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Comparison of EYFS Assessment software

Reported by Christine Carey – Early Years Specialist

There are a number of e-based systems for recording and storing assessment information in the Early Years.  Practitioners record their evidence (photo, film, text, audio) using hand held devices (e.g. iPad, iPhone, PDA etc).  All evidence is referenced against the Early Years Outcomes months bands and Early Learning Goals.  Assessment evidence is wirelessly transferred to secure storage.  Once stored this information can be used in many formats.  Each version of software allows you to produce a wide range of reports for individual children, classes and cohorts.  The reports are designed for reporting to parents and evidencing progress to leaders, governors and inspectors and can be edited to make them more personalized.

The benefits of using e-based systems:

  • Time Saving: Saves practitioners approximately 5 hours per week
  • Cost effective: Save money on resources, post its, scrap books, printing, staff time
  • Professional: Efficiently correlates assessments in date order, neat word processed teacher comments which can be spell checked and edited remotely at home.
  • Secure: Photos are uploaded into a secure online system, no more risk of children’s photos being left on unsecure digital cameras in the classroom.
  • Easy to Use: If you can use a mobile phone, you can use e-based assessment software.

Orbit early years

Available on: iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Web.
Suitable for: birth to five
Current Price: Currently free to download in apple store.

About the App: Orbit Early Years makes life easier for early years providers and is used by child minders, private nurseries and school foundation stage units.  Having used the software for a year in reception class I found it extremely efficient as a means to file individual photographic evidence. It allows you to review any observations and edit them before they are uploaded to individual pupil portfolios.  You can invite parents to share in their child’s learning and input ‘postcards’ of their child’s significant achievements outside of school.

Possible Pit falls: Once you have uploaded observations, only your settings administrator can make any changes you may feel you want to make, which could be problematic in a job share or large setting. If you use handwritten observations alongside orbit or wait till the end of each half term/few weeks to upload observations eager parents may be disappointed if their child hasn’t got a new observation when they happen to view their child’s portfolio if you use orbit family.  Also, families who don’t use the internet at home may feel disadvantaged. Technical problems if you try and print out a large amount of observations at one time.

2Build a Profile

Available on:  iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Android.
Suitable for Ages: Foundation Stage
Current Price: The app is free to download and you can request a month’s full access from 2simpleapps.com to trial. A year’s access for one device costs £99 + VAT and a full school site licence is £299 + VAT.

About the App: In my experience working in a range of early years settings, practitioners are finding this software the most user friendly and like its name reflects ‘simple’ to train other staff to use in the setting. It efficiently tags photos of pupils learning and securely stores them into individual online portfolios of achievements.  Significant learning is efficiently logged for individual or groups of pupils. Teachers can keep track of observations and pinpoint next steps in learning in order to make sure each child is getting the best results with quick and easy progress tracking.

Possible pit falls:2Build a Profile works best with Classroom Monitor Early Years – an online markbook that tracks child development against their EYFS goals. Many settings and schools may have purchased different tracking software which isn’t compatible. The markbook uses a simple traffic light system to show each child’s progress against individual targets. All the evidence and observations you record in 2 Build a Profile are automatically shared with the markbook to support your judgements. As all 2simple software each application comes at a cost and so for the full package could end up less cost effective than competitors.

Fingertips online

Available on:  Desktop PC Windows 32 Bit PC running Windows XP SP3, Vista, Windows 7.Windows PC with 2Ghz or faster processor, 2GB RAM and a minimum of 2GB free disk space. iPhone 4GS or greater, iPad version 2 or greater. Android V2.3 or higher with an SD card and touch screen. (Fingertips recommend Samsung Galaxy Ace)

Suitable for ages: Foundation Stage

Current Price:  Enhanced version – 30 Pupils  £460, Plus £100 for each 10 pupils thereafter.

Annual License Fees £10 per Month, invoiced as £120 charge per year payable by all schools whether they are converting to the free basic version or paying for the enhanced version.

