Thursday, 23 October 2014

Writeable surfaces

I love our new desks! And Idea Paint walls!

Our boys are enjoying write-able surfaces in Biology laboratories and our resource centre. They find it much easier and more productive being able to make quick and easy changes and then use their phones / tablets to photograph the final product. They also enjoy making notes while the teacher is talking, or using the surfaces in collaborative work. Another class used the desks to jot down answers during a discussion.

I asked the boys what they enjoyed about working this way and why it was 'way cooler' and 'free-er' than writing on good old fashioned paper. They loved that it wasn't permanent and that mistakes could be easily corrected. 

Friday, 17 October 2014

33 Digital Tools that all teachers should know

Sourced from Educational Technology and Mobile Learning

Every single teacher is concerned about his/ her teaching practices and the skills involved in this process. How many times have you wondered about a better way to teach the same lesson you have delivered to an earlier class? How often have you used technology to engage your students and improve their learning ? These are some recurring questions we keep regurgitating each time our teaching skills are put to the test.

It is amazing how technology has changed the whole world giving rise to new forms of education we never thought of. Our students are more digitally focused than any time before. They spend more time interacting with their mobile devices than they do with their parents or close relatives. Admittedly, this digital boom has both  positive and negative impact on our students. Lack of concentration, short attention span, distraction, visual  stimulus overload, identity theft, lack of real world socializing, privacy issues, depression, and many more are but a direct result of the growing exposure to this technology. Studies have even proved that multitasking, which some educational technology experts brag about in relation to the use of today's technology, reduces the power of our concentration to the half.  We should not, However, only look at the empty side of the cup, the other side is way bigger.

There are  actually several pluses for the use of technology in education and to try and list them  all here is way beyond the scope of this short post. Generally speaking,  no two argue over the fact that technology advantages in education ( and in our life at large ) way  outnumber  its downsides. It is thanks to technology that you are now reading this post and will probably share it with your colleagues.

There is no blinking the fact  that the type of students we teach today are completely different from last century's. We , definitely, need to look at some of the skills we, as teachers, need to equip ourselves with to better live up to the challenge. Among all the challenges we would have in education, there is not as daunting a challenge as catching students focus and getting them engaged in the learning process. For this particular reason, and in addition to the skills I initially mentioned in 21st Century Teaching Skills article, I would like to provide you  with another list of  some equally important digital skills that you, as a teacher, need to seriously consider if you want to pave the way for the 21st century teaching. I have added a list of web tools under each skill for teachers to better exploit it.

Please, remember that I have spent many laborious hours working on  this post and all I ask is a credit back to Educational Technology and Mobile Learning when re-using this content somewhere else.

The 21st century teacher should be able to :

1- Create and edit  digital audio

Here are some tools for teachers to develop this skill :
Free Audio Tools for Teachers

2- Use Social bookmarking to share resources with and between learners

Here are some tools for teachers to develop this skill : 
A List of Best Bookmarking Websites for Teachers

3- Use blogs and wikis to create online platforms for students

Here are some tools for teachers to develop this skill : 
Great Tools to Create Protected Blogs and Webpages for your Class

4- Exploit digital images for classroom use

Here are some tools for teachers to develop this skill : 
5- Use video content to engage students
Here are some tools for teachers to develop this skill : 
6- Use infographics to visually stimulate students

Here are some tools for teachers to develop this skill :
7- Use Social networking sites to connect with colleagues and grow professionally

Here are some tools for teachers to develop this skill :
8- Create and deliver asynchronous presentations and training sessions

Here are some tools for teachers to develop this skill :
A List of The Best Presentation Tools for Teachers

9- Compile a digital e-portfolio for their own development

Here are some tools for teachers to develop this skill :
Free Tools to Create Digital Portfolios 

10- Have a knowledge about online security

Here are some tools for teachers to develop this skill :
11- be able to detect plagiarized works in students assignments

Here are some tools for teachers to develop this skill :
Free Plagiarism Detector Tools fr Teachers and Educators

12- Create screen capture videos and tutorials

Here are some tools for teachers to develop this skill :
Five Great Screen Capture Tools for Teachers

