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Do I Need a Digital Teaching Portfolio? | Edutopia

Classroom 2.0 Diigo Group - 24 January, 2015 - 17:00


  • "This post will help you decide whether or not a portfolio will serve your professional goals and how to go about designing a professional-looking site that showcases your teaching skills." (para. 1, 2015.01.24) - Paul Beaufait
  • It’s best simple way to appoint students, additionally – advance their applied skills. Strongly advance to try out . http://bit.ly/1y9WeYC - sulmahmud1

Tags: education, Edutopia, digital portfolios, eportfolios, portfolios, teaching, technology

by: Paul Beaufait

Categories: International News

School’s out Friday

Lucacept - Jenny Luca - 23 January, 2015 - 22:51

Even I am surprised by the sheer – dare I say it – stupidity, of the people interviewed in this clip posted by Jimmy Kimmel Live.

But wait for it, you need to see this list from Mashable of the 25 most common passwords, derived from 3 million passwords leaked online last year apparently.

1. 123456 (Unchanged from 2013)
2. password (Unchanged)
3. 12345 (Up 17)
4. 12345678 (Down 1)
5. qwerty (Down 1)
6. 234567890 (Unchanged)
7. 1234 (Up 9)
8. baseball (New)
9. dragon (New)
10. football (New)
11. 1234567 (Down 4)
12. monkey (Up 5)
13. letmein (Up 1)
14. abc123 (Down 9)
15. 111111 (Down 8)
16. mustang (New)
17. access (New)
18. shadow (Unchanged)
19. master (New)
20. michael (New)
21. superman (New)
22. 696969 (New)
23. 123123 (Down 12)
24. batman (New)
25. trustno1 (Down 1)

If you’re reading that list and identify a password you’re currently using, then trust me, you do need help. Watch the following from Mozilla  that I’ve used with Year 5 students who, in their youthful enthusiasm, think it’s a good idea to share their passwords with their friends.

Something to start the school year with!

Enjoy your weekend.  I’m planning on doing just that.  :)

Categories: Planet

25 Ways to Help Your Students Learn Responsibility | Michele Borba

Oz/NZ Educators Diigo Group - 23 January, 2015 - 18:50


  • Dr. Michele Borba shares 25 activities that can be used as journal prompts, class meeting topics, paired sharing or individual assignments to teach. Useful to use with the younger students at our school.
    - Rhondda Powling

Tags: students, responsibility, moral intelligence, classroom activities

by: Rhondda Powling

Categories: International News

10 ways YouTube can engage your classes now | Ditch That Textbook

Oz/NZ Educators Diigo Group - 23 January, 2015 - 18:02


  • YouTube offer many options for teachers. This post offers 10 ideas for using YouTube to improve engagement and creativity within classroom situations. - Rhondda Powling

Tags: youtube, classroom activities, educational technology, teaching, videos

by: Rhondda Powling

Categories: International News

Paid in Full

Chris Betcher - 23 January, 2015 - 11:30

I haven’t seen an actual paper credit card statement for a long time because I’ve banked electronically for years, but I switched banks recently and they just sent me my first credit card statement on this new account.

I was really pleased to see a prominent section on the statement (mandated by government legislation) pointing out just how long this bill will take to pay off if I were only to pay the minimum amount. I think this is a great thing for developing financial literacy, as I’m always shocked at just how little some people know about money, especially credit, and how little they understand its impact.

On my credit card’s closing balance of $1898.20, it tells me that even if I spent nothing more on the card, and just paid the minimum required amount each month until it was paid off, it would take me 18 YEARS 6 MONTHS, and would accrue $4,348.57 in interest!

I hope we are teaching this stuff to kids at school, so they don’t fall into the “free money” thinking that so many adults I know still have.

My grandmother used to say “if you can’t afford to pay cash, you can’t afford it.” I think the more modern equivalent is “if you can’t afford to pay your credit card bill in full each month, you can’t afford it”

And yes, I always pay my credit card bill in full each month!

Related posts:

  1. The shocking cost of international data
  2. Calling Home
  3. A Question of Value

Categories: , Planet

RSS and Feedly: Stay Up to Date without the Hassle

Cool Cat Teacher Blog Vicki Davis - 22 January, 2015 - 23:15

Feedly helps you pull together many great sources of information around the web. RSS readers have been part of my curriculum for 10 years. It is time to learn to master this technique to make your life easier.

