App smash it ! Tweet, Storify and Voicethread your tasks

Tweet and Storify the Flow

On a flipped classroom activity basis, I asked my pupils to use the class twitter account to connect and share tweets on Aboriginal culture, and further discuss the topic on Edmodo.
Back to school, they read the result from “Storify” and reformulated, and wrote ( in groups ) a summary of the information they gathered…
A general recap followed, and the group with the best summary used VoiceThread to make a presentation of the class work !
They loved it, as they had to smash apps creatively and they ( well, er, most of them ) felt really engaged in the activity…
This activity clearly shows how turning to numerous apps can prove more efficient than AIO solutions.

Coding = a mindful attitude

slow reader

Proper coding abilities as applied to everyday life help improve reading… and more if applied to everyday life procedures :

“The first step in reading actively is to read s-l-o-w-l-y “( and mindfully )”. Here is an algorithm (i.e., a procedure) for how to read any text, in any subject, slowly and actively:

WHILE there is a next sentence to read, DO:
  BEGIN { while }
    Read it, SLOWLY;
    IF you do not understand it, THEN
      BEGIN { if }
        re-read the previous material, SLOWLY;
        re-read the incomprehensible sentence, SLOWLY;
        IF you still don't understand it, THEN
           ask a fellow student to explain it;
        IF you still don't understand it, THEN
           ask your Teaching Assistant (TA) to explain it;
        IF you still don't understand it, THEN
           ask me;
        IF you are in an upper-level course & you still don't understand it, THEN
           write a paper about it (!)
      END { if } 
END; { while }

Since there is no next sentence (because the Boolean test in the WHILE is false), you’ve understood the text!

For those of you who may not be familiar with how to read structured computer programs such as this one, here’s how it goes: In a “while” statement, if the initial test is false, then the rest of the statement is not executed. So, if you are at the beginning or the middle of reading a text, there willbe a “next” sentence, so you do execute the rest of the statement, which says to read that next sentence slowly, etc. However, if you have finished reading the entire text (and, hopefully, have now understood it), then there is no next sentence, so you are finished! (The words in braces, like “{ while }”, are just computer-programming notation for a comment that is intended for human readers of a computer program but that is ignored by the computer.)

This algorithm has three major advantages:

  1. It forces you to actively think about each sentence you read before you go on to read the next one.
  2. It slows you down, so that you don’t read past the point at which you don’t understand. This is especially important in mathematical and scientific subjects.
  3. It can help you get help from your teacher, because you can show your teacher exactly where you got lost. It is always much better to show your teacher exactly what it is that you don’t understand than it is to just say that you don’t understand the material.
  4. Note that it also provides you an opportunity to interact with your instructors and fellow students!

How do you know whether you understand what you’ve read? Easy: After each sentence, ask yourself “Why?” “(Pressley & El-Dinary 1992).

Android on PC : Mobizen attitude

Connecting your Android device to your PC has never been easier.

Plug it, and choose either to install the dedicated app or connect to the dedicated website here, provide the required login credentials after signing up for free, and off you go !

mobizen 1

Once connected, enjoy your device on screen ( full-screen ready ! ), take control, annotate, freely draw, and even take snapshots or record it…

mobizen 2

Creative uses of the service are infinite.

For example, you may wish to split you PC screen in halves, the left-side showing your browser with your Android on display, and on the right-side another activity. Pupils can interact on the left-side either from the computer, or from their seat, by means of a wireless mouse…

A whole new world has come to expand possibilities, leaving way for differenciating activities…

Hyperfocal teaching

Stay focused, and enjoy the flow.
                               Consider the learner’s eye as a camera. If the project is fully and clearly identified, with an emphasis on determined stages to reach ( = F/Stop or hyperfocal point ), the richer and more detailed the learning experience ( = depth of field ) will be.
                               Indeed, too close focus on the foreground makes projects target unclear ( = details in the backgroung get blurry ), and too far focus  makes immediate experience unclear and tedious ( = blurry foreground ).
                               But when clear focus on F/stop is made, learners catch up in a richer experience, secure from boredom and anxiety. Hence the importance of making clear the project’s next step. The efforts needed to reach it are painless, and even spontaneaous and joyful.
                               A strong and further-sighted flow is then generated and makes the learning process a more focused, natural and motivating experience.
                                     Of course, the same principle applies to a moving camera, which leads to a 360° immersion and perception of the project and its various stages.