Browsing "Everything ICT"
I’ve long sung the praises of using QR codes as a vehicle to support learning with these two posts being two such examples:
…and I’m not the only person either:
There are lots of places online that you can use to create your own QR codes for free too. The simple Kaywa site is one of the most popular and certainly ranks most highly on Google. Another site I like and use more frequently because of the colouring options is BeQRious and is really simple to use. More often than not however I use QRafter app on my iPad (the link will take you to the paid version, but there is also a lightweight version available for free here).
Today I found another site for creating QR codes called http://www.visualead.com/ - the USP with this site is their ability to embed QR codes in to existing images. You can do this for free too. You will need to sign up with your Google or Facebook account but once your there you can create some really nice QR codes which you can then edit and tweak as per below.
Why not give it a go!?
If you know of any other sites that do this or have some more ideas on how QR codes can be used, please let me know in the comments or say hi on twitter.
Whilst writing too, as I hit my 200th post on here, I’d just like to say thank you to everyone who keeps on reading my ramblings and finding them of some use. I love to hear from you – thank you for all the support and help you’ve given me.
Digital Citizenship is an area of massive importance and if you’re interested you should really check some of the links at the end of this post. Following JISC and looking at their work and connecting with the likes of @dughall, @simfin and @dajbelshaw among many others and @naace would be a great way forward.
Digital leaders have been doing assemblies all week on acceptable use, digital citizenship and more and if you’re interested in a bare bones version of their assembly presentation it’s on the #DLDropbox for you to take. If you’re interested in joining the #DLDropbox, please give me a shout on Twitter. As with many of the shared Dropboxes out there, it’s a great way to pool resources and share good practice. If you join up, please do share back!
Speaking of sharing, I saw this poster some time ago tweeted by @mrrobbo:
…and really wanted a version for us to use ourselves. I thought it fantastic so I’ve created my own which you can see below. The PDF version will print to A2 without any loss of quality and as above, the poster is also in the #DLDropbox.
If you have any further thoughts or links relating to this topic, I’d love you to share them in the comments. If you end up using this poster in your schools too, I’d love to hear about it too. It’s very satisfying seeing them being used elsewhere!
It’s not often that I write a specific post on a specific app but I am today. I’ve been using the app ‘Grafio’ for some time now. I found it because I was looking for an app that I could use to create my own infographics (a diagram that plots information in an often stylish way as a graphical object – if you’re looking for some classy examples, check the amazing site www.informationisbeautiful.net – it’s amazing!) and this was the best recommendation I received.
So why am I writing about it? What is so good about it? Well for me, the first thing really that makes it so powerful is that everything you create within it, is vector. This means that the quality of the items put on to the page are lossless. You can scale up a vector image to whatever size you want without it pixelating. This means that you can make really classy pieces of work which can be also saved in to a vector format (in this case PDF) which can then be printed A4, A3, A2 etc. In fact, the app even gives you a canvas up to A2 in size to work with. It is an exceedingly powerful tool.
So what could you use it for? Well, it allows you to:
- Draw and sketch freely
- Communicate ideas
- Make flowcharts (great for Computing & Maths & DT), graphs etc
- Great for organisation charts (Business Studies / Economics)
- Mindmaps, brainstorming ideas – learning tool
- Taking notes
- Record audio on each shape added to the graphic
- Make a presentation
- Create a design
- Play with typography
- Autoshape / smoothing from freehand shapes
- Insert images from Camera roll (bear in mind these would not be vector)
- Export as PDF, PNG or JPG or even export as a video showing the different stages of the process
- Connectivity with dropbox and box.net
Want some examples of what you can do? Here’s some I made earlier, which, while small now will if you click on them grow quite large. In the vein of sharing too, I have embedded the classroom rules poster at the end of this blog post as a PDF so you can print that A2 should you so desire.
So, you might not believe me that Grafio is any good. That’s fine, but I’d urge you to give it a go. The proper full version is normally circa £5.99 (I paid £2.99 for it one weekend when they’d reduced the price) but to have a go with it, why not just get the Grafio Lite version and have a play around. It’s free, so the only thing that’s going to take a hit is your pleasure and unleashing some of your creativity. Grab the lite version here: https://itunes.apple.com/tr/app/grafio-lite-diagrams-ideas/id393111242?mt=8
The developers have also created some video tutorials to support your use of the app here: http://bit.ly/grafiovideo
It just leaves me to say, I hope you have some cracking fun using it I’d just ask if you do like it, use it already, that you share some of your creations with me? After all, information is beautiful!
