In the few decades since the birth of the web we’ve moved from email to social networking to a breadth of online services, storing more and more of our personal information in the so called ‘cloud’.
The level of data out there is growing at an exponential rate. In a typical day last year, people sent more than 144 billion emails, shared more than 684,000 pieces of content on Facebook, and uploaded over 72 hours of video footage onto YouTube every single minute.
Security experts predicted that 2012 was going to be the year of the 'Smart Phone Hacker'.
In a published study (Edudemic 2012) authors Winconyk and Steele cited Fortinet security expert David Manky who said, "… like home or office personal computers, Smartphones are vulnerable to all kinds of attacks". This is also true of other personal mobile devices such as Androids and tablets.
Many young people own a Smartphone or Android device and are at risk of banking Trojans, Spyware and infected Apps without even realising it. The number of different types of malware increased to 4000 in 2011 which represented an increase of 8,500%! Warwick Ashford for Computer Weekly (March 2013) reported that, 'The number of new malware programmes targeting Android devices reached almost 140,000 by the end of 2012'. Staggering!
E-mail has become the communication tool of choice for most office workers. It’s quick and cheap, with the convenient benefit that the recipient of your message doesn’t have to be available when you are.
But even though e-mail, like a letter or a memo, is just another way to pass on a message, somehow we treat it differently. For starters, e-mails tend to be written using less formal language, and most people spend less time on the layout of an e-mail than they would if sending the same message in a letter.
A couple of months ago I wrote about introducing badges for learning onto my class blog to link specifically to my classroom management system both in the online and offline world.
I had initially encountered badges from the likes of Foursquare and GetGlue where ‘checking in’ to locations and films allowed me to earn badges/stickers.
Foursquare and GetGlue initially sowed the seed of how digital rewards may be used in my classroom. It wasn’t until I encountered Doug Belshaw’s tweets and blog posts about #openbadges that I began to think in a more concrete way about how such an idea could be embedded in my classroom.
iPads are light, have great battery life and are ultra-portable, meaning that those of you who are tired of opening and starting up your PC, laptop or notebook to write a blog have a quick and easy means of doing so.
And with blogging on-the-go becoming increasingly popular with iPad owners, it is important that people have an app that they feel comfortable with.
We scour and sort through the mass of blogging apps to bring teachers the best ones that are easy to navigate, have great support and are rich with useful features.
When Twitter was first launched back in 2006, many of us were sceptical about whether it would last. What was the point of a tool that only let you send 140-character updates? Why not use Facebook which has a status function plus much more?
Many social journalists never expected it to hit the 5 million mark of users, let alone 500 million. But almost overnight Twitter became an online phenomenon. Today, over 340 million tweets are sent daily from teenagers, worldwide celebrities, small businesses and the largest conglomerates.
It may be somewhat of an unspoken truth that some teachers instantly gauge the students' attention, whether by mastering their own pedagogy or just looking slightly scary, while others are simply swamped by a mass of bellowing noises and propelled objects. Maybe a tad too stereotypical.
In 2009, I was fortunate enough to have a book published – The Coaching Toolkit. At the time I had been doing a great deal of work with my co-author, Mike Harbour, to set up coaching in the school where I was working. We started off with a group of interested staff and then grew it across the school – with a great degree of success.
Four years later, in a new school and a very different context, we are looking to launch coaching again. It will be the main driver for CPD in 2013-14, with a view to using our own staff to develop consistently brilliant teaching across the school. Time slots will be put aside throughout the year for colleagues to meet in pairs to have a co-coaching conversation.
Photo credit: cambodia4kidsorg
Inspired by a recent Pedagoo teacher meet, Assistant Head and PE specialist Jon Tait puts into practice a strategy to encourage students to work harder and faster by giving them a creative visual tool which shows how far each one is progressing with the lesson objective.
Last weekend (18/5), I was lucky enough to be able to attend and present at the hugely popular Pedagoo Sunshine event at Joseph Swan Academy in Gateshead.
