Category Archives: Tech Integration

ITBabble Virtual Learning Solution Webinar

I’ve developed a very flexible solution with iPads and some ergonomic tools/devices.   

The main goal was to have tech that was useful all the time, not just during quarantine, and tech that didn’t strain the network with video standards that can’t be handled by personal home networks. The investment would be useful for 3-7 years, or the duration of the equipment lifecycle. The tablet form factor I chose was the iPad, but this could be done with Android or Chromebook tablets.

This model eliminates document cameras, allows for hand writing on paper or real whiteboards, allows for digital whiteboards, and you can ergonomically adjust things so people feel like they are sitting next to someone. 

Teachers can freely move around the room to demonstrate labs and other experiences that are eliminated in most virtual scenarios. 

You can even do choir, band, and art. 

If teachers/hosts have laptops, this allows for  two cameras in every space. Students can flip between the iPad and the host device. 

The conferencing software doesn’t matter. You can use anything for your video conferencing. 

If people need to work from home they just take the iPad, and literally replicate their teaching environment.

This idea can be summed up in a single simple statement: The iPad is a Person in your Classroom.

If you would like to know more, please complete the form below.

https://forms.gle/5CwcQxSSd9vxmjiMA

Computer Science, Programming, and Coding Standards by Grade Level

By: Tony DePrato | Follow me on Twitter @tdeprato

A while back I took the ISTE NETS Standards and decided to create a grade level based layout for what students should be able to do at different grade levels.

As the students continue to progress through their education, the grade level view expands gradually. The idea is that they keep repeating activities and meeting these standards.

Here is what the current design looks like:

Years  3 & 4:

  • Effectively use primitive data types
  • Effectively use, manipulate, and explain various external data types (text, images, sound, etc.), various locations (local, server, cloud), etc.

Year 5:

  • Effectively use primitive data types
  • Effectively use, manipulate, and explain various external data types (text, images, sound, etc.), various locations (local, server, cloud), etc.
  • Effectively use modeling and simulation to solve real-world problems
  • Effectively use two or more development environments

Year 6:

  • Effectively use primitive data types
  • Effectively use, manipulate, and explain various external data types (text, images, sound, etc.), various locations (local, server, cloud), etc.
  • Effectively use modeling and simulation to solve real-world problems
  • Effectively use two or more development environments
  • Demonstrate an understanding of operating systems and networking in a structured computer system

Year 7:

  • Effectively use primitive data types
  • Effectively use, manipulate, and explain various external data types (text, images, sound, etc.), various locations (local, server, cloud), etc.
  • Effectively use modeling and simulation to solve real-world problems
  • Effectively use two or more development environments
  • Demonstrate an understanding of operating systems and networking in a structured computer system
  • Using a modern, high-level programming language, construct correctly functioning programs involving simple and structured data types; compound boolean expressions; and sequential, conditional, and iterative control structures

Year 8:

  • Effectively use primitive data types
  • Effectively use, manipulate, and explain various external data types (text, images, sound, etc.), various locations (local, server, cloud), etc.
  • Effectively use modeling and simulation to solve real-world problems
  • Effectively use two or more development environments
  • Demonstrate an understanding of operating systems and networking in a structured computer system
  • Using a modern, high-level programming language, construct correctly functioning programs involving simple and structured data types; compound boolean expressions; and sequential, conditional, and iterative control structures
  • Design and test algorithms and programming solutions to problems in different contexts (textual, numeric, graphic,
    etc.) using advanced data structures

Years 9 & 10:

  • Effectively use primitive data types
  • Effectively use, manipulate, and explain
    various external data types (text, images, sound, etc.), various locations (local, server, cloud), etc.
  • Effectively use modeling and simulation to solve real-world problems
  • Effectively use two or more development environments
  • Demonstrate an understanding of operating systems and networking in a structured computer system
  • Using a modern, high-level programming language, construct correctly functioning programs involving simple and structured data types; compound boolean expressions; and sequential, conditional, and iterative control structures
  • Design and test algorithms and programming solutions to problems in different contexts (textual, numeric, graphic, etc.) using advanced data structures
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the operation of computer networks and mobile computing devices
  • Demonstrate knowledge of two or more programming paradigms

Years 11 & 12:

  • Effectively use primitive data types
  • Effectively use, manipulate, and explain
    various external data types (text, images, sound, etc.), various locations (local, server, cloud), etc.
  • Effectively use modeling and simulation to solve real-world problems
  • Effectively use two or more development environments
  • Demonstrate an understanding of operating systems and networking in a structured computer system
  • Using a modern, high-level programming language, construct correctly functioning programs involving simple and structured data types; compound boolean expressions; and sequential, conditional, and iterative control structures
  • Design and test algorithms and programming solutions to problems in different contexts (textual, numeric, graphic, etc.) using advanced data structures
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the operation of computer networks and mobile computing devices
  • Demonstrate knowledge of two or more programming paradigms
  • Analyze algorithms by considering complexity, efficiency, aesthetics, and correctness
  • Demonstrate an understanding of static and dynamic data structures

Over the next few weeks, I will be connecting the standards at each grade level to the types of activities and lessons that facilitate them.

