DISPLAYING ITEMS BY TAG: CLOUD TECHNOLOGY

Reading gurus Giglets Education has released an advanced version of its online literacy resource, the Learning Cloud, for use by teachers and pupils in Primary and early Secondary education.

Schools, academies and colleges throughout the UK are using a cloud-based bookings platform to realise the full potential of their resources. SchoolBooking, an international resource and lettings innovator operating from West Sussex, allows both teachers and students to find available resources and spaces. The platform integrates fully with MIS systems such as SIMS, Bromcom, ARBOR and CMIS, helping to avoid double-bookings and streamlining the learning day.

Technology and innovation is at the heart of Sandymoor School, a Microsoft globally recognised Showcase School in Runcorn, Cheshire. As a teacher of Computing at Sandymoor, I have always been interested in how the use of technology can be embedded within teaching and learning to create a 21st century learning design.

It’s September, which means the summer holidays are over and it’s business as usual. However, the classroom today’s pupils will return to has changed dramatically from that of our generation’s. Instead of blackboards and chalk (or whiteboards and pens) the modern classroom is full of technological devices, phones, laptops and tablets. Today’s pupils are using all kinds of new devices to create digital files and classwork has stretched beyond the simple notepad or poster board into the ether.

I must begin by giving my definition of ‘learning’. Learning is not remembering facts in order to pass an examination: learning is understanding. By understanding, the learning is not forgotten. The times I have heard it said “you must learn this” is countless when, in fact, what should be said is “you must understand this”.

It can be difficult for teachers, particularly those in the early stages of their careers, to implement technology effectively in their classroom. Here, Liverpool tech-specialist Dave McGrath discusses a few things that teachers can do to enhance learning via specific technologies.

When it comes to technology, schools have changed radically in recent years. More and more, tablets, laptops and mobile devices are being used to enhance the learning experience. The use of technology extends beyond the classroom too. Thanks to the easy availability of data capture solutions, many schools are now adopting card swipe systems to boost security and efficiency.

I have been fortunate to get my hands on a Google Chromecast over the Christmas period and have been exploring what the potential of this device could be for use in the classroom.

Google Chromecast is Google’s attempt to make it easier to bring web video to your TV via the use of their dongle. This plugs into an HDMI port on your telly and projector and allows you to send videos, music and other files to it via Andriod and iOS devices using Chrome browser on you computer. There are a limited amount of apps that take advantage of the Chromecast - YouTube, Netflix, Google Music, to name a few - however, this list is increasing. The function that I am quite excited about is the ability to stream an open tab in the Chrome browser and the potential for this. I will explain more about this later but first I am going to look at how to setup the Chromecast and then how it can be used in the classroom.

Photo credit: Scott Beale - image has been edited

Any experienced English teacher knows the drill: on the dreaded due date, students bring printed copies of their essays to class, where we collect them, take them home, jot inscrutable comments in the margins, bring them back to class, return them, and then watch students promptly toss them in the recycling bin on the way out of the room. The whole cycle borders on farce.

Students pretend to spend many hours writing their papers, teachers pretend to spend many hours grading them, and we all pretend like repeating this process over and over again leads to something we in education like to call “student growth.” But teachers can finally put an end to this exercise in futility, thanks to an unlikely hero sometimes condemned for its unrelenting pursuit of profit at the expense of the public good… Google.

Google has tripled free storage space, across Gmail, Google+ and Drive, bringing the total to 15GB.

This is a serious move by Google as it places the company at the forefront of cloud based solutions with other institutions working to tight financial constraints. Having turned to Google Drive as my main storage facility, I thought I would highlight some advantages of using the platform through 'how to' videos.

Advantages

  • Access files anytime on any device with an internet connection.
  • Work offline with documents.
  • Share files/documents with others and collaborate in real time.
  • Share folders with students and receive and feedback on assignments.
  • Allow read only access on documents and share with students as resource with no photocopying.
  • Save a document in a variety of formats.
  • Works with other Google Apps to provide platform for forms, surveys, projects.
  • Save to GoogleDrive with two taps of an icon or clicks of a mouse.
  • Search files in Drive for name or keyword.

What a great idea: a bible for PE resources shared by a number of PE teachers around the globe. This shared folder is on the ever-popular online ‘cloud’ called Dropbox.

Now I have joined #PEBible, I have access to hundreds of resources that have been developed, tried and tested by other PE teachers globally. Not all resources will be for you, and I would recommend you always adapt the file you will use to your style, but it is a great base to develop a resource from. A group of 74 educators collaborating and sharing within a rich resource!

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