Book Creator to Seesaw Workflow

Lots of schools I have been learning with have started using Seesaw as a means of sharing what has been happening in their classrooms with whānau. As you know I am a big fan of Book Creator and the two go really well together with the Book Creator export as a video function.

To help cement this workflow I have made this short video to show you how the two great apps can work so well together.

 

Facebook Advice

A friend recently asked me advice around his daughter’s first foray into using Facebook.

He was unsure of whether it was good idea but his daughter was keen. My response follows. What else would you add?

  • My first question for him was, “How old is she? If she is under 13 then the conversation stops as it is against the law for under 13s to be on Facebook. We know there are heaps who do condone their children using Facebook when they are underage but parents can take the moral high ground on that one!!!
  • In saying that I would let her know that it is OK not to fill out every part of your profile. It’s OK not to make the year of your birth public. So often people ask for your birthday as a form of identification. I lie about my age on Facebook!
  • I would start with small steps- the parent joins Facebook and so does the daughter- and be each other’s friends- learn together.
  • Tell her that she can only have friends she actually knows- relatives, school friends etc.
  • Share with her that if she turns friends down they don’t know- she just doesn’t turn up in their timeline. You don’t have to feel shy about ignoring people who you don’t want to share your life with.
  • Show her that you can block people if they are mean so they can’t contact you again. You can report people as well but Facebook is not in the habit of caring too much about what individuals post!!!!!
  • Talk to her about the sorts of things that she puts out there for others to see- her digital footprint.
  • Help her understand that things that she puts on Facebook other people can copy and keep forever- would she want her grandmother (or father) to see that? Or would she be happy with that being shown to someone on her 21st birthday!
  • Talk about privacy- do you want everyone to know where you live, how to contact you, phone numbers etc. Be wary of what you share even if it is not ‘bad’ err on the side of being private…. things like not saying you are going on holiday for a week and would someone like to come and water the pot plants cos the house would be empty!!! Save that till you come home and tell everyone what a marvellous time you had then!!
  • In the way of settings- lock it down so that only friends can see what you posted and make a bit of a habit- once a month or so, of re-checking that privacy setting as Facebook have a habit of changing things.
  • Be careful with what you ‘like’ – the things that you ‘like’ show up for your friends to see and if you ‘like’ a business they will turn up like adverts in your time line.
  • Let her know that if she shares something bad that happens on Facebook with you then you won’t stop her from using Facebook altogether cos of one bad thing- if you do that she won’t tell you next time. Talk about what she can do- unfriend the uncomfortable person- maybe go as far as confronting the troubling person.
  • Practice being strong and safe with your password- don’t share it around and make sure you log out at the end of a session.

My three pillars of digital citizenship-

  •  Look after yourself
  •  Look after others
  •  Look after property

If she knows those three things in non digital life she will do OK on Facebook as well. You have thirteen years of good parenting under your belt. Don’t stop now.

I would take a good read of the common sense advice from Common Sense Media here. And this Facebook video is a bit of fun,

 

 

Here are my Facebook bookmarks for a bit more in depth reading.

What other advice would you offer the father?

 

Facebook Furore!

I came across this article on the Stuff website about children’s use of Facebook at a Wellington Primary School which had got itself in a bit of strife when trying to sort out issues around children’s use of Facebook.

Take a read!

http://www.stuff.co.nz/technology/digital-living/8716032/School-vets-pupils-social-media-use

I wonder if the paper is reporting the issue as it actually unfolded?

I see many underage children on Facebook. Most, I believe, are there with their parent’s knowlege and permission, over-riding Facebook’s own rules.

I wonder why the school, the parents or whoever, didn’t just go looking for themselves for what children are doing on Facebook, rather than having children expose their accounts?

In one place the article says that children should never surrender their passwords and indeed they shouldn’t but nowhere in the article did it actually say that the children ever did share their passwords, they just shared their timeline view.

