In this FTPL video, I go through how to access and use the basic features of Reflector (Teacher), a tool for broadcasting tablets and smartphones to a central screen in the classroom.
With devices becoming increasingly more common in classrooms, it is important to have a way to leverage their power constructively, and having a tool that empowers students to showcase what they are working on using this technology is a useful feather in the cap to have. There are lots of mechanisms out there for this, however, I personally quite like the ease and simplicity of Reflector.
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"Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything."
-Attributed to George Bernard Shaw
How do you decide whether or not a tool is worth using in the classroom?
I recently stumbled on a retweet from Marco Cimino which was itself a retweet from Carl Miller which was a gif of every front page from the New York Times since 1952. I found watching this to be quite mesmerising, watching the wholly text images gradually introduce images to the front page suddenly explode into being almost wholly images instead.
I feel like this front page encapsulates education's views towards video in the classroom. I remember, as a student in the nineties, getting excited as our teacher rolled in the boxy looking CRT tv on a trolley; Yes, we're watching a video now, that means we don't have to do anything.
That attitude, there is a video on which means we can switch off, was setting a low low bar about the expectations of video use in the classroom. However, it is an attitude which still prevails today. There are fewer people now who believe that, as there has been enough demonstration of effective practice around the use of video in the classroom, but it is still there.
Video is just like pencils, paper, laptops, textbooks, chalk, and science experiments; they are all simply tools and it is how we use them that determines whether or not they are an effective tool. Dismissing video as simply being a babysitting tool is to dismiss the potential to provide your students with the explicit instruction that they need, accessible whenever and wherever they need.
If you use video just as a babysitter, then yes, it is a poor tool reflecting poor practice. If, however, you use video effectively it can be incredibly powerful. The flipped learning movement is contingent on the effective use of video instruction to return class time to teachers for use in practical learning activities that take the concept or skill and apply it.
How will you effectively use video in the classroom?
In this flipped teacher professional learning video, I focus on Turbonote, a tool that allows you to annotate videos and generate PDFs from those notes. Incredibly useful as a study tool, and a tool that will potentially play a big role in flipped classrooms.
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Education Nation | Leanne Steed and Elizabeth Amvrazis - Technology – it’s time to reap its benefits
Disclosure: My attendance at Education Nation (#EduNationAu) was through a media pass provided by the conference organisers.
Leanne Steed and Elizabeth Amvrazis were presenting as a duet in the Digital Dimensions stream of Education Nation. They were speaking under a title that intrigued me. The short version, Technology – it’s time to reap its benefits, gave the impression that it would be a discussion of how technology is being used to direct and inform student learning. This session was very quick, or it felt very quick at least, and there was a lot to take in.
Leanne and Elizabeth began by having the audience stand up and move around the room to inspect a series of models of learning that they had placed on the walls. There were a large range of ideas and models, including learning as skills for work and a pastorally-driven model, amongst others. We came back together to hear Leanne and Elizabeth remind us that technology is important as teachers are now in the business of forward thinking and planning and technology is here to stay.
I had not heard this before, the age of FANG, but it made sense once it was explained. We are in an age where Facebook, Amazon, Netflix and Google dominate the online landscape and indeed, as the article from which the above image was sourced, dominate our culture. This is in stark contrast to our own lives when you consider that Netflix, the oldest of the four companies, only began in 1997, less than twenty years ago.
Leanne and Elizabeth made the point that at no point prior to this, have we referred to a temporal indicator so much that it became a buzzword. We do not see references to nineteenth-century skills in any records, nor do we see references to the need to ensure our students learn the new skills of critical or creative thinking and collaboration as if they have never been skills that anyone in the past has possessed and are recent discoveries.They questioned why the perception of education portrayed in movies and the media is still of a teacher at the front of a room with students in rows of chairs, and showed us the following video, titled A New Vision for Education.
At this point, the audience was asked to go and stand by the poster of the thinking or learning model that were examined at the start of the session which most spoke to them. This led to a brief explanation by some audience members of why they had selected the particular model, which demonstrated that there is a range of thinking in any one room and that we need to remember this in our teaching.
It was an interesting session, but I think the workshop version within The Learner would have been a better way to explore the topic due to the longer timeslot. That said, Leanne and Elizabeth did a great job of sharing their thoughts in the timeslot they had.