As well as presenting tips and tricks to other teachers from across the country, I was fortunate enough to be able to listen to Jim Smith from Hope Valley Technology College in Derbyshire. Jim was presenting on a range of different topics from his ‘Toolbox of Strategies’.
One of the ideas that I pinched from Jim was his lesson objectives target board that his technology department have had produced for all of their classrooms. See below:
We are living in an increasingly enlightened time when the understanding of the roles of teachers, parents and the power of 'values literacy', as an integral part of a school’s curriculum, are coalescing. The prospects are exciting.
Children and young people need to be empowered with values literacy. The inspirational process engenders a rewarding sense of purpose and motivates participants so that they take more responsibility for their learning and behaviour.
Pupils, teachers and parents notice how standards, behaviour and performance all improve and together they enjoy the enhanced outcomes.
Just as we’re getting our heads around ‘Bring Your Own Device’ (BYOD) and their usage in schools and in the workplace, there’s a new trend on the block - now it’s about Bring Your Own Application (BYOA).
With the availability of thousands of ‘applications’ (apps) for free, or at exceptionally low cost, BYOA is gaining momentum and users are choosing apps which are easily accessible and best suited to their needs.
The likelihood is that individually preferred apps will drive the way forward as using your own device for education and work purposes has. Fundamentally, an increasingly mobile student cohort or workforce are able to connect to the school or business network from their own laptops, smartphones or tablets enabling them to study and work from remote locations.
Would you really replace your specs with a computer? Or wear a camera on your head?
It can only be a matter of time (and maybe not too much money) before Google Glass, or 'Glasses' as I call them, glide gracefully through the classroom doors and onto the heads of every boy, girl and teacher who cannot escape the futuristic amazement of this augmented reality phenomenon. Well, so they say.
If you haven't heard of Google's latest innovation - in essence a pair of fake glasses with the functionality of a Chromebook displayed to you in its right lens - then I suggest you check it out. It is a glimpse into the future.
‘Reading pictures can be as easy or difficult as reading printed text.’ Gomez-Reino, 1996
My research into how to teach young children explicit inference skills began in 2001 when I observed that there was a discrepancy in my school between many of our fluent reader's ability to read and their overall comprehension.
Evidence worryingly showed that an emphasis placed on phonics was producing readers who could decode the words but often had no understanding of their meaning. This was later reflected in the Rose Review’s ‘Simple View of Reading’ (2006) and more recently substantiated by York University’s ESRC reading study (2008) that raised the concern that ‘pupils' ease at reading words out loud may mask those who have difficulties with comprehension’. The cause of the problem was highlighted further by Anne Kispal’s ‘Effective Teaching of Inference’ NFER report in 2008 which concluded that poor inferencing skills cause poor comprehension and not vice versa’.
We realised that there was clearly a need to teach our children how to consciously infer and apply comprehension strategies as early as possible, if we wanted them to read for meaning and enjoyment from the very beginning.
Back in September we began an iPad trial. I have finally written my report.
The report includes the following sections:
- Analysis of teacher and student evaluations
- Possible recommendations for the future
- Integrating iPads into teaching and learning
Click the 'Read More' button below to download the report from Matt's blog.
Photo credit: Tsubaki Kaworu
I'm afraid I do like a flutter but, as a teacher, I can't afford to spend more than a few pennies (literally) each week. I decided to introduce this idea to the classroom. I've only used this in my Year 12 English Language class but I expect it could be easily applied to most classes and would result in interesting conversations in most contexts.
It allowed my Year 12 class, who have target grades from A-D, to choose the differentiation they required. Each scaffold was given 'a mark'. These scaffolds included being given the mark scheme, getting examiner comments about successful responses and working in a pair. There were about ten different scaffolds available and each scaffold would cost the students marks in their final mark for the question from 2 marks for the least useful scaffold to 20 marks for the most useful.
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 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. (Please click on the links for further explanation.)
- 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.