SAMR & Google Apps – an infographic

SAMRJust on-sharing this infographic below based on SAMR and Google Apps for Education.

The jump between modification and redefinition is very big in my opinion. In some ways I think it should be, but there really is nothing much going on between substitution to modification (ie. I don’t see “significant task redesign” in the modification part).


Google Apps and the SAMR Framework Infographic
Find more education infographics on e-Learning Infographics


SAMR Image source: Dr Ruben R. Puentedura CC-BY-NC-SA 3.0

Surviving #edchatNZ discussions

I thought I’d write a quick post on how I survive #edchatNZ discussions.

When #edchatNZ first kicked off a couple of years ago, it was relatively easy to keep up. Now, the twitter stream moves so quickly that there’s no way that I can read every tweet that comes through (I usually try to begin with, but have had to give up).

So this is what I do to manage these fast-paced evenings.

Firstly, I start with the Twitter client, Tweetdeck. I’ve been in love with Tweetdeck probably since about 2009 when I started using Twitter and well before Twitter bought it (I think it had slightly better functionality before they bought it too, but it’s still good). There are other twitter clients like Tweetdeck but this is my favourite so I’ll ignore the others. 😉

Tweetdeck streams tweets in. No need to refresh or “load more tweets” etc. It’s constant.

Tweetdeck also gives you the opportunity to have multiple columns open with your standard Twitter stream, your notifications, messages and whatever search/hashtag you want to follow (and more). I’ve always got #edchatNZ and #edblogNZ open (and several others) but on our discussion nights I also open open #edchatNZquestion.

#edchatNZ tweetdeck columns
#edchatNZ tweetdeck columns

I also ensure that I have #edchatNZ, #edchatNZquestion and my Notifications column right next to each other. This way I can always see what the question is but I can also see what people are saying specifically to me. I often get distracted by the side-conversations that go on during a twitter chat, but I think that’s half the fun and where a great amount of learning and reflection occurs.

The other thing I do is know a few quick-keys. In Tweetdeck, pressing ‘n’ will start a new tweet. So I just press ‘n’ and start typing. Ctrl-Enter on PC or Cmd-Enter on Mac will post the tweet.

I’ve been using a Mac for a few months now and found (paid for) an app called text expander that allows you to create snippets where you type a code and it changes that code to whatever word/sentence/paragraph etc you want. I’ve found this fantastic for hashtags where I just have to type, for example, “;ec” and it will translate this to “#edchatNZ”. It’s great when you’re doing something with multiple hashtags like we had last night when we also joined with #aussieED.

I’m not aware of a similar program or app for PC, but there probably is something around!

My last tip is this. Don’t use a mobile device for a twitter chat. I’ve found they just don’t respond fast enough. Plus, although I can type quickly on a phone/tablet, I’m MUCH faster on a full-size keyboard… but that’s just me!

Happy chatting!

Keeping up with blogs with Blogtrottr

RSSI read a lot of blogs… at least I try to. When I was commuting to and from the city for work, I found it relatively easy to keep up with them. Using Google Reader to capture the RSS feeds from the blogs I followed I used to love the synchronicity with the Flipboard app on my iPad. Unfortunately, since the demise of Google Reader, Flipboard for me just hasn’t been the same.

I trialled a number of different RSS aggregators/readers and eventually settled on Feedly. Feedly is good because it syncs beautifully between devices and it’s easy to set up and manage. Different categories can be set up for different types of blogs and it has a range of sharing options from within the website and the mobile apps.

While Feedly is good (I’m certainly not denying this), it just isn’t doing it for me anymore. I don’t have a daily public transport commute anymore and therefore I realised I wasn’t keeping up with the blogs I follow. I would often forget to go into Feedly and read and therefore when I did go in I found there were too many posts to go through. I had to find a new solution for me.

After a bit of searching I came across Blogtrottr. Blogtrottr is a site in which you enter the blog you want to follow and it emails you the postings. I’m in my email every day (all day sometimes!) so this works in my favour. Blogtrottr gives options to receive posts as they come up or as a daily digest (as well as other options). It has a free and premium version, however I can’t quite see a reason to pay US$10 a month at this stage just to get rid of a few ads in my emails (which I haven’t really noticed). There may be other good reasons to pay for it, but at the moment I’m happy with the free service.

Best of all, I’m finally back to keeping up with the blogs I follow!

One device per child


An article appeared on Stuff today discussing how schools wanted funding from the Government for technology (see the article here). This was in response to recommendations in parliaments inquiry into 21st century learning environments and digital literacy.

One of the recommendations was that every child should have access to a digital device such as an iPad.

Principal’s are rightly asking for more funding in order to do this. I’m currently on the Boards of two different schools and I recognise that there is little room for what many people would call ‘extras’ in tight budgets. Most schools – Principals, teachers, Boards – recognise the need to have modern technology in the classrooms, but not all of them can afford to introduce them or increase their capabilities due to having to do things like maintain/upgrade buildings and classrooms with what is already limited funding. You can argue that there is set money for building maintenance, however I know that I am quickly learning that that amount is often not enough and schools are needing to break into operations grants or investments that have been made in the past – money/savings they are unlikely to ever have again.

In the article linked above, National MP Nikki Kaye said “the proposals were an opportunity to lead the world in digital literacy.”

I disagree.

The proposals are simply proposals – words in a document. The proposals themselves won’t do anything without the government choosing to act on them.

If the government wants to see New Zealand leading the world in digital literacy they’re going to have to begin investing in education rather than continually taking from it. The government needs to consider funding the majority (if not all) of what is required to put a device in the hand of every child in this country so that they have the tools required to live in this time; so they have the tools required to learn about digital literacy; so they have access to resources, information and experts right where they are.

They need to stop trying to fix something that is working and work on continually improving it.

Our children deserve to learn in modern learning environments that are not constrained by the four walls of a classroom, or the 50+ year old buildings. They should be able to have technology at their fingertips when required in order to learn, to share, to collaborate, to connect and to create.


Image source: Flickr – Cem K. (iyiinsan)

Managing the cloud with Otixo

otixoDo you use more than one cloud storage solution? Dropbox, Google Drive, Box, SugarSync, SkyDrive… There are so many options available on the internet now that it can be difficult to know which to use.

With Otixo you can use them all! Otixo is a cloud storage management app. You can access all of the cloud storage solutions mentioned above and many more all with a single login. It even allows you to copy files from one to another.


Otixo allows you to share files with your friends and colleagues. It is also set up for collaboration with Otixo’s Spaces. This allows each team member to keep files in their own clouds while collaborating together.

I haven’t tried it yet, but Otixo states on the website that you can edit and re-upload files from Pages, Numbers and Keynote apps on your iPad.

Otixo could be a very good solution for teachers and students who are using a range of cloud storage solutions.