Sunday, April 7, 2013

Apps for Educators

Apps for phones and computers whether desktop, laptop or tablet are those mini programs that provide the user with the best experience based on their needs. Although there are so many recommendations for apps for educators out there, I am amazed at how few are used. 


The definitive in note-taking, list making, curating websites and blogs, clipping articles to share with peers, writing a shopping list at home that is accessible in the shop and for many, the very engine through which they run their businesses. 

Evernote's beauty is in its cross platform simplicity, synchronisation and web browser add-on. Whilst perusing twitter feeds and the many websites and blogs that are recommended, find one that you enjoy and might want to share - with the add on to Chrome or Firefox or other browsers, simply press the clipping tool and the page is clipped into your Evernote notebook. From there it can be emailed to those with whom you wish to share it. 

Download onto your phone and at the airport you can retrieve your online flight details with the press of a button. It even synch's between different platforms so if you use a PC at home but have an iphone - Evernote shares the same info. 

Linked Social Media - A Cautionary Tale

How's your social media network coming on? Do you feel that Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, Youtube and Blogger are providing cpd as good as anything else (and in some people's cases - better)? Do you have Twitter and Facebook connected?

I am knocked out by the connections that these social media give me. I have an endless supply of up-to-date articles about the latest tech and reminders of good solid educational practice. I have an educational twitter account and a website and Facebook page called House of Teacher. Each is interconnected with the other which means that I can update one and the others update too.

But my enthusaism was unchecked. I had also unwittingly linked my youtube account to my twitter account. Two weeks ago I created playlists for each of my babies. Series of videos that would keep them quiet for twenty minutes after dinner. It was lovely. The children woudl sit at the computer and sing nursery rhymes, phonic songs and my two year old was learning the properties of shapes. Meanwhile my wife and I would have a quiet cup of tea after dinner.

As is usual with the advent of a second baby, my dedication to upkeep my tweeting wanes every few weeks. So it took me some time to return to my twitter account and even then it was only when I noticed the side bar on my blog telling all my followers that I had been adding these videos.

Now in this case it is pretty harmless, but the lesson is therein. Link your accounts by all means but think carefully, nay plan carefully - map out what you are doing and what is linked. That way you can be sure that you are showing, displaying, informing or telling what you want to tell and not opening up your whole life.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Educational Blog Recommendation

Blogs are hard to keep up to date with. Here are my recommendations of educational blogs worth reading.

Kathy Shrock's Kaffeeklatsch

The goddess of all things ed tech. Kathy reports on all the latest developments and often gets her hands on tech before it has been released.This is a good example of such an article. Kathy is a great exponent of PLN. That is using ed tech in a collaborative/networking way. This post is a great example of why to connect to good educational blogs and tweeters.

As well as her blog she is an excellent tweeter and well worth following.  @kathyshrock

Finally - have a look at Kathy Shrock's Guide to Everything