Month: June 2012

“I use my Mac for…” MacFormat Interview June 2012

iPad

I was lucky enough to do a very brief interview with MacFormat for this months magazine on what I use my Apple devices for.

Have a read below and I would also pick up the June edition as it has got some great stuff in.

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Social Networks in Education (Survey)

The use of Social Media in educational settings is beginning to show terrific benefits. Many schools have already grasped some of these benefits, but many more are struggling to come to terms with the ideology of social media and how it best fits; a number of reasons can be cited e.g. Lack of strategic incentive, a lack of (or the myth of) technical know-how and concerns of e-safety to name a few.

Matt Britland (@mattbritland) and Alan Mackenzie (@esafetyadviser) have joined forces and are going to write a collaborative piece to tackle some of these issues. The outcome of this article will is:

To give examples of the type of Social Media services available.
To indicate the benefits of Social Media and give examples of good practice.
To mitigate some of the e-safety concerns of using Social Media in an educational environment.

If you wish to add further comments that aren’t identified in the survey, please email Matt and Alan as follows:
mr.britland@gmail.com
alan@esafety-adviser.com

The answers you give in the survey questions are a building block to this piece of writing; Matt and Alan would like to thank you in advance for your contribution.

 

Should all Students Learn how to Touch Type?

Are we preventing our students from being productive users of computers by not teaching touch typing? I think perhaps we are.

The question is; who teaches it and when will it be taught?

My thoughts are that it should not be taught in ICT lessons. Being able to touch type goes beyond ICT and is for many, a requirement for everyday life. But then, who does teach it? I don’t have an answer I am afraid, but would love to hear people’s opinions.

Should students have this skill before secondary school? Do we need to teach it at primary level, and can we expect students to be able to adopt these skills so early on? I see touch typing as asking students to write, without actually teaching them how to use a pen.

With the amount of work students do on computers I think that this skill is vital.

There is no doubt in my mind that many students (and teachers) who would find learning this skill very boring. I am pretty sure we can make it exciting. Especially with the adoption of gamification.

I am not suggesting that typing is now more important than writing, only that it is a skill that warrants teaching.

However, after saying all this, I cannot touch type, but I wish I had been taught. (I am quite fast, but not as fast as I would like to be) It’s on my list of things to do.

There are many schools, I am sure, who do teach touch typing. If you do I would love to hear from you. At present I am trying to see if I can work this into the curriculum myself, this maybe the biggest challenge.