I had a couple of tabs open in my browser today during my reading and, as I stared at them, I wondered if somehow they could be combined.
The first tab was open to the story “11 Tips For Students To Manage Their Digital Footprints“. It is hard to argue with any of the tips.
- Use Privacy Settings
- Keep a List of Accounts
- Don’t Overshare
- Use a Password Keeper
- Google Yourself
- Monitor Linking Accounts
- Use a Secondary Email
- You Don’t Need 12 Email Addresses
- Sending is Like Publishing Forever
- Understand That Searches are Social
- Use Digital Tools to Manage Your Footprint
Read the full blog post where they flesh each of these out in detail. It’s good advice. Could you add more? Remove some?
Now, let’s take it to the classroom. As students increasingly are going online, using various tools, getting connected, aren’t each of these worthy of discussion in the classroom? Particularly in lieu of a formal curriculum?
But let’s take it even further. After a discussion, wouldn’t each of these topic be worthy of a blog post by students? It would be a good test to see if they understand the concepts simply by describing how they understand each AND how they plan to put each into their own practice.
So, what about the second tab that I had open.
It was open to Mozilla’s OpenBadges page. I’m fascinated with the concept of badging and certainly achieving a level of competence is worthy of a badge to celebrate. It’s not a new concept – I had a collection of badges I earned as I worked my way through the Red Cross and Royal Life Saving Society swimming and life saving levels. I also had a collection of badges to show that I had demonstrated competencies in Boy Scouts. Earning the badges encompassed the best of what we talk about in terms of assessment. Perform a task at a certain level of competency and you receive the badge.
So, why not meld the two concepts as part of a program of digital literacy?
Discuss and research these important topics in class and then students blog their understanding. If the content of the blog shows the required understanding, the student earns a digital badge to proudly post on her/his blog. They’re learning; mom and dad can see that there is a sincere addressing of the topics in the classroom; you’re addressing many of the traditional curriculum expectations for your grade level in other subject areas and you’re doing the right thing dealing with digital literacies.
…you might want to have second thoughts…
I was a big fan of Rockmelt for the web and blogged about my fandom here.
It changed so much about the way that I treated the web and I felt that it had the tools and ease to make digging and understanding so much easier for me.
Then it went under.
But, it was replaced by Rockmelt for iPad.
I quickly became a big fan of that and blogged about it here.
Like the web version, it was a nice combination of web and tools for getting to stories. It was my go-to app.
Then it got bought by Yahoo! And it’s gone away. I even kept reference to it in my ECOO13 presentation about social reading. I kept hoping that it would return as Yahoo!Melt or something. Nothing yet.
I’m also a big fan of Zite. One of my blog posts about it appears here.
Now, the word is out that it will go away too. Zite has been acquired by Flipboard.
Does this mean Strike three?
I do have a number of sources of news reading at my finger tips.
I was introduced to Flipboard by my friends from the Waterloo Region DSB. It’s a nice application and let’s hope that the acquisition of Zite makes it even better. One of the powerful things about Zite is the serendipity that it provides in news reading. You seldom know where the next great story will come from. Zite has learned what I like to read and I can give thumbs up and thumbs down on articles to help refine the content and lessen the time that it takes to find the good stuff every morning.
I just tell it what I’m interested in reading. My list looks like this: Education, Infographics, Ubuntu, Blogging, Google, Google Apps, Google Chrome, Teaching, Gadgets, Humor, Apple News, Music News, Photography, Programming, Social Media, Sports, Technology, World News, Android, Canada, e-Learning, Facebook, Microsoft, Ontario, Professional Development, SharePoint, The Next Web, VentureBreat, Windsor, Yahoo, Surveillance, Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Office 365, Coding, Gnome, iPad, and Malware.
This generally gives me enough ammunition to get up and go on a daily basis. I hope that the logic that Zite uses somehow ends up in Flipboard. I’m not alone – Miguel Guhlin shared this post recently.
In the meantime, you might want to keep your money in your pocket and not take #3 in the fifth race.
Given that many are taking an unpaid leave day today, I do hope that there are some readers of this post. I want to share some of the excellent thinking from Ontario Educators from the past while.
Colin Jagoe’s most recent post talks about a change in the way that leadership happens in his board. The direction seems to be one away from expertise in a subject area to responsibilities in more than one discipline. Even the title that he describes is different going from Department Head to Lead Teacher.
I heard it said somewhere (and have often used the line myself) that there are 2 things that teachers hate. Change and the way things are.
It will be interesting to see how it plays out. In years gone by, I was actually a Director – there were two of us in the school and we were differentiated from Department Heads by the size of budget that we managed. Time moved on there to and, while the title is now Department Head, it does take in Family Studies in addition to Business Education. I suspect that we’ll see more of this model as time goes by. In the comments to the post, there’s an interesting discussion speculating why this has happened and possible benefits.
