In our sessions on mind mapping how some of the many ideas might be applied back in the classroom, we often have a quick discussion on the power of recording ideas visually, and a discussion of how it can confuse some students who DON’T think or work in a visual way.
It is useful and reminds us of the “old style topic webs” we started using to plan at the beginning of our careers.
Bubbl.us lets you create thought bubbles and connect them together.
You also can easily move the bubbles around or change the links connecting them to each other.
Being an online application there are some collaborative feature, and if you can fit your thoughts into little connected bubbles, try it.
There are several “mind mapping” software products available, a favourite being 2Simple’s brilliant, and adaptable, 2Connect.
Bubbl.us isn’t in that class. But it’s free and it’s fun, and it might help you see connections in your own thoughts.
• Brainstorm online
• Create colorful mind
• Share work with others
• Embed your map in
your blog or website
• Email and print map
• Save map as an image
Our last event, for this tour of Sweden, and now we have made our way down to Southern Sweden, and the coastal town of Ystad.
In a meeting with the directorates and principals, and a long afternoon/evening session with the teachers, we looked at how education has to start running in order to catch up with the pace that some young people are integrating new technologies into their daily lives. It is hugely encouraging that children and young folk, who can be demonised by the press, are actually being remarkably creative, inventive and innovative and it is our challenge to keep up, let alone attempt to run a pace ahead.
It is an interesting thought that learning needs to change to harness the opportunities of technology. However, it is the challenges and tasks we set children, and the ways we expect them to present their results, that are sometimes possibly struggling along in an analog crawl.
That is why it is important to set an open ended challenge and guide children in ways of tackling that challenge creatively. If we set a discrete task, we can end up being glorified Microsoft Office instructors. Some children feel the need to be “taught” but that might come from an historical impression that learning is being fed a body of information. Structure is still necessary in these tasks but supporting flight in thought is an essential, for children of all abilities.
Thank you to Niclas Olsson, ICT-coordinator, at Sydskånska gymnasiet, for sharing these thoughts on their strong approaches to education:
We are a relatively large school about to embark on journey that will change the way we teach, assess and work with our students. Our focusing is on assessment for learning and technology will be a tool to support the change. During last year much time was spent gathering information from schools, organisations and agencies in preparation for the year ahead of us. One-to-one computing, a changed culture of teaching, a higher level of job satisfaction for everyone, more efficient use of time, competence and other resources.
A few of us had the opportunity to listen to Tim at BETT in London. Now you are invited to talk at our school and kick-off the implementation of a changed teaching culture. We believe that our experience can contribute, especially in regards to using technological tools in teaching, but also as inspiration in our up-coming process of change. Also, the schools management can benefit greatly from your knowledge about the experiences of other schools.
It could be so easy to overlook, or take for granted, Google for education, and a great collection of teaching and learning tools.
Classroom integrates Google Docs, Drive, and Gmail to enable teachers to create, collect, and organise assignments, and extend classroom communication. Google is offering Classroom to anyone with a Google Apps for Education account. Classroom is intended “ to give teachers more time to teach and students more time to learn.”
AuthorSTREAM enables storage, presentation, and interaction with presentations of differing forms. Share your PowerPoints publicly or privately, for free. Convert your PowerPoints to video. Broadcast your PowerPoints live, communicate and collaborate in real time.
Unlike many online PP sites, AuthorSTREAM retains your animations, audio narrations and in-slide videos. Useful.
Our next steps, in Sweden: “To inspire teachers in Huddinge municipality, just outside of Stockholm.”
With more than 100,000 residents, Huddinge is the second largest municipality in Stockholm County. The teachers at today’s event came from Huddinge’s primary and secondary schools.
Thank you to Conny Steinmo, Deputy Director of Education at Huddinge Kommun, and Ostra grundskolan principal, Peter Bragner, for sharing these thoughts:
The use of ICT in the schools varies quite a lot. There are a few schools that are almost 1:1 and there are schools that more rarely use ICT in teaching and learning. There is, though, a firm intent from school administration and the local politicians that ICT should be more commonly used in schools. And quite a few steps have been taken to strengthen support and competence that schools are able to take part of.
The general interest in the use of ICT in schools on the part of teachers and school leaders is lively, but can use an inspirational push to be developed into even more action. This is where Tim comes in ~ to inspire, those already inspired, even more, and to show those not yet fully inspired a glimpse of how fun and useful the use of ICT can be.
One of the schools in Huddinge that has decided to leap forward in terms of how teaching and learning with firm use of ICT is – executed is Ostra grundskolan. They describe their thinking this way:
@Ostragrundskolan, our motto for our 500 students in grades 4-9 is “learning in the present for the future”. We believe that learning should be individual, understandable and meaningful, therefore we have an approach where we’re close, curious and innovative.
