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QwikSlides: Presentation creator from ClassTools.net

Classroom 2.0 Diigo Group - 16 June, 2016 - 23:06

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  • Create a multimedia presentation in just a few seconds and embed it on your blog, website or wiki! - mbarek Akaddar

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by: mbarek Akaddar

Categories: International News

Accelerating Great Teaching and Learning

The Principal of Change George Couros - 16 June, 2016 - 22:22

You are a principal and you have amazing access to see teachers teach, all of the time.  Walking in and out of the classroom, seeing what great teachers do, can make you an amazing teacher, even in the role of the principal.  Great principals take advantage of this.

Yet the process that I have seen shared with many administrators is that they will see something awesome happen in a classroom, and then they will ask the teacher share that practice with others at the next staff meetings.  Sometimes these meetings are two weeks away, sometimes a month, sometimes longer.  You may encourage them to share for ten minutes, but then things come up, and ten minutes, becomes five.  They share that great practice, and we move onto the next thing.

Or you could do this…

See that amazing thing happening in a classroom and ask the teacher if they can share it. Tweet it to a school hashtag using words, images, or a 30 second video.

Amazing practice, shared right now, to everyone.

This creates both a transparency and an urgency for others to move forward.  Still talk and share at your staff days, but this idea is a supplement, not a replacement.

How would we ever expect great practice to become “viral” if we only shared it once every 30 days?

Technology has the ability to amplify and accelerate the amazing things that are happening in your schools. Take advantage.

Categories: Planet

VIDEO TUTORIAL: How to Quickly Transcribe Audio Files [Video]

Cool Cat Teacher Blog Vicki Davis - 15 June, 2016 - 20:22

From the Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis

Follow @coolcatteacher on Twitter

I have been looking at testing the transcription of a podcast. There are services out there that will do it, but I have concerns about accuracy. So, I’m doing it manually this first time to see if people like it (or not).

After some research, I found a service called oTranscribe that is pretty nifty. So, I made a quick tutorial.

What I love about this service is both the time stamps and how it links to the audio file. I can even have my daughter help me on it and share the file with her. When I’m done, I can export it to Google Docs! Awesome!

The post VIDEO TUTORIAL: How to Quickly Transcribe Audio Files [Video] appeared first on Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher helping educators be excellent every day. Meow!

Categories: Planet

Fuelling the revolution

Bluyonder Greg Whitby - 15 June, 2016 - 11:23

Revolution School ABC TV

Revolution School is a four part documentary series that began on ABC TV recently.  It captures the turn-around journey of a Victorian high school ranked in the lowest 10% of the state.  In a sea of navel gazing and feel-good solutions to improving schooling, it is refreshing to see honesty and shared responsibility on the table.

What has stood out each week is the use of theory and research to inform good practice. Kambrya College didn’t look in the rear view mirror for solutions that could be repackaged and rolled out nor did they try and emulate competitors who drive educational change through a mix of externally imposed accountabilities and fear. And they didn’t expect to be rescued by superman.

Educational change had to come from within and from applying the research in relation to improving learning outcomes for all students. The approach was based on Hattie’s mantra: know thy impact on student learning.

Kambrya’s journey is uplifting and should be applauded and admired but there are thousands of schools around Australia in the same boat. We’d like to see all of them take the same approach but as we have seen change is easy to suggest but much harder to implement and sustain.

With a federal election less than a month away, education has been the platform for both parties. Rather than promising big bucks to fix the problem, a better solution would be a commitment from politicians to make the Kambrya experience the norm for all struggling schools.

This requires an end to the shameless finger pointing and blame game but rather encourage schools to become critics of their own practice by being honest and open and sharing and collaborating so that we are all on a proper learning journey.

As Professor John Hattie said the fact 1 in 5 children are failing to complete high school is the “biggest crime in Australia”.  It’s time we focussed on what counts otherwise we will continue to count the cost.

 

 

 

 


Categories: Planet

5 Tools To Make Your Website Faster (and Better)

Cool Cat Teacher Blog Vicki Davis - 15 June, 2016 - 07:03

Tips and Tricks for Educators Establishing a Personal Brand

From the Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis

Follow @coolcatteacher on Twitter

Websites crash all the time. It is a common problem for everyone from schools to teachers to businesses to anyone who has a website. Here are some tools that I recommend to help figure out why your website is crashing or just to double check to make sure it is configured properly.

Dr. Jim Beeghley has been my go-to guy since this past October when he helped me untangle the technical behind-the-scenes mess of my blog. It wasn’t that my blog wasn’t awesome behind the scenes – it just wasn’t growing to handle the traffic (and sadly the hackers that sometimes come with the territory.) 

