Sunday 14 May 2017

Little kids and tech - are we doing it right?

Animal Cards

I can't remember where I heard this story, but it's a good one. A father wasn't sure why his big 50" TV had all these horizontal smudge marks across the bottom of the screen. That was, until one day he saw his 3-year-old walk up to the TV and try to "swipe" across the screen to change the channel from the news his dad was watching!

Our children are digital natives. They grow up knowing what apps are, and NOT knowing what a phone with a cord looks like. We need to embrace this fact rather than think of ways to prevent it from happening - it is an inevitable process that will happen regardless of what we think of it.

But do we, as parents or educators, leverage this attitude and familiarity with technology to create amazing learning opportunities for our young children?

Wednesday 3 May 2017

GIF's are great for explaining what you mean!

Over the last few months I have been experimenting with different ways to create short, quick tech tips for my teachers. I have tried video tutorials, emails, hyperdocs, interactive PDF's (more to follow on some of these) and most recently started experimenting with GIF's.

Now, I have used GIF's before, but have always found them slightly cumbersome to create. then last week, after reading about LOOPY on Lifehacker, I discovered a tool that makes creating a GIF super easy.

Licecap let's you record any area on your screen (like many popular screencasting apps do) and outputs to GIF format immediately. You can decide on how many frames per second you want the playback to be (this will have an impact on how smooth it will appear, at the cost of increased file size) and also the size of the window you want to capture.
The response I have had from teachers has been VERY positive. As an example, I had sent out some written instructions on how to change the view in Outlook. One teacher struggled, but after sending a GIF demonstrating how to do it, she managed it without a hitch. She emailed back straight away with a massive thank you!

How do you use GIF's to enhance your teaching?

Let me know in the comments below.

'till next time.