In a world where communicative, social and digital capabilities are important, now and onwards, learning rests primarily on four legs:
Firstly, we have chosen to equip all our students with an iPad. It is a planning and communication tool which in many ways supersedes and collects student learning. In our effort to work with visible learning, we have chosen to work with the iTunes U platform for teaching.
Second is the language development approach. Language is important not only to communicate but also as a tool to understand and experience their life with.
Thirdly, special educational approach, which means the assumption that each child is unique in their circumstances, and opportunities, and that every child has the right to reach their full potential.
Fourth, entrepreneurial learning, ~ the students will be the ones who create their own circumstances and opportunities based on the given conditions
A big thank you to Malin Broberg and Jonas Hammargren from Caperio for inviting us to Sweden.
Again, we looked at SO much, including Spicynodes, Chogger, Taggalaxy, Gadwin, Thinglink, Clevr, Panoramas.dk, Arounder, 360 Cities, Streetview, Photosynth, Streeview Stereographic, Nature Sound Map, Go Mix it, Ambient Mixer, Audacity, Garage band, Soundation, Dragon Dictation, Talk Typer, Nice translator, Ivona, From text to speech.com, Crazy Talk, Myst, EasyPrompter, Dear Esther, Jules Vernes Return To Mysterious Island, Epic Citadel, Thinking Dice, Ipiccy, Lunapic, Photofunia, Comic Life, Zooburst, String (the one with the dragon!),Pottery HD Lite, Idough, ColorSplash, PuppetPals, Wordle, Tagxedo, Snappy Words, Biography.com, Greenscreening, Runkeeper, and more.
Thank you all.
Face sketch is a SUPERB tool for creating …sketches… of …um … faces! Who’d’ve guessed it eh?!
Indentikit and more. A great way to look at the proportions of faces on a whiteboard in an art lesson.
Face sketch is also really good for making some cartoon faces which you could animate in CrazyTalk, or Morpho, possibly the ultimate face manipulators.
Back to it, and in superb Swedish style! A great trip to Sweden, and the first of three big days of working alongside a few hundred teachers, from across the country.
Today, we shared some magical ideas with teachers from Sollentuna, near Stockholm. Sollentuna Municipality (Sollentuna kommun) is a municipality in east central Sweden, and is part of the Stockholm urban area. So, two big groups of educators, from across the region, joined us at The Star Scandic Hotel, and what fun we had!
We are grateful to Anette Burmann for inviting us, and organising this superb day:
I work at the management of schools in Sollentuna, Sweden and after listening to your lecture at the Cumberland hotel (Caperio) during the week of BETT, the management have discussed letting all the teachers in the schools of Sollentuna take part of your interesting lecture.
Sollentuna is a municipality near to Stockholm and we would like to ask you about the possibility of having you coming to Sollentuna lecturing one day on August 18? Since we have about 1,000 teachers, we imagine that we divide them into two.
We, in Sollentuna, believe that all students are entitled to the same education regardless of background and, therefore, we have, for some years now, equipped our teachers and students, each with a computer, 1: 1. After a few years of unstable connections and troubled computers, we are now proud to say that we actually use computers in teaching.
We have a great group of teachers who are constantly developing and analyzing their own learning while they teach. Now that all teachers have access to a computer in teaching, we want to be inspired by Tim and Sarah, to think wider, longer and larger. We want to broaden our horizons and be inspired to try new ways to bring the world into the classroom, to see opportunities and not obstacles, to do what we can do with new technology!
Thank you, too, to Executive Director Daniel Broman, and all of the (nearly a thousand) folk who joined us today.
We looked at SO much, including Spicynodes, Chogger, Taggalaxy, Gadwin, Thinglink, Clevr, Panoramas.dk, Arounder, 360 Cities, Streetview, Photosynth, Streeview Stereographic, Nature Sound Map, Go Mix it, Ambient Mixer, Audacity, Garage band, Soundation, Dragon Dictation, Talk Typer, Nice translator, Ivona, From text to speech.com, Crazy Talk, Myst, EasyPrompter, Dear Esther, Jules Vernes Return To Mysterious Island, Epic Citadel, Thinking Dice, Ipiccy, Lunapic, Photofunia, Comic Life, Zooburst, String (the one with the dragon!),Pottery HD Lite, Idough, ColorSplash, PuppetPals, Wordle, Tagxedo, Snappy Words, Biography.com, Greenscreening, Runkeeper, and more.
Thank you all.
Traditionally, each year, we have Almost Analog (Almost) August, ~ a chance, and a challenge, to “switch off”.
This year, we will be working in Sweden for some of August so won’t be able to achieve the total shut down of previous years. However, wherever you are, and whether, and whatever your role, and setting, you are able to “power off”, we wish you a top up of energies, a regrouping and re-energising if you can take some time, however long or short.