In2edu I.C.T. Resources Enhancing Education & Learning

Nervous iOS 7 installs

ios7_install_fail
6:45 NZ time:
So a quick run down on my experiences so far. Downloaded iOS7 software six times on iPad before download success on iPad mini. Five attempts to install but software can't verify with the Apple Store.
Backed up iPhone - IMPORTANT. Connected iPhone to laptop to update to iOS7. Download failed once and then second time went through fine. Install starts, install fails halfway through and my phone now has to be put into recovery mode - I have a brick. Heart failure - but saying to self that I trust the recovery process! Recovery mode goes through fine and my phone restarts with iOS7. iPhone needs to be activated. Tried on phone 3-4 times, and then on iTunes 3-4 times before I finally slip through to iTunes store and get my phone activated. Now I can begin restore from backup.
7:39
Restore still going…. waiting for all the apps on my 64GB to sync. Will post update when done.
7:52:
Too many apps (232) still awaiting for the App sync to finish.
8:27
iPhone all restored and working fine. Getting used to the new icons. Next step back to the iPad Mini.

Thoughts:
  1. Maybe best to do installs via iTunes at first while Apple servers are creaking under the mass of early updaters.
  2. Don't have heart failure on bricking your iPhone…. wait to see if it (and then you) recovers.
  3. Give yourself some time…. don't try to install just before you go to work!
Comments

Badges Systems (Mozilla) Easy to Setup and Use

Badge systems have been receiving a lot of internet attention lately. A number of people see these as the future of learning with micro units of competencies or skills being awarded to a set of criteria or competencies in a robust but easy way. Some even ask the question will the badges replace degrees and other formal learning down the line. These awarded symbols would then flow through to a backpack (journal) where pupils can display their learning. It is hard to find a system that is easy to use, setup and manage with a number of pupils.

I had created an ICT badge system for our 1:1 laptop use that needed to use badges but I trialled a number of sites and found them far too complex to use and manage. Finally, I found forallbadges (sister site forallrubrics) and I set my system up within their website. I now have over 100 badges online tied into my badges system. The ability for pupils to self award at a lower level and for it all to be tracked is fantastic. They have an iPad app to support quick awarding of badges and token systems that can also award badges.

I then moved on to use forallrubrics which is also amazing. The two sites are two sides of the coin making for great rubrics, rubric tracking and then you flip to award efforts. Simple easy to use rubric designs, tracking back into a combined workbook with self and peer assessment also catered for. You can then specify a badge that can be awarded via the rubric when a certain level is attained. The oral presentation rubric below was one we used for student led conferences that I held recently in my class. The following day the boys self-evaluated and then we discussed their award. We could alter and make notes about changes as needed… they loved getting the badge if they had made the required level which we all had previously agreed upon as a class. All the boys badges and rubric assessments get captured in their LEarning Journal which provides a great way for them to reflect on their learning also.

Other features of forallrubrics are: sharing (via creative commons), printing to PDF, result analysing at a simple level, ability to tag, ability to make multiple notes, ability to award weightings in rubrics, easy reordering and changing of rubrics, easy duplication of rubrics or sections within rubrics AND FREE!

Highly recommended!

Things to watch out for as time passes on:
Will you be able to export your badges from one system to another?
How robust is the system on passing badges to Mozilla backpack?
How easy can your data be exported? For individuals, groups and whole school?
How easy is it to share and collaborate your rubrics?
Can you tie in rubrics to Learning Standards easily?


rubrics_badges_learningbadges_systems_awards_learning
Comments

Cyber Digital Citizenship Practical Activities

digtial_citizenship_activties
My latest resource for offline reinforcement of Digital Citizenship learning (4MB PDF). Over 20 cards covering scams, spam, Facebook and social networking, making decisions through real life scenarios. Feel free to comment below to add your own ideas for cards and I will pop them into this format and extend them.

My full Digital Citizenship resources, activities and learning ideas page can be found here.
Comments

ICT Competencies for Teachers

Here is a continuum we are developing for our school. Is it too much? What do you think? Do you have other models?
Comments

LMS Moving Ahead

ultranet_LMSMoodle, Ultranet, KnowledgeNet, Desire2Learn, Canvas are all names of Learning Management Systems. Not a definitive list, but a list of those with market presence in N.Z. with the last two being my outsiders that are new on the scene but interesting enough to keep a watch out for. We are currently running Ultranet in our school, a package that has achieved a very quick number of schools since it introduction in 20. Ultranet is very simple to learn. We have had a lot of success with being able to get teachers up to speed with a couple of days of PD and they are away. Task setting and handing in files is great as is the uSpace (portfolio, buddies and social areas). The questions is with Ultranet is how will it develop as a product. Areas such as quizzes, blogs and wikis have limited features and the ability to assess and track a class within the system is limited also. If we could just create using gardening techniques our own hybrid that combined the best of Ultranet with say Canvas or Desire2learn and Moodle.
Comments

