Monkseaton Middle ICT Update

JANUARY 2013 - The first follow-up from the ICT CPD event

A Collection of Starting Points

Here are a few pointers/ideas/recommendations for people getting started with their tablets and/or smartphones; starting with a couple which were mentioned in the ICT-CPD presentation, but may have omitted from the actual presentation. It’s not adefinitive list by any means as stuff is constantly evolving and also, there’s nothing worse than a huge, intimidating list.

Personal Use and Improved Organisation:

Dropbox and Google Drive: Online (or ‘cloud-based’) storage for all your media, files and folders.

Pocket: allows you to bookmark pages and articles so that you can read them from any device you like. Perfect for when you stumble across a really interesting item but don’t have the time to read it.

Taptu (Don’t be put off by the fact that its tag-line is ‘DJ Your News!!’): This is a newsfeed app, which allows you to choose the content you want and the order it displays feeds in. You get to prioiritise. You also get to incorporate your social networks if you wish. Updates quickly and once you;ve set it up, a pleasure to use. I use mine for The Guardian, BBC and Edutopia as well as trivia, football and other gubbins.

Flipboard: Takes a little time to set up but well worth it once you do. Works very well with Twitter...does the same job as Taptu, but with a far smoother, glossier interface. People I follow through my educational account appear alongside my news, Instagram and MCFC stories. Antoher option is Google Currents.

Pinterest: Allows you to create and view online notice boards with links and pictures collected to describe a topic/event/issue etc.

Classroom use: (already on the school's tablets or network if not highlighted as a link - get your own apps from the Google Play store)

Socrative - quiz-based feedback and assessment tool (neil’s rocket race!) – Instant feedback on your questions via ‘live’ barcharts showing childrens’ opinions

Wall Wisher – ‘Post-It’-style feedback tool which allows all opinions to be instantly shared with the class

Wordle / Tagxedo – create striking word clouds from text

Aurasma – ‘magically’ bring images to life by attaching files like videos to them... qr codes

PicSay – edit pictures, apply filters and add speech bubbles and other extras

Comic Life / Comic Strip It – take a series of pictres and turn them into comic-book style pages

If you're bored with PowerPoint, imagine how your audience must feel... Prezi takes an hour to master but will hold their attention that bit more.


Some Basics - (Getting Started on Twitter)

As was pointed out in the session, Twitter can be a great personal social tool and a great source of professional community support and CPD. The most important fundamental bit of advice is to keep the two separate.

Once you've registered for your account(s), you can search the categories or search for specific people or organisations and add/delete people from your Twitter feed by following/unfollowing them. Although your mobile device is great for general day-to-day use of Twitter, as a novice, I've certainly found it easier to sert up my accounts on my laptop.

Dont know where to start?

If it seems like people start 'speaking in tongues' when they talk about Twitter, due to the unfamiliar terminology, then you will probably find this article really useful, as it explains the basic principles and the jargon too...

Mashable - Beginner's Guide to Twitter

Or this one (Every Little helps)

(btw, Mashable is like a 'Rough Guide...' to loads of different online or social media concepts. It's a bit patchy (IMHO), but there's loads of stuff on there if you want stay 'down with the kids...' as a certain SLT member would put it.)

Finally...(for now)

Here are the links to the presentations to from the ICT CPD event from 7th January. Also here is the link to the Monkseaton Blog, where you can add your achievements, disasters, questions, suggestions...

JM's Prezi - ICT CPD 2013

NC's Sliderocket - Tablet apps

PB's Teach Meet Prezi

The Monkseaton Blog site

Last off; here's the article PB recently shared about the reasons why Twitter is such a valuable tool for educators.