And this from a concerned parent…

The woman, who did not want to be named because it could identify her daughter, was “computer illiterate” and had no computer of her own to monitor her daughter’s online activity.

She thought someone should be policing online age restrictions, but not schools. “I agree children shouldn’t be on Facebook under the age of 13, but it’s not the school’s place to be sorting this out.

“After school and weekends are a family’s time, not school’s time.”

She had consulted a lawyer about whether schools had powers to police pupils’ personal social media sites and she knew of other parents doing the same.

She doesn’t have a computer, is happily digitally illiterate and doesn’t think the school should be involved but has been to the police to find out if the school is legally allowed to be concerned. ‘Someone’ should check!!!!!!! Who does she think that ‘someone’ might be! I would say she is the parent she should act like one and know where her kids are and back the school for trying to do something about it.

Newspaper article of Facebook issue

Newspaper article of Facebook issue

What is a school to do when they know their children are behaving badly, parents are ignorate of the problem and will happily consult lawyers to see if the school is even allowed to intervene in on line activity that happens ‘in family time’.

The whole article makes me sad.

What would you do in the same situation?

 

Home School Partnership- iPad Night

One of our Link Learning cluster goals is to better inform parents/whānau about what we are doing in school.

Many parents/whānau have bought iPads because they have heard they are useful for children’s learning but are unsure of how to manage them and don’t know what apps to put on them.

I made this page on my iPad site

https://sites.google.com/site/initialipadsetup/community

with a view to sharing apps that people might like on their iPhone and or iPad. By having the web link they were also gaining access to the other pages of links I had assembled over the past year.

It was sort of like the hook to get parents along to a night time meeting- to show them what apps they might like as adults on their iPads. When people arrived at the meeting they were actually more interested in how to manage their iPads and what apps to put on them to help their children learn and to see some of the apps demonstrated to them before they bought them.

Some of the parents had already bought iPads but a couple were thinking of buying them for Christmas presents and were wondering whether their purchases were warranted.

I had asked schools to put a notice in their newsletters informing them that the meeting was going to be held in centrally situated restaurant/cafe. I had sussed the cafe out beforehand and knew that it had wifi and they agreed to open up at night time for us. We just took a painting off the wall and shone the data projector on to the wall.

The idea of a cafe was that it was neutral territory, not aligned with any school. And being in a cafe meant they could have a coffee and make it a bit of a social activity.

I gave the parents a handout with my contact details at the top and blank at the bottom and a pile of borrowed pens from #ulearn12 so they could make notes for later.

handout

I limited the evening to forty parents as I didn’t want to overload the venue. Here, one of the parents, Sarah, offered to share how she used guided access with her pre-schooler to limit his access to all of the apps at once. This was great- parents teaching parents in the same way as we encourage children teaching children.

It also meant that I was able to take a breath and take a photo!

It was a great night out and successfully worked towards achieving one of our cluster goals.

Above standard!

How are you informing your parent/whānau about what you are doing around eLearning?

IPad Evening

How are you able to promote your blog?

I received an email this morning which lead me to write a blog post to illicite some responses from people as to how they promote their class blog and get some interactions and conversations happening through it.

“My kids are very eager to share their learning with others and link up with other schools. In your experience with class blogs, how were you able to promote your blogs with other schools and countries?”

My response…

  • Firstly I would post regular updates on our own blog so that people have something new to read, or look or listen to at on their next visit.
  • To promote our class blog firstly I made connections with others teachers who blog.
  • Find like a ‘gym buddy’ – another teacher or class who is keen to link up and learn with you.
  • To do that I would read their blogs and leave comments for them on their blog. I would maybe do this first as just a teacher and see if they post regularly and are keen for some kind of dialogue. You don’t want to waste your time leaving feedback on a blog that isn’t being updated and monitored.
  • I would definitely join Twitter and make connections and learn that way. Once on Twitter you can link to your blog and add the hashtag #comments4kids and other teachers/classes may make connections for you.
  • And I would put links on the side bar of the class blog to the other blogs that you regularly converse with. Not too many because you could loose track but your favourite ones that post and comment often.
  • Quadblogging is another cool concept- David Mitchell on Twitter has initiated a project where four classes get together and take turn about being the centre of attention and leaving of comments. The web site links classes together globally but we have just done it informally with a couple of nearby schools with good success and enthusiasm in the participating classes.
  • The idea of sending out a travel toy like Kirsten McGhie does in her class is also a great idea to spread news of your blog around. Here is Kirsten’s EdTalk video about here travel toy.

