Episode 148 – Olympic Fever

This episode Tony and I make some big statements about the Olympics, talk about Gmail extensions, what ed tech really is and a whole lot more. You can subscribe to our podcast on iTunes or your favorite podcasting app. Check out the talking points below.

  1. Happy Olympics and Valentine’s Day!
  2. Smarthphones – Let’s experiment and see by Patrick

    1. https://itbabble.com/2018/02/02/smartphones-lets-experiment-and-see/
    2. Tony how is your experiment going?
  3. Devices – Students, teachers, schools by Patrick

    1. https://itbabble.com/2018/02/07/devices-students-teachers-schools/
    2. Tony’s thoughts
  4. School Shooting Simulation Software (and the Problem with How People Define ‘Ed Tech’) by Audrey Watters of Hackeducation

    1. http://hackeducation.com/2018/02/08/what-is-ed-tech
    2. Should we consider Ed tech to such a broad degree?
    3. Thoughts
  5. Gmail extensions – do you use any?
    1. https://itbabble.com/2018/02/05/my-three-gmail-extensions/

As always you can download this episode here.

Or listen to it below!

Episode 143 – Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving listener! IT Babble is back and better than ever. This week Tony and Patrick talk about a whole bunch of good ed tech topics. Check out the talking points below. As always be sure to subscribe to us on iTunes.

  1. The Push for Education Programs that Pay People as They Learn by Lolade Fadulu
    1. Apprenticeships sound like a good idea
    2. Down sides?
    3. Does it take away a person’s choice?
  2. Does Educational Technology need to be its own discipline in universities?
    1. Contours of a New Discipline by Carl Straumsheim
    2. Disciplining Education Technology by Audrey Watters of Hackeducation
  3. Apple’s ‘Everyone Can Code’ initiative expands to colleges and universities outside the US by Jon Russell at Techcrunch
    1. Should high school be doing this?
    2. Problems with Apple’s Swift Coding
    3. https://www.apple.com/everyone-can-code/
    4. https://swift.sandbox.bluemix.net/#/repl
    5. https://developer.apple.com/swift/

As always you can listen to or download the podcast below!

iPhone/iPad app of the week – MyScript Calculator

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This app is truly awesome. It is an app that can truly be used in early elementary classes and be used all the way up through college level mathematics. What it allows you to do is literally write (using your finger or stylus) the equation and it will solve it for you. Certainly on the iPhone and it’s smaller screen it is not as effective as say and iPad mini or a full size iPad. It simply works quite well. There is no help on how to do the equation you’re working on, so you need to know what you’re doing (especially for that upper level math). Best of all this bad boy is free. Check it out here.

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Recording Your Grading Process

Accuse me of milking the flipped classroom post and Scott Meech’s lengthy comment and I would say – damn skippy!

But cute cows are not the focus of this post. The focus is technology in the classroom! More specifically, screen-casting (recording) your grading process for students to watch at their leisure.

This is a very interesting concept. Teacher has a set of essays. Sits down at their desk that is rigged with a camera pointing at the papers. The teachers starts grading as they normally would, but with the additional ability to sound out their thoughts for the student benefit. Comments that would normally be said under ones breath can now be vocalized and recorded.

“Woah, that sentence runs on for a while!” or “I’m having a really hard time following the train of thought here…you may need to reorganize your essay by…” or “Sandy, next time try avoiding SMS language such as lol, brb, and others”

This is really cool. The teacher is combing the grading process and the elaboration into one. This saves time theoretically since teachers have provided verbal feedback in the screen-cast

Here are the pros and some of the cons:
PROS

  • students gets corrections and teacher’s train of thought at the same time
  • saves time as it requires fewer conferences about the assignment
  • makes the grading process transparent
  • helps students understand how a teacher grades

CONS

  • requires a permanent set-up restricting the teacher to one grading area
  • requires additional equipment in the form of a decent webcam that would be good enough to show the corrections clearly
  • puts added stress on the process as teacher is always “live”… sure things can be edited later
  • how many kids would take the time to watch a 15 minute video of their essay being graded and discussed? in face-to-face meetings, they at least have to listen
  • 60-100 videos to upload to a server depending in how many students you have
  • a system needs to be in place to secure the graded works for the privacy of the students

Although I love the concept in theory, in practice it is a lot less practical. A good alternative would be to do as one of my colleague’s does – fire up the ol’ laptop and record your voice making comments about the essay/paper/project and upload. The comments are fresh and will come out quick and on point.

What do you think? Chime in and let us know how you feel about recording the grading process?

Class DoJo – A review

I know classroom management kung fu

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Have you ever had a student who disrupts your class and you just want to walk over and karate chop them right in the face? Well Class Dojo won’t be able to help you with that. What it will help you with is tracking in-class behavior (both good and bad) and a way to give that feedback in a handsome looking report. Class Dojo is free for the time being (hooray) and is very easy to use (hooray again), but I have some issues with the software (at least the way they want us to use it) and while I’m still recommending it, I do have some thoughts on the matter. Read on past the break to see if your classroom management kung fu can be improved with Class Dojo.

Continue reading “Class DoJo – A review”

Online presentations – REDEMPTION!

On the right track!

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Back in January I explained my woes I had with Google Presentations (apart of Google Docs) and how horrible it went due to all the technical difficulties. Read the post and the comments here. At that time, I swore I would leave Google Docs and give Zoho a try, which is what I did, but I didn’t just stop there-oh no! I went further and threw Prezi in the mix since they added a collaborative component. Now everything didn’t go super smoothly, but it went well enough. Read on pas the break to see how my love of online collaboration was rekindled.

Continue reading “Online presentations – REDEMPTION!”

Educational iPhone apps

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iPhone apps – May style

Well here’s that monthly installment everyone’s been waiting for. We’ve got timelines, video and a science apps and more fun for your iDevice. Oh, this month, they’re all free, so no excuses. Remember, your iPhone, just isn’t to impress your students and colleagues. You can also use it as a teaching companion and a source of information for students and yourself, so read on past the break to see what you’ve been missing.

Continue reading “Educational iPhone apps”

Back Channel Chat – FIGHT!

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There is a ever growing divide when it comes to teachers using back-channel chat. Check out this New York Times article and a response on Gizmodo. Before we get into the specifics of the fight and what I think about it, let’s explain what a “back-channel chat” is. It is basically a chat room that is closed or monitored by a teacher. Sounds harmless enough, so what’s the problem? It boils down to should teachers use it in class during instruction or discussions. Most teachers are against this, and so am I to an extent. Click on past the break to see why I think this is a not a good idea and I have evidence that supports it too.

Continue reading “Back Channel Chat – FIGHT!”

Tiki-Toki – The review


For all of our devoted readers out there, you may notice that Tiki-Toki was not originally part of our timeline review extravaganza, but they reached out to us through Twitter and asked if we could review them. I am glad that we did. Tiki-Toki is a new service that makes beautiful timelines. By far their timelines set a new standard of what a timeline can and should look like. Go ahead and check out the video of mine here:

Tiki-Toki also works a bit differently than its competition, and while not everything is silky smooth like Dipity, I still think it is worth your time. So read on past the break to see all Tiki-Toki details.

Continue reading “Tiki-Toki – The review”