In this must-read post, Lisa Myers says so many things right. So many of us teachers have shocked that people have seen into the heart of who we are but why did some teachers have to die for people to see it? "No, for most of us, our all does not include a sacrificial death, but it does include a sacrificial life. It means working a full day at school then continuing that work at home well into the evening as we grade papers and prepare materials that will lead to authentic learning in the classroom. That’s our surface work. At a deeper level, however, we also do the following:”"
I really like the idea of this app - it keeps up with the last time you did something (go to the doctor, change the oil, took a day off, changed your toothbrush) and reminds you when it is time to do that again. I like this as I don't want my to do list cluttered and then just forward and forward when I really need to know when the last time I did something happened so I can know how serious it would be. Even things like "when is the last time I did something kind for the janitor" or other things that are important but don't necessarily need to hit the list. Cool idea. I'm trying it.
Teachmeets around the world are great opportunities for teachers to get together and share ideas. In the UK, they are having a teachmeet as well - sadly the tickets are already "sold out" which shows how many teachers really love these events. Informal ways for teachers to talk to teachers - these are great. There's one in Georgia in January - I'm working on my schedule to be there. Look for a teachmeet in your area.
The fact is that Tablets are here, they are useful, and they are proliferating as we speak. Most of my money this Christmas was spent at Amazon and the Apple store. Apps and music are where we spend our money. Two of my kids wanted iphones and the other, an ipad mini. Merry Christmas to Apple - I think many others are like that as well. I've been testing the Kenna tablet from SchoolTube which is a heavy duty droid tablet with slots for just about everything. Tablets are everywhere.
Many options for "making" video games (or simple animations) have emerged. In this short piece, Edudemic shares how one can use GameStar mechanic to make games along with a video. It is well worth a try although, depending on the type of game, Microsoft Kodu or Scratch may also work. There are also some very cool games with the Xbox Kinect SDK app that let you capture a person's body movements much like they do to create characters like Gollum in The Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit.
Adding voiceovers to Powerpoint? This is a skill both teachers and students should know how to do, although there are certainly ways to do it poorly (i.e. reading boring text-heavy slides word-for-word) or well (exciting, engaging sharing of content). This instruction and video tutorial is a review for those teachers not ready to make film but who want to do some flipping of content in their classes. You can also record your class discussions and sync with powerpoint slides using slideshare.net (although sometimes slideshare makes a mess of odd fonts.)
Smart Journals are becoming popular. Right now I'm using the vjournal app which creates a running journal in evernote with time stamps, photos, etc. - however, there are many app-specific smart journals as reviewed in this article on the Next Web. Look at how you're journaling for this year and consider these options including Memento, Day One, Path, and more.