Lost in the Woods (iPad versus Android)

lostinthewoodsipadversus-tweet
I am penning these thoughts, as an educator, in response to a tweet (see image). Not sure if it is blatant advertising. But it is certainly annoying.


lostinthewoodsipadversus-apple_ios_google_android_jungle
The Honeycomb is to be found somewhere in the branches or stumps of one of the trees, the iPad second generation has been rumored to be loose in the same forest, a unicorn galloping through the woods with renewed energy. I love the speculation and the hopefulness of both sides. Sides, because, this battle seems to be heating up, and as a consequence the mist rises, in the forest and over the glazed eyes of the devotees. Yet, if you peer through the mist in the trees only the iPad generation 1 is actually here, and it seems to be staying.



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)
Comments

iPad 12 Education Apps. iPad Post 2

A quick look at the state of play of Keynote indicates some varying opinions. In this post (VGA Presenting), Steven indicates some good success with Keynote. Alternatively, in this post (iPad Misses the Mark), Chris points out the frustrations of moving Keynote files between his desktop and iPad and some missing features he laments. In a 1:1 implementation Keynote will be very important to synthesise and present information. It is one of the key apps our pupils use at school for their learning. I wonder if the problems faced are version based? Here is a list of our most commonly used apps with a note as to whether there is a good alternative.

Comments (1)

iPad Game Changer? iPad Post 1


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.


Wazza
Another Post From My iPhone

Location:Plunket St,Christchurch,New Zealand

Comments (1)

Planning for 1 to 1 Devices



We are looking to do a 1 to 1 computing program in our school. Currently, we are intending to start with our Year 5 classes and each year roll out the 1 to 1 to a new set of pupils and teachers. This will allow us to gradually build up expertise, systems and infrastructure. Here is the one to one planning mindmap that I have put together so far.... any thoughts? I am also trying to put together a best list of links for research... here is what I have so far.... http://www.delicious.com/medburybookmarks/tag_bundle/One%20to%20One%20Computing
Comments (1)

iCal, To-Dos and iPhone Syncing

ical iphone sync to do 2ical iphone sync to do
I have just spent half a day, a number of dollars and found the solution was already on my iPhone. The desire I had was to sync my iCal to-dos that are scattered over a number of different calendars with my iPhone. At this stage the iPhone calendar or mail will not sync your to-do's. A number of solutions proposed the use of google docs to sync to-dos, but the problem with these is that the tasks in in Google are just one list, not categorised like I need. I searched Googled, bought a new To-Do app (Toodledo - which has a nicer interface than my final choice).
After virtually giving up having a solution that really suited me I was trolling through the 13th page of a Google term search and then followed a link to the Appigo site... hmmmm I thought to myself ... this software looks familiar and realised I already had it (but had not got into using it as lack of synchronisation with my laptop iCal put me off).The winning combination came from ToDo 3.2 (www.appigo.com) combined with a free utility Appigo Sync /www.appigo.com/appigo-sync). To Do is a list manager and does a pretty good job of this as you can see from the screen shots. But the winner for me, was the two minute install of the sync utility (easy to follow videos or screenshots) and I was away. The sync utility basically runs a server program that pulls the data from iCal and pushes it to "ToDo". Done and dusted. You have to run the sync from within ToDo itself on the iPhone (it doesn't happen when you connect the iPhone) and need a wireless connection to do it over.
Comments

Science Conference Christchurch

Had a good hour taking a workshop with the NZASE Christchurch conference. Created a few new resources for this, including a key competencies poster. It was interesting to see an emphasis in literacy in science coming through, although I think we will need to watch to see that that this emphasis does not take away from the "creation of scientists." Thanks to Simon Briscoe from Promethean who helped out with a portable board and tips on using science and IWB's.
Start with the conference overview handout here, to locate all the resources discussed or mentioned.
Comments

