Sunday, September 30, 2012

Academic Fraud 2.0

When I moved to Asia, I pretty much stopped assigning writing as homework. One of the main reasons was because it was too simple for a student to have a tutor write the assignment for them. But academic fraud, or academic dishonesty, or academic honesty (for you optimists out there) isn't only an issue in Asia. It happens everywhere and with the explosion of websites and online tools, it is growing at an alarming rate; especially at the university level. Don't believe me, professor? Let me introduce you to American Homework
What exactly do the good people at American Homework do? They do your math or science homework for you. Who do they hope to serve? American university students; a great market with some disposable cash. Nice, eh? The interesting part with this website is that I found it from Dave's ESL Cafe and Craigslist. The American Homework team is focusing their employee search in countries like Philippines, Pakistan, and India. I have nothing against people in developing nations making a buck off some rich kids (comparatively); but, should students from the developed nations of the world be using these people as a form of academic economic slave labor? There are some ethical questions here that go well beyond simple academic integrity. Why do students in the US think it is fine to purchase the correct answer? I guess they have learned their new tricks from the business world -- outsource the jobs to some place where labor is cheaper. It is sad to see that this idea has spread to doing homework.

But the people at American Homework aren't the only ones out there making a buck off of lazy US students, people on are also into it. If you are unfamiliar with Fiverr, allow me to introduce you to the website: it is an online market place for people to exchange services for money. People are willing to do work for five dollars (hence the name of the site). One of the services you can purchase is help with your homework.

Clearly discussions about academic fraud aren't going away anytime soon. As educators at any grade level, we need to stop and ask ourselves how we can encourage students to learn to love learning, not simply find the correct answer as quickly and cheaply as possible. Parents should encourage their children to learn and worry less about the grade attached to the learning. University professors should ask themselves, who is really doing this homework?

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Turn On Advanced iMovie Features

Did you know that iMovie has advanced features? Yep, it's true. Go to the iMovie menu and then to Preferences.


At this point you need to tick the box next to Turn on Advanced Features. Now you have access to blue screen, green screen, split screen, inset screen and more!


Now when you place a video clip on top of a video clip in your story board, you will have a new menu like the one in the photo below.

Friday, September 21, 2012

iOS6 App Store in Korean or Another Language?

So I installed iOS6; got on my iPad; opened the App Store -- it was in Korean!?!?! Anyway, I figured out how and why this happened immediately -- when you enable the location service, it reads your IP address; I'm in Korea, so of course, the Korean App Store came up immediately. If you go into Settings --> iTunes & App Stores --> Click on your Apple ID --> Sign Out --> Click on the blank Apple ID --> Sign In. Now the App Store will be in whatever store you normally use. The screen shots with this post will help you get through the process.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

A Day in the Life of an Ed Tech Coach

People often ask me about my job. These conversations often go this way...

Random Colleague: Hi, Tim!
Me: Oh, hello.
Random Colleague: How was your day?
Me: Pretty busy. Ed Tech is really moving these days.
Random Colleague: Yeah, but you don't have classes, so it can't be that bad.

After several discussions like that I decided it was time to record a few examples of what a day in the life of an Ed Tech Coach looks like at Korea International School.

5:50-6:45 Get up, shave, shower, get dressed, eat breakfast, and clean the cat box.
6:55-7:15 Ride the bus to school.
7:15-7:20 Arrive on campus and get a cup of coffee from the Business Office.
7:20-8:00 Catch up on email and answer early morning emergency questions.
8:15-9:30 iMovie tutorial for one of our PE teachers.
9:39-10:39 iMovie lesson for the Korean class.
10:39-11:00 Check in at the office and find at least 20 emails waiting in my in box.
11:00-11:35 Film Makers' Club with the high school students.
11:40-12:15 Lunch (Answer random questions about computers and tech integration.)
12:15-12:30 Attack the email backlog.
12:35-1:15 Taught a Fish Bowl session about iPad 101: Seems Like First Time
1:20-2:10 Brainstorming with Art (@art_schultz) about a podcast for iPad tips and tricks for the faculty.
2:10-2:30 Typed up the ideas from the brainstorming session while Art taught a Fish Bowl session.
2:35-2:45 Wrote this blog post.
2:45-3:15 Provided trouble-shooting and answer technology related questions.
3:15-3:30 Try to rest a little and recover while attacking the email backlog.
3:45-4:45 Work out (This doesn't happen every day, but I was lucky today.)
4:45-5:00 Shower and get dressed for the ride home.
5:20-5:35 Ride the bus home.
5:40-9:00 Work on graduate courses, read, write, talk with my wife, go to bed.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Blogger Settings for Student Blogs

The EdTech team at Korea International School has been helping teachers in the elementary and secondary school set up student blogs. We feel it is important for students to have an authentic audience for their writing, but we also want to help them be safe on the Internet. With that in mind, we have some suggested settings for student blogs on Blogger. The screen shots on this post will help you find the settings and change them to something more fitting for students. 
Enjoy and happy blogging!

If you have questions or concerns, please contact the EdTech team: Ben Summerton (@bensummerton), Art Schultz (@art_schultz), Steve Katz (@stevekatz), Chris Bernhardi, or me (@tsbray).

iPad Camera Tip

When you are using the iPad (or iPhone) and you want to get the best possible photo, you can use this quick, simple tip to improve your photo quality. Put your finger on the screen and put pressure on the camera button. This will engage the camera, but not take a picture. Line up the shot the way you want it, and then release the button; the shutter will snap and the photo quality will be much clearer, because you won't be pushing the button at the same time as aligning the photo. I have a couple of photos to demonstrate.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Several of the Korea International School teachers have started using Schoology as a learning management system (LMS). It is pretty slick, so I dove in and started poking around. I have added screen shots with walk-through descriptions of some of the features. The integration of the grading and attendance into the social media options is certainly interesting and provides great opportunities for richer engagement. Schoology offers online testing and quizzing with automated grading, but you will still need to read the written wrote -- sorry. Of course, no program can make a lame teacher or course interesting, but this tool offers multiple options for teachers to design more engaging instruction. I did have a discussion with a teacher about Schoology and after talking through what he is currently doing and wants to do, he felt that continuing with a wiki and adding a Facebook Page for his courses was a better solution. I'm working on an Edmodo post next and then I will compare the two options in a third post -- so stay tuned!
Cheers and happy learning!

Schoology Create.pdf Download this file

Schoology Creation 2.pdf Download this file

Schoology Notifications.pdf Download this file

Schoology Updates.pdf Download this file

Post-It Notes Solutions

One thing that continually amazes me about living in Asia is the wonderful things that can be done with simple items. In the photos, you will find the IT office's solution to a projector not quite positioned the right way -- a stack of Post-It notes. Yes, the Post-Its were used to weigh the right side of the projector down and make it align with the screen correctly. Awesome! For the record, this was considered the final solution, not a quick fix to be properly adjusted later.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Adding a RSS in Blogger

Teachers often use Blogger as a way to communicate with their students and parents; one feature that comes in handy is an RSS feed. This allows students and parents to sign up to receive new posts directly in their email account. The first step is to log in to Blogger and go to the Layout section. You can then Add a Gadget to your blog. When the list of possible gadgets shows up, choose Follow by Email from the list. Now you have a button on your blog that will allow anyone to subscribe to your blog. The screen shots of this process are available on this post. Happy blogging!