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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803 Downloads to cap off a week to remember

(Prepare yourself it’s a long one!) (Read to the bottom to find out why it took me over 12 hours to post this reflection!) What a week this has been and with the launch of the book today, it’s made it all the more amazing of a week. As of this writing, Reach was downloaded 801 times today. My networks and communities once again surpassed my expectations. As I told my wife yesterday, I’d be tickled if 200 people downloaded the Free PDF. To have 800+ do it in the first day alone is just mind boggling. As I say in the book, once you become connected to this network, professional development like you have never known before starts to flow your way. This book as been as much a part of my own professional development this year as anything else. On top of that I get to reap the benefits from people posting about it, quoting it, and thinking about it on their own blogs, twitter updates, and everywhere else on the network. Some have asked if the book is OK to share with others. I have released Reach under a Creative Commons 3.0 License as found on the copyright page of the book. Meaning you are free to distribute it as you wish to your school community or to your own network within the guidelines of the Creative Commons Copyright. Part of what I wrote about in the book, and part of what I believe overwhelms people, is this idea that you have to be everywhere and that every site is a silo. When really, once you understand the connectivity of the Internet, it can all come to you in one place, and you can talk to your network through one channel. So in sharing Reach today I decided to do a little experiment on where my network and community (and yes they are different….you’ll have to read the book to learn how) are coming from and how they are connected. So I released the Free PDF within all my networks and communities. This blog, the U Tech Tips blog, Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Here’s how the downloads panned out (as of 10pm June 15th). This Blog: 511 Twitter: 228 LinkedIn: 0 U Tech Tips: 32 Facebook: 32 I was surprised at first that more people downloaded Reach via my blog than via Twitter. I was expecting...

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Mining Twitter for Content

Take 14 minutes out of your day today or tomorrow and watch this video: Web 3.0 from Kate Ray on Vimeo. Is it sad that this excites me? I love Tim Berners-Lee’s last statement: “If we end up building all the things I can imagine, we’ve failed.” This coming from the “father of the World Wide Web”. The video really talks about now that we have all this information on the web how do we organize it and make it work for us? In the past week I’ve radically shifted the way I use Twitter, that more closely aligns with this new semantic web approach. It’s been an eye opening experience for me and once again I’m excited about the possibilities that are twitter. It’s very much about connections, and Twitter is a connection between people. I follow people who I believe will lead me to good content. But how do you know what that good content is in a stream that is over 3,000 people? That is where using semantic web tools such as Twittertim.es comes in. If you haven’t yet given this site a go….I strongly recommend it. We’ve said for a while now that the “cream raises to the top” and now with a semantic tools like Twittertim.es we have that. Basically what Twittertim.es does is make since of your twitter stream by collecting all the links that are being shared by those that you follow and gives weight to them based on the amount of times a link appears. Those links with the most tweets and retweets create your Twittertim.es style newspaper. The Twitter Times – Video Tour from Maxim Grinev on Vimeo. I no longer follow a stream of people, I use the people to lead me to the best content out there. Today I opened my twittertim.es page and the top 10 stories were all interesting to me. There isn’t another newspaper out there that could do that. This is completely tailored to my specifications based on the people I follow and the news they are reading and retweeting. Using this same idea, over the weekend I completely redid the decks in Tweetdeck on my computer. I deleted all the lists of people I was following and recreated decks around content. I’m now mining Twitter for the content that is relevant to me. At first I thought that I’d miss my lists of...

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