enhanced learning

Love your iPad? Try out possibly the best app for blogging #edtech

Blogsy is a powerful app for use on the iPad! It is not free but the $7 paid is worth it! Having used a few blogging apps on the iPad (free and paid), I have to say blogsy is probably the best. Here are some reasons why:

  1. Advanced formatting bar, better then any app I have used on the iPad
  2. Brings most of the widely used Web 2 tools together into one easy to use user interface, some tools: YouTube, flicker, picasa, Google search, and many more you can add.
  3. Drag and drop interface – meaning you don’t have to now worry about HTML tags etc to insert YouTube videos or pictures from picasa or flicker.
  4. There are many things – you need to try Blogsy for yourself to find out.
  5. PS – I am not associated with Blogsy in anyway – just that as a user and having tried quite a few blogging apps, I just found this to be the best in every way. Specially if your students blog using their iPad ….

Example of a picture insert from picasa

Example YouTube video – just drag and drop

 

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Digital Divide: If Youre Reading This, Youre One of the Lucky Ones [INFOGRAPHIC]

Digital Divide: If Youre Reading This, Youre One of the Lucky Ones [INFOGRAPHIC].

Digital Divide: If Youre Reading This, Youre One of the Lucky Ones [INFOGRAPHIC]

UCOL Workshop feedback – Reconceptualising Learning and Teaching for the 21st Century Learner

The pictures below are of the feedback given after the workshop by UCOL staff. The outline of the workshop and other resources can be found at this location: http://effectivepedagogy.wikispaces.com/1.+UCOL+Workshop+Plan

UCOL Workshop Feedback

Students and Technology – What the students want/value. What we are doing wrong.

While I find this infograhic informative, it also reveals what we need to be doing in order to move forward. To me it shows how strong a hold traditional pedagogies have in our classrooms. The high use of technologies such as projector and document camera highlight how delivery of content is still the focus of our practice. The fact that when asked, if technology was used effectively, only 19%  (of 3000 students surveyed) agreed that technology was being used effectively and was appropriately embedded within the learning process. Out of the 3000 students surveyed, 55% of the students had smartphones, yet skills such as audio-creation, geotagging and eportfolios were amongst what students wanted to learn more about.

We are not doing it right!

What has changed? – Part 2 – iOS5 and ATV

Following on from my last post – What has changed? I thought this would be a good time to talk about iOS5 and Apple TV.
The last blog post highlighted how the technologies in our current classroom have failed to inspire the change much needed in education today. The limitation of the early blackboard to a whiteboard and projector have always had or come with a hierarchical structure, again mainly to do with the affordance of these technologies. The biggest problem being having to be ‘at the front’ and by default the teachers have primarily assumed this role.

iOS5 and ATV – A game changer?

If you are not an Apple fan then, with the iOS 5 update and if you have an Apple TV with the latest iOS update for it installed, you can mirror the iPad 2 screen wirelessly on the projector. There are a few things you need to sort out before you are able to do this since most projector in the classroom are not HDMI compatible.

How does this change the game?

Firstly, it tackles the issue which has been at the heart of education for decades, breaking down the hierarchical structure. Now, there is no need for anyone to be at the front of the classroom. Students and teachers alike can share and learn together! Sharples (2002) speculates ‘the tensions between personal technology and institutional education will increase as students breach the sealed world of the classroom by bringing in computers that are capable of communicating with the internet’ (p. 6). What Sharples (2002) here is talking about is the change brought about by students and their interaction with and use if different technologies and tools, which blurs the formal and informal learning context. While this change is driven by students and their use of the tools, can a similar change in the classroom be driven by replacing the primitive technologies that exist and are conducive to traditional learning and teaching paradigms? I argue, it is capable of ‘flipping the classroom’ given the right technological and pedagogical support is provided to the staff and students involved. The affordance of new technologies like ATV, iOS screen mirroring and AirPlay offer more opportunities than the whiteboard or the projector combined.

I am not arguing that technology itself is capable of driving change in the learning process rather the need to be creative and imaginative with these tools accompanied by the right pedagogy. The need to peak outside the ‘box’ and explore what else is possible, to try something different, to be able to think and conceptualise something that does not resemble the practice which is decades old. Something we all know is in a desperate need for change for the betterment of our learners and their/our future.

What has changed?

What has changed?

We have better equipment, most rooms now have a projector and a smartboard but that’s about it. The pandemic that surrounds the lack of innovative and effective practice for enhanced learning is still the wide application of  traditional pedagogies with smart technologies! So in reality nothing has changed! We continue the same practice with new tools. And the implication of this as highlighted in this tweet by @tomwhitby (http://tomwhitby.wordpress.com)

“If we continue to teach as we were taught, we will be doomed to live in the past as we move to the future! “

Back then:

Current:

Difference:

  1. New technology
  2. better seats
  3. Whiteboard (has progressed from Blackboard :-D)
Similarities:
  1. Passive role of the students (sit and listen)
  2. Sage on stage – delivery of information/knowledge to the students
  3. classroom setup – rows and columns
Time for a change:
Involve the students in what we are doing. Better, you get involved in what the students are doing. It’s about them, their future is on the line. Knowing is not enough to survive in this world, but continuously finding ways of knowing what you don’t know is. This is where technology helps the most. It helps by enabling a medium by which you can give feedback, and guide the students when needed. It enables learners to be active knowledge seekers and generators. It allows them (learners) to bring into learning their own experience and knowledge – a level of ownership and this ensures sustained engagement since they are solving a problem closure to their heart rather than something you have pitched (Authentic Learning).