As this is Connected Educator Month, the topic of conversation amongst participants at the recent online Tech Talk Tuesdays webinar was “Tools and Apps for the Connected Educator”. As bandwith, access to technology, confidence with technology etc differs across the world and with people we connect to, it is essential that we have a broad toolbox at our disposal and a willingness to try many options. Those people who are highly connected and techno savvy may have to go back in time to the simple basic tools where other cultures are comfortable. Link to the recording
The following questions were discussed and the responses from all those who attended is featured below.
Who do educators connect with?
- people they work with
- teachers, classes and students elsewhere and across the world
- celebrities, authors
- experts in topics they want to learn about
- parents, students, community members
- people who share information and encouragement
Some different ways of connecting?
- webinars, virtual conferences (K12 Online and Library 2.0 conferences are on now.), skype, google hangouts, blab
- google docs and apps
- backchannel tools eg todaysmeet, backchannel chat, titanpad
- mystery skype sessions
- padlet, voicethread, apps on phones eg wechat, whatsapp, viber, remind
Which tools or ways are all cultures and languages comfortable with using?
- paper and pen
- possibly talking if there is a common language.
If connecting with persons from other cultures/languages, the lowest common denominator should always be used until all parties are confident with each other and then explore other digital tools for connecting. (my personal opinion and experience)
What should we consider with email?
- cannot see the other person’s face, body language, emotions
- sometimes it is hard to explain things in writing
- be very aware of the language used, that meaning is clear
- everyone should have an email account and sharing text is usually low risk and less confrontational to build confidence with each other
Tools and hardware for videoconferencing (preferably look for the free tools, those that are accessible in connecting schools and countries etc)
- Basic hardware – computer/laptop/mobile device; webcamera; microphone – inbuilt or external, a connected teacher
- access to internet and free online tools eg skype, google hangouts, zoom, viber, wechat, whatsapp, fuze etc Ones that enable recording may be preferable but check student permisions
- mobile devices, phones for sharing text, photos and audio, video
- access to any Education Department licensed tools eg MS Lync, Polycom equipment in Victoria, Australia
Backchannels (online chat tools are usually non-threatening and give everyone a voice) Some suggested tools are:-
- todaysmeet, backchannelchat
- skype chat, google hangout chat
- mobile apps (some of which now have desktop apps) eg viber, wechat. whatsapp, remind
- twitter messaging or live feed
Interactive and collaborative media
- google apps eg document, sheet, presentation
- wikis and moocs
- titanpad, piratepads etc (online notepads)
Challenges – Multiple Time zones
When: Tuesday 6th October, 4-5pm, Melbourne Australia time which is now gmt+11 or utc+11 due to daylight saving having commenced.
Where: Adobe Connect virtual meeting room
About this session: Virtual Drama – Teaching a practical class online will look at ways technology can be used to inspire collaboration, innovation, creativity and transform learning in any classroom. The aim of this session is to inspire and excite teachers about being innovative with their use of technology. It is based on a learning experience which saw students from four schools studying VCE Drama via video conferencing and utilising a variety of innovative online tools. This session will explore the triumphs and challenges arising from teaching a practical subject online, as well as showcasing a variety of teaching tools. The resources and strategies demonstrated within this workshop are very relevant and easily adapted across ALL learning areas within a secondary school environment. This session will cover many ways in which technology can be used and adapted to suit your own technical ability and resources within your school. A variety of teaching tools will be demonstrated allowing attendees to walk away armed with a variety of tools to try out for themselves.
This session would be of high interest to teachers who are interested in integrating technology into their classroom. Teachers with all levels of technical ability are invited to attend as the focus will be on demonstrating the tools from a pedagogy point of view rather than purely as a technical discussion. Some of the examples provided will be focused on senior classes however all the resources are easily adapted to suit middle years also.
About Deanne: Deanne Joosten has been teaching Drama with great passion and enthusiasm for 12 years. Deanne is a Leading Teacher – eLearning at P-12 Phoenix Community College in Ballarat, VIC. She has always been interested in technology and this has seen her bring together her innovative use of ICT and her experience as a Drama Teacher to create an exciting learning environment for her students. Deanne regularly presents at conferences on the topic of Technology in the classroom. Deanne is the first Drama teacher to be teaching VCE Drama and VCE Theatre Studies online to four schools simultaneously through the DEECD Victorian Virtual Learning – Digital Learning Branch. Currently, Deanne is currently recognised as a Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert for 2015. This role sees her working as part of a global network of 35 teachers in Australia and New Zealand teachers who use technology in innovative and engaging ways in their classroom. This network also extends into a global network of 800 Microsoft Innovative Educators. As a lifelong learner and thought leader, Deanne is very excited about the future as she continues to explore ways exciting ways technology can heighten a student’s experience in the classroom.
