#coffeechat with Martin Coutts @mcoutts81

On Friday afternoon I met with Martin Coutts (@mcoutts81), Education Support Officer from Aberdeen City Council. I’ve known Martin since 2009 when he worked in the Aberdeenshire Glow Team and we’ve pushed each other forward in Ed Tech ever since.

As you can see from the quickly sketched summary above we talked about a lot on Friday afternoon. Apart from the bonus of coffee and cake with a good friend, we crammed in a ton of professional dialogue about Educational Technology and how we can further simplify our workflows.

Martin was keen to hear about the EdTechTeacher Boston iPad Summit and we talked about how important these types of conferences are in sharing best practice not only amongst attendees but also between presenters. I had picked up on a little bit of Twitter activity during the conference last week mentioning Explain Everything’s “Golden Play Button” and, after working out what it was, was more than happy to pass that tip on!recording

Martin had told me about recording video within Reflector via Twitter earlier in the week but it’s something I wanted to record here (and forgot to add to the graphic above!). Reflector is a software solution which harnesses Apple AirPlay to show the iPad screen on a Windows or MacOS screen. This then allows the iPad to be shown on a data projector when Apple TV isn’t available. While in Boston I’d tried screen recording Reflector using QuickTime and this had worked well but being able to record from within the app is even easier!

One of the concerns I had with Explain Everything is that it takes a long time to render MP4 videos. An easier way to share Explain Everything projects with students and other educators is to upload the XPL file to cloud storage, but the process can fall apart if someone doesn’t have a Dropbox/Copy/Skydrive. While Martin showed me some of the changes that were being made to GLOW he mentioned that every account comes with 50Gb of Skydrive storage. Knowing that each child in your class has access to a large amount of online storage from the same provider is going to make planning for the use of technology much easier! I was also impressed with how Microsoft 365 allows online collaborative editing of documents ala Google Drive. The advantage of Microsoft 365 over Google Drive is that you can create presentations in the iPad app.

We have also both been talking with other educators about arranging a Scottish iPad Summit early next year so talked a bit more about that. I know that some schools are *not* using iPads, favouring Android Tablets or Windows laptops instead, so perhaps we need to change the name. But *something* is needed – teachers have more than enough change going on with National Courses without having to work out how to make best use of the technology available in their schools. A National Courses workshop/conference would have been good too, thinking about it!

Martin has also been working with Airwatch MDM in his role and this is something that might be of interest to RGC when the wireless network is installed.

We also discussed starting a podcast to record our discussions but also to widen the circle of educators sharing experiences and ideas! Martin is looking at purchasing an external mic, I’m thinking of suitable apps!

A quick platform game created using Scratch #compsci

Our S2 students are currently working to a new course schedule which means that they are experiencing Scratch games design and skill building earlier in the session than in previous years. Already I’ve found my classes more motivated to listen to the teacher and make the most of their time in class, rather than the silent apathy that can creep in after they have made their subject choices for S3.

The final skill I’m going to show my S2 classes tomorrow involves creating a simple platform game like the one shown below. If you would like to see the code for use in your own class please click here .


Using Padlet & Google Forms for student engagement

Today I spent some time talking to my S3 students about my experiences in Boston last week and how it related to their course. While I realise this took away from their structured learning time I felt it was very important to highlight some of the real-world applications of the skills they are learning.

**Focus:** Engagement & reflection

I’ve used Wallwisher / Padlet in the past, but wanted to try and use it for reflection on their learning as a whole, rather than to build collaborative collections of facts. I also wanted the students to see the value in the “off-topic moments” and give feedback on these too.

So I created the Padlet shown below. I want to keep a record of their comments, so although it says it changes each week, it’s actually the link on the network that will change.

**How do I want to use this?**

Well I want to be able to address any concerns posted by my students or identify a concept that perhaps needs further explanation. I also want to allow all students the opportunity to post their thoughts on the enrichment section – giving a voice to those who may not want to speak up in front of their peers.

**How can I add to this?**

Even as I type, before the students have posted to the padlet for the first time, I can see ways that this might be improved. For example, adding a scale graphic to the padlet where students can post their initials:

(I’d love to know if transparent images can be added in padlet)

In the future this might be a weblink straight to a Geddit page!

I also wanted to provide a mechanism for students to suggest future enrichment topics, so I added a Google Form:

Then linked to it on the padlet:

It looks a little rough, but I’m going to go with this layout in the first instance. I see my S3 class again on Thursday and am about to post it to their Edmodo page to give them the opportunity to engage while the lesson / tangent is fresh in their minds.

