Monday, October 28, 2013

The World Innovation Summit On Education-#WISE13

This week (October 29-October 31) I am in Doha, Qatar, attending the WISE Summit. Folks from over 100 countries are gathered to talk about what is working in education, examine current trends and discuss how countries can work better together, to provide kids everywhere a solid education.

After the amazing experience last year, there was no question I was headed back when I was asked to return. The conference is full of some of the brightest minds and best conversations.

But you don't need to head to Doha to participate. You can add your voice to the conversation no matter where you are.

First, what is WISE?

How can you get involved?

Website: Here you will find everything WISE. When the conference gets underway you will also be able to tap into what is happening at the conference.

WISE Livestreams: You don't have to be in Doha to participate. All the major sessions are livestreamed and you can add your thoughts, ideas and reflections too.

WISE Polls: The polls are simple. Pressing questions in education are raised here. MOOCs, STEM education, data gathering, and more. The questions and responses will be shared and discusses at the summit.

WISE Infographics: Who doesn't like a great infographic? The folks at WISE have created some great ones to share. Everything from how money is spent on Education from around the world to more serious issues like the number of children who are trying to get a solid education in conflict zones. These infographics can serve as a starting point for conversations and help us see education is no just something to think about at the local level, it's a global issue.

There will be lots of discussions on Twitter too. You can follow @wise_tweets or the #WISE13 hashtag.

If this year's summit is half as good as the one last year, there is sure to be some great learning and reflections happening. I hope you can join in, no matter where you are!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Quick List of Apps For Learners And Curators

When it comes to mobile learning there are loads of great sites for apps for kids and teachers. Everything from apps organized by Revised Bloom’s Taxonomy to apps organized by grade level and subject area. It can be daunting to sort through all those apps to find the special ones for learning something new or curating information. 

What are they? Well my friend, here are my Top 10 Apps For Learners and Curators

(All of these are for iPad but you can find many, or an equivalent, in the Android Market as well)

1) Google Drive-Where would I be without Google Drive and Google Docs? Lost I am sure. My life is spent editing and creating documents, presentations and spreadsheets. And the ability to share those easily makes Google Docs my go-to app for editing, not only at the computer but on the go as well. I can edit, comment and view all my documents from this app, no matter where I am.

2) Dropbox-For those items I can’t keep in Google Docs, I use Dropbox. The app gives you access to all your files stored in the cloud so you can retrieve them, email them, view them, and show them, again, no matter where you are.

3) Adobe Ideas- You never know when a great idea is going to strike. Adobe Ideas is always at the ready to capture a drawing, sketch, list or what ever you need.

4) Pocket-I am a huge, huge fan of this app. Whenever you are reading a blog or come across a webpage that you just don’t have time to check out or don’t want to save it to your booksmarks before you have a chance to look at it, you can Pocket. Adding items to your list is easy as a checkmark in the address bar and the app gives you online and offline access to your entire list.

5) Diigo-Once you read all those saves in your pocket app, you need a way to curate them and retrieve them later. Diigo is that tool. Add to your library, tag and save. You can do everything from the app. Oh and you get the highlighter and clipping functions too. I use this one a lot from my tablets simply because I can curate anywhere I happen to be. 

6) Google Hangouts-I like having an office, because I can duck in there and shut the door and get some work done. But let's face it, out in the world is where we should be. Google Hangouts lets me untether myself from my office and have a meeting, learning session or just conversation anywhere. The ability to video chat with up to 9 other folks is a big advantage and we can document share, desktop share and more. The best part? I am mobile so I can do it from anywhere and still take part in the learning!

7) Zite-This is a Social Aggregator that takes topics you decide and pulls the most relevant stories related to those topics. They are then presenting and a pretty neat magazine format. And you can share what you read via Twitter, Facebook and email. So you can keep up with topics in education and share them with ease.

8) Google Translate-In many of our schools English might not be the main language spoken. The Google Translate app is great for helping to break the language barrier with students and staff and you can put in text and get instant translations for emails and documents. And, you might just be able to teach yourself too. 

9) TED-These are inspiring talks given from some of the brightest minds on the planet. This app gives you access to the entire directory. You can use the TED talks build morale and challenge the thinking of your staff and students.

10) Dragon Dictation-Let’s face it, sometimes typing on the iPad can be challenging. Dragon Dictation does it all for you. Using the built-in mic you can dictate memos, documents, blog posts and more.

There are loads more apps out there for all different sorts of uses. Check out this post to learn more about how you can get more mileage out of your mobile learning device. 

What are your favorite apps for learning and curating. Leave some suggestions in the comments below!

photo credit: Kalexanderson via photopin cc

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Anytime, Anywhere Learning #CE13

Picture it.

Your feet up.

Computer/table/whatever Internet-connected device you have in front of you.

Snacks handy.

You are ready.

The world (and learning) at your fingertips.

October marks Connected Educator Month. The idea is to help more educators look beyond the walls of the classroom and look to the brilliance of others to learn from and learn with. (Want to learn more? Read this.)

 In the spirit of CEM I wanted to highlight just a few of the free, learning opportunities happening...

Connected Educator Month Events-This month is full of activities put on by many different organizations. The CEM Events calendar is the place to visit if you want to join a virtual book club, find a Twitter chat or see what sorts of other virtual learning events are happening. There is so much to do. In fact there are events every single day. Some lasting only small amounts of time so you really can learn anywhere, any time.

2013 Reform Symposium (RSCON)- You couldn't ask for a better put on event. Starting Oct 11 and running almost 24 hrs a day for 3 days, this online conference features folks like Sugata Mitra, John Spencer, Chris Lehmann and many, many more. There are individual sessions and lots of smart panels too. (Including one that I am on talking about Transforming Education with Technology.Although I don't know how smart I am.) So many learning opportunities, you really do have to check it out to see just how awesome it is.

Library 2.0 Virtual Conference-While this one may not seem like its for everyone, secretly, it really is. The heart of any school is the library or media center. There is lots all of us in education could learn from our media folks. Check out the great collection of free sessions here too. Runs online Oct 18-19.

Global Education Conference-This free, week-long online event is going into it's fourth year and it's huge. Many, many hours a day for a week, sessions from around the globe on just about any topic you can think of, this event is one that you can definitely drop in on when you can. And when you do, you will learn so much your brain will hurt. Check them out Nov 18-22.

These events are great because any one can take part from anywhere as long as you have a connection.

But face-to-face learning is important too.

 I love Edcamps and the types of PD that take place there. The Edcamp Wiki Calendar has a listing of all the upcoming camps. Just in the next few weeks there are Edcamps in Chicago, Hawaii (Can I go?), Brooklyn NY, Green Bay, Mumbai India and more. Many of these camps have hashtags you can follow so while you may not be able to get to one of these in person, you can follow along. Be sure to check out the calendar for an Edcamp coming soon to you. Don't see one? Start your own!

Can't get to an Edcamp F2F? Check out Edcamp Online, an all-day virtual Edcamp. I can't wait to see and be a part of this one!

Bottom line, there is loads of learning out there in the next few weeks, ripe for the taking. So seek out something, learn something and share something!

Have an event I missed? Leave it in the comments below!

photo credit: slworking2 via photopin cc