These are words that summarise my focus for 2014. An expedition in visible learning. I will have a Year 5 class with 1:1 devices and we (teacher and pupils) are the second year of my 1:1 implementation journey. After twenty years specialising in ICT training I went back into the class in 2013. As 2013 progressed we implemented a range of online learning tools including: Google Docs, Spelling City, Study Ladder, ReadingEggs, ForallRubrics, Ultranet (our LMS- Learning Management System), we Skyped, setup blogs, participated in Quadblogging, used a range of computer based software, mixed in iPad use and more.
However, as time went on I realised that we needed to tie our learning together in a far more unified and visible way. So, as part of my reflection over the break I have been focusing on thinking through concepts of visible learning. From progressions that fit with with the NZ curriculum areas, especially in literacy (reading, writing etc.), Social Studies and the key competencies. Through these progressions and learning tools, I am looking to blend the pupils' 1:1 device learning in a way that differentiates learning, allows flipped class learning and gives a balance between offline and online learning activities.
There are three important to-do's and a number of tips below as you start to use your new MacBookPro.
- Register the Applecare warranty for your laptop under your parents name here. You can check that it is registered properly using this tip.
- Check that insurance for the laptop is all setup with your parents.
- Discuss with your parents Internet and game use at home so that you are great Digital Citizen who is Cyber-Safe and also balanced in your lifestyle. (We will be holding a session for parents this term on the use of K9 so that they can have Internet filtering on your laptop at home).
- Label the STIM cover with a stitched label or a tag on the Zip
- Decide if you would like a skin for your laptop (they can be purchased here, and on other sites) BUT you must have any with significant design/pattern or your own design on them approved first (i.e. these need approval) by your teacher or the ICT Director. Note that some types have cutouts for the Apple logo to shine through and others don't.
- How to videos are found here.
- A manual for your MacBook Pro 13" is here.
- More Tips here
- More Tips to become an advanced user are found here
- Our homepage for the 1:1 Blog is here
- You cannot create any other accounts on this computer as your account does not have administration rights. If you wish to do so take your laptop to ICT Support, knowing the names of the accounts you wish to create. DO NOT let anyone else know your password other than your parents.
- You can become an administrator of your own computer by passing the I.C.T. Pupils Drivers Licence (see it here), but this will take a bit of time. Passing this can hep you achieve your Bronze ICT Achievement badge AND in joining the ICT Crew.
As a parent the worst things you can do is avoid getting involved, "I don't understand this stuff." If your children are good users then they should be able to teach you what you do need to know, when you need to know it and you can add other knowledge and skills (i.e. what they are not telling you) from some of the sites listed below.
What is most important is for your children to realise that using digital devices is a privilege (especially if adults purchased them) and that as a parent you have the right to monitor their use. For the parent, it is important to realise that you are taking your pupils on a journey from a more innocent and protected place to a point when you say goodbye and you know they have learned behaviours, values and skills that they can independently apply to their digital device use and that will enable them to be great digital citizens.
Talk about and setup a family home contract (set of negotiated rules) for use at home. Write out, discuss, spend time with your child on this and then all sign. Include items like reserving the right to check your child's Facebook page, laptop account, Internet history email and chat. Here is a sample contract.
Install filter software if you feel it is required.
Check what is happening. Your children will see/hear inappropriate material from time to time and it is important to have lines of communication open so that you can chat to them and discuss issues. Have learning conversations like, "Show me the most interesting recent site you have visited from your Internet history." I expect history to be always tere, part of our school contract, missing means something has been hidden! So a simple question likes this engages you with your child in their learning but gives you a chance to quietly check.
Keep doors open. Do NOT punish the child who saw something inappropriate and told you, that is exactly what you want to encourage, so thank them and either block the site or change the method of searching.
Attend school Workshops or other meetings. If your school has given you oportunities to learn in this area then grab them with both hands. They will have a lot of experience and information to offer you and remember that what you don't quite get you can always follow up later on with your own children as you will at least know where to start. I.E. "I know you can have more than one Internet browser on our computer. How many do we have? Do we really need four? Let's choose the best two together?"
NZ Article on K9
Our Delicious Cyber-Digital Citizenship for Parents Stack.
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A recent survey in the States suggest that only 10% of parents have interacted with their children's Internet use. I would suggest that as parents we need to be involved in learning and values discussions with our children, in helping them learn safety on the web.
These are our tips for boys to show their parents their history or for parents to discuss the latest learning sites used with their son.
Firstly, keep in mind that there can be multiple browsers on a laptop. The most common are: Safari, Firefox and Chrome. We would ask that boys do not install any others as they are not required. Also keep in mind that all new cellphones have Internet browsers.
Secondly, Each of these browsers has on the menu at the top of the screen a "History" Menu. Simply click to view and look through.
