Really Cool Features on iOS 7
Nov04

Really Cool Features on iOS 7

Everything in iOS7 has been redesigned …Here Are My Favorite New Features Start the Day Off Right  Start  your day off right with a quick swipe from the top of your iPhone. This will tell you how far away you are from home, the weather and your calendar events for that day. I like this when I am on the road, so I can see how long it will take me to get home in traffic. Control Panel Swipe up from the bottom of the screen to access your control center – and go right to the Do Not Disturb Feature or turn the battery-draining Brightness down when you have a low battery. You can easily access the  NEW FLASHLIGHT feature or  the calculator. So Cool! Camera – Rapid Photos If you hold down the plus or top key of the volume buttons as you take a photo – you get a burst effect which allows  you to take a rapid succession of photos like with a more professional camera. Dynamic Wallpaper Dynamic Wallpaper allows you to have a cool moving image that looks super awesome and stunning.  You get to this under Settings —>Wallpapers and Brightness—> Dynmaic Wallpaper Twitter Shared Links: Shared LInks is another AWESOME feature! This gives you the ability to access shared links from your friends on Twitter. Go to Safari and select bookmarks then tap on the @ symbol and you can see all the links that were shared by your contacts Twitter. iMessage Time Stamps: All of your texts now come with time stamps – swipe to the left in iMessage to  see this awesome feature. Siri for Images: You can use Siri  to find images…it is simple. Just ask her to find images of  “Brad Pitt.” I don’t know why but she uses BING…probably because it’s not Google… so buyer beware. Help Siri with Pronunciation: You can help Siri with her pronunciations by telling her how to pronounce your name or any other words she might get wrong. Search Twitter Search Twitter just by using Siri..”What is HollyEdTechDiva saying?” Siri will tell you. You may have to teach her how to pronounce my name however, but now you can! Share...

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How to Use Crowdsourcing in the Classroom
Nov03

How to Use Crowdsourcing in the Classroom

This post originally appeared in Edudemic on Oct. 31st, 2013 The Connected Student Series Crowdsourcing is an important information literacy skill.  Jeff Howe was the first to coin the term “crowdsourcing” in Wired Magazine in 2006. In his article, Howe describes how the internet has created a virtual crowd that allows us to share our passions and interests. This is important for students because the idea of crowdsourcing will allow them to utilize personal learning networks to gain a diversity of opinions, find outside experts and use the wisdom of a network or crowd to find more thorough answers and ask better questions. Howe feels there are two important components to crowdsourcing. There must be an “open-call”  (you allow everyone to participate), and it must be undefined (let the students ask the questions). The person you think might be the best person, is not necessarily the best person for the job. This forces students to think of each other as potential partners and together, by utilizing the strengths of everyone or the crowd, they can create a much better product or expand an idea. It is what Howe calls “Wikipedia with everything.” Our students write reports from information they find on the internet, not a library book. They need to understand this type of new information source and the network it comes from. A recent article in the Harvard Business Review, Beyond the Echo Chamber by Alex Pentland, calls for business leaders to do what our students should be learning to do in class. He asks for them to be making connections with many different kinds of people, actively looking for and soliciting different points of view, and “finding the decision making sweet spot.” This sweet-spot comes from understanding who the experts are in the crowd and then using a “blend of personal and social information” to predict the best solution,create the best content and ask the best questions. Students can develop these important skills by being allowed to crowdsource their learning. When they need something more than our classrooms can provide, they need to know how to find it. They need to be allowed to work together and to use the internet to form very important personal learning networks. Source: Students in Danielle Dattalo Heyde’s class at San Diego Jewish Academy use Skype to network with another kindergarten class in Indianapoli Although crowdsourcing is a new term-du-jour, it is a critically important information literacy skill that we must be teaching our students. If they are to become life-long learners, they need to learn how to work together in digital environments and to effectively collaborate with others. If you value this type...

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Do Your Students Know How To Search?
Oct20

Do Your Students Know How To Search?

The Connected Student Series: There is a new digital divide on the horizon. It is not based around who has devices and who does not, but instead the new digital divide will be based around students who know how to effectively find and curate information and those who do not.  Helene Blowers has come up with seven ideas about the new digital divide – four of them, the ones I felt related to searching, are listed below. The New Digital Divide: In an age of information abundance learning to effectively search is one of the most important skills most teachers are NOT teaching. They assume students know how to conduct a search, and set them free on the internet to find information. They assume that students have the skills to critically think their way through the searching and the web. Sadly, this is not the case and everyday we are losing the information literacy battle because we often forget to teach these crucial searching skills in our schools. Teachers – especially in the elementary grades  -need to develop a shared vocabulary around the skill of searching. They need to make sure their students learn some basic search strategies and keep applying them until they become almost automatic. Here are some of the searching skills and vocabulary we should be teaching students : Quotation Marks: Students should always use quotes to search for an exact word or set of words. This is useful when you want something like quotes, song lyrics or text from a an exact historical time period. Example: “The Great Chicago Fire” Dashes (or minus sign): Use this symbol directly before a word to help exclude unwanted information from your search Example: Great Chicago Fire -soccer Two Periods: Use this to help you find information between those two numbers. For example you might want to try: Example: Great Chicago Fire October 8..10 Site Search: For a look through the Chicago HIstory Museum site only Examples: Great Chicago Fire site:chicagohs.org         site:Chicagotribune.com Use Country Codes to Look Up News Stories: Students should gather every side and view possible on current events, and historical news stories. Not just those that are seen through the red, white and blue colored lenses of our media. To do this all they need is to search using different country codes. For example, if you wanted to get to Google Korea all you would have to do is  search using the country code of Kr for Korea. Try it yourself first by going to Google Korea – www.google.co.kr. Below are a few of the country codes. You can click on the image to get a...

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Connecting Your Elementary Classroom: Two Great #EduSlam Examples
Oct08

Connecting Your Elementary Classroom: Two Great #EduSlam Examples

Lately, I have had the pleasure of  presenting for elementary schools about the power of collaboration – I even had the amazing opportunity to present in South Korea. No matter where I am, I find that I am continually talking about two game-changing EduSlams.These innovative examples showcase how amazing  teachers are connecting students with classes from around the world and engaging and inspiring their learners. The first by Karen Lirenman explains the ways she is using twitter with first grade students. In this EduSlam, Karen details what it takes to do this successfully and the ways she uses twitter to give her students a voice. Another EduSlam I am always referring to is by Burley’s own, Carolyn Skibba from Chicago. She used book creator to write a collaborative ebook with another class in Iceland – yes, you read that right…Iceland! If you want to be inspired to think outside of simply blogging for collaborative writing, this EduSlam is a must see. Share...

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Digital Natives vs. Digital Immigrants
Oct07

Digital Natives vs. Digital Immigrants

Alice Keeler posted the above video about students being digital natives. Teachers are always afraid that their students will know more than them about the technology. In my opinion, students are more aptly called digital tourists than digital natives. They are exploring this unknown territory at the same time as we are. The only difference is that most students are usually not afraid to push every button. As adults we like directions and are often afraid to traverse unknown territory without a map. My advice? Let go and have fun  – let the journey through technology integration be more about learning and less about control. Share...

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