In today’s tutorial video I’ll teach you how to set up Feedly (just the basics) and add 3 sources of information. You’ll learn how RSS works and why it makes your life easier.

Video Tutorial: RSS and Feedly

Learn the new way to stay updated: RSS. While RSS has been around for a while, few people understand the potential to stay on top of news and interesting things in a snap. Using it can be easy with Feedly.

Essential Questions:
  • What is RSS?
  • Why can RSS be hard to find?
  • How do you set up an RSS reader? (We used Feedly)
  • What are 3 Ways to Find RSS Feeds?
  • How Does RSS Fit into Your Learning?
  • What is a PLN?
  • How do you use RSS?

How I Teach Feedly to Students

I ask students to set up their own Feedly. We add content all three ways I teach in the video. Then I give them times to check their feedly and become familiar with how useful it is. If they have a device, I encourage them to install the app. Once students see it in action for a few days they start to understand. You can also do this with college students and research projects.

If you like tutorials and want more, check out Cool Cat Teacher TV on YouTube. I upload quick tips and longer tutorials to help you learn today’s best tools. I like fast, practical ways that get to the point.

The post RSS and Feedly: Stay Up to Date without the Hassle appeared first on Cool Cat Teacher Blog.

Categories: Planet

Join me for #28daysofwriting – developing a writing habit

Edte.ch Tom Barrett - 22 January, 2015 - 18:22


I don’t know about you but I seem to have an endless list of ideas for things I am going to write about, a smattering of drafts ready to go, and not quite the writing habit to get them published. You may also suffer from blog guilt! You may have a publishing space that you want to re-energise and kickstart again – getting back to a time when you were rattling off posts left write and centre.  Inspired by similar  ideas in the past – like 750words and nanowrimo – I thought I would start something up around the simple approach:

Write everyday for 28 minutes for 28 days. #28daysofwriting

Writing Chunks
The time frame seems manageable in our hectic lives and is often the hurdle for me publishing posts, just spending too long on them! Hopefully you will agree that we should be able to find a  28 minute chunk of uninterrupted writing time during any given day – especially if we are committed to developing such a habit.

A Creative Habit
And that is very much what this is about – getting into a strong, sustainable writing habit that lasts. Who knows whether 28 days is enough but I am up for sticking at it and seeing where I am by then.

Building a Writing Community
Blogging has had an immeasurable impact on my professional life and yet I know I can still be a better writer. Writing regularly helps so much, but it is also about the social platform that is blogging. Sharing with others, with a network, a community. I feel that the blogging community has changed, especially within education, and so this idea is also about building strong(er) communities of writers.

Not Posting Perfection
One of the hurdles for me in my recent writing days has been trying to craft that epic post, that idea or piece of writing that keeps burgeoning – it seems to go on forever and needs to be just so before we hit “Publish”. The healthy constraint of time will help us all to publish. To just publish what we have and be content with that. Sharing early thoughts is sometimes more valid than waiting till the idea is just how we want it before we share it – such behaviour can only lead to a closed or fixed mindset. Write for 28 minutes and publish what you have and then enjoy the conversation that occurs. Don’t aim to publish perfection, we are successful if we just publish.

So if some of these problems and challenges resonate with you. If you are also keen to restart your writing habit and be part of a small community of supportive peers who comment on each others work then sign up in the form below to show you are interested in taking part.



I will share some more information soon and I think we will get started from the 1st of February as the month meets our requirements pretty well!

Don’t forget to share this post with others who you think it would be relevant for – use the hashtag #28daysofwriting – we will also use this to flag when we have published our work. I hope to see your name pop up on the list of those interested and I look forward to connecting with you all.

And yes this post took me 28 minutes!

Categories: Planet

A Fine Balance

The Principal of Change George Couros - 22 January, 2015 - 14:45

I was sitting in Starbucks, listening to music, and reading blogs, when I came upon Amber Teamann’s post titled, “Collaboration…who doesn’t have time?”  I thought about her post, and linked it to my own thoughts on collaboration, and honestly, sometimes our over-emphasis on collaboration in schools. We tend to swing from one extreme to another in education, and I think about my own experience in the profession.

