SlideShare revisited

SlideShareSlideShare has partnered with LinkedIn or vice versa and has a whole new look. It suits the new device environments better and has a very good visual interface. I originally used SlideShare to improve my presentation skills and then to produce content for my class room. It was also a place where I could get ready made content for my classroom. Slide presentations are perfect for flipped learning, for IWB presentations and for sharing detailed and well thought out information which uses the essential notion of progressive disclosure. I had a student who would automatically create her own slide presentations from information I was teaching and then she had a beautiful visual record of what she was learning. There is now a clipboard section which I shall have to find out about because I have only just discovered through an email that SlideShare has been resurrected. We live in a visual world. We need well thought out presentations to guide us through and an easy platform for sharing our information. The feedback I got from the SlideShare community really helped me to improve how I presented my information and the success of some of my presentations both in the classroom and on SlideShare is proof that feedback works in a powerful way.

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Learning tiles

mon moi du futur With UX in mind I have just created a tiled approach to a topic which would run from an IWB. It’s a Powerpoint which you can download – mon moi du futur (my future me) – if you would like to. Phones, tablets and internet pages are currently often displayed as tiles so using that approach means students have a familiar interface and for me it means I have everything gathered in one place with hyperlinks and I can see quite clearly what I need to do and what I need to cover. I have videos, web site exercises, a blog, my key sentence to teach and an image to add interest and some extra practice. It is all authentic French. There is a song and grammar videos. Students could use the Powerpoint for flipped learning or going over the things they need to master. With technology it is a good idea to follow the layout patterns which are in use on devices and the internet. It does facilitate  learning  but having set a topic up this way I realise it makes teaching very easy too.

Coding for entrepreneurs basic

Coding for entrepreneurs basic I have completed my first Udemy Course – Coding for Entrepreneurs Basic by Justin Mitchel. To get the certificate you have to listen to every single part of the course. It’s the one I decided to do to get myself back into coding, to give me a framework and to create some learning challenges for me. It has achieved all of that. Justin Mitchel explains everything, he shows you everything, he works through the glitches, he offers learning suggestions and everything is on video , thank heavens, so you can pause and absorb. I explained in my post How’s the coding going? that I had stalled with the action part of the course because I couldn’t sync the database and runserver. I then had to think. Do I give up all I have learned? Do I just abandon it and leave it behind and start something new? Do I regroup and start all over again? What do I do? I left it for a while and started working on learning Python coding so I could understand that better. I shifted all my coding stuff to my LinuxMint laptop. I could move forward.source code Udemy was meanwhile sending me gentle reminders I had not finished the course. Was I going to start from scratch again? What was my plan? I decided to finish the course and get the whole context in front of me and now I have done that I can move forward. Justin Mitchel goes through a lot of HTML stuff for web pages and explains it well and why you need to put it where you put it. I understand all that HTML coding far better now. He shows the FTPing and getting the site working live, and my decision is to leave that for now. I am going to go back over it on my Linux Laptop and try to resolve the database syncing and get the page running virtually. Justin Mitchell recommends some good sites to learn coding better so I need to have a look at that. I need to specifically work with the Django tutorials on their site and then, I shall be in a good frame of mind to start over and work it all through. As a student I have learned a lot and have had to use my brain to troubleshoot and work out what is a plan for me. The course is there, I can use it, I can learn from it and I can benefit from it. The best thing it has done for me is provide structure to my learning , give me insight and offer opportunities for me to construct my own learning. I can sit down and work out my personal learning plan now and go back to the course to iron out the bits which I couldn’t put into action.

A view from the top

Or on high. Not all students speak English as a first language and so I have tried to use two common expressions which mean the same. I made this video to be part of our flipped classroom discovery learning this year. As I explained before, there are plenty of things for French, which is my current subject area and so I thought to put my English teacher hat on and see how I would approach that from a digital perspective. A view from the top/on high was a homework exercise which I used to set as an Englsih teacher and the students always loved it. I would have to use class time to explain what I meant and what I was looking for. It has to be very descriptive so the reader can easily imagine what the person is looking down upon. Students would walk up to favourite place where they had a good view, or sit on top of a ladder (safely) or a chest of drawers. They loved the challenge of finding the vantage point. Now, with technology, I can show them the sorts of things they could view and they could use their own images or images from the internet to inspire their writing. Depending on the class, I could ask for more than 250 words. We’d look at how they had described their views and how we could make them even better. With laptops they could work in little groups and show each other the views, read the description and then get feedback. I’d take it further and get them to make a video presentation to show the difference between written and visual literacy. Having made this I realised it is so handy as a teacher to have banks of eletronic resources. It helps fill gaps if teachers are away. It takes the strain off your voice. It means you can use class time to explore and expand ideas and skills. I enjoyed making this. It made me focus on what I was trying to do and I was learning more about Pinnacle Studio as I went but I was also working across devices which made it more interesting and challenging for me. Technology forces you to problem solve and create at the same time. It forces you to work in a multidisciplinary way and it makes you far more particular about thinking content out.

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