ActivBoard and SmartBoard Reflections

Interactive Whiteboards
As the ICT Facilitator in our school, I tend to extensively test technologies we are intending to implement within the school. Over the last year we have been putting in interactive whiteboards and now have two SmartBoards and four Promethean ActivBoards. I was also fortunate recently to win a competition for some ActivVotes so we have interactive voting technology now.
Feedback on the brands: Our Learning Support team felt that with their pupils that the hands on touch was a key factor for them so they chose SmartBoard technology. We have decided to put Promethean ActivBoards in all the other classes. The deciding factors were: sophistication of the ActivBoard software, resources available, and on ground educational support from Promethean consultants.
Having said that, I reckon in the future that the interesting thing will be the ability to incorporate multi- gesture technology in the boards, and wonder who will lead the race in this.
Implementation: We have a portable board that is loaned to teachers on the condition that:
  1. They use it as much as possible for a term
  2. That they join our on-site team of those with boards and attend a couple of training sessions
  3. That they will then get their own board in their room if they show good use and integration (i.e. not just as a fancy whiteboard!)
  4. That they share some of their ideas with the staff to motivate and inspire others.
  5. Comments: Important to get collaboration going. I have developed a web bookmarking system based on Delicious and other technologies to capture our best sites for IWB use. We also are working on a collaborative collection of all created flipcharts through using a common sharepoint.
  6. What Next: Looking into senior pupils authoring for junior classes following the concept of interviewing their client (the teacher), ascertaining learning needs, presenting an outline/plan of what they think they will design, designing presenting and evaluating how it went through interviewing the teacher again or observing a session where it is used.
Comments (3)

Promethean ActivBoard Browsing

I have just put together this method of browsing across this method of setting up your browser in activboard and to use links with the web in fullscreen or near fullscreen mode as you wish. It also provides and efficient way to use links within your school collaboratively.
1. Setup a delicious account (I researched a number and found this the best, especially with the Firefox delicious addon and the simple proxy addon to make using proxies easier in Firefox) (Be careful at this stage uploading large collections into delicious as I can't seem to download them as backup yet - have 5000 links)
2. Download and use Fluid http://fluidapp.com/ which allows you to create a specific browser just for your bookmarks that can point to your "starter" site. It also has awesome fullscreen and minimum browser toolbars. (Make sure you choose under preferences...> advanced..> Allow browsing to all URLs to keep within your created browser )
3. Place a shortcut to the "Browser to your site" in the dock and I reckon you could not go simpler for a collaborative effort of organising, rating and using bookmarks or favourites (favorties) in your school
4. Enjoy
Medbury Logo


What next- I am going to setup one pointing to a blank page on startup and use this as the default browser from within my flipcharts as it will provide better use of screen.

I have attached a copy of our Medbury browser that you can use as a sample (does not allow access to all our links but enough to give you an idea)

Interested in feedback....
Comments (1)

AppZapper Review

If you would like to make any comments on this feature or have suggestions or workarounds, feel free to leave a comment. A typical task: find a piece of graphics software that will suit a particular need for a boy with a physical disability. It needs to do X,Y, Z in a certain way and thinking about price would be good. This involves checking for the latest and greatest on the web, comparing them all and then after installing and having a look at them all, getting rid of the one's I don't want. Isn't it great to have a piece of software that will Zap all the extras installed?
Similar Programs


None located...
System Requirements
Required: Tiger
Version Reviewed: 1.8
Price: US $12.95
First Look
It may be simple to install on a Mac, often just a drag and drop into the Applications folder. However, it is a little more difficult to get rid of all the bits and bobs that may be left behind when you want to take the software off the computer. Appzapper is designed to track all system files that an application creates and enable you to delete them simply. It does not delete files that a program has created and you have saved and saved in your 'Documents' folder.
Appzapper installs with a drag and drop from a downloaded disc image. You can have five free 'zaps' as you trial it. When you start the application the Appzapper window appears and you simply drag the application you wish to delete to this window. AppZapper processes the file and adds any other ones it can find related to it including preferences, library support files, caches, original disc images. I found use of this program simple and reliable.
In the example screenshot you can see a typical scenario; when iShow is first started it creates three other folders or files in Library...Application Support, Library...Preferences and Library... caches. By dragging an application into the AppZapper window you can see all of these and choose to delete all the pesky little hidden critters. I have used AppZapper extensively over the last two months and found it to be reliable and able to locate most files deposited in preferences etc
By default it will not delete standard installed Apple applications and you need to have administrator priviledges to remove some files. It has a log feature that tracks all the history of deletes.
Education Application
Keep images you have created for your network free of clutter and more efficient on space. Programs such as OnyX and Delocalizer should also help in this process.
Best Tips
Be prepared to do a hand check every now and then through your Preference folder, caches, and Application Support folders. on all the
Hot
Easy to remove the clutter of preference and other files located in your 'Library' and System Library
Not Hot (Feature Suggestions)
  • Support pages on website minimal
  • Not all files found in all cases, but will catch most of your clutter
  • Can't initiate the 'zap' through a drag and drop to the icon in the dock
  • Be prepared to wait if you scan a large Applications folder using the ZapGenie feature. I had 12 GB of Applications and it took a long time.
Final Word
Unique and helpful. I paid the dosh to get my registration.
Comments

Renewing of Blog

My ICT education blog is in the middle of renewal right now.. back up soon.
Comments
JavaScript Menu, DHTML Menu Powered By Milonic