As I have become older, I have become more of an introvert, and my time sitting in a coffee shop, with headphones on, NOT talking to anybody has become pretty important to my development as a learner.  Many schools have adopted “common planning time”, with the idea that it is beneficial to work in teams to learn from one another while also ensuring that we work together to create the best learning opportunities for our students, shifting away from “prep” time alone.  In my opinion, a balance is important.  I need time bouncing ideas off of people and having conversations, but it is so necessary for me to make my own connections to my learning.  If you think about a teacher’s work, you are spending the majority of your time with students, then on the times, you are in meetings or professional learning with others. Where do we have built in time for reflection, connecting, or processing, which are so crucial to our learning?  If we don’t build that in to our own professional time, why would we build it into our classroom time?

Years ago, I heard of a school that actually had two hours a month on a professional learning day where you were NOT allowed to talk to anyone else on staff. No conversations, no phone calls, no emails.  You were on your own.  Some people might hate the idea, but in a time where our lives are seemingly becoming faster, the idea of slowing down seems kind of nice.

I spent the weekend with a friend and he was talking to his son about his “quiet” time later in the day.  It wasn’t a time for a nap (necessarily), but just about having some time to be on his own, for his development, not just for the sake of being alone.  It really got me thinking about our time as professionals,  Would slowing down, having some time to process, connect and reflect on our own be as crucial as collaboration for our growth?  Is that time built into our school year?  I think in an “always on” world, the opportunity to just be on your own for some time is crucial.

Categories: Planet

Robots For Teaching Programming

Computer Science Teacher Alfred Thompson - 22 January, 2015 - 03:53

One of my most popular posts has been a collection of links to block programming (drag and drop programming) tools and languages. The other day it occurred to me that a similar list for programming with robots might be useful. There seems to be more and more interest in this as time goes on. A lot of students prefer to “move atoms more than move pixels” after all. Since I first posted this I have added more and reorganized a bit.
Robots are not just for boys either. Girls love robots as much as boys do. Many of the newer educational robots appeal to younger students as well with bright colors and friendly shapes. There are many options. I plan to add to this post as I learn about more robots over time. If you know of something that should be listed please mention it in the comments.
I’m not listing costs because a) those change a lot and b) there are often different options for educators including loans and grants. Visit the web sites to learn more.

Pre-Built Robots

Finch robots were among the first robots designed from the ground up for teaching programming. They seem to be programmable in just about any language you want to use. There is also a lot of curriculum support available and a large community of users.

Scribblers are another of the early robots designed and built for teaching programming. “The S2 robot is suitable for a wide range of programming skills. The Scribbler robot arrives pre-programmed with eight demo modes, including light-seeking, object detection, object avoidance, line-following, and art. Place a Sharpie marker in the pen port and it will scribble as it drives. Next, use the Graphical User Interface (S2 GUI) tile-based programming tools, or modify the Propeller source code in our BASIC-like Spin language. Through the use of third-party tools you can also program the S2 on a Mac or under Linux, in PropBASIC and C using PropGCC.”

If you interested in Scribblers be sure to check out the Institute for Personal Robots in Education (IPRE) resources including the Calico project.

Dot and Dash from Wonder Workshop Dash, the larger robot, moves while Dot is stationary. Both are pretty cute. These are both connected via Bluetooth to iOS and/or Android devices. They are programmed with a version of Blockly which is very similar to Scratch. There is also a very simple app that I am told works with students in the very early grades.



Bee-bots are definitely for the young students. Small and cute they are programmed using buttons. A wide variety of resources and add-ons seem to be available.


Sparki is an Arduino based robot. “Sparki works out of the box with its remote control. To write your own programs, just plug it in via USB, install the custom-enhanced Arduino software and try any of the dozens of example programs.”


Edison sort of fits in both the pre-built and the build it yourself categories. It is Lego compatible so you can add more to it pretty easily but from the looks of it you can use it right out of the box as well. “Edison is programmed using EdWare, a drag and drop graphical programming language that is easy to learn. EdWare is free and open source and works on Windows, Mac and Linux computers.”

Sphero and Ollie from Go Sphero  are another set of app controlled robots. Ollie (the barrel shaped robot) has apps for iOS and Android devices. Sphero (the ball) has apps for iOS, Android AND Windows 8.1 and Windows Phones as well as some Amazon Kindles. There is also some curriculum support materials available.


