NCAIS Educators Conference Presentations

Image: http://www.ncais.org/

I leave tomorrow morning for Concord, NC as I will be facilitating a session on Leaving Textbooks Behind at the NCAIS Pre-Conference Academic Fest. I am excited to lead this session as it will help me deepen my understanding on how to help Durham Academy address this growing topic. I am also doing a Rapid Reach 15 minute presentation on the topic of Digital Portfolios with Google Sites. It is the same presentation as last week just done at 5X speed.

I am going to embed my presentations below (and also on my other site) so that anyone can access what I am presenting. I hope to see you there.

NC GAfE Summit 2014

I am excited to be presenting at this years summit. At last years summit, I got serious about learning how I could help my school and other schools leverage these powerful tools by becoming an authorized Google Education Trainer. I will be presenting again on using Google Sites for student portfolios and introducing a new session called Google Apps and iOS are Jet Fuel for Learning where I will show how to harness the power of Google Apps to extend a 1:1 iPad program. After two years helping my school with our iPad program, I can attest to how these two corporate solutions are not oil and water, but rather jet fuel. There is still time to come and take part in the summit so register today at http://nc.gafesummit.com/.

Find links to my presentations as well as other presenters at http://nc.gafesummit.com/2014/program/sessions or at my other site http://www.digitalkarl.com/

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Mapping Out An Apple Vanguard Group

 

 

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An exciting part of  the Apple Academy I attended in June is the chance to create and nurture an Apple Vanguard Group at our school. I have been working on how to organize, promote, and manage something like this so it is manageable and enticing for my colleagues.

I happen to get a message from Mindmeister yesterday with a notice about the new Mindmeister Academy so I took a few moments to go through the fundamentals course. I had to create a map as I proceeded so I created the one below. Mindmeister is an awesome tool as it works on any device and offers collaboration. I want to promote the use of it more to our students and teachers as there is power in mapping your thoughts.

I have embedded it here in what is called the Presentation mode which to me is much like a non-dramamine needed version of Prezi.

 
Create your own mind maps at MindMeister

Hour of Code

I am doing an hour of code with my after school coding class this Thursday. In addition, I have worked with Mrs. Williams’ class to do an hour of coding today in the labs. Ms. Donnelly has also done an hour of code herself and is planning on having her students spend time coding as well.

We have been using this tutorial http://learn.code.org/hoc/1 as most people are familiar with Angry Birds. Using Blocky, students learn how to write Javascript through a object oriented interface. After watching the introduction video, I asked the class of sixth graders what they saw in the video. The responses were about how to use the program and all of the men they saw in the video. They listed off Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Drew Houston with no trouble. No one in the class mentioned Elena of Clothia, Janete, the Zynga Engineer, Paola, the Microsoft Engineer, or Tanya, the Computer Science student who introduced the lesson. This identifies why we not only need to teach programming but also why we need to teach girls how to program. In addition to teaching programming to more students, we need to support girls to take on the challenges of computer science when their efforts can be invisible in a world so often considered a male dominated profession.

Our motto should be: Consume less, Code more!

Join the Hour of Code

 

I have been teaching an after-school class using Codeacademy which has been really successful for my students and myself. I want to help more students and faculty learn about coding and with the plethora of resources available, the science of Computer Science is at the finger tips of anyone who wants to learn. As part of this desire, I want our students to participate in the hour of code and have asked faculty if perhaps that week, we could drop everything and code or I guess DEAC instead of DEAR (Drop Everything and Read).

How about you join us? If you are a teacher and register you will get 10 GB of space on Dropbox which is pretty darn cool and nice tip of the hat to Dropbox. 

This movie reminds us of the power that was Steve Jobs to change the world. 

What I Learned at GAFE about Portfolios

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Image from: http://www.flickr.com/photos/59217476@N00/7211160284

I learned a lot at the Google Apps for Education Summit at Ravenscroft. Of particular interest was the discussions I had with teachers at Ravenscroft and others related to using Google Sites for student portfolios. We have done portfolios for two years now at the Middle School. I worked pretty hard to develop a template and roll it out with teachers and students. While we have begun the process, I felt we also  needed to iterate how we were creating them and utilizing them as part of our learning culture. With my new found knowledge, I have revamped the portfolio template to be more efficient and student driven. My hope is that this will allow it to become more a part of instead of separate from the learning process as a whole.

Because our Google Apps for Education are private, I created a new template that you can use to get started.

This link will take you to the template: 

I included a Google Presentation Tutorial as well focused on how to create the site on an iPad. You can adjust to the device you are using.  