Does this sound like some other media fabrication that happens every fall where schools and districts are ranked based on provincial or state testing?
Colin Harris draws an interesting analogy between ranking of athletes at an Olympic event and the ranking of schools. It’s like an extension to Alfred Thompson’s Sorting Isn’t Simple post. There are more things that go on at Olympic games and I guess it’s only natural to guess and speculate as to how things are ranked. Ask my wife and she’ll have a theory about the EQAO of Ice Skating judging. Plus one of the criteria is number of medals – does this mean we won the Olympics because of all the gold medals we walked away with in hockey?
It is too bad that everything has to be judged – sometimes objectively and other times subjectively – with the ultimate goal of assigning a letter or a number or a medal to a performance. We strive for perfect solutions to imperfect events.
Zoe Branigan-Pipe and Beth Carey offer an actual lesson plan for using Minecraft in the Mathematics classroom. This lesson addresses the understanding of fractals.
I may just have to sit down and work through this to get a sense of how it works. There are times when I feel like I’m the last person on earth to drink the Minecraft Koolaid. Obviously, I’ve done it on the personal level and haven’t worked with it at any deep level of any sense. Kudos to those that can make it work for them and their students.
Joan Vinall-Cox offers a first impression of working with the Notability app on her iPad. In the course of her work, she finds some of the shortcuts that are built into iOS which are so handy. I totally agree with her than an apostrophe would help these old keyboarding fingers. I find going to the alternate layouts or long holding on the , key breaks up the flow that I get when I’m keying.
I’ll admit that when I’m keying on my iPad, I’m a hunter and pecker. I’ve tried using the traditional layout and my keyboarding skills but it’s just not the same. A couple of years ago, Zoe Branigan-Pipe and I bought ourselves Kensington keyboards and covers for our iPads. That’s what I use when I’m typing there but I miss the right shift key. I think I paid too much attention in Grade 9 Typing.
If anyone is looking for an ECOO 2014 presentation idea, how about a smackdown of the various text editing programs available for iOS? I know that I would attended a comprehensive comparison of all that’s available. Notability? Evernote? Penultimate? Lumen Note? Note Spark? How’s a person supposed to know?
Still at Joan’s site, she shared a presentation about getting safe sounds for podcasting. I don’t think that this is a message that people can hear and relate to students often enough.
I love the Streetview feature in Google Maps and Google Earth. I use it all the time when I’m watching the news and want to get a sense about where the event is happening. Or, I’ll use it to check out a Formula 1 racetrack – you can even tour the track at Monaco and I’ve done that a number of times. Or, I will reminisce about places I’ve lived or gone to school. Or, if I’m about to go to a new place, I’ll use it to get an idea as to what the place looks like so that I know when I get there.
Here’s the workflow that I typically use.
- Open Google Maps;
- Zoom in to the location; (or type the address in the search box)
- Grab the Pegman and drop him close to where the placemark is;
- Wait as we switch from map mode to streetview mode;
- Orientate by looking around to find the location.
Now, it’s not nearly as onerous a task as it is to write it out but I just wanted to enumerate the steps.
There is a quicker way. It’s called “Instant Google Street View” and located here.
When the site opens, just type your desired address and voilà! You’re automatically placed in Streetview and automatically looking at the right side of the street! To even speed up the process, pattern matches to your search appear as you type with imagery filling in as you go. It’s pretty amazing to watch.
In terms of reminiscing, here’s where I lived for the first year at university.
Quick and easy.
Give it a shot yourself and see if isn’t a bit quicker than the way you search for location using Streetview the conventional way. You may just want to bookmark this!
And, if you want to reverse the process, there’s a button that will switch you to Mapview. Heck, you can even look at random locations on the current map.
It might even change the way you think about finding or exploring locations.
Aviva Dunsiger started a great line of conversation with her post “Online; Offline; Where To Draw The Line?“.
To her blogpost, I added my thoughts but decided that I didn’t say enough so I fleshed out the topic in a post of my own “Learning About Social Media”. That extended the conversation and, in particular, Aviva and I had a nice back and forth on the topic.
Later in the day, Mark Carbone weighed in with his own perspective with “On or Off Line: a Perspective“. And, of course, Aviva and I had to share our thoughts there as well.
Now, if these two smart minds and then me can’t come to a definite answer, it has to be complicated.
Which leads into an excellent read by danah boyd titled “It’s Complicated“.
And, it is.
If you’re looking for a really, really good discussion about the networked teenager, this should be part of your professional library.
From danah’s website, you can order your own copy from Amazon or a number of other retailers.
However, danah has decided that her work and insights may be of such value, that she’s made a PDF copy of the book free for the download. You can then read it on your computer or your portable device.
If you’re interested in another perspective on networking, then you really owe it to yourself to read this book.
Armed, you’re ready to join the conversation.