I’ve gotten to know Jim even better over these past few months. He has a lot that can help all of us make our websites better. Here is his advice on what he did to fix my site. I recommend you check yours with these tools. If you need help with your website, I highly recommend contacting Jim. He’s great. — Vicki Davis

If you are having issues with your website, here are 5 tools to make your website faster and better. Even if you’re not having issues, these tools can help improve your page load speed and make sure your website is configured properly. If you’re getting results you don’t understand, contact me or someone you trust that is technically proficient. Some results can be handled by anyone, but if in doubt — give a shout to @beeghleytech.

1. DNSstuff

DNSstuff is one of the best web-based tools used to check and monitor DNS issues. DNS stands for Domain name service. Think of DNS as the Internet’s phone book. Every website has a number (like a phone number) and a name. Could you imagine the confusion if the wrong phone number was published with a person’s name? Well, this sometimes happens in the web and even a little mismatch means your site looks like it is down (even when it may not be.) The good thing is, you don’t have to really understand DNS, just use this tool to see if you have problems.

First and foremost, DNSSTuff  allows you to quickly see all of the information related to the DNS (Domain Name Service) for your website.  DNS is the Internet’s phone book and DNS records maintain a directory of domain names and translate them to IP addresses. While some of their tools require a paid account, they offer a free trial to test all their features.  

2. Pingdom

Pingdom has a free Website Speed Test to analyze the load speed of your website and provides recommendations on how to make it faster.  Page load speed is how fast does your website fully appear for your visitor.  To put it another way, page load time is the time it takes from when someone clicks that link to your website in a Google search until it fully appears in their web browser.  

Since no one wants to wait around for a slow loading web page, a faster loading website is better. Pingdom offers both a free and a paid service but the details from their free service are very helpful when it comes to identifying problem areas. Especially helpful is the information on the number of requests, the page load time and size of various files.  All of which can impact your page load speed.

 

3. Google Developers PageSpeed Insights

Google’s PageSpeed Insights is a quick tool for analyzing your website’s performance on both desktop and mobile devices. Specifically, the tool looks at how your images are being presented and how different parts of your website are being displayed.  Since we want our website visitors to enjoy their time on our website, we need to make sure that it looks perfect on both desktop and mobile devices.

Using a simple scoring system, Google makes recommendations based upon their analysis.  The tool also provides easy to follow recommendations for each potential optimization.

4. GTmetrix

GTmetrix generates a report that will show you a complete history of the website’s loading speeds, along with a detailed report with suggested ways to improve your website performance. One little caveat is that this process can get a little detailed and geeky depending on the recommendations.  One nice thing is that GTmetrix gives you an explanation of each issue and suggestions on how to fix.  You can often Google how to fix the error but if you are unsure of how to fix it, you might want to look at hiring someone or just skipping that recommendation.

5. YSlow

YSlow is a browser plugin that provides a series of tests that looks at different aspects of a website based on Yahoo’s guidelines for web developers.

 

 

BONUS TIP:  Find the right web host!

The final tip that will help you is to find the right website hosting provider.  There are many different options available to you.  Do not settle for the cheapest solution as this can often lead to problems.  Ask for recommendations, talk to others about what they use and simply do your homework!  In the end, we moved www.coolcatteacher.com to SiteGround and within a few hours, the website performance and stability improved significantly.

Dr. Jim Beeghley is an educational technologist, a blogger, education consultant, and keynote speaker. He specializes in helping educators improve their personal online brand by helping them create websites and enhance their social media presence.   You can find him online at http://www.jimbeeghley.com or follow him on Twitter @beeghleytech

Disclosure of Material Connection: The author of this post, Dr. James Beeghley has an affiliate relationship with some of the companies included in this post. Dr. Beeghley has helped me on my website and this is a guest post written by him and edited by Vicki Davis. Regardless, I only recommend and allow guest authors to recommend products or services I believe will be good for my readers and are from companies I can recommend. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

The post 5 Tools To Make Your Website Faster (and Better) appeared first on Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher helping educators be excellent every day. Meow!

Categories: Planet

Successful Adaptation

The Principal of Change George Couros - 15 June, 2016 - 06:27

Have you seen any of these contradictions in schools?

We need to ask our students to become critical thinkers, but educators need to accept the system the way it is.

We want students to challenge ideas, unless they are challenging the ideas of why, how, and what we teach.

The world is constantly changing and we need to teach our learners to be flexible and adaptive, while we are making five and ten year plans.