About the App: Having piloted the original software in 2011 I found it easy to use and liked the way it let you see how much evidence you have for individual pupils. Also, it is useful to track pupil progress as you can clearly see the levels each pupil, group or cohort are working at. You can print out individual observations or print out records every few weeks.

Possible Pit falls: Depending on the cost of the devices you want to use for the app it could end up very costly. Also, if you have either an unusually small cohort or large cohort you could find you pay over the odds as the pricing is based on a class of 30 pupils and an additional £100 for a further 10 pupils.  For the free trial you have to have 5 schools present now, otherwise costs are incurred.

The History of E-Learning

http://www.trainingzone.co.uk/blogs-post/history-e-learning/187662

The term ‘e-learning’ has only been in existence since 1999. When the word was first utilized, other terms – such as ‘online learning’ and ‘virtual learning’ – also began to spring up in search of an accurate description of exactly was e-learning was. However, the principles behind e-learning have been well documented throughout history, and there is even evidence that suggests that early forms of e-learning existed as far back as the 19th century.

The 1980s
With the introduction of the computer and internet in the late 20th century, e-learning tools and delivery methods expanded. The first MAC in the 1980s enabled individuals to have computers in their homes, making it easier for them to learn about particular subjects and develop certain skillsets. Then, in the following decade, virtual learning environments began to truly thrive, with people gaining access to a wealth of online information and e-learning opportunities.

The early 1990s
By the early 90s several schools had been set up to deliver courses online, making the most of the internet and bringing education to people unable to attend a college due to geographical or time constraints. Technological advancements also helped educational establishments reduce the costs of distance learning – a saving that could then be passed on to the students, helping bring education to a wider audience.

The late 1990s
At the end of the 90s the learning management systems (LMS) spread widely. Some universities preferred to design and develop their own systems, but most of the educational institutions started with systems from the market.
The dawn of the LMS allowed students and teachers to:
Exchange learning materials
Do tests
Communicate with each other in many ways
Track and trace their progress
The environment was able to facilitate learning in quite an easy way: the product was simple to use, and for teachers it didn’t represent a steep learning curve.

The 2000s
In the 2000s, businesses began using e-learning to train their employees. New and experienced workers alike now had the opportunity to improve upon their industry knowledge base and expand their skillsets. At home, individuals were granted access to programs that offered them the ability to earn online degrees and enrich their lives through expanded knowledge. Pretty advanced stuff, hey?

2010 and the future
The future holds a new wave of e-learning inspired by social media, Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), Selective Open Online Courses (SOOCs) and even websites like YouTube. Individuals and companies alike are taking the opportunity to use these different outlets to share information and learn from each other. Filtered sits on this wave, and has the cutting-edge technology to help any individual grow their knowledge base.
As for the distant future of e-learning, let us all hope that Artificial Intelligence systems are nothing like what we saw in the Terminator Films.
Here is an e-learning timeline:

This infographic was created by Roberta Gogos.

Adit Ruparel

ww.filtered.com/blog

New services

As well as providing you with the latest elearning news and updates, theelearningsite.com can also offer you a range of NEW services. The owner of theelearningsite.com has a range of skills that maybe of use to some of our readings.cStu Gradwell has years of experience in graphic design, website design and marketing.

Graphic design

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newsletters

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OUR NEW FORUM

Here at theelearningsite.com we are pleased to launch our NEW FORUM. If your a regular user of our site, please sign up and start a discussion. This is a new item on our site and it will develop, spread the word!

Start threads, create a discussion and start communicating with like minded elearners!

* world of social media

WE ARE LOOKING FOR MODERATORS. PLEASE CONTACT US.

Should we ditch traditional lectures?

With the rise in technology, flipped learning, hand held devices, wide scale wifi access, 24/7 learning. Should we ditch the traditional lectures?

The Guardian’s Donal Clark thinks we should;

“Intelligent people leave their brains behind when it comes totechnology,” says Diana Laurillard, professor of learning with digital technologies at the Institute of Education.

I would say that very intelligent academics and researchers leave their brains behind when defending what has become a lazy and damaging pedagogy – the face-to-face lecture.

