Pinterest for our teachers

If you want something for collecting and organizing the things that inspire you visually, Pinterest is a great option. It is useful and I love some of the visuals I see in my home feed.

It is the end of the school term and we are all tired especially after report writing. At the technology workshop, yesterday after class,  I presented Pinterest to some of my colleagues. I thought it would be an interesting (and fun) tool to learn about at this time of the year.

I like the following infographic and it illustrated some of the points I was making plus I pulled if from my own Pinterest account

Please include attribution to with this graphic.

16 Ways Educators Use Pinterest

I shared the following points about Pinterest.

Pinterest is a visual social bookmarking site. It is set up as an online pinboard, but unlike other social bookmarking sites, such as Diigo and Delicious, the content shared on Pinterest is driven entirely by visuals. To put anything on Pinterest, an image has to be involved.

You can share images you find online, or you can directly upload images onto Pinterest. Using the Pin It button, you can share directly in your browser from any web page. You can also share your pins on Twitter and Facebook. I use it in conjunction with my Diigo account and I have also started putting information about any commercially available images into my Pinterest description to distinguish it from CC licensed material.

Pinterest has its own terminology like every other social media site. Continue reading


Creative Commons – teaching teachers

I sometimes forget that the terms/language I use may not be understood by other teachers. I have been talking to students for quite  a few years but did not really stop to think, or ask, whether or not the teachers were really listening as well. We have a page explaining CC and listing place to find CC resources on our website (and a copy on a wiki). The CC site and the  CC Australia site is are good resources. We show students how to find CC images even when using Google as well and the CC search page.  The last blog post I wrote about CC was last year after I talked about a tool  that you can use when choosing a license for work that you have created.

Today I was asked to explain what “Creative Commons” means by a colleague. After I explained it I thought that I had better put up a few more visuals to assist everyone in trying to understand the concept.

I have a few posters but I like this one as a starting point. It is very simple and so a good place to start.

Schools and The Cloud

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 with this graphic.

Going to the Cloud

Who is using using smartphones and why?

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

Providing students with Deeper Learning Opportunities.

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”.