New Learning Institute - Technology Educationhttp://newlearninginstitute.org/blog-topics/technology-education enExploring Google+http://newlearninginstitute.org/blog/exploring-google <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even" property="content:encoded"><p><a href="https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-mETeBghMXMQ/TiCAPdwusqI/AAAAAAAAAMc/Zgrka76dPd0/G%25252B%252520Work%252520Stream.jpg" onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}"><img src="https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-mETeBghMXMQ/TiCAPdwusqI/AAAAAAAAAMc/Zgrka76dPd0/G%25252B%252520Work%252520Stream.jpg" alt="" border="0" style="display: block; margin: 0px auto 10px; text-align: center; cursor: hand; width: 600px; height: 384px;" class="feature-top" /></a><br />I was pretty excited when I got my Google+ invitation last week. I might have fist-bumped the air, and just perhaps I crowed a little on Facebook by offering invitations to my friends. The flood of answering excitement never came. Two people asked for invites, and more asked, “What the heck is Google+?” My two invites aren’t posting much of anything. Even my generally tech-savvy supervisor wanted a rundown.<br /><br />To say it’s Google’s answer to Facebook is the short explanation. The interface definitely shares some strong similarities at first blush. There’s a posting box that allows you to share web links, videos, photos, or your location. There’s an activity feed and suggestions of folks you might want to add. All this works and is great.</p><p><!--break--><br /><br /><a href="https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-n9dew3i2tVk/TiB8hNE83_I/AAAAAAAAAMw/ezf24AO6VIk/G%25252B%252520circles.jpg" onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}"><img src="https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-n9dew3i2tVk/TiB8hNE83_I/AAAAAAAAAMw/ezf24AO6VIk/G%25252B%252520circles.jpg" alt="" border="0" style="display: block; margin: 0px auto 10px; text-align: center; cursor: hand; width: 600px; height: 259px;" class="feature-top" /></a><br />What’s really special, though, is the concept of circles. We all have different circles of people in our lives: friends, family, colleagues, people we know from specific activities, and so on; and what we might want to broadcast to one group (“hey, friends, check out this hilarious but completely inappropriate for work video!”) we don’t necessarily want to share with our coworkers, parents, or the first baseman on the weekend league softball team. To manage this on Facebook, you have a couple of options: you can send a group message with a link to the video; or, if this group of people shares such things with each other regularly, you could create a private group page. If you and your friends choose the second option, you have to visit the group page to see what’s been added to the activity feed. It’s only an extra click, but it’s still an extra step you have to take.<br /><br />Google+ lets you micromanage who sees what. Every post you make to your stream can be shared with everyone, including those without a Google+ account (public), extended circles (in not only your own circles, but also in the circles created by the people in your circles), or specific circles. When you set up your account for the first time, one of the pages you’re directed to allows you to sort your contacts into these circles. Google provides a few default circles, but you can add as many circles as you like. Once you’ve got your circles named, it’s as easy as dragging and dropping people from your Gmail address book or connecting your Yahoo! or Hotmail account using the Find and Invite function.</p><div><br /><img src="https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-RgHnJFP3_eE/TiB8hihzrrI/AAAAAAAAAMo/1q-keSfJK8Q/G%25252B%252520privacy.jpg" alt="" align="left" border="0" style="float: left; margin: 0 10px 10px 0; cursor: hand; width: 300px; height: 193px;" />Circles aren’t just useful for selecting who sees which posts: Google+ also allows you to use them to determine the visibility of different pieces of your account profile. Users can control which circles others can see in your profile (both who you’ve connected with and who has connected to you), as well as each discrete profile section. They even use handy little icons next to each item so you can see at a glance what your privacy settings for each informational section are. To ensure that you’ve got everything theway you want it, Google has given users the ability to view their own profile as someone else. Again, you can choose to view it as a stranger on the web, or as someone in one of your circles. This allows you to make sure you’ve properly tucked things away when they’re intended only for a specific audience and not for public consumption. What about the problem of people reposting something I wanted to limit to a specific circle of people, you mayask? Well, Google’s thought of that trick, too. It’s not here yet, but the next update promises to give users the ability to lock posts down, meaning that they can’t be shared with people outside the original circle. Pretty nifty.<br /><br />Another perk is the ability to create Hangouts, which are basically group video chats. I’ve been pretty pleased with GChat, and the ability to have more than two people involved is really cool, not just from the socializing standpoint, but for business meetings. Having just tested it out, they’ve definitely considered having a group conversation—there’s plenty of real estate for lots of smiling faces.