“The role of social media has the potential to extend beyond learning and teaching to support student engagement in the broadest sense. It offers a new way to develop relationships between the student or learner and their institution, as well as an alternative means to raise awareness of an institution’s engagement efforts.” Continue reading →
A couple of months ago I had one of those ‘ah ha’ moments I should have had 25+ years ago at school. I have never been good at taking notes. Never.
At school I was always behind and struggling because I couldn’t keep up with my teachers and their dictated notes. I wasn’t alone with this, but it was still hard. At University it was the same, but it felt worse because everyone else wrote and kept amazing notes from lectures, demonstrations, field-trips, etc. I survived and gained my degree because I had generous friends who helped me when I needed it.
Now, with nearly 18+ years since graduation I’ve finally realised why I am still making rubbish notes in meetings, conferences, etc. (apart from the obvious reason that I suck at it). It’s the wrong medium for me. It’s not that my handwriting is so awful I can’t read it (which, unfortunately, it is) it’s that I don’t respond to those kinds of notes. Therefore I shouldn’t be trying to take notes like that.
“Social media is here. It’s just another resource and doesn’t have to be a distraction from learning objectives. Social media is another tool that you can use to make your classroom more engaging, relevant and culturally diverse.”
The list consists of:
Tweet or post status updates as a class.
Write blog posts about what students are learning.
Let your students write for the world.
Connect to other classrooms through social media.
Use Facebook to get feedback for your students’ online science fair projects.
Use YouTube for your students to host a show or a podcast.
Create Twitter accounts for a special interest projects.
Ask questions to engage your students in authentic learning.
Communicate with other classrooms.
Create projects with other teachers.
Share your learning with the world.
Further a cause that you care about.
What would you add (or remove) from the list to help others utilise students and their devices?
Photowall for Chromecast (iPhone/iPad): I recently wrote about the Chromecast I bought and have been trying out. This App, Photowall, is probably the best app currently available for schools and classroom activities.
Photowall enables students in (and outside) the classroom to ‘send’ images to the TV screen.
“Photowall for Chromecast is a new Chrome Experiment that lets people collaborate with images on the TV – using phones or tablets. Anyone can take a picture and send it to a Photowall to instantly see it on the big screen.” Continue reading →
Here’s a great video for this Friday afternoon: ‘the innovation of loneliness’. What is the connection between social networks and being lonely? The …
“…idea, that we will never have to be alone, is central to changing our psyches. It’s shaping a new way of being; the best way to describe it is “I share, therefore I am”. We use technology to define ourselves by sharing our thoughts and feelings even as we’re having them. Furthermore, we’re faking experiences so we’ll have something to share. So we can feel alive.”
A few months ago I was trying to decide on whether to spend £100 on an Apple TV or £30 on a Google Chromecast. I opted for the cheaper, newer, untried, unknown Chromecast.
Here are my thoughts, so far … it’s not there yet, but it has potential.
It is easy to set up and easy to use. Simply plug it into an HDMI slot on the back or your TV. If’ you’ve a USB port on the TV too then use this for power, if not you’ll have another cable trailing on the floor to a plug. Follow the short, simple instructions to set Chromecast up on your wifi, either through your laptop or iPad browser, and that’s it. It took about 3 minutes in all and then I was away.
The ‘mobile learning’ toolkit from JISC is excellent, go take a look. I’ve brought this one aspect to the fore … ’10 steps to mobile learning adoption’
“The generic 10-step process outlined in the image above has been adapted from Gary Woodill’s very detailed mLearning Road Map and is a useful overview as to how to successfully implement a mobile learning initiative:”
When it comes to developing materials and learning resources for your course, I think it’s important to know when to keep it simple.
We have all seen examples, or know of some, where every possible bell-and-whistle has been applied, in good intention, but the final result has made the course complicated and heavy.
Here are a few tips on how, and why, to keep it simple, which apply as much to online distance learning courses as well as campus courses:
Signpost: provide little ‘signposts’ to learning resources, assignment details, marking criteria, timetables, etc. to help the student. The larger the course or course materials then the more complicated the course structure could be, and the more lost a students will find themselves in your course. Continue reading →
“The size of a small cauliflower, the human brain is the most complex organ in your body. It squeezes out 70,000 thoughts a day. But where does it store information? And how does it generate flights of fancy? Explore the inner workings of your personal ideas factory.”
This video posted to The Guardian ‘extreme learning’ section is a great introduction to “how your brain works” (and therefore learns).
Sorry, the video isn’t embedded but if you click it it will take you to The Guardian website where you watch the short video.