Digital Tip and Tricks

As we advance further into the 21st century, technology is becoming more integrated into our society and into the classroom. To help celebrate Digital Learning Day 2019, Pivot Point Field Educator and digital learning expert Daniel Dunworth came up with a list of 10 digital tips and tricks to help keep up with the technological changes of today and tomorrow.

 AirDrop/NFC – Keeping track of assignments, projects, and other content can be challenging, especially when it begins to pile up! Using this device feature can help you stay organized and keep track of every project that needs to be turned in or handed out. AirDrop (Apple) or NFC (Android) are a great way to share content with educators and students. Plus, this helps alleviate the stacks of paperwork that you would otherwise have to sift through and carry around. You can use AirDrop/NFC to share websites, documents, images, videos, slide presentations and just about any other digital content you have on your device. Check out this video to see just how easy it can be:


 
Cloud Storage – The digital world can be an amazing place, filled with loads of content you either create or curate. What can you do to maintain it all in an organized manner and help you track down exactly what you need when you need it? Enter the cloud, or clouds! Depending on what you have collected, it may be best to take advantage of various FREE cloud storage options to help you stay organized. Here are a few great options:

  • iCloud – With any free Apple ID you receive 5GB of cloud storage.
  • Adobe – Setting up a free Adobe account is easy, and it will provide you with 2GB of document storage. For most users this is plenty to hold a large number of PDFs and other documents. Plus, Adobe offers a number of other apps that utilize this free account.
  • DropBox – 2GB of free cloud storage is included with DropBox, which allows you to upload and share almost any type of digital content. You are also able to create and share folders, ideal for classroom shared content.
  • Google Drive – One of the largest free offerings, Google Drive provides you with 15GB of free storage. This can be used for everything from PDFs to Excel, Word and even PPT files. Plus, you can also download Google Photos on any mobile device for UNLIMITED photo/video cloud storage.

 
Digital Notes – Making the most out of mobile devices can be as simple as utilizing built-in-note-taking tools. For example, Apple’s standard Notes app allows you to create tables, add tasks, images, and even sketch right inside of the note in any color! This can help educators and students stay organized while still being creative, right on their device 24/7.
 
Digital Assistants – Hey, Alexa… Siri… Google… Cortana! The world of digital assistants is growing, and they are more helpful than ever. Need a reminder? They can set it. How about a timer for a project or activity? Done. What if you want to send a fellow co-worker or even a student a message? They can take care of it for you. Digital assistants are here to help make the most simple and tedious tasks easy. Take advantage of these helpers right on your smart device, or even add one to your classroom to help get the job done.
 
ShowMe – Do you wish that you could repeat an amazing class you or your students just presented? Do you ever have trouble tracking down enough markers to help add life to your whiteboard notes? What if you could ensure absent students, remedial students, or just those that want to “see it again” get exactly what they need? Include ShowMe in your learning environments and all of that can be accomplished! The ShowMe app is a free resource that any educator or student can download. It provides a digital whiteboard and allows the user to choose from any color imaginable to bring life to presentations. The best part is, you don’t have to erase your “board”! Instead, it allows you to add new white space without removing what has already been shown, allowing referencing to previously outlined content. You can even add voice recordings to the presentation to make a fully immersive experience both students and educators can benefit from. Check out more at https://www.showme.com
 
iPad Gestures – iPads are among the most rapidly growing tools being added to classrooms around the world. Navigating them can sometimes feel difficult. Make things easier by activating the Gesture option on your device. Gestures will allow you to quickly move from app to app with the swipe of your hand and eliminate the challenge of exiting an app and then trying to locate the new tool you need. Here is a brief video to show you how to set Gestures up and see it in action:


 
Text-to-Speech – This device function is often overlooked, but it holds great value in learning. The ability to see, hear, and interact with education content increases the learner’s retention of information. Seeing and hearing key terms and information is also beneficial for ESL students. Here is a brief video on how to activate text-to-speech on an iPad:


 
Augmented Reality – AR and VR are two terms often heard in conversations about 21st-century learning. You may be wondering, “How can I get started adding these digital resources to my classroom?” Look no further than your Pivot Point Fundamentals library! Head to your app store, download the Pivot Point AR app and begin scanning the interactive content found within the coursebooks.
 
MOOC – Educators need education too. Staying up-to-date on digital learning requires constant training. Here are a few great ways to get free education on the topics that interest you, and can help you develop critical skills:

  • LinkedIn Learning – Provides a wide range of professional training courses.
  • Edutopia – Education site, founded by George Lucas (yep… think Chewbacca), that has a number of blogs and resources for educators to tap into.
  • Coursera – Online courses from universities across the world on just about any topic you can think of that can be taken for free.
  • Apple Teacher – If you use any Apple device in your learning environment, Apple Teacher is a must. These training modules will help you hone your skills in maximizing device potential.
     

Smart Device Camera – The standard camera that can be found on just about any smart device is anything but standard. Take a moment to get familiar with these features most cameras or additional camera apps can provide:

  • Time-lapse/Hyper-lapse – Use this feature to capture long moments in time and have them play back in mere seconds.
  • Slo-Mo – A great way to capture quick-moving demonstrations or add dramatic effect to content that needs to be emphasized.
  • Panoramic – Capture large-scale images that allow students to be immersed in an environment. The cool thing in sites such as Facebook is that you can turn panoramic images into immersive 360-degree environments.