The Create 2 is the latest educational offering from iRobot, the people behind the Roomba home vacuuming robot. A bit more expensive than some of the others and also a bit more appropriate for people who want to add on to a robot. But it is also a lot larger than the others on the list which can be a plus in some situations.




Codie is not available as I write this but should be available in the summer of 2015 according to the company. They are developing their own language for programming. Check out their web page if interested.



Built Them Yourself Robots

A lot of students get their start with Lego Mindstorms. Involvement with FIRST Robotics and their FIRST Lego League competition has been a big part of that. This is a nice platform for people who want to include building the robot as well as programming a robot.

Arduino is not strictly robots but a lot of people use them as the base for a robot.  And there is an Arduino robot kit! There are other robot kits built around Arduino as well. One of them is the Funduino UNO Robotics Kit

Arduino is an open-source electronics platform based on easy-to-use hardware and software. It's intended for anyone making interactive projects. Arduino senses the environment by receiving inputs from many sensors, and affects its surroundings by controlling lights, motors, and other actuators.

 Hummingbird Robotics Kit Not complete robots but important building blocks for creating and programming robots. Probably just the thing for maker spaces and pre-engineering programs. “The Hummingbird Robotics Kit is a spin-off product of Carnegie Mellon's CREATE lab. Hummingbird is designed to enable engineering and robotics activities for ages 13 and up (8 with adult supervision) that involve the making of robots, kinetic sculptures, and animatronics built out of a combination of kit parts and crafting materials.”

RiQ This is a “brain” for use in building with a number of build it yourself platforms.

“The All-New Cortex™ 5.0 is compatible with Windows and Apple computers and, best of all, offers tablet based robotics programming for Android and iPad!!  The Cortex robotics programming language is gamified, visual, and intuitive. Kids have so much fun with RiQ they don’t realize they’re learning to program robots!”

Categories: Planet

January 31: the First Student-Led Technology Conference is Here! Join in.

Cool Cat Teacher Blog Vicki Davis - 20 January, 2015 - 22:43

So what if we put students in charge of planning a global student technology conference? It is happening Saturday, January 31 as students from around the world connect and share about technology. Encourage your students to present, participate, and learn. I asked Eric Walters, the teacher of the students organizing this event to share. As we shared in Flattening Classrooms, Engaging Minds — students are the greatest textbook written for each other. OPEN THE BOOK.  Let your students know.

Guest post by Eric Walters, Director of STEM Education, Marymount School of New York

Students at the Marymount School of New York, working with students as nearby as Westhampton, Long Island and as far away as Mumbai, India, decided to connect the world, one student at a time through the 2015 Student Technology Conference.

What are the topics? Who is presenting?

The 2015 Student Technology Conference is  a free, virtual event, bringing together students from around the world. They are planning to discuss technology in their schools, global collaborations and opportunities for innovative learning.

Here’s the logo: STC. I love how they are using an ethernet cable instead of the traditional “electrical plug”. It shows how far we’ve come! I hope you share this with your students. Let’s help them live their vision.

Conference Strands.

The conference has some exciting strands:

  • Making, Design, Innovation and  3D Printing
  • School Technology Clubs
  • Technology in Schools: Projects and Collaborations
  • Educational Tools
  • Students and Social Media
  • Entrepreneuship
Student Keynotes.

We have some exciting keynotes!

  • Students from American School in Mumbai
  • Students from Westhampton Middle School
  • Dylan DeWaart, globalbuddy.org

Here are some of the student planning team members who are partnering with other students from around the world.

When is the conference?

The conference will be held online at: studenttechnologyconference.com on Saturday, January 31, 2015 from 9 AM to 9 PM EST.  All of the presentations and all of the keynotes will be by students!

How Do Students Participate? Submit a Proposal.

We are still accepting proposals for presentations.  You can submit your proposal at: http://studenttechnologyconference.com/page/call-for-proposals

Attend the Conference.

Or sign up as an attendee at: http://studenttechnologyconference.com/group/2015-attendees

How Did The Students Plan It?

In planning the conference, the students first had to develop a conference mission statement.  The conference, by students and for all, is committed to:

  • Fostering a better understanding of how students use technology and to engage students, teachers and administrators in a conversation about technology.
  • Assisting teachers and administrators in understanding how students use technology both in and out of the classroom.
  • Strengthening the relationship between students, teachers, and administrators about technology in the classroom.