<br /><br /><a href="https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-tqVGg9txdGE/TiB8hggV-dI/AAAAAAAAAMs/FN00xQ05dGY/G%25252B%252520notifications.jpg" onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}"><img src="https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-tqVGg9txdGE/TiB8hggV-dI/AAAAAAAAAMs/FN00xQ05dGY/G%25252B%252520notifications.jpg" alt="" border="0" style="float: left; margin: 0 10px 10px 0; cursor: hand; width: 300px; height: 175px;" /></a>Lastly, after the wonderfully configurable privacy settings, my favorite thing about Google+ is its integration with Gmail and Google Docs. I have the (bad?) habit of keeping my Gmail open while I work so I can monitor incoming messages and put out fires quickly. Using the new Gmail theme, Google’s added a little activity counter in the upper-right corner of the screen. Right now it only appears in Gmail (with the proper theme enabled), Google Docs, and Google+, but I suspect Google Calendar will follow soon. The user interface team has done a great job of keeping it unobtrusive, and it’s very strategically placed for easy use. “Well, that’s nice,” you say, “but why is this a big deal?” By clicking on the counter, you can not only view the recent activity, but respond to posts as well without leaving off what you were doing. Lovely.<br /><br /><span style="font-style: italic;">Coming soon: Some thoughts on how to leverage Google+’s features for educators and students.</span><br /><br /><span style="font-weight: bold;">Additional Reading on Google+</span><ul><li>“<a href="http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2011/06/introducing-google-project-real-life.html">Introducing the Google+ Project: Real-life sharing, rethought for the web.</a>” Vic Gundotra. <span style="font-style: italic;">The Official Google Blog</span>. (with lots of videos!)</li><li>“<a href="https://plus.google.com/117373186752666867801/posts/PFkyoSPoQ6m?hl=en">The Great Migration to Google Plus</a>.” Dave Gray.</li><li>“<a href="http://www.good.is/post/why-google-is-an-education-game-changer/">Why Google+ Is an Education Game Changer</a>.” Liz Dwyer. <span style="font-style: italic;">GOOD</span>.</li></ul></div><div class="blogger-post-footer"><img src="https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/902885274664531497-7614959178310593424?l=newlearninginstitute.blogspot.com" alt="" width="1" height="1" /></div></div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-blog-topics field-type-taxonomy-term-reference field-label-above"><div class="field-label">Topics:&nbsp;</div><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><a href="/blog_topics/social_networking/index.html" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Social Networking</a></div><div class="field-item odd"><a href="/blog_topics/tools/index.html" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Tools</a></div><div class="field-item even"><a href="/blog_topics/web_20/index.html" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Web 2.0</a></div><div class="field-item odd"><a href="/blog_topics/technology_education/index.html" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Technology Education</a></div><div class="field-item even"><a href="/blog_topics/community/index.html" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Community</a></div><div class="field-item odd"><a href="/blog_topics/digital_learning/index.html" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Digital Learning</a></div></div></div>Fri, 15 Jul 2011 19:02:00 +0000Jennifer Dick110 at http://newlearninginstitute.orghttp://newlearninginstitute.org/blog/exploring-google#commentsMake an Android App? There’s a Meta-App for That.http://newlearninginstitute.org/blog/make-android-app-there%E2%80%99s-meta-app <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even" property="content:encoded"><p><span style="font-weight: bold;">Google Introduces SF Bay Educators to App Inventor for Android</span></p><div><br /><a href="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-JDsg2KGGLzo/TgDHT9WTcTI/AAAAAAAAALY/0ReqEt-4rFs/app%252520inv%252520home.jpg" onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}"><img src="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-JDsg2KGGLzo/TgDHT9WTcTI/AAAAAAAAALY/0ReqEt-4rFs/app%252520inv%252520home.jpg" alt="" border="0" style="display: block; margin: 0px auto 10px; text-align: center; cursor: hand; width: 600px; height: 392px;" class="feature-top" /></a><br /><a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mobile_app">Mobile apps</a> have changed our relationship with information access in the wider world. With mobile devices such as smart phones and tablet computers becoming more powerful and affordable, more people are regularly supplementing their experiences out in the world by calling up services like Google Maps, Yelp, Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, <a href="https://foursquare.com/">Four Square</a>, and <a href="http://www.shazam.com/">Shazam</a> to record what they’re doing, find out what other people thought about whatever restaurant/park/business they’re at, or share their own opinion.<br /><br />Ten years ago, if I passed a statue of some historic figure and wanted to learn more, I’d have to make a note and then go visit the library. Now, I can just whip out my phone and Google the name. I can also use my phone to take a geo-tagged picture, upload it to Flickr (which will automatically highlight it in my Facebook feed), share a web link about what I learned about the statue on Twitter, and check in on Four Square. What’s that song playing at the café I just passed? Shazam! “Bossa for the Devil” by Dr. Rubberfunk. Apps are changing how we interact with the world.