Imagine if a movie were shown only once. Or your local newspaper was read out just once a day in the local square. Or novelists read their books out once to an invited audience. That’s face-to-face lectures for you: it’s that stupid.

What’s even worse is that, at many conferences I attend, someone reads out an entire lecture verbatim from their notes. Is there anything more pointless? It’s a throwback to a non-literate age. I can read. In fact, I can read faster than they can speak. The whole thing is an insult to the audience.

Here are 10 reasons why face-to-face lectures just don’t work:

1. Babylonian hour 
We only have hours because of the Babylonian base-60 number system, which first appeared around 3100 BC. But it has nothing to do with the psychology of learning.

2. Passive observers
Lectures without engagement with the audience turn students into passive observers. Research shows that participation increases learning, yet few lecturers do this.

3. Attention fall-off
Our ability to retain information falls off badly after 10-20 minutes. In one study, the simple insertion of three “two-minute pauses” led to a difference of two letter grades in a short- and long-term recall test.

4. Note-taking
Lectures rely on students taking notes, yet note-taking is seldom taught, which massively reduces the effectiveness of the lecture.

5. Disabilities 
Even slight disabilities in listening, language or motor skills can make lectures ineffective, as it is difficult to focus, discriminate and note-take quickly enough.

6. One bite at the cherry
If something is not understood on first exposure, there is no opportunity to pause, reflect or seek clarification. This approach contradicts all that we know about the psychology of learning.

7. Cognitive overload
Lecturers load up talks with too much detail, with the result that students cannot process all the information properly.

8. Tyranny of location
Students have to go to a specific place to hear a lecture. This wastes huge amounts of time, especially if they live far away from campus.

9. Tyranny of time 
Students have to turn up at a specific time to hear a lecture.

10. Poor presentation
Many lecturers have neither the personality nor skills to hold the audience’s attention.

Most of these faults can be addressed by one simple adjustment: recording the lecture and delivering it online – a well-established model in distance learning courses.

An effective alternative

The recorded lecture has some straightforward practical advantages. Students can rewind if their attention has lapsed, or if they don’t understand what they’ve heard, or if English is not their first language. They can pause to take better notes or if they need to look something up.

Students can also choose to watch the lecture when they’re in an attentive state, rather than when they’re feeling tired or distracted. They can watch again for revision or improved retention, or fast-forward through anything they’re already familiar with. They don’t need to waste time travelling to or from the lecture hall.

There are also deeper pedagogical benefits. Paradoxically, a student watching a lecture online may be able to forge a closer connection with the lecturer than one watching the lecture live.

One advocate of the recorded lecture is Stanford University professor of mathematics Keith Devlin, who delivers his “introduction to mathematical thinking” module as a massive online open course (Mooc). He arguesthat a recorded lecture gives students control over the lecture, making it a “self-evidently better” method of teaching.

Devlin believes that many students lack the confidence to ask academics questions face-to-face and that, for students who are more shy, the ability to ask questions via social media helps them to perform better.

He writes: “The fact is, a student taking my Mooc can make a closer connection with me than if they were in a class of more than 25 or so students, and certainly more than in a class of 250.”

Win-win

It’s not just students who benefit. Recording lectures can free up lecturers’ time to spend on research and to take part in higher quality teaching experiences, such as seminars and tutorials.

It can also improve a lecturer’s performance, as the act of being recorded encourages them to raise their game.

Student feedback can be used to improve future lectures. Research shows that students are more likely to watch a recorded lecture than attend a lecture in person.

So why retain the face-to-face lecture when its value as a pedagogical tool is so limited? There seems to be no other reason than the old justification: “We’ve always done it this way.”

http://www.theguardian.com/higher-education-network/blog/2014/may/15/ten-reasons-we-should-ditch-university-lectures

Donald Clark is the chief executive of PlanB Learning. You can read his blog here. Follow him on Twitter @donaldclark.

