OTR Links 08/27/2015

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Watches and Smartphones

My reading this morning featured a number of stories like this “Apple retail chief Ahrendts thinks covert Apple Watch use in the classroom is a good idea“.

I see a couple of sides to this.  First of all, if the facts in the report that this logic is used to sell a product, it’s as despicable as can be.  If this is a good product, it should be marketed on the value that it provides, not as a product to encourage cheating or other less than honourable uses.  You’ll notice that Android watches weren’t included in the stories.  <grin>

On that level, there’s no excuse.  As noted in many places, Apple owes so much of its popularity to education.  This really serves as a disservice.

On the other side …

Are people really that stupid to believe this?

It’s the same argument that we’ve heard for years about computers in the classroom, then smartphones in the classroom.  I wonder if Samuel Morse went through the same slings and arrows when he developed his code.  After all, you could conceivably tap, tap, tap on a desk while writing a test and have a friend pick up on your answers.  Or cough, cough, cough appropriately.  Or drop a pencil or paper.  Or click a pen.

Let’s give the teaching profession a little credit for understanding their trade.  If you picture the scenarios in the article, it’s of the traditional vision of a teacher/professor standing at the front of the room rambling on about something with no regard for what’s happening or caring about learning.  Give me a break.

Today’s contemporary teacher is up and around the room, concerned with the learning more than the traditional lecture.  The teacher knows her/his students abilities and skills long before sitting down to any test and can usually estimate +/- 5% what each student will achieve on the test.  That is, if they give tests – period.  Modern classrooms feature collaboration, projects, inquiry, and activity where the technology is a key partner in the learning, not an adversary.

I read the stories, picturing so many classrooms that I’ve visited.  That scenario doesn’t play out.  For the most part, I know of professionals that would be so pleased to have such a tool to make a good learning experience better.


OTR Links 08/26/2015

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

What Did You Do This Summer?

Yep, that ol’ story.  It’s a great ice breaker to get kids to talk about things in those first few days of school.

Some of the students may have had an opportunity to travel and explore far and wide.  Others may have just enjoyed their local neighbourhood. 

Either way, the activities are great fodder for some story telling provided they took pictures and remembered to bring them to school.

Or not.

Why not build on the concepts introduced in a couple of blog posts here?

With Google Maps, you’re never at a loss for some great imagery.  (unless you really go off the grid)

One of our favourite trips in the summer is to Point Pelee National Park.  It’s always a wonderful trip around the boardwalk and then to take the trip to the Tip to see what it looks like on this visit.  It’s never the same twice.  With Google Maps and Streetview, I can share part of the story via screen captures. 

From a classroom perspective – what a great start to a class blog, or a presentation software, or a multimedia authoring experience, or a document, or ….

The Location:  Kind of redundant – once you get to Leamington, there’s signs everywhere.  Just keep heading south until you can’t go any further on mainland Canada.

The Sign:  The entrance is a tribute to migration – I always think of mid-century art.

The Entrance:  This is as far as Google Streetview goes.  It would be interesting to see them do a complete treatment of the park like they’ve done with so many fascinating places.  Or perhaps not.  It’s just fun to explore and learn.

But in the park:  It never fails to impress that we’re on the 42nd parallel and to see who else is – Rome and Barcelona made the sign.

The Excitement:  There’s nothing like taking a seat and heading to the point.  Cars are only allowed so far then it’s Pelee Transportation or walking the rest of the way.

So, what did you do this summer?

OTR Links 08/25/2015

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

BIT Book Club

Over the weekend, my friend Alanna announced a hashtag and a book club for the upcoming Bring IT Together Conference.

I was tagged in one of her many posts announcing it.

Are you interesting in participating?

Join the club at:  https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/170190-bit15reads

As we know, timing is everything.

I subscribe to the Daily Post on WordPress.

And, just in time was this suggestion this morning ….

Franz Kafka said, “we ought to read only books that bite and sting us.” What’s the last thing you read that bit and stung you?

Can you use this as motivation to get involved?

Follow Alanna and the hashtag #BIT15Reads for more details.  There already are discussions and book suggestions.

OTR Links 08/24/2015

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.