Original image at top of post taken from Deviant Art.
Here is the downloadable PDF version of the Classroom rules poster:
Whilst I’ll write a longer post soon about the inspiration from the day today at Berkhamsted’s “Teaching, Learning & Assessment” conference yesterday, I did say that I would put up my presentation and resources from the session. So here they are:
I also spoke about a SAMR flow chart based upon Ruben Puentedura’s work as a tool for helping with decision making related to planning lessons using technology. It looks like this:
If you have any ideas / feedback for how this could be developed further I would love to hear your thoughts.
You can download a higher quality version of this here which can be printed to A3 for your team/staff room notice board/dart board:
SAMR flow chart
Thanks to everyone at Berkhamsted who helped make yesterday such a fantastic day, in particular Rebecca Brooks & Nick Dennis. Here’s to TLAB14!
Plan to add to these in coming days / weeks but feel free to share under a share and share alike creative commons.
1% inspiration 99% perspiration
Kind, specific and helpful
Kind, specific and helpful
As we move forward towards a new National Curriculum, I for one am excited about the new challenges the new Computing/Computer Science/Computing Science (whatever you want to call it) curriculum will bring. It’s an opportunity to help bring some credence back to the subject which, let’s be face it, has had a bit of a bum deal for some time. And this, again, being frank, hasn’t necessarily been down to the thousands of teachers who have painstakingly jumped through the hoops of the qualifications that have been available, eg OCR nationals et al with death by screenshot qualifications; in many ways, it has been down to exam boards, Government and OFQUAL allowing ‘paint by numbers’ qualifications that, so long as you’re able to jump through the hoops of the 100% coursework (with no time limit!!!) of the qualification, then you’re going to be able to get a seriously good grade. The new curriculum gives us a brilliant opportunity to spark new fires in the minds of our learners.
This post isn’t trying to belittle the hundreds of hours teacher and students will have spent working on these courses mentioned above. I’m not trying to bemoan the amount of money schools will have spent on these courses either. To a large extent too, students will have learned lots about the ways in which various applications work and how the minutiae of the requirements of A N Other coursework brief might hold.
What I’m really hopeful for however, on top of the courses being ones which light fires with students and herald a new era of exciting technological learning, is that the assessment of the work created by students in ICT and Computing lessons will be assessed imaginatively, taking in to account the tools that students have access to in the real, modern world. At the end of the day, if it is important for a students to not only show the product, it is important for them to show the process that has taken them there.
One such way of showing the process, which doesn’t involve 23535624 annotated screenshots is through the use of screencasting and tying it to an eportfolio or curation of a variety of evidentiary screencasts. This can be done in a large number of ways; YouTube, Vimeo, local storage, linking on Storify, Scoop.it, so forth and so on. This I feel, has been part of the problem. I think a large number of students have become turned off by the subject by death by screenshot courses. Students can print a document landscape. It’s easy. So why can’t the process of generating evidence to demonstrate the process be simple too?
Another way, as seen for example in coding, is where we use commenting to explain our decisions and what the various parts of code do at various stages in the code – not only is it a way of sharing this with others who may view our code who might want to develop it, but it is also a really good way of showing understanding. In addition to this, particularly with coding – often there are lots of different ways to coming to the same conclusion. @teknoteacher references some great examples of this in this podcast. My analogy is that on the route to Edinburgh, there are lots of paths we could take; east coast, west coast, flying, boat, so forth and so on. Sometimes, the end product doesn’t take in to account the journey. There are bigger issues here that I could discuss, but am not, particularly about the whole ‘all eggs in one basket‘ problem as discussed by @huntingenglish
If I think about today for example. Posterous is shutting down, so I made this screencast here to help people who want to migrate their existing blogs to the WordPress.com option: http://ictevangelist.com/?p=1450 - making that took me circa 15 minutes. Imagine if I had had to do that by taking screenshots of each and every stage which I had to write down painstakingly each of the steps too. How long would that have taken? Would I have not been able to show the process as well? Does the screencast show the best process – the product is still the same, but is it the best way?