**Other uses for the padlet?**

+ A grabbed image of the padlet, once the students have posted their comfort levels and comments, could become the base image for a ThingLink containing resources and further information. + The padlet could be used by groups to create a FAQ or other resource summarising the learning content this week + The padlet could be used by those absent to highlight their comfort based on their individualised learning (as they have access to the same resources via Edmodo) + The class teacher could use it as a visual planning aid for future iterations of the course – creating / editing resources to preempt any problems in learning about a topic.

If you have any comments or ideas that you would like to share, please comment below! Thanks!

Boston iPad Summit 2013 ThingLink #ettipad

This post acts as the index page for all the blog posts, video clips and links I have investigated / created in the course of the iPad summit.


Making the background for my #ettipad ThingLink

I wanted to put some of what I’ve learned into practice straight away, so spent a little bit of time on the flight planning the image around which I’m going to link all the resources, blog posts and contacts from the Boston iPad Summit.

I started with Paper by Fifty Three. I’ve never been particularly good at drawing and, as a result, hadn’t bought the different brushes. I got a few styluses at the EdTechTeacher conference and I really like the one from Showbie. It is firmer than the others and reacted better to my style of scribbling. So thanks Showbie!!

A quick screengrab and then I brought the image into Skitch. I used the highlight tool to add some more colour, then saved it to Camera Roll.

I wanted to add some graphics rather than just text so drew a few icons in Paper by Fifty Three. But how to add them to the larger image?

I looked in the App Store for a while for something that could layer images without much success and then I remembered Lisa Johnson’s suggestion about using Keynote or Explain Everything to build up images instead of Canva (which gave me my beta account this morning, unfortunately it doesn’t work on the iPad browser).

So I fired up Explain Everything and in a matter of minutes it was finished.

Just for effect I put the image through PicsArt. Here it is!

Now I just need to build the ThingLink!

#ettipad Mirror, mirror student self-assessment and ePortfolios through the iPad Looking Glass

Prezi available here  http://prezi.com/wuvsmi5hookt/mirror-mirro

Harwood Graduate Expectations – mission statement

will provide an educational and creative environment in which every person is valued as an individual, challenged as a learner and inspired to contribute to a democratic society

The Challenge – assessment

To the rescue – ipads and evernote

Storage is an issue in the classroom, also paper copies didn’t allow for cross curricular work to be shared between classrooms.

Tour around Evernote on the iPad

Aurasma in the Science Classroom

Explain Everything in the math classroom

You have to capture the content before you can reflect on it.

Portfolio Reflections

Used Skitch to anotate their paper poster, recorded audio into Evernote. Created QR code linked to the evernote note and put that up around the room so peers and parents could access their evaluations.

Audio is the game changer

* breakout task *

Turn and talk mastery

Skills, dispositions, concepts?

Standards you could measure?

Add ideas to a new Evernote note


Teachers can set up badges that you want students / teachers to master. They set quests to signpost the way students can achieve that badge. Can defer awarding of this badge if the work is not up to standard.



#ettipad Student Digital Portfolios: Rethinking Assessment Using Google and iPads (@HollyEdTechDiva)

Blog: www.hollyclark.org – The Connected Student on Edudemic

Twitter: www.twitter.com/hollyedtechdiva

People to follow





Why Student Portfolios? Why digital?

Digital Portfolio = Digital Citizenship

Positive Digital Footprint – building your digital legacy

It’s about understanding everything you are doing in digital citizenship.

Show students privacy – don’t give them a worksheet. They are building their digital brand. Empower them to take control.

Is my lesson good enough for a digital portfolio?

The California Missions

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=G-9M4I1HRt8 – Minecraft for deeper learning!!

3 types of portfolios

process –

showcase –

The Process

Drive, Forms, Sites – everything created was placed in Google Drive; after a month pupils submitted one piece of work and reflected upon it (using Forms);

Students Digitise work

Explain their work and record it using Explain Everything.

Wes Fryer

Student Recording using Explain Everything

iPad Literacy Project

Taking screenshot of a book, throwing it into Explain Everything and asking the student to read the book using the laser pointer tool. Valuable assessment evidence – real life.



Reflections – Portfolio Assignment

Complete name name of assignment link to assignment in your own word please design the assignment please list three things you are most proud of … Publishing

Creators, contributors


Holly made the templates in Google Sites for students to choose from and use in their own portfolios.

