More ASLA13 reflections

Further to my ASLA13 post from Monday, I have some more session reflections to share. Another new friend, Michelle Jensen, who is SLANSW President, recorded conference minute videos for some of the sessions I also attended.

Check out the SLANSW YouTube channel here. Such an innovative idea to immediately record and share session reflections to keep ideas fresh. You can follow SLANSW on Twitter too.

Wheelers eBooks @Kewhslibrary

So we’ve finally managed to get our eBooks up and running at Kew High School. Thanks to our ICT guys and the Wheelers’ crew, our students can log in using their school credentials. We’re only starting small at the moment, with a big push beginning in term 1.

I’ve made this video, along with our AV Coordinator Huu Tran, to show students how they can download eBooks from our collection using their mobile device.

‘Everything I learned was from the internet or YouTube’

Yesterday’s Age and Sydney Morning Herald featured one of my school’s students. Andy Truong is a 15 year old fashion designer who is just about to mount his own solo show at this year’s Melbourne Spring Fashion Week. He is the youngest ever designer to hold their own show. What an amazing effort, it’s seriously impressive.

But the line that really stood out for me in the news article was Andy’s quote, ‘Everything I learned was from the internet or YouTube‘. It’s a way of learning that some of us don’t understand and don’t rate. At Friday’s excellent session with Marco Torres, he told the story of presenting to 7 different Maths conferences. He held challenges between the maths experts and students. At each session, the students won the challenge simply because they used the internet, apps and software to discover what they needed to know. We need to start acknowledging the way the internet can teach us; we need to start thinking differently.

If Andy Truong had sat back and waited to learn design and sewing using traditional methods, he wouldn’t be experiencing what he is today. So kudos to the people who shared their knowledge via YouTube and the internet that he was able to access.

This type of sharing is something that, I believe, has brought us to a crossroads of current human belief and nature. It has been epitomised by the Apple vs Samsung decision in the last few days. Debate rages online about whether Apple or Samsung are in the right; simplistically, should we share our ideas or are others allowed to use our ideas or to ‘copy’?

Again Marco Torres illustrated a point using the example of Disney buying the rights or ideas to Marvel Comics for $4 billion. Here ideas are our new currency. He also explains how chefs like Jamie Oliver are the ideas people and it’s the sous chefs who actually fine tune the recipes initially conceived by head chefs. It’s the head chefs who earn more as they’re the ideas people.

Andy Truong certainly has his own ideas, that’s not in doubt; but what if the people who shared the ‘how tos’ on YouTube hadn’t have shared? How would Andy have learned? He probably wouldn’t have. So what value is there on sharing? It’s not something we can put a price on.

We need to radically rethink our ideas about making a lot of money vs making enough money and the role of sharing in our society. What will we decide?

Riding a motorbike through a supermarket is not good for your digital footprint

You’d think the heading of this post would be self-explanatory, wouldn’t you? That “digital natives”, who are supposed to know everything about technology would know better? Wrong.

Last night a young adult did exactly what the title says, hoping to become a YouTube sensation. (You can read a media report here.)

But what about the damage done to his digital footprint? News outlets named the youth and I can’t imagine too many prospective employers, etc. being too impressed with such a stunt. His public boasting via Facebook was another faux pas.

As we know, even when websites, videos, comments, blog posts and more are deleted, they can still be accessed.

We educators obviously have a lot more work to do with our students in terms of digital citizenship and positive digital footprints. If we think that because we might block or ban these tools at school, we can forget about them, then today’s news proves us wrong.

Many of our students know how to use these tools, but not the wide ranging implications that are part and parcel of social media.

Google Teacher Academy

I’d been thinking about applying for the first Australian Google Teacher Academy, but family illness meant that I’ve left it to the very last minute (well, considering the time zone differences, the very last minute is in about 29 hours from now, so not last minute at all).

Part of the application required a one-minute video. Compared to some of the ADE and GTA videos I’ve seen made by friends and colleagues, this is rather lame. Oh well, at least I got it done.

It’s not the most brilliant effort, but I wanted to show that even a low tech video can have good ideas. The video has not been edited and of course, uses my friends Harry, Ron and Hermione to discuss motivation and learning.