Tech Integration: Are you mapping it?

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By: Tony DePrato | Follow me on Twitter @tdeprato

A few weeks ago I was on a campus, but not my campus. I was speaking with some technology teachers. They would prefer to be called tech-integrators. After a short and very succinct speech about their beliefs in the technology integration model, I ask them two questions. In both cases, the answers were not what they should have been.

Question 1: Is the integration scheduled, or do you wait for teachers to come to you? 

The answer was a very common one, teachers come to us. This model has some very defensible merits. The driving force is that a few technology integrators can focus on class projects, over longer periods of time, and use their own initiative to improve technology in the classroom.

This main issue with this model is learning accountability. The is no accountability for what students need, and no metric stating what students need.

For example, the IB Design Technology SL programme recommends 150 total teaching hours. This indicates that a group of people looked at the entire course experience and the desired outcomes can concluded that students need 150 hours.

A technology integration model needs the same discussion and it needs some metrics. Since technology integration is not a new concept, determining how many hours students need to be engaging with a differentiated curriculum in a “knowable thing”.

Read More at The International Educator

Live In the Now with OneDrive for Business

onedrive-apple

By Tony DePrato | Follow me on Twitter @tdeprato

A year ago, many people using Office 365 for Education were really angry at OneDrive for Business. When Microsoft made the official switch from the public OneDrive to the Business Version, things were not good.

People forget the development most products follow. They forget the limits of the original Google Apps for Education. They forget the features that Facebook 1.0 did not have. Because people easily forgot, they are prone to become neophobes. Neophobia is the extreme or irrational fear or dislike of anything new or unfamiliar. Irrational being the keyword.

New technology is rarely given a fair chance. This is why many products stay in beta or in small user circles for years. OneDrive for Business did have a rough start, but even in the early stages it was a decent cloud storage client. In Asia, one of the main issues was speed. This has been remedied.

I felt compelled to write this post, because I feel like I have a track record for doing unbiased comparisons on cloud services. Office 365 is gaining ground in some very big areas. The video below, very unprofessional and horribly narrated, clearly illustrates the speed of OneDrive for Business. Please note, I have been using Groups in Office 365 as a video sharing platform, and they are working great. The use OneDrive storage as well. The speed for adding video is excellent, and the MP4s seem to playback quickly in Chrome and IE 11.

Technology changes. Basing decisions off of a single bad experience more than 180 days in the past is a mistake. If something looks promising, keep it on your radar.

 

live-in-the-now-analysis-services

A CONTINUUM OF LEARNING

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By Tony DePrato | Follow me on Twitter @tdeprato

School administrators are often faced with complex decisions about curriculum, assessment, and the oversight of both. There is a myopic condition that can occur as conversations lead people into a spiral of good intentions full of false understanding. This condition is the belief that learning is a one-to-one relationship, and that content is related to a course or single field of study. The truth is learning, real learning, is a one-to-many relationship where content can connect to an unpredictable number of areas if it is allowed to develop organically and time as a constant is removed.

Understanding One-to-Many Relationships

A one-to-many relationship is often used in database development.

READ MORE

Are You Ready for VR in the Classroom?

Woman_Using_a_Samsung_VR_Headset_at_SXSW_2015_(2015-03-15_14.10.24_by_Nan_Palmero)

By Tony DePrato | Follow me on Twitter @tdeprato

Virtual Reality (VR), has changed more in the last year than it has in the last decade. The cost of using VR, and the various solutions, are prompting many people to start piloting VR applications in the classroom. Many of these VR concepts are actually AR, or Augmented Reality, concepts.

Here are a few recent updates everyone should read regarding VR. 

RefME: The Best Reference Generator Around & it’s Free!

With more and more reference generators starting to charge money for premium versions and providing less and less features on those free versions I sought to find a better solution for our students. By far the best one I found was RefME. 

Favourite Features:

1) Syncs your saved references to all your devices (Android phone app,iPhone, iPad, Chrome Browser extension, from the website itself)

2) Scan barcodes! As a librarian I was thrilled with this feature – fastest way to create print material citations – works with ISBN, ISSN

3) FAST – I love the Chrome extension version, click on the extension on any webpage and viola! Reference generated

4) Huge variety of citation styles (7000+) and formats (30+) available – FREE

5) Export feature allows you to quickly export citations to multiple other apps, Word doc, simple copy & pasting is made easier

6) Import feature – awesome for saving time when you want to keep all your references in one place – for example, if you started creating a reference list on a Word Doc, you can import them quickly to keep them organized and without losing formatting

7) Easy Collaboration – Group Work feature that allows you to add others to your project to keep all references in one place 🙂

8) Flexibility – Need your students to add the URL to citations? Or don’t want your students to? RefME allows for both, easily

9) Educator’s Toolkit is available  – request one!

Quick Tutorial (browser version):

1. Sign up! Easy…

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2. You’re ready to go! Create a project on the left by clicking Add Project, Click Select Style to choose from over 7000 citation styles and then get started by clicking +Create Reference

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3. From the +Create Reference Page it’s very easy to choose the format of the item you need to generate a reference for.

