Dropbox

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Posted by kellymbruce | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on August 21, 2011

Hello Everyone!

Another handy thing that I wanted to share with everyone today is “dropbox”. I use it all the time and find it so useful!

Dropbox is particularly useful if you use two computers and need to share files between the two and don’t have a USB – a handy tool for the classroom because students can’t have the excuse of not having a USB.

I use it to link my iPad and my laptop but it can be useful for many more things. One major advantage is that if you forget your laptop at home you can still access all your files on the website. Although, I do think the computer needs to have dropbox installed to view the files. This may be a small disadvantage and it is a question that I’m yet to figure out, so if anyone knows please tell me!

Dropbox is easy to set up and after you install it on your computer or download the app it gets even easier!!

Another major advantage is that it is VERY easy to use. I will go through some of the features of it now for you.

Adding Files to your Dropbox from your Laptop

You can either upload documents from the website and select your files.

Or you can directly save from your word document.

After you save the file, it automatically saves to your dropbox and updates all of your devices. As you can see in the following images and the image above. I saved “Case Study” directly from Microsoft Word on my laptop and it added it to the Dropbox website in my account and also to the Dropbox App on my iPad.

So that is a basic run down of how to add and save files to your dropbox!

Dropbox for the Classroom

The main reason for this blog was to talk about the implications for the classroom and how Dropbox can be used in an effective way for students and teachers!

The best part about Dropbox, and I am excited to explore this option in the classroom is being able to share files between people. While you can save things privately you can also share them. This will be awesome for the classroom as teachers can send students worksheets, assignments etc and they can’t lose it. Students can also upload their own work and send it to the teacher this way – rather than worrying about them printing it out or handing over a USB.

By having Dropbox you can ensure your students always have the information they need and if you do give them a printout and they lose it, they can go back to Dropbox and get the printout – you won’t have to worry about carrying spares with you!

Does anyone use something similar or do use Dropbox and have any other ideas/information that I haven’t talked about here? I would be very interested to hear your thoughts!

Back at Uni….

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Posted by kellymbruce | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on August 17, 2011

So I’ve just finished teaching rounds and have gone back to uni this week…

I already miss being in the classroom and my students haha

Did anyone else recently have teaching rounds? How did you go?

I also had a question to any 4th years, or anyone really, who might have a good idea for creating their portfolio?? I am struggling to think of an innovative way to create it…

Hope everyone is going well!!!

Schools Need to Change

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Posted by kellymbruce | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on August 13, 2011

Having recently completed by second last lot of rounds, and having become truly excited to become a teacher I really feel like it is my duty and responsibility as a teacher to facilitate a student’s learning in whichever way possible.

I recently watched this video on Sir Ken Robinson’s ideas…

 

If you watch it, please tell me what you think. Other than the animation being awesome and entertaining, it really shed some light on a few issues that our current education system has and I will list some of them that are particularly frustrating to me.

1. The way we send our students through school in year levels, stamping their abilities based on their ages.

2. The only learning environment available to us in the classroom setting. Even though this is slowly starting to change I believe it needs to happen faster.

3. Sir Kin Robinson raises some ideas on Divergent Thinking and how education actually quashes this rather than embraces it.

4. Standardised Testing…

5. Everything is separated – maths, science, history, english.

6. We are very quick to think a student has a learning problem or something like ADD if they aren’t interested in the stuff in class.

 

These are just a few to begin with but I really do find it unbelievable how we can just let our students sit in class and willingly know they are bored and unmotivated. As teachers we have the power to change this. I know that I can’t go in to a school and change the curriculum but I am almost sure that we can change the way we teach to make the curriculum more accessible to students.

This is where I think technology plays a very big part. I think it really can be as simple as implementing the tools readily available to us at the touch of a button to help students learn.

It doesn’t even have to be just technology – students should have a choice in the way they learn things and they should have an input in to the way the classroom is run. I know that this sounds ideal and perhaps a little naive but I do think that with a fair amount of work it can be done, as a teacher you just have to be motivated.

I am very interested to know what people think about this?

Criticisms?
Ideas to add?
Techniques?

 

Diigoooooo

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Posted by kellymbruce | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on August 13, 2011

Today I have started discovering Diigo…

What do you guys think? I am loving it so far…

Would you use Diigo in the classroom, or is it just for your own personal use?

Again, I am very interested in the iPad functionality of Diigo and have been checking it. Can’t wait to download it and let you know how it goes.

The thing I love about Diigo is how easy it is to use. After you download the extension and it comes up in your toolbar, it is so damn simple! I can highlight, bookmark or sticky note anything!

This is an example of what Diigo looks like once you have started collecting your information from the internet

One is a YouTube video that I bookmarked but the one that has the title “School’s Ponder if an Apple a Day Keeps the Ignorance at Bay” is an article from the age that I have looked at. It shows that I have written a description of what the article is about and have also made several highlights.

The thing I really like is that you can highlight in different colours which meant if you wanted to get super organised, each colour could mean a different thing!

