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#Twitacad Twitter Academy: Starting a School

There are some things, that when presented to you in life, you want to run away from.  In my experience, those things I want to run away from, are often a window into my future.   My immediate reaction is to resist, but in the end, as I get more comfortable with the idea, I end up embracing it with passion.  Over the past 3 years, I have been approached by different people, in different walks of life, to start a school.  The first time conversation headed in this direction I was intrigued and, if I’m honest, totally terrified.  What do I know about starting a school?  I continued the conversation because I love talking education and learning and thought I might learn something in the process.  Last year, my mindset about starting a school began to change.  I can’t pinpoint exactly what caused that change, maybe it was being in a private school and realizing that even there, education isn’t what it should be.  Sure there are more resources, money, involved parents, more freedom, but education is still being done the same way it has been for nearly a century.  We have tools and resources at our disposal that would make customizing education a much easier task than it was even 20 years ago and yet the direction we are heading in is to standardize more and individualize less. Somewhere in the span of a year, I decided to really take this on.  Even if the end result wasn’t a school, I wanted to really intentionally re-imagine education.  I wanted to re-imagine what a school is.  I brought together a few teachers who share my passion for education and learning and a passion to improve education.  Two of us decided to pursue what it would take to make our ideas a reality and start a school.  We brought an entrepreneur into the mix who has no background in education but knows how to build a business.  That may seem like a strange thing to do, but we both felt that an outside perspective is needed.  Sometimes we are too close to education to get a clear view of the possibilities that exist because we can build up walls that are unnecessary.  The three of us are coming to a place where we are ready to invite more voices into the mix.  I would relish your input in the formation of this school.  This is your opportunity to help shape education!  I think the best way to ask for that input is through Google forms.  I will be throwing out Google Forms with questions about education, learning, school design etc. over the next few months, I hope you will help out when you can. First I should give you a 10,000 foot view of what we are looking to accomplish.  I don’t want to give away too many details just yet because as I am asking for input, I want it to be separate from our ideas and biases.  We are looking to create a replicable school model that could eventually take the place of public education.   Right now it is our feeling that public education is beyond tweaking.  Education needs a major overhaul and re-imagining.  To try to do this within the current system is going to be slow at best.  We want the school to be free for everyone (tuition-free) but private (not government-funded).  I will post more later about our ideas for how to accomplish that.  The focus of the school will be building up a community of learners.  I will be adding more details and fleshing this out for those who are interested in later posts. With this in mind, I would love your help with the first round of questions.  If you can take a minute to help out it would be greatly appreciated.  This first Google form focuses on the learning environment.  Don’t feel like you have to answer each and every question, answer those that you have an opinion about or are passionate about. Loading… You may be wondering what the title of this post is all about… about a month ago @cybraryman1 and I came up with the idea of Twitter Academy, the ideal school created and shaped by educators on Twitter.  As I progress with this project, I will be using the hash tag #twitacad on Twitter to follow conversations and progress.  Please feel free to add to that conversation by adding #twitacad to any of your tweets.  @cybraryman1 has started a page on his awesome site for Twitter Academy.

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Conduit Mobile: Turn any website/blog/wiki into an app for any mobile device!

Posted by admin | Posted in Blogs, Create, iPod, Middle/High School, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources, web tools, Websites | Posted on 11-01-2012

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What it is: Want to see something really super cool?  You can create your very own app for multiple mobile platforms in, I don’t know, 7 minutes flat! Seriously.  Conduit Mobile makes it incredibly easy to create your own app out of a blog, class website, wiki, etc. and publish it to share with others.  It honestly could not be easier.  Type in the URL you want turned into an app. Click go. Customize and tweak to your hearts desire and publish.  That. Is. It.  Holy cow it is easy!  You all are going to look like super geniuses when you turn your classroom blogs/wikis/websites into mobile apps that parents and students can access easily from anywhere.  Better yet- turn your school website into a mobile app and then you will be super genius of the school.  That is an impressive title.  Once your app is published, you have the ability to send push notifications to your app users (field trip reminders anyone?).  You can also easily track the analytics of who is using your app.  You can even enable advertising to earn revenue in accordance with your apps installation and performance.  It never hurts to have a little extra mail money around for all those classroom supplies we buy!
How to integrate Conduit Mobile into the classroom: Conduit Mobile makes it easy to meet your students and families where they are-on mobile devices.  Make classroom content and news easily accessible by running your site through Conduit Mobile-it does all the hard work leaving you an app for Apple devices, Android, Windows mobile, bada and Blackberry.
Do your students have blogs or wikis that they have created?  Help them publish their hard work into an app.  I’m thinking this would be a really NEAT way for our Jr. High students to turn their blog ePortfolios into apps that they bring with them to high school interviews.  Now that would be impressive!  It is so easy to do, there is just no reason not to!
As a school, publish your school site as a mobile app where parents can get quick-at-a-glance information, review policies and get the latest news.
Tips:  To publish your app to the various app stores, you will need a developer certificate.  These differ depending on the app store you are aiming for.  Conduit mobile even makes this process easy, walking you step-by-step (with pictures) through the process.  Once you are connected to each app store, you can publish as many apps as you would like.  If you have a class full of students who would like to publish a mobile app, it may be worth creating a class developer license that everyone can use to publish.

Please leave a comment and share how you are using Conduit Mobile in  your classroom!

Comments (6)

I just used a conduit to make an App for my school :-). It’s very straightforward. The Android app marketplace costs $25 to get into whereas Apple costs $100 plus taxes. Apple also requires a Mac for you to use to upload your app. The Android store doesn’t care what you use :-). When MIT gets the Android App Maker site up and running again, it’ll make Android development even easier. With Apple Apps…well, it’s harder.
My students LOVE the app. Creating their own would be even cooler!!

This looks cool! Keep up the good work and keep posting those kid apps when they come. You don’t mention price, platforms, etc., but I’ll explore on my own. Thanks!

I love this idea, however, even to try it out, it appears that you need to purchase an Apple Developer license ($99 per year) or a one time fee of $25 to upload the app to the Google Market Place. It’s too bad you cannot make your app free in both the Apple Store and Google Market Place without a subscription or developer license.

Hi!
My name is Heather and I work for Worth Ave. Group. We’re currently holding a contest for K-12 teachers to win grants for their schools, and iPads or iPods for their classrooms. If you’re interested in participating, feel free to email me or visit the link I’ve posted below.
Have a great day!
http://www.worthavegroup.com/giveaway/
voteforteachers@worthavegroup.com

This is true…to put in the stores you do have to register as developer.

Price: Free…until you want to publish then it costs. Platforms are mentioned above.

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