Website: copy and paste or type in URL

Book: Use DOI (excellent for citing journal articles!), title, author, ISBN (can scan a book from a scanner hooked up to your computer), URL

Journal: Title, author, URL, DOI

Video: Title or URL

or Choose More — many formats available (see Format Options (extensive!) below)

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Enter Manually

This let’s you type in all the information yourself. Great for providing a framework for students.

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4. Choose your citation style by typing in the name and then selecting from the multitude of choices. They highlight the most common version that is the most current (i.e. below the 7th edition of MLA is highlighted, APA, Chicago, Harvard, etc. all highlight the most current standard version so it’s easy to ensure you’re using the most recent edition).

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Excellent for IBDP (International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme) students who need to add a URL to citations for their EEs (extended essays). RefME allows you to choose between adding the URL to the citation or not, for example:

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5. Add notes – you can highlight text from webpages, or manually type it in and save it with the citation for later use!

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6. Finished? Export feature is fantastic! Save the formatting, don’t risk losing italics or underlining when copying and pasting from different software.

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Android App version:

The Android app version was very quick and easy to use. It synced well with my browser version. Great for working in the library. I can quickly scan barcodes, find quotes or information that I need and put the book back without worrying about needing another detail.

iPad app version:

No real notable differences in usage. Easy, scanning barcodes worked without a problem 🙂

Format Options (extensive!): 

·       Artwork

·       Blog Post

·       Book

·       Book Chapter

·       Book Review

·       Classical Work

·       Conference Paper

·       Dictionary Entry

·       E-Book

·       Encyclopedia Entry

·       Figure

·       Film/Movie (DVD, Etc.)

·       Gazette

·       Hearing

·       Interview

·       Journal Article

·       Legal Bill

·       Legal Case

·       Legislation (Act / Statute)

·       Magazine Article

·       Manuscript

·       Map

·       Musical Score

·       News Article

·       Pamphlet

·       Patent

·       Periodical

·       Personal Communication

·       Post

·       Regulation

·       Report

·       Review

·       Scientific Dataset

·       Song (CD, Etc.)

·       Speech

·       Standard

·       Thesis (Or Dissertation)

·       Treaty

·       TV/Radio Broadcast

·       Video

·       Webpage

 

Other Reference Generators that I’ve used (paid & free versions) with Students and why I’m no longer using them:

EasyBib.com now only allows you to use MLA for free and with the paid for version they have made significant changes in pricing that is leaving many schools questioning if it’s worth keeping anymore. Often confuses the date when websites are from countries that list dates in different orders (i.e. UK: day-month-year, USA: month-day-year, China: year-month-day). This leaves you with incorrect citations when any combination of these are mixed up.

NoodleTools is a great paid subscription option, but again it’s a paid for subscription. It does not offer as many citation styles and formats as RefME. Additionally, we had trouble with pages loading slowly (Note: our school is in China). We discontinued our school’s subscription.

Kendra Perkins

http://www.theinspiredlibrarian.com

http://www.about.me/kendraperkins

Source:
 https://www.refme.com/?utm_source=Educators&utm_medium=formconfirmationpage&utm_campaign=Edu_General

 

 

Are You Planning a Maker Space?

makerspace

I was having a conversation with a tech director from another school , and we were discussing budgets and resources.

The amounts were fairly staggering for bandwidth, subscriptions, and network support for content management and VPN. Shortly after the conversation, I started to question my priorities. What was driving my budget? Where was the demand coming from?

I started to realize the main force behind the budget was access to online subscriptions. Subscriptions that allow students to consume and use, but not to create. At this point I decided to make some changes. I decided to focus on rapidly developing the spaces required for students to build and create.

On each of the campuses I have the pleasure of working at, I identified an area which would suit robotics, 3D printing, working with computer hardware, and generally support a huge mess.

I considered the long view of robotics, which is not Lego. The next generation will be robots made of strong flexible material. The robot will be large and powerful compared to their Mindstorm’s counterparts. Research VEX for more on this topic.

This means the maker spaces need to be rugged areas where metal can be manipulated, 3D printers can run all night, and occasional chaos will be the norm. What is often referred to as “hard fun” will be the culture of these environments.

I firmly believe with the adoption of more and more BYOD programs,  schools need to stop filling curriculum gaps with subscriptions, Apps designed for consumption and expensive network management tools. BYOD allows students to use, damage, and alter their gear. Therefore budget planning should focus on allowing students to connect to technology designed for teaching and rewarding creation over consumption.

Maker spaces can also be for art, music, and media. Ideally they are simple and practical spaces with some flexibility mixed with organization. In 2015, with the cost of 3D printing falling and the availability of Arduino, money needs to shift, and infrastructure should he designed or redesigned to accommodate maker spaces.

If you haven’t already done so, start these conversations, and start empowering and enabling creation. Move away from staring at pointless Apps running on over priced watches, and move toward real ideas that teach students how to shape their world instead of just participating in it.

Tony Deprato

www.tonydeprato.com