Let’s have a new curriculum which recognises the need for examining the process, taking in to account of the learning journey, making reference to and applauding the tenacity, grit and determination of learners along the way – not one which deadens learners, but makes appreciation of the ways in which modern students learn and give students the opportunity to show the product of that work in an end of course examination. That way – we value the process AND the product.
And…. whilst I might have your attention for a moment, could I please ask you to check out the Computing at School network and get involved in the discussion there too: http://community.computingatschool.org.uk/door
As you may or may not be aware I’ve been writing a book. I have to say it has been and continues to be one of the most reflective things I have ever done in relation to my practice. I can highly recommend it. If you’ve enjoyed blogging, try putting together a book. You will examine the way in which you work in so much more detail than you ever thought you would. I have and am LOVING it.
The publication date for the book is set for August of this year and it can be pre-ordered by visiting http://bit.ly/PerfectICT on Amazon.
Crown House Publishing and Independent Thinking Press have got some very flattering blurb about me here: http://www.crownhouse.co.uk/author/author.php?author=302
If you’d like to find out more, you’ll have to get the book. If you like what I write about on my blog and are looking for ideas that are backed with pedagogy, linked to the Ofsted framework, including tried and tested ideas from practitioners from across the country that you can take to embed in areas across your curriculum, across primary or secondary, then take a look.
It was a great feeling when I got the email through saying that my proposal to BETT had been accepted for us to talk about Digital Leaders at BETT this year. I was hopeful we’d get a slot, but wasn’t sure. As soon as I found out we’d been accepted, I was straight in touch with Sheli. As things were, the Digital Leader takeover was taking shape at BETT and if you check www.digitalleadernetwork.co.uk you’ll see the huge number of events that took place of the course of the event that involved Digital Leaders. It was fantastic.
In the weeks in the run up to BETT, liaison with Sheli and Chris Sharples (@gr8ICT) saw us collaborate on a presentation for us to deliver at the Learn Live theatre (below). Following some rather croaky presentation from me with a head cold, and brilliance from Sheli, Chris and his Digital Leaders that he brought from York to London, really stole the show. They were superb.
What was particularly pleasing / rewarding, was the number of conversations that took place afterwards; both face to face and via Twitter, where people were saying that following our talk, they would be looking to start up their own Digital Leader schemes.
If you’d like to find out more about Digital Leaders, please get in touch, visit www.digitalleadernetwork.co.uk or join in with #DLChat on Twitter, every Thursday at 9pm GMT. I wrote a bit more about the experience on the DLN site here too if you’d like to check it out: http://www.digitalleadernetwork.co.uk/?p=1670
Me talking on the Learn Live stand
Panorama of the Digital Leader Learn Live audience
Panorama of the Digital Leader Learn Live audience
I’m writing this as an addendum to my original post from June 2011 following my 2nd Teachmeet, having now organised and been involved with a lot more since. I’m updating this post following reading the synopsis of what is required for a teachmeet that Ross McGill has placed on the TES resources site here.
My original post here
I’ve organised and been involved with many Teachmeet events in recent years and so I have a fair idea of what a Teachmeet should be about and how to make it a good event for those that are attending.
The common definition of a TeachMeet can be found here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TeachMeet where it states:
“A TeachMeet is an organised but informal meeting (in the style of an unconference) for teachers to share good practice, practical innovations and personal insights in teaching with technology. These events are often organised to coincide with other educational events like the Scottish Learning Festival and the British Educational Technology and Training Show BETT.
Participants volunteer (via the TeachMeet website) to demonstrate good practice they’ve delivered over the past year, or discuss a product that enhances classroom practice.
TeachMeet events are open to all and do not charge an entry fee.”
