I’ve looked at clouds from both sides now
From up and down, and still somehow
It’s cloud illusions I recall
I really don’t know clouds at all
Cloud illusions: using the imagination to envision cloud dragons, dogs, elephants, faces. Now we imagine apps in clouds, yikes! My first “cloud” search returned this result: cloud manufacturing. What?! How to make clouds was part of the first grade science curriculum when my teaching career began many years ago. Of course info on cloud manufacturing sent me off on a cybermethodolgy tangent. Then, the morning news sent me down another path researching cyber warfare: Cloud Computing Brings Cyber Warfare and Cyber Attacks.
Finally, after all my curiosities were satiated, it was time to focus on the task at hand, not clouds, but the tools therein, for managing and delivering feedback to students. Some suggestions came from the twitter sessions:
- “Show Me app is a cloud app. Students and teachers share video tutorials. I use it for formative assessments in math religiously.” Chris Carlson @thelearningcube.
- Also looked at Voice Thread as per the tweet suggestions of the same night (Thursday, 2/7)
- http://www.myschoolnotebook.com/ was suggested by another diffimoocher.
- Learned about screenshots (cmd-shift-3 or cmd-shift 4 to select what you want to screen shoot on a mac) via tweets from Colin and Chip, and subsequently how to insert the shots into Word Docs.
- Reflector app was referred to, but have not investigated it yet, although I think I know what it does.
Looking at other sites and suggestions from Dr. Graham’s resources, I learned how some students use Evernote in this wonderful summary:
This is what a day looks like … I use Evernote to review my notes before going to class. At class, I take notes. If there is a paper handout, I snap a photo of it during class and annotate it with Penultimate or Skitch, then save it to Evernote. If the professor is saying or drawing something that is specifically important, I would record audio or snap a photo respectively. When I get home, I may read some articles in Flipboard, and then save them into my Evernote notebook that fits the subject. I might watch a video on Khan Academy and take screenshots of important moments in the video. Afterwards, I will take notes on the video and insert those screenshots for visual memory. In addition to all of this, I keep all my files in Evernote. All of my paper documents, I scan at home right into Evernote. All of my digital docs are always in Evernote. So I have one place to search for everything. Great!
Besides these suggestions, I looked at the offerings for the cloud by Dell, Microsoft, Apple icloud (of course), Lenovo, AWS (Amazon Web Service offers a cloud too), Adobe, and of course Google.
Here’s what I gathered into my learning nest from the #diffimooc Connectivist Daily:
Bon Stewart defines my circuitous learning path so well:
Part of the problem is filtering: I’ve realized recently that in my dissertation work I’ve failed, so far, to build a robust framework through which I can filter the seven hundred vaguely-related-to-the-Internet-and-learning-and-identities ideas that I encounter out here every day in my brilliant network. I meander in circles, fumbling to re-word and re-work things, trying to translate or adapt concepts I encounter and figure out whether they fit into the big picture of what we’re doing out here in this world of networked practice. Sometimes they do. Often they are rabbit holes. Seldom can I tell the difference in advance.
I read a powerful blog post on Technological determinism, much of which I could relate to. Managed to fit the concept into my schema by summarizing:
Bon Stewart, the author, purports that determinists believe technology gives us the solutions, not the users. Stewart refutes the determinist concept as faulty, reasoning it is the human connections enabled by technology that gives us solutions, not, for example, the app itself. Says the author, it is important that we “being able to recognize technological determinism and address it directly might give those of us who find value in networked connections and connected learning an important tool for building better conversations about this, and therefore better connections.”
Went to check out a link from #etmooc Erin about Wordle. Exceeded my computer knowledge when a pop-up said I had to have Java, so I stopped. Without spending hours and hours, I tried to figure out how to use the blog post option in Microsoft Word, but gave up on this and went back to plan A: paste a doc into new post. I’m such a wimpy techie.
Took a look at the Best Ipad Apps for Classroom Video Production suggestions, and book marked them for future reference.
Because I’m not much for the being center of attention, don’t like to speak before crowds, don’t like to have my picture taken, much less broadcast, and I’m sure my thoughts will really have no effect on the universe, I’m not sure I have the personality for being a blogger. Hoping to find some empathy at this site, I make them blog, but do they want to? , but did not. However, the rhizomatic learning twisted around and around resulting in gathering some ideas to effectively use blogs with students. A comment from another struck a chord regarding connectivist learning and moocs: I am not just learning HOW to connect by WHY connect. Next link took me to a wonderful essay, Let’s Stop Talking about Teaching with Technology, and Start Talking about Teaching, where I studied this graphic and stellar gem of wisdom:
The basic work of teaching has not changed. Teachers still collaborate, still communicate, still find and share resources, still manage student behavior, still deliver content, and still assess students.
The difference is that we now have more tools and resources to improve our efficiency.
- Cloud computing is nothing more than finding a more efficient way to collaborate with students and staff
- Content managements systems are nothing more than finding a more efficient way to communicate with students and parents
- Personal learning networks are nothing more than finding a more efficient way to find and share resources
- Behavior management software is nothing more than finding a more efficient way to give formative feedback of soft skills and track student behavior
- Flipped classrooms are nothing more than finding a more efficient way to deliver direct content
- Electronic portfolios and digital quizzes are nothing more than finding a more efficient way to assess student knowledge
Am I connected with the above people? Not really. Am I learning from them? Absolutely. Ultimately, will I use the cloud resources the district uses? Probably. Why? Even though I believe it is better to teach five ways to communicate one thought than one way to communicate five thoughts, standardizing for students and parents, simplifies the task of being a connected learning community.