For those of you who came to my presentation on building portfolios, this represents my new thinking while the presentation is very similar to what you saw before.

VoiceThread Updates iOS App

VoiceThread

I have been a fan of VoiceThread for many years and use it with our school under the Ed.VoiceThread domain. The iOS app was a getting a bit long in the tooth so was excited to see that they have updated it to both take advantage of the iOS 7 update but also to make the use easier. I have been testing it and even though I had some issues to work out since we not only use the ed.voicethread sub-domain, we also use a single-sign on through Shibboleth which I think may have made things a bit more complicated on our end.

I was successful when I chose the following setup in Settings in VoiceThread:

VTiOS7

The sharing has improved but still not as powerful as on a desktop or laptop. The addition of groups will definitely help although I generally start in the computer lab where students create the VoiceThread and then embed it into our Moodle course inside of a forum. We could do the same with a group although I would need to manage those groups which can be more effort then I want to put into the process. Still, the fact that VoiceThread has continued to iterate and improve their product is impressive given they had to adjust to the mobile non-Flash world.

To learn more about the changes to the iOS app go here.

 

 

AirServer Tutorial

AirServer  The game console for Mac PC has arrived

One of the dilemmas encountered with using iPads in classrooms is the desire to display the iPad without being hooked up to an LCD projector. A mobile device begs to be free and not tethered to a cable. While the Apple TV has great promise, many schools have yet to move in that direction due to concerns with securing the wifi connection and configuring a school full of Apple TVs. Our school’s IT department came up with this solution which seems to be a solid compromise and solution. AirServer is an inexpensive application that can be installed on any computer and it turns it into an Apple TV wannabe device capable of displaying any iPad on the same wifi network. There are other apps that can do this as well and some are outlined in this article. http://ioswikis.mycues.org/groups/ipadresources/wiki/1ad2e/Reflection_Aerodrom_or_Apple_TV.html

This tutorial will show you how to set it up and use it with your students. Passwords are important to remember as the biggest concern I would have is a student guessing your password and displaying their iPad while you are trying to have a different instructional display.

A nice thing about AirServer was we were able to buy 20 licenses at a volume discount so it was very budget friendly. 

http://portal.sliderocket.com/CCKUT/AirServerDirectionsJanuary2013

 

Learn to Write Computer Code with Mr. Schaefer

After school programming

 

I was very intrigued when I read about Code Academy offering free coding courses. I decided to try something after-school when I saw they had a curriculum guide. So for any parents of students that go to Durham Academy, I am pleased to announce that I will be offering a Spring Enrichment Class.

Learn to Write Computer Code After-School
How does a computer do that? Join our class to answer that question and more. We will use the online coursework of Code Academy and some Khan Academy to learn how to write computer code. Students will learn about topics like drawing, animation, basic programming, and languages like HTML/CSS and Javascript. This class is open to any level of student as the coursework is flexible enough to accommodate all levels of learners. Student will also be exposed to problem solving and troubleshooting in a collaborative environment. Students will use their DA email address to create an account at Code Academy. Girls are encouraged to attend.

This information from the Code Academy web site explains the goals very well. 

“Why should every child learn how to program?
Technology is radically changing every area of our society, from communication to government to how we do our jobs. Digital literacy is now a fundamental skill like reading and writing.

By learning to program, kids can have a say in how software shapes their world. Plus, programming teaches important reasoning, logic, and communication skills”.

Karl Schaefer is the Middle School Digital Learning Coordinator and Computer Department Chairperson. He is an NCAIS Master Teacher and long time blogger at http://528tech.edublogs.org. He has taught young and old how to get the most out of technology while also maintaining a balance in the use of technology. When not teaching, he is on his farm where he enjoys being off line and on land.

SPRING SESSION 2013:

– Classes will be held on Thursdays from January 31 – May 16 (15 classes)
– No class when Durham Academy is not in session
– Class time will be 3:30 pm – 4:30 pm
– Class will be held in the MS Computer Lab
– The cost of the classes will be $300.00

If interested, please register at the After School section of our web page.

Great Video on How to Use the iPad for Literacy

Explain Everything  EE Showcase

 

I have been interested in this app for a while and thought it had value but just wasn’t sure. I liked the idea of being able to share to Evernote which is a huge issue when trying to get files off of an iPad. With the new features coming in EE 2.0, we may need to look at including this in our list of must have apps for students and teachers. I like the fact that users will be able to edit the recording track as that was one downfall when I used it in my testing. This video by David W. Malone does a wonderful job with this video on how to use iTunes U, Explain Everything, and Evernote for literacy.