Kids should be creators, but adults are good with consuming information.

Reflection is crucial to a child’s learning, but it is hard to find time for reflection in practice.

Empowerment is crucial for students, but you need permission to go to the bathroom and use the device that works for the teacher.

We need to do what is best for kids, without asking kids and educators what that even means.

A “growth mindset” is crucial for educators, but unfortunately we have to follow this ten year old policy.

What is important to note, is that this is not in all schools/systems around the world.  Take a look around at so many schools, and the things are doing compared to five years ago, is astounding. Lots of growth has happened.

This is about challenging the system of “what is”, and thinking about the possibilities of “what could be”.  This is going to take courageous leadership from all levels to develop innovative learning opportunities for our students, and an openness to having our current system challenged.

So let’s remix some of these statements, and turn them into questions.

The world is constantly changing and we need to teach our learners to be flexible and adaptive…how we are modelling this in our teaching, learning and leadership?

We want students to challenge ideas, so how do we promote that within our own classrooms?

We need to ask our students to become critical thinker…how are we promoting this practice in the way we look at our schools?

A “growth mindset” is crucial for educators, so how do we become adaptive  and create a system(innovator’s mindset) that is reflective of constant changes?

While the change in the world is mirroring a google document (constant change, revision, adaptation, and collaboration), we cannot be stuck on a static piece of paper.

Categories: Planet

5 Ways to Make Learning Personal

Cool Cat Teacher Blog Vicki Davis - 15 June, 2016 - 00:40

with Barbara Bray and Kathleen McClaskey

From the Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis

Follow @coolcatteacher on Twitter

Barbara Bray and Kathleen McClaskey share five very important concepts in today’s show. In their book, Make Learning Personal, they talk about how you enlist the support of learners beneath their own process of learning.

Listen to this show on: BAM Radio Network | iTunes | Stitcher (this show isn’t showing on the Stitcher feed, not sure why, if you like Stitcher, just listen directly on BAM for this show! Thanks.)

They argue that student should assemble a “personal backpack.” This is not a physical backpack, necessarily but includes tools and strategies that help them learn according to their own style of learning.

I think this is a fantastic evolution in our thinking, not only about technology but also about learning. Their approach empowers meta-cognition, something we know helps learners progress.

Perhaps the most important thing they argue is the use of the word “learner” instead of the word “student.” They believe that the word student is a much more passive word and the word learner requires more active thinking.

I highly recommend Make Learning Personal, it is an excellent book for your summer reading. It is a new way of thinking and a much more empowering approach teaching, that starts with a teacher’s relationship with students. The relationship is first. Great book and two amazing ladies.

Bios of the Authors of Make Learning Personal

Barbara Bray,@bbray27  co-founder of Personalized Learning, LLC, co-author of Make Learning Personal and founder/owner of My eCoach, is a creative learning strategist and futurist who is a writer, speaker, presenter, instructional designer, coach, and keynote speaker.

Kathleen McClaskey@khmmc is Co-founder of Personalize Learning, LLC, a futurist, education technologist, keynote speaker, professional developer, and Universal Design for Learning (UDL) consultant with over 30 years experience in creating learner-centered environments.

You can subscribe to the podcast on iTunes or elsewhere, get the RSS feed, or listen via the media player above.

The post 5 Ways to Make Learning Personal appeared first on Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher helping educators be excellent every day. Meow!

Categories: Planet

Girls in Tech - Reflections from VIVID Ideas — The Learner's Way

Classroom 2.0 Diigo Group - 12 June, 2016 - 17:30

Comments:

  • Sydney has become a beacon that brings people together and sparks conversations. Most recently the conversation centred on the topic of girls in tech and what might be done to re-dress the gender balance in STEAM subjects and related career pathways. Sponsored by INTEL this Vivid Ideas event drew a mix of entrepreneurs, educators and tech luminaries to the Museum of Contemporary Art on a Saturday afternoon to share their ideas on what might be done. - Nigel Coutts

Tags: girls, tech, ideas, technology, collaboration, teaching, learning, science

by: Nigel Coutts

Categories: International News

Communities of practice

Oz/NZ Educators Diigo Group - 11 April, 2016 - 07:36

Comments:

  • I am researching the value of communities of practice for early career secondary teachers. This is my short survey. If you are an ECT or would be willing to forward this on to ECTs in your school I'd be very grateful.

    https://usqadfi.au1.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_4MDJ57p9jTRN2xD - bernadette mercieca

Tags: communities, learning, education, teachers

by: bernadette mercieca

Categories: International News
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