<br /><br />For youth, using apps to learn more about places as they experience them is second nature, and those apps can be powerful learning tools. What isn’t second nature is app development. Designing and building a working app generally requires some serious programming savvy, but youth are very interested in apps—they see how relevant apps are to daily life and how they’re being used by more people, more frequently—and this motivates those with an interest in tech to take the programming plunge. Learning programming can be a long slog through lots of information to create very simple programs. I remember taking an intro to CS class, which had us learn <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BASIC">BASIC</a>. I can’t find my notes, but I’m pretty sure it took us a week to know enough to code the “Hello, world” program that seems to be lesson 1 for just about any programming course, regardless of language. My classmates and I found our interest in programming waning fast. And if motivated college students ten years ago lost their interest so quickly, imagine what happens with the youth of today, living at a mile a minute.</div><div><!--break--><br /><a href="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-NMYYoa-MKns/TgDGhAmSKHI/AAAAAAAAALk/xO9yraMGXw8/AppInv%252520Srn1.jpg" onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}"><img src="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-NMYYoa-MKns/TgDGhAmSKHI/AAAAAAAAALk/xO9yraMGXw8/AppInv%252520Srn1.jpg" alt="" align="left" border="0" style="float: left; margin: 0 10px 10px 0; cursor: hand; width: 300px; height: 170px;" /></a>Enter <a href="http://appinventor.googlelabs.com/about/index.html">App Inventor for Android</a>, a web-based app that allows users to both design and build apps utilizing a drag-and-drop user interface. One screen controls the UI (user interface) and builds the code using puzzle-piece like blocks that are put together to create the app. It's not foolproof, but it doeseliminate nearly all syntax errors from programming. There are a number of <a href="http://appinventor.googlelabs.com/learn/">online tutorials</a> for building sample apps that walk you through different functionality possibilities. They'renot particularly kid friendly, but adults can get through them fairly easily. Don’t have an Android device to test on? No problem: you can install an Android emulator on your computer. While not as fun as seeing your app work on the phone, it does provide faster feedback as you tweak your app. When your app is finished (the first sample app took me only about 10 minutes to create), you can save it to your Android device and take it with you.<br /><br /><br /><img src="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-05X4xsuDKjA/TgDGg1cLeGI/AAAAAAAAALc/8ivwwvRX2Mw/app%252520inv%252520blocks%252520ed.jpg" alt="" align="left" border="0" style="float: left; margin: 0 10px 10px 0; cursor: hand; width: 300px; height: 146px;" />The palette for app building is large and includes a drawing canvas, password textboxes, tinyDB (tiny database) support, and a media player; and you can tap the device’s phone, SMS, Twitter camera, accelerometer, location sensor, and device orientation sensor. Google has also included tools for use with Lego Mindstorm robot controls, which should interest robotics educators.<br /><br />Our hosts at Google shared two case studies of how App Inventor's already being used by educators, both after-school programs that won the 2010 DML Competition, sponsored by the MacArthur Foundation:</div><div><ul><li><a href="http://youth-lab.org/index.html">Youth Lab's</a> <a href="http://youth-lab.org/youthAPPLab.html">Youth AppLab</a>: Youth based in Washington DC get hands-on experience developing mobile apps, learning the software development cycle in the process. It's been so successful that parents are asking for workshops, too.</li><li><a href="http://www.youthradio.org/">Youth Radio</a>: Youth in Oakland are teaming up with professional developers through their <a href="http://www.youthradio.org/mobileapplab">Mobile Action Lab</a> to propose, create, and market apps that address real needs in their communities.</li></ul>App Inventor for Android is still in beta and it has its issues (mostly around phone recognition in our workshop), but it has a very active user forum with helpful folks, including a <a href="https://groups.google.com/forum/embed/?parenturl=http://appinventor.googlelabs.com/forum/&amp;showsearch=true&amp;fragments=true#%21forum/app-inventor-instructors">dedicated forum page for educators</a>. I look forward to really digging into this tool to see what it can do, as well as hearing how other educators are using it with their youth.</div><div class="blogger-post-footer"><img src="https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/902885274664531497-2750124153934379448?l=newlearninginstitute.blogspot.com" alt="" width="1" height="1" /></div></div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-blog-topics field-type-taxonomy-term-reference field-label-above"><div class="field-label">Topics:&nbsp;</div><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><a href="/blog_topics/tools/index.html" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Tools</a></div><div class="field-item odd"><a href="/blog_topics/nli_play/index.html" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">NLI at Play</a></div><div class="field-item even"><a href="/blog_topics/place_based_learning/index.html" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Place Based Learning</a></div><div class="field-item odd"><a href="/blog_topics/best_practices/index.html" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Best Practices</a></div><div class="field-item even"><a