Sunday, July 29, 2012

Hika Lite - A quality Te Reo Maori language app

I have spent some time trying to find a quality Te Reo Maori language app for IOS and Android devices.  Could Hika Lite be the one?  I've had a good look at it; it's certainly the best that I've come across. 

Hika Lite works well with both translating words and constructing sentences. 

Monday, July 23, 2012

STEM initiative for improving teacher quality

The STEM initiative has just been announced by President Obama in the United States.  STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Master Teacher Corps.  The idea is to get the most outstanding teachers in the above-mentioned four curriculum areas and use them to model best teaching practice.

To find out more about the initiative, click here to access the CNN School of Thought education blog.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Teaching Google search

Click this link for a great resource on teaching and using Google search. 

There's a lot more to searching on Google than simply entering the topic.  A lot more can be achieved by narrowing the search to find the information that you want.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Another school makes BYOD compulsary

This article re students bringing their own computer device appeared on the Stuff website today.  One of the options given for a BYOD is an iPad.  If, as the article states, an iPad is an option, then why not also include the significantly cheaper iPod Touch.

The article states that the iPad, and by extension the iPod Touch, does not support some teaching tools.  I believe that the school needs to do what it wants it's students to do and think more creatively.  An iPod touch is a still camera, video camera, voice recorded, a means of accessing and using a huge number of superb learning apps, and so much more.

One of the shortcomings often pointed out in regards to smaller devices is that they don't have a keyboard.  This is old fashioned thinking; kids are great at typing using their thumbs on smaller devices.  We see this every day with the typing of texts messages.

A further advantage of the iPod Touch is the fact that through an Apple TV and a large screen, students can immediately share what is on their devices with the class.  For the price of an interactive whiteboard (almost certainly funded by the school), every student could be given an iPod Touch, the teacher an iPad, and an Apple TV and large screen could be installed.

Hmmm ... time for some schools to do some creative thinking!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

SuperBetter - a great message for children BEFORE something bad happens!

This doesn't quite fit with teaching and learning, but the message is such a great one - AND if you watch it you'll have 7.5 minutes added to your life!

How teachers can potentially stop crime

This article appeared in today's Sunday Star Times.  It starts:

A leading judge says every young person in education is one less "potential career criminal".

Principal Youth Court Judge Andrew Becroft said schools and teachers were "firstline crime fighters" with the best chance of helping youths out of a cycle of crime. 

To read the article in full, click here.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Ted-Ed: A fantastic resource for teachers and educators!

Ted-Ed is such a quality resource for teachers and educators.  Make sure you take the resource tour to find out all about it.  The tour can be accessed when you click here.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

More from Carol Dweck on the Growth Mindset

Take eight minutes to watch this short You Tube clip on the Growth Mindset.  It may very well change your own mindset on the potential of children.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Some great advice for kids from Michael Jordan

I really like this You Tube piece. It's all about Michael Jordan giving great advice on what has made him the success he has become. It's primarily about sports, but can easily be transferred to any area in life.

From my perspective, I can see a group of 12/13 year old boys taking on and learning from Michael's key messages.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Google Apps makes a significant breakthrough

This article validates Lakeview School's decision to set up Google Apps accounts for our students, starting back in 2008!  It's great to see that a business, such as Fairfax, has seen the benefits of using the wide range of resources that Google Apps offers.

There have been rumours that the Docs will see a significant overhaul later in 2012, making an already great programme even better.

The article starts:

'Fairfax Media continued its announcement frenzy today with the revelation it will switch its internal office systems for all 10,000 employees from Microsoft to Google by the end of the year'. 

To read the article in full, click here.

One laptop per child - a poorly implemented example

This article highlights what can go wrong when a major initiative is implemented without careful planning, particularly around teacher development.  A better idea for the Peruvian government would have been to put in place a smaller, well orchestrated laptop progamme first, then learn from the mistakes and make adjustments accordingly.

The article starts:

'Peru's distribution of more than 800,000 low-cost laptop computers children across the country easily ranks as one of the world's most ambitious efforts to leverage digital technology in the fight against poverty.

Yet five years into the program, there are serious doubts about whether the largest single deployment in the One Laptop Per Child initiative was worth the more than $200 million that Peru's government spent'.

To read the article in full, click here.

Nexus 7 for Education

This is an excellent article on the benefits of the Nexus 7 for education.  It's interesting to note that the piece highlights the huge amount of apps that are available for the device.  Are these apps designed for tablets, or are a vast majority intended for phones?

The camera on the back would be a big improvement as far as content creation is concerned through video making and editing.  However, there certainly seem to be many benefits for including the Nexus 7 in any school teaching and learning programme.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

A 7 Inch iPad?

Following up on my last post; there's been a lot of talk around the pod casts (such as the fabulous MacBreak Weekly) on the possibility of a 7 inch Apple tablet (a smaller iPad or a larger iPod Touch?).  It will be interesting to see if the rumors come to anything.

My feeling is that Apple should pursue the 7 inch tablet idea.  The Nexus 7 has had plenty of positive attention on the Internet over the last few days.  Here's an opportunity for Apple to, again, take on someone else's idea and do it better, working it in with the already well established Apple ecosystem.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Nexus 7 for education?

I have long been a big fan of Google applications. My school has been using Google Apps for some time, particularly Gmail, Docs and Sites. However, more recently I have been promoting the use of Apple products and apps, with the focus being on the iPod Touch, iPads, and the use of apps on these two devices.

Over the last couple of days I have been reading a number of articles on the new Nexus 7; it really does look like a potentially game breaking device to use in schools - but with one significant drawback; the limited range of applications available for the tablet. Although the iPad 2 (which my school uses) is significantly more expensive than the Nexus 7, this is more than compensated by the huge range of apps (either free or very cheap) that can be utilized on the iPad and the (far less expensive) iPod Touch.

For me, the iPad and iPod Touch are the most effective mobile devices to be used in schools.