I have been learning how Pinterest works lately and I like it.
It appeals to me for its ease of use, its reliability and its social nature.
You log in and set up some pin boards of things that you are interested in. Add a Pin It button to your bookmarks bar by dragging it, just like you do for your RSS or Diigo or Delicious or VLN bookmarlet.
Anything you like on the web with an image in it somewhere you just click on the ‘Pin It’ bookmarket, decide which image prompt you want to go with it and what board to put it on and you’re away.
If it’s a site without an image you can save and upload your own so it still works.
You can put a ‘Follow me on Pinterest’ widget on your blog as well like I have done here on my blog side bar so that people know that you are pinning on Pinterst and follow along.
I had a request to support teachers as they participate in a Numeracy professional learning contract. Here are my quick resources around that area. I have purposely added links to my Delicious on line bookmarks so that the resource will continue to be useful as the links are continuously being updated and stay current.
I urge everyone to save their favourite places on the web to Delicious or Diigo. Storing your favourites in the cloud is way safer than storing them locally on your laptop.
For the bookmarks I do store locally on my laptop I use Xmarks which synches the same local bookmarks across all my laptops (TELA and Home) and all my browsers- Chrome, Safari, Firefox and potentially Internet Explorer. It’s a stunning tool to use as my bookmarks are then in the same place no matter what device I am using- TELA laptop or MacBook.
As an example of how useful cloud storage is I recently, mistakenly, deleted an entire folder of much used bookmarks from my laptop. Disaster averted as I re-synched back from XMarks.
This is a test post with a work in progress to see if my idea works.
It does! This is Chirp! Chirp! is like an audio QR Code. By having the free Chirp iPhone/iPad app open you can beam images, notes and URL’s by sound waves. I recorded the sound file produced when I made this note with Divshare so you can practice.
It is real easy to use to beam photos between iPads when you haven’t got email set up on them. Kids will love it!
Here is the sound file again as a link that can be played with out Flash. You will still need another device to receive the Chirp.
So what you have to do is download Chirp! Have it open and listen to the chirp. The first person to write what I chirped in the comments gets a surprise present.
The Chirp team have plans for an Android app but aren’t quite there yet!
This post was totally conceived, constructed, edited and posted entirely without the aid of a laptop or desktop computer in any way.
For me it has been a bit of a learning curve with its inspiration coming from my attendance at the Slide2Learn conference and the acquisition of my very own white 64GB iPad that I shouted my self because I had been a good little worker!
One of the workshops at the conference presented by Jenny Jongste was on using iMovie on the iPad. I had never really gone in to making movies on the iPad before and now think I have enough skills to share my learning with others.
On the plane on the way home I started a movie trailer but, although fun, was a bit limiting in the way of timing so I decided to make a longer 2 minute movie instead.
Once you have uploaded the video to Vimeo scroll down a little to get the menu bar pretend to email the video to yourself to get the URL then copy it to your web browser.
From there you can easily see the embed code to put into your blog.
Note the clever things I used in this post…..
* Edublogs app for blogging
* The Vimeo app for uploading the finished video to the web.
* The Skitch app for making the screen grab of how to get the Vimeo URL.
* Inserting hyperlinks
* Uploading an image to Edublogs and inserting it where it needed to go.
* Grabbing the URL from the App Store on an iPad- you have to go to the app page, click on Tell a Friend and email the link to yourself using your iPad email account. When it arrives click and hold on View Item and you will be able to copy the URL. I bet you didn’t know that trick before. Hat tip to Rick Connors.
Daniel Edwards suggested that you search for the app using the Chrome browser for iPad and copying the URL that way but sometimes just searching on the web for an app can be time consuming.
Of course I have never done this before so we will have to see what happens when I click publish.
At first we did the activity with numbers and counters putting the correct number of petals around the number.
The more eagle-eyed of you might notice that the photo I quickly took on my iPad has actually nine petals around the flower!!!!! Part of the problem was that we didn’t know where we started to count from! The issue was over come when we did it on the iPad because we knew where to start counting from.
After we had mastered it with actual things we extended the activity by drawing in SketchTime ($2:59NZ) on the iPad. I recently bought ReflectionApp for $14.99US so that I can wirelessly mirror my iPad onto my laptop. I then used Quicktime to record the laptop screen the give you a short tutorial on how we did it.
