Saturday, December 5, 2015

5 Things We Can do to Prepare Students to Work Independently

This morning at the Ed Tech Teacher Google Jamboree I had the opportunity to give a short presentation to kick-off the day. The title of my talk was Preparing Students to Work Independently - Five Things We Should Be Doing. The slides from the presentation are embedded below. Below my slides you'll find an outline of my talking points.


Introduction:
Nearly ten years ago Karl Fisch and Scott McLeod’s Did You Know/ Shift Happens (http://shifthappens.wikispaces.com/) videos made many of us aware of the fact that the nature of learning and the nature of work has irreversibly changed. Yet in many schools we continue to we still teach as if we are preparing students to work and learn in the 80’s and 90’s (you can pick the century). While there is value in some of the traditional methods we must strive to incorporate new perspectives and instructional strategies.

1. Acknowledge What’s New in the Classroom and the Workplace
What’s different in the academic world:
1. Ubiquitous access to the Internet.
2. Faster and larger networks of classmates, friends, and family. Students expect to tap these networks for help.
3. Increased school/ class choice.

What’s different in the workplace:
1. We’re doing jobs that didn’t exist 5 -10 years ago.
2. “Going to work” doesn’t mean you have to leave the house. My friend Kate is an IT manager for a Fortune 100 company and she hasn’t gone to her office in years.
3. “Getting a job” often means creating your own job.

2. What's it mean to be an "expert."
1. What’s easy to you is amazing to someone else.
2. Students don’t always need you for an answer. They might need you to simply guide them to an answer.
3. You don’t have to have all of the answers. Richard Branson makes the point that what he’s best at is connecting people to get the answers and put a plan together.

3. Create Wise Consumers of Information
1. Take time to think. What do you already know? Who do you already know?
2. How would someone else interpret this information?
3. Can you verify this information? Particularly important when using social media as a search tool.

4. Encourage and Support Publishing Online
1. Want to be a writer? Be a writer, tell people about what you write.
2. Publish a podcast, a YouTube channel.
3. Create and share games.
-Creating and publishing is what leads to “getting a job” or creating your own job.
-Creating and publishing is what can distinguish you from a crowd of students.

5. Working independently sometimes means working with others.
1. Acknowledging when a project is too big to handle alone.
2. Knowing when to ask for help and who to ask for help.

Stop and think, can these tools help my students learn, work, and thrive in a constantly changing world?

The Week in Review - The Most Popular Posts

Winter has arrived in Woodstock, ME.
Good evening from Woodstock, Maine where I'm home after a great day at the Ed Tech Teacher Google Jamboree in Medfield, Massachusetts. Thank you to everyone who came out to the event. It was great to reconnect with teachers I had met before and make some new connections. Getting the opportunity to work with teachers is the best thing about writing this blog and I consider it a privilege. Thank you all for making it possible by reading and sharing this blog.

Here are this week's most popular posts:
1. Flubaroo Now Lets You Share Graded Assignments Through Google Drive
2. Great Google Drive Add-ons for Teachers - A PDF Handout
3. GrammarFlip - Online Grammar Lessons for Students
4. Click to Spin - A Fun and Free Random Name Picker
5. ToonSpaghetti Teaches Kids to Make Movies on iPads
6. 10 Resources for Teaching With Primary Sources
7. Science Snacks - Fun, Hands-on Science Lessons

Would you like to have me speak at your school or conference?
Click here to learn about my professional development services. 

Please visit the official advertisers that help keep this blog going.
Practical Ed Tech is the brand through which I offer PD webinars.
BoomWriter provides a fantastic tool for creating writing lessons. 
Storyboard That is my go-to tool for creating storyboards and cartoon stories.
Discovery Education & Wilkes University offer online courses for earning Master's degrees in Instructional Media.
PrepFactory offers a great place for students to prepare for SAT and ACT tests.
The University of Maryland Baltimore County offers graduate programs for teachers.
Boise State University offers a 100% online program in educational technology.
EdTechTeacher is hosting host workshops in six cities in the U.S. in the summer.
SeeSaw is a great iPad app for creating digital portfolios.
Lesley University offers online education programs for teachers. 
Southeastern University offers online M.Ed programs.

Friday, December 4, 2015

How to Drag and Drop Pictures into Blogger Blog Posts

Earlier this week I noticed a feature in Blogger that I hadn't seen before. That feature is the option to drag images from your desktop directly into your blog posts. It doesn't present a huge change to the way that I write blog posts, but it is a nice convenience. In the video below I demonstrate how it works. In the video I also give a tip about resizing images in Blogger.


My free guide to using Blogger in the classroom has now been downloaded more than 20,000 times. You can get a copy here.

Create Your Own Virtual Reality Imagery With Cardboard Camera

Earlier this morning I exclaimed on Twitter that Google's new Cardboard Camera app is my favorite Android app of 2015. Cardboard Camera was released yesterday and I immediately installed it on my Motorola X Pure Edition phone (this phone is completely unlocked from carrier restrictions).

Cardboard Camera is a free Android app that enables you to create your own virtual reality imagery to use in Google's Cardboard Viewer.

With the Cardboard Camera app installed on your Android phone or tablet you can capture 360 degree panoramic imagery. If you choose to keep your phone's microphone turned on, you can capture sound with your imagery. To capture imagery simply open the app, tap the camera icon, then start recording. Slowly move your phone from left to right and turn 360 degrees to completely capture the images around you. Cardboard Camera will tell you if you are moving too quickly or too slowly. Once you've captured your imagery you can view it through the Cardboard Viewer. Unfortunately, the Cardboard Viewer is not free but it is inexpensive. Schools that are selected for the Expeditions Pioneer Program will get viewers for free.
Screenshot of VR imagery captured at my house.
Applications for Education
The Cardboard Camera app could be a great app for students to use to on field trips to capture and relive their favorite sights and sounds.

The R&R Show - Answers to Your Ed Tech Questions and More

Last month the R&R Show featuring me and Dr. Rod Berger finally got on a consistent production schedule. We're now releasing one new episode every week. In each episode we answer some ed tech questions from readers of Free Technology for Teachers and discuss an education policy or practice issue. Six episodes are now available. You can find all of the episodes on Vimeo and on the EdCircuit Facebook page. As you can see in the episode embedded below, we have fun recording these shows.


R&Repisode6 from MindRocket Media Group on Vimeo.


If you have a question that you would like to have me answer please feel free to submit it on Twitter with the hashtag #askrichardbyrne, through the EdCircuit Facebook page, or by sending me an email richardbyrne (at) freetech4teachers.com

And for commentary on education policy issues and the business of ed tech, check out EdCircuit.com