  •  Generally just think of fun ways to engage children with your blog- make it interactive and interesting. Write posts that incite interest and conversation- leave things open ended.

http://moturoa.blogspot.co.nz/2007/05/our-three-new-fish.html

http://moturoa.blogspot.co.nz/2012/04/which-way-is-bus-travelling.html

  • Lastly I would make sure that every piece of paper that goes out from your class has the blog address on it so the parent / whanau community know where on the web you are. I would also make sure that your blog is linked from the school web site so that visitors cruising the web can easily find you.

What suggestions do you have for promoting your class blog that you can add to help Katie?

Education Review Article

A while ago NZ Education Review asked me to write an article for them sharing the path I took to change my practice over the last few years using ICT.

They published it in digital form today with Issuu which I quite like because it looks like a book to read and you can zoom in and turn the pages, just like the real thing.

The whole publication makes good reading- my article is on page 21/22. Click on the image to take you to the web book.

They even added a QR code to the article like I asked them too.

 

iPad Sharing #4 Apps to support children with very special needs

Yesterday I had the privilege to meet a group of people, mainly mothers of young children with neuro-developmental delays who were helping their children communicate with iPads. I was inspired by their interest and by the innovative ways they were using their iPads.

The session was lead by Bianca and her young son, Kaiden, made an appearance via video. This video shows the progress that Kaiden has made in three months since he got his iPad. Awesome.

Kaiden has had his iPad for 3 months. Here is how far he has come! I had been trying for nearly a year to teach him to use his pointing finger and it took about 6 weeks with the iPad – AMAZING! The apps he is using are…. Peekaboo Barn, Peekaboo Ocean, Baby Touch, Sparkabilities 2, Choiceboard Maker (now upgraded and called Choiceboard Creator).

For those new to my blog all of my posts that share my learning with iPads can be found under the iOS tab by clicking here.

Also take a moment to watch this inspirational video of how Bianca, Kaiden and his physiotherapist work together using the iPad as a motivator. Well done Kaiden.

Bianca listed the apps she uses with Kaiden on a piece of paper. To make it easier for people to find those apps I am basically re-creating them here with hyperlinks to make the accessing of them easier.

In most browsers when you click on the link it will ask you if want to open iTunes- you say yes and it takes you directly to iTunes where you can download the app.

There is a great Facebook page called Babies with iPads which has a thriving community of people sharing apps and posting videos of their progress using apps to support learning. And this one Apps for Children with Special Needs has lots of apps demos which are great to look at to see if an app is right for your child before deciding whether to spend money on buying it.

Apps for Communicating between Home and School

Each child has an iPad that is theirs. We can capitalise on the communication between parents, whanau, school, teacher aides, teachers but writing (and emailing) quick Notes from the Notes app telling of progress.

Use the camera for stills or video to capture those wonderful moments when breakthroughs are made- share with parents who aren’t able to be there.

Simple Touch- Cause and Effect Apps

To teach swiping, pointing, anticipating movement, press and hold.