Each year they make a new tab for their work.

Digital Binder Learning Profile Personal Learning Goals Accomplishments Interests Students were trying to populate accomplishments area because they wanted to fill it.

TouchCasts – ThingLinks with video?  http://www.touchcast.com/

12th graders left – where does their work go? Kern Kelly bought personal domains for each graduating student (99c per domain) e.g. hollyclark.info – one year purchase, the year after they have the option to buy it themselves.

Start small:

Gather everything you can into Google Drive Then make a goal to do one project a grading period Have students reflect using Google Forms Have students publish using Google Sites Doctopus – Goobric – Flubaroo – Autocrat


Speak to parents – have a parents information session, don’t send permission slips home as you can’t explain to them your reasons for wanting to put their work online.

#ettipad Navigating the 1st year in a 1:1 classroom (@ShawnMcCusker)

Shawn McCusker runs #sschat

What is your idea of the perfect 1:1 classroom?

Imagine your ideal. (not reality)

Picture a hard working, individualised classroom – then build backwards from there.

Why? You have to let your vision drive the iPad. If you don’t work this way then you end up with iPads in a classroom, not iPads in YOUR classroom.

How do I get there?

1 . Begin by considering relationships

No significant learning happens without a significant relationship – Dr James Comer

The iPad is a tool, not the focus. If it interferes, put it away. If it becomes the focus or the end point, put it away.

Technology is a platform that propels you forward. Embrace how it supports the identity in your class.

Failure #1

Students didn’t know who their teacher was. Eyes were on the iPad. Day 1 is important for creating a culture in the classroom.

Discussion about relationship between students, teachers, content.

Content has a relationship with content from different time periods.

There is a relationship between teachers. Sharing isn’t comfortable. “Don’t tell them where you are at, tell them how you got there.”

“Peer pressure is more powerful than you”. Empower the students to find the content.

Tangental interests enriches topics. #hacking Necessary background info Remediation – “when you leave us, come back and enrich us” Extending the lesson – the student who gets the concept as you mention it (Revving like crazy, but unable to move on) Off task – invite them to be a part of the community = community of learning

Pro tips: individualised learning

Teach students how to self-differentiate early. Empower them to meet their needs. Establish students as experts and allow them to share their processes. Don’t walk up to them – proximity changes bad AND good behaviour. “Don’t suppress awesomeness” Create a procedure to gather their attention smoothly. “Screens down, eyes up” Prioritize people over devices: “People over things” – how do students want to be treated? Create a procedure for early completion (keep learning, keep earning): correct earlier assignments, enrichment, remediation? Create standard procedures for… 2 . Know your “why?”

Know your learning objective as a person.

If the school hasn’t explained the purpose of the iPads then don’t hand them out:

School values The big picture Course objectives

Time is not saved through iPads, it is just redistributed. Don’t devalue teacher identity – set priorities. If your school has not had these conversations, go and make them happen.

3 . Focus on content over technology

Learning objective

Learning objective

Learning objective

Some problems aren’t yours to fix in the classroom.

Redefine the iPad as a learning tool.


Narrow the choices of those apps:

4 . Socialise the norm

e.g. scissors; formal/informal language; clothing

From Smoke Signals to Tweets – master the rules for communication  http://www.edudemic.com/evolution-of-education/

Pro tips: Socialisation

Don’t say “no” tell them why

“Think twice before you post that because everything on the internet lasts forever” Let the class spend 5 minutes searching for you. Then turn it around

“We don’t post our full names online because…” Patrick Larkin – used to be “what if people can find out information about my kids”, now we worry that people can’t find information about us if we are going for a job interview.

“We listen to people because at some point we will want to be listened to”

5 . Focus on verbs not nouns


“I want to share our conversations on Rome”…

6 . Focus the process not the product

e.g. iMovie trailer;

Construct with them – coach and fade.

7 . Scaffold tech skills

You have time! Don’t plan it all for August.

Digital natives are a myth.

Kids are fearless – this is good and bad.

8 . Individualise and differentiate learning but create a common unifying experience for all

Every student contributes then teacher curates their takeaways to share a unifying experience.

9 . Does the physical learning space reflect the work and relationships in your class?

You don’t have to rearrange your room, rearrange your day.

Movable furniture?! In a library?! Shh doesn’t fit with collaboration.

A video by Don Orth  http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=3nwc7N6BaQc&desktop_uri=%2Fwatch%3Fv%3D3nwc7N6BaQc

Death of the Student Desk


How do you learn? Create that environment.

