learning adventure. I have found Twitter invaluable in being able to keep up to date with new trends and ideas so the Web 2.0 approach is ensuring we can support and inform each other.

So my second wishlist looks like this and is half the size! Self directed, independent learning works!

1. a bank of music I can freely access.
2. easy electronic interaction with students
3. allocated time to be able to locate and produce good quality e-learning material
4. drag and drop composition of pages for very easy website management
5. Bona fide, verified and child safe guaranteed online learning sites where others interact live with students. I currently have no way of guaranteeing and ensuring these sites are safe.

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