Thursday, 19 September 2013

Internet and technology concerns

Last night many of us attended the presentation on cyber safety at the Prep. There are many perspectives on how to deal with technology access and loads of wonderful tools to help younger children from accidentally stumbling upon unsuitable and harmful material. 

One example is Youtube Safety. Another example is K9 Browser, a safe way for your sons to browse the Internet. Mobiflock is another tool that parents may want to use. We have put together a site that addresses some of the issues around online safety and offers tips on digital citizenship. 

Parents often share with me their concerns regarding their son’s technology usage at home. My advice is always that you talk to your sons and build a trust relationship. Set the parameters - up front - about what reasonable and appropriate technology usage means in your home. One parent told me that before he gave his son his phone they had agreed that he, as the parent and technology sponsor, had the right to ask his son to make his phone / iPad / laptop available for a spot check that they would do together. It worked both for the parent who was comfortable that he had retained some control and for the son, whose privacy was respected and sense of responsibility and independence acknowledged. Do not forget that you control the Internet connection in your home! I came across the image above. Perhaps give that a try?


This site offers recommendations for Facebook setting for teenagers. Talk about what it means to have a digital profile and to think before you post.

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Andrew Fuller: Improving academic outcomes

Andrew Fuller recently presented at an ISASA conference. Andrew works with many schools and communities in Australia and internationally, specialising in the wellbeing of young people and their families. There are some resources that he has shared on his site that you may find of interest.

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Grade 8 Laptop Programme Implementation

The Grade 8 Laptop Programme is now up and running and all the Grade 8's are now using this technology in their lessons at Bishops.

Here is a copy of a news item that was sent out to all the Grade 8 parents about the laptop rollout and the type of ICT activities their sons are currently engaged in.

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

8 Classroom Apps to Use - from The Edtech Roundup - written by Michael Karlin

EduClipper - Clip Everything, Share Anything

EduClipper, also known as the "pinterest for education," is an absolutely awesome tool for collecting, sharing, and organizing digital information.  It's great for students and teachers and it can be used to create a digital bulletin board of useful links, articles, pages, and you can even upload your own documents to share.  It's incredibly easy to use and to top it all off, it's free!

    [ The Complete Roundup Review of EduClipper ]

Class Dojo - Digital Classroom Management

Class Dojo is a free classroom management app that can be used on the web, iOS, and Android devices. Within the app, you can store all of your student information and with the click of a mouse, you can easily award students negative or positive points for their behavior in class.  The app records and tracks all that behavior data so that you can view, graph, and analyze it whenever you want!  

      [ The Complete Roundup Review of Class Dojo ]

TouchCast - The Web Inside a Video

TouchCast is an awesome new iPad app that allows you to create videos with interactive web content inside of the video.  Within the videos you can integrate maps, images, links, polls, questions, and even live Twitter feeds.  Plus, it's free, fun, and incredibly simple to use.  If you've got iPads you can use in your classroom, definitely give it a try!

      [ The Complete Roundup Review of TouchCast ]

Metta - Flip Web Content into Video Lessons

Metta (formerly Soo Meta) is a web-based tool for creating flipped video lessons.  Teachers can use the tool to take images, audio, and video from their computers (or the web) and easily mix it all into a video lesson that can be sent out to students.  You even have the option to create interactive polls and questions that students can answer while they're watching the lesson!

         [ The Complete Roundup Review of Metta ]

Brickflow - Hashtag Based Slideshows

Brickflow is a web-based tool that instantly builds slideshows based on hashtags (#).  You can easily integrate content from YouTube, Instagram, Tumblr, and Twitter to create a slideshow in seconds.  And if you need to, you can also upload your own content as well, so you don't have to be connected to the social media sites.  It's a great, free tool that I think students will enjoy using!

       [ The Complete Roundup Review of Brickflow ]

Moby Max - Online Math & Language Curriculum

The only reason Moby Max isn't at the top of this list is because I don't teach English anymore, so I won't be able to use this app this fall.  But, for the Language and Math instructors out there, you should absolutely check out the site.  Moby Max is a completely free, standards-based, online curriculum that even determines exactly what indicators your students have trouble with.  It's awesome.

      [ The Complete Roundup Review of Moby Max ]

EduCade - Find, Create, and Share Lesson Plans

Despite being a relatively new resource, EduCade has a ton of free, standards-based, lesson plans to try out.  You can easily search by grade-level or subject-area to find any lesson you might need.  All the lessons come with the resources you need, a step-by-step lesson plan, and even reviews from other teachers who have tried it out.

       [ The Complete Roundup Review of Educade ]

Answer Pad - The Free Student Response System

And last, but certainly not least, The Answer Pad a free web, iOS and Android app that is perfect for the BYOD environment.  Remember "clickers," where a question would appear on the board and then the students would press their answer on a remote?  The Answer Pad takes that idea and improves on it a million times over.  If you have a BYOD policy at your school, definitely check it out.

The Complete Roundup Review of The Answer Pad ]