For those who are new to iDevices I have to give a quick information about AirPlay. AirPlay, previously known as AirTunes, is a feature in Apple products that allows streaming audio, video and photos between devices wirelessly. It was only in Apple products but Apple has licensed this software to other companies like Philips so you can find other products and software in the market that supports AirPlay. AirServer is one of those examples.
AirServer is an AirPlay receiver for Mac/PC. It allows you to receive Mirroring and other AirPlay feeds from your iOS devices or Macs running Mountain Lion. The last sentence might sound technical to you so let me rewrite it in simple English. You can project your iPhone/iPad screen onto your Mac’s screen and the streaming is simultaneous. When you do something on your iPad you see it on your Mac immediately. This is called mirroring.
So how can this be a useful tool for a teacher? If you are using an iPad I bet you had times when you need to show something on your iPad to your students and most probably you did it using a VGA cable which is not very practical. AirServer offers you a wireless solution. Plug your Mac/PC to the projector and install AirServer to your laptop and that’s all. Double tap home button on your iPad, scroll left to the very end, tab the AirServer icon and choose your laptop. A new window will appear showing your iPad’s screen. Below you can see a demonstration picture.
By the way you don’t need Apple TV to use AirServer but you have to keep in your mind that Apple can change its policies regarding AirPlay anytime. This is important because AirServer is not free of charge (but it is not expensive and highly affordable). You can find more information about this product in their website. I suggest you take a look at known issues and support sections before you start using it.
There is also another software called Reflector. It is basically the same product. I haven’t used it yet so I cannot compare them for now…
If you want to use your iPad as a remote desktop controller for your laptop then AirServer can’t help you. You need to take a look at products like Splashtop.
SOITA offers a wide variety of professional development to help teachers and administrators make the most out of their educational technology and to make them aware of new and exciting resources. If you would like to download SOITA’s complete summer schedule, click here.
Above is a list of summer professional development programs for educators gathered by eschoolnews. They highlighted some of the most prestigious and easiest-to-access opportunities around the U.S. and online to help you get started on your summer professional development adventures.
Academic conferences worldwide
You can check conferencealerts.com to find a program worldwide.
Building Learning Communities Education Conference 2013
I highly recommend this one. I had attended BLC12 last year and it was awesome. The address is http://novemberlearning.com/blc-education-conference-2013/
Every classroom time is special and unique. In 40 minutes lots of things happen in the classroom. You start your lesson by taking attendance (maybe) then continue with announcements (if there is any). After that you check homeworks which are in any form, a model of something or maybe just solutions of some questions on the notebook. When you are finished you continue with your lesson. It can be a traditional teacher centered lecture or a collaborative group work. Whichever method you use you have to remember your lesson plan and follow it. In the meantime students ask questions, you live moments which were not in the lesson plan etc. By the end of the lesson you assign homework, make additional announcements and so on.
When you look at your job in this perspective it is hard to believe how you survive a lesson right? We all have developed different methods to manage this process. Some of us took the advantage of using technology and some of us didn’t. I have recently discovered the power of iPad Mini in the classroom as a personal assistant. By the way let me inform you that this article is for classes in which students are NOT using iPads or not in a 1to1 program.
My laptop is always attached to Smartboard through a USB cable and also to the projector so I am never able to use it for extra things. I tried iPad but its size was a problem. Carrying an iPad in the classroom is not very practical for a teacher but iPad Mini is different. First of all its size makes it a perfect hand held device. Sometimes I forget that it is in my hand. Also if I have to leave the office I can easily carry it in my pocket so my internet connection, my personal notes, lesson notes (in Google Drive mainly) is always with me.
To make things perfect I installed Splashtop remote access app so I can reach my main computer, which is in the office, from anywhere. This means I carry two computers at the same time. Being able to reach your main computer from anywhere in the school is like living a dream. Words fail to describe the benefits of it.