href="/blog_topics/project_based_learning/index.html" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Project Based Learning</a></div><div class="field-item odd"><a href="/blog_topics/professional_development/index.html" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Professional Development</a></div><div class="field-item even"><a href="/blog_topics/technology_education/index.html" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Technology Education</a></div><div class="field-item odd"><a href="/blog_topics/mobile_learning/index.html" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Mobile Learning</a></div><div class="field-item even"><a href="/blog_topics/digital_learning/index.html" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Digital Learning</a></div><div class="field-item odd"><a href="/blog_topics/21st_century_skills/index.html" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">21st Century Skills</a></div></div></div>Tue, 21 Jun 2011 16:37:00 +0000Jennifer Dick112 at http://newlearninginstitute.orghttp://newlearninginstitute.org/blog/make-android-app-there%E2%80%99s-meta-app#commentsDigital Dispatch: ARTLAB+ Video Program at the Hirshhorn Museumhttp://newlearninginstitute.org/blog/digital-dispatch-artlab-video-program-hirshhorn-museum <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even" property="content:encoded"><p><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/51820118@N03/5448503289/" title="artlab+videocollage1 by MLI-SI, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5291/5448503289_2ced799960.jpg" alt="artlab+videocollage1" width="500" height="333" /></a></p><div> </div><p>The Smithsonian Institution <a href="http://hirshhorn.si.edu/">Hirshhorn Museum</a> kicked off their teen <a href="http://newlearninginstitute.blogspot.com/2010/11/design-studio-approach-mobile-learning.html">design studio programming</a> with the ARTLAB+ Video: City of Ruins workshop on January 24th. Ten teens are dedicated to being part of this teen design team. Their design challenge: to create a video series exhibition inspired by ruins in Washington, DC.</p><div><br /><div>Teens spent the first two weeks exploring the foundations of photography and videography through specific composition challenges.</div><br />Brianna took these two photos to illustrate how changing the camera angle can impact the way the subject is captured.</div><div> </div><p><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/51820118@N03/5448716859/" title="AnglesbyBrianna by MLI-SI, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5299/5448716859_122e22c7dc.jpg" alt="AnglesbyBrianna" width="500" height="250" /></a></p><p> </p><div> </div><div>John took a first stab at camera moves, as shown in this short video. Don't miss his footage of Ardhy demonstrating "the truck."</div><div> </div><p><iframe src="http://player.vimeo.com/video/19987210" width="400" frameborder="0" height="300"></iframe></p><div>Stay tuned for more digital dispatches as the teen designers form production teams, plan video concepts, shoot and edit their work, then work together to create a museum exhibit displaying their video series.</div><div> </div><div><em>To see more images of teens at work check out the ARTLAB+ Video </em><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/51820118@N03/sets/72157625912112836/"><em>Flickr photo set</em></a><em>. </em></div><div><em>Learn more about other ARTLAB+ programming by following <a href="http://artlabplus.si.edu/">the ARTLAB+ blog</a>.</em></div><div class="blogger-post-footer"><img src="https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/902885274664531497-5675590304746765539?l=newlearninginstitute.blogspot.com" alt="" width="1" height="1" /></div></div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-blog-topics field-type-taxonomy-term-reference field-label-above"><div class="field-label">Topics:&nbsp;</div><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><a href="/blog_topics/nliatwork/index.html" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">NLIatWork</a></div><div class="field-item odd"><a href="/blog_topics/design_studio/index.html" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Design Studio</a></div><div class="field-item even"><a href="/blog_topics/project_based_learning/index.html" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Project Based Learning</a></div><div class="field-item odd"><a href="/blog_topics/technology_education/index.html" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Technology Education</a></div><div class="field-item even"><a href="/blog_topics/museums/index.html" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Museums</a></div><div class="field-item odd"><a href="/blog_topics/digital_learning/index.html" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Digital Learning</a></div></div></div>Wed, 16 Feb 2011 22:02:00 +0000Tiffany McGettigan134 at http://newlearninginstitute.orghttp://newlearninginstitute.org/blog/digital-dispatch-artlab-video-program-hirshhorn-museum#commentsNew PBS Series: Digital Media: New Learners of the 21st Centuryhttp://newlearninginstitute.org/blog/new-pbs-series-digital-media-new-learners-21st-century <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even" property="content:encoded"><p><a href="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/_6Zln-7k5oag/TVWOtfU4usI/AAAAAAAAAGQ/jLD_p8hyKTQ/PBS%20pg.jpg" onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}"><img src="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/_6Zln-7k5oag/TVWOtfU4usI/AAAAAAAAAGQ/jLD_p8hyKTQ/PBS%20pg.jpg" alt="" style="display: block; margin: 0px auto 10px; text-align: center; cursor: hand; width: 600px; height: 289px;" class="feature-top" border="0" /></a></p><p> </p><div>Our world is changing faster than our education system, and the rise of mobile technology means that now more than ever, learning can take place anywhere at any time. PBS’s new series <a href="http://www.pbs.org/parents/digital-media/">Digital Media: New Learners of the 21st Century</a> explores how thought leaders, practitioners, youth, schools and after school programs are using digital media and tools to engage youth and deepen their involvement with their communities and each other. The series website has extended interviews with the digital media experts, as well as background on some of the featured youth programs.