* world of social media

More and better maths: Khan Academy announces partnership with creators of SAT exam

mooc logo

Institutions in the U.S., Rwanda, France and many other countries are partnering with MOOCs and elearning platforms in order to fulfill their mission to provide education to the masses. Now, Khan Academy prepares a new set of “state-of-the-art, interactive learning tools” to help students prepare for the SAT exam. They are partnering with the College Board and are actually going to help them redesign the exam.

MOOCs to learn and grow: online education news bulletin #10 – 28th of March, 2014

Quote of the week: “Let’s level the playing field for SAT prep
The SAT, according to Wikipedia, is a standardized test for most college admissions in the United States. The SAT is owned, published, and developed by the College Board, a private, nonprofit organization in the United States.
Elizabeth, Content Lead at Khan Academy, announced on the 20th of March that “Khan Academy is partnering with the College Board so that all students who want to go to college can prepare for the SAT at their own pace, at no cost. The College Board just announced that they’re redesigning the SAT for 2016, and we’re partnering with them to make free, world-class prep materials.”
More information is available on the Khan Academy site.

In other news, Cornell Report Notes Promise of Distance Learning but Cautions Against Overtaxing Faculty. Said report is available here and is worth a read if you are an academic involved in MOOCs.

* New courses due to start on Coursera on the 31st of March – 6th of April week:
High Performance Scientific Computing (University of Washington via Coursera)
Organizational Analysis (Stanford University via Coursera)
Introduction to Systems Biology (Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai via Coursera)
Dynamical Modeling Methods for Systems Biology (Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai via Coursera)
General Game Playing (Stanford University via Coursera)
Caries Management by Risk Assessment (CAMBRA) (University of California, San Francisco via Coursera)
Fundamentals of Digital Image and Video Processing (Northwestern University via Coursera)
Introduction to Public Speaking (University of Washington via Coursera)
Globalization and You (University of Washington via Coursera)
Poisonings in the Home and Community: Assessment and Emergent Response (University of California, San Francisco via Coursera)
Common Core in Action: Literacy Across Content Areas (New Teacher Center via Coursera)
Global Warming: The Science of Climate Change (University of Chicago via Coursera)
The Science of the Solar System (California Institute of Technology via Coursera)
International Human Rights Law: Prospects and Challenges (Duke University via Coursera)
Cryptography I (Stanford University via Coursera)
AstroTech: The Science and Technology behind Astronomical Discovery (University of Edinburgh via Coursera)
Developing Your Musicianship (Berklee College of Music via Coursera)
Everything is the Same: Modeling Engineered Systems (Northwestern University via Coursera)
Re-Engineering Your Science Curriculum (Exploratorium via Coursera)
Perceived Education Value: many positions in most fields require good communication skills. For this reason only, Introduction to Public Speaking seems to provide an excellent opportunity for learning skills useful in all kinds of situations. Teachers or salesmen, for example, need to master public speaking.

Do you need more ideas of courses to follow? Check our MOOC dictionary, updated weekly.

Copyright : Starafrica.com

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How Tablets are Changing the Face of Education

Tablets and Education
Source: Accredited-Online-College.org

Tablets on Campus: The Changing Face of Higher Education

2010: iPad is launched by Steve Jobs. Life will never be the same.
4 years later: a projected 103 million tablets (iPads and others) are projected to be sold

The Amazing growth in sales of tablets
• 2011: 19.5 million sold
• 2012: 54 million
• 2013: 103.4 million
• 2014: 103 million (projected)
• 2015: tablets will account for 23 percent of the global personal computer market.
Tablet ownership among college students and college-bound high school seniors has more than tripled from a year ago.

Ownership of college students
• 82% own Computers (Desktop/Laptop)
• 80% own Smartphone
• 52% own MP3 Player
• 47% own Digital Camera
• 18% own Tablets
• 14% own E-Reader

90: percentage of all tablet owning college students that say tablets are valuable for educational purposes

35: percentage of college students owning both a tablet and an e-book reader.

46: percentage of tablet owners who say that they intend to buy another tablet within the next 6 months

6 in 10: college students say tablets help them study more efficiently — and better in class.

