connecting educators & enhancing learning
Thanks Colin. This tip I will pass along to a teacher in my building that received a grant for iPods for his class.
I have started using an iPad this year for as many things as possible. I am especially a fan of the mind mapping app called iThoughtsHD and the Apple app Pages. I have also found that having DropBox is helpful to share documents cross-platform--whether its for work, personal or school!
Rushton Hurley, a Google trained teacher, came and presented out opening day. I hate to say, that when I first heard that we were going to focuses on Google for three hours, I emotionally shutdown until he began to teach in his mildly comical way, and I have to say that I learned so much in such a short period of time I felt overwhelmed. One of the things that he focused on was Mobile Learning. He used a web based program to do a survey and we were to reply to the question by texting on our cell phones. This concept, just a few years ago, was not even thought possible.
I recently downloaded an application from i-Tunes called gFlash+ onto my iPhone. gFlash is a product from gwhiz mobile that turns your phone into a flash card library. The best part about this program is you can create your own flash cards using the spreadsheet in Google Documents and then sign-in to your account from your phone and upload the flash cards to the gFlash+ app for use anywhere. Once you upload the cards they remain on your phone until you delete them. My first use was creating flash cards from my son's sight word lists. You also have the option of purchasing pre-made sets of flashcards. For more information and which smart phones can use this app check out the gwhiz mobile site.
My students all have iTouches and gFlash+ is one of the apps that we regularly use for vocabulary lists. It is a great way to review the terms and also a great activity to have them do if they have finished other work early.
I found this article in the Boise State Technology Teacher (http://itcboisestate.wordpress.com/2010/09/13/10_tips_mobile/). I honestly had never heard of google mobile, but after reading about it, I am seriously considering implementing it into our courses. Our students are out in the field, so when they have an issue, it usually needs to be addressed right away. We don't give out our home/cell numbers so we can only be contacted between 8-5pm. I am sure the students would appreciate it!
There is a pretty cool site that I have used for my 7th grade science class called polleverywhere.com. The site allows you to create a multitude of questions (multiple choice, true/false, yes/no, or free response) on any topic you want and they way your students respond is by texting their answers in. This allows me to poll the class as a review to see if they have gotten the hang of the lesson. It also allows me to poll students before a lesson to see their level of understanding before a lesson or topic. If a student doesn't have a cell phone or free texting, that's ok. They can log onto poll4.com and answer the poll that way.
Another way I have helped create mobile learning is by creating Screencasts of my lectures/note taking. The website Screencast-o-matic.com allows you to record 15 minute episodes. You can then choose to unload to the SOM (screencast-o-matic) Website or upload to YouTube, or you can export it as a number of different movie types including mp4's, avi., or flash. If you upload the Screencast to SOM, you also have the ability to access the embed code for the Screencast that you could use to embed it into a webpage or blog. I have downloaded the Screencasts as Mp4's and then uploaded my episodes to my Moodle page. This way, my lectures are available at any time for any reason. If you were sick, you can get caught up. If you forgot your notes at school, you can access them anywhere you have internet! Pretty cool.
The last way I have somewhat touched on already. My district supports the use of an Online Management System called Moodle. This is my central hub for information. The students are able to access notes, lectures, worksheets, homework, quizzes, forums, WebQuests, journals, links to important websites, video's, games, and simulations. We as a science team use a series of book by Holt that allows students to access their book online. I have a link to their book here too. So the student have NO EXCUSE to feed mom and dad! "I forgot my homework at school"...tough cookies, its online, download it, fill it in and either print it off or email to me. "But mom!! I forgot my book at school"...oh well...get online and access it! "cough cough...mom, I think I''m coming down with something, I better stay home from school"...well, while you are home, you can listen to Mr. Cox's lecture and stay caught up!
Our school also uses Moodle. I have found it to be an amazing asset. I have been able to upload our classroom book as well and the students love this option. Next year, I am thinking of not signing out textbooks unless there is someone who can not access the Moodle site at home. It makes the textbook available anytime and anywhere. Plus the students love that they don't need to carry another textbook home with them.
One thing I would like to do is record my lectures like you. When students miss class, I find even if they copy someone's notes, the students are missing important aspects of my lecture. What program do you use and like the best? Also, how do you record? Do you record as you are teaching or do you do this separately?