Last month I was asked to provide a few lines about how I believe Apple has transformed classrooms. Unfortunately for the organisers I didn’t want to concentrate on just what one company, or even one single piece of technology., has done to ‘transform’ or enhance the classroom. I also don’t agree we should concentrate on one single entity or company as being more important than another. So I wrote a more generic piece about my experiences with changes in technology, as well as its use, who uses it, and why, in classrooms. From this they could take a few choice snippets as it suited them. Here’s what I wrote:
“Classroom learning, and for that matter learning in general, has been transfdormed by the rise of mobile computing. Smartphones and tablets have brought about the ‘always-on’ availability of anyone with the funds to buy the devices. Being connected to the Internet enables interaction and engagement with networks of learners from any locations, from coffee shops to shopping centres, to libraries and schools – it is this that has transformed the use of technology for learning.
The rise of the App Store, whilst not a ‘technology’ per se, has brought about such a change in approach and delivery of learning resources to teachers, parents, and children – at no other time have so many passionate and talented individuals been able to design and implement such a varied range of learning resources, and have the ability to reach a global audience. This is the power of the App Store (once you filter out the dross and poorly designed Apps).”
“Search engines are the backbone of everyday Internet use, but are you aware of the hidden tips and tricks available to improve your search? Here are some pointers that’ll save you Googling ‘how to Google’.”
I’ve seen this before, a while ago, and lost it. So here it is, blogged and saved forever! Continue reading →
The internet is after your job! According to this video at any rate.
“New technology can destroy jobs. In the past, this has mainly affected unskilled jobs, but now it’s hitting the middle classes – cutting a swathe across the creative industries and ‘professions’. Within a generation we may find that there are no such things as a ‘career’ or ‘job security’. What’s driving this disruption to our working lives – and what can you do about it?”
Among other industries previously affected, including manual jobs, it is now the working class world of teachers, lawyers, and doctors that are under fire from technology-inspired application – MOOCs anyone?
The trick, which most of us already know, is to carve your own niche and stand out from the crowd. Be unique, be yourself, and stay relevant.
I’ve had (and still got, somewhere) an iPod Mini, iPod Nano, iPod Touch, and my iPod Classic. Why am I still favouring the unpopular Classic over the other more fashionable or stylish iPods. Easy … storage.
My music iTunes library is over 64gb, and the Classic (I have a capacity of an advertised 120gb – realistically only about 113gb) was the only decently priced option to store it all.
And Apple have killed it off. It’s probably in favour of the touchscreen rather than the out-of-date click-wheel (I still like it though), but there isn’t an alternative with the capacity for my whole library. This means I’m going to be mega annoyed when/if my Classic develops faults and I have to look a the quite frankly inferior options.
I have my Classic in the car during the week so I can listen to something I want (without the inane and annoying radio DJ dribble/banter), and it’s in the kitchen plugged in to the stereo at the weekend providing background music and a lively environment. Continue reading →
Here’s what I learned last week … to call someone a Luddite, in the context of someone who is reluctant to be involved or get involved in technology, is wrong.
Hang on, back up a bit. At ALTC last week Audrey Watters spent a whole hour walking us through technology in history and literature without actually talking about technology at all. From Frankenstein’s monster to Luddites I learned more then than in any single History or literature lesson at school! Yes, really.
So, what’s wrong with Luddites? Well, nothing really, but it’s how we use the term when referring to colleagues who ‘fight’ against technological change or development. Audrey set all of us straight on this – the history of Luddites, and our use of the term, is far from fear of technology or technological change.
I like the ever-present ability of using my phone to take photos when I’m out and about, whether it’s for family and friends, to post to Instagram, or to capture opportunities at a conference or event I’m at. I wish, however, I had more options when it came to taking different photo styles and/or zooms. This is why I looked around at the different kits available for my iPhone, and decided to make use of the offer from the Cult Of Mac website for the ‘Ultimate iPhone Photography Lens Kit’.
“Because we now live in a technology-based world, we believe in the smart use of technology in the classroom to facilitate student engagement is no longer optional. The use of online education and technology can also effectively address the age-old problem of having students on various levels in the same classroom and allow for the simplified creation of personalized learning plans.”
“As educators, and as an association, we understand that questioning basic assumptions and asking difficult questions are what education leaders are expected to do. We should regularly analyze advantages and disadvantages of the benefits and growing dependence on technology in the classroom, workplace and society as a whole.”
“However, technology can act as an impediment to education as well. All is not equal with technology. Some students have unlimited access to computers and internet at school and home while others have very little to none … technology infrastructure varies widely from urban to rural areas. How can you create a technologically-based curriculum for all if all do not have access to computers / software / broadband? How do you make sure the teachers are trained on the ever changing apps and software that are available? And if you have a school where most every student has a device, how do you make sure each student stays on task and their data is safe?”
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.
This morning I saw an innocent tweet from my pal David Walker (@drdjwalker) about the concept of an ‘App Swap Breakfast’. Needless to say it got me thinking …
It’s quite simple – friends, colleagues, interested individuals, etc. meet at a set time & place and showcase their favourite App of the moment.
So, here’s a call for Leicester friends and interested individuals – do you want to set one up and try it out? Shall we try and engage this on a frequent basis … every month, and if so where? There’s plenty of space.
Common interests (teaching / learning / scholarship / institutional / subject / revision / reference / entertainment / etc.)
A data projector
A wall or screen on which to project
The concept / idea put forward by Fiona MacNeill, from an idea on LifeHacker website, the AppSwap idea has been licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License meaning anyone can share and redistribute the materials, and adapt, remix, or transform / build upon them but with appropriate credit is given and that any new work is also provided under a Creative Commons license.
Anyone interested is trying to get a Leicester App Swap Breakfast working? If you are interested (or have a particular reason why not) then please reply below or tweet with the hashtag #AppSwapLeic. If there’s enough interest perhaps we can try it out?
IBM have released five videos – “In the future, everything will learn” detailing their belief in where technology will take us in the next five years. In ‘The classroom will learn you’ IBM believe that the “classroom of the future will learn about each individual student over the course of their education, helping them master the skills that match their goals.” Something that is echoed (or mirrored) in the 2014 NMC Horizon Report also announced earlier this week, where ‘learner analytics’ are highlighted as a key trend (in the mid-range / 3 to 5 year context) and under the heading ‘important developments’ in Higher Education (time-to-adoption of one year or less). Continue reading →