13- Curate web content for classroom learning

Here are some tools for teachers to develop this skill :
10 Must have Bookmarklets for Teachers

14- Use and provide students with task management tools to organize their work and plan their learning

Here are some tools for teachers to develop this skill :
A List of Great Task Management Tools for Educators

15- Use polling software to create a real-time survey in class

Here are some tools for teachers to develop this skill :
15 Free and Easy Poll/ Survey Tools for Teachers

16- Understand issues related to copyright and fair use of online materials

Here are some tools for teachers to develop this skill :
17- Exploit  computer games for pedagogical purposes

Here are some tools for teachers to develop this skill :
18- Use digital assessment tools to create quizzes

Here are some tools for teachers to develop this skill :
Free Tools to Create and Administer Quizzes

19- Use of collaborative tools for text construction and editing

Here are some tools for teachers to develop this skill :
A List of Great Free Collaborative Tools for Educators

20- Find and evaluate authentic web based content

Here are some tools for teachers to develop this skill :
The Three Effective Ways Teachers Should Know about

21- Use of mobile devices like tablets

Here are some tools for teachers to develop this skill :
22- Identify online resources that are safe for students browsing

Here are some tools for teachers to develop this skill :
A List of Awesome Kids-safe Websites

23- Use digital tools for time management purposes

Here are some tools for teachers to develop this skill :
24- Learn about the different ways to use YouTube in your classroom

Here are some tools for teachers to develop this skill :
25- Use note taking tools to share interesting content with your students

Here are some tools for teachers to develop this skill :
26- Annotate web pages and highlight parts of text to share with your class

Here are some tools for teachers to develop this skill :
13 Free Web Annotation Tools for Teachers to Draw, Add notes, and highlight interesting parts in webpages

27- Use of online graphic organizers and printables

Here are some tools for teachers to develop this skill :
A List of Free Graphic Organizers for Educators

28- Use of online sticky notes to capture interesting ideas

Here are some tools for teachers to develop this skill :
13 Free Sticky Notes Tools for Teachers and Students

29- Use of screen casting tools to create and share tutorials

Here are some tools for teachers to develop this skill :
A List of The Best Free Screen Casting Tools for Teachers to Record and Share Tutorials

30- Exploit group text messaging tools for collaborative project work

Here are some tools for teachers to develop this skill :
9 Free Group Text Messaging for Educators

31- Conduct an effective search query with the minimum time possible

Here are some tools for teachers to develop this skill :
The Entire Google Search Guide for Teachers

32- Conduct A Research Paper Using Digital Tools

Here are some tools for teachers to develop this skill :
33- Use file sharing tools to share docs and files with students online

A List of The Best File Sharing Tools for Teachers

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Terms, Laws and Ethics For Using Copyrighted Images

We all like to use images in our presentations and projects to make them more visually appealing. We need to make sure that we correctly reference any images belonging to someone else and that we use the images according to legal and ethical standards.  Follow these links to find out more about what you can and can't do with images: copyrightfair usecreative commonsand public domain
Curtis Newbold created a useful guide and infographic to help explain the do's and don'ts. 

Friday, 25 July 2014

5 Successful BYOD Practices and Policies for the Schools

Posted By Rick Delgado On July 24, 2014 @ 7:45 am In Future of Education Technology,iPads and Other Tablet Devices,Making the case for Education Technologies,_ Miscellaneous Tools and Topics | 3 Comments

“Bring Your Own Device” Programs are Increasingly Popular in our Schools. What are the Key Factors in Successful Implementations?

Are you thinking about implementing BYOD in your school? Or have you already done so, and had to overcome some obstacles?
Businesses everywhere have been buzzing about the potential benefits that can be gained from an effective Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) program. Some companies are already seeing results, including greater productivity among the workforce and happier employees who are satisfied to be using devices they are familiar with. While BYOD continues to evolve in the business place, the movement has also been gaining momentum in education.
byod-image [2]Image Source: Secure Edge Networks Blog [2]
Many schools have 1-to-1 device programs, and requiring students to own a computer has been common on residential college campuses for years. BYOD is a natural extension of these practices. Indeed, more and more high schools and college campuses are “going BYOD”.
It should come as no surprise that 87% of college students [3] consider what an institution offers in technology when choosing a school. There seems to be little stopping the spread of BYOD, and if you are considering, or recently launched, a program it’s helpful to consider successful BYOD policies, and practices for schools.

