The Parenting Factor

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There is no question that parents are a vital and crucial part of the school community. It is interesting to consider some key components of this important relationship. Here are a few questions.
Ownership: Are parents the owners? Are their interests met directly? Do they have a voice?
Management: Do parents have the opportunity to participate directly in the management of the school? Can they be a part of the big strategic decisions? Can they influence direction?
Participation: Are parents motivated to participate because of their vested interest in the school? Are there many avenues for participation?
Community: Is there a sense of common purpose amongst the parents helping to develop a sense of community?
Aspirations and Goals: Are parents clearly seeking certain common goals. What are these goals? e.g. a safe and nurturing environment, a strong emphasis on education, a well rounded curriculum and excellent teachers.
Does the school recognise these goals and seek to address them?
Morality: Do the parents relate to the moral beliefs / ethos of the school? Is there a strong sense of morality and purpose? Does this morality / ethos permeate the culture of the school?
Consistency and continuity: Do parents perceive a consistency of people and the environment? Is there stability in the staff and the environment? Do parents have a sense that the school has a clear purpose and direction?
Communication: Are the lines of communication for parents easy to navigate, both to teachers, administration and management?
Quality and Resourcing: Do parents believe that resources and support provided enable delivery of a quality teaching program across all areas of the school?
Flexibility and capability: Do parents have confidence that educators and administrators can adapt and evolve the leaning environment swiftly and effectively to meet changing needs, of the different groups, within the school community?
Happiness: Is there is a sense that teachers, students and parents are happy and feel a sense of pleasure or delight in participating.

Is there a feeling that these factors are working together to produce a sense of “rightness”… a sense that parents are actively parenting and are involved in the education of their children? – “The Parenting Factor”.

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Applying Apps to Learning Tasks – SAMR

The SAMR Model (Dr. Ruben Puentedura) provides a useful scaffold to consider how apps might be used to “Enhance” or “Transform” traditional learning activities.
Ref: Improving the Journey – SAMR https://rhp123.wordpress.com/2012/12/18/improving-the-journey-samr/
And here also: Transformation SAMR and Redefinition
https://rhp123.wordpress.com/2013/06/21/transformation-samr-and-redefinition/
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The first set of activities explores applying apps to “Enhance” learning. In the SAMR Model this refers to using technology to Substitute or Augment learning with technology. Here I am using a few activities in which students are responding to the Novel “Danny the Champion of the World” by Roald Dahl.

The second example set looks at the same activities again to consider how apps could be used to “Transform” learning i.e. Modify or Redefine the tasks (Re: SAMR Model).

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Please note: The app Viz (Visualise) no longer works correctly – instead suggest using Pic Collage.

Apps for the Journey

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I have been using an iPad for about two years and it is interesting to reflect on the apps that I use most actively myself.
One of the immediate realisations is that it really isn’t that many. I do have a load of apps on board, but often these are apps that I am trying out or are apps which are used very occasionally. Many apps end up lying dormant.

The Top 30 (my) most commonly used apps (in no particular order).

Safari
Mail
Camera Roll
Camera
Pages
Numbers
iMovie
Visualise
Zite
Flipboard
HootSuite
Twitter
Wordpress
Dropbox
Notes
Calendar
Evernote
iBooks
Kindle
The Weather Channel
Music
Cloudon
YouTube
Maps
Qrafter Pro
Google Drive
App Store
Calculator
Flixter
iTunes U

The posts below identify some apps that I think are useful in the classroom.
A Few Favourite Apps | Learning Journey
https://rhp123.wordpress.com/2013/05/26/a-few-favourite-apps/

An App Journey | Learning Journey
https://rhp123.wordpress.com/2013/02/23/an-app-journey/