Over the last few weeks I have been playing multiple games of Draw Something with people in Hamilton, Sydney, London and Norway. I think the free app has some possibilities for classroom use as well.
The idea is that you get a choice of three words to draw for your playing buddy. You pick one to draw and your buddy has to guess what it is that you were trying to draw. They will have twelve letter tiles to construct the word from.
You can then make a comment to encourage your playing buddy.
Then they get to draw something and you have to guess what it was. In a classroom I can see it as a language, collaborative opportunity to come up with ideas for how to represent words and then draw them.
I wanted to show you how it works so I used the ten minute free trial of Reflection.app to mirror my iPad onto my MacBook Air running Lion. I then used Quicktime to do a screen recording of it in full screen. I trimmed the ends of the screen-recording and added a track from Freeplay Music.
I then uploaded it to Vimeo to share and embed on my blog. Play it full screen to see how clever we are. Thank you Barbara Reid for being my unwitting guinea pig.
You have probably all watch a TED video or two over the years and they make excellent watching. TED have recently add TED-Ed to their arsenal. The idea is that you can any use TED or YouTube video via a hyperlink and add some questions around it, link some further readings or resources and add a big question to construct a personalised lesson.
I thought I would give it a whirl to see if it was easy enough and worth recommending. I decided to use a video I had made in 2006 outlining how my class operated at that time. The video had been on Teacher Tube and has had over 70 downloads so some people obviously liked it but no one seems to use Teacher Tube any more.
I would like to share my school day with teachers from Barbara Reid‘s ICTPD Cluster in Hamilton in the holidays.
I nade a couple of Keynote presentations and uploaded them to Slideshare so I could share them more widely and all the hyperlinks would work when viewed. I had to cull them a bit to fit them in under the 10MB upload file size.
The first is focussing on the junior school, the second on seniors. For the Junior presentation I also used the blogs of Sherryn Lines and Cherryl Eden to help illustrate. Thanks team.
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?”
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.
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?
I am presenting a workshop for teachers in my area on how an iPad can transform learning. I made a good chunk of the presentation on the iPad using Keynote. I decided to activate iCloud for Keynote so I have it on my phone and Mac Book Air as well.
I put it here as I spent a lot of time making it and its good to share 🙂
My featured apps are hyperlinked so you can delve more deeply should you wish.
I just made a Google presentation under my own account- then I made a slide for each student.
I made sure it was open for everyone to edit without a log in.
Then put a link to that presentation on the blog so the children would know where to find it.
Children then went to the blog, clicked on the link, found their slide and filled it in. I believe that twenty people can edit a Google presentation at one time so as many children as there are computers can work on editing.
When everyone has done editing I then close it off by making it so no one can edit it so no cherub could wreck it and write stuff in the holidays that I didn’t know of.
I then put the html embed code on the blog so it would play there.
If all that seems a bit tricky then I have made a three minute tutorial on how to do it.
At Learning at School Kevin Honeycutt suggested that we make learning rewindable- here I have done just that.
If you get stuck you can rewind, pause or stop the video while you practice.
Make it full screen by clicking on the bottom right hand corner of the video if you want a better view.
Over the last couple of weeks the K12 OnLine Conference has been churning out free, online video and audio workshops. Some time ago I was invited to prepare a presentation in the Sandbox Play chapter of the conference.
All of the presentations are available for download in iTunesU which is a good way to view them.
I feel I have a pretty good handle on QR Codes now and the concept is new to many so I thought sharing with others about what I have learnt along the way would make an interesting presentation. My presentation was a audio-visual recap of the QR Code blog posts of last term.
The video is 9 minutes long. You can download the original from Dropbox if you wish.
I made it as an enhanced podcast in Garageband because I can make Garageband hum way better than iMovie. It played perfectly on my computer but in one of life’s little mysteries it refused to upload properly and the audio and graphics were out of synch. I tried exporting it in a heap of ways and uploading to Zamzar, YouTube, and Vimeo but all I achieved was an email from Telecom telling me I was exceeding my monthly broadband allowance. I whined about it on Twitter and Julia came through with the idea of trying to convert the video using http://www.online-convert.com/. The conversion and re-upload to Vimeo worked so here it is in all its glory.
If you have a clever smartphone, iPod Touch, iPhone or iPad give QR codes a whirl. My class love them and they are really easy to create and share.
