Tag Archives: Education

Pinterest for Educators

pinterested

The purpose of this post is to help educators understand the use of Pinterest for Education. Pinterest is a bookmarking and curation service that can be used to create pins (think of them as thumbtacks in a bulletin board). These boards are at the cornerstone of how Pinterest works and can host a variety of multimedia content such as audio, image, video and website links. According to Baker (2013), this service can be used to “gather and share teaching resources, professional development articles, and ideas for integrating technology and digital literacy into the curriculum” (p. 74). Best of all Pinterest is free to use, and educators interested in signing up for this service can create a traditional account via e-mail and password or use the Facebook login option.

Furthermore, I wrote this post for online educators. However, through a comprehensive set of learning activities, it could be used by teachers (librarians) in elementary and secondary school grades (K-12). Undoubtedly as you read this post it will become evident that Pinterest can be integrated into any area of the curriculum for archiving (content curation) and research purposes. According to Pearce and Learmonth (2013), “Each resource is a link back to the original content, therefore encouraging users to explore the images and videos in their original context” (p. 3). Moreover, it can also be used as a professional development resource for pre-service teachers and anyone wanting to learn more about its use for educational purposes.

Please watch the video below to learn the basics of Pinterest and how it works. Particularly, this will help you understand the concepts of a pin (a visual bookmark) and boards (think of these as folders in a filing cabinet) that can be used to archive the content you want to share with other people (educators, librarians, learners).

Now that you have a basic understanding of what Pinterest is let us explore six learning objectives aligned with Bloom’s Taxonomy for learning. You can access these by clicking the word cloud below.bloomcloud

For this situation, I used Gagné’s Nine Events of Instruction as a reference to demonstrate value added when using Pinterest in an educational setting. Consequently, understand this is an example and not every learning scenario requires the integration of all events into your lesson plan (Gagne, Wager, Golas and Keller, 2005, p. 206). Please click the image below to access the Pinterest for Educators Nine Events of Instruction table.9eventswNow that you have learned more about specific educational activities let me introduce some of Pinterest’s main features. Although the videos that follow were created using food recipes the only limitation to what can be pinned (archived) is your imagination. Let us begin with “How to Pin from the Web”.

After tackling the concept of pinning the next task is “How to create a board”.

Once you have created a board start pinning items of interest for other educators (learners). These boards can then be shared directly with other Pinterest users (educators, librarians, learners), on Facebook, as a widget or by inviting other users to join that board.

For example, online instructors can create boards for each of the courses they teach. They can then share those boards and have their student’s posts links, images, videos and documents throughout the duration of a course. At the conclusion of the course, the instructor can go through that board and sort thru the best resources shared. Thus, these board can come alive and serve as knowledge repositories of reusable learning objects for future courses. Accordingly, to illustrate this concept please watch the screencast below with a real world example.

Throughout this post, I have introduced you to what can be considered a world of possibilities for using Pinterest for education. If you want to learn more about Pinterest for education please head over to my “Pinterest for Educators” board where you will find over 80 informational resources. It is my hope that you find this post useful and do not forget to follow me there to keep up with my latest finds, tools, tips, tricks and educational resources.

Engaging Math with Outwhiz

outwhizlogo

The increasing expectations of a global society demand that our learners be highly proficient in Math. However, I am realistic and understand this subject does not come naturally for many of our young and adult learners including myself. Having said that, in this post I will introduce to you Outwhiz a new kind of Software as a Service (SaaS) product that aims to bridge the learning gap by motivating our students. Outwhiz is one of several products in the already crowded drill-based software industry.

For a quick Outwhiz overview from a kid’s point of view, please watch the video below.

One of the distinct features of this service is that it only focuses on two subjects English and Math. However, in this post, I will only address the Math feature. The learning goals here are simple; motivate learners to learn Math through a series of carefully scaffolded exercises based on their prior knowledge. The later as mentioned by Gagne, et al. (2005), help learners acquire “verbal information, intellectual skills, cognitive strategies, attitudes, and motor skills” (p. 17). All of which are essential to the construct of meaning when studying Math. Furthermore, the developers intent is to address the individual needs of elementary and middle school learners through a self-paced curriculum based on the current Common Core State Standards (CCSS) initiative (Outwhiz, 2016).

Above all, this service can help educators by reducing their workload, eliminating the use of worksheets, time spent grading, and to provide seamless feedback to the learner. Outwhiz can be used on their website (web-based) and through mobile device apps that are platform agnostic. They currently have apps for Android and iOS devices. Meaning learners can start working on an assignment on the website and then move onto an iPad or another mobile device to complete their work. Although Outwhiz advertises themselves as a free service, they are actually a freemium service. The later is a classification for websites, apps or software you can use for free but with certain features removed or crippled until the user upgrades to a paid version or have access to a corporate account.

To learn more about the analytics feature, please watch the video below.

