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Digital Body Language

Written by David on March 18th, 2013.      1 comments

Screen Shot 2013-03-18 at 8

I follow the social media guru, Linda Coles on Linked In.  She is always sending out notes and information and today she sent out a post talking about 'digital body language.'  I read her post today and  immediately wanted to share it via my networks as the content has a significant resonance with digital citizenship and how students should behave online.  I really liked her use of the term 'digital body language.'  You can see her check list of appropriate positive body language actions below:

  • Do use a greeting and sign off with your name included.
  • Follow Dale Carnegie’s advice and always use the other persons’ name when addressing them.
  • Don’t use all capital letters; it’s the digital equivalent of shouting at someone.
  • Respond to connection requests with a brief “nice to meet you” message just as you would if meeting someone offline.
  • Do get back to those that have made the effort to reach out to you digitally. You wouldn’t ignore them in person.
  • Watch your spelling and grammar. It really is your digital body language so make it top notch.
  • Avoid lots of exclamation marks, you look angry !!!!!
  • Use the smiley face icons to help the reader understand your tone.
The list is simple and if we all take time to reflect, common sense, but in the instant world of social media and the Internet, it is all too easy to dash something off and offend the recipient, even if we did not intend to do so.  Linda's advice is timely for the business professionals that follow her and also very pertinent to our students who need to develop much more finely attuned 'digital body language' in order to thrive and succeed on the Internet of the near future.

 

Collaborative Time-lapse Project

Written by David on March 18th, 2013.      0 comments

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I was chatting to Luke in the South Island on Twitter on Friday night, when I mentioned to him a time-lapse project I have been mulling over throughout the summer.  Luke said he was really keen to be involved, so for a brief moment in time Twitter lit up with others wanting to be part of the project.  I have added a page to my Amazing Journeys wiki and this will be the base that we will collaborate, problem solve and create from.  The project is currently set to run on Easter Tuesday, April 2 2013 if all goes to plan.  You can follow our progress on the wiki and here on the blog.

So why have I included this personal pet project on an education blog?  For me one of the key elements that make elearning such an engaging medium in the classroom is the facility to collaborate and problem solve that the technology enables.  Within minutes of posting the idea to Twitter, several people expressed immediate interest, the concept intrigued them and over time more and more have also requested to join.  Agreed, this project is not going to strike a chord with everyone, but those that are interested will want to get involved as it speaks to them at some level.  I think that we should as adults reflect on this.  If we get excited at the potential to be creative, collaborative and in egalitarian way all contribute to the project as a whole, why do so many teachers find this kind of project so hard to facilitate in their classroom.  This project could just as easily be a class based one, just think of the literacy involved in the collaboration alone, let alone the visual literacy, the problem solving, the promotion, the evaluation and the sense of community that it will engender.

What are your thoughts?  Want to emulate this in the classroom, need some buddy classes?  Let me know and let's do it.  But let's do it as time-zone slices, lets get 24 schools in different time-zones to all to a time-lapse of mid-day in their time-zone all facing North.  Or some such similar focus.
 

Cross Posting

Written by David on March 15th, 2013.      0 comments

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I have been having a dialogue with Jacqui on her blog site about how to maximise the learning potential of iPads or tablets in general in  a classroom.  As a result of this collaboration Jacqui wanted to cross post one of my posts so that her readers to could see what we have been discussing.  You can see what she has to say and what she wanted to post of mine here:

http://askatechteacher.wordpress.com/2013/03/14/ramp-up-your-ipad-use/
 

App of the week

Written by David on March 12th, 2013.      2 comments

Many years ago I issued a challenge to my friends to share their journey to work, I had recently broken my arm, it was a complex break and I was in a cast for three months and had to stop cycling to work.  So I walked to and from work.
meccanoman

I had always enjoyed looking at what I passed on my bike commute, but the slower pace of walking made me appreciate all the more wonders that we pass every day in our cars and hardly acknowledge.  Once back on the bike I determined to record the amazing journeys we complete every day.  I strapped a video camera to my bike and rode to work and posted the film and at the same time set up a wiki and a challenge to my friends to record their amazing journeys.  You can see what they shared on my Amazing Journeys wiki.

With the advent of the iPad this challenge has become much easier.  I have been a fan of time-lapse photography for a long time and create short time-lapse videos for fun in my spare time.  But time-lapse is a great tool for the classroom to record change over time, how clouds move, how shadows change etc that what was once the preserve of specialised equipment can now be in the hands of every student.  So my app of the week this week is Time-Lapse a free iOS app that easily allows you to create time-lapse videos with your iPad.
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I have decided that for the next few days I will use this app to record my amazing journeys.  The bike has gone these days, I do miss it, and I now commute all over Auckland to the schools I work in.  Below is my amazing journey from Pinehill School to home, complete with a snarl up on the Harbour Bridge!

My challenge to all of you out there with an iPad is to create your own amazing journey, it took me three bits of gaffer tape to secure my iPad to the windscreen and the dashboard, I set my time-lapse to play back at 25fps and to record at 1fps or 60 frames in a minute.  My 45 minute journey turned into a one and half minute video.  So go ahead, create your own, share your links to your own video in the comments of this post and I will embed the video into my Amazing Journeys wiki.  Who has the most amazing journey to work?
 
 

Senior Leadership Feedback

Written by David on March 11th, 2013.      0 comments

I have been working with several schools recently where I am encouraging the leadership team to become an integral part of the feedback process on students wikis.  A couple of schools have asked me to design virtual "stickers" that the SMT can use to award students for their virtual work.  Below is an example of one my stickers being used on a Year 1 student's wiki page. The student concerned is delighted with the feedback and the sticker they have now got on their wiki.
Virtual Sticker
 

Layering Apps on an iPad

Written by David on March 5th, 2013.      6 comments

I have just written an article for Interface Magazine about how to best use an iPad in the classroom.  I wrote the article in response to my own observations about how iPads are being used and also in response to a blog post  written by Tom Whitby, who did the Emporer's New Clothes task of stating that a worksheet is still a worksheet, even when it is on an iPad.  This echoes my own observations with teachers who use an iPad in their classroom.  They tend to use this high tech device to deliver low level learning.  The trouble is to the casual observer, it looks great to see engaged students working enthusiastically on their shiny new iPads in a classroom, but what learning is happening? I have also been part of a conversation with Jacqui Murray who was sharing her thoughts on the best apps for a classroom.  I shared my thoughts on formative assessment and publishing, points which she agreed on.

When I work with teachers who are using iPads in their classroom, I get them to audit their apps and to ask so what? questions of the apps.  I need for them to know the learning and formative assessment potential of each of their apps.  If the apps is unjustified busy work, it is scrapped.  I then introduce this concept I have developed called layering, where the best features of one app are used to create content that can be enhanced in another app.  I get the teachers to base the learning intention outputs around the workflow of several apps.

You can see what I mean in the video below.  If you are struggling to get the best out of your iPad or are having trouble creating a sustainable blended elearning environment in your school, please contact me for a free initial consultation meeting. 

 

ABOUT US

David has been a specialist in the field of elearning for over 12 years. He has presented on elearning at conferences in Europe, Australia and New Zealand. His consultancy work includes education and business clients. READ MORE

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