</div><div> </div><div>We’re very excited to have some our work with the Smithsonian highlighted--we're in very good company!</div><div> </div><div><a href="http://www.pbs.org/parents/digital-media/airdates.html">Check here</a> to find out when the series will air on your local PBS station.</div><div style="font-weight: bold;"> </div><div class="blogger-post-footer"><img src="https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/902885274664531497-9135001842684901079?l=newlearninginstitute.blogspot.com" alt="" width="1" height="1" /></div></div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-blog-topics field-type-taxonomy-term-reference field-label-above"><div class="field-label">Topics:&nbsp;</div><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><a href="/blog_topics/technology_integration/index.html" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Technology Integration</a></div><div class="field-item odd"><a href="/blog_topics/nliatwork/index.html" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">NLIatWork</a></div><div class="field-item even"><a href="/blog_topics/leaders/index.html" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Leaders</a></div><div class="field-item odd"><a href="/blog_topics/communities_practice/index.html" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Communities of Practice</a></div><div class="field-item even"><a href="/blog_topics/work/index.html" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">at Work</a></div><div class="field-item odd"><a href="/blog_topics/place_based_learning/index.html" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Place Based Learning</a></div><div class="field-item even"><a href="/blog_topics/technology_education/index.html" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Technology Education</a></div><div class="field-item odd"><a href="/blog_topics/museums/index.html" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Museums</a></div><div class="field-item even"><a href="/blog_topics/mobile_learning/index.html" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Mobile Learning</a></div><div class="field-item odd"><a href="/blog_topics/digital_learning/index.html" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Digital Learning</a></div></div></div>Fri, 11 Feb 2011 19:22:00 +0000Jennifer Dick135 at http://newlearninginstitute.orghttp://newlearninginstitute.org/blog/new-pbs-series-digital-media-new-learners-21st-century#commentsDigital Dispatch: The National Postal Museum Teacher Leaders Programhttp://newlearninginstitute.org/blog/digital-dispatch-national-postal-museum-teacher-leaders-program <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even" property="content:encoded"><p><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/51820118@N03/5405999555/" title="Brainstorming by MLI-SI, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5093/5405999555_aac94749e6_o.jpg" alt="Brainstorming" class="feature top" width="600" height="450" /></a></p><p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica;"><em>What does it mean to be a learner in the 21st century? How can teachers reach their students in new and meaningful ways?</em></p><p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica; min-height: 14.0px;">In the popular imagination, the perception of the American classroom is tinged with Normal Rockwell-style images: the image of a classroom with neatly lined rows of desks facing the teacher; the rosy-cheeked student sitting up perfectly straight and attentive to every word the teacher speaks.</p><p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica; min-height: 14.0px;">Whether or not these images are truthful representations of America's educational past, one thing is certain: to be a Teacher Leader in the future will rely very little on being the expert in front of the classroom. Rather, being a Teacher Leader will require a shift in philosophy and approach <span style="font: 12.0px Calibri;">– </span>an ability to ask students to problem solve, teach each other, and become the experts.</p><p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica; min-height: 14.0px;">The Teacher Leaders Program kicked off at the <a href="http://postalmuseum.si.edu/">National Postal Museum</a> during the fall of 2010 with two teaching cohorts: one group of elementary teachers and a second group composed of high school teachers. Each teacher has been challenged to create a learning unit plan that incorporates both the Postal Museum content and new media tools. Their challenge is to connect these components in a meaningful and authentic way <span style="font: 12.0px Calibri;">– </span>providing their students with new resources and tools for learning.