Ran across this post on an AT blog from the Virginia Department of Education about iPad orientation locking. iPads are becoming more and more popular in the classroom setting. However, I see some students struggle when it comes to holding them. If tilted just a little too much in one direction or the other, the orientation changes (this is super frustrating if you have ever tried using one while laying down). To change this setting, simply flip the screen orientation lock switch on the side of the device by the volume button see image below (from tothepc.com).
I like this post from Marc Rosenberg on Learning Solutions Magazine’s website. It covers a topic that I think about often when delivering training in schools. Specifically, does technology help with effective instruction in schools? I like to think that it does, but only if it is used appropriately. This seems to be what the article suggests and Marc offers 8 suggestions that you (the parent, the business person, the techie teacher, etc…) can do to help.
A colleague and I have been saying for some time now that cool technology + poor instruction = poor academic outcomes (and lots of wasted money). How do we overcome this? First, we need to make sure teachers are trained and armed with tons of research based teaching strategies. Only then can we expect them to use the strategies with technology.
Once we are sure educators are comfortable with the strategies, we start to slowly introduce new technology. When I say introduce, I do not mean hook a smartboard up in the classroom and leave. I mean start with one piece of technology (like a smartboard), train the teacher how to use the technology, then how to integrate it with the instructional strategies. Be sure to give adequate time to practice and follow up with them on a weekly basis to ensure it is working out. Once this piece of technology is mastered, consider introducing something new.
This isn’t rocket science, but I can’t count the number of “smart” classrooms I’ve come across over the last couple of years. These classrooms have the latest technology, but few know how to use any of it and even fewer understand how to integrate it with sound instructional strategies. And this is not a knock on teachers. If they are not trained appropriately, how can we expect them to use it effectively?
I just ran across a blog post, that referenced yet another blog post listing 20 Free Video Sites. Many of you are probably familiar with the majority of these (YouTube, TeacherTube, iTunesU, etc…) but there were a couple I had not heard of before. You find the blog post here: http://blog.curriki.org/2010/07/13/watch-and-learn/
I just installed WPtouch iPhone Theme on my blog. Basically, now you can browse to my blog on your mobile smartphone (iphone, adroid phones, etc…) and see a very user friendly mobile version. I tested it on my iPhone and it seems to work well. If anyone experiences any problems please let me know.