It was the case until recently that I really agreed with this statement, however with things being organic, Teachmeets have been pretty much developed over time to change from the events that they once were; teachers getting together and informally exchanging ideas and learning from each other, to some actually simply HUGE events which take on board the needs of a wide range of attendees offering world class teaching and learning professional development opportunities. Take for example the last Teachmeet Clevedon event: we had more than 200 people attending, from places as wide ranging as Swansea, London, Yorkshire, Isle of Wight and Jersey and we even had one speaker Skype in from Jakarta. Couple this with speakers who are world class in terms of their conference and delivery experience in the CPD world. Add in too that attendees were as wide ranging in their backgrounds as to be PGCE students, HeadTeachers, Governors, Primary teachers, Secondary teachers – the original idea of a Teachmeet with some people getting together to informally share some ideas, probably over a pint, has changed somewhat!
So what do we do? How has this happened? What’s the future of ‘Teachmeet’?
Certainly much of my original advice below still stands and I wholeheartedly concur that Teachmeets should NOT be discussions about purely technology. My original essential ingredients I have found to get a good TeachMeet are below (where I’ve added or changed things for 2013, check the red):
- The first rule of TeachMeet is TALK ABOUT TEACHMEET! << Still concur with this
- Get good speakers and find a good venue – anticipate numbers of delegates and book a location suitable for their needs. A massive hall might be nice, but if you can’t fill it, the speakers won’t feel too good. By the same token, a room that is full up isn’t going to be suitable as a venue either. Plan! << Still concur with this
- Have a good compere who ‘knows’ the speakers who can introduce them while they get set up << This is essential
- Don’t be too hung up on timings, but certainly don’t let people hog the stage << Disagree now. Keep people to their timings. These are professional teachers talking on stage. They should be able to keep to time!
- Get some sponsorship – despite these being brilliant events, teachers give up their spare time to attend TeachMeets and an incentive always help << Sponsorship really does help run the event, but as they become much larger events, sponsorship quite simply isn’t enough – more on this later
- Intersperse the event with time to network << this is so important. How often will this number of teachers be able to get together and share? One of the best bits of our Teachmeet is always the drink and chat down the pub afterwards. We try to intersperse the night with networking opportunities, but keeping the event to time and then ensuring it finishes in a timely fashion will ensure there is time afterwards for the chat, debrief and breaking down of ideas to happen. Perhaps rather that have drinks at the local afterwards, why not set up a bar for those discussions to happen in the same venue?
- Offer food and drink – most events are in the evening and delegates will appreciate this << some food is really important. Teachmeets are normally held on school days, so the opportunity to get some grub in, especially as many will have come to the event straight from school, is really important – this is where finances help immeasurably too. We manage to get some really good food sorted in house on £3-4 per head but when you have 200+ people turning up, this is not a cheap endeavour.
- Promote the event relentlessly on Twitter, email and posters in Staff rooms of local schools << word of mouth will spread the word of a good event. Use your networks to promote the event and get a good & concise hashtag. Tweet space is a premium!
- Get sponsors to pay for food / drink / promotion << but with large events – do you want lots of companies there, touting their wares, just to get some money in to pay for the event? Will attendees appreciate having lots of sponsors there?
- Give the event a ‘hook’ that will inspire delegates to attend but not limit speakers << certainly “Juicy Learning”, “Learning Rocks” etc have helped to give Teachmeet Clevedon a real focus in the way in which the event has been approached and the types of talks that have been given
- Get help – you can’t do it all yourself << yes, yes, YES! I couldn’t do everything that is required by myself. I am so lucky to have so many students and colleagues willing to give up their time to help the event run smoothly. Students in the car park, meeting and greeting, dealing with queries about wifi, tickets, collating names for the prize draw, filming talks and seminars, so forth and so on. I am so grateful for the massive support of the staff and students who give up their time to help out.
- Use the Classtools random name generator to pick speakers << disagree with this now. I think, it is much more potent to actually marry up the speakers in to an order which helps to break up the different types of talks being delivered and to ensure that the event has a broad section of talks. Again, keeping speakers to time is key in ensuring everyone who is talking, gets to talk. Involvement with the forthcoming Teachmeet BETT where anyone can get to put their name down, but not necessarily get the opportunity to speak is not something that I necessarily agree with. Giving the event a specific hook and making sure that the speakers marry their talks with that theme, is something that I think we’ll be looking to do further and definitely not being technology specific but more broad teaching and learning themes related to the hook of the event. In addition, taking inspiration from Teachmeet New York and other international events and in the vein of TLAB13 asking speakers to apply to speak at the event.
