Life is not a race to be first finished

This is an attempt to record some of my musings about learning and teaching.

Facebook Advice

Posted by Allanah King on June 30, 2013

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?

 

Posted in Cyber-Safety, Home School Partnership | 1 Comment »

Four Quick iPad Writing Tips

Posted by Allanah King on June 23, 2013

Here are four quick iPad writing tips in video form…

1. How to write macrons for Māori words.

2. How to quickly add a full stop, a space and a capital letter.

3. How to easily write an apostrophe.

4. How to easily write a single digit.

And if you want to sit through the whole 2 minute video you can watch it here…

If you are interested in how I started the video at various points along the time line I wrote a blog post on how to do that here.

http://allanahk.edublogs.org/2011/02/13/you-tube-videos/

Posted in Blended eLearning, How To, iOS | No Comments »

Searching on Your iPad by Using Handwriting

Posted by Allanah King on June 14, 2013

We were sharing at a school the new conversational Google Voice Searching in Chrome on your laptop- a real WOW moment.

Then the question inevitably turned to ‘Can you do that on an iPad?’ Well no you can’t but then you can’t do this on your laptop!

Enable Handwrite so you can use your finger to write with when performing a Google Search.

Posted in Blended eLearning, How To, iOS | 4 Comments »

Speech Selection and Reader with an iPad

Posted by Allanah King on June 2, 2013

Margot McKeegan asked me for a little rewindable help around using Reader with Safari on an iPad.

I decided to combine two things at once and show how to enable Speech Selection and Safari Reader at the same time.

 

Posted in Apple Distinguished Educator, Blended eLearning, Digital Literacy, How To, Mobile Learning | 3 Comments »

Facebook Furore!

Posted by Allanah King on May 26, 2013

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?

 

Posted in Cyber-Safety, Home School Partnership | 11 Comments »

School Newsletters

Posted by Allanah King on May 24, 2013

A conversation with a teaching colleague today prompted me to think more deeply about school newletters and their uses as a means to connect home and school.

Pre-digital times they used to be typed up and photocopied off by someone and sent out to all families or one was given to the oldest/youngest child of a whānau to hopefully get out of the school bag and read by someone before getting lost in the melee of worksheets that often lie dying in the bottom of a school bag along with the apple cores, crusts and dribbling yoghurt containers.

Then people started adding photos which was lovely until they wanted to be in colour.

Then along came the internet and the newsletters are emailed out with the non-internet families still being given a hard copy.

I know of some school newsletters that are 4MB- imagine what that does to a dial up connection- yes there are still people who are on dial up!

Some schools just send out an email with a link to the newsletter- that wouldn’t take up bandwidth as such but I wonder how many do actually take the time to open the attachment or click on the link.

With the rise of social media I wonder where the school newsletter now sits? More and more schools are now using Facebook or Twitter to update what schools are doing and what is coming up for them.

Are emailed school newsletters are thing of the past?

This short Twitter conversation gives both side of the debate.

https://twitter.com/tonyandrewmeyer/status/337849044997140481

What do you think?

blackboard

Chalkboard Newsletter drawn by Allanah with Draw Board iPad app.

 

Posted in Blended eLearning, Future Focussed | 1 Comment »

Almost as Good As Being There

Posted by Allanah King on May 17, 2013

Today I had the pleasure of reading to the children of Tua Marina School as part of their fabulous book week. Barbara Keane had organised guest readers to come in each day at 10:30 to read to the children.

Today was their wonderful dress up as a book character day and I got to read the first chapter of one of one of my favourites classics….. The Iron Man.

I had managed to source an on line version of the Iron Man as well so senior children could continue reading and finish off the story if they were inspired to do so.

I used Call Recorder on my MacBook to record the reading, edited the length a bit with Quicktime and uploaded it to Vimeo for your viewing pleasure!!

We talk about working blended and flipping the classroom- well here is one way how that might happen. It certainly saves on travel and time. And I love reading to kids and seeing the light in their eyes.

And at the end I got thanked by a real princess Cinderella!!!

Iron Man from Allanah King on Vimeo.

One avid reader of this blog read the story to his children who set about on a wet Saturday to do a little creating. Very cool response to reading!!!!