I would love to know how you get on. How are you using QR codes?
When I try to export from some applications on the iPad I have been emailing them to my laptop but it gives me share as WebDav (WEB based Distributed Authoring and Versioning) as an option. I didn’t know what WebDav was and how to get it.
This morning I sorted it.
Firstly I downloaded the app Box.Net which automatically gives me 50GB of on line storage if you sign up before the end of October- plenty of storage to be going on with.
I then logged in the Box.net on my laptop and created a folder to put my iOS files into. I called that folder iPadDocs.
Going back to my Pages document on my iPhone I clicked on the Spanner which took me to Share and Print.
Then I clicked on Copy to WebDav. I had to put in the Server address which was https://www.box.net/dav//iPadDocs . The iPadDocs part of the Server Address is the folder that I had made.
You can also put in the server address https://www.box.net/dav//and it will let you chose which folder to put your files in which would make it easier to file things but maybe make it trickier for little folk to decide where to put their files!!!
I entered my Box.net username and password. It then asked me which format I want the upload to be, I clicked COPY and away it went.
Once it uploaded you can download the files on other iOS devices and share folders with other users.
I hope you find this post useful in sorting a simple way to share docs between devices in your class.
I like that you don’t have to rely on aging school servers to share files and continue working on them.
People have been asking me recently, “What can’t an iPad do?” Today I found out. Or at least I found out how I would try it next time to make it work.
I decided I wanted to make this whole project on the iPad and not touch the laptop.
On Thursday I recorded the class I was working with choral speaking a poem. I didn’t have my iRig mike with me so quickly grabbed the audio with the free app QuickVoice Recoder cos there wasn’t a lot of time before PMP.
I wanted to basically create an enhanced podcast like I do on my laptop with Garageband. Easy I thought. No great timing or editing involved. Piece of cake.
Not so much!
The big hiccup was that Quickvoice only has email out of the .caf file. For all the apps that my Twitter network suggested might work, like Keynote, iMovie and Reel Director, all needed the audio to already be in iTunes.
I tried emailing the .caf file to myself on the iPad from Quickvoice hoping that it would give me options like when you email and ePub- it asks, “Would you like to open this in iBooks.” I was hoping I would get a, “Would you like to open this in iTunes.” No such luck.
The iRig mike app has an iTunes File Sharing export function but I set myself to try and do the project without the laptop. I tried recording the Quickvoice recording with the iRig mike but of course as soon as I put the mike in the iPad jack it muted the sound out so it wouldn’t go through the speakers.
I had taken the photos of the kids’ monsters with my iPhone and used the Photo Transfer App to get the photos on to the laptop so at least I didn’t have to use any cords.
I would hope that there would be a great app for doing this but I couldn’t work it out. Not at least with a pre-recorded audio track. So I gave up and went back to the laptop and had the job done in five minutes. I uploaded it to Vimeo at least which gave me easy playback on the iPad without having to use Puffin that plays Blogger flash based videos.
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.
There are a lot of great reasons why teachers need to have a blog or wikispace but it was brought home to me this week of the most basic reason of why even the least internet savy needs to have a blog or wikispace.
Children need a generic place from which go to web spaces for learning without typing an impossibly long web address.
Imagine trying to have people to go to this web address without it being hyperlinked somewhere
I would defy anyone to type that and get it right. You could use a URL shortner like http://goo.gl/ or http://tinyurl.com/ but even then typing http://goo.gl/S80J3 and getting it right first time will be problematic for kids.
So here is a scenario!
A teacher has been told about a great website that they want to direct their class to like Spelling List Five of Spell-Write. The teacher has entered the spelling words into the website and saved the list.
The web address (URL) for it is http://www.spellingcity.com/view-spelling-list.html?listId=1914671
If the teacher has a web presence that is the Home Page on the computer in their classroom all the children have to do is open up their web browser and there is the named link on the blog or wikispace. Even if you are out and about you can still find your resource if it is linked to the blog.
A couple of weeks ago I made a resource to support our Lead Teachers as we begin exploring the Virtual Learning Network Resource for kiwi teachers to connect and collaborate.
The VLN is a social learning community where teachers, learners, school leaders and facilitators connect, join virtual programmes/projects, share experiences, and develop new ways to support learning through ICTs.