A readlist of articles on the 1:1 classroom


#ettipad Beyond The Flipped Classroom (Aaron Quigley)

Slides available at  www.achievetech.net/ipadsummit


Email  aquigley@lynda.com

Today’s focus


research driven

experiential / anecdotal

ideas on implementation

tools (ideas based)

High-level review

Tradional learning models:

i do, we do, you do

Gradual release

direct instruction

textbook readings

Passive activity in class, but active at home. Different learning path going on and we are not there when they need us.

Flipped classroom means students are active in class – align the active learning in the presence of the professional

What is possible in a flipped classroom?

More time to focus on mastery

DIfferentiated instruction

Class projects

Group work

Student creativity!

Adobe want to find out why we don’t incorporate creativity in the classroom

Driving question – what is the best use of your classroom time? – Jon Bergmann

Is direct instruction always what my students need? The Flipped Conundrum

Passive learning at home? We can make environments in their homes which allow for active learning!

Moving beyond the basics – increasing rigor in homework

#2 because you are not giving them too much direct instruction. Open questioning and response. Can engage with content in a deeper way.

Increase engagement, student participation and student-guided learning


Create simple lab kits, written instructions and reflection

no in class mess

tons of class time for evaluation of results

parent involvement at home

What could go wrong?…

“Assuming all students can complete projects at home is like assuming everyone can become a master-chef by buying a cookbook. They still need some help.”

Scaffolded Instruction for at-home exploratory learning

Problems (student selected) + resources:

e.g. I’ve posted four videos online – work out which one is the most relevant to solving a particular problem

Students solve own problems with self-selected resources:

e.g. here are six videos on acid rain, come up with some ideas of resources we could use in class;

Build accountability – make it less about the content and more about how they use it.

5E Lesson Plans – engage, explore, explain, elaborate (extend), evaluate

Elaborate (extend) was usually sent home – the most active part of the lesson. So tried engage, explore then explain for homework – next lesson began by extending what was covered in the lesson before. Used BrainPop for the explain part.


Then tried homework – engage, explore (become familiar with concept); then start next class with explanation and elaboration.

What does this look like?

Tools, tips, tricks and ideas

How do I create a flipped resource that is more rigorous?

1 . Find and learn a LMS e.g. Moodle, Blackboard, Edmodo, Canvas, Desire2Learn, Schoology

Also suggested in the room: Haiku, Zaption

Haiku  http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=2BYXBC8WQ5k

2 . Exploratory learning tools – remove the knowledge constraints

DocsTeach (National Archives – Social Studies)  http://docsteach.org The Elements – Theodore Gray $10 app  http://periodictable.com/theelements/  and  https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/elements-visual-exploration/id364147847?mt=8 Nova elements https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/nova-elements/id512772649?mt=8

Solve the outbreak  https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/solve-the-outbreak/id592485067?mt=8

Nuclear  https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/nuclear/id509546625?mt=8

Writing Prompts  https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/writing-prompts/id417683378?mt=8 Algebra Touch  https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/algebra-touch/id384354262?mt=8

3 . Students lacking iPads?

create your own online exploratory lessons use your ipad to create screen shots arrange screen shots + text on – powerpoints, prezi or google presentations

4 . Gamification

Math Zombies Pick-a-path MathBugs Step2Step (mechanics, physics, etc)

How do I find cool apps?

Teacher tips – free each week of release www.lynda.com iPad Classroom – Apps for Educators

#ettipad Of lively sketchbooks and curiosity amplifiers (Dr Ruben Puentedura)

His slides are available here  http://www.hippasus.com/rrpweblog/archives/2013/11/15/LivelySketchbooksCuriosityAmplifiers.pdf

3 features of mobile devices:


Use anywhere – subway image

guarantee of anytime / anywhere access


The moment you flip up a laptop screen a barrier is created, doesn’t happen with iPads. “It blends into you”

Mobile devices are heading towards being invisible – we don’t notice them as special. They don’t get in the way.


Museum video conference example – you don’t have to go home after seeing an interesting mask, you just use the mobile device to enhance the experience

More information here –  http://www.hippasus.com/rrpweblog/archives/000053.html

How does this impact education?

We are moving towards the idea that the world is a learning space and any time is the learning time.

