Update: The March meeting is being postponed to April. The Easter weekend is a long one for our staff and they deserve every minute of time-off that they earn. See you all in April (date to be announced).
The EO Smith Digital Learning Committee will be meeting Thursday, March 28 from 5:30 pm to 7:00 pm. Our meetings end promptly.
The anticipated agenda will be:
Any unfinished business.
Any additional info about moving to Google as an email/apps platform.
Any other news or new business discussion.
We may also discuss Dr. Green's latest foray into digital teaching (so here we'll see some more classroom tools used in making his videos, and we'll talk about *HOW* we might put together a course that could be taught online including exercising Boundless in the making of such a course.
In keeping with our hands on approach, we are NOT going to debate the virtue of an online course - that will require some deep thinking that we can tackle in the coming months. Here our interest is in exploring the degree of difficulty such a thing might require and secondly to simply aggregate all the issues that proceeding with such an endeavor might require.
The fictional course will be called How to Create a High School Online Course
We end our meetings at 7 sharp
Suggestions for topics are always invited and we're assuming Dr. Green will be available.
Dr. Green has already shared a Google diagram that is a reference point for the anticipated discussion.
These topics are subject to change based on availability of staff.
Tuesday, March 5, 2013
February DLIC Meeting Minutes
In attendance; Bruce, Lou, Sue Palmberg, Brad, Nancy, Denise, Frank
This month's meeting was based on taking a deeper dive into the Google and Twitter applications. The links in these meeting notes are new references to the subjects discussed.
We tried accessing twitter to examine our #eoSmith, #eosDLIC, and #digitalLearning hashtags. Twitter still doesn't work on the student network – something that needs tending to.
We talked about the uses of twitter to:
Write fiction; http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2012/oct/12/twitter-fiction-140-character-novels and http://twitter-fiction-reader.bugsplat.info/
Classroom use: http://edudemic.com/2012/04/100-ways-to-use-twitter-in-education-by-degree-of-difficulty/
For academic activities: http://academhack.outsidethetext.com/home/2008/twitter-for-academia/
We walked through the basics of Twitter which everyone more or less knew. Go to twitter.com and sign up for an account and the account process is similar to every other sign up anyone will do.
We talked about the character limits and how to create hashtags (use a '#' sign and any keyword after it, for example #eosDLIC). We talked about the fact that an image can be tweeted by clicking on the camera icon that sits just below the text input box when creating a tweet.Clicking the icon allows you to upload an image.
Finally we talked about identity and the internet. Twitter and Facebook have become everyone's sanitized version of personal identity. It is rare to catch a glimpse of personality on these sights as everyone has figured out that these sights are searched by authority figures for personal anomaly.
As a consequence, many young people adopt alterego personnas elsewhere. One of those places is Tumblr (see: http://techcrunch.com/2013/02/18/tumblr-is-not-what-you-think/).
We briefly discussed the need to dedicate a meeting to privacy and security and the existence of a fictonal phone number that's available to everyone was discussed (see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/555_(telephone_number) ).
The discussion switched to Google. We opened the DLIC email account to examine some of the lesser known features.
We found the Language preference drop-down list that allows the owner of the account to view the contents in whatever language is desired.
Next we attempted to create folders in Gmail and Drive. In Gmail folders are actually labels that mail can be categorized by (I (Frank) had forgotten that Gmail calls folders labels leading to some confusion).
In Gmail, by clicking on a specific email, then the 'Labels' Icon, a user can either assign that email to an existing label or create a new label that acts as a folder to separate similar emails into.
By clicking on the Account icon and the account link, we opened the gmail account settings page. Her Frank demonstrated creating an email filter that assigned an email from Ryan to a label [folder]. We discussed how creating filters for certain classes or assignments might be done. For example, the topic of an email could be prefixed with a unique assignment tag and then filtered to the appropriate label space.
Conversely, on Google Drive, clicking on the 'Create' icon lists a menu that includes creating a 'Folder' in which any Google doc can be saved.
A number of questions were raised and answered about Google Drive. We looked at the plug-in documents that are now available in Google Drive.
Sue thought the Graphing Calculator app (Desmos) was inadequate for replacing the school's graphing calculators.
Frank demoed diagram.ly and Bruce asked about Pert charts (in later correspondence, a Pert chart plug-in for spreadsheets was found).
Throughout the discussion, Lou initiated a new discussion that questioned whether or not EO Smith should convert the existing email infrastructure over to Google. After considerable debate a consensus developed that we should seriously consider migrating.
We discussed the desire to have all students get assigned a school-specific gmail account and how that might work. The goal is to enable every student regardless of income the ability to have their own application suite to use from anywhere.
Denise expressed a concern about the response time of the Google text-processing application to keep up with the load.
Frank recommended that students download and use LibreOffice off-line if Google is too slow and then upload the doc (see: http://www.libreoffice.org/ ).
We also discussed student exposure to advertisements. This led to a demonstration of how to add extensions and add-ins to browsers. The AdBlock plug-in eliminates ads in Firefox. Chrome has something similar built-in.
We also looked at add-ins that automatically added citations to student research links and source material.
The last Google app we looked at is found on the google menu bar by clicking 'More' → 'Even More' → Fusion Tables → Forms. The Forms application allows the user to create forms that ask all kinds of questions. The Form is saved then shared with those who will answer the questions. When the Forms are submitted , the answers can be automatically tabulated in a spreadsheet the Form's creator has assigned.
Denise and Bruce will explore getting Gmail accounts for all teachers and students for Fall, 2013.
OPEN-SOURCE books – summer funding for teachers; and or explore doing one course using open-source books.
Bill Green will begin using Chrome books in his class.
Downloading anti-theft apps on Apples and Chrome books.
More Google apps exploring.
The meeting closed promptly at 8:00 pm.