Tag Archive | technology

Why not give some of these tools a try?

Over the past couple of weeks I have come across lots of different tools that would be fantastic to try within your organisation. Many of these suggestions come courtesy of Twitter whilst others arrive via corridor/staff room chats!

Snapguide is a fantastic free IOS app that allows users to create simple step by step guides. Not only can the Teacher produce instructions for activities or experiments but learners could create their own. This has fantastic potential especially as they can import pictures in to their guides. Here is an example of a Snapguide for you to check out.

Watch2gether is a great website that allows you to watch a YouTube video with others. On loading the page watch2gether.com a private room is created and a unique URL assigned. You simply then share the link via email or using Facebook/Twitter. The private room requires you to enter a display name, and informs you when your friends have joined. The pane on the right allows you to discuss the video you are watching which is great for analysis or reflection.

Dispatch is a project management tool that allows you to add multiple files to a single ‘Dispatch’ including Messages, Notes, Files, Google Drive, Drop Box etc. Once you have added your files simply add Team Members (by adding their email addresses). All activity is time stamped to support project management.


Teacher Training and Technologies Conference 2013

I was delighted to be asked to present at a recent Teacher Training and Technologies conference at the University of Huddersfield. There were some excellent sessions delivered throughout the day including a WebCast and an iPAD workshop. The session I was asked to deliver built on a previous workshop i delivered back in November. The focus was around Technology for Sustainable Learning. I attempted to outline a range of approaches that I had tried an tested over recent months with the hope that everyone took away at least one thing they could try in their home institution. Please find a link to the resources available from the day here.

LSIS Y&H Regional Sustainability Event @ Leeds City College

I was fortunate to attend a fantastic event hosted at Leeds City College (thanks to Georgiana Weatherill – Regional Sustainability Advisor / College Sustainability Manager). The morning started with a presentation from Maria Gilling (Principal – Walsall Adult Community College) which described her experience of becoming a ‘Green Leader‘ and WACC journey of implementing a whole organisational approach to sustainability.

The following ‘Curriculum’ based workshop was delivered by Sheri-Leigh Miles (ESD Solutions) who asked groups to explore what they could do to influence ESD outcomes within their organisations.

After lunch I delivered a workshop looking at the use of technology for sustainability. The emphasis was on the revised Ofsted CIF 2012 and how technology could be used to support the sustainability agenda. Thanks to Kathy Boyer (JISC) and Lewis Carr (Leeds City College) who provided the mobile devices and supported this workshop.

A Prezi resource was created and the link shared to allow delegates to disseminate within their organisations. A short presentation was followed by time to ‘have a go’ in which groups collaborated on Google Documents, posted on Wall Wisher, and explored the potential of YouTube video editor and Sound Cloud for T,L,A.

Soundcloud for assessment

I have used Soundcloud for some time now to listen to music compilations as many of my friends share mixes via social media. More recently I begun to explore the potential of this service with assessment and feedback. Simply create and account, upload an audio recording, and tag/comment throughout the audio recording where learners meet certain assessment criteria. Setting the files to private as opposed to public is an essential option to stop people searching and locating your file – however a ‘secret link’ is available which you can then share with your students for personalised feedback. This method significantly improves the validity and integrity of assessment methods, feedback is personalised and replies can be added to comments, and it can also be made available for standardisation of external verification exercises remotely by sharing the secret link (if sampled). Even better is the fact that you can access the file and feedback on your SMART Phone (I have tried the iPhone) so let me know if it works on android devices.


How could Twine enhance teaching and learning? Having read about Twine (a product that improves connectivity between humans and appliances) I started to wonder if, and how, it could be used within a teaching and learning setting. Watching the video on their website the demo with the easy button would be a great mechanism that improves feedback however i think there is lots more potential to be unlocked here. Any suggestions? 

Nexus 7 for learning

As those who know me may know I do often favour the Apple i-product range for my personal devices for consistency, design and reliability. I also am a huge fan of Google services for accessibility and integration.

From a teaching and learning perspective I do believe accessibility should always take precedence, as learning should be available to all. Often the intersection between technology and teaching and learning sparks countless debates around who should provide the hardware… this debate will not end any time soon and therefore as providers of education we have to cater for learners who wish to bring there own devices, and those who don’t own the particular devices, rather than a one size fits all.

The organisation I currently work for has recently increased the number of IPADS for teaching and learning in particular in Active Learning Zones on one of its main campuses. The challenge/problem is the associated cost of replicating this across many of the smaller sites. I hope to explore ways to improve accessibility for all and after reading reviews of the Nexus 7 I feel there might be possibilities in part due to the significantly lower cost of the devices. If anyone has had experience of these devices, or of has experience of ‘zero cost’ strategies of providing hardware I would be pleased to hear from you. My reckoning is that for as little as £1 per day (hire cost) over the course of a typical academic year the hardware would essentially be paid for. The option of a £10.00/20.00 annual membership fee for the scheme would help cover the cost of loss, damage, theft and periods of low demand.

Staff Development @ Leeds City College

Another fantastic TEL session with colleagues from Health and Social Care and Childcare department at LCC Joseph Priestley Campus. After providing an update for the team in relation to Digital Leaders developments and the progress with a College social media policy it was time to ‘have a go’ with some activities.

  1. Wall Wisher is a fantastic free tool that can enhance curriculum development and business support processes alike. The potential for collaborative planning, communication and assessment is endless. The team began by posting their thoughts and ideas on how they could use this tool to enhance their teaching, learning and assessment activities to a wall http://wallwisher.com/wall/lccmorley. For those who were feeling adventurous attempts were made to post images and videos from the internet to make a more aesthetically pleasing wall.
  2. Activity two introduced the concept of setting up a You Tube channel as a central resource for your area. An example of how Ricky McCosh has done this can be found http://www.youtube.com/user/hesportlcc . In addition their is a lot of potential with the video editor feature available on the YouTube website. An example of how this can be used can be seen here http://www.youtube.com/jonathanwathen
  3. Next we looked at how personal learning networks are becoming increasingly important for staff and students alike. A brief introduction to Twitter was provided and a demonstration of the potential was displayed using the projector and hashtag #lcclearn21c. Keith Tellum also provided another aesthetically pleasing method to view associated #tags using visibletweets http://visibletweets.com/#query=%23lcclearn21c&animation=2
  4. The final aspect of the session was to introduce the TEL Passport. Many staff were apprehensive about where they were currently at in terms of e-confidence however after a brief discussion many felt assured that they were possibly working at a higher level than they first thought. Further one to one sessions or small group sessions are to be scheduled over the summer to acredit competencies.

Indviduals used the afternoon to review the LCC Festival of learning blog and associated content looking at alternative approaches to curriculum development and design. Some staff entered the competition to win a digital camera whilst others left feedback on the mornings session. Well done to all in attendance!

sharon wheeler July 4, 2012 @ 11:03 am
had a really good session on wall wisher, jonny made it seem inspiring and really useful, first thought was i would never get the hang of this but i did manage to make a wall.

Lucy Bain July 4, 2012 @ 11:13 am
Thanks to Jonny for his support and enthusiasm in sharing this morning!
andrea mccabe July 4, 2012 @ 11:04 am