Flipboard As a Textbook Replacement

Flipboard As a Textbook Replacement

OK…so let me clarify that title. I honestly think textbooks are on their way out…or at least I hope they are. Really it should read “Flipboard as core curation artifact for classrooms” but that wouldn’t have you here reading now would it. 🙂 I’m in love with Flipboard. I have been for awhile now….it’s one of the first apps that gets downloaded on all devices. But lately as I’ve been thinking about the death of textbooks and what might replace them I have started to dig deeper into Flipboard and really think it has a ton of potential to be that core curation body of knowledge for teachers and students. Why Flipboard: Can be installed on all devices! I mean all devices. Windows, Mac, iDevices, Android. That by itself gives it a top marks! Beautiful layout: Design matters…and Flipboard knows that. Every time I show Flipboard to a teacher or student they instantly love it…what’s not to love. Big pictures, magazine flare, beautiful transitions. Connected: You can connect Flipboard to a ton of different accounts and at the same time connect it to hashtag conversations giving you all kinds of different ways to bring information together in one space. Flipboard Magazines: This really is the game changer. Flipboard rolled out magazines a while a go. Allowing a user to create a magazine and “Flip” things into it. Others can subscribe to your magazine and see what you find interesting. You can check out my magazine here ——————————————————-> So basically a teacher would have a flipboard account….set up a magazine for thier class and then “flip” all the articles, resources, etc they want students to access into the magazine. The students subscribe to the magaizne and have all that content dispalyed beautifully on their screen….no matter what that screen is. Class as Content Curators: Of course….that would work but I think we can go farther. I don’t want the teacher finding all the content for the course. I want students to have the ability to add content to their “textbook” as well. Content that we can discuss in the classroom, that can spark conversation…the real reason we come together..to be social. What if we could have all the students in a class adding to the “textbook” have them find things that interest them on a given topic and allow them to “flip” that into our “textbook” as well. Flipboard allows...

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Understand RSS and make the Web Work for You

I’m a few hours away from calling a taxi and starting the 17 hour trip to Portland, Oregon (via Seattle of course) for the ITSC11 Conference e. I’ll be doing three sessions. Blended Classrooms, Blogs as E-Portfolios, and 10 Digital Tools for Digital Educators. It’s this last session that I always have the hardest time with. What 10 digitals tools should educators know about? There are so many and depending on the attendees, you never know what people really want. That’s why this session usually ends up being a great discussion starting with “What do you want to know about?” and off we go. As I’ve been thinking about the session I keep coming back to how important RSS is to the web. What seems like a such a simple piece of the larger web, this little bit of technology pushes and pulls information around the web behind the sense so gracefully that you probably use it in one form or another everyday without realizing it. Yet, if you can understand it, it becomes a very powerful way to push and pull information around the web where you want it to go.  Apple, iTunes and Podcasters have made a living off of RSS. Ever wonder why most podcasts are on a blog? Because blogs come with RSS technology built in and iTunes Podcasts run off of RSS feeds. When you “Subscribe” to a podcast in iTunes you’re just subscribing to that podcasts RSS feed. iTunes simply delivers the content to your computer.  RSS is a push and pull technology. It allows you to push and pull content around the web with ease. Many people don’t use RSS Readers anymore with them being replaced by Twitter streams, yet the use of RSS goes beyond just pulling content to you. Here are some ways that I’m using RSS at my school and in my professional life to make things easier and to tie things together.  COETAIL: COETAIL is a 5 graduate class certificate program that Kim and I run here in Asia (more on the explosion of this program soon). For each cohort we run we set up a blog such as this one I set up for the cohort in Taipei. Part of the problem I was having was when I found content to share with the participants I needed a way to push that information to this blog without...