Peekaboo Barn ($2.59) but there is a lite free versionhttp://itunes.apple.com/nz/app/peekaboo-barn/id300590611?mt=8
Peekaboo Wild ($2.59) this is an iPhone version- it can be annoying if your child keeps accidentally making the app small size but you can cover the (x1) with a post it notehttp://itunes.apple.com/nz/app/peekaboo-wild/id335736484?mt=8
Peekabo Vehicles (free)http://itunes.apple.com/nz/app/peekaboo-vehicles-hd/id452966023?mt=8
Alphababy- $1.29) add your own photos (there is a free version too)http://itunes.apple.com/nz/app/alphababy/id321916100?mt=8
Baby Touch- (4.19) this is the link to the paid version but there is a free lite version as well.http://itunes.apple.com/nz/app/sound-touch/id348094440?mt=8
Look Baby- free- there is a paid version as wellhttp://itunes.apple.com/nz/app/look-baby!/id325952583?mt=8
Baby Finger- freehttp://itunes.apple.com/nz/app/baby-finger-hd/id407552495?mt=8 
Talk Tom- free- there’s a whole series of these talking apps- good to pay for it so that the ads don’t keep on getting in the wayhttp://itunes.apple.com/nz/app/talking-tom-cat/id377194688?mt=8

Here is a video of young Alexander meeting with The Talking Dinosaur

Peekaboo HD (free)http://itunes.apple.com/nz/app/peekaboo-hd/id418475159?mt=8
Baby Play Face (free)http://itunes.apple.com/nz/app//id430847304?mt=8
Christmas Baby Rattle ($2.59) there is a free version toohttp://itunes.apple.com/nz/app/christmas-baby-rattle/id408766341?mt=8

Slightly more complex apps but not too tricky

Peekaboo Ocean- (2.59) there is a lite versionhttp://itunes.apple.com/nz/app/peekaboo-ocean/id432050885?mt=8 
Polly Poodle’s Noisy Book ($1.29)http://itunes.apple.com/nz/app/polly-poodles-noisy-book/id422587929?mt=8
Wheels on the bushttp://itunes.apple.com/nz/app/wheels-on-the-bus/id303076295?mt=8
Sparkabilities ($6.49)http://itunes.apple.com/nz/app/sparkabilities-babies-2-for/id372882805?mt=8

Telling Stories

These can be powerful to record stories around what you did together and to remember and play back and share special moments.

Storykit- is free. Delete their example stories and build your ownhttp://itunes.apple.com/nz/app/storykit/id329374595?mt=8
Sonic Pics ($4.19) I have linked to the paid version but there is a free lite version that only lets you record three photos. Record a voiceover over your photos and make a little movie.http://itunes.apple.com/nz/app/sonicpics/id345295488?mt=8 
Book Creator for iPad ($9.99) In a future update they are going to add the ability to record your voice as well.http://itunes.apple.com/nz/app/book-creator-for-ipad/id442378070?mt=8
iBooks- like a digital bookshelf to put the books you have made in Book Creatorhttp://itunes.apple.com/nz/app/ibooks/id364709193?mt=8

Communication Apps

Choosing the right one for your child may be a bit of a mission but looking at previews and demos on the app developer’s website and YouTube maybe useful.

TapSpeak Choice ($199.99) This one is expensive but it’s what Bianca chose that seemed to be the best choice for Kaiden

http://itunes.apple.com/nz/app/tapspeak-choice-for-ipad/id408507581?mt=8

Choiceboard Creator (free) make your own menu of choices from photos downloaded off the internet or take your won photoshttp://itunes.apple.com/nz/app/choiceboard-creator/id453988580?mt=8
iComm (free)http://itunes.apple.com/nz/app/icomm/id351726761?mt=8
Talkboard ($20.99)http://itunes.apple.com/nz/app/talkboard/id416436888?mt=8
Tap to Talkhttp://itunes.apple.com/nz/app/taptotalk/id367083194?mt=8
My Choice Board ($13.99) May suit some people but not the one that Bianca chose for Kaidenhttp://itunes.apple.com/nz/app/my-choice-board/id384435705?mt=8
Yes No (free)http://itunes.apple.com/nz/app/answers-yesno-free/id474384124?mt=8

Thank you Bianca for sharing a snapshot of your journey with Kaiden with us. I hope this post will be useful for others with pre-schoolers and children with special needs using their iPad to play and learn.