The students also started a Kickstarter campaign to fund the conference infrastructure.  The campaign was successful and was funded at 176%!

Our Inspiration

The STEM fields provide a unique opportunity for students to both collaborate with each other and to connect with subject experts from around the world.  Using the work of Alan November as inspiration, educators can develop and implement unique learning and leadership opportunities for students to achieve this goal.

Our Appreciation

We need to thank the following people:

  • Lucy Gray and Steve Hargadon:  Educational consultants and mentors .
  • Concepcion Alvar: Headmistress, Marymount School of New York
I encourage you to share this with your students. You all have students who need to share their story or who just need to connect with other students OUTSIDE of your school. Plus, you can get in on the ground floor of something very special. Head over to  studenttechnologyconference.com and email the link to your faculty, staff, and students.

The post January 31: the First Student-Led Technology Conference is Here! Join in. appeared first on Cool Cat Teacher Blog.

Categories: Planet

Interesting Links 19 January 2015

Computer Science Teacher Alfred Thompson - 19 January, 2015 - 22:11

School is out today in honor of Martin Luther King Jr Day. Semester exams start tomorrow. I think I’m ready. I hope my students are ready.  I do have a couple of interesting links to share today. Hope you find them useful.

Logo changes: The challenge of making a square in modern Logos – From Mark Guzdial – you can’t use lessons and instructions from early Lego materials with modern implementations of Logo. I’m wondering how hard it would be to write a new Logo that was backward compatible with the original materials.

Kids these days -- they don't know nuttin – New from Mike Zamansky about how little students know about the technology industry. 

Applications are now open for Google’s Computer Science Summer Institute and the Generation Google Scholarship! Mostly for graduating high school seniors. Looks good for those who can get in.

Choice of Programming Language - Justifying my Choice. We all get asked about what languages we teach with and why. In this post Ben Gristwood, an ICT/Computing teacher in the North West of England, writes about why he teaches with Visual Basic.

New Entrepreneur Unit for CS Classes – on the CSTA blog, Irene Lee writes about and interesting looking add-on unit for computer science classes being developed in New Mexico.

Categories: Planet

8 Things To Look For in Today’s Classroom (Visual)

The Principal of Change George Couros - 19 January, 2015 - 13:36

A couple of years ago, I wrote a post on “8 Things To Look For in Today’s Classroom”, and it has been something that has helped my own learning, and hopefully others as well.

Sylvia Duckworth, who has been recently putting together a great series of visuals on different articles, made one specifically on the “8 Things” post.  Check it out below.

8 Things to Look For in Today’s Classroom – a Sketchnotes created by @sylviaduckworth adapted from bit.ly/gcouros8

A photo posted by George Couros (@gcouros) on Jan 18, 2015 at 3:55pm PST

Categories: Planet

iPhoneography #2

Darcy Moore's Blog - 18 January, 2015 - 21:10

Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst.  

                                                                       Henri Cartier-Bresson

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

                                                                                                           Arthur C Clarke

The long summer holidays have given me space and time to explore new and favoured apps for iPhoneography. The images created on my relatively old, ancient really, iPhone 4s, often make me happier than what I produce with my FujiFilm X100T or expensive Nikon lenses attached to a D800 and D700 DSLR. Certainly, the process of editing, while sitting cross legged at the beach or on the trail, is fun, engaging and therapeutic. It still amazes, especially when travelling overseas, that an image can be online in minutes, shared with friends, colleagues and followers. It is, to quote the novelist above, ‘magic’.

The smartphone has such a brief history but feels like it has been in our pockets for much longer. You may have read an interesting post at the Flickr blog recently that published data about camera ownership in 2013-14. The Apple iPhone features prominently and is the second most popular ‘camera brand’, behind Canon. The iPhone 6 is not yet ranked but one would imagine that it may assist Apple to become the number one camera brand in the next year or two, as measured by Flickr data anyway. 

The pace of development and change is fierce. A little over two years ago I blogged about my favourite photography apps and interestingly enough only Snapseed remains in my main iPhone photography folder along with the Flickr app. Gary Poulton, commenting at that post, put me on to EyeEm, which quickly replaced Instagram in my workflow. NB You should check out Gary’s inspirational images at EyeEm.