Please use this VLN help site to help you find your way through the VLN and get the most out of the possibilities that it offers. The beginning video is useful in realising why this sort of learning is beneficial. If there is anything you would like me to add please let me know in the comments.
Here is my reflection on our journey to use RSS to communicate and learn from one another.
Context Our Nelson Link Learning Cluster is a group of thirty-five schools wide spread from Hira to Wakefield to Riwaka in the Nelson basin. As you can see we are geographically spread so opportunities for group meetings are precious and costly. We are a primary school cluster with one Intermediate School, one residential school for girls with special learning needs, one specialised special needs school, rural, urban, contributing and full primary. It can take an hour and half to drive from one school to another!
We are loosely based around The Loop collaboration of schools working on fibre ultra-fast broadband but not exclusively so.
Cluster Goal Our goal is to encourage teachers to share e-learning best practice, encouraging reflection and sharing.
Goal: Ensuring collegial support by encouraging teachers and schools to develop reflective practices to reflect on and share their e-learning experiences.
Intentions- why did we do this?
To bring the cluster teachers together to share practice and see what other teachers are doing with their blogs
For teachers to personalise their professional development by reading the thoughts of educational leaders directly
To interact with educational leaders directly by contributing to conversation in comments.
For Principals to be aware of what teachers on their staff are publishing on their school blogs in the school name.
For Principals to encourage and participate in the publishing of their teachers
For Principals to personalise their professional development by reading what other principals and thought leaders are sharing on line
Interventions- What we did The cluster facilitator had attended Learning at School in Rotorua some years ago and attended a workshop run by David Warlick on using RSS as a means to personalising your online reading experience.
As part of our Lead Teacher Day programme at the end of last year (2010) we had had an attempt to set up a Google Reader RSS feed but it was not as successful as we had hoped because we are such a large group of nearly forty people and not all of us could connect to the internet at the same time so many of were not able to set up and populate their RSS feed.
We thought that having an RSS feed was an important way to help us move toward fulfilling our cluster goal of share e-learning best practice so we tried again in 2011 with the venue’s new wireless internet solution and we were all able to be on line at the same time. A screencast video tutorial could give some assistance to those who found the process tricky.
As a resource we used a handout by Sylvia Tolasino and the facilitator was able to share her personal RSS and how to add a READER and SUBSCRIBE bookmark to participants’ web browser toolbars. For some even being able to view their browser toolbar was a challenge.
Many teachers over the past six months had already created a Google Account so it made sense to use Google Reader for their RSS feed as Bloglines was, at that stage, in decline, and some schools already have Google Apps.
We had previously recorded our cluster blogs on our wiki so teachers were able to retrieve their colleagues’ blogs from the database.
Teachers were then able to choose which blogs to subscribe to with their Google Reader. People were then encouraged to comment, encourage and learn from other’s blogs found through their RSS Reader. The aim is to reprise the concept each following cluster workshop so that we can share our challenges and new learning.
We repeated this session with Principals at their next cluster meeting. Principals looked at the activity from the differing perspective of knowing what is happening in their school and to learn from reading the blogs of other New Zealand principals and educational leaders.
The facilitator wrote a blog post with links to NZ blogging principals and invited others through her Twitter network and blog to add any principals that she had missed. Principals could then easily see the hyperlinks to the blogs of others.
Challenges Teachers and Principals were able to create an RSS feed. Some later asked for more individual assistance to make sure that they ‘got it’. This was appreciated as it showed that they could see the usefulness and purpose of having an RSS feed.
Some, although they created an RSS feed at the workshop, have not followed through to use and add to their RSS in their own time quoting a lack of time or focus on other things.
Lead Teachers are still getting to grips with the practice themselves and many are not yet ready to share their new learning with others on their staff.
Impact on students/teachers/whanau Some lead teachers have really taken the practice on board and are successfully forming partnerships with other teachers and their classes through their class blogs. Teachers have reflected how cool it was to have their peers comment and give feedback on their blogs.
The teachers who are regularly checking their RSS feeds are learning what others are doing in their classes and are beginning to open their class to others.
We need to revisit using RSS at future Lead Teacher days to ensure that the practice becomes more embedded.
We need to encourage people to, once they have read their new content, to move out of their RSS reader to converse and give feedback to the authors on a more regular basis
We need to encourage and support Lead Teachers to share the use of RSS with their team back at school so that it becomes a regular way to share their practice and personalise their professional development.