</p><p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica; min-height: 14.0px;">Teachers began the program by considering the four primary skills identified in the <a href="http://www.p21.org/">21st Century Skills Initiative</a>: communication, collaboration, creativity, and critical thinking. Reading this list of skills, I always chuckle a little. Certainly, good teachers have taught these things since the beginning of time. The distinction is that <em>how</em> people communicate, collaborate, create, and think critically is rapidly changing in the 21st century. New media gives students the ability to connect and share with the world in real time. A video posts to YouTube, a photo uploads to a Flickr group, a post is written to a personal blog <span style="font: 12.0px Calibri;">– </span>immediately these creations are widely shared and put out for the world's response. Thus, the heart of being a Teacher Leader is to take advantage of the learning opportunities available in a world that already gives their students opportunities to be experts and teach others.</p><p style="margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica; min-height: 14.0px;">In upcoming workshops at the Postal Museum, teachers will begin planning and building out learning unit plan concepts. Stay tuned for future posts which will follow some of these Teacher Leaders as they create a learning plan and engage their students in meaningful activities, ultimately encouraging young people to become creators and teachers themselves.</p><div class="blogger-post-footer"><img src="https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/902885274664531497-8589451445395865253?l=newlearninginstitute.blogspot.com" alt="" width="1" height="1" /></div></div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-blog-topics field-type-taxonomy-term-reference field-label-above"><div class="field-label">Topics:&nbsp;</div><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><a href="/blog_topics/nliatwork/index.html" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">NLIatWork</a></div><div class="field-item odd"><a href="/blog_topics/communities_practice/index.html" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Communities of Practice</a></div><div class="field-item even"><a href="/blog_topics/technology_education/index.html" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Technology Education</a></div><div class="field-item odd"><a href="/blog_topics/museums/index.html" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Museums</a></div><div class="field-item even"><a href="/blog_topics/21st_century_skills/index.html" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">21st Century Skills</a></div></div></div>Wed, 02 Feb 2011 13:30:00 +0000Tiffany McGettigan138 at http://newlearninginstitute.orghttp://newlearninginstitute.org/blog/digital-dispatch-national-postal-museum-teacher-leaders-program#commentsTool Review: Learning Ruby with Hackety Hackhttp://newlearninginstitute.org/blog/tool-review-learning-ruby-hackety-hack <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even" property="content:encoded"><p><a href="http://lh4.ggpht.com/_6Zln-7k5oag/TUHN-W8NPMI/AAAAAAAAAF0/4vhg8xl75ZM/Hackety%20Hack.jpeg" onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}"><img src="http://lh4.ggpht.com/_6Zln-7k5oag/TUHN-W8NPMI/AAAAAAAAAF0/4vhg8xl75ZM/Hackety%20Hack.jpeg" alt="" style="display: block; margin: 0px auto 10px; text-align: center; cursor: hand; width: 600px; height: 415px;" class="feature-top" border="0" /></a><br /><br />The word on the street is that nerds have become cool again, and one thing synonymous with hardcore nerdom is computer programming. Once, programming was seen as the province of only the most dedicated people – those willing to learn a new language and write line upon line of tedious code. Twenty years ago, when those few of us who had PCs were running DOS (the ancient times before Windows or Mac OS!), the <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/3-2-1_Contact">3-2-1 Contact print magazine</a> included reader-submitted programs written in <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BASIC">BASIC</a> that patient subscribers could enter and run on their own computers. Well, programming still requires patience and careful attention to detail if programs are going to run, but there are more resources available than ever for people (including kids) interested in learning the fundamentals of programming. With basic HTML infusing even the most entry-level blogging and commenting experiences, a desire to learn important programming syntax and concepts is slowly working its way into the layperson’s consciousness and becoming less of an anomaly.<br /><br />BASIC still has lessons to offer the new programmer, but it has been displaced by a number of newer languages. One example is <a href="http://www.ruby-lang.org/en/">Ruby</a>, an open-source option developed by Yukihiro Matsumoto, who wanted to create a powerful language that put the human programmer’s needs before the computer’s in a pleasant user interface (2003: <a href="http://www.artima.com/intv/ruby4.html">Artima Developer</a>). I’m not a programmer – just an interested bystander – but from what I can tell when looking up entry-level languages, the two that seemed to come up the most in discussions about starting languages were Ruby and Python. And for which language did the blogosphere keep dropping how-to resources into my lap? Ruby. Of these resources, the one I liked the best was <a href="%20http://hackety-hack.com/">Hackety Hack</a>, a freeware application, including self-paced programming tutorials, for Windows, Mac, and Linux systems.