and again

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Assignment 7

So I am asked to create a screen cast. A tutorial for others. What do I know about that I can teach others? I have learnt so much from watching tutorials and screen casts, but not sure if I can add to others knowledge.

So what have I learnt to do this week, online? I have learnt to create a route for running on Endomondo. Could this be educationally useful? Well health educators might need to create an exercise plan for students, and being able to set them goals to be used with ios devices could be handy. Students might be setting their own fitness goals, or creating assignments around their local attractions and activities. So I am happy now that i have chosen this tutorial.

I certainly hope that the link works!!!

NO

Well after two more hours playing around, oh I mean working hard at this last assignment, I can confidently say that embedding is not so easy. I can do it in edmodo, but so far not in wordpress. Even though I can say I have submitted my last assignment, I don’t think the journey has finished, but then again that’s the idea!!!!!

 

Assignment 6

Ok, here goes….

My own progression with technology is coming on just fine. I am learning about new concepts and using them with new programs and apps. I feel like I am keeping ahead of my children (10 and 6), which enables me to guide them towards technology that is appropriate and educational, as well as engaging.

Professionally my mind has been broadened, to the possibilities of creating a technologicaly inclusive classroom. Not having my own class at the moment, I some times have felt a little bit out of step with other PLN participants. I am still however finding tools such as evernote helpful in recording my observations and storing articles. I no longer print off interesting articles to “read sometime”, only to find that I can not find them later.

As a citizen, technology has impacted me greatly. My smartphone is never far from my reach, I electronically share my life with family and friends in distant places daily, ‘google that will you’ is the call from my friends around the table as they know I will already have my fingers ready to type, the majority of my banking and bill paying and shopping has been online for years and ‘a workout never counts unless you log it’. As a conservative online citizen, I am careful to only use secure sites, and secure networks (watchout doing a bit of banking online while travelling, even Qantas Club network has been hacked), only publish photos that I would be happy for my grandmother or employer to see, restrict where and when my children can go online and encourage my child (10) to question who they are really communicating with.

As a community, technology has made us smarter consumers, which in someways has jepodised small local businesses, who have either not embraced technology or not created a point of difference between themselves and the ‘majors’. We can access so much more, and crave so much more. I am thinking that this is not always better, as people can become very resentful of what they do not have instead of what they do have. The advances in technology mean that children see the newest device as soon as the aquire a device of their own, the ‘needs’ escalate.

As an educator,modelling any aspect of citizenship is important. Technology just adds another layer, another skill set to teach. Modelling technology best practice needs to be compulsory for educators, as the society that our children are entering into is so reliant on its citizens to be tech savvy.

My 5 effective learner characteristics are , organised, focused, curious, flexible and optimistic.

Organised – keeping digital copies of documents, filled appropriately will reduce the paper trail that I can easily trip over.

Focused – Sometimes I find that technology is a hindrance to keeping me focused, as I can easily get distracted by alerts etc. To switch off the sound on all devices before buckling down to work can help. Using timing devices (Pomodoro), are a very useful tool that not only keep you focused, but give you scheduled breaks.

Curious – Access to the WWW allows the learner to follow links to all sorts of places that they would sometimes have no idea existed.

Flexible – Utilizing programs like Google Chrome and Evernote, have enabled me to access sites and documents from various devices. Being a mobile educator across a p-12 campus, this has been invaluable.

Optimistic – Sometimes the amount of technology available can be so very daunting. Stumbling across amazing sites and articles daily can only be a stimulus for optimism. Searching the WWW, is like following a trail of gemstones.

I can not even start to imagine how we will be learning in the future, but I am sure that educators will still be required to work with students personally, not just through technology, because we, as a race are sociable animals.  I can already see a change in how technology has integrated within the classroom after 12 years out of the teaching system. My own children are happy to use educational apps at home, but dread ‘homework’. The more we can engage our students the better. One downside that I have noticed is the increase in impatience. We can have access to so many things with a click of a button, that when something takes longer than a few minutes, it becomes ‘too hard’, ‘boring’, ‘not working’ etc. We still need to get out and plant gardens and watch them grow slowly, build Meccano and struggle with the fiddly pieces, cook from scratch and appreciate the ease to with which devices have sped up the cooking process, and ride real bikes not just visit virtual skate parks. Technology has not only changed how we learn, but how we live. As educators we need to show children a balanced life.

Assignment 5

Ok, so I chose healthy lifestyle for children as my topic, as that is what I am working with at the moment. On both Google and Google chrome, I could change the area to Australia and the reading level to easy, but I still had ads at the beginning, which sometimes can lead you to unsuitable sites. In chrome I could save bookmarks to use on other devices, which is a feature that I love. I often am working on up to 6 different devices throughout a day. The search gave me mostly organisations and government departments, which would be suitable for recent information on the topic. Using Bing, I pretty much got the same results, and changing to Australian websites, was an easier process, but I could not change the reading level. There were also no ads. I tried Instagrok, after finding it during the last assignment and thought it would be great. I do love the reading level adjustment tool, as you do not need to leave the front page to change it. There did not seem to be any other settings I could change however, and ended up with predominately American sites, which for my topic, did not always give the current information relevant to our children. The format of pictures and words on a mind map, was a very effective tool, however, I could see many children (and adults) going off on amazing tangents, as some other PLN participants have reported. I loved the notes section, and the ability to delete any irrelevant articles. I did find myself watching videos, which i would not normally do on a Google search.