 

Posted in Blended eLearning, Literacy | 2 Comments »

Enhancing Workflow on an iPad

Posted by Allanah King on May 17, 2013

At the end of last term I was asked to lead a couple of presentations for the Learning at School Conference Roadshow run by CORE Education here in Nelson. It was the first time such an event had been held in the provinces and was really well supported by locals and from those further afield as well.

The presentation that I had not done before was Enhancing Workflow with an iPad- combining apps to share the learning. Here it is below.

 

I didn’t want to just spend the time just talking to the teachers at the workshop I wanted them to talk to each other- to share the learning that they already knew and become teachers themselves. And to have a base level of knowing how to work their iPad to do basic things before we went on to more advanced learning.

I went down to the local supermarket beforehand and bought a package of the now famous iPad cleaners as prizes and made up a bingo board for each person.

The deal was that people had to walk around the room and find someone who could show them how to do the tasks on the bingo board, that person showed them, then they had to do the task themselves. Then they could initial the bingo board. When they had five squares initialled in a row they yelled ‘Allanah’ and got a prize!

I was surprised the number of people who carried on just as eagerly after they had got a prize because they wanted to learn more. Eventually I felt I had to stop people so we could move on to the more advanced learning but I felt the whole session went really well because it was an energiser as well as a great learning opportunity.

iPad Bingo Chart- click on it to go to the Google Doc

To make it easy for you to personalise and make the resource your own I have made the bingo form into a Google Doc that you can copy and make your own with your own email address and the like.

The activity with all the links to the pdf tutorials and activities can be viewed and downloaded from the presentation above. It is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution, Non-Commercial, Share Alike which means you are welcome to mash-up and repurpose the presentation but please acknowledge the source.

The activity was very well received with participants coming to me later saying how much they enjoyed the opportunity to move and talk and share rather than being talked to for the entire presentation.

You may like to try the same sort of thing when you next share your learning with others.

I later repeated the presentation at the BYOD Conference run by Learning NetworkNZ at Albany Senior High School in the holidays.

iPad Bingo at BYOD Conference at Albany Senior High School

Posted in Blended eLearning, How To, iOS, Learning, LearningatSchool, Mobile Learning | 2 Comments »

eLearning in the Junior School

Posted by Allanah King on March 12, 2013

Today I share some of my eLearning journey with teachers from Witherlea School. I want my presentation to be rewindable so I uploaded it here so you can see it as well.

I am sharing some of things that can be seen in junior classrooms. Thanks also to Sherryn Lines at Brightwater School and Cherryl Eden at Richmond Primary for sharing their blogs with us.

 

Posted in Blended eLearning, ICT Facilitator | No Comments »

New Beginnings

Posted by Allanah King on February 8, 2013

Here we start with a new beginning for the new year. 2013 heralds very much a new beginning for me for, after being at school for 50 years I have been offered a job with CORE Education. It was all a bit rushed as I resigned from Appleby School on the second to last day of 2012 school year. It was a big move for me to leave but I felt it was the right thing to do as these opportunities don’t come round often in life and when they do you have to make the most of them cos’ you might not get a second chance.

CORE Education is a non for profit organisation part of the Te Toi Tipu consortium of providers with a Ministry of Education contract to deliver professional development for teachers. They are the organisation that run the Learning at School and ULearn conferences and provide the structure behind the ICTPD clusters that have been running so successfully for the last decade or so. Here is what the consortium is all about….

  • We have considerable expertise all areas of education, and currently provide professional learning and development programmes for the Ministry of Education in the areas of literacy, leadership and assessment, e-learning and te reo Māori.
  • We have a strong focus on providing professional learning and development which gets results, and we have highly skilled facilitators, and a strong monitoring and evaluation programme to ensure this is the case.
  • We are committed to improving outcomes for students who have been under-served in the education system. This includes a strong focus on ensuring success for Māori students, Pasifika students and students with special education needs.

I have started working as a BeL (Blended eLearning Facilitator) at the end of the January school holidays. These long school holidays will be my last as CORE only have one month’s leave — just like real folk.

Working as a Blended eLearning Facilitator I will be able to work in depth with a small number of schools similarly to the goals of our cluster over the last three years.

I will still be able to support what was the Link Learning ICTPD cluster though with the BeL position being for four days a week, leaving one flexi day a week to work to keep the cluster and the network we have made over the last three years going strong.

It is the best of both worlds and an opportunity too good to miss.

The sky is the limit.

