Posted on May 9, 2013 by Rhondda
If you are involved in education here in Victoria it is very easy to see the rise in mobile computing across all levels of schooling. The demand on the servers has been increasing enormously and recently many schools seem to have taken steps to move towards the cloud.
Until recently it has been quite tentative, with pilot projects and limited use, often by individual teachers or faculties for single projects and without a whole school commitment.
At our school some staff, especially those in the technology area who have carefully built our in-house network, the cloud technologies are not an option. They fear the move to the cloud and it will require a significant change in mindset before they come on board. Most of what we use/do is on the intranet. Staff book the internet for their classes if they want to use external sites. This limits the usefulness of many of our online work in wikis and blogs. There are so many other great online tools and collaborative opportunities for real-world learning. We also need to be teaching students how to exist safely and responsiblity in the online work. I know that there are issues and problems may occur but they seem to see only the problems. There are ways around those as there are with the problems the occur on our intranet. It just requires the will first of all and then planning. If we are not careful we will be left behind if this infographic is anywhere near the mark.
Infographic was put together with US data in August 2012 but anecdotally the trend is also applicable here in this state as well.
Those that research and write for Online Colleges see that a much greater commitment to the cloud is coming. They estimate that K–12 schools will allocate an average of 17 percent of their total IT budget (US costs) to cloud-related services and in five years that projection goes up to 27 percent.
Please include attribution to OnlineColleges.net with this graphic.
Filed under: Education, Research, tools, Web2.0 | Tagged: cloud, cloud technology, infographic | Leave a Comment »
Posted on March 16, 2013 by Rhondda
I have attended two professional development days in the last two weeks. I will post about the SLAV conference in the next few days.
I also like to observe people and it has been quite fascinating to watch how many colleagues, present at these Professional Development days, can’t wait to get to their phones when the opportunity presents itself. Yesterday’s SLAV conference encouraged attendees to use technology to comment on the information discussed by the presenters on TodaysMeet and on Twitter with the tag #slavconf, during the sessions.
The earlier PD day was about building a Performance and Development Culture and was attended by leadership teams from a number of Catholic Schools. It was the 3rd day of a series of 4 and technology was not used by attendees during the day.
I am bemused because most schools try to stop their students from having any access to their mobile phones whilst they are school. If teachers/school leaders can’t wait to check messages, why are we all so dismissive of our students perceived need to stay in touch with their world.
I know there are valid points about usage but when I hear some of the comments and conversations about students and phones, I can’t help but see that there are some anomalies in what is being said and what is being done by the adults.
I like the infographic below that tries to explain how ubiquitous smartphones are in our daily lives.
Smartphone Mobile App Usage by[x]cubeLABS
Filed under: tools, Web2.0 | Tagged: infographic, smartphones | 1 Comment »
Posted on February 11, 2013 by Rhondda
With the Victorian teachers striking again this week it seems timely to have a look at this infographic below. Although many teachers are doing a great number of fantastic things in our schools there are still a lot of inequities in education.
What the infographic below highlights are some major issues in the schooling systems all over the world not just Australia and there are similarities across the board. We all know that there are many inequities for educational opportunities for all our students in our education system and the infographic below shows a direct correlation between achievement and economic status.
The government sponsored NAPLAN results confirm serious inequalities. For instance they:
- reaffirm the significant achievement gap between indigenous and non-indigenous students (see also an article in the Australian Dec 2012) and
- show the gap in achievement widening as students progress through their schooling.
The ACT initiative “Save our Schools” site has quite a lot of published documents including one in December that discussed inequities in science and maths.
The statistics and information that form the basis for this infographic are included at the bottom and I have read a few of the sources but I think I will have a look at a few more.
Educators have been aware of inequity in schools, in fact historically there has always been some inequity but the political rhetoric has been increasingly strident and politicians from all sides have declared that we want/need to make the gap smaller. Nothing substantial and long-term seems to be put in place. Despite the Gonski Report, we still seem a long way from any major changes to the current system so how can we help our students overcome social and economic disadvantages that are not of their making? We all see that we need to help foster learning and give opportunities to all our students. Most have bright and enquiring minds in the beginning and we need to help them develop to be the best they can be. This is vital for not just the students but for our society as a whole. I have no answers but I will continue to question and work within my own sphere to try to bridge the gap.
