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).”
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 It’s probably in favour of the touchscreen rather than the out-of-date click-wheel (I still like it though), but there isn’t an alternative with the capacity for my whole library.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 →
It is clear to see all around us just what impact smartphones have had on society and, in my area of interest, learning. It has enabled truly mobile learning to take place – in the sense of mobile materials as well as mobile individuals – as well as interactions when we, the learner, wants it, not just when the course director wants it. Apple has taken something, developed it, marketed it, and let it loose on the world. You could argue about Apple and Steve Jobs’ intent and whether they knew what they had when it was first released, but it is the inclusion of the App Store and the developments the global community made that have helped steer and mould the direction the iPhone and subsequent smartphones took. Continue reading →
Last week I was involved in the second iteration / cohort / running of the BYOD4L short course. Along with a number of colleagues we ran a series of tweet-chats each evening along the course themes – timed between 8-9pm the tweet-chats involved facilitators posing questions and ‘facilitating’ the responses and direction the chat took.
Taking is back to the beginning … what is a tweet-chat?
“A TweetChat is a virtual meeting or gathering on Twitter to discuss a common topic. The chat usually lasts one hour and will include some questions to stimulate discussion.” – BYOD4L Tweet-chat
“A Twitter chat is a public Twitter conversation around one unique hashtag. This hashtag allows you to follow the discussion and participate in it. Twitter chats are usually recurring and on specific topics to regularly connect people with these interests.” Social Media Examiner
I thought I’d write up my experiences of running three tweet-chats now: two for BYOD4L, and one for the Leicester Forensic Science FutureLearn MOOC. Each uses a different approach, but both very valid and engaging for the students / participants as well as the course team(s).
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’.
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 →
The final day for the short BYOD4L framework is here – creating! With the guidance and preparation of the below, we knew we were in for an interesting time:
“We want to encourage you to explore learning through ‘making’ – meaning how you can use smart devices and applications to develop original and meaningful outputs as an individual or within groups. An opportunity to find ways to express yourself creatively and develop personal learning activities that are relevant and meaningful to your needs.”
The first thing I saw on the final day of BYLD4L was Chrissi Nerantzi saying we needed to check we could tweet pictures. So I did. 8:31 this picture was tweeted as I waited for my day to start (a rare peaceful moment before the students arrived and made some noise): Continue reading →
Day four is upon us (going quickly, isn’t it!) and we’re looking at collaborating.
“We all need to work with other people and this is an opportunity to explore how smart devices can enable you to work with individuals and groups in a number of versatile ways so that you can maximise engagement and effectiveness when collaborating.”
Firstly, and before we get into the Twitter chat from last night .. curation can be defined as “maintaining, preserving and adding value to digital research data throughout its lifecycle.” (Digital Curation Centre).
The storify archive from the tweet chat last night is already available (thanks Sue and Chrissi again) and include some great chat and interesting questions on curation, including: Continue reading →
Communication is big news. Unless you’re in the same room as the person you’re talking to you will be using some form of technology, whether it’s a home phone, mobile phone, computer (Skype, Instant Messenger or Chat, Google Hangouts, etc.) or a ‘new’ device like a tablet or smartphone(FaceTime, Skype, IM, etc.). But communication is now enhanced, and sometimes replaced, by social tools like Facebook, Twitter, blogging, commenting, even Instagram or Vine. What you use says as much about you as the tools you don’t.
So here, on day two of BYOD4L, the theme/topic makes us consider these different tools or techniques and our personal preferences for communicating. The Twitter chat posed some serious questions which was tweeted and discussed at length. How do we engage, how we want others to engage with us, and how we use these interactions is paramount to making those interactions matter.
We asked the following questions. Remember, each one was being tweeted to we were limited to 140 characters … well, more like 126 after you remove the ‘#BYOD4Lchat’ hashtag and ‘Q1′ and spaces, then drop another 30 or so for the ‘please use A1 and hashtag in your reply’ … so we only had about 80-90 characters to play with. Here’s what we asked: Continue reading →