- Use the Twitter back channel and give the event a good hashtag prior to the event, e.g. #tmclevedon #tmbett #tmm11 << have I said this before?
- Show at intervals during the night what people are Tweeting about the event – this will help draw live feedback about the event and could promote discussion << a Twitter wall has proven to be reasonably popular in previous events, although to make space for more delegates at our most recent event, we decided to not have one. We didn’t miss it. No comment was made from delegates either.
- Prepare the tech beforehand – have a decent machine for people to demonstrate via, decent projector, decent sound / mics if needed << tech support on hand at the event is key. Someone who has access to the administrator tools across the network of your chosen location and who has extensive skills is a massive bonus at the event and can problem solve issues on the fly, should they occur. We also have a lighting technician on hand to set up the event before hand and control the lights as the event takes place. This really help set the tone for the event to be extra special.
- Have a wireless feed handy so delegates can tweet / blog, live from the event << decent wifi is absolutely 100% essential for a successful event. Delegates expect it, although normally blissfully unaware of what is required to actually have a seriously good wifi network in place. Make sure you have it.
- Stream the event via a service such as Webex so that people who cannot attend for reasons such as Geography, can. << Experience has proven that the live feeds simply do not work. They look awful for the viewer, often go down and require someone to be on the case with keeping an eye on it all the time for the whole night, it is not cost effective and is simply not worth the time (sometimes money) and effort. What we have found to be really worthwhile is to have colleagues film the presentations live using iPads and then for them to be uploaded straight to YouTube on to the Teachmeet YouTube channel. Great for watching back and great as a resource to refer to in the future. Recommended.
- Take time out as organiser to enjoy the night yourself << don’t put too much pressure on yourself; it’s good to talk if you want to, but don’t feel like you have to << I still love compering and I still love talking too – don’t feel compelled to talk however if you don’t want to. Being a good compere takes up a lot of focus and requires it too.
- Follow up the event by saving the Twitter hashtag feed from the event and blogging it yourself as a record of what delegates have said about the event. << I use a tool called ‘the archivist’ to archive Tweets from the event and I always follow up with a blog after the event and share this on this site.
- I would also say, make the very best use of the TeachMeet wiki to let people know what is happening at the event, what the rules are, show who is sponsoring the event, what to expect, so forth and so on. For great examples, just check the TeachMeet wiki and check some of the events that are already up there. A Google Map on there to help people find the location of the event (as well as the postcode for the location) is always VERY helpful too! Once you’ve created your Wiki page – get it promoted on Facebook too – visit this address and fill in the form: https://spreadsheets.google.com/spreadsheet/viewform?formkey=dHBkLXg3cVVnTThnLXItYXJJdVRSRUE6MQ - thank you to @OliverQuinlan who does this to help everyone in his own time. Check his blog here. << Following on from something Ross has on his post that I’m working on at the moment is that rather than using my blog as the central place for recording things post event, I am working on developing a site which is specific to our Teachmeet. In future, this will be the central hub for our Teachmeet event and will contain all of the videos from all of our events.
- I would also recommend getting your TeachMeet event listed in the TES – you can do this either by emailing email@example.com or tweeting details to @todayilike on Twitter
In addition to the above, we have moved our Teachmeet model on considerably. Last time we had a keynote speaker of national renown in the form of the brilliant Vic Goddard. We had seminars on offer from some of the best CPD leaders in the country with food prepared by students but led by a top chef and some fantastic Teachmeet style 5 and 2 minute presentations from some brilliant local speakers – evidence of which can be found on the TMClevedon YouTube channel.
