Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Jump Start Learning - Day One, 2013

Despite staying up late celebrating New Year's Eve with our kids and their friends (Rummy, Quelf, Wii, and the Twilight Zone marathon), my wife and I awoke early this morning and reached for the iPads on our respective night stands.  Natalie cleared her Gmail inbox, checked "Apps Gone Free", and then jumped into her favorite new game, "Super 7 HD".


Meanwhile, I checked my Google+ stream (I tend to start my day with +Larry Ferlazzo and +Edudemic), took a peek at top stories on News-360, and then moved on to clearing a few dozen messages from my Gmail inbox.  Of course, +Richard Byrne, was the early bird again this morning, sharing Free Technology for Teachers.  +George Couros was inspiring thought and discussion about cultivating and admiring a learning "Mindset" with The Principal of Change, blog.  George is also motivating me to be more expressive and collaborative with my blog.  I also took a few minutes to review a recent favorite blog post, "I Used to Think...", Shelley Wright.

One of my primary New Year's Resolutions is to become a better learner this year, and after just forty minutes of tapping and clicking, here are a few exciting "learnings" obtained with my iPad and my PLN just eight hours into the new year...


  1. It is certainly debatable whether or not the iPad is the ideal device for 1:1 implementation in schools.  However, there is no doubt that my iPad provides me with amazing personalized, and connected learning opportunities 24-7-365.  My better half, a novice "techie" by her own admission, received an iPad from Santa on Christmas Eve.  It has not left her "kung-fu grip" for the past week as she has caught the connected learning bug.  iPad, King of the Classroom, Adam Webster, +Edudemic 
  2. I would like to make a stronger commitment to becoming bi-lingual.  +Richard Byrne introduced me to duoLingo, a free web app to help me become a better learner, speaker, and listener of Spanish.  It could also help me learn French, German, Italian, and Portuguese.  
  3. In his same post, Richard directed me to a YouTube playlist of 26 videos to help me learn more about using iBooks Author.  This playlist from diyjourno, contains a series of clear and concise videos that can help either the novice or the advanced user get more out of creating ebooks using iBooks Author.
  4. I was able to spend a few minutes reviewing guitar chords using the "Instinct" web app that +Larry Ferlazzo  introduced me to a few days ago.  This free, simple app helps me sharpen my skills anywhere, and anytime I have a wi-fi connection and my Taylor 712 by my side.
  5. Finally, based upon +Richard Byrne's recommendation, I also bookmarked the MIT-Video site.  A collection of 12,000 videos, many of them educational, that are interesting, professional-looking, and "searchable" by subject, pre-created channels, or categories.
This morning, the first of 2013, wasn't unusual.  Every single day I learn something new and interesting as a result of internet access, a slick, connected device, and a good number of helpful people that are an integral part of my personal learning network.  I am inspired and motivated to be a better learner.  How great would it be for our students to grab this same feeling?
Thanks everyone - it's going to be a very good year!

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