Last week was a busy week in regards to connecting the dots, finishing projects, making new connections and re-establishing old ones…
Thanks also Sheryl Nussbaum Beach, Will Richardson, Brenda Sherry and Peter Skillen for modelling effective 21st century teaching and learning skills, supporting our research projects, and celebrating our achievements along the way.
Interesting series on Group Work and Online Learning (via Online Learning Insights)
Here are the links to a three part series on the importance of Group work and online learning. The posts provide good information, advice and suggestions. A lot of the points discussed in this series will be very familiar to teachers who have created/facilitated group work online…
1. Why we need group work in Online Learning - http://onlinelearninginsights.wordpress.com/2012/03/24/why-we-need-group-work-in-online-learning/
Includes a great short video illustrating (literally) “Where Good Ideas Come From”… by Steven Johnson:
2. Strategies for effective group work in the online class - http://onlinelearninginsights.wordpress.com/2012/03/27/strategies-for-effective-group-work-in-the-online-class/
3. Making peer evaluations work in online learning - http://onlinelearninginsights.wordpress.com/2012/03/30/making-peer-evaluations-work-in-online-learning/ - lots of good advice and links to rubrics. Especially liked the link to a Designing Assessments for Project Based Learning - http://joedeegan.blogspot.ca/2009/11/designing-assessments-for-project-based.html - which also includes a link to a project based learning series.
Bonus: Good, Bad and Ugly: Student comments on group work in online learning - http://onlinelearninginsights.wordpress.com/2012/04/03/good-bad-and-ugly-student-comments-on-group-work-in-e-learning/
After researching, setting up and documenting our small tablet deployment at the college, I realized that sharing the resources might help others that have a similiar project.
Our tablet deployment has been set up to encourage faculty and staff to use the new technology for their own purposes (play, try, discover) while they think of how it may or may not affect their teaching practices or their use of technology in the classroom.
Below is a list of resources I used while setting up the tablets (we chose a mix of Android tablets and iPads) to be lent out to faculty.
Resources are listed in no particular order:
1. ThinkPad Tablet Deployment Guide - http://download.lenovo.com/ibmdl/pub/pc/pccbbs/mobiles_pdf/tp_tablet_deployment_guide.pdf
2. 10 Simple Tips for Brand New Android Tablet Users http://www.techrepublic.com/blog/10things/10-simple-tips-for-brand-new-android-tablet-users/3030
3. iPad Deployment and Teacher PD http://langwitches.org/blog/2011/09/18/ipad-deployment/
4. How to Setup Class iPad and iPod Touch Devices http://spicylearning.wordpress.com/2010/09/04/how-to-set-up-class-ipads-and-ipods/
5. iOS 5 (iPad) Education Deployment Guide http://ipadacademy.com/2012/02/apple-releases-ios-5-deployment-guide-for-education
6. The iPad in Education: The Apps & Deployment Resources for the Deployment of Tablets http://www.williamstites.net/2011/09/24/the-ipad-in-education-the-apps-deployment/
7. Preparing your School for an iPad Implementation http://ipadeducators.ning.com/profiles/blog/show?id=5840223%3ABlogPost%3A5303&commentId=5840223%3AComment%3A7732
8. My Guide to iPad Deployment in School http://creatinglifelonglearners.com/?p=995
Before Christmas a small group of staff got together to organize an event that was a little less formal, a lot more hands on and definitely revolved around fun. Once our planning started, a serendipitous email came from another colleague suggesting the following as a possible PD format:
And thus a theme was hatched for our event… :)
Yesterday (February 28) we hosted our Fleming College Technology Petting Zoo. Prior to the event we had sent out a few teaser emails (preferred method of communication at our College) posters posted in key areas, and information posted on our internal web site.
The committee pooled together all of the topics/technologies that staff were interested in hearing more about and were interested in playing with. We worked to narrow down that list for our event and came up with the following:
The criteria for making the list was having willing resident practitioners actively using the technology in their classroom and/or with their students OR were actively using it in their own learning.
The idea of the day was to setup individual stations hosted/facilitated by the willing practitioners (a format I had seen used so successfully with Minds on Media). Attendees were encouraged to bring their own technology and come willing to learn, play, and share with others in our college community.
We did setup a larger demo area where we had folks ‘presenting’ at advertised times. We wanted folks to spend the day learning what they wanted to learn but also knew that folks were comfortable seeing more formal presentations. We thought that if we combined the two formats people could start with what they were used to. Once they got to the event they would be free to browse, get comfortable and dig a little deeper.
Our venue was our large open main foyer space which has lots of windows and can be setup to facilitate a variety of stations (enough power outlets and great wireless internet connection). Our main ‘demo’ area was not setup with chairs facing a screen but participants sat at cafe style tables and the high chairs. This seemed to make the area seem less formal and more conversational.
Those that attended liked the format and the informal nature of the learning. There was a nice positive vibe throughout the day with lots of sharing, showing and trying.
The timing of the event was chosen to take place during the winter break week so that staff would have the time to attend, we could make use of the main foyer space and when folks would be relaxed enough to stay and play.
We have a list of suggestions that we will consider for next time… but for now our small but passionate committee are walking around with big grins on our faces…
I’m finding that its easier to create short videos when offering support to folks with tasks and questions they are having when using technology. I can create a short video clip using screen capture software (currently using Screencast-o-matic) and uploading the video to youtube.com where I’ve created a channel. Once the video clip is done I can simply send the link to the video in an email or direct them to the link online.
It doesn’t matter which tool you use to create your short video clips, simply find the one that works for you.
This simple solution works because it’s visual, it’s reusable and it’s shareable.
I don’t worry about the ummms and ahhhhs when recording, it’s more important to get the information out to people in a timely way.
So simple AND easy…