Now you wonder how I use my iPad Mini as a personal assistant. First of all my notes, announcements, reminders all of them are recorded in it. So whenever I need to make an announcement I note it and set the reminder. During the lesson I hear a beep and that’s all. It’s not a problem for me to remember an important issue anymore.
Secondly, I use the camera to take a picture of student notes. Some of them are good solutions, comments or maybe some of them are fatal mistakes. I take the picture and share it with myself (or with the whole class) so that I can open that file through my laptop which is connected to projector. Also I use camera to record students explanations. I don’t want to carry a big camera, record whole lesson and try to cut the good parts of the lesson everyday. iPad clips are easier to handle.
Thirdly, I use it to access internet when I need to. Sometimes students ask questions which require a little search. Instead of postponing the answer I use my iPad Mini which is always on my palm to make that search. I don’t need to pause the lesson to use my laptop.
Fourthly, I use math apps to demonstrate things. Actually I don’t want to write anything about how I do it because it is obvious.
Last but not least I use Splashtop app to control my laptop. I can use my laptop however I want from any corner of the classroom. This is a life saver feature. Think about it, you are walking around the class and a student asks something and you have to go to the board or your computer because you need to write something to answer the question. With my iPad Mini and Splashtop app I don’t need to do that anymore. I write on my iPad and it is instantly on the board.
I have discovered a new app called Vine. It is basically a video sharing app. You create a video using the camera of your device and simply share it. There is no need to be an expert in video rendering and converting techniques.
I wanted to try Vine and downloaded it to my iPad. I opened the app then I saw that the length of videos are limited to 6 seconds! Only 6 seconds… At first I didn’t understand the reason of this limitation except the obvious one: videos take too much hard disk space and it is not practical to upload long videos through apps. But still why 6 seconds? The answer was hidden in another question. Why are we limited to 140 characters in twitter? Whatever the reasons are same things apply here too.
Below you can see an article about Vine in education. I found it very informative so I share it with you.
And this is my first Vine video vine.co/v/bEDMXhzxqgT
Google introduced a very cool feature to its Google+ on May 1st which will enable you to get remote access to the person’s computer you are having a hangout session. Of course with that person’s consent!
Especially if you are known as a geek, your friends, colleagues and even parents expect you to solve or help with their computer related problems. It could be a simple Excel sheet problem or installing a program.
With Google+ new Remote Desktop feature, you can easily get control of the remote computer and can assist your friends and be their hero! You don’t have to use a third party software like LogMeIn, GoToMyPC or Teamviewer software anymore. Just start a Google hangouts session and then initiate the Remote Desktop feature!
In order to activate this feature, you have to add it to your Google Hangouts – just set a new Google Hangouts session and from the menu on the left, choose View more apps and then Add an app. Then Remote Desktop. That’s it!
You may start the Remote Desktop with a friend following the steps below:
1) Start the Google Hangouts. Click on Remote Desktop after your friend gets connected.
2) Click on “Help Friends name” and wait for his consent.
3) Use your mouse or touchpad to browse your friend’s desktop. You can talk and/or chat at the same time. That’s it!
At last! It is now possible to insert images into Google Forms. Below you can see a picture of an example. The only problem is Google Forms treats your picture as a new item. My expectation was something different. I was expecting to insert images to anywhere in the document, question section, answer section etc. but even in this form it is satisfying.
Click on the image to enlarge it.
Ken Robinson inspired all of us again after his latest TED Talk: How to escape education’s death valley. Ken Robinson is an international advisor on education, creativity and innovation. You may get more information from TED website.
In his last TED talk, he talked about the dropout rates in US high schools. He discussed the current setup of education and compared it with the system in Finland where the dropout rates are zero! He pointed out the key steps for the success:
- Individualized teaching and learning: The system should engage creativity
- Continuous Professional Development for teachers: He strongly pointed out that PD is not a cost; it is an investment and should be continuous.
- School level control: Government or state level control has disadvantages.
