A few nights ago I gave a brief presentation on Google Analytics. It was a great class and we had a great conversation about how to use this great and powerful too. This video is a copy of the presentation I gave. Please post questions as comments.
Ok now that I am over the shock, disappointment, and outright fear that Google Reader is going away I am trying a few new services. First up, Feedly. Feedly made things very easy for me to move my 1000+ or so feeds over. Yes I said 1000+ feeds. When I first began using Feedly I did so on the Google Chrome App. I must say I didn't understand the user interface at first but after a few days I felt much more comfortable.
Unlike Reader Feedly displays a picture next to the article.
I was a bit overwhelmed at first. Then I realized that the same "categories I had set up on Reader were still here. I could mark categories "read" by selecting the checkmark on the upper right hand side of the screen.
Or by selecting the number of articles listed for that category.
The mobile version on both the iPad or Android is much easier to use and navigate. I could do everything I could in reader but much faster. I also feel that article snippets are much easier to read on Feedly than reader.
I am going to try a few other options out but for now Feedly is my Reader replacement.
It seems that Google doing quite a bit of spring cleaning. Look, Oh No! Google Reader is going away on July 1, 2013! So what to do?
Well the fine folks at Google put up a way to export your feeds to an XML file so you may import to a new service. I followed the directions and through Google Takeout I waited about 30 seconds for the Takeout to do its thing and then downloaded the file to my harddrive. TechCrunch predicts that the loss of Reader is the signal RSS is going away for good. Say it aint so TechCrunch! I really love getting my news and updates this way. I just don't have the time to visit these sites or go through a trillion Tweets a day.
So now that I have my feeds I need to find a new service. But where? I really don't know what I am going to do and would love some feed back. See some alternatives below.
Some Alternatives Phandroid writes that Feedly Welcomes Google Reader lovers like me. waurb Waurb uses RSS feeds to deliver content that is based on your interests to your own personal, easy to view, Waurb feed. You can also add to the waurb experience for everyone by adding the RSS feeds of the websites you visit. We then do the hard work for you and calculate which articles are worth reading with our clever little algorithm. skimr Use Skimr without an account or sign up for free to customize the default set of websites on the home page. totally.me Totally.Me pulls together all your social accounts, news headlines, bookmarks and widgets into one experience! headslinger Scan your favorite sites' headlines in a matter of seconds Store your favorite news sources in quick, easy to find folders Share your reading list with friends and family No ads and FREE to the world! feedfiend Feed Fiend is a web-based RSS reader that makes it easy to follow the sites and blogs you love without much technical knowledge. Traditionally, RSS has been the stuff of tech-savvy web users. But Feed Fiend makes it simple to follow the feeds you care about. newsblurLimited to 64 sites for free or unlimited for a $1 a month.
As I continue to struggle to use the iPad productively in the classroom I have found some worthwhile apps and tricks. My struggles have brought me to one major decision and that is if students are not able to use the iPad 1 on 1 then this is just a lesson enhancer not a tool. Also if students do not have an email address, cloud storage options, and constant internet access, then the iPad should only be used to allow students enjoy 1 single app. This app should further explore a lesson objective. For example, Let's say you want to have students dissect a frog. You purchase the Frog Dissection app from Emantras so students can learn. However your school only has iPads available on the ipad cart. Not a problem.
Go to the iPad settings
Under "General" look for "Accessibility"
Now look for "Guided Access"
Turn "Guided Access" on
Enter a passcode - 4 digits that you can enter quickly
Open the app
Click the "Home Button" 3 times very fast
"Guided Access" will open
You will see the available choices to "lock"
Click the "Start" button
Guided access is now in effect and students can now use the App, swipe across the screen and learn. However the only app they can access is the one you gave them access to.
I found this is a great tool to keep students on task yet still use the app
No students can not Save work, print or access anything else. No it it not perfect but if this helps you get an iPad into your classroom then start here.
There are times when you will need to find a webpage before it was last updated. This "Cached" image of that webpage can be found in a number of ways.
1 - WayBack - The wayback machine is simple and easy. Just paste in the website address and hit enter. You will be able to view the Page as it appeared on certain dates. Yes you are limited to the last time the "crawlers" indexed an image of that page. In some cases this can be months apart.
2- Google It - Yes you can Google for the Cached image of a page. Find the URL of the page you are looking for. Then paste this code in the address bar. http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:http://www.example.com/.
You will see the page as it appeared the last time Google took a picture.
So here it is. My school iPad. I feel like I have set myself up for success here and now I just need to put it into practice. I think these apps will really help me begin to use the ipad successfully and some sense of professionalism and productivity. I am not done discovering new apps but what i do know is that this is a good beginning.
First things first. This is NOT a computer. That was my initial and biggest hurdle. Second, an ipad will not work properly on its own and is dependent on apps that work in concert with one and other. Another major problem is that students need to be able to access these apps, many of which require user names and passwords. The problem that I have is asking children to create user names and passwords for programs that are not controlled by the district. If parents would like to set up home ipads that is fine. A teacher asking students to create passwords and user names that the district can not control is just bad business.
To use the ipad successfully students need:
Either Hotmail or Gmail will fit the bill however Google Apps is available for purchase and that would allow the district to control much more of the student experience.
I would like to hear back from others as to how your district manages student iPads.
PicView looked like a pretty cool app. Actually it looks just like PhotoStory but you can use it on the iPad. Only bummer is that the app is blocked by our school filters. PhotoStory is a great presentation tool so I thought that I could open up PicView and move a students work off the PC and onto the iPad. Then see if a student could complete the PhotoStory requirements using PicView. Unfortunately I ran into this little road block of not being able to access PicView. I am sure if I preregister at home then bring the device to school things will work out just fine. An experiment for another day.
Anyway here is a great article on PicView from "The Next Web."