That's it 1,2 and you have had another great moment with your child! Some parents have mentioned to me, "How do I respect my child's privacy, or stop them saying you don't trust me.' I would like to reply from my own experience as a parent and youth pastor the your children DO NOT have the right to hide this from parents that care and that if you establish this as a routine then it will be matter of fact. I checked up on my son and daughter's history until they were 16-18, I reserved this right while I was letting them use technology I had purchased for them.
Better still perform the same search heaps faster by using Alfred as a quick way to launch searches on a Mac.
Better still, place this type of search in "Alfred" a mac search utility and supercharge (make easier) all the different websites (including Google Reading levels).
Here is a quick overview of the Applications - Programs installed on the Apple MacOSX laptops in the school. They focus on learning and productivity. Of course, using Web2.0 documents are not covered in this entry, such as online mindmapping, GoogleApps, GoogleDocs, and delicious etc. So we will update you on our best web 2.0 picks very soon.
Have a look at the list and check out how you could use them. Also check out our top educational freeware/open source here.
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Only implement the following steps if you are feeling confident about what you are doing.
All Internet browsers (Firefox, Chrome etc.) allow you to do something similar.... so if you are using a different browser then use these ideas to figure out how your browser works with bookmarks.
- Creative Commons Search (Images and Information)
- Te Ara NZ Encyclopaedia
- Wikipedia (Check your information against other sites as it is a Wiki)
- Britannica K8 Online Encyclopaedia (your teacher has passwords)
- All other Epic Databases (your teacher has passwords)
- Google Search choosing good key words
For those with a mac you can put searching in the fast lane by working out how to use Alfred (a freeware software search engine installed on your harddrive or downloadable here)
You have been trusted with an amazing tool! One of the best racing car tools in I.C.T. has just been given to a young driver. Why? Because we see incredible learning potential in your laptop, if you pick up your ict and learning skills and bring the Medbury values to your use of it.
Check out our top tips to get your racing car moving! Feel free to write your top tip in the comments section below.
Top Training Tips to get started on the FAST track
- Use the trackpad correctly. This will mean you will be faster in use and free up your other hand to use hot (quick) keys.
- If you are doing the same thing over and over ask, "Is there a quicker way?"
- Learn the hot keys...
- Setup your dock with your favourite programs.
- Setup your finder window with your favourite folder shortcuts.
- Figure out how to make folders, save bookmarks in folders... organise with power from day 1.
- Treat your laptop to daily care, charge it for the school day (don't overcharge and allow it to drain) and BACKUP today (if your laptop fails or is stolen your backup is the only way to get your files back).
- Set yourself a goal on your touch-typing BUT only do it if you are going to train yourself correctly "Fingers on home keys and eyes on screen only". (the TIPP10 program in Applications will help you).
- Check out the "Laptop Pupil's Licence" in the "ICT Ladders for Badges" resource and decide today to head towards Expert GOLD in this.
- Setup the security feature on your laptop - see the picture below(do not use filevault)
- Have fun, ask questions, learn and help others to learn.
|Set up your laptop security today!|
First of all disclosure. I am an ICT Facilitator in a private school, running Apple products. I own an iPhone. We use, I use, these products for their ease of use, just-works, lower cost of ownership (debatable I know) and well I found them in the school I got the job in. I come from another line of products like these Acorn RiscPC's which for many would be totally unknown. We are just launching a one to one laptop programme and I was hoping that iPads or something better would form the basis of this, but had to reluctantly stay with laptops as they still meet our requirements better. We want to edit video, create in 3D, use Scratch, use Flash etc, so while Apple IPads are being used in some schools I feel they are still more suited at this stage for the consumption side. (See iPad posts )
So this takes us back to the above tweet. A tweet about the "Spring" Toshiba tablet.. "looks awesome" (agree) but "powerful classroom tool"..... how do we know this?... we haven't even seen it yet! How many products have been announced and not made it to production, or made it and been a disappointment when compared to the experience an iPad gives. Don't get me wrong.. I don't own an iPad yet.... I am waiting for them to get better still. I held out on the iPhone for 3 generations due to cost and then went shopping, looked at all others (pre Android) and on cost for all round features decided the iPhone was the best value. (It still seems that way in N.Z. even with Android phones out). But we need as educators to be evaluating products with passion for learning, not passion for gadgets or passion for gadgets that replace religion! (Please don't check this statement with my wife)
My take. The pre launch look into Honeycomb looks great. Competition for the iPad is needed and Honeycomb looks to have the buzz. However, it is wait and see for we need products that deliver the learning tools needed, with the ease of use and simple maintenance that the iPad currently has. To me the debate is not about closed ecosystem verses open. There are already calls to make the fragmented Android world more "restricted" due to the difficulties in updating the OS and in searching through fragmented and un-curated Android App Stores (not that there isn't garbage in Apples App store). And we do need price drops on the gear (Apple!), but we have yet to see what pricing is going to be for any other tablet competitors.