Ensure Adequate Bandwidth/Capacity

Having potentially thousands of devices connected to the wirelessly can become a real drain on a school’s resources. That’s why every school needs to make sure their infrastructure [4] can handle the major demand that will be placed upon it. The infrastructure doesn’t just need to be capable of supporting the massive workload, it needs to be flexible to handle future growth, and reliable during peak hours of use.
If the Wi-Fi frequently fails or works poorly, students will quickly get frustrated and not only will your help desk by swamped, students will soon stop lugging their devices around, and the programs will ultimately fail.

Clearly Defined Policy

A clearly articulated and easily understood BYOD policy is essential to a successful BYOD program. Here are 11 Sample Education BYOT Policies To Help You Create Your Own [5] (BYOT, with the “T” standing for Technology, is analogous to BYOD).

Clear Communication (with Teachers, Adminstrators, Students, and Parents)

Communication with students in the classroom is of the utmost importance when it comes to BYOD. This is where the teacher needs to clearly explain the rules [6] regarding the use of the students’ devices. The rules may be set by the school, but if the teacher isn’t aware of them, and reinforcing them, they quickly become meaningless. Teachers and administrations need to be able to carefully explain what the ramifications are for breaking or bypassing the rules.
Teachers and Administrators need to be provided professional development so that they understand the potential of BYOD, what it enables them to do, and the rules and policies associated with the program. It also needs to be clear what to do when support is called for. Teachers should not be expected to be master troubleshooters – they are there to teach, not to be distracted by technical issues.
For students in K-12, parents should also be made aware of BYOD policies by way of a permission slip students have to get signed. This should help ease communication about issues when parent-teacher conferences come around.

Supplemental Devices

It’s almost a certainty that students will at some point forget their devices at home. It happens to the best of us. Other cases may exist where students’ devices break or they simply can’t afford to get one. In any of these cases, schools should have an inventory of supplementary devices [4] on hand so students without their own devices won’t be left out of the learning process.
If the same students seem to be forgetting their devices all the time, then it’s time to have a discussion with them about being more responsible, but if the occurrence is rare, having a backup device handy at all times is the perfect plan B. The ramifications for students who regularly forget devices should be clearly outlines in your BYOD policy.

Put Those Devices to use Having Students Create Content!

When it comes to using mobile devices, many students know plenty about how to consume content, but may not have much experience with creating it. If consumption is all they’re doing in the classroom, they are only achieving a fraction of their potential. A successful BYOD classroom program should place more of an emphasis on creation rather than consumption.
With all the capabilities present in today’s technology, it shouldn’t be a stretch to use it to create great content from the students’ own minds. There are plenty of great apps [7] out there for this purpose, even for studying. Some examples of these apps include Flashcard Deluxe or Quizlet, where students take the tools available and create their own materials to study the topics and assignments teachers give to them.
By giving student the chance to create on their own, they will get much more out of the learning process, and your BYOD program will be more successful.
Are you using BYOD in your schools? What works, what doesn’t?
Related Posts (if the above topic is of interest, you might want to check these out):Making BYOD Work in Schools – Three School Districts That Have Figured it OutStudent Created Content is an Exciting and Inspiring Learning Tool that Teaches Many Skills
Why Every Student Should Be In a 1:1 Classroom


About Rick Delgado [9]

Rick Delgado [10] is a tech writer interested in the latest technology trends and the enterprise storage industry.

Article printed from Emerging Education Technology:
URL to article:
URLs in this post:
[1] Image:
[2] Image:
[3] 87% of college students:!U1vdt
[4] infrastructure:
[5] 11 Sample Education BYOT Policies To Help You Create Your Own:
[6] explain the rules:
[7] great apps:
[8] Image:
[9] Rick Delgado:

[10] Rick Delgado:

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

How Games lead Kids to the Good Stuff

This blog post was written by Jordan Shapiro on 1 May 2014.

