2012-02-15 Weekly IT Update

This Week:

iPads – Distributed

iBoss – Web Filtering

Hoodamath – Going, Going, Gone…

16 Apps – iPad Apps Worth Trying

Are Teachers of Tomorrow Prepared? – Innovative Technologies

6 Biggest Challenges – Educational Technology

 

iPads – Thank you to everyone who had requested and have since picked up their iPads. Due to the way replenishment funds worked out this year I was able to get a few extra which have since been snatched up. Reminder: For those that have school distributed iPads, if you have an application that you are interested in trying out please let me know and I’ll get you a redeem code for it. Please keep the requests to between $2 – 10 so that I have enough to cover the requests. And, if you need any suggestions for apps (either for general use or department specific) let me know and I’ll let you know what I’ve found.

iBoss – As you’ve probably already noticed, the web filter for the personal device network has gone active as of last week. What does this mean to you? Basically the filter will be similar to the old filter but you will have to log in and keep the window open in the background. Once you get past the initial login there should be a CONTINUE button which will do this for you. This should hopefully help with keeping logged in to a personal device for more than ½ – 1 hour at a time. It’ll be a brief growing pain but should actually benefit us in the long run. Thank you for your continued patience in the changeover as Barry Young (District) is doing his best at keeping up with the filter requests.

Hoodamath – So, in case you hadn’t noticed by now, the game site Hoodamath is now being blocked from student use. After a command decision by administration, it was determined that the site did not have enough educational value to be useful to students. For those unfamiliar with Hoodamath, it is a site with quite a few games which are supposed to hold some educational value but the majority of them have little to do with education. If you happen to see your students playing any games on the school computers, please let the Tech Department know and we’ll deal with it accordingly. Thank you for your assistance in this.

16 Apps – For those that are interested in some great apps to try, check out: http://edudemic.com/2013/02/edtech-apps-and-tools/   The site provides 16 different iPad Apps to try and I’ve actually researched or used 6 of them. Those that I have tried are pretty nice (including such apps as the iTunes U (I have my students do a project on this at the College), Haiku Deck – a great presentation tool, and Learnist – a growing site for tons and tons of resources on different topics. Take a look, I’m sure there’s something in there for you to use!

Are Teachers of Tomorrow Prepared? – For an interesting article about the state of learning about educational technology in Teacher Education Programs (TEPs), check out: http://blogs.kqed.org/mindshift/2013/02/are-teachers-of-tomorrow-prepared-to-use-innovative-tech/  It talks about the differences between educators who have been in the classroom for a long time and their feelings about education versus new teachers and their abilities straight out of college. There is more to the article than this but I felt a teaser was enough, I don’t want to spoil it for you!

6 Biggest Challenges – Edudemic has an article about the 6 Biggest Challenges of Using Educational Technology and, at least in my opinion, do a good job of narrowing it down to some of the more common hurdles. You can check out the article at: http://edudemic.com/2013/02/challenges-of-using-education-technology/  From the site: “In these six identified challenges, we seem to come back to the idea that technology for the sake of having technology is not enough; the technology needs to have a purpose for both teachers and students, and it needs to be the right choice for the institutions, teacher, and students involved.”

 

“The only man I know who behaves sensibly is my tailor; he takes my measurements anew each time he sees me. … The rest go on with their old measurements and expect me to fit them.”

–George Bernard Shaw,
Irish playwright

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