<br /><br /><span style="font-weight: bold;">Features</span><br />Once installed, Hackety Hack’s tour walks the user through its friendly interface. Working in a split screen with instructions on the left and the compiler (a program that runs the specific coding language you’re writing) window on the right, it’s easy to go through the exercises and double-check your work when you inevitably miskey your code. I don't know if it's a Ruby, Shoes, or Hackety Hack feature, but the different parts of Ruby speech (can you tell I used to be an English teacher?) are automatically color-coded in the programming window, which is really helpful for seeing the structure and syntax of the code you're entering. There’s a strong (if a tad disorganized) online community of users available for posting questions and sharing links, and your profile allows you to publish programs you’ve written.<br /><br />The application downloads with only four lessons, which is unfortunate because after completing them, I still felt like I’d barely scratched the surface and wasn’t too confident in my own mastery of the concepts provided; however, this could very well be due to my own lack of facility. When I posted a question asking about more material, I got two responses within 24 hours, one with a link to resources on other sites. These resources were ones I’d already found in my preliminary research on Ruby, but it was nice to know that the forums I’d browsed were on the level.<br /><br /><span style="font-weight: bold;">Breakdown </span></p><p> </p><ul><li>Price Structure: Free</li><li>Pros:<ul><li>Easy, non-intimidating user interface</li><li>Included lessons do an excellent job of walking a newbie through the exercises</li><li>Good sandbox (testing ground) for user-created programs</li><li>Responsive community board</li></ul></li><li>Cons:<ul><li>Ends after four lessons</li></ul></li></ul><p><br /><br /></p><p><span style="font-weight: bold;">Additional Resources for Learning Programming</span></p><p> </p><ul><li><a href="http://pine.fm/LearnToProgram/">Learn to Program</a>. Chris Pine. Highly recommended in a number of forums; commentors say that this is a great guide for someone without any programming experience to learn real fundamentals (online tutorial on the left).</li><li><a href="http://tryruby.org/">Try Ruby!</a>. Andrew McElroy and David Miani. A 15-minute in-browser tutorial to get started with wherever there’s a web connection.</li></ul><p> </p><p>What is your favorite entry-level programming language? Have you done programming projects with your youth? Any great resources to share? Tell us about it in the comments!</p><div class="blogger-post-footer"><img src="https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/902885274664531497-1823858466740208032?l=newlearninginstitute.blogspot.com" alt="" width="1" height="1" /></div></div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-blog-topics field-type-taxonomy-term-reference field-label-above"><div class="field-label">Topics:&nbsp;</div><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><a href="/blog_topics/technology_integration/index.html" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Technology Integration</a></div><div class="field-item odd"><a href="/blog_topics/tools/index.html" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Tools</a></div><div class="field-item even"><a href="/blog_topics/digital_literacy/index.html" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Digital Literacy</a></div><div class="field-item odd"><a href="/blog_topics/web_20/index.html" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Web 2.0</a></div><div class="field-item even"><a href="/blog_topics/technology_education/index.html" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Technology Education</a></div><div class="field-item odd"><a href="/blog_topics/21st_century_skills/index.html" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">21st Century Skills</a></div></div></div>Thu, 27 Jan 2011 19:33:00 +0000Jennifer Dick141 at http://newlearninginstitute.orghttp://newlearninginstitute.org/blog/tool-review-learning-ruby-hackety-hack#commentsTool Review: Animotohttp://newlearninginstitute.org/blog/tool-review-animoto <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even" property="content:encoded"><p><a href="http://lh5.ggpht.com/_6Zln-7k5oag/TSI08Y6h8OI/AAAAAAAAAFE/Xsc9fRiq4Aw/animoto.jpg" onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}"><img src="http://lh5.ggpht.com/_6Zln-7k5oag/TSI08Y6h8OI/AAAAAAAAAFE/Xsc9fRiq4Aw/animoto.jpg" alt="" style="display: block; margin: 0px auto 10px; text-align: center; cursor: hand; width: 600px; height: 370px;" class="feature-top" border="0" /></a><br /><br />With the increasing availability of digital cameras through price reduction and integration into other gadgets, it’s easier than ever to get your hands on something that takes pictures. Most youth these days have some kind of online photo album, whether it’s with Flickr, Facebook, Photobucket, or another site. One way for students to showcase the photographic documentation of their work is through a photoblog. In an earlier post, we reviewed <a href="http://newlearninginstitute.blogspot.com/2010/12/tool-review-scrapblog.html">Scrapblog</a>, which, while providing a lot of options for customizing layout, content, and design, isn’t terribly dynamic when played back as a slideshow. It also offers the potential for a lot of fussing to get things “just so.” Sometimes you just want a quick and dirty slideshow creator that offers some pizzazz for a short promotional piece or rapid assembly for a study aid. That’s when you want <a href="http://animoto.com/">Animoto</a>.