This all leads me on to this question really. With all of the developments and progressions with Teachmeet events over the time frame from when they were first born. Are the proposals and elements discussed above still a Teachmeet? Many people I suspect would say no. I also want to ask the question about what you think about asking attendees to these events paying a nominal fee for their attendance. It’s been put to me, that putting on events such as Teachmeet Clevedon aren’t sustainable any more with some of the finances coming from the school. This would mean that we would have to seek further sponsorship, something which we haven’t done in the past. We’ve only sought sponsorship from two or three sources to keep it to a minimum. Previously, some of the costs of the event were soaked up by sponsorship of the event, primarily by very generous donations both from Crown House Publishing and Clevedon School. The ask from attendees wouldn’t be much, but with an event with more than 200 people attending, who also regularly chop and change their decision to attend, because it is seen as an informal event, makes the actual administration and organisation of it quite difficult. In organising our last Teachmeet I was regularly fixing and sorting upwards of 50 different queries related to attendance a week, across a 6 week period in the run up to the event. I feel that if I was to ask people to contribute a nominal amount to book their place for the event and to cover the costs of the food and other costs related to the event the chopping and the changing wouldn’t happen. Also, when people ‘cancel’ their ticket – it isn’t just a tweet saying I can’t come, they go through the full process of cancelling their ticket properly on the ticketing site to get back their x amount for the ticket, thus actually freeing it up for another attendee. So, to finish off this post, coupling with the advice above I guess I’m asking a few questions….
Has the Teachmeet moved forward to where this is the model of what a modern Teachmeet is?
Does an event like I’m describing above still constitute a Teachmeet or does it need a different name?
Is it fair to ask a teacher to pay somewhere between £5-10 for a quality CPD event, with seminars, speakers and traditional Teachmeet sessions with food and drink or should this be free?
Would you be prepared to part with a bit of cash for a quality evening of CPD and networking?
I look forward to your thoughts and comments.
From a guest post by Penny Russell @digitaldaisies
Here are some more ways of using Google Advanced Search for smarter searching.
Advanced search is helpful if you have a number of parameters you want to limit your search by, and can’t find Mark’s handy searching post. Advanced search becomes available once you’ve typed in your search term. You can access it either by clicking on the gear top right of the page and choosing Advanced Search, or by looking at the bottom of the page and choosing the link.
You can also access many of the advanced search tools by clicking on ‘search tools’ directly underneath the search bar and choosing from the drop down menus. Most useful are probably the date range filter and the reading level filter. Have a play with the other options to see what helps reduce your search results to the useful ones.
The date range will return pages updated or posted within the range you’ve chosen. This could be really useful where you want to find out up to date information, and eliminate all those confusing ‘don’t know when it was posted’ results you get with a more unfocused search.
The reading levels filter can also be useful. Roughly speaking, “Basic” is secondary school level texts, while “Intermediate” is anything above that level up to technical and scholarly articles. They are a bit hit and miss, but can help weed out those articles that are definitely out of the range of your students. ‘Annotate results with reading levels’ is probably most useful initially. Click on the reading level to filter the results once you can see how many of each there are. This filter is also available in the ‘All Results’ drop down menu.
You can also use Advanced Search to filter by region – useful if you want UK only results for example. You can choose any region from the Advanced Search page, or the drop down menu will give you UK results only as a choice.
Sites with images
It’s not entirely clear what this does, apart from if you select it you get a different selection of websites from an ordinary search and one with more pictures on. I’m going to try it with my weaker readers and see if it returns results which are less ‘wordy’.
Some handy keyboard shortcuts to help with searching
As well as these Google search tips here are a couple of related shortcuts which can help your online searching. Here they are for PC, but generally work the same on a Mac clicking command instead of ctrl.
Ctrl and +/- allows you to zoom in or out on the webpage.
Ctrl and L selects the address bar and everything in it – very useful.
Ctrl and Tab cycles through all of the web pages you have open. (command + ` on a Mac)
And finally…. Using the search bar for quick conversions
Mark has already explained how you can use the search bar to get definitions + do calculations. You can also use it to do:
Conversions of measurements – x in y + enter in the search bar – gives the conversion. E.g. 10 kg in pounds gives 22.0462lbs. There are drop down menus next to each of the choices once you have performed one conversion which allow you to change all of the elements. So you can complete temperature conversions, distance, and even work out how many nanoseconds in an hour (although that depends on the meeting you’re in!)
You can also complete currency conversions – x currency in y + enter in the search bar gives the currency conversion. E.g £20 in USD gives $32.51 – also useful on holiday if you have an overseas dataplan.
Hope that helps. Leave a comment if you have any other tips, or you’re clear what ‘sites with images’ does exactly!
By Penny Russell @digitaldaisies