Tech Talk Tuesdays free online webinar featured Jo Freitag as guest presenter. She is a champion of the gifted students and skillfully used her wonderful dolls, their clothing, foot wear and even dogs to give us a closer understanding of the nature of gifted students and the many personas that they may take on in the classroom.
You can see her presentation below or click on this link and view it on slideshare. Thanks Jo!
A small group participated in this webinar but it was another amazing sesison with ‘pop up’ presenters, Peggy George (USA) and Shamblesguru (Thailand) contributing some wonderful tools and apps.
From Peggy George
- livebinders – link to the engineering tab on the demonstrated livebinder
- a site from ccedtech that shares many tools and apps with supportive tips
- Favourite apps that he is exploring in the last month or two – periscope, periscope app and meerkat Live streaming with mobile devices. Read meerkat or persiscope and How to broadcast video live via a mobile Or search within Shamblesguru wonderful site.
- format factory for file conversions on PC
What is a good tool for file converstion on an ios device?
Here is the link to the recording
We had a number of people willing to share their favourite apps and tools and two wonderful ‘pop up’ presenters from the USA, @pgeorge (Peggy George) moderator of Classroom2.0 LIVE webinars and @glovely (Gail Lovely) author of Suddenly It Clicks – both of the USA. Answergarden It started with the demonstration one of my favourite tools (also an app) answergarden. Participants were shown how to create an answergarden with the question “What are your favourite apps and tools?”. The link was shared in the chat of blackboard collaborate. Participants clicked on the link and keyed in their favourite tools or apps. Padlet was a popular choice and was therefore the largest sized word. See the resultant garden Why I like answergarden
- simple but effective tool
- No need to register
- easy to share the resultant link
- can be moderated
- embed code provided so can be added to a blog or wiki and students or others can add to the garden from the blog post etc.
Uses – great for brainstorming, exit slips, collaborative writing, reflections etc Doodlemaths a popular Maths tool app for the iPad (but requires a subscription) Peggy George, one of our ‘pop up’ presenters shared:
- Tacck – digital portfolios with tacck See Avra Robinson’s Tackks and
- Thinglink – resources for thinglink
- photosforclass (personally love this one as it attributes the license to that actual photo. All photos are sourced from flickr.) Tips: search for the photos in photosforclass, open them in flickr and download them, the downloaded file comes complete with the attributions.
- As Peggy had just been in a recent thinglink webinar, she shared what the group had done via a group padlet. or try this one.
Padlet Gail quickly showed us how to create a padlet and participants shared the last food we had eaten on her padlet wall. See the interactive padlet wall
Other:- TeleStory & Toontastic are now free from google. What are your favourite tools and apps? Add them as a comment here or put your answers into the garden by clicking on the appropriate link above.
What are your favourite apps and tools?
Listen to the recording of this webinar by clicking on this link.
Ben Gallagher was to present for last week’s Tech Talk Tuesday on the amazing accomplishments of his grade 1/2 class who love building with lego. They had this dream of making an animated movie. With Ben’s help it became a reality! Harvey Crumpet an Australian Academy Award winner encouraged them and the movie premiered on the big screen in a 700 seat cinema.
Unfortunately, at the last moment (ie 30 mins before the start of the webinar) other pressing commitments arose as Ben is acting Principal in his school. I often have to teach on the fly and my classrooms can often be messy, but what to do next when this was a webinar of high interest for adults. Should I cancel, quickly find something else or ???? At the very least I would stay in the room for the first 30 mins and tell any participants that the publicised presentation would not occur that day. If there were enough, we could see what questions they had re technology and hopefully answer them or explore the answers together.
A number of participants entered all from different educational backgrounds and some from different countries. We started to chat, share our learning spaces and I then asked what questions any had re technology. Ben, a graduate teacher expressed interest in learning more about connected learning and was an experienced web page designer before taking up teaching. Peggy George, one of my regular attendees from the USA and moderator of Classroom 2.0 wanted to know how to edit out some clips from an existing movie.
Ben suggested using iMovie, but Peggy wanted to see how to do it. Whilst they looked for a movie to share over application sharing allowing Ben to screen share and show exactly how to remove the unwanted material, I showed the use of padlet (an online sticky wall) with my year 7 ICT students. They had started to build a sympathy wall for those who were suffering from the loss of relatives, friends and community in the recent flight MH17 disaster.
Ben loaded a movie for us, app shared his desktop and proceeded to show how to edit and cut sections of the movie. However, Peggy had a different version of iMovie. She shared her movie and then working as a collaborative brain, participants and Ben helped Peggy edit the movie.
It was a fantastic effort by all and a really interesting session that worked completely unconference style but with so much learning gained where it was needed.