Moreover, there is not a specific set of skills needed to use this service other than basic knowledge of the assigned Math topic. After a brief formative assessment when the service is first used, the website (app) adapts the learning experience based on the assessment results. Therefore, it is essential that learners have a desire to succeed and stick through with the assigned topics. Outwhiz (2016) recommends that students set aside 10 to 30 minutes daily to perform their practice exercises.

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Once students complete an assignment, they are rewarded with a badge and the opportunity to level up as an incentive to solve more complex problems. Admittedly this serves to entice the learner to try harder and to achieve the goals assigned by a parent or educator. There are three ways students are motivated. First by competing with other users and trying to get higher on the leaderboards (win gift cards), second by unlocking badges they can show to their peers and third through the competitive spirit of the learning environment. The rewards offered by Outwhiz can be earned through points or by purchasing coins when using the paid version of the service. After using this software, students are expected to have a better understanding of basic Math concepts; further increasing their readiness for their in-state assessment.

motivation

When it comes to learning styles, Outwhiz addresses learner’s preferences through an adaptative platform that changes with the learner. As argued by Newton (2015), “Learning Styles do not work, yet the current research literature is full of papers which advocate their use” (p. 5). I agree with this statement based on my experience and the fact that all learners are different. What might work with one child might not work for the next. Thus, Outwhiz provides a viable solution that serves as a compromise to meet the needs of those learners needing support with their Math coursework. I would certainly recommend this service to students, parents, educators and even adults needing to refresh their basic Math skills.

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Website: www.outwhiz.com

Pricing Plans: Freemium / Paid Subscription

Technology Platforms

appstore  googleplay

Audience:  Parents / Students / Educators / Schools / Tutoring Center

Category: Personalized Learning

Subjects: English / Math

College Degree on Your iPad?

The release of the iPad mini by Apple has some people talking about it as a game changer in education. I do not agree with what they are saying, but then again I might be wrong. The price for one thing is not where it needs to be, if one takes into consideration competing products from its rivals Amazon and Google. I believe they should have introduced it at a lower price or maybe come out with special pricing for educators; specially when we are experiencing shrinking technology budgets at all levels in education.
Having said that, there is no denying tablets are changing the way we learn. The question is how do we choose which device is best for our educational pursuits. The answer in my opinion lies with the user and how comfortable they are with using the technology. The infographic below clearly shows the effect iPad’s are having on education. This might be true for baby boomers and those out of work due to the job market. There is also a growing number of apps and online content that have started to replace traditional classroom lessons. Do you believe we should be worried about this as educators? I will let you be the judge on that. 
 I would love to hear your comments on how tablets are influencing the way we teach and how our students learn.

College Degree On Your iPad
via: OnlineDegrees.org

Cutting Edge Texting… Now on Android

remind 101 just announced the release of their Android App. remind101 is the fastest, safest and easiest way for connected educators to communicate with their students through private and secure text messages.  In today’s mobile classroom environment, our students show up to the classroom with devices in hand, and it is essential for educators to have a safe and efficient way to communicate with them. This release makes it easier for students, parents and educators to use this awesome tool regardless of platform or device.

The service allows educators to broadcast messages to both students and parents in a convenient and easy to use platform. Like a Swiss Army knife, remind101 manage to incorporate many aspects of effective communication in a simple and tightly integrated app.

This means remind101 is now available as a FREE download on both Google Play and iTunes. The app features, class management for up to 10 classes, unlimited students or parent’s text messaging, message scheduling, users text history and many others. Watch my interview with Brett Kopf, Co-Founder of remind 101 and the accompanying demo of remind 101 to learn more about this great resource for connected educators. You can download the Android app by visiting the Google Play store now.

As always please leave your comments or questions below and Subscribe to my YouTube channel and news feed.

remind101 | Bret Kopf

 

How It Works

via: remind101 on Vimeo.

Top 5 Educational Twitter Hashtags

There are well over 500+ education related hashtags on Twitter, so it is increasingly difficult for educators to navigate this vast maze of information. The power of Hashtags cannot be underestimated as they help connected educators narrow down all the possible topics available. They are also instrumental when learning which interest groups to follow.  This brief infographic shows the top 5 educational hashtags currently being used on Twitter.

top 5 twitter hashtags

I personally use the #apits hashtag to curate all my Twitter posts. This helps educators in my PLN who are not tuned into the Twitter feed to keep track of my posts. Think of this as a personal indexing system for your digital presence online. Have fun and keep on learning! Please Follow Me! on Twitter @AnibalPahecoIT

LearnSprout | Student Information Simplified

There are many ways to manage student data and all of them require some sort of technology. The challenge for many schools is how to manage it all while retaining data integrity. The amount of data generated for just one student can be difficult to share and manage amongst the many systems currently being used. We live in a connected world which means the safeguarding of our students data is more important than ever today.

