As part of a new series of posts, I will be talking to authors of The Really Useful #EdTechBook about their work, experiences, and contribution to the book. In this seventh post I talk to Terese Bird, Learning Technologist and SCORE research fellow, University of Leicester.
DH – Hi Terese. How does the use of technology, in all its various forms, affect your day-to-day working life?
TB – Really, I do my job on the strength of first social media, and second mobile devices. I remember when I was being interviewed for my job at Leicester back in 2009, I was asked how I stay on top of developments in the field, and I said, “Twitter.” Even before I had any smart handheld devices, I was regularly using Twitter to learn from others in the field of learning technology and tech innovation generally. Even on extremely busy days, I can take a quick skim through Twitter, retweet a couple of things or put a couple of things on Scoop.it. Not only have I learnt from the blog post or news item, I have shared it, and often get some response on it — so in 20 minutes or so, I have done valuable horizon-scanning, learning, and networking in my field. Continue reading
The 2014 ALT Conference is just around the corner (in more than just time – it’s being held at the University of Warwick, which is where I now work!), and I’m getting ready for it.
The theme for this year (and my first ALTC) is ‘Riding Giants: How to innovate and educate ahead of the wave’ , and the wave I’m trying to crest at the moment is planning the sessions and presentations I want to attend. It’s not helped by the fact so many of them are interesting, and that so many of them occur at the same time as each other.
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.
As per Fiona MacNeill’s insightful post ‘DIY: Build your own App Swap Breakfast Event‘ you will need:
- A group of people with devices
- Session leaders (learning technologists / librarians / teachers / student advisers / mentors / etc.)
- A space/s for sessions to be held
- Common interests (teaching / learning / scholarship / institutional / subject / revision / reference / entertainment / etc.)
- A data projector
- A wall or screen on which to project
- Resource lists
- QR Codes
- Audience Feedback
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?
VideoScribe HD (iPad): I’ve enjoyed watching videos from RSA Animate, as have others, that take an audio track (usually a presentation or speech) and animates the drawing of concepts and take-away quotes. The best of these is the speech of Sir Ken Robinson ‘Changing Education Paridigms’.
“Award winning software, Sparkol VideoScribe is a completely unique way to create engaging animated videos quickly and easily. Often called Whiteboard animation or sometimes Fast Drawing, VideoScribe replicates the stop-motion capture style of drawing that’s so popular on commercials at a fraction of the cost.”
VideoScribe HD (£3.99)
Advertised features of the App include (and are also available on the PC/Mac 7 day free trial): Continue reading
Here’s the question … has anyone designed a Blackboard course purely from the perspective of working from the Mobile Learn App? Is it a mobile-friendly Bb course, or is it in fact a mobile-first approach to course design?
In my very unscientific approach I have seen differences between content I have loaded to a Blackboard (Bb) course and how it is displayed in the browser and in the App, but I’ve not seen what a Bb course looks like if it’s been designed purely for access and interactions through the App. Here’s why i’m asking:
- I suspect that no one has built one yet.
- I suspect that the course, designed for mobile, would not work well for a desktop learner.
- I suspect that some elements, like tables and other “customization” approaches (as Bb refers to them), will not work pedagogically when we follow the Bb guide and the “suggest adding these content types as a PDF file” advice.
- Can you create a good ‘design’ that allows for good pedagogy in the restrictions imposed by the App (images, files, layout, screen real-estate, etc.)?
I see plenty of resources that mimic the Bb help pages and resources, but none that actually explain and/or showcase good ‘design’. If you have examples, or links, or screenshots, or reports, or journal articles you can share with the rest of us then please leave them in comments below.
Turnitin (iPad): Many have asked about an iPad App for Turnitin, and we have waited a while for it. But now it’s here, let’s see if it’s any good!
“Everything you love about grading with Turnitin® is now available on iPad, allowing educators to Grade Anywhere™. Teachers using Turnitin’s grading tools save time grading student papers while offering more meaningful feedback and ensuring their originality.”
Turnitin (free): https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/turnitin/id657602524
The App offers the same functionality we use and enjoy through a browser but in an App-environment. It does take a while to get used to, especially the subtlety when including and adding QuickMarks or comments to the text.
Hangouts (iPhone, iPod, iPad): From a couple of failed Skype calls recently, and a computer that has decided to not allow the Google+ Hangouts software to be installed, I needed an alternative solution, and quick. One quick trip to the App store, a short search query, and a short download time, and the Hangouts App is ready.
“Google+ Hangouts brings one-to-one and group conversations to life with photos, emoji and video calls for free. Connect with friends across computers, phones and tablets.” Hangouts (free):
While the App is for iPad and iPod, I’ve only used it on the iPhone at the moment (for you Android lovers out there, you can have it too!). The App is easy to use – just sign in and it picks up your Google+ settings and contacts / circles. The list of contacts makes it easy to see who’s online and who isn’t, and ‘calling’ them or joining a hangout is relatively straight forward.
There are a couple of things I’ll bring to your attention though: Continue reading
What App could you NOT live without? Whether it’s Dropbox for collaborative working, Angry Birds for brainless relaxation, WordPress for your blogging activities, Keynote for presentation creation and delivery, Blackboard Mobile Learn for course/material management, email or calendars for normal work use, or something else entirely … what App do you use the most or consider the most important in your working/daily life.
I’m not limiting this to iOS ‘apps’ but please consider any ‘tool’ you use on a mobile or tablet device.
Leave a comment below and share your App and reasons for it. If you’ve already written this up then link to your post and share your thoughts and preferences with us.
Foldify (iPad): I can’t remember how or where I found out about this app but it is one of the best one’s I’ve ever bought/downloaded. It’s a simple idea – use one of the pre-defined blank templates of a 3D shape and draw on the explanded, unfolded, version to design your very printed 3D figurine. Through it’s simple and intuitive interface budding artists (and big kids alike!) can create and share their own unique paper figure creations.
“Draw, create, print and fold beautiful 3D figures with Foldify. You don’t need drawing skills, Foldify has tons of free content to create amazing, high quality figures!”
Foldify (£1.49): http://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/foldify/id527118971
Watch this video for an introduction on what it does and how it works … it’s really what touchscreen devices were made for!
Ever since the upgrade to iOS6 the one thing I, and many more, have missed are the Google Maps. Well, ever since news leaked of Google Maps being ready for the App Store we have been waiting for it’s release. And here it is!
‘Google Maps’ (iPhone/iPad/iPod): Thankfully available on the iPhone again, I’ve missed this .. and it’s back and better than before. It’s still a pity that you can’t make an App the ‘default’ for this type of content, like the Chrome browser App instead of default Safari browser, but it’s still good to have the maps back … and hopefully more accurate and ‘trustworthy’ than the ‘other one’.
“Get comprehensive, accurate and easy-to-use maps with built-in Google local search, voice guided turn-by-turn navigation, public transport directions, Street View and more. Use Google Maps to discover great places to eat, drink, shop and play, with ratings and reviews from people you trust. Sign in to save your favourite places and quickly access all your past searches and directions from your computer, right on your phone.”
Google Maps (free): http://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/google-maps/id585027354