Salman Kahn continues to act on his vision for education. If you have read his book (One world schoolhouse), you might recall that he proposes the value of the one room schoolhouse because it involves a continuous progress system and cross-age peer tutoring. This CBS video describes his efforts to try out this concept.
The major value I find for Twitter is the surfacing of useful information I was not purposefully looking for. This is usually described as discovery to differentiate the process from search. The downside of Twitter discovery is that it depends on the group of individuals I follow and it is likely this group is biased by my personal biases.
It is possible to access topical feeds that are both more prolific and unbiased. My favorite tool for this purpose has been Zite. This aggregator offers content in many categories I want to follow. Unfortunately, Zite was just purchased by CNN and will shut down on Dec. 7. Zite users have been encouraged to transfer their content streams to Flipboard and have been provided a simple method for making this transition.
I recommend that you take a look at Zite (quickly). Here is my logic. I am a big fan of the information Zite surfaces. Even though the service is going away, a new user can tap into these information pools and transfer them to Flipboard.
Here is a video I created to explain the generation of a Google+ collection. I see collections useful as a way to organize Google+plus posts for students. Access to a collection can be limited to those in a specific circle.
Google has a Google Photos update, you may find very helpful.
A new setting option within Google photos (just go to settings) allows you to upload photos to the Google photos cloud and then delete the photos from your phone.
The idea seems to be to offer users the opportunity to free up valuable storage space assuming they can access photos when desired to show others. The service does not remove images until it knows the images exist in the cloud.
Note that many individuals have decided to use the free “high quality” online storage option with Google photos. Translate this as – the free version. I understand this means I am accepting lower quality stored images when I backup images taken with my camera. I am not certain if some phones high enough quality images that uploaded images would also be downgraded.
Before I purchased the iPad pro, I assumed it would be perfect for two things – using the split screen to take notes while I read and using the pen with Explain Everything. The split screen works as I hoped. I admit I did not know that not all combinations of apps would be available, but I could find something that would work.
The pencil was not available when I purchased the pro, but Explain Everything does look great in a larger size.
I wish those who summarize research could come to common conclusions. If there are rules for identifying and integrating quality studies, meta-analyses should come to similar conclusions. Somehow, this does not seem to be the case. My work did summarize research as a way to situate my own, but I do not have the background to evaluate formal approaches to research integration. I just wish they could decide if eggs are good for you or not. How about red wine and beer – another important issue?
Anyway, this problem seems to apply to important educational issues as well. Is homework helpful or harmful? How about project based learning?
Class size is one of those issues that seems to be another example of this type of controversy. It is important because while the public does not want to short change students if size does not matter the public also does not want to tax themselves unnecessarily. It just seems reasonable to most that smaller classes would give teachers the opportunity to spend more time with individual students. This is why I was always puzzled by conclusions that within a substantial range class size did not seems to matter. It would seem to follow that either the assumption of the value of personal attention was not valid or that educators did not take advantage of the opportunity to provide such personal attention.
Now, there seems to be a new research summary that promotes the value of smaller sized classes. I hope this research makes it to a prominent journal so that reviewers can evaluate the research, because I do not really trust research that is promoted without review.
I have generated a series of tutorials on the use of Book Creator. If you are unfamiliar with the product, Book Creator can be used to create ePubs, pdfs and videos on the Ipad, android devices, and Windows (with a somewhat limited tool set). This is a “low floor, high ceiling” product – easy to learn and versatile.
Want to be a podcaster? Not me – I spent a career talking to learners and I just can’t get used to talking to a device. I also find writing far more comfortable because the process offers me some time to think and editing is far easier. Some, however, prefer talking and listening does allow a certain freedom not available while reading. I do listen to podcasts while driving and walking. I am glad there are podcasters out there.
If podcasting is for you, LifeHacker has a great post offer an overview of the tools and processes you will need to get started. Good luck should you commit to take the plunge.