Reflections on the course

My aims at the beginning of the course were that EDC 601 would be one of the better subjects that I would do as part of my masters, that I would walk away with technologies that I could actually apply in the classroom and that I would have the scope to research whatever technologies I found to be useful. These goals have all been achieved in some form or another.

The subject has been very useful and practical-based. I have learned things that have had/will have positive impacts on my teaching whether in the class or out of it.

Believe it or not, I was introduced to the Creative Commons. I made my first-ever tweet, my first Powerpoint presentation, my first Screencast, my first  Podcast, used Windows Live Movie Maker for the first time and for the first time created files on Google Drive (i.e. a Google Forms and a Google Sheets) and uploaded and shared files via Google Drive. I also have trialed the use of apps in my class (i.e. Live Video Delay).

Thanks for keeping it real Steve. If only the rest of the course was similarly slanted. Cheers mate.

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Screencast – Stick Cricket

As part of our assessment, McDaddy S wanted us to make a screencast. I downloaded the free software from Screencast-o-matic and used Windows Live Movie Maker to edit and create the following introduction to Stick Cricket. Watch, Enjoy and then go and have a game or five. You know you want to.

Using Google Forms for record keeping in PE

Saw a great post on iphys-ed.com recently where PE teachers were using Google Forms to record data on student progress and achievement.

I thought that I would give it a go, as we have been searching for a better system  than we currently have (i.e. word documents for each student that follows them as they move through the school).

I created the form below:

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Which dumps the results into a Google Sheet which I have conditionally formatted:

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Good exercise but not the hoped for panacea. Great that it could be used on the iPad as we move around the teaching space. It is a little clunky in its interface but a start and potentially better than pen and paper checklists. The big problem though is the way the information comes out in the spreadsheet. Every time you assess a student, a new timestamped entry is created but sorting this information by class and then by student is tough. This feature is potentially good to track progress but when we have 9 classes of students, it is looking like a nightmare. I would much prefer a system whereby individual record students maintained, added to and augmented. The search goes on…

A few Ataris out the front

Big McC had us read  Engage me or Enrage me and How Games Can Influence Learning as readings for EDC 601. In PE we don’t normally struggle to integrate games into the curriculum or even a unit or two on game making/creation. But games involving technology can be a little tougher. It got me thinking of the possibilities and I stumbled across class gaming systems like ClassPlus™ Wii™ Group Fitness Packs and Positive Gaming™ iDANCE2™ Wireless System which would really engage the kids. Wow! Imagine turning up to PE and plugging into that…

We would’ve loved a few Ataris back when I was a kid – ahh the kids of today.

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Photo Credit: http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3001/2960098467_a4e069edcd_o.jpg

Shorter URLs and the longest URLs in the world!

TinyURL is a great webpage for people who love to tweet. Tweets can only be 140 characters long, so posting long links to pages can really restrict the power and scope of your message.

By using TinyURL you can turn a 59 character address like: http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=truck%20nuts into a mere 26 character http://tinyurl.com/ntjkop4. Give it a go and you will soon be amongst the ranks of the twitterati.

And while you are at it, why not checkout those that purport to have found the longest URLs ever.

Live Video Delay in action

Today was my first lesson in the ES Gym for the year. I trialed Live Video Delay for the first time and the results were promising.

Grade 3 and 4 really seemed to enjoy watching themselves (see below for a video of Grade 3s Catching); the Grade 2s weren’t as successful but with time and patience, I am sure they will pick it up.

The process I used was for the students to ‘catch’, ‘watch’ and ‘load’ the tennis ball machine. I didn’t give them anything skillwise to focus on when they watched the replay – I just wanted them to get comfortable with the process first. I plan to keep familiarizing the the students with the process for a few lessons and before asking them to focus on 1 or 2 aspects of their technique and try and evaluate their success.

Tweeting – Everyone is doing it

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$.Mc asked us to join twitter the other day as part of our course (@vangaalenj). He showed how it can be a powerful tool for educators as a way to build networks and find resources.

Today I made my first tweet.

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It felt artificial and contrived at first. Especially seeing that I was tweeting at ‘el dob’ (@maninmanila1), who was sat next to me, about something that we could’ve probably chatted about in person. But seeing he couldn’t log on to twitter and was distracted with his own research – he was metaphorically miles away.

I look forward to his reply/conversation. Perhaps connecting with someone I know will make me more willing to try and connect with those who I don’t know.