This techie brekkie was given to some staff as a follow up to my attending The 5th National Leading a Digital School conference last week. One of the most interesting features of this conference was the use of i-pads in education. There were many sessions which showed fascinating examples of content creation using i-pads. One of the main features of all the presentations was the need to find cross-platform devices for schools.
I firstly mentioned the keynote presentations I listened too.
Mark Pesce reminded us that technology is moving into the background with this excellent video
Ramona Pierson is the former CEO of Synaptic Mash and current Chief Science Officer for Promethean. She spoke about the future which is just around the corner for schools and students. ‘Dr Pierson said that school education had been largely static since the 1960s in that it remained largely book based. But she said that the pace of change was now such that “you won’t recognise education” ten years from now.’
More information can be found in an interesting article here.
Andrea Foggy-Paxton, a Program Officer at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation spoke on her desire to improve student outcomes in the USA and introduced us to a new concept The School of One. A school where every child follows an individualised program every day. Using eight ways of learning, five of which are face to face.
I took part in a session on Diigo and Evernote run by John Pearce. We ran a session on Diigo and Delicious last year and I regularly use Delicious to bookmark websites. Diigo has extra features which could be useful especially for sharing websites within groups. A tutorial on this session can be found here. I am particularly interested in the idea of using Evernote to capture evidence of student learning, using my i-phone camera and folders for each student. I will be trialling this during term four.
I also took part in a fascinating session run by Adam Brice from Ringwood North Primary School on Challenge Based Learning. I really liked the whole school approach to problem solving using key words such as resilience. More information can be found here and with primary specific examples at Adam’s blog here.
A session given by Richard Lambert on using a whole school approach to content creation and online learning. We were challenged to think:
- ‘How do we encourage links between home and school?
- Is ICT still a subject in your school?
- Do you have a whole school policy that keeps parents in the loop as they often know know less that we think.
His presentation can be found here.
Again using Google Apps for education was mentioned. We have held a session about that previously which can be found here. A feature of google apps is the creation of a school domain which creates a protected environment for each school. Since all the student’s work is kept online, it does not matter what device is used to create it.
I was particularly interested in the ‘see revision changes’ feature of google docs. In which a teacher can view just how much editing a student has done in the document. A useful feature for upper primary students who often insist a document is finished and corrected even though it is full of mistakes. Thus checking the process and not just the product.
One of the most interesting sessions I took was given by Judy O’Connell called The Next big thing is Web 3.0. I have watched her slide show twice now. I really recommend you do so too, so as to try and get your head around the concept of semantic web, as it certainly has implications for us as educators. A growing issue is that there is so much ‘stuff’ out on the web. It will be the semantic web that enables us to make meaning from all the content. In her presentation Judy also spoke about the need for teachers to understand how a google search is fast but not necessarily accurate. She showed other search engines such as wolfram alpha and duckduckgo.