So overall, for pure information and data, i would stick to google chrome, but for interesting facts and different formats of information relevant to children I liked Instagrok.

For children I quite liked Instagrok, however, a unit of work on how to utilise the engine would be needed.

 

OK now the CRAP test!!!

I found a website called gutsychallenge.com, so presuming it was American, i thought it would be fairly dodgy and full of advertising etc. I was actually surprised to find a very interesting Australian site about raisng awareness and funds for GI Cancer. It seemed very professionally setup, with no errors etc, it had a copyright listed as 2012, it had links to the GI Cancer institute, which worked, and had lots of contact details, including phone numbers not just emails. The site is primarily a fundraising site, which raises money for Gi Cancer, and challenges children etc to eat more fruit and veg, in the prevention of cancer. You can also sponsor children who are participating etc. I really liked this idea, and would love to incorporate it into a classroom. The challenge runs from March to November, so it is not just a brief challenge, that does not impact n children’s lives over an extended amount of time.

So off to find a CRAP site!!!!

Ok, found one!!! called planetpals, and the first thing that jumps out is an ad for magnum icecreams!!!!!!!!!!!!! I would usually discard the site immediately, but I will delve further for this exercise. Oh it just got better, a cat food ad. But actually, apart from being american and their food pyramid looking very different from the Australian one, they had a lot of downloadable posters etc that would be useful in the classroom, including hygiene as well as nutrition. Their copyright info said 2008, and the contact info just went straight to email. To triangulate their info, it did have  a web address to american agriculture department websites, but not actual links.  And then an ad for a product to de-stress my cat popped up!!! So overall, some pretty pictures, but……

so I think i might remember to delete the American sites next time.

 

Do I dare go to Pintrest??

Well, that was a way to avoid the housework, I could follow links etc for hours on there!! might leave that until I have finidhes all assignments and painted the extension.

Going around in circles!!!!

Finally a change to do assignment 4!!!!

i decided to try readlist as I often see an article and think ‘that sounds interesting, ill read that later’. The website was easy to join, with normal boring legal stuff to read in the terms. It did emphasise free, and easy to cancel, and also stressed that it did not share personal details with third parties. Adding the readability logo to safari on the iPad was not possible, and even the help sheet was far to complicated. To read the instructions for loading it on to the iPad, I had to send it it either Evernote or Dropbox, which neither let me read it. Dropbox said to read it in either edmodo or Evernote, edmodo said to open it I either Evernote or dropbox, Evernote said to read it in either Dropbox or edmodo…………. Going around in circles!!!!!!!!!!!!

So I think that just copying a URL and pasting it in the read list website without logging in and emailing it ti I books was the easiest. I would be happy for someone to make it simpler for me.

When just reading articles in safari, bookmarking the URL in safari was very simple, just not able to share as easily.

The log in for read list only required an email, no other details.

as far as using it in the classroom I would need to get more proficient, but can see a use.

I also had a look at instagrok which seemed like a great search engine for students. It came up with age appropriate information which I could definitely see me using within a classroom.

I am going to try and attach some information, so will post this then try to edit!!!! Wish me luck.

Day three at this, and no luck yet……

A NEW DAY HAS DAWNED
I have added word press as an app on my iPad, and it is actually easier!!!! Well, so far.

Not having a lap top with me all the time, or a PC, I have been relying in my work iPad to do almost everything. Being a transient worker within my school environment this has been the easiest way to work. Otherwise I would need a trolly to lug everything from one end of the school to another.

I will see how I go now.

20130516-094543.jpg

Aha, I might have just added a picture, random one but a picture no less, will see once I hit update.

YIPPEE KI YAY!!!!!!!
Now if only read lists was this easy. Off to assignment 5.

Assignment 3

OK, no work technology at home for 2 weeks, so feeling rather rusty. Tonight however, I am bringing out the oil can.
I have joined twitter for the second time, as it was so long ago that i joined, that i can not even remember what my email was at the time. So @PartridgeSally is the Twitter Handle I have been been given.
I have been listening to the staff room chat about the PLN, and have been personally reflecting on how all these new connection I am going to make will affect my life as well as my learning. I feel so time poor most of the time, and wonder how all the extra blogs, tweets and other articles are going to impact on the little free time I have. Will it hone my reading, or just overwhelm me?
I already have a paper file and two email files of ‘stuff to read later’.

I was also wondering who else is feeling this way, perhaps that is the start of my PLN network.

So now to the actual questions.

I have not used twitter but do know professionals that find it really handy to follow updates in their profession.

I have used Facebook personally for years. Living away from a lot of my family, I find it invaluable in keeping up  to date with my family and friends globally. I have also used it for business, and found it a valuable tool for informing clients of updates and specials etc.

I am a member of Facebook groups, that keep me informed of information without being part of my ongoing status page. I shop for children’s clothes through my friends Facebook shop, and follow many pages on a variety of topics.

I think that for me, Facebook is probably more useful, but now that I am on twitter, we will see.

Facebook is blocked at our school, and I first thought this was a good idea, but my thoughts are changing. Perhaps with structure it could be useful. With our year 3-12 students now having access to our network through BYO devices, monitoring students posts etc during break times may be just too frought with complications. However saying that, the students are all finding other sites etc that allow them to communicate to each other during class. Perhaps education is the way.

I can now see myself creating  a second Facebook log in, just for school. Just not accessable at school.???