The web is the platform. How to set up a web browser for students

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My slide deck from my presentation to the Canadian Association of Independent Schools Best Practices conference in April, 2010.

This Keynote was made and presented on the iPad. All images except for the screen shots of the web browser tool bars were made using Adobe Ideas for the iPad. The original presentation did not have the text slides--I've added those in place of my voice over.

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The web is the platform. How to set up a web browser for students

  1. 1. THE WEB IS THE PLATFORM Brad Ovenell-Carter Presented at the Canadian Association of Independent Schools Best Practices Conference April 30, 2010
  2. 2. THE FOLLOWING PRESENTATION WAS MADE ENTIRELY ON THE IPAD USING KEYNOTE AND ADOBE IDEAS, EXCEPT FOR THE SCREENSHOTS OF THE WEB BROWSER TOOLBARS. THOSE WERE CLIPPED ON MY MACBOOK PRO AND EDITED IN SKETCH. THE TEXT PAGES DID NOT APPEAR IN THE ORIGINAL. I'VE ADDED THEM IN HERE IN PLACE OF MY VOICE OVER.
  3. 3. THE IDEA OF "THE WEB IS THE PLATFORM" GREW OUT OF ANOTHER. IDEA...
  4. 4. I WAS TOLD AND READ THAT YOUNG PEOPLE WERE JUMPING ON THE TECHNOLOGY BANDWAGON. IN 2008...
  5. 5. SO, THINKING THAT IF I BUILD IT THEY WILL COME, I ROLLED OUT EVERY TECHNOLOGY I THOUGHT MIGHT BE USEFUL FOR ME AND MY STUDENTS.
  6. 6. BUT, WHERE I EXPECTED CHEERS I HEARD GROANS. THEY WERE...
  7. 7. IT WASN'T THE NUMBER OF TOOLS THAT HAD THEM ON THEIR KNEES. IT WAS THE FACT THAT THEY JUST COULDN'T SEE THE POINT OF USING THE TOOLS AT ALL.
  8. 8. AT FIRST I THOUGHT THIS MIGHT HAVE SOMETHING TO DO WITH OUR DEMOGRAPHIC. BUT AFTER TWEETING AND SKYPING COLLEAGUES AROUND THE WORLD, IT SEEMED THIS WAS A...
  9. 9. I LOOKED FOR SOME DATA TO SUPPORT THE STORIES I WAS HEARING:
  10. 10. BUT I FOUND A SIMPLER EXPLANATION.
  11. 11. IN ALL HUMAN HISTORY, THERE HAS NEVER BEEN AN IDEA THAT HAS BEEN ADOPTED UNIVERSALLY OR WITH EQUAL ENTHUSIASM BY EVERYONE
  12. 12. No idea in history universally adopted Chris in Oz Very simple bell curve with chasm
  13. 13. WHENNWE LOOK AT THE WAY PEOPLE ADOPT TECHNOLOGY IN PARTICULAR, WE GET THIS:
  14. 14. AND I WAS FIRMLY STUCK HERE:
  15. 15. NOW, I LIKE THAT SORT OF SIMPLE EXPLANATION.
  16. 16. HERE'S ANOTHER SIMPLE IDEA THAT SAYS IT ALL: WE DON'T GO TO THE HARDWARE STORE BECAUSE WE WANT TO BUY...
  17. 17. WE GO TO THE HARDWARES STORE BECAUSE WE NEED TO...
  18. 18. I HAD BEEN THINKING ABOUT TECHNOLOGY AS A DRILL.
  19. 19. THOSE ARE ALL NOUNS.
  20. 20. WHEN, REALLY, WHAT WE WANTED WAS TO DO STUFF, TO MAKE HOLES, SO TO SPEAK
  21. 21. SO I ASKED MYSELF, WHAT DO WE DO ONLINE? I CAME UP WITH 5 ACTIVITIES.
  22. 22. WE RESEARCH
  23. 23. WE PRODUCES THINGS SUCH AS ESSAYS BUT ALSO BLOGS, ARTWORKS, PHOTOGRAPHY, VIDEOS AND PODCASTS...
  24. 24. WE PUBLISH THOSE THINGS BY HANDING THEM IN FOR ASSESSMENT OR UPLOADING THEM TO YOUTUBE AND SO ON.
  25. 25. WE TALK ABOUT THEM AFTER THEY'RE PUBLISHED. THIS COULD BE A TEACHER'S COMMENT OR GRADE OR A THREADED DISCUSSION IN A NING FORUM, ETC.