63%: Of College students believe tablets will replace textbooks within the next 5 years.

83: percentage of students think tablets encourage them to buy digital textbooks instead of print textbooks.

8 in 10: college students say tablets make learning more fun.

7 in 10: Have read digital textbooks. One year ago, it was 6 in 10.

Tablets vs. Smartphones

75 percent of reading sessions occur on tablets
23 percent occur on smartphones.
2 percent occur on E-readers and game consoles
3X Users read three times as many pages on tablets as they read on smartphones

Best Tablets, 2013

1. iPad Air
2. iPad Mini 2 with Retina Display
3. Google Nexus 7
4. Sony Xperia Tablet Z
5. LG G Pad 83

Did You Know?:

The Brazilian government bought 500,000 tablets for local teachers.
94: percentage of the educational market for tablets held by Apple…says Apple

What’s so cool about an iPad

• Driving Games and Super Monkey Ball are awesome on it!
• It’s the world’s best digital frame
• it’s nice to touch
• it’s nice to play with.
• The iPad Air is lighter and faster than the iPad 2, with a better screen to boot.

Why students Use tablets.

Accessing educational apps
77.1%
Web browsing/checking e-mail
77.1%
Accessing online courses
75.9%
Social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc.)
73.5%
Reading ebooks
67.5%
Taking notes, tracking data, events or observations
67.5%
Productivity tools (reminder, calculator)
57.8%
Recording audio/video
49.4%

Tablets-Changing-CollegeThumb

Sources:
http://www.edtechmagazine.com/higher/article/2012/06/5-reasons-tablets-will-change-higher-education-next-5-years
http://pearsonfoundation.org/downloads/PF_Tablet_Survey_Summary_2012.pdf
http://emergingtech.tbr.edu/10-apps-every-college-student-should-have-android-tablets
http://www.edtechmagazine.com/higher/article/2013/08/how-smartphones-and-tablets-are-changing-higher-education
http://tabtimes.com/education
http://emergingtech.tbr.edu/10-apps-every-college-student-should-have-android-tablets
http://www.imore.com/best-iphone-and-ipad-apps-college-students-evernote-notability-itunes-u-and-more
http://android.appstorm.net/roundups/20-awesome-android-apps-for-students/
http://www.itcnetwork.org/resources/itc-newsletter/769-tracking-the-use-of-tablets-in-community-colleges.html
http://android.appstorm.net/roundups/awesome-android-tablet-apps-you-wont-find-on-the-ipad/
http://www.gq.com/blogs/the-q/2010/01/ask-the-monger-is-the-ipad-as-cool-as-it-looks.html
http://www.policymic.com/articles/71339/ipad-air-review-some-cool-new-features-but-it-s-not-worth-the-cash

5 Great #EdTech Twitter Chats

* Twitter Chats

Twitter chats are probably the aspect of Twitter that I find to be the most interesting and most useful. I follow a lot of different people on Twitter for a lot of different reasons (I can easily find out what’s going on in town, what cool restaurants are opening, if my favorite online shop is having a sale, etc), Twitter chats give you the chance to focus on a specific topic with a like-minded group of people.

Especially for professional development, this can be immensely helpful. You can connect with other educators around the globe who are doing what you’re doing. You can learn from their mistakes, share your experiences, get advice, and quite generally, learn from everyone around you. There are about a gazillion educational Twitter chats that happen regularly, but we thought we’d give you some information on a few of the big ones.

You can participate whether you’re a Twitter pro or a Twitter novice, all you need to do is follow along and add to the conversation with the appropriate hashtag. Many of the chats virtually meet at a certain day and time, where users agree to chat about a particular topic at that time. Don’t worry if you can’t make it, though, because the Tweets will still be there later for you to read by searching that hashtag. Many of the hashtags used for these chats are also added to Tweets written at any time that add to that conversation, so make sure to check in on your favorite discussions regularly!

via 5 Great #EdTech Twitter Chats – Edudemic – Edudemic.