How do you think you could use Diigo in the classroom??

I thought about it in the English classroom setting and studying “Persuasive Techniques” The students could search for opinion pieces and then highlight the articles with different colours for different Persuasive Techniques or something similar.

Any other ideas? I am interested to hear 🙂

Google Reader

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Posted by kellymbruce | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on August 13, 2011

Google Reader is an awesome tool and I can’t believe I knew nothing about it, I feel like a loser.

I am loving that you can add notes to your feeds, organise them in to folders and that it even recommends feeds for you!

Good on google reader 🙂

I was also interested in seeing what it would be like to have google reader on the iPad so I have done a bit of research on YouTube and the such to try and see if it would be worth downloading the google reader app…

 

While the YouTube video is a little dry, you can see that using Google Reader with the iPad can be very fun and useful, something in which I will try very very soon!

Pixton and the Classroom

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Posted by kellymbruce | Posted in Ideas for the Classroom | Posted on August 13, 2011

After reading heaps of blogs by all the other EST430 students, I have had lots of inspiration. One thing I found particularly interesting was the ability to create comics on Pixton.

I think using this in the classroom can be extremely helpful.

It is very easy to sign up to by going to pixton.com and following the prompts.

History is my other method and I believe that creating comics to show a series of events could be very beneficial as an assessment task or even just as a task to grasp some difficult historical events.

Edmodo Features

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Posted by kellymbruce | Posted in Edmodo | Posted on August 13, 2011

Exploring Edmodo Features

The Library feature is a good  tool to use in the classroom for giving students worksheets, information or assignments.

I found it very easy to add files to the library and you can see the process here:

 

Edmodo in the classroom…

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Posted by kellymbruce | Posted in Edmodo | Posted on August 11, 2011

I have been thinking of ways I can use Edmodo in the classroom and I am VERY excited…

As I am an English teacher and I strongly believe that students need to be engaged, and one of the ways in which students are ALWAYS engaged is in using technology, I feel using Edmodo in the classroom could be a great tool.

IDEA NUMBER ONE:
The first idea that came to mind is using Edmodo to study english texts…

The Edmodo Library would be a perfect tool to help students study a text!

Being able to add documents, pictures and links to websites is so useful as this eliminates things such as writing out notes and losing them. This is just one example though!

Students could also share their notes on characters, themes etc with other students, post important quotes and interact and discuss with each other

Doing activities like this would hopefully engage them because I truly feel as though students these days spent 80% of their lives online and in the English classroom, when you try to pull them away from this it is like trying to pull out a tooth. However, this could be eliminated as students can interact and interface without having to move away from their beloved computer!

This could also be a big benefit for the students who are too shy to share their input in class. This way, people can share their ideas without being ridiculed or embarrassed by saying the ever so infamous “wrong thing”

 

IDEA NUMBER TWO
The features on Edmodo are a great way for students to do assignments…

Students would be able to work in groups and do group tasks and not have to worry about the ever so popular “I lost my USB…” “My partner isn’t here today…” (which are popular excuses for group work). All they need is to be able to upload their information on to Edmodo and away we go!

Obviously, the “Assignment” feature is really awesome as it allows students to see the current assignment and know when it is due. If students still don’t notice this, they can be reminded by “Alerts” and posts from other students.

This can be a great site to communicate with each other and ask any questions they may have to each other!

Edmodo and iPad

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Posted by kellymbruce | Posted in Edmodo | Posted on August 11, 2011

Today I decided to use Edmodo on my iPad.

After downloading the app, I logged on and had a play around, trying to find some useful tools for students in the classroom and well hell, me myself!

Obviously, there is the simplicity of typing a post to the people in your group…

There is also the feature to “bump” your iPad’s together, to share contact information. I found this quite useful as, after attending a meeting at Ashwood Secondary College, heard that there was a possibility for an introduction of iPad’s in the classroom. This way, Edmodo could be used in the classroom in a fun and creative way!

Most of the features of Edmodo on a web browser is featured on the iPad, so if students had the opportunity it would be a great idea to use Edmodo in the classroom.

This has sparked many ideas in my mind about how to use Edmodo in the classroom, which you can find in my next post…

 

 

 

 

Hello World!

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Posted by kellymbruce | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on August 11, 2011

My name is Kelly Bruce.

I am currently in my final year of secondary education at Deakin University.

I am currently doing rounds at Ashwood College which I am LOVING.

I recently spent 4 weeks in Vietnam and Cambodia and absolutely loved it. They are both amazing countries and I am obsessed with them 🙂

Hopefully I can post up some pictures soon! I also volunteered in a school while I was over there, only for a few days, but genuinely loved it and teaching overseas is something I definitely want to do. Even though technology may be something a little out of depth for countries like Cambodia and Vietnam, I feel as though if people really got around the idea, using technology in countries like these would be highly beneficial to them. Rather than having to spend money on text books, writing books, pens, pencils etc, I really feel that technology could be a very good avenue for these students.

I look forward to this unit and hope that it will teach me many things (which I am sure it will)

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