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We’re Partnering with the Sydney Centre for Innovation in Learning at Edutech 2014

Our fundamental design philosphy at myEd is to co-create with teachers and students technology solutions to real world challenges they experience in the classroom – as after all, teachers and students (and not us) are the experts!

As a result over the last couple of years we’ve become a frequent visitor at the Sydney Centre for Innovation in Learning (SCIL) based out of Northern Beaches Christian School (NBCS) in Sydney, Australia whose team, led by Stephen Collis, the Director of Innovation have played a central role in shaping and co-creating myEd App.

What do SCIL do?

SCIL started out as the research and innovation unit at NBCS and now run a range of future-focused professional development programs and research projects that seek to transform educational thinking and practice at NBCS and in the wider educational community.

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And, we’re excited to announce that..

We’re partnering with SCIL to launch “The NBCS Way – Lessons Learned in 4 Years of BYOD” PD Course at EduTech 2014

Steve Collis and the team at SCIL over the last couple of weeks have been working closely with us to develop an amazing professional development course for Principals, Senior School Leadership, ICT Integrators and Teachers that shares the lessons learned by NBCS on their journey to making their vision of “every child engaged a reality” and successfully implementing a 1 to 1 technology program.

What will the course cover?

Super Fast Login – Product Update

From working closely with our partner schools, we’ve noticed a real pain point amongst our students and teacher, particularly k-6, that being their own email address.

School email addresses are long and difficult to type, not to mention easy to forget. So we’ve made logging in to myEd with your school email address a breeze by adding auto-complete for your school’s email domain. Based on your school we will suggest the email domains for you so you don’t have to type them yourself.

Just type in your email and when you get to the ‘@’ sign, we’ll suggest some completions.

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Launching Australia’s first education hackathon

We’re super pumped to announce that in partnership with the Centre of New Public Education we are running EduHack, Australia’s first hackathon focused on education!

What is a hackathon you ask?

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Hackathons have taken the world by storm over the last couple of years as a way to spark innovation and develop creative technology solutions for real world problems.

Initially however these hackathon events weren’t focused on a specific sector or issue – rather they were as Google defines, simply a large number of people engaging in collaborative computer programming, seeing what they could build across a single weekend.

Often they were run by technology companies, either start ups on a burning deadline, or internally as a tool for recruitment by companies like Facebook  (see the clip from the Social Network movie here).

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Hackathons Redefined

The model of a hackathon has changed considerably however from this early focus as the potential of hackathons for iginiting collaboration, innovation and a community (as well encouraging high levels of productivity in a short period of time) has been realized and recognized over the last 15 or so years.

Now globally, the model of what a hackathon is has shifted taking it’s core of bringing together a large group to collaborate across a weekend and applying it a range of different contexts, sectors, industries and challenges.

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More fun than Minecraft – Stories from Auburn West PS

Over the last couple of weeks we’ve been working with Auburn West Public School as they’ve been rolling out myEd to a number of classes (Year 1 through to 6) and we’ve been blown away by the student response!

Students have actually been asking for more homework and apparently, doing homework on myEd is more fun than playing Minecraft…

 

myEd better than minecraft

And this has been one of many examples of students actually asking for more homework on myEd which has been amazing to see given our focus on developing an incredibly engaging digital learning experience for students.

We asked Candice from Auburn West about her experience using myEd so far..

I love using MyEd! It’s super easy to use and right at your fingertips on any device. The layout is so easy to navigate. Usually technology can be confusing – but not myEd!

3 words you would use to describe myEd?

Easy. Fun. Interactive.

How have your students responded to using myEd?

The kids have just excelled on using MyEd! They are posting on social to help each other out with questions that they don’t know the answers to which generally doesn’t happen with paper copies of homework. It also allows conversations between students who otherwise may never talk to one another.

We ran a flipped classroom homework quest on Captain Cook where the class via myEd did an activity on Captain Cook. It was amazing as the next day they came to school filled with so many questions and a number had even done additional research on Captain Cook and knew his birthday.

How has myEd influenced your teaching for the positive?

I am able to program and mark on the go!

I can be waiting at the doctors, or on my way to the gym or even laying in bed at night and I have the ability to program and monitor my students. It allows me to see their strengths and weakness in certain areas in real time as well!

 

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myEd named in Top 100 Australian Innovations in 2014

Each year Anthill Magazine selects the Top 100 Australian Innovations as part of it’s ‘SMART 100′ Index that was developed to identify and rank Australia’s 100 most innovative products, proving to be one of the largest surveys of its kind in Australia.

And drum roll… this year myEd App has been named one of the Top 100 Australian Innovations for 2014!

You can read the full article on being selected in the Top 100 here.

We’ve also been short-listed for the Vivid Ideas Readers’ Choice, as part of Anthill’s SMART 100 Innovations for 2014.  

Vote for us (by liking/tweeting the article) if you want to see one size fits all classrooms disappear :)

Thanks for all your support!

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Develop a Student Led Genius Bar – Lessons from Successful BYOD Roll-Outs

One of the many concerns we’ve heard over the last 18 months from teachers and schools considering moving to a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) roll-out has related to concerns around supporting a wider range of devices and the potential impact on the use of time in a classroom, transitioning it from teaching & learning to device troubleshooting.

What if a student brings their own device and then experiences technical difficulties?

Does the teacher then need to spent time troubleshooting with the student (because otherwise they may be unable to complete the activities being explored in the class)?

What happens if it’s a device a teacher isn’t familiar with (which is likely given the breadth of available devices)?

From working with a number of schools who have successfully implemented a BYOD strategy, one of the most innovative ways we’ve seen to deal with these concerns is the development of a student-led Genius Bar.

The Student-Led Genius Bar

© Jean-SŽbastien Zanchi http://www.tomsguide.com/fr

Apple Stores have Genius Bars (like the one above) which are essentially Apple’s in person Support Desks. The premise behind these Genius Bars is to enable Apple whiz’s (or as Apple calls them Genius’s) to help customers with any technical difficulties they may be having with their Apple device.

And this is a strategy that you can apply in your school to ensure a smooth BYOD roll-out – one that doesn’t end up with you as a teacher spending all of your time troubleshooting technical difficulties students are having.

How to Implement a Student-Led Genius Bar

At your school, the reality will often be that your students know more about their devices than you.

Additionally, there will generally always be students who all the other students look up to as the technology expert and ask for help.

A great way therefore to give your students more ownership of their learning experience, encouraging them to work collaboratively and to enable them to take responsibility for their devices is to create your own Genius Bar space at school and make it available for your technology savvy students to run.

For example, the Genius Bar might be open Monday, Wednesday and Friday during lunchtimes. If any students are having any technical difficulties with their devices they can bring it to the designated Genius Bar space to ask other technology savvy students for help and guidance on solving their challenges.

Students can volunteer to run the Genius Bar and they can be rotated through each of the days (and you can even get them to create and manage their own schedule/shifts – teaching them real world skills relating to work and employment!)

What might this space look like?

Here are a couple of great examples of spaces set up as Student-Led Genius Bars – hopefully it provides you with some inspiration for you own!

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genius bar

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Adding Audio Files into Your Quests – Product Update

Over the last couple of weeks we’ve been working closely with teachers as part of our commitment to constantly expand the range of learning gadgets available that you can use when creating your engaging learning activities in your quest for your students.
The one request we heard over and over again was for the capacity to be able to quickly and easily embed audio files for students in both the learning material and in quiz questions – and acting on this feedback, we’re happy to announce that our new Audio Gadget is now live :)

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