Some new apps

What apps are you currently using? Of course, the app or camera for that matter do not make the image, you do. It is interesting to think about Ansel Adams’ quip re: ‘the first 10 000 photographs are your worst’ in the context of having a smartphone. Many more people are clocking up 10 000 shots much more quickly. I notice even the most casual users of Facebook have better images than just a few years ago (even without selfie sticks). This is particularly true of teenagers.

There are so many apps available and they are so simple to use that it is hardly surprising the standard is improving. I have tried literally hundreds of photography apps in the last few years and it is definitely the case they are tools evolving rapidly and offer increasingly more sophisticated options. The entrepreneurs selling these apps have such slick presentation, in their video marketing and websites, that the competition keeps innovation positively bubbling. You can see below that I have many folders on my iPhone but stack my current apps on the home screen in a photography folder. Some of these apps have impressed me but I am yet to give them a proper work out. Others I have used very many times.


On first trying Wood Camera it really suited me and suspect it will become a favoured app in coming weeks and months. It is intuitive and has a suite of options for subtle edits. I am tempted to use it live rather than just to edit my photos from the camera roll. Anyone else tried it?

Other new apps I am trying out add text to your images. Over and PicLab HD are both sound choices if you need this kind of tool.

I really like Afterlight and Faded. I already forgive the creators for all those in-app purchases that tempt users to part with their cash. Even if you buy them all, it is still relatively inexpensive.

I am a sucker for those (many) apps that create paintings. These are not for everyone but as someone who loves the idea of drawing and painting but lacks the skills, these are fun apps. Waterlogue is one to try out if you like this kind of thing. 

Pixite have a number of innovative and unique apps that will help you take your mobile photography to the next level. Union, Tangent, Fragment, Matter and LoryStripes are bundled at a good price (link to Australian store). I have just started using Shift in an attempt to make my own filters.

Shift – Photo filters designed by you from Pixite Apps on Vimeo.

I am very keen to try SpacePaintEarly experiments have not worked out but give me some time. Have a look:


My workflow

As you can see from my screenshots above, I have tried out many apps and most have been superseded or have fallen out of favour through lacking variety or lacking the functionality to make subtle variations.

The following workflow is the most common one I have used in recent months. All my images are uploaded to Snapseed for basic editing. It is such a great tool and when I am in a hurry to get an image published, I can just stick with this app. Often, the second port of call has been Distressed fx where Cheryl Tarrant’s original textures form the backbone of this brilliant app. You really must explore Cheryl’s delightful work at Flickr.

I then send the edited images to EyeEm where they are automatically uploaded to Twitter, Facebook and Flickr. I do not always use the filters at EyeEm but some of them are old favourites.

Here’s a few recent examples of this workflow.

creative commons licensed ( BY-NC-SA ) flickr photo shared by Darcy Moore

creative commons licensed ( BY-NC-SA ) flickr photo shared by Darcy Moore

creative commons licensed ( BY-NC-SA ) flickr photo shared by Darcy Moore

creative commons licensed ( BY-NC-SA ) flickr photo shared by Darcy Moore

creative commons licensed ( BY-NC-SA ) flickr photo shared by Darcy Moore

I would never apologise for photographing rocks. Rocks can be very beautiful. But, yes, people have asked why I don’t put people into my pictures of the natural scene. I respond, “There are always two people in every picture: the photographer and the viewer.” That usually doesn’t go over at all.    Ansel Adams

Storage, Sharing and Display

My Flickr iPhoneography album and Eyeem stream, along with Facebook and Twitter are the main places I share or store images. I have only just found iCloud Photo Library (Beta) if you have iOS 8.1 or higher and am currently uploading almost 3000 images (apparently Photo Stream will disappear this year) as Aperture is terminated by Apple.

