Unless you have been living under a rock lately, you know that mobile learning (or mlearning) is on the rise. New technology is making mobile learning a realty, and the decrease in mlearning device prices is helping with overall adoption.
Take a moment and imagine a creative work environment. Don't worry about the kind of work going on. Just focus on the space. Close your eyes and picture it. What is that space like? What does it sound like? How are people interacting? Is there movement? Is there evidence of work in progress? Is it tidy, or busy-messy? Can you imagine working there?
As I prepare a presentation on 21st Century Skills, I find myself dealing with having to first be clear on what they are NOT. Only because for many, the term "21st Century" is synonymous with technology. In this post, I won't get into the details of why it's not.
What I would like to share is my realization that terrible times lie ahead for bad teachers. Conversely, there has never been a more exciting time for a good educator than today and the near future!
In order to make a statement like that, I owe it to my readers to give my definition of each type of teacher.
Do not want to learn new things.
Have "the book" lead instruction and feel the need to always stick to it.
Are comfortable doing the same lessons (the same way) year after year.
Never step out of their comfort zone.
Live in their own bubble and do not see the need to live outside of it.
Only teach facts and assess the ability to memorize those facts ("Any teacher that can be replaced by a computer, deserves to be." -David Thornburg).
Design tests to be easily gradeable.
Think that all progress in education are "fads."
Do not learn new things... oops, I already wrote that! It bears repeating because SOOOO much can be learned from other colleagues!
Care whether their students find the learning relative.
Are ALWAYS looking for new ways to engage their students.
Embrace quality professional development as often as they can.
Learn from and share with other educators.
Have gotten this far into this post and are nodding their heads ;-)
My hopes are that we QUICKLY get to the point where teachers who do not inspire and engage will be seen as employees who are simply not doing their jobs and be let go. Or, they may move to schools that don't "get it" (yet) and find a safe haven there for now. Either way, it's time for ALL teachers to pick a side. And yes, there's plenty of room on the "good side" for bad teachers to make the change. Here's hoping!
We teach in amazing times. Just think about the technology that you carry around in your pocket or the things you are able to do on the Internet. Technology makes meaningful collaborative and engaging interactive classroom experiences possible with minimal effort.
I was looking for an easy way to have students and teachers put files in my dropbox account. Of course, there's http://DropItTo.me which allows senders to upload files through a web interface but on an iPad, that's limited to images and videos in your camera roll.
If only there was a way to email files to my dropbox directly. Well, there's https://sendtodropbox.com and that's exactly what it's for. The problem... the less than desirable email address you're given, like email@example.com. So I got to thinking.
Did you know that if you have a google mail address (gmail or your own domain), there's a neat trick that allows you to have more email address aliases without setting anything up? All you need to do is add a + and anything after it. For example: anything sent to firstname.lastname@example.org will arrive at email@example.com.
What I did next is, in my gmail settings, I added a forwarding email address and used the sendtodropbox address firstname.lastname@example.org. But wait, I need to verify that I own that account! Will that be a problem? Not without one little setting change. In SendToDropbox.com options, be sure to check BOTH "Include HTML email body (if available)" AND "Include plain text email body (if available)."
After doing so, send the verification email from your gmail > settings > forwarding and check your dropbox for the email body which will contain the verification code.
Once verified, create a gmail filter. Mine was simple. Any email sent to email@example.com, forward to firstname.lastname@example.org. I also selected to skip the inbox and add a label, but that was my personal preference. Feel free to customize as you see fit.
I tested by sending a small file from another email address to email@example.com and voilà, it worked! The file is uploaded to Dropbox > Apps >Attachments folder.
Today I am going to talk a little bit about Diffusion of Innovation Theory and relate it to our technology integration practices in education. Don't worry the post is not gonna be long , nor will it...
The best device a school can roll out is a teacher who can adapt to new and emerging technologies, does not always require formal training for learning and staying current, and is not tethered to a product in order to teach.
My daughter goes to a 20th century school that mistakingly thinks it embraces 21st century learning simply because it allows students to bring their own device. This is particularly frustrating to me since I speak on this very subject at schools and conferences around the country.
"Daddy, I need to buy a scientific calculator for math class!" I respond, "Oh sweetie, you're so cute. No one with a brand new iPad mini needs to buy a physical calculator any more. Just tell me what functions you need it to do and I'll help you find the right app." To which she says, "No. We're not allowed to use our iPads or phones. The teacher says we can cheat that way by texting, IMing, or emailing answers to each other." *facepalm*
I would like to crowdsource here and ask for comments as to how to best deliver my email to this school's academic director.
Pat Bassett, NAIS president, notes key qualities of outstanding schools. His list includes adopting a big vision, committing to diversity, and creating a financially sustainable future that goes beyond large annual tuition increases.
Mobile Learning is about self-actuated personalization.
As learning practices and technology tools change, mobile learning itself will continue to evolve. For 2013, the focus is on a variety of challenges, from how learners access content to how the idea of a “curriculum” is defined.
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