 

 

Posted in Blended eLearning | 5 Comments »

Home School Partnership- iPad Night

Posted by Allanah King on November 15, 2012

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

Posted in Home School Partnership, ICT Facilitator, iOS | 3 Comments »

Pinterest Sharing and Curating

Posted by Allanah King on November 11, 2012

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.

Here is what my boards look like after a couple of weeks of pinning.

These are just my boards but you find some other people that are pinning and you can follow their stuff too so we all end up share and re-pinning their stuff onto your boards.

 

Give it a go. It’s fun and a useful way to store and find your stuff.

Oh and it’s a free iPad app too!!!

And Android.

Posted in Collaboration, Digital Literacy, How To, ICT Facilitator, iOS | 1 Comment »

e-Learning to support Mathematics and Bookmarking

Posted by Allanah King on November 7, 2012

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.

Posted in How To, ICT Facilitator | 1 Comment »

What’s On Your Horizon?

Posted by Allanah King on October 31, 2012

I have been asked to share some elearning trends that I see happening over the next couple of years. I took my ideas from the Horizon Reports of 2011 and 2012 which I have had the privilege of supporting. I have some video and audio to support my thinking around this but you sort of need to be there to see it so I have hyperlinked the resources in this Slideshare so the learning can be rewindable and available to everyone, not just for those in the room! @kevinhoneycutt

 

Posted in Future Focussed, ICT Facilitator, Learning, Mobile Learning | 2 Comments »

Modern Learning Environment

Posted by Allanah King on October 30, 2012

I have the privilege to be asked to share some of my thinking around Modern Learning Environments in Auckland this week. The day was hosted by TTS and held at Sorento. Here is my presentation so participants can click on the links and easily find the resources that I am sharing. As always I think of other things I need to add after I have published something but as my mate, Kevin Honeycutt says, ‘Don’t wait to be good at something before you do it’. Here is my something!

All of my favourite apps that I use in my classroom or see the potential of are on my initial iPad set up site for people new to iPads who want to know where to start.

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

I add to it all the time as I come across new things and occasionally ditch things as something better comes along. My most used apps are those where we get to create things, to make things and learn things.

All of the links in the presentation below should work too to take you straight to the app link in iTunes.

There were some strange participants at the conference!

Posted in Apple Distinguished Educator, ICT Facilitator, iOS, Learning | 1 Comment »

Apple sMACdown

Posted by Allanah King on October 14, 2012

One of the regular highlights of #Ulearn12 is the Apple Smacdown where Apple Distinguished Educators and Apple fan people share their favourite Apple apps or learning in a fast paced sharing session.

Everyone only gets two minutes to share their stuff and all their links must be on line and readily clickable.

Dorothy Burt and Fiona Grant kick things off and everyone takes turns to share their stuff. It is a great session with last year’s smacdown and participants contributions listed.

Take a look at the cool sharing and learning. You can still add your own cool tips to add to the resource.

https://sites.google.com/a/ptengland.school.nz/smacdown/home

Posted in Apple Distinguished Educator | 1 Comment »

#ULearn12

Posted by Allanah King on October 3, 2012

I am really looking forward to the Google Summit and ULearn this year. One of my presentations is ‘Transforming Learning with an iPad’. A little presumptuous maybe but I do believe that putting an iPad in children and teachers’ hands can really transform the way we do things in school.

I have stripped the embedded media from my Keynote presentation, converted it to Powerpoint and uploaded it to Slideshare in the hope that more people than the 30 in my workshop will get the benefit of seeing what I am sharing. Some of the formatting is a bit off but you can get the idea!!

This is a third revision from earlier in the year.

The hyperlinks work so if you click on them it will take you to the apps directly.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Apple Distinguished Educator, ICT Facilitator, iOS | 1 Comment »

Any Answers, Many Answers

Posted by Allanah King on September 21, 2012

This week I attended an AnyQuestions after school workshop. It tied in nicely with our tour of innovative Wellington libraries earlier in the week.

I remember giving AnyQuestions a whirl when I first heard of it ages ago and at that stage it was a bit lame but now it is much improved and I was impressed.

The idea is that from 1-6pm NZ time you can ask, via on line chat, a real life librarian in real time to assist you in finding out answers to questions on line.

While Robert Baigent from AnyQuestions was talking I decided to see how the app was working by asking a live question while working on my iPad. You learn by doing!

