Monday, 22 May 2017

Digital Bytes 22nd May 2017


Flipgrid is an easy to use video reflection tool.

As a teacher, you can post a prompt and your students can respond with a video reflection. Here is an example from Grade 4 teacher, ADE and Flipgrid Ambassador, Andy McGovern.

As always, remind your students to use headphones for the best quality recording.

Images to Inspire

We know images have the power to spark creative thinking, but we seldom make the most of this fact when providing writing stimuli for students. Thankfully, this website has you covered! You can view by collection (e.g. Inference collection) or by latest image. All images are shared with permission by the original artist, which is great to model for your students.

Quick Draw

Quickdraw is a project from Google which is using Artificial Intelligence (AI) to recognize drawings.

You can help and have some fun along the way by adding to the world largest doodling data set. It is a quick timed activity so you only have 20 seconds to create each drawing and Google is trying to guess what you are drawing the whole time.

After you have tried 6 drawings, you can see what other people drew in response to the same prompt you had.

May Round Up: The Networked Teacher Learner

Our five-month challenge started here, and now we are lucky to have our first rotation of what Silvia Tolisano refers to as 'Mulling it Over.' online learning community is a manifestation of connectivism as knowledge is distributed throughout the community of people and devices. A blog would serve as a connectivist tool as it facilitates interaction between peer and social communities of learners, continuity of conversations and allows for anytime, anyplace, anywhere learning (Garcia et al., 2015). Other tenets of connectivism addressed through a blog include the ability to involve external experts, control of the environment by the learner as they make and maintain their own connections, and the shift in the role of the teacher as students become accountable to one another (Garcia, Brown, & Elbeltagi, 2012).From CONNECTIVISM AND BLOGGING by Madeleine Brookes

So before we dig into our first cycle of reading and commenting, please pause and consider the words of the recent student speaker, Kavya, in her address at the Class of 2017 graduation:

"A legacy is not always just about you leave behind, but is also about what other people carry away from you."

With this in mind, here are our first blog-bundles for May.

Monday, 8 May 2017

Digital Bytes - 8th May, 2017

Easiest Slideshow Ever!

With the newest update to iOS, you have access to the easiest slideshow making tool we have ever seen: Memories.

Simply put a number of photos into a folder on your iPad or iPhone,, open the folder and tap on the dates at the top of the screen and your slideshow is made! You can add or take out photos and even include videos.

You’re Not Going to Believe What I’m About to Tell You

The Oatmeal has produced a classroom-friendly cartoon about the Backfire Effect - the reasons why people find it difficult to accept information that challenges their world view. This graphic is best suited to students G5 and above, but will be an interesting read for all teachers.

Digital Breakout

BreakoutEDU is a fantastic experience which focuses on a group’s ability to work together and solve a series of problems.

Digital Breakouts have no physical components and only need an internet connected device. There are different challenges for various age levels. Try them out yourself!

Friday, 28 April 2017

Why Digital Literacy and Learning Spaces belong together.

"The teacher no longer needs to be the holder of information...but rather can become a co-learner..."

When we reenvision our spaces together, what do we learn together?

You may have seen a few posts documenting this year's experimentation and thinking around learning spaces in this post, this post, this episode or this one. Like all aspects of doing what we do well as educators, that journey is multi-faceted, ongoing, and collaborative.

Where does Digital Literacy fit in?

Everywhere.  As our digital tools continue to enable more self-directed, collaborative, and authentic learning experiences, our physical spaces need to evolve with that shift.  Consider the changes you've seen in airports, banks, and movie theatres: technology has changed the way those spaces are streamlined and structured.  So what might that mean for your room?  

Spaces which allow for collaboration and independent inquiry

Spaces which value choice and independence

Spaces which direct learners to our understanding of Creative Commons
All signage custom made for the theme using The Noun Project for support

How does a shift in our learning space design shift our thinking about online spaces?

With better online spaces, we are able to better preserve, share and curate resources.  How often do we post something with size font 12 writing to a wall--rendering it visible only to those directly in front of it, and only when they are in the physical space.
Which resources are better presented through our college's digital tools? 
And to what extent do our digital tools better allow us to generate an ongoing dialogue with those resources with our learners?  
Additionally, which physical resources can we provide access to in our digital spaces?

When we worked with Georgina to revamp her room,  the signage was intentionally organized to be readily accessible to students regardless of their location (see these IBDP Psychology provocations linked to her new room theme #pathways). That slide deck is now accessible to students even after they graduate.  It makes use of open use images, and can easily be shared with DP Psychology teachers outside of the college for feedback and future exchange (in just three days it has been viewed 35 times).

Can a classroom revamp remind us of the power of networked learning?

When looking to remodel Louie's Chemistry classroom, we wanted to be able to use a few amazing images we found online.  Via Twitter, we contacted the creator, and he responded...within the hour:

How does a focus on learning spaces remind us of the power of our digital tools?

Whist commonly overlooked as resources, Keynote and Pages have been essential tools of the various classroom revamps happening.  Now, more than ever before it is easier to make signage which perfectly reflects our learning ethos and speaks to the culture of our various classrooms.


These collaborative classroom revamps have reminded us that we can make creative work together. Rethinking classroom design asks us to speak with people across faculties and schools to better understand our different educational philosophies in order to better showcase a physical and digital representation of our passion for all things learning.