  26. 26. FINALLY, WE USE CALENDARS AND TO DO LISTS TO MANAGE OUR TIME AND TASKS (AND AS WE WORK MORE COLLABORATIVELY, THIS BECOMES INCREASINGLY IMPORTANT.)
  27. 27. NOW, JUST AS WE DON'T SAY TO OUR STUDENTS, "LET'S DO SOME PENCILLING!"...
  28. 28. I WANTED A WAY TO MAKE THE TECHNOLOGY INVISIBLE AND FOCUS ON THE END RESULT.
  29. 29. INSTEAD OF HAVING A BLOGGING PLATFORM, A SEARCHING PLATFORM, A CALENDAR PLATFORM ETC. I WANTED ONE PLATFORM TO RULE THEM ALL.
  30. 30. HERE'S HOW WE HAVE ALL OUR STUDENTS SET UP THEIR BROWSERS:
  31. 31. YOU CAN SEE THAT THE PLATFORMS DO NOT APPEAR. INSTEAD WE FIRST ASK WHAT IT IS WE WANT TO DO.
  32. 32. THEN WE OPEN A FOLDER ON THE TOOLBAR TO PICK THE RIGHT TOOL FOR THE JOB.
  33. 33. HAS IT WORKED?
  34. 34. SO FAR, YES. MY STUDENTS SEEM TO UNDERSTAND NOW WHEN THEY WANT TO PRODUCE AN ESSAY OR POEM, GOOGLE DOCS IS THE WAY TO GO.
  35. 35. AND TO DISCUSS AN IDEA, A BLOG IS IDEAL.
  36. 36. NOT SO INCIDENTALLY, COMPARE THE FOLLOWING TWO BLOG SAMPLES. THE SECOND TAKEN ABOUT 6 MONTHS AFTER THE FIRST AND AFTER WE INTRODUCED THE IDEA OF THE WEB IS THE PLATFORM.
  37. 37. I think the reason we read old literature is to understand the past more. Like Beowulf most old stories were originally passed down verbally then written down later. Also I think people read old stories because we learn new things from it like how different our world is now, and how different our literature is now a days!
  38. 38. Putting aside the fact that I do not believe that a computer with a brain is neither needed or will be used I believe that it will pose many questions and there will be allot of controversy surrounding it. They are putting so much time, effort, and money into discovering initially, a computer with a mind, and I think that what Professor Markham is doing what doctor Frankenstein tried to accomplish. Professor Markham is the real modern Prometheus. They are both trying to create life using science and medicine but I don't think either of them really thought of the consequences of their actions, and only the process and the journey. This will raise many questions concerning what makes us human, and whether this computer will have rights. One thing I find will come up is, if you break a computer, would that be considered taking a life? Would you be sent to jail? What rights will apply to this artificial brain?
  39. 39. HERE'S WHAT I THINKING GOING ON: PREVIOUSLY, STUDENTS COULDN'T DISTINGUISH THE EMPTY PAGE ON A BLOG FROM THE EMPTY PAGE OF A WORD DOCUMENT. THEY COULDN'T SEE ANY REASON TO HAVE ALL THOSE TOOLS--ALL THOSE DRILLS. THEY NOW SEE ONLINE DISCUSSIONS A DISTINCTLY DIFFERENT FROM ESSAY WRITING (WE'D CALL THAT PRODUCTION) AND SO FEEL FREER TO SPEAK OPENLY & TAKE MORE INTELLECTUAL RISKS. (AS A RULE, I DON'T GRADE BLOG POSTS. I ONLY GIVE COMMENTS THAT WILL ADVANCE THE DISCUSSION.)
  40. 40. THANKS! FOLLOWING ARE LINKS TO THE "DRILLS"
  41. 41. HTTP://FUR.LY/OYJ links to the tools

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