Those who still think of content as the driving force of education may not be ready for game-based learning. What do we mean by “content”? In this age of digital media, “content” is what web designers, TV producers, and media moguls talk about. Articles, TV shows, YouTube videos, photos — that’s all content. In the classroom, what we usually call content is what students have retained if teachers have met their learning objectives.

Read more >>>>

Creative game designers are building similar products in every discipline. Here’s one that’s meant to let students get intimately acquainted with the system of metabolism, to experience the metabolism process from the inside:

Twelve Good Tools for Building End-of-year Review Activities

Free Technology Tools for Teachers is a Blog written and updated by Richard Byrne.
This article was posted on the 12 May 2014.

The end of the school year will soon be upon us. This is the time of year that we think about activities that we can do to help students review the school year. At this time of the year I start to get a lot of requests for suggestions for tools to create review activities. Here are twelve good options.

  • Video-based review activities
  • Games-based review activities

Blubbr - click here to try a game about the human heart

  • Old, reliable flashcard activities
  • Quiz-based activities

Read on >>>>


Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Flipping the classroom

Flipping the classroom is the new buzz word in education but I prefer rather to use a combination of electronic material to create a blended approach that maximizes the value of teacher contact time. In this way we use technology to support the learning and teaching process. We try to articulate the course content in a uniform way so that pupils have a one stop shop - web pages that clearly lay out the content to be covered, the activities they will be engaged in, all rubric, instructions and supporting resources.

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Using Augmented Reality for Teaching - Aurasma

Taken from :

Watch this video to see how the App called Aurasma can bring your teaching and learning alive.

Aurasma uses image recognition that triggers augmented reality.

Students are using AR to make their artwork interactive, to solve complex mathematical problems, to interact with planets in the solar system by scanning an image and make their textbooks come alive.

Aurasma tutorials and webinars can be found here:

Watch this demo to see how Aurasma works.

Taken from:

Monday, 17 March 2014

14 Things that are obsolete in 21st Century Schools

Ingvi Hrannar Ă“marsson

Icelandic elementary teacher & Entrepreneur… passionate about the future of education.

Saying that it has always been this way, doesn’t count as a legitimate justification to why it should stay that way. Teacher and administrators all over the world are doing amazing things, but some of the things we are still doing, despite all the new solutions, research and ideas out there is, to put it mildly, incredible.
I’m not saying we should just make the current system better… we should change it into something else.
I have compiled a list of 14 things that are obsolete in 21st century schools and it is my hope that this will inspire lively discussions about the future of education.
Read more.....

Thursday, 27 February 2014

Cyber Savvy - things Parents, Pupils and Teachers should be aware of

Digital Citizenship is the combination of technical and social skills that equip people to live and work in our  highly technical, modern world. Digital literacy is an essential component in raising confident, connected, and actively involved life long learners.

The below site provides some useful links to things we may already understand but may need more information about

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Exciting Teaching and Learning Approaches to use in 2014 by Kelly Walsh

This article is taken from the Emerging EdTech website.

The Future of Technology Integration in Instruction Lies in Engaging and Empowering Teaching Methods Like These.

As we head into this new year I’m excited about the many instructional means and methods that educators are using technology to facilitate in 2014′s classrooms (both physical and virtual!). As the 2nd decade of the 21st century rolls along, the scales are undoubtedly tilting further in favor of embracing the benefits that technology can bring to instruction, and away from frustration and resistance.
Technology empowered approaches to teaching and learning graphic
Let’s explore some of the powerful instructional approaches that technology is helping to make possible, or bring to a new level, in classrooms and schools across the world.
In public and private schools of all shapes and sizes the world over, inspired teachers are working with their students using different types of devices, and various methods of access, to use teaching and learning constructs like these. All of these will see expanded use in 2014 and countless students will be engaged, delighted, inspired, and successful as a result.

1. Student Created Content

The powerful moment when a student shows you something they made for an assignment – a persuasive presentation, a digital booklet, an animated report, a video they shot – is tremendously rewarding. The things that just about anyone with a little time, patience, and access can do with the today’s digital tools are pretty incredible.
Think about what students learn and experience when they create their own digital content. They often have to access and curate materials and put together a flow or layout. They have to delve into the subject that they are creating the content about and learn the application they’re using to create it. When they are done and they share their work, their sense of accomplishment and purpose can be a beautiful thing to behold. And they can experience it over and over again as they share their work with others!