My hope. Genuine competitors to the iPad emerge forcing Apple to respond and we all live happily ever after.
My call. As educators we need to take a step back and be less fanatical in our technology evangelism and more focused on as we espouse "using them as tools". Some seem to be wanting to trim trees with invisible secateurs rather than a chainsaw.
Meanwhile in a jungle nearby.....
(See also Motorola Xoom)
To provide a benchmark and a positive start to your 1:1 experience, these will guide you to the basic skills that are important for success with your new device. They only focus on important skills and habit not on the learning and learning competencies that will also be part of the 1:1 implementation. Click on the files below to download.
You will be presented with a certificate when you have achieved these Expert or Ultra-Expert levels. There are Skills ladders for most of the programs we use. They help us learn to use the programs better, to pass bronze, silver or gold for the I.C.T. Crew and to set learning goals. Look at the full set of I.C.T. Rubrics here or below .
Keep your computer running lickerty split and smooth.
'This requires administrator access to your computer. We will be using ONYX, freeware available from here, with the latest version also usually in our freeware network share at school, so you do not need to download it. Generally, you should optimise your computer every month or so, and especially before and after a large MacOSX system upgrade (always use the combo updaters for these System updates). Locate Onyx in Applications... Onyx and run it. As it starts up you get asked for an administrators password.... Open up the attachment below for a quick tipsheet (use the 'Help' in the program for more details. [View : Download]
Did you know anything as soon as it is created and placed online has an immediate copyright in many places around the world? It does NOT need to have a copyright sign on it.
Here at Medbury we operate a values programme. The 12 values (our summary poster is here) lead us to placing importance on fair-use of others property on the web. Educationally we value thinking and the typical "copy 'n' paste and change a few words" is destructive to good learning.
We ask that pupils attribute all images, text, video and sound and other media files in the correct manner so they can "Share, Remix, and Reuse — Legally". "Creative Commons" is a way to obtain information and publish it in a way that allows easy sharing with others so they know how it can be used or re-used. Check out the pages you are using for their copyright.
This page helps you publish your work online by making choices on how you want to share it.
This page helps with understanding Creative Commons Licence Categories.
Download this file [View] for our take on the best hot keys to learn to get you going on using software and the OS X operating system (OS) at speeds that will make your friends envious... when you've learned some.. why not share the goodness with someone else.
Monocole is a small freeware utility that we have found that can significantly help in webs searching. Monocle is found here and we suggest you add other search engines to it as we have listed below to take your information exploring to the ultra expert level. Check out our "how to Use" tips sheet below.
- www.k8.ebonline.co.nz/elementary (free subscription for NZ schools to Britannica online) Setup if needed via TKI EPIC Databases
- Oxford English Dictionary Online Setup if needed via TKI EPIC Databases
Do you have any search engines you think should be added to this list? Make a comment below.
For the Databases Via EPIC you will need to get the password allocated to Medbury for this year.
Apple Software and Mac OS X.
- Apple manuals are found here: Mac OSX, iLife (iPhoto, Garageband, iDVD), iWorks (Pages, Keynote, Numbers)
- You can search or enter Apple forums here.
- MacBookPro Manual 2010 Model.
- Video and Text Tutorials (Photos, Movies, Mac Basics, Web Music and more)
- See Hot Keys for MacOS Experts [View : Download]
- Taking Great Digital Camera photos tip [View ]
- Shooting Video Tips (Storyboards, Shooting, Editing and more) [View PDF]
- ActivInspire Manual (PDF 6.9 MB)
- ActivInspire Video ActivTips (Online Videos)
- ActivInspire Promethean Planet (Promethean Planet Professional Development and online courses)
- Scratch (Getting Started PDF, Videos and Getting Started from MIT, ScratchEd more in-depth information)
- We will post more here as soon as we can.
We are looking at one to one computing devices for our school programme for 2011. In this post http://www.in2edu.com/blog/index.php?id=255508204184561761 we have outlined some of the decision making to be carried out in a mindmap. Over the next few months we will be trialling the iPad as one of the possible devices our pupils could use. Of course in N.Z. the iPad has not yet been released. Up until the keynote of iPhone Os4 and the release of new features on it (especially multitasking) I was thinking that it would be a no show. We also have a few flash enabled websites such as Mathletics that we use as well so the jury is still out. The main factor it boils down to is providing the best tool that matches the learning to take place. Could an iPad in combination with a few pods of laptops for higher end use (video editing, music recording etc.) do the job? Other devices include netbooks and laptops.
Being an Apple based school we enjoy the great software and hardware we use, but still need to be open to alternatives.
So, follow this blog as we make our decisions and explore the options.
Another Post From My iPhone
Location:Plunket St,Christchurch,New Zealand