Mobilize for Productivity [Infographic]

Mobilize for Productivity [Infographic]

Nowadays many of us carry mobile devices like an iPhone or iPad, keep a digital calendar, and work from multiple computers. Chances are you feel like a slave to email, having perhaps hundreds of messages in your inbox. You probably spend a lot of time online and might have trouble managing all of your files among your devices. Instead of blaming technology, let's use that technology to make you more productive!

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Show What You Know Using Web & Mobile Apps [Infographic]

Show What You Know Using Web & Mobile Apps [Infographic]

Nowadays teachers and students have a variety of ways to show what they know and to express themselves. Take a look at some of the hottest online and mobile tools for showing, explaining, and retelling in my infographic, "Show What You Know Using Web & Mobile Apps." These web and iPad apps can turn students into teachers and teachers into super-teachers! Furthermore, most of the apps listed in the infographic are free of charge.

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Now You Can Upload Photos and Videos to Websites from Your iPad

Now You Can Upload Photos and Videos to Websites from Your iPad

iOS 6 adds a much-needed feature—the ability to use UploadSelect File, or Choose File buttons and links found on websites for submitting files. Previously, when browsing websites that have a button for uploading files, nothing would happen when you tapped it on iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch. Now with iOS 6, tapping that button on webpages brings up your Media Library where you can select an image or video to upload.

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Limit an iOS Device to Running a Single App

Limit an iOS Device to Running a Single App

Apple has introduced Guided Access in iOS 6. It keeps your device in a single app and allows you to control which features are available. 

Locking a mobile device into a single app has been a request of parents and educators for some time. Using Guided Access to limit an iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch to one app can be handy when you want a child to remain on task and focused. It is also nice for youngsters who might accidentally click the Home button.

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Build Positive Behavior with ClassDojo Website or App

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When I was a fifth grade teacher I made my own database to track student behavior on my Palm handheld. It was very effective because I could quickly take my device out of my pocket and with a few taps add a record to the database. In fact, my students knew exactly what I was doing if I looked at them and then started tapping on my device. My students knew I kept detailed records on how they behave in our classroom.

It was super handy to have all my anecdotal notes in a sortable database. It helped when I conferenced with students and parents because I had specific data collected over time. It certainly helped when completing report cards. And, for whatever reason, digital information is perceived by students and parents as more valid than if I had a paper notebook with my handwritten observations.

I used a Palm app (which is now an iOS and an Android app) called HanDBase. Years ago I wrote instructions on how to set up your very own class behavior database. Today, however, instead of buying the app, I suggest looking into ClassDojo.

I've been a fan of ClassDojo since I learned about it in the spring. Class Dojo is a free website and a way to track student behavior digitally. 

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A teacher sets up a class on Class Dojo. Each student can have a cutesy monster avatar. After set up, start the class and can click any name to add a positive or negative behavior. The behaviors are tallied. If you choose to track negative behaviors, it's possible for students to have negative scores. The leader board can be private for just teacher use. However, the list of names and scores can be projected for the class to see. In fact, the leader board works well on an interactive whiteboard.

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When class or the day is done, ClassDojo will show a report of the class' overall performance. Reflecting on individual and class performance and setting goals for next time can improve classroom climate. Teachers can always access a complete record for every class session for each student. 

Class Dojo has been very mobile-minded. The site works well on an iPad and through a mobile browser so teachers can use a smartphone to award behaviors when away from a computer.

And now ClassDojo has released an iOS app. The free app allows teachers to set up classes and monitor and track behaviors instantly. The app also has a random student picker.

 
So, before creating your own behavior-tracking database, check out ClassDojo and see if it meets you needs. 

 

Bring Your Own

In the spirit of bringing more opportunities into learning environments, more and more schools are inviting students to bring their own technology. Shortened as BYOT or BYOD for Bring Your Own Device, the concept is catching on.

AZCentral.com has an article about Phoenix-area schools that are piloting or continuing BYOT. I like the quote from Kyle Ross, Scottsdale Unified School District's director of instructional technology about cheating with digital devices. He says that instead of taking away or banning technology, they are "treating the act, not the tool."

There are many issues that schools have to consider for BYOT, including network capacity and professional development. There's a Twitter hashtag where educators are discussing issues, successes, and tips: #byotchat. Also, read 10 BYOD Classroom Experiments (and What We've Learning From Them So Far) for vignettes and articles from around the United States.

OnlineColleges.net put together an inforgraphic as a graphical overview of BYOD, including pros and cons.

Going BYOD

Marc André Lalande in Canada put together an 8-minute cartoon titled BYOD in the 21st Century. It's Star Trek themed and lays out advantages and limitations.

Above are just a few of a growing number of resources about BYOT, and I'll be sharing more in the future.