Exploring 4 Alternatives to Everyday Learning and Sharing #tcea16

"Every day learning and sharing," I observed one evening to myself (yes, I was talking to myself! Doesn't everyone over 45 do that?), "has sure gotten easier!" I quickly ran over the catalog of phenomenal tools for everyday learning and sharing that I've encountered in just a short time!

Listen to Podcast
(not yet available)

1) Telegram - If you haven't seen this WhatsApp-like app that is available for free, provides end to end encryption for private chats, and group chats that can include up to 200+ members, and works on every modern mobile device (e.g. Android, iOS, Windows, your computer's browser) available, then you're missing out! It seemed like the natural tool for a school district to turn to when the internet went down. And, since everyone seems to be equipped with a mobile device that has it's own internet, I'm not surprised that it's taken hold.

2) Voxer - Looking for an easy way to make curricular connections, as well as faciliate audio/text/video-based professional learning? Then look no further than Voxer. While Periscope is a wonderful just-in-time video app, you can't beat Voxer for how easy it is to create a "chat" which is just another moniker for "community of learners" who can share information. In my mind, it combines the best of social media tools like Twitter and Plurk with Periscope, enabling fantastic connections.

3) Blab.im - Another neat way to connect with others includes Blam.im--available on your iOS or Android device--and facilitate video chats that can be easily recorded and saved. What's more, some are using them in lieu of Google Hangouts and other tools as ways to instantly connect with others at a scheduled time.

4) Flipboard - If you haven't encountered Flipboard, it's a great way to curate content and share it with an audience. You can have multiple ezine contributors/editors, and they can view content available online via RSS feeds, news and media, as well as Twitter. All of this great content combines in a portable, mobile electronic magazine ("ezine") that is quite convenient to have access to.

What app are you taking advantage of to facilitate every learning and sharing in your environment?

On Tuesday, February 2nd, at 10:00am, several of us will have a chance to share some alternative solutions that we use when network/internet fails, including Telegram and Voxer. I hope you'll join us at TCEA16 ! If you can't, just check back here for a podcast of the presentation, as well as links below:
Everyday learning and sharing opportunities abound with social media, PLNs, and just-in-time communication apps. In this panel presentation, you'll hear from campus and district staff who have embraced social media as alternative ways to support their staff, communicate effectively, and scaffold learning and sharing for all. Getting the app is easy, changing human habits hard. Listen to how these leaders have helped transform their practice and that of their campus teams. 

  1. Apps You Can Use to Facilitate Communication
    1. Telegram - View Tutorial for School District
    2. Voxer - Using Voxer to Streamline School Communicationsvia Edutopia. An excerpt:
      Voxer is described as a free app that combines the best of voice, text, and photo messages into a high-tech walkie-talkie, creating a powerful, modern, personal and team messaging tool.
    3. Remind Remind for School Communications

Other Communication Tools
Tool
Cost
Use
Advantage
Facebook
Free
Seguin ISD: District, departments, campuses and classrooms use to share events, links, videos, news.
New Braunfels ISD, Comal ISD(Campus News)
Ease of use, variety of media, patron proximity (It’s where they already are.)
Twitter
Free
New Braunfels ISD- district news
Seguin ISD--districts news, some teachers/programs
Manor ISD- External communication and Internal celebrations; Monthly Twitter Chat (3rd Tuesday, #ManorISD) for teacher PD credit.
Del Valle ISD - district account (district announcements, events, etc.), Instructional Tech dept account (tech news, training announcements, etc.)
Comal ISD(district and campus announcements)
Easy, many already use Twitter, searchable.
Free

Free, push notification, scalable
Edlio
$6000
Navarro ISD
post on website and Tweet at the same time
School Messenger

Del Valle ISD
Liberty Hill ISD
Round Rock ISD
Seguin
New Braunfels ISD
call, email, tweet, and post to site at the same time
Your Voice
Free


Google Sites
Free
share with everyone
Round Rock ISD
not limited by platform
Google Communities
Free
RRISD:  Multiple communities that have become the basis for learning community chatter and sharing
Manor ISD- Leadership Team and Novice teacher program
must be a GAFE district, but is easy to use and attractive
Remind.com
Free
Seguin: Teachers, coaches use to send reminders, news, etc.
Comal ISD: Used in the high schools

K12 Alerts
$3000
Navarro ISD text, email, and voice messaging
Call, email, tweet and at the same time
Wordpress
?
RRISD: Transitioning all sites above teacher sites to a robust Wordpress
Comal ISD: many teachers have transitioned to Wordpress from IWeb.
Can populate content across multiple sites and our Comm dept can control style and improve info flow.
Zoom
Google Hangout
Free
Manor ISD-Video Conferencing
Zoom is part of ESC 13 services
Face to face conferencing across district without rushing around to meetings.
Google Hangout
Free


Free
This app can be loaded on staff phones (iOS/Android/Win) and can run parallel to District network when Voice/Internet communications are out.
Here is a brief tutorial of how ECISD uses it - tinyurl.com/ectelegrams
ParentLink App
Cost $$$
Enables an app to be share info with parents, students, etc. that is flowing from RSS feeds across district. Loads specific calendars, etc.
ParentLink also provides for a phone/SMS text messaging system for contacting parents.


Georgetown ISD Communications- http://www.georgetownisd.org/Page/331

Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin's blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure

Comments

Gloria said…
Have you ever tried social listening app (ie. Brand24.net) for getting new from niche that is interesting for you? This is cool way to track what is new and learn so much more everyday.

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