Thursday, September 29, 2011

UEN Professional Development Course Title Survey

UEN is involved in a remodel of our classes help us out by completing the survey below

Monday, September 19, 2011

Don't go quietly into the classroom

I am in an online course and this was part of the week's materials. It's pretty great.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Wednesday Web of the Week: UEN Constitution Day

Web Address:

Next week is the official Constitution week.  UEN has gathered websites, lesson plans, even books and videos.  Resources are arranged according to grade levels.  Give us your thoughts on how you are using the resources in your classroom.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Tech Tip Tuesday: Gadgets and Gizmos #3 in a series

Last week we talked about the Kobo eReader and before that the Kindle.  Both are great little readers, but this week we will depart from the eReaders and talk about something else. The iPod 4th generation.  The very first iPod touch was a pretty cool device and they are still pretty cool.  An excellent audio and video player but with apps it's much much more than that calendaring, email, alarm clock, just about anything you want to do "There's an App for that"

The 4th generation iPod added some excellent features. By adding a front facing and rear facing camera the iPod touch has become a creative device.  The latest versions of Keynote, Number and Pages are compatible on the iPod.  This means you can create spreadsheets, presentations and text documents.  Of course the screen size is pretty small still and that makes the iPod

touch to use as your only device. One thing that makes the iPod even more useful is a full-size keyboard. There are a couple of option for achieving this.  the iPad keyboard dock is compatible with the iPod which makes creating content on the iPod a lot easier.  Another option is a iPod compatible dock and wireless Bluetooth keyboard.  With the added cameras on this latest iPod touch you can also use iMovie to create, edit, and share movies.  The argument has often been that these iOS devices are consumptive devices and not creative devices, but these latest updates to both the hardware and the software allow the iPod touch to make that jump and become a truly creative device.

Of course since it is also app enabled you can also still consume all your favorite media, including ePub books available from the Pioneer Library

Monday, September 12, 2011

Thoughts on Emotional Learning

I am currently enrolled in a course to prepare me to facilitate online courses. Ironinc since I have been facilitating and creating them for 3 years, but this weeks reading was particularly relevant and let me revisit an old friend: Don Norman.

A phrase from our reading this week struck me as very pertinent. The article entitled Guidelines for Working with Adult Learners had a section called: Creating an effective Adult Learning Environment. The phrase that was powerful to me was, "Developing an atmosphere in which adults feel both safe and challenged should be the goal" This phrase reminded me of a TED Talk by Don Norman. Now, Don Norman is a designer. A designer of physical things, but his insights into what makes education work are really some of the best. The portion relevant to this class begins at about 4:30 seconds but you may want to watch the whole thing.

This in turn reminded me of some of the interesting things about learning that we need to remember. Most of us have experienced some event of heightened stress, a car crash, a near accident, something. One of two almost completely different things can happen. We either have a heightened clarity and remarkable recall of the event or...we can't remember any detail. Marines are often trained under the highest levels of stress in order to help them make decision despite the stress and to help them be able to analyze a situation, evaluate their option and then act. This flies in the face of a lot of modern educational practice of keeping the classroom completely free of anxiety. The quote from the above listed article seems to encourage a healthy balance. I say let's look for that balance in the online environment too. Some mix of high stakes and safety nets that allow us to push ourselves without paralyzing fear of failure.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Tech Tip Tuesday: Gadget and Gizmos #2 in a series

Last week we reviewed the Amazon Kindle for you and this week we are continuing the pattern. The Kobo has a lot in common with Kindle.  Both use eInk technology which gives you a paper crisp contrast and virtually no glare, just like a paper book.  Both have capacity to carry lots of books.  But where the differences start are when  you buy books.  Kobo has it's own online eBook store.  You can shop, purchase and download books from the store or you can purchase directly on your Wi-Fi enabled device.  One piece of trouble with the device is the interface. There are only 4 buttons on the side, a power switch and the navigation pad.  The Navigation pad allows for movement around the screen, but the lack of a keyboard means you have a virtual keyboard that must be navigated with the pad and it's a little difficult.

Big on the upside is the expansion card slot. The card allows for expansion of the onboard  1GB up to 32GB.  While 32GB is enough to store 10,000 books very few people have that many books in their personal collections.  What is more useful to me is that I can preload different collections onto different cards.  I can quickly switch out my books for my sons.  The final benefit is that the Kobo will manage PDF's as well as ePub.  This means that the Kobo is compatible with the ebooks available from the Pioneer Library via OverDrive and LearningExpress.

Welcome to Jorgie Learning

I really am learning and this blog is maintained both as a record of some of what I am doing as well as a place for me to train and teach others about creating an online presence. So please don't mind the dust. We aren't remodeling we are learning!

Visit some of my other blogs or the other blogs I find mildly entertaining for a more polished feel.