Mr.Robinson also talked about the standardized testing which does not exist in Finland and nearby countries such as Norway and Sweden. These countries have much less students compared to the US or Turkey but their models can be piloted and tested in other regions or states.
According to Mr.Robinson, teachers should be facilitators in the classrooms instead of being instructors with which I can not agree more. Flipped classroom model helps teachers to transform their classrooms and use class time for group work and collaboration.
Another TED guru Sugata Mitra visited my school, Robert College, in late April and I had a chance to talk to him about the current education system and how things are shifting in the classroom. Mr.Mitra believes that students should be given access to resources and teachers should be facilitators instead of instructors. In his model, the facilitator can be a teacher or an adult. He names it as “grandmother” method. Having someone (could be a teacher) present in the room to stand behind, to admire, to act fascinated and to praise. Then learning happens.
Ken Robinson talked about Benjamin Franklin’s human classification:
1- immovable: the ones who do not want to change (the ones who feel safe with what they are used to)
2- movable: the ones who have potential to make a change but need motivation
3- move: the ones who are open to change and act upon to make it happen!
He believes that the third group will make the REVOLUTION!
Now it’s time to think: Are you in group 3? Let’s move!
Today I am living a special day. The number of unique visitors of this blog has exceeded 10000! Yesterday I checked Google Analytics and saw that number of visits is 14000+ and unique visitors 10000+.
I want to thank you all who has contributed to this blog with their suggestions, questions and comments. I am not only using this blog to share my experiences. Don’t forget to follow me at Google+, YouTube, Twitter and LinkedIn.
Hosted by John Legend, premiered May 7, 2013 at 10/9 c on PBS.
Public television and TED, the non-profit organization devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading, share a deep commitment to addressing the high school dropout crisis. The TED Talks Education one-hour program brings together a diverse group of teachers and education advocates delivering short, high-impact talks on the theme of teaching and learning. These original TED Talks are given by thought leaders including Geoffrey Canada, Bill Gates, Rita F. Pierson, Dr. Angela Lee Duckworth and Sir Ken Robinson.
Apple Turkey has organized a meeting for educators in Ciragan Palace, Istanbul. The purpose of the meeting was to gather educators who are willing to integrate latest educational technologies into their teaching practices and demonstrate them how iPads and digital content can help them throughout the process.
The sessions started from introductory level. The first presentations were for the educators who have not used iPad in the classroom. After the introduction the group was split into two subgroups, teachers from K12 schools and teachers from universities, to conduct workshops. I think this was a good idea since the needs of two institutions are different. Although I am a high school teacher I chose the workshop for university teachers. Our facilitators were Petr Mara (@petrmara)and Jakob Steensig (@jsteensig). They introduced different apps Socrative, Nearpod, Showbie, iAnnotatePDF, iTunesU, iBook and many more. The workshop activities were mainly focused on the following ideas.
- How can iPad help us to increase the efficiency of teacher-student and student-student interaction?
- How can we increase student engagement by using iPads?
- How can we create a digital content using apps?
Classroom management was not a big issue but it was mentioned once or twice. My main concern was about the digital contents teachers created. Since there is no file management in iPads all the content created is saved within the app so if app crashes or if the developer of the app stops its support then what? I know it is not very likely but what if it happens? Luckily many apps let you archive your content so you should always remember archiving your materials and remind your students to do the same thing.
During his presentation Joe Moretti mentioned that you can use Bluetooth to connect the iPads if Wifi crashes. This is a precaution, a B plan. In my articles I had mentioned the importance of having a B plan in case of a technical problem many times.
We also had the chance to observe iPad schools in Turkey. 4 different schools made small presentations on how they use iPads and how they manage their digital content. Lots of ideas and methods were presented but one of them attracted my attention: going 100% paperless. I don’t think it is a good idea. I had written two articles about it in the past. Links are here and here.
The last presentation was made by Peter Ford (@peterford) from NoTosh. It was an awesome presentation and I will share the details in a different article asap.