Reflections of a Learning Journey and the Connections made along the way

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Devices in the Classroom

devicesConsider the question: “If I allow my students to have devices in the classroom, how can I stop them wasting time on social media?

Now consider the similar question: How do I stop my student (who I have told to put their device away) from staring into space and not taking in anything I say?”

Same answer to both questions, I reckon.  Engage them!

I was absolutely delighted to watch this weeks episode of Australian Story featuring young high school teacher Eddie Woo.  The best thing he said IMO was “take out your devices”.  But he also has his own “Woo Tube” channel where he posts recordings of all his sessions!  These are viewed by maths students from all around the world!

OK, so when you have taken that very brave step of saying “Take out your devices” how do you stop them going straight to Facebook.

The answer could be to immediately engage them in some activity which makes use of their beloved devices – “take out your devices and do………….”

There are any number of great apps which can be really engaging and useful.  Lets take some examples that relate to the courses we deliver at our RTO, Early Childhood Education and Care and Individual Support

  1. Note-taking Apps e.g. Evernote – save all your notes in one place, add pictures, audio, drawings etc.
  2. Bookmarking Apps e.g. Pocket – save a link to read later
  3. Digital Children’s book Apps – e.g. Book Creator
  4. Childcare Observation Apps – e.g. Keptme
  5. Anatomy Apps e.g. Complete Anatomy
  6. Medical Terminology and Abbreviation Apps
  7. Heart-rate Apps

Other Activities to get your students to do on their devices:

  1. Join a peak body and subscribe to newsletters
  2. Look up the meaning of an unfamiliar word
  3. Google search a particular topic
  4.  Bookmark a YouTube video or TED talk to watch for homework
  5. Engage with other students or educators on Facebook or LinkedIn
  6. Create podcasts and videos
  7. Reflective blogging

And so much more………..

Becoming a Digital Productivity Ninja

Today I am very excited to be attending a VET Development Centre Professional Development Workshop with Andrew Douch

I am apparently going to “Become a Digital Productivity Ninja”. Let the fun begin!

Andrew confesses to everyone that he used to be incredibly disorganised. How then had he managed to win some incredibly prestigious awards for innovation in education.

His explanation is that he started to use David Allen’s “Getting Things Done” principles which freed up his time to think more innovatively.

The problem is that we don’t remember what we need to do at the time we need to do it. And we do tend to remember when we can’t do anything about it eg we remember an email we need to send whilst we are driving the car.
The brain functions in such a way that it can’t let go of things because it thinks we won’t remember them later.

So we need a system that will never let us down

All very simple and logical stuff but makes so much sense

Andrew then introduced the four step process

We all know how good it feels when we are overloaded and decide to record all our jobs on a task list. Even though we are no further advanced with the projects we feel more relaxed because we know we will now remember to do everything

The next step is to process the tasks. David Allan says “You can’t do a project”. So we need to break the projects down into smaller tasks

Review is the hardest step because we need to formulate a review system that will never let us down so that we can remember what we need to remember at the time we need to remember it.

Another important lesson is that every task does not need a due date. So only allocate due dates when they are required and conduct a weekly review of all tasks.

Once we had this all straight we moved on to the really fun part of the day – exploring some of the fantastic tools freely or very cheaply available to get really organised

My new favorite tool is Toodledo to create well organised task lists. But there are many others to experiment with including Evernote, Texter, Pocket, IFTTT, Dropbox, Puretext and 1password