Finally! 21st century classrooms!

classroom technology Finally! Finally you can see and feel the difference. We are moving into the next phase of classroom teaching – the multimodal, connected classroom. We have teachers connected on Twitter, Facebook and other online sites. Teachers can develop their PLN across their own country and the world and are starting to do that with their conferences and classrooms. Teachers are developing expertise in different technology areas  whether it be apps, online sites like Google Education, Apple Education, Microsoft Education or mastering software and content delivery in a way which now shows confidence and expertise. We have our professional organisations interacting with us online and emails which are far more content rich and dynamic so that we are all starting to work together as a profession which is better enabling our classrooms , our skills and our content. The more we connect and share , the more we’ll determine good processes and ideas for education. It’s not even halfway through our school year in Australia. We are doing well!! performance standardsTechnology is organising content in a way which reaches out to more students and we are learning that .We are also sharing it as a profession and it shows. We’ve discovered the pitfalls and the work arounds and so we are able to move forward again. We are meeting our national performance standards really well.

Take control of technology

technology People sometimes think I am clever because I can do so many things with technology and I do them easily. It has nothing to do with being clever. It is familiarity and practice. I do not want technology controlling my life so I control it. It’s lumps of plastic and connections; not what I’d call an inspiring leader. I have thought about it. What do I do ?

1.Be discerning about the media you use and consume
I don’t just look at anything and ready anything. I don’t just accept what the Net serves up as my daily diet for consumption and I don’t just do what is popular. I choose what I am going to do, read, watch, see and if I think something has gone too far or been too invasive, I take action. I don’t put up with the internet or technology. I use it for my own purposes.
2.Have daily routines with technology
In the morning my phone goes on and I go on Facebook. Facebook will tell me immediately anything I should know. My feed is designed to bring me interesting and informative information, colour and laughter. It also brings me instant news. In the evening I always look at Zite and Flipboard. I get some good articles to read. If I am not teaching , my phone is always on and with me. If I am teaching or driving my phone is somewhere else, locked up.
3.Move away from the device. Engage with the real world.
I turn technology off. I don’t worry if I missed a call or a message. I don’t have my computer or tablet on all day. I am connected first thing in the morning, during a school day but at home, the stuff goes off and I do other things. I have a lot of interests and there are things to do and people to see and a real world which I am in. Sitting all day is not good.
4.Be selective about what you will throw your heart and soul into
I decide what I want to get good at and what I want to be involved in. I don’t just do what people say is the thing to do or spend my time on with regard to technology. I am very bad at mobile phone calls but very good at texting. I love Facebook but have never been on Instagram and cannot as yet see the point. I have worked hard at learning how to make videos and voice recordings but my love is still making animated slide presentations.
5.Learn to focus and not be distracted
If I am using technology I don’t try to do other things. I don’t multitask and I don’t have running conversations. To be good at technology and to be able to get the best out of it, you need to focus. Which is why you need to get up and walk away and be with real people in the real world.
6.Get a good perspective
The internet is full of hype and loaded arguments. It is full of trends and mass media manipulation. I think for myself. I work things out. I get other information from elsewhere. I do not just accept and do. Facebook was a massive trend long before I got on there. When I encounter something new like that I check settings and sit and watch. I work out how something is impacting the world and people. How they are using it. How they are creating markets, thought bubbles, major paradigm shifts and also good impact. It is why you need to have real conversations with real people and live in the real world. You get a balanced perspective and you can talk things through.
7.Master something
Get good at keyboard skills, colour manipulations, making recordings, making a slide presentation. Get good at finding good YouTube clips about interesting things. Invest some time in mastering an aspect of technology you feel you are wobbly in and don’t worry about whether you are good at it or not. Just learn it a bit at a time.
8.Be connected
I am on Twitter several times a day. I am constantly fed information about news, views and perspectives and I follow people who will provide good insight and information. Ditto Facebook. My feed gives me lots of ideas and information and in a few minutes I am recharged and have ideas and ways of doing things. Trawling through stuff is not necessarily the best way to keep afloat. It is what you do when you want to get more and better information about something. It’s not a way of life.

Facebook -friend or foe?

2veritasium certainly has a lot to say that is worth considering and ought to be debated loudly and clearly. I know we live in an economy but does it always have to be about the money? I can’t say I feel thwarted or annoyed by the way Facebook is managing my feed because I get a lot of information from the sites I follow and I get plenty of updates from my Facebook friends and family. There is a tendency by Facebook to plonk something at the top of the feed because it assumes I want to know or comment. In that sense it does encourage and push commenting and liking. They have certainly made it easier to “like” on tablets and smartphones. They want people to interact. One thing I have said to other people is I believe Facebook is a good training ground for teaching you to look after your online information and presence. It changes frequently and doesn’t always tell you and so you develop the habit of checking the settings. If paid posts are going to be more highly featured I cannot see that working. People will just block them or find another work around. I block what I don’t want to see. 2veritasium says your feed will end up with like minded people and thoughts. Well, yes. I look upon Facebook as a place where I can go to catch up with people and find things out. It’s not where I want to be confronted and challenged because it operates too randomly and doesn’t take people and their needs into account when it allows that kind of interaction. Facebook has battled through a number of social issues to create a safer online space for people and that is how it should be. One of the people commenting under this video mentions that YouTube can be unpleasant because of the trolling which can go on under videos. Good point. Why go looking at videos and then have to suffer the unfiltered words of some random person from somewhere? The pages I follow on Facebook are sometimes places that I engage with as a customer. The side adverts on Facebook I look at but would follow them up online as 2veritasium suggests. It has been good to have contact with my colleagues on Facebook. Everyone has a different way of connecting and teachers are incredibly busy people. It is handy to send a Facebook message sometimes and easier than an email and I don’t always have a mobile number. I would have thought Facebook is about connectivity and if you want to make money from it , you do it naturally, as has been going on with the Facebook pages from businesses and organisations. It may be growing slowly but that sort of contact is growing . It’s interesting to think how we are using and seeing these high profile sites and then how a business model is trying to influence them. Thinking what this all means and then sharing ideas will inevitably lead to better approaches to meet needs but constantly looking at people just in terms of money is probably not going to work because essentially we prefer the sharing notion of these sites.

Turn off specific Facebook notifications

These notifications are driving me crazy! Sometimes, some people get a bit too enthusiastic and your Facebook notifications keep piling up, especially when it’s a post which attracts a lot of comments which Christmas posts often do. My way of dealing with it is to turn off the sound to notifications. . I can still see the notifications and then monitor if I have gone into notification overdrive. If I need to turn off the constant stream of other people ‘s comments coming in on a Facebook post then I do what the video explains very well. I turn off the notifications to that post. It can be done in the notifications area top right of Facebook page or on the actual post itself. Hover top right of the post and an arrow down appear where you have other options. One of them is to deactivate notifications. Once it settles down I put the Facebook notification sound back on. For me it’s not a big issue. Just a nuisance when I keep getting too many notifications! No-one should be that notified.

How to upload a picture onto Facebook

It is always easy when you know how. It is not always obvious when you don’t know how. I put any photos I want to load up onto Facebook onto my desktop first. This way I can just click on the desktop icon when I am in browse and then double click on the image. I don’t have to go hunting through folders. Phones and tablets are easier because you just use the share symbol and it will offer Facebook as an option.