2. Collaborative Learning

Working collaboratively is a vital 21st century skill – most workers need to collaborate to some extent or another at points in their work lives. Our ability to collaborate via digital tools expands every day thanks to a seemingly endless array of Internet based applications that enable us to do things like edit documents as a team, communicate face-to-face no matter where we are, use interactive whiteboards that allow for simultaneous edits, and so on. Digital collaboration in learning activities is not only a fun, engaging way to learn, it opens up possibilities that haven’t existed before, and prepares students for success in the evolving work place.

3. Active Learning

While everyone has their own learning style, there is no arguing that applying what you learn – doing something with it – helps to iron out the kinks and reinforce learning, no matter what your fundamental learning style is. Isn’t that much of what Active Learning is about? Whatever types of active learning you pursue (Project Based, Experiential, Constructivist, Experiential, etc.), there are countless free tools available to today’s student and educators via the Internet that can be used in active learning class work and assignments. Get engaged, have fun, and create something while you apply what you are learning!

4. Personal Learning Networks

While the PLN would seem better suited towards older students, the fact is that when kids engage with each other via social media sites like Instagram or Snapchat, they are using and evolving their own Personal Learning Network. The idea of taking this to a higher level by purposely curating knowledgeable experts in fields of interest should be encouraged as students work through high school and even more so throughout their higher education experience. Combining the ease of access via the Internet with the wealth of available expertise and the fundamental concept of ‘networking’ makes today’s PLNs rich with rewarding, interactive learning and collaborating possibilities. Teachers are benefiting more from Personal Learning Networks every day as well.

5. Mobile Learning

Mobile Learning has never been more ubiquitous and empowering than it is today. As the world’s population embraces the power, availability, and wide spread use of the smart phone, the tablet, and emerging devices like Google Glass and other wearable technology, we have information at our fingertips (and other sensory interfaces) in ways barely imaginable in the past. Teachers and students are benefiting from this every day, and it is encouraging to know that when educators create digital content, the likelihood of it being available to a student any time, any where is very high.

6. Competency Based Learning

How cool is this? If you can prove that you know something, you can get credit for it, and move on to a higher order of learning! Adaptive learning technologies have made competency based learning one of the most exciting evolutionary steps in the learning process, and the awarding of credentials, in centuries. This concept can be applied in day to day learning using a growing array of adaptive learning tools like Moby Max. How the concept will be applied to degree completion is being vetted at a higher level by forward thinking higher education institutions like Western Governors University, while the US DOE and regional accreditors wrestle with how competency based learning will fit in with accepted institutional accreditation practices.

7. Social Learning

Bandura’s Social Learning Theory posits that “people learn from one another, via observation, imitation, and modeling”. This holds for digital networking as it does for traditional face-to-face social interactions. Many of today’s digital learning tools and techniques incorporate a social element. While we want all students to develop the confidence to speak up in front of others, being able to ‘raise a hand’ via digital communications can be a first step for the shyest of students. Additionally, while we need to continue to emphasize to our students the importance of direct human contact, it’s hard to deny that the reach of Internet empowered social networking is pretty amazing. You can tap into leaders in every industry, and easily connect with countless professionals in any field. The learning and sharing opportunities are endless.

8. Flipped Teaching and Learning

This targeted use of blended learning techniques has been gaining steam in the media this year, with new stories almost every day about teachers and schools who are trying it out. Flipped instruction has so many potential benefits, it just makes sense. Hopefully educators continue to embrace it and brush off the unfortunate tendency the media has to try and paint new ideas as nothing more than ‘trends’. Flipped teaching really isn’t a new idea – it’s a repacking and relabeling of many existing known and accepted teaching methods and ideas, and that’s a good thing.


Kelly Walsh is Chief Information Officer, and an adjunct faculty member, at The College of Westchester in White Plains, NY and is the founder and author of As an education technology advocate, he frequently delivers presentations on a variety of related topics at schools and conferences across the U.S.