Time 4 On Line

Last week I got an email from Krista Swanner, a 4th grade teacher at Oak Grove School in California, who was wanting to know how I put things together in my classroom. Not wanting to spend hours answering her I tried to find my TeacherTube video I made in 2007 for the Time4OnLine Conference and they had changed the web address for it so it took a lot of mucking about to see it so I re-uploaded it to YouTube. The original video has had over 29,000 views which is quite amazing as I haven’t looked at it myself for a year or so and I haven’t aged at all!

The basic organisation of how I worked things has changed a bit but the basics still hold true- IMHO anyway.

Home School Partnership #1 – Homework

One of the major goals for our cluster over the next year is to foster home school partnerships and I have been being doing a good bit of thinking about how we might approach this.

Tonight on Twitter there was a conversation around Ian Lillico’s homework grid concept and  Claire Buist asked if I had any good examples of how I use Ian’s ideas.

I started off by writing a Google Doc that I was going to share with Claire but thought it might be better as a blog post. So here it is…
I used to do the traditional ‘fill in the gaps’ homework but became a convert to the Lillico homework grid idea which lets children create together with their parents at a pace that suits them. Those who want to spend hours following up on a project can. Those who aren’t so keen need not go into it in as much depth. It allows freedom and creativity to thrive.

Once you ‘get’ the concept of co-constructing homework you can easily adapt it to suit your situation.

Here is a blog post I wrote last year about what I do.

http://allanahk.edublogs.org/2010/02/17/homework/

Ian Lillico’s website can be found http://www.boysforward.com.au/

I also shared some of our homework philosophy in my last year’s K12 On Line Conference Keynote

http://k12onlineconference.org/?p=606

First of all we start with a brainstorm around the ideas of things we could do based around a theme.

1. This is a brainstorm about the sorts of things we could do for Home Work

http://moturoa.blogspot.com/2007/03/homework.html

2. One of the things we decided on was tidying our bedrooms. The kids took before and after photos.

http://moturoa.blogspot.com/2009/05/homework.html

http://moturoa.blogspot.com/2009/05/homework-bedrooms.html

3. We had a music week

http://moturoa.blogspot.com/2007/10/music-homework.html

This led to Miriam sharing her incredible voice with us. Would never have happened if our homework was confined to ‘filling the gaps’ stuff!

http://moturoa.blogspot.com/2007/11/miriam-shares-her-voice.html

5. This is our physical activity brainstorm.

http://moturoa.blogspot.com/2007/05/our-physical-homework.html

6. Reading

http://moturoa.blogspot.com/2007/03/reading-homework.html

7. ICT

http://moturoa.blogspot.com/2007/03/ict-homework.html

One of the tasks was to send an MMS

http://moturoa.blogspot.com/2007/03/ict-homework_26.html

And to share a Google Doc/presentation with me

http://moturoa.blogspot.com/2010/05/google-docs-for-homework.html

8. Making

http://moturoa.blogspot.com/2010/05/making-homework.html

9. In this one I was sick at home but podcasted what we had to do for homework.

http://moturoa.blogspot.com/2007/06/homework-task-podcast.html

10. Here is what the homework grids looks like for us

http://moturoa.blogspot.com/2009/03/homework.html

http://moturoa.blogspot.com/2010/03/reading-homework.html

11. Here is some feedback about what people feel about the homework. If parents left a comment then the kids didn’t have to do the homework next week! A good number left a comment!!!!

http://moturoa.blogspot.com/2009/06/questionaut.html

12. Kids loved doing their homework and even took it away on fishing trips!! Overdoing it slightly!!

http://moturoa.blogspot.com/2009/12/fishing-trip.html

13. And not particularly to do with the homework grid but the children used the side bar of the blog to get their spelling lists and individual spelling practice through Spelling City and used our Basic Facts wiki to learn their basic facts with downloads and hyperlinks to worksheets and Digital Learning Objects for their level of attainment.

http://basicfacts.wikispaces.com/