That is where LearnSprout comes in, they have developed an Application Programming Interface (API) that allows schools to share student information amongst the various systems in use from a secure environment that retains data integrity. LearnSprout can manage multiple data sources and individual system updates from a single API that make the whole process seamless to school administrators and educators.

LearnSprout was formed by three college buddies, Franklin Chien, Anthony Wu and Joe Woo; after college they went to work for three of the largest technology giants, Facebook, Google and Microsoft. They have now come back together to launch LearnSprout and cultivate the edtech ecosystem through their innovative approach to managing the data in our Student Information Systems (SIS). I recently sat down with Franklin Chien to talk about their services and to learn more about the company. You can watch the interview video below.

LearnSprout can pull data from PowerSchool, Infinite Campus, Illuminate, Aeries, Skyward and STI; integration with other systems is currently being worked on. Their service is FREE for schools and districts, but EdTech software vendors pay a small fee to connect to their API. The API addresses both privacy and security concerns by being fully compliant with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) regulations. You can get the full details from their Security Policy document.

If you are ready to take data management to the next level at your school I would definitely give them a call. They are primarily working in the K-12 sector of education, but I see the potential for their API to be used in Higher Education as well. If you want to learn more about LearnSprout products and services visit their website http://www.learnsprout.com/.

Franklyn Chien: Passion

via: rocketlist on Vimeo.

Annotary | Bookmarking Research Tool

I have tried many bookmarking services for research before, but I have settled for a few favorites. I love Diigo’s content curation capabilities, Pocket for mobile content, Pinterest for my addiction to eye candy and EduClipper for education. What if I told you there is a new FREE service that combines features from all of these into one.

Welcome to Annotary a new service that allows you to highlight content from the web, create collections of the best stuff you find and share it with students, colleagues, family and friends. They have made it real easy for you to bookmark your finds, and have extensions for both Chrome, and Firefox. You can highlight webpages and take notes. The pages stay highlight and they are added to a collection to be shared with others. You can also explore their site and see what other users have been bookmarking. They also have a built-in search engine that searches all of the collections in Annotary. Sharing can be done on all major social networks or through an e-mail. What do you think? I like it so far. So go ahead highlight the web and share your notes. Watch the demo video below and post your comments. Learn more about Annotary by visiting their website at http://annotary.com/

YouTube Embed Code Tips

YouTube is an excellent resource for educational videos any educator can use to teach. Today I made a short video that demonstrate how to get embed codes from YouTube. In this video you will see the optimal privacy and security settings for embed codes. I also demonstrate how to optimize the code for proper sizing. Please keep in mind the general idea of using HTML embed code works the same for any website that allows you to grab the embed code. This also applies to images or audio files for which you have an embed code. These embed codes can be used on Blogs, webpages and work on any LMS that allow you to edit HTML code. If you like the video please, leave me a comment below or record a voicemail message using the widget on the right side of this screen.

Creative Commons License

YouTube for Schools

YouTube is a fantastic platform for any educator looking for educational videos. The problem is the ads and recommended videos come in the way of learning. There are several ways to block these ads and one can also use add-on’s for both Firefox and Chrome to remove them altogether. Some schools have gone taken the extraordinary measure of blocking YouTube out of their network thus removing the ability for educators to use this powerful, educational resource.

The owners of YouTube (Google) know about all of this and have recently ramped up its efforts to ease the use of YouTube while removing classroom distractions. They have also made it safe and convenient for educators with lots or little knowledge of technology to use their website. They are now offering the ability for educators to sign-up for their YouTube for Schools program.

Think of this as another channel in the YouTube universe, but specifically tailored for educators. The new site provides access to educational videos from inside your school network. It also allows schools the ability to access a broad set of educational videos on YouTube EDU. They have added a filtering system to select the specific videos that are accessible to both students and teachers. This is not to be confused with similar YouTube websites such as YouTube EDU or YouTube Teachers. They have also posted step-by-step instructions for the Network Administrator at your school.

Instructions can be found here; http://bit.ly/PsYoa4

To sign-up and learn more about this new and exciting program please visit their website at; http://www.youtube.com/schools

Educators… There’s an App for that

We all love apps, but what is the relationship between app usage and how students learn? I set out searching for the answer to this question and came across this Infographic. It shows why students enjoy their mobile devices and the apps empowering their learning process. There has been a rapid growth in the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) movement and the adoption of mobile devices at all levels in education.

Apps allows to do things that were impossible 10 years ago and open new doors for students to explore their creativity and curiosity. There are many benefits to using all these technological advantages to engage students. We must also remember that, at the end of the day, we as educators must be able to connect with students on a personal level. Regardless of the technology  meaningful relationships and the human touch will always trump any device when it comes  to promoting student success.

Connecting Apps & Education

Provided By: OnlineColleges.net