>>> Curiosity Amplifier

Term coined by John Seely Brown –  http://www.nmc.org/2010-summer-conference/jsb-keynote-video


The Grommets – a story about how fame and fortune was brought to Maui

“Each element that you find drives the curiosity and further questions, but because the device is ubiquitous, intimate and embedded you just keep going”

“It drives feedback loops. It drives exploration.”

So what it so special about this?

Vygotsky slide

This is not simply “monkey see, monkey do”.  Iterate through independent practice to close the loop.

The device is putting you in contact with a community of MKO. Not just looking it up once on a laptop.

“what we are seeing is an instantiation of vygotsky social learning because the device is an ubiquitous, intimate and embedded device” – hypothesis

SEARCH: Curated collection which can be searched and manipulated e.g. Wolfram Alpha

WORLD SEARCH: Relevant information to where you are in the world right now. e.g. Yelp (situated search), object / media ID – take a picture of a leaf and a search can give you information about that; song identified by recording a sample; augmented reality – push and pull is possible

DIGITAL OBJECTS: Music, books, video but also how the world changes e.g. news, social networks

You should think about the whole rich spectrum of what is available to you.

SAMR model

Example of SAMR applied in the math classroom

“Trust us. This is good for you”


Ask the student to trust you first, learn the math later. Explore areas of interest relevant to student e.g. sports. Open University collection on iTunesU. “tempt their palette, encourage them to explore”; Khan Academy video analysis – they can start to understand why you want to do it. Start to see connections between the math and the sport.


Keep driving the process forward. e.g. actually being able to surf (Grommets example from earlier). Here is a simulation of skateboarding example, what would happen? Simulated practice component; Wolfram Alpha curated search tool. Manipulation is built into it.

Use is the equivalent of a calculator with added interactivity.


Continue to use Wolfram Alpha – gather statistics on players; can get videos on Michael Jordan; move away from the simulation; using the tools available to the student they can begin to investigate how maths applies to the situation I am interested in .


Traditionally might have completed an end of topic test / paper. Here something tangible is created. Build models e.g. when a baseball player throws a baseball, can I model that and use the models to explain how maths works in the real world.

Or perhaps share a video of archery practice with the world, get feedback to improve my own practice.

>>> The Lively Sketchbook

Devices are not designed to have large monolithic apps, but suited to apps which deal with small bitesized chunks.

e.g. try using photoshop on a laptop with one hand, try to perform some keyboard shortcuts. good luck.

Leonardo Da VInci – Battle of Anghiari

The original image was lost. But we have his sketchbooks in which he planned his work and in some ways these are richer than the final image itself.

A device is uniquely suited to being a sketchbook.

We need tools.

Five categories which can help the lively sketchbook come alive: Social, mobility, visualisation, storytelling, gaming = these can all be leveraged digitally

Example – visit to a museum


Documented the visit to the Tate Modern in London


Use timelines to integrate the information gathered from their visit to Tate Modern to create meaning from the tools; Camera tools can be used to modify images while in the field.


Students push themselves further – select an artist and explore their work, develop an understanding and create own work inspired by that artist; Experiment with creating virtual sculptures; Student could render it in the physical world by using a 3D printer.

* this links to MIT Media Lab philosophy *


Create an exhibit that incorporates work of the artist that other students can visit and leave feedback on – create meaning for themselves and others

>>> Not just a passive consumption device <<<

What is the world that these devices are being used in?

Students aren't waiting for us to decide how to use them. Students now are immersed in a participatory culture:

Henry Jenkins

Confronting the Challenges of Participatory Culture: Media Education for the 21st Century (Part One)

Immersed students:

Create their own content e.g. music

share what they have developed

get together virtually to solve problems; Gamers are highly social, not isolated people.

All students do not do this – roughly 30% are immersed. Need to bridge that gap.

* 21C learning slide *

foundational knowledge – information literacy, core content knowledge, cross-disciplinary knowledge / synthesis

meta knowledge – creativity and innovation, problem solving & critical thinking, communication and collaboration

humanistic knowledge

SAMR example #3 – leverage immersed students

Scenario around hurricane katrina


Give access to a range of materials created as a response to the hurricane e.g. comics


Do not fall into the trap of plagiarism; e.g. Brat Pack Mashup video

Explore the remix or remix phenomenon.


How do you unearth the data about the impact of hurricane katrina


Individual project – create a remix of their own that shows what they have learned about hurricane katrina e.g. comic, video – edit and refine is the key (iterative proess)

Group project – take all the knowledge they have derived and choose a project on Kiva – real scenario related to hurricane katrina – ask students to make the best possible choice and fund one project.