<br /><br /><span style="font-weight: bold;">Features</span><br />The free (basic) version of Animoto’s web application allows you to create a themed 30-second slideshow with music and titles. That’s it. When I first started playing around with the app, I found it very simple and very limited, especially if you’re used to having the kind of control that a video editing program delivers, such as choosing how long a particular image is displayed, the length of a transition, etc. But this weakness can also be a strength; instead of having to allot a few weeks of time for a carefully crafted video piece, you can have a polished-looking clip done in less than an hour – in fact, I was able to upload and assemble my media, add titles and music, and render and publish the sample below in less than 15 minutes. Speaking of media, you can upload from your computer or link your Animoto account with the usual media hosting services. Animoto also has a stock photo and video library that you can access for additional media assets. Rearrange your pictures, add titles, add some music (they have a decent-sized library to choose from, or you can upload your own), and you’re done. Finished movies are provided with an Animoto-hosted embed code, or you can export to YouTube.<br /><br /><object id="vp1WUZcb" data="http://static.animoto.com/swf/w.swf?w=swf/vp1&amp;e=1293752889&amp;f=WUZcb2lWfCzJjtQWHlIPJg&amp;d=31&amp;m=b&amp;r=w&amp;i=m&amp;options=" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="600" height="333"><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true" /><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always" /><param name="src" value="http://static.animoto.com/swf/w.swf?w=swf/vp1&amp;e=1293752889&amp;f=WUZcb2lWfCzJjtQWHlIPJg&amp;d=31&amp;m=b&amp;r=w&amp;i=m&amp;options=" /><param name="allowfullscreen" value="true" /></object><br /><br /><span style="font-weight: bold;">Sample Classroom &amp; Youth Program Applications</span></p><p> </p><ul><li><span style="font-weight: bold;">Science:</span> In small groups, students are assigned a review topic and create a brief presentation with pictures and key facts to act as a study aid for an exam.</li><li><span style="font-weight: bold;">English Language Arts:</span> Students create an advertisement for their independent reading book.</li><li><span style="font-weight: bold;">History:</span> Students use primary source documents to inform and illustrate a brief advertisement appropriate to the time period of study. For example, they could develop an abolitionist public service announcement, create a promotional piece for the transcontinental railroad, or develop a propaganda piece that illustrates Japan’s reasons for fighting in WWII.</li><li><span style="font-weight: bold;">Health:</span> Students research a health issue in their community and create a brief public service announcement with facts, prevention tips, and community resources for treatment.</li><li><span style="font-style: italic;">College and Career Planning: </span>Students research a career field that interests them and create a brief slideshow sharing educational/training requirements, salary, prospects for growth, etc. Pool all student videos together to serve as a resource for your next cohort of students. Can also have students research colleges and universities instead.</li></ul><p><br /><br /></p><p><span style="font-weight: bold;">Breakdown </span></p><p> </p><ul><li><span style="font-weight: bold;">Price Structure:</span> Free and Premium</li><li><span style="font-weight: bold;">Pros:</span><ul><li>Very simple interface</li><li>Includes free stock photos, footage, and music tracks</li><li>Slideshows can be constructed very quickly</li></ul></li><li><span style="font-weight: bold;">Cons:</span><ul><li>Slideshows limited to 30 seconds/12 images with the free account</li><li>Lots of prompts throughout production process to upgrade to a premium account</li><li>Need paid account to adjust timing of individual slides</li></ul></li></ul><p> </p><p>Do you use Animoto with your youth? Do you have any activity suggestions, tips, or tricks to share? Comment below or contact us!</p><div class="blogger-post-footer"><img src="https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/902885274664531497-9082803259047551302?l=newlearninginstitute.blogspot.com" alt="" width="1" height="1" /></div></div></div></div><div class="field field-name-field-blog-topics field-type-taxonomy-term-reference field-label-above"><div class="field-label">Topics:&nbsp;</div><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><a href="/blog_topics/technology_integration/index.html" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Technology Integration</a></div><div class="field-item odd"><a href="/blog_topics/tools/index.html" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Tools</a></div><div class="field-item even"><a href="/blog_topics/nli_play/index.html" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">NLI at Play</a></div><div class="field-item odd"><a href="/blog_topics/digital_literacy/index.html" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Digital Literacy</a></div><div class="field-item even"><a href="/blog_topics/web_20/index.html" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Web 2.0</a></div><div class="field-item odd"><a href="/blog_topics/technology_education/index.html" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Technology Education</a></div><div class="field-item even"><a href="/blog_topics/digital_learning/index.html" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">Digital Learning</a></div><div class="field-item odd"><a href="/blog_topics/21st_century_skills/index.html" typeof="skos:Concept" property="rdfs:label skos:prefLabel" datatype="">21st Century Skills</a></div></div></div>Mon, 03 Jan 2011 20:44:00 +0000Jennifer Dick144 at http://newlearninginstitute.orghttp://newlearninginstitute.org/blog/tool-review-animoto#comments