The range of photographic styles possible with an iPhone and a few good apps is gobsmacking. Street photography (craftily using the earbud button as a shutter release), landscapes, seascapes, nature, animals, selfies, family snaps, advertising, foodie shots or macros, the possibilities are endless. I am still amazed at how epic some images can be with a simple phone (and in the this case immediately below a wide-angled Olloclip lens).

creative commons licensed ( BY-NC-SA ) flickr photo shared by Darcy Moore

creative commons licensed ( BY-NC-SA ) flickr photo shared by Darcy Moore

creative commons licensed ( BY-NC-SA ) flickr photo shared by Darcy Moore

creative commons licensed ( BY-NC-SA ) flickr photo shared by Darcy Moore

creative commons licensed ( BY-NC-SA ) flickr photo shared by Darcy Moore

The future

My photography is pretty average. There are so many phenomenally brilliant images posted every minute that one cannot be under any illusions about the quality of what one posts. However, I truly love photography and very little makes me happier, or more in the moment, than when shooting or editing an image. Maybe you feel the same about your photography, or writing, or blogging? if so, this video may prove to be a source of inspiration, especially but not just for younger people.


Featured image: creative commons licensed (BY-NC-SA) flickr photo by Darcy Moore: http://flickr.com/photos/darcymoore/16079754830

What apps do you recommend?

The post iPhoneography #2 appeared first on Darcy Moore's Blog.

Categories: Planet

3 Things Students Should Have Before They Leave High School

The Principal of Change George Couros - 18 January, 2015 - 06:59

There is a great commercial on TV right now, where a candidate for a position goes in for an interview to become an engineer, and as the interviewer is asking him “what makes you qualified for this position?”, which then follows him sitting down and breaking the chair.   The person applying then comments about the design of the chair and how it is not made to hold someone with “all that weight”.  Obviously, the interview is over immediately after that, with the point of the commercial being that it is not enough to just “have the skills” to do the job, but there are so many other skills for any position.  You can understand all of the elements of being a “great teacher”, but knowledge is not only important, but also the skills to do the job, and the ability to even obtain a position in the first place.

So how are schools helping students create opportunities for themselves both during their time in school, and after as well?  In my time in school, I remember going over how to make a resume, and looking at how to create a paper portfolio.  Both were relevant to me at the time, but not necessarily helpful to our students today.  Mashable has an interesting article on “The 10 Reasons Why I Ignored Your Resume”, and a lot of the tips deal directly with a person’s digital footprint and networking:

Job hunting is hard, so don’t make it harder that it has to be. Do yourself a favor and don’t give a company a reason not to hire you before you even get to the interview. Marketing has changed, adapt your job search strategy accordingly!

Although this article is geared towards marketing, there are many elements that would be applicable to a wide range of careers.

I recently saw educator Joti Jando share an article about her business students taking part in a “Dragon’s Den” activity, which went way beyond “creating something” and becoming engaged in the classroom, but giving them real world skills and understanding of the opportunities that exist:

Students presented their business ideas – including a breakdown on strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats, competition, management and operations, related government regulations and financial analysis – for assessment by the panelists.

This type of real-world exercise raises the level of student engagement, Jando has found.

Textbook and theoretical lessons don’t generate the same kind of enthusiasm or practical experience, she (Jando) suggested. Furthermore, an opportunity to meet and network with successful business people and entrepreneurs may hold as much value as this project-based learning.

So although the examples I have shared seem to be specific to “business”, there are a lot of takeaways for all of our students in helping them to not only learns content and skills in school, but actually helping them to create opportunities for themselves in our world.

Here are three things that I would like to see all students have by the time they graduate from our schools to help create opportunities for themselves.

1.  Students should be connected through a social network with other people in their field of choice.

Teachers love Twitter, and although there is great learning that happens there, many educators have created opportunities for themselves simply being connected and networking with other people.  I know several teachers that have obtained positions in new schools because they had someone interested in their work that they shared through Twitter.  There are a lot of possibilities for anyone.  For our students though, Twitter may or may not be the place.  YouTube, Instagram, Vine, LinkedIn, Google Plus, or probably ones that I don’t even know about, have a plethora of communities in any given profession.  Students should not only be able to learn from people in the field, but also network and create connections with others.  I am sure we have all heard the saying, “it is not what you know, but who you know.”  The adage hasn’t changed, but the opportunities and ease of access to one another has.  We need to help students connect.

2.  Students should have a digital portfolio. 

There have been a lot of articles shared that the “resume is dead“,  and that our social networks are more crucial than ever.  Although a resume has a place in many institutions, a digital portfolio definitely can be seen as giving someone an advantage as it gives a deeper look into someone’s skill sets, and is accessible 24/7.  Recently having my own wedding, if you were a photographer that did not have a digital portfolio of your work, we were not even going to consider hiring them.  They didn’t even exist in our considerations.  Being able to find someone online is one thing, but having the opportunity to look deeper into their actual work is crucial.  Whatever the format, or the medium (written, images, video, podcasts, and so on), it is necessary for an employer to go beyond the resume. A resume can be a part of this, but it only tells a small part of the story.