On first clicking on the ONLINE icon you need to answer some quick questions to ascertain your location and  fluency. With seconds a helpful assistant is there to guide you to answering your questions yourself. They don’t just give you the answers and you learn about website navigation and digital literacies as you go.

I took a screen grab of the chat transcript to give you an idea of how the conversation may well go.

Complimentary to AnyAnswers is ManyAnswers where popular question responses are curated with full answers to questions often asked during study time.

Robert said that all the librarian helpdesk people are well trained and vetted to help children find out answers to all sorts of questions they want to know the answers to but if you Google the questions you could end up in very dark places on the internet.

It looks to be a great service, often used by informed upper primary school children, to find out answers to deeper questions that Google is not so good at providing.

Worth a second look!

Posted in ICT Facilitator, iOS | 1 Comment »

Tour of Wellington Innovative Libraries

Posted by Allanah King on September 21, 2012

This week I had the privilege of being able tour three Wellington School libraries and challenge some of my thinking around how future focussed libraries might be.

We started the tour with the new Amesbury School- so new that Google Maps didn’t pick it up. Amesbury and it’s principal, Lesley Murrihy, impressed me with their openess and high trust model. Lesley had been in my ULearn pre-conference workshops last year and it was great to see the school’s QR codes in action.

Take a moment to view the photos I took on tour- made with Haiku Deck, a free, elegantly simple slideshow iPad app that emails you a Powerpoint of your slideshow should you wish!

 

Lesley explained that the library is like the living room of the school. I like that analogy. It’s where people come and talk, work, meet, share- it’s at the central core of the school. Amesbury  has a participatory model where the community – whanau, children, teachers- have a feeling of ownership.

As you step into the school you have to pretty much walk through the library. They don’t have specific times where children come and exchange their books, they’re not hung up on due dates to return books, eReaders are taken home with the books already downloaded. Children come to the library as they wish but with a timer as a necklace so that they don’t settle down on a comfy bean bag in the sun for too long and forget to return to the learning hub. High trust but with accountability.

Another idea I really liked was their development of 2 minute snippets of learning videos. As a new concept was learned short videos, made my children, were being developed and shared. Over time this will develop in to a rich record of learning and a resource for children to be able to revise and learn. The learning is becoming rewindable. Hat tip to Kevin Honeycutt for planting that idea in my head.

Amesbury had such a lovely feel to it. A great way to kick off our day. Thanks team.

 

Posted in ICT Facilitator, Literacy | 1 Comment »

Pic Collage and Blogger

Posted by Allanah King on August 29, 2012

I have been thinking more about combining iPad apps to create content that can be shared on line.

To that end I am creating some tutorials around combining apps.

Today I am sharing creating a photo collage with Pic Collage and sharing it with Blogger.

Pic Collage http://itunes.apple.com/nz/app/pic-collage/id448639966?mt=8

Blogger http://itunes.apple.com/nz/app/blogger/id459407288?mt=8

With Pic Collage you can either take your own photos, get them from the Camera Roll or the web. You can also add text, stickers and a variety of different backgrounds.

Pic Collage

  • I had previously saved some photos to my iPad photos folder using Advanced Image Search and using free to use photos. To save a photo from the web just press and hold it.
  • You can multiple select photos for your collage. Move them to where you want them.

  •  To set a photo as a background double tap it. Tap on an empty space to select one of their backgrounds. 

  • To delete a photo drag or flick the photos into the bin that appears at the top right hand side of the screen.
  • Use the two finger pinch and spread and rotate to manipulate the photos to how and where you want them.
  • To trim a photo double tap it and trace around the outside with your finger. Press DONE when you’re done. 

  •  Tap anywhere in the background to add text.

  • Look at the top left of the text box to edit font etc.
  • Look to the bottom right hand corner arrow to export the finished collage to the Camera Roll.

Blogger

Now you are ready to share your collages. Go to your Blogger app and log in.

  • Blogger will ask you permission to access your photos. It will need to do that to access your Camera Roll.

  •  Click on the pencil at the bottom left corner to write your post. Add a title and some text and close the keyboard by clicking on the orange keyboard.

  •  Select your image by clicking on the photo icon on the bottom left of your screen.

  •  If you have labels on your blog remember to add it. Then click Publish. Go to Safari to see how the blog post looks!

Here is a paper version of this tutorial to download if you find it easier to work from that.

Posted in How To, iOS | No Comments »