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Why I #hashtag all me tweeted links

Some rights reserved by ntr23 Many of you that follow me on Twitter might wonder why I’ve been using a hashtag on every tweet I share with links to websites I find interesting. The simple answer is I’m lazy…..I always look for ways to reduce my clicks. I use to bookmark the websites I found, then I blogged about them now I Twitter them. The problem is, the sites were easy to find on both Diigo and Delicious and on my own blog. But now I share my links on Twitter and trying to go back and find links I know I’ve shared is hard. Thanks to Packrati.us now I have one less step in saving websites I like. Head over to Packrati.us and sign in with your twitter account. You can then sign into your Delicious or Diigo account or both, depending on what you use, and you’re all set. Now any time you tweet or retweet a link that has a hashtag in it, Packrati sends that link to your social-bookmarking site of choice and turns those hashtags into real tags on the site. I connected my Diigo account to Packrati because I already have my Diigo account forwarding all my bookmarks there to Delicious as a back up. So now one tweet and my information goes to three places. Twitter, Diigo, Delicious.  I’m always trying to find ways to reduce my clicks on the web and this little trick just saved me about...

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A 5 country brain dump

I find myself sitting here in Kota Kinabaul, Malaysisa reflecting on what has been a 5 country, I don’t know how many presentation, month. From Bahrain to Iowa with Asia and Australia in between, it’s been an amazing month of travel and I find myself thinking and reflecting on all I’ve been talking about and learning along the way. So here’s my brain dump of themes that keep emerging for me: The future is mobile Whether in the heartland of America, or the deserts of the Middle East and Africa, moble phones are the future of connectivity. We’re also seeing this with Apple’s iPad and the ability to connect to a 3G connection. My guess….every mobile device in 3 years will have the built in ability to connect via a celluar network. We’re already doing this, but it will just become part of the hardware of every mobile device. What this will do to/for places like Africa and a large part of the developing word I can only imagine…….but it excites me. Society expects us to be connected I’ve been preaching this everywhere this month as it came out of the TED Talk I did back in September. i think we need to stop making excuses for all of us spending to much time connected and just realize this is now the world we live in. Once we own this fact then we can start having some deep discussions around how do we teach in this new society, how do we communicate, and how do we live in a world that is constantly connected? We continue to have conversations about being “balanced” and I agree that we need to find ways to get off the computer and get reconnected with nature. But balance in the term of 50/50 is not going to happen and it hasn’t been that way for a long time. TVs are in our homes, gaming systems have been around now for 30 years, and we all have a cell phone or soon will. We are now in a time where being connected is the norm and being disconnected is not. We need to make this shift in our thinking. We need to consiously think about disconnecting, taking trips with no connective devices, which goes again societies rules right now and that’s what makes it difficult. A goal of every family should be to take 1...

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The reason for f2f

Back in Bangkok and still making sense of what happened last week. Two conferences with a total of 13 presentations and a 102.8F fever in between. The one idea that keeps running through my head is this: What is the reason we gather Face to Face? There is a reason we like going to conference, there is a reason why students like coming to school (and it’s not to be by oneself) there is a reason we want students in a class. What is that reason? What is the reason we gather face to face when content can be found 24/7/365? What is the reason when research can be done outside face to face time? What is the reason when reading/listening/gathering/analyzing content can be done outside of school? What are we doing with face to face time to maximize the learning potential for students?If we are worried that students are just “skimming the web” for information then what is the face to face time in our classes for? If we are worried that kids won’t have an opportunity to go deep with knowledge, that things come to easy and to fast. What are we doing with the time we have them in front of us? If I have every student find the 5 best articles they can on a given topic and bookmark them using Diigo or Delicious, when we get together face to face, what do we do? What is my role as a teacher facilitator? There is a reason we get together, there is something that online courses, Skype, and all of it can not replace. What is that? And how do we change our classrooms so that is what we are focusing the majority of our time on. How do we maximize face to face time with students? What is technologies role? What is the teacher’s role? As usual I come back from conferences with more questions than answers….and that’s a good thing....

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