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Mark Edwards's discussion posts

  • Mark Edwards 15 Nov 2013 1:04pm () in Growing leadership of e-learning | NAPP Kōrero 6 - Resourcing

    I agree with Jacqueline's and Kristin's observations that a classroom full of students engaged with technology doesn't necessarily have a direct link to improved student outcomes. Infact in the 8 years that I've been teaching I have never been able to reliably link any pedagogical change to improved student outcomes. This is because learning isn't a factory where inputs can be measured against outputs. So much of what the Ministry says about the importance of personalised learning is because every student's life is different. Every student learns differently because they add what happens in the classroom to the experiences they bring to the classroom (some people call is constructivism). The trouble is the Ministry then expect BOTs, principals, teachers and whanau to use evidence based practice to decide what works and what doesn't as if classrooms are a factory. The Ministry needs to realise the fallacy of evidence based practice. There is no way to directly link teacher inputs to student outputs as evidence. It could be the other things happening in the student's life that makes just as much difference as the iPad in the classroom (e.g. a reunited family group, an interested Uncle, a visit to a museum etc etc). I think technology can raise student achievement but so could: stability of employment for families; policies that narrow the income gaps; smaller class sizes and a University system that doesn't rely on students sitting for 4 hours exams to "handwrite" their learning.

  • Mark Edwards 08 Nov 2013 11:21pm () in 2013: Leadership and strategic planning for e-learning | NAPP Kōrero 14

    Interesting that on the first page 2 of the eLearning planning framework document it has a flow chart with "Technology drives decisions" leading to "Curriculum learning needs". This seems to be opposite to Karen Melhuish Spencer's presentation to teachers in Dunedin at a CORE breakfast session on October 7th, 2013. She highlighted the importance of building technology decisions around curriculum learning. It would be impossible to let technology dictate curriculum planning. Technological tools change too quickly to be tied to any one longterm pathway, and yet, curriculum decisions need to integrate current technology to engage students. Perhaps this is the cause of the confusion between the techperts.

  • Mark Edwards 04 Nov 2013 4:33pm () in 2013: Leadership and strategic planning for e-learning | NAPP Kōrero 14

    I have to agree with comments about jumping onto the ICT ship heading towards that mystical land "improving student outcomes" loaded with expensive hardware, a tiny ICT professional development budget and often no planning budget or time to plan away from the classroom. Having no plan is like setting off without a map, GPS or weather report. The map will give you a planned direction the GPS tells you where you are now. The weather report is a bit like assessment. It often tells you the wrong thing and is incredibly hard to interpret. (Ever wondered what that symbol with the sun hiding behind a rain cloud actually means?) Unfortunatlely even with a map, GPS and the latest weather report things go wrong. Often the storm dictates the destination but that shouldn't stop you casting off.

  • Mark Edwards 07 Jun 2013 10:23pm () in Audio Note App

    StoryKit works well. It is incredibly easy to use does all Diane mentions and you can click on an icon on every page to playback a recording of them reading the page. The ability of iPod/iPad to manage multi-media easily really shines in this program. Only glitch is sometimes we have trouble using the record function.

  • Mark Edwards 15 Mar 2013 1:55pm () in DLP Projectors and rainbow effect

    Thanks Allan that's really helpful. Do you know if this improved technology has filtered down to the low end models (approx $1000).

    Thanks again Mark

  • Mark Edwards 15 Mar 2013 10:24am () in Speech to text for Ipad2 and IOS 6

    Hi,

    Have found out that Siri/Dictation doesn't work on Ipad2s. Only on Ipad3s and Iphone 4Ss & 5s. I have heard that a free App called Dragon can be used but it doesn't work with IOS6. Anyone have a solution for speech to text? We really want to use the Ipad to adapt the curriculum and this would be a great tool to this.

  • Mark Edwards 14 Mar 2013 1:13pm () in DLP Projectors and rainbow effect

    Hi we are considering buying a DLP projector to hopefully get a longer period of full luminosity. When I mentioned it to the BOT one of the Board members mentioned that he finds DLP projectors very hard to view due to the "rainbow" effect of their colour wheel technology. Apparently a certain percentage of people find DLP projectors hard to look at. Is anyone using them in class and does the "rainbow effect" make them difficult to use?

  • Mark Edwards 12 Mar 2013 11:02pm () in App Sharing

    My favourite is StoryKit. Within minutes you can create texts by either recording speech, typing in text, adding pics via the camera and/or using the paint feature to write or illustrate texts. Multiple literacy tools within one simple programme.

  • Mark Edwards 12 Mar 2013 10:51pm () in What projectors to buy

    Cleaning the filters isn't the only answer. We have had several brands over the last five years. All of them seem to lose their luminosity over a period of time. I only just found out that LCD projectors use halogen lamps that are guaranteed to lose 50% of their luminosity over two years. Dust also builds up inside these units (even if you religiously clean the filters like the techies tell you!). I am about to trial a Viewsonic DLP projector approx $900 which has a sealed dust proof projection system and is not meant to drop it's luminosity level over time 6,000 hours. Lamp life is equivalent to a normal LCD 6,000. The best system is the new LCD units which use LED bulbs they cost approx $3000 (in 2013) but lamps last for 20,000 hours. Other factors are what kind of keystoning compensation is used. Optical keystoning  doesn't distort the luminosity, while digital keystoning gives you those dark fuzzy edges at the bottom of the screen where the pixels are squeezed. I do wonder when large touch screens running Windows 8 will become the affordable standard or will electronic paper beat it to the market.