Filed under: Education, Research | Tagged: achievement, infographic | 1 Comment »
Posted on December 17, 2012 by Rhondda
If, like me, you have been fortunate enough to attend a conference where Dr Ross Todd has been speaking, you will be au fait with the term “deeper learning”. Deeper knowledge and deeper understanding formed the basis of his presentation early in 2012 at our SLAV conference.
He has been an advocate for many years and offered many approaches, both small and more dramatic, to assist teacher librarians via “guided inquiry” to become the go-to people in their school. He tries to assist us in understanding the complexities of Guided Inquiry. The speaks about us helping students go beyond simply transporting information from one format to another to students transforming information into something new and meaningful to them.
The first is low level work and little or no effort is required. The second is high level work. Students will have to interpret data, establish a personal conclusion and reflect on what it all means. Transferring information into a more meaningful context means taking ownership and leads to deeper learning. The student will have changed the information according to the needs, understandings and prior knowledge of that student.
The curriculum and the tasks set by the teacher has a big role in developing this ability in students. Ross Todd has always advocated for teacher librarians to roll up their collective sleeves and assist teachers to develop the curriculum tasks that do this very thing.
We are a notebook school and teachers are expected to use the digital resources available in the best possible ways and therefore I was interested in the inforgraphic created by the people at Getting Smart. They write about learning (ranging pre-school to post school education) in the digital environment. They have a number of resources to help those in education but the one I was looking at recently was the following paper that can be downloaded and is worth a read. The ideas would not be new to many but are well put:
“How Digital Learning Contributes to Deeper Learning” by Carri Schneider and Tom Vander Ark is a white paper that examines how key aspects of personal digital learning – common standards, next-generation assessments, blended learning, and affordable devices – can provide deeper learning opportunities for students.
They also created this accompanying infographic ” that describes how deeper learning opportunities can be created for every student with personal digital learning tools”.
Filed under: Education, Research, Web2.0 | Tagged: deep knowledge, deep learning, digital learning, Dr Ross Todd, Getting Smart, infographic | Leave a Comment »
Posted on December 6, 2012 by Rhondda
Arguments are going on all the time about the print medium disappearing in favour of the e-book. When it come to fiction we have not found that this is happening at our school this year. I am always especially irritated but the statements that say something like “libraries no longer need books”. (For example the NY Times article) in 2010. To me this shows little understanding or sloppiness when what they mean is that the printed medium is on the way out. Many of these articles have no evidence to back up their claims except their own personal reading situation. I argue that at present the data shows something quite different.
We announced that we had fiction/stories in e-book format available for all students this year from our library.They were available via kindles but we when we talked to students, about what was available to read, we always stressed the stories. For example: if a student wanted the “Hunger Games” we had three print copies and some e-copies – the boys just took whatever was available. We have put many of the less read “classics” on kindles so they are available, with the quality of the paper and binding not an issue because the book does not deteriorate. If any other classic is requested can be obtained on-line and ready to read within minutes and at a very small cost. They boys have been very appreciative of this and we can give them what they want to read when they want it.
We found that some of our boys loved reading from the kindle format, some much preferred the traditional book and others were happy to have access to the story they wanted and the format was immaterial to them. The staff, when introduced to the kindles, often ended up buying their own. They loved the portability of a device that carried many books especially when they were on holiday. Again many went between the two formats. Some just read via their e-book readers but is seems that mostly they were people who had gone ways from reading but the e-book reader brought them back to reading by its portability and ease of acquiring books.
An analysis (written April 2012 from a Pew study of 2011) found that even as sales of e-readers are growing rapidly, many still visit libraries more frequently than some would have you believe, and print books have remained popular. It did show that readers of e-book read more books annually, whatever the format. I will be interested in new data next year from Pew to see if any of these trends have changed in 12 months. On what we have seen this year in our school library, for the forseeable future, books and e-readers will continue to coexist in our library when it comes to reading stories.
The following infographic takes a look at e-readers and books, as well as why they can both remain useful for many years to come.
You can read more about the infographic below, at TeachingDegree.org.
Please Include Attribution to TeachingDegree.org With This Graphic
Filed under: Education, images, Library2.0, Reading, Research | Tagged: e-books, infographic, Pew | Leave a Comment »