3.  Students should have an “about.me” page.

About.me is a great way to share a “digital business card”, and I have likened it to your Internet cover letter.  It is not overwhelming with information, but it has links to much more.  (Here is an example of a student’s page that was actually featured on the about.me homepage!) Having your about.me link as your email signature is a great way to not overwhelm future employees with some LONG quote at the end of each email, but also gives them the opportunity to connect with more information if they are interested.  The other reason I really like the thought of students creating their own about.me pages is that it actually links to their other social networks, which if they are thoughtful about it, probably be a lot more appropriate if they know potential employers or post-secondary institutions are looking at what they are sharing. In a recent article from US Today, Marymount University coach Brandon Chambers was quoted as saying, “Never let a 140 character tweet cost you a $140,000 scholarship.” Having an about.me page is sending a different message.  It is saying, “here are my social networks and I encourage you to look at them.”  What impact would this have on student’s not only on their future, but their digital footprint today?  I think having the ability to bring everything together could be very powerful for our students.

Of course, there are no absolutes in what a student should walk away with, but if schools focused on these three areas as part of what a student would leave a school with, would it not also help tremendously with many of the “digital footprint” issues that we are seemingly having in schools?  By placing an emphasis on using these tools that are at our students’ fingertips, we hopefully can not only help them share their abilities, but help them make the connections to utilize those same abilities to their fullest.

Categories: Planet

Homework: Helping Students Manage their Time | Edutopia

Oz/NZ Educators Diigo Group - 17 January, 2015 - 17:10


  • Two suggests for teachers to assist students in developing their time management skills - Rhondda Powling

Tags: classroom activities, homework, learning, teaching, time management

by: Rhondda Powling

Categories: International News

Is Homework Helpful?: The 5 Questions Every Teacher Should Ask | Edutopia

Oz/NZ Educators Diigo Group - 17 January, 2015 - 17:07


  • "The author suggest that teachers should step back and question the value of assignments they are setting. How often should they be assigned? Where is the line between too much and too little? In this post there are five considerations to help you determine what to assign and why" - Rhondda Powling

Tags: classroom activities, homework, learning, teaching, questions

by: Rhondda Powling

Categories: International News

10 Ways To Use Mobile Devices in the Classroom | Edudemic

Oz/NZ Educators Diigo Group - 17 January, 2015 - 17:02


  • "It is pretty much a given these days that students have mobile phones, tablets, and e-readers. Leveraging what your students already have and already know how to use is a smart idea – even if you aren’t implementing a full-on BYOD classroom environment. There are many ways to have students use their mobile devices in the classroom in a format geared towards learning rather than for leisure. The infographic in this post takes a look at ten fairly general ways to use devices in the classroom. The general nature of some of the recommendations makes it a great starting point if this is a newer concept for you or for a particular group that you’re working. " - Rhondda Powling

Tags: classroom activities, educational technology, m-learning, mobile learning, education

by: Rhondda Powling

Categories: International News

5 Fantastic, Fast Formative Assessment Tools | Edutopia

Oz/NZ Educators Diigo Group - 16 January, 2015 - 21:09


  • Post from @coolcatteacher (Vicky Davis) " Formative Assessment done as students are learnin makes better teachers." Some great ideas discussed here. - Rhondda Powling

Tags: assessment, tools, Formative Assessment, learning, teaching

by: Rhondda Powling

Categories: International News

6 Principles Of Genius Hour In The Classroom

Oz/NZ Educators Diigo Group - 15 January, 2015 - 21:05


  • "Genius Hour in the classroom is an approach to learning built around student curiosity, self-directed learning, and passion-based work. In traditional learning, teachers map out academic standards, and plan units and lessons based around those standards. In Genius Hour, students are in control, choosing what they study, how they study it, and what they do, produce, or create as a result. As a learning model, it promotes inquiry, research, creativity, and self-directed learning." - Rhondda Powling

Tags: education, classroom activities, genius hour

by: Rhondda Powling

Categories: International News
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