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February 2, 2017
August 8, 2016
“I believe our biggest problem with technology actually starts in our minds. Our minds our the greatest software ever invented and we need to program it for excellence.” — Vicky Davis
This week, Vicki Davis is our guest, talking about the strengths and impediments of technology in the classroom and for the school district at large. Vicki is a teacher of technology in Westwood Schools in Camilla, Georgia and the author of the Cool Cat Teacher Blog.
July 18, 2016
There is no doubt that the internet and the use of smart devices in the classroom is revolutionizing how teachers teach and how students learn. Think of any subject, any technique and “there’s an app for that”… in fact, there are probably thousands of apps for that! This, of course, is where the problem lies. How do you find the apps that will expand on your lessons and engage your students without distracting them or isolating them?
One criteria that can be helpful to use in narrowing down your choices is to look for apps that encourage collaboration rather than just one student and the screen. There are apps that allow students to share notes, write stories, create multimedia presentations and research long term projects. These apps empower students to work together.
Another solid benchmark to consider is whether it encourages students to “break the rules” or build something new. Are users just playing a game or filling in the blanks? Or are they encouraged to be creative? to create? to expand upon ideas and form new conclusions, new questions, new paths to discover?
Of course, it is critically important to ensure that any apps you use have safety settings that will allow you to contain search terms and access to appropriate materials.
There are hundreds of lists of the “best apps for educators” but we would be remiss not to include our own favorites that follows these 3 points of criteria. I’ve used all of the apps below and can speak to its ease of use, collaboration capabilities and creativity-inspiring capabilities.
May 20, 2016
We’ve talked about where to find free images to use in social media and on your website, but sometimes the only image that will do is YOUR image. Having a readily available folder of professionally taken photos whose subjects span the variety of academic opportunities and extracurricular activities your districts offer is key. Use the photos to accompany posts promoting upcoming events and campaigns and to drive the emotional story of your school’s outreach.
Creating content daily doesn’t mean taking photos daily. Setting aside a week once or twice a year to focus on taking a stockpile of photos around the school is a great start. I suggest using a photo storage system that allows you to add multiple tags to to each photo to be able to find an appropriate photo quickly. Adding text to an image to add context and highlight one key message can be a good way to recycle images and to create instant connections. This will allow you to focus your creative design efforts on creating graphics for complex concepts and bigger picture campaigns.
May 18, 2016
An image is worth a 1000 words… and in social media terms, an image is worth an increase of 80% readership of your blog content and a 53% increase in engagement on social media.
Images help draw attention, simplify complicated concepts and re-enforce retention.
But if you are posting social media posts 2-4 times a day, how can you find enough quality images to use?
You cannot use any image that you find on the internet. Whoever took the photo owns the image — even if they haven’t noted this fact with a watermark or copyright notice. Copyright is an automatic right to content creators and does not require the author to file special paperwork. Using copyrighted work inappropriately can result in embarrassment, having your website/social media post removed for violations or even legal issues.
There are 4 kinds of rights applied to images. Understanding what these terms mean will help you avoid issues later.
These are images which are now able to be used by the public domain free of charge for any purpose due to their age (the copyright has expired) or the owner has released their rights.
Creative Commons was created to allow photographers put their images online and dictate how they can be used. They are able to dictate whether the images can be used in other forums, whether they can be manipulated and what credit should be provided along with the image. It is important to read the attached CC license to the photo to understand the limitations placed on your use of the image. Most times, this requires requiring attribution including a link back to the photographer’s site.
These images are available on stock image websites and the “free” aspect of the title doesn’t reflect the cost but rather that once you pay for the image (using either a subscription or pay-per-image model) you are free to use it as often as you’d like.
These images are also purchased but also include a limitation on the number of times they can be used without paying for more licenses.
May 11, 2016
With so many options for accessing media in the classroom, it can be difficult to navigate where to find the best content and how best to present it. There are more than 80,000,000 videos on YouTube. Some are great for a laugh, some are great to inform and some are incredibly inappropriate. Performing blind searches in front of your classroom is an easy way to run into a dead end — or worse. So where should you start?
How have you used YouTube in the classroom? Do your students bring you videos to share? What are some pitfalls you have discovered?
April 21, 2016
This week’s show is a continuation about trends in technology. Carole welcomes back Keith Pomeroy, the Chief Technology Officer at Upper Arlington Schools in Ohio to fill us in on the latest and the greatest technology trends.
“You have to be open to flexibility… and you have to talk to kids. Pay attention to what’s happening in their world.”
April 11, 2016
Today’s show is about technology and 1:1 initiatives in public schools. Technology can be a great equalizer for students, but understanding all sides of implementation and daytoday use is crucial to the success of any 1:1 technology program. Our guest is Keith Pomeroy, the Chief Technology Officer at Upper Arlington Schools in Ohio where they have recently successfully launched a 1:1 initiative.
“…changing what is possible in the classroom.”
March 7, 2016
Dane Dellenbach, from Blackboard, talks with Joel about “sociability” – a way for schools to use all of their social media platforms all under one roof. Dane talks about technology, the value of keeping all of your district on the same page, and the difference between “good” and “bad” technology within the educational field.
“Celebrate everything. Small, big, it doesn’t matter. Your community wants to know.”
February 1, 2016
This week, Carol speaks with Mentor, OH Superintendent Matt Miller today about their tech makeover in Mentor and technology in our schools including the innovative concept of “blended learning”.
“Really good instruction infused with technology. Period.
“The relationship between the students and teacher is still the most important aspect. The technology piece just helps. — Matt Miller, Mentor, OH Superintendent