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Posts Tagged ‘tools

Edtech tools are not created equally and even the best ones do not survive the test of time.

The first half of 2018 will see the demise of Storify and TodaysMeet. We say goodbye to Storify on 16 May 2018 and ta-ta to TodaysMeet on 16 Jun 2018. (The links lead to the official service pages and announcements, but I do not know how long those will exist.)

Storify was the go-to for archiving and curating tweet-chats. TodaysMeet was a clean and easy backchannelling tool. I have reflected on my use of Storify and TodaysMeet before.

I am sad to see them go, but I stand by what I tweeted earlier:

Already freemium tools like Padlet and Dotstorming — another two of my favourites — are emphasising the premium over the free. Padlet will only allow three free spaces and Dotstorming one board for new users.

The tools evolve and we must expect that and change. If the tools devolve, we should not throw our hands up in despair and cry unfair. There is at least person behind each tool who needs to pay his or her bills. We do not work for free, so we should not expect that of others.

But what might educators stretched for money do? Look for alternatives. It barely took a day for my Twitter PLN and RSS feeds to light up with alternatives.

Here is just one example from Twitter for TodaysMeet alternatives:

I also tweet-shared Wakelet, an excellent alternative to Storify. I discovered Wakelet as I subscribe to the RSS feed for ProfHacker.

The sun sets every day and it rises the next. We expect that so much that we take it for granted. Likewise we might become so dependent on some edtech tools that we forget to stay nimble.

It is not noon indefinitely. Watch as the shadows grow long and disappear. Find your own light and gather with other enlightened folk. This is the best way to learn and model constant learning.

I am recreating some of my favourite image quotes I created some time ago. This time I use Pablo by Buffer and indicate attribution and CC license.

We shape our tools and then our tools shape us. -- Marshall McLuhan

This is one of my favourite quotations because it challenges the rhetoric that “technology is just a tool” and that it should be use to merely enhance learning.

Some tools are extremely powerful. So powerful that they change mindsets and behaviours. Take the modern mobile phone for instance. They have changed the way we walk and communicate and they continue to affect the way we learn.

If teachers and administrators want to integrate technology (not just use it) in the curriculum and classroom, they need to acknowledge this fact and learn more about sociotechnical systems and change.

Note: I am on vacation with my family. However, I am keeping up my blog-reflection-a-day habit by scheduling a thought a day. I hope this shows that reflections do not have to be arduous to provoke thought or seed learning.

My hunt for an elusive video brought me to the Singapore Ministry of Education’s Facebook page.

While I did not find what I was looking for, I found a series of images. They served as a helpful reminder of what teachers should stock up on to prepare for the new year.

What MOE teachers will use in 2017...

It was also a stark reminder of the mindset and expectations of teachers. The technologies are not current. If they were, there would be reminders to change passwords, renew VPN plans, update software, check digital archives, etc.

The call to arms was: You will be needing these and more to make a lasting impact on that one student. I get that message and stand behind it because it is a call to individualise, difficult as that will be.

I hope that teachers read this as reaching out to more than just that one student because all students are that one student. However, this task is impossible with the traditional tools and methods because they are largely about centralisation, standardisation, and control.

The newer tools are about decentralisation, individualisation, and self-regulation. This will only happen if school leaders and teachers change their mindsets and expectations about which tools to focus on and how to use them.

We shape our tools and then our tools shape us.

I shared this quotation earlier this week. Now I share its source image below.

Some people only see the first half of the socio-technical process and believe that we are masters of our domain. Others forget that our behaviours are shaped by what what we create.

Anyone who has noticed how differently we walk and talk with a smartphone in our hands will be able to relate to McLuhan’s quote. Only a few might be able to think more deeply and figure out how to take advantage of this and apply it in education.

The CeL will be offering sessions on mobile productivity, teaching and learning over the semester break in September. These workshops will be for NIE staff only.


Some of the topics might revolve around mobile strategies for using Dropbox, Evernote, the latest version of Softchalk and QR codes. Four of us from the CeL will facilitate one session each.

We have also opted to create an open fifth session. This will be done “unconference” style and we hope that other staff who have tips and tricks to share will do so a few minutes at a time.

These other open topics could include presentation tools, shared whiteboarding, smartphone based clickers for item response and feedback, photo editing, annotating and sharing, using location-aware apps, etc.

Thanks to Twitter, I’ve discovered another useful resource for teachers. I don’t agree that they are Twelve Essentials for Technology Integration, but they certainly are useful!

I’ve added this resource to the list of things that I ask my teacher trainees to teach one another.

Click to see all the nominees!

QR code

Get a mobile QR code app to figure out what this means!

My tweets


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