* Prepping Your Toolbox (Foundational Studio)

flickr photo by Fatty Tuna http://flickr.com/photos/fattytuna/97400005 shared under a Creative Commons (BY-NC-ND) license
flickr photo by Fatty Tuna shared under a Creative Commons (BY-NC-ND) license

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In the Agora you will be using many many different tools. You may get frustrated or confused how to use them.

This is also what your students may experience when you introduce new technologies and approaches. Nancy calls this “Confusiasmo”. Learn how and when (do not wait) to ask for help.

From OLE Community web site
From OLE Community web site

Some of you may be using an iPad for the first time, some may have some experience, and some of you may be experts. We are always at different places on a spectrum of expertise.

In this studio we hope to help all of you move to the right- if you are crawling on entry, by the end of the studio we hope you are walking. The walkers may become runners. And those who came in running? Well, you may run farther by helping others.

This studio introduces main tools you will about through experience in the Agora. These may not be ones you use with your students; this experience is not directly about the tools, but potential they may provide. This studio addresses:









About These iPads…

Remix of Magriitte's "Treachery of Images" by Alan Levine
Remix of Magritte’s “Treachery of Images” by Alan Levine

No technology alone is a panacea for learning. An iPad alone will not transform you into a better teacher. We encourage you to think about what the device size, portability, media capabilities, touch interface offers to improve student centered learning or your work as a teacher.

The iPad is a computing device, yes, but try not to use it the same way you use a computer.

Working with mobile devices requires a shift in workflow and can be frustrating at first.  We will walk through some best practices, but you likely will be more confused with the iPad until you’ve spent some time using it.  The iPads are easier to use when you understand that creating and sharing on it requires being able to move your content elsewhere, sometimes in the cloud, sometimes sending to yourself via email.

The flow for many of the Studio challenges is:

  • Create!
  • Send to cloud (e.g. Drive / DropBox / YouTube / SoundCloud / Twitter
  • Find/copy a publicly viewable web link
  • Share the link

How this is done differs for every app. We cannot write exact directions for all the tools. We hope you will learn to guess, try, ask others.

These are two icons you should look for to help you share content from the iPad:


They offer options to send something to the cloud, to send by email, to copy a link, elsewhere on your device, or to social media.

Learn More…

Twitter / Tweeting

Public domain image from Pixabay
It’s a weird bird, Twitter. Public domain image from Pixabay

We do not expect you to embrace Twitter or use it with your students. For our time in the Agora, consider it an opportunity to see first hand how it can work within a community of participants, and possibly to connect us to the world beyond.

When you start in Twitter you are rather alone, a colored egg, like @biffcantrell.


With time, activity, you develop a network and a presence, such as last year’s participant @SaraCarolinaGM:


If you do not have a twitter account, make one now at http://twitter.com (ask for help?)
Write your first tweet, and include the #UDGAgora Hashtag

Maybe mention what you expect from the Agora experience.

Introduce your twitter account to three other people. Find and follow them. Also, find and follow the @AgoraUDG account

See how everyone’s introductions mix together in the #UdGAgora hashtag.

What can hashtags do? See the 124 ones created and used by 2015 Agora participants.

They can also be tracked and analyzed using the TAGS Google Worksheet developed by Martin Hawksey — last year this archived more than 10,000 tweets from over 1000 accounts.

For more help see How to Tweet in the Agora plus:

The Daily Try

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Each day UDG Daily Try publishes a creative challenge for you as a way to experiment with new forms of expression. There is no “correct” answer. You can choose to interpret the assignment in any way that you choose. It may be taking a photo, doing a drawing, recording audio, or making a video. Whatever you creat must me a link or an image you can add to a tweet.

When you respond to a challenge you must include the Twitter account @AgoraUDG AND the hashtag for the assignment, such as #agoratry100.

We created Daily Try number 142 specifically for the first day of the 2016 Agora face to face sessions:

If you click the image for the link to the daily try, you will Nancy jumping around
If you click the image for the link to the daily try, you will Nancy jumping around

The challenge is to make a photo or a drawing that demonstrates what you or someone else looks like at the moment they are learning something. Take a photo with your iPad or tablet device, and send it via twitter with a message that includes @AgoraUDG and #agoratry142— within an hour it will show up on the site at http://udg.theagoraonline.net/daily/agoratry142/

If you follow @AgoraUDG on twitter, you will get a message when a new Daily Try is published.

Using the Challenge Bank

The activities for the studios are hosted in the Agora Challenge Bank http://udg.theagoraonline.com/bank.

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Try this challenge! When you complete a challenge, you should enter information about your work as a response.

Below the description of the challenge, on the left side of the page, is the place you can see other people’s responses to the challenge. This is where you will see a button to click to show the plac you can add your own response. On the right is a place you can add links to extra resources that might help someone else do the challenge.

challenge response

The work you created as a response to a challenge must exist at a public web link. iPad apps offer many ways to share media; if they offer a way to send it to twitter, that is a useful link you can use for your challenge response.

But we want you to do more than share a link, we ask that you use the form to write a reflection, a description of how you create the response, implications or ideas on how you might incorporate this challenge into your teaching.

Note three steps to save your response with thr colored buttons in the bottom right corner:

  • Update (blue): After you compose your first draft, this button checks the form for any mistakes.
  • Preview (orange):  Optionally you can see how your entry will look shown in a window on top of the form. Dismiss the preview by clicking the “x” in the top right or anywhere outside of the preview.
  • Submit (green): This sends the response to the site, and it will now be listed as an example for this challenge.

We use twitter names as a way to show group your responses submitted to the challenge bank http://udg.theagoraonline.net/bank/exampletags/@patyyokogawa

When you are writing up a response completed by a group, use the Tags field to include twitter names of your co-authors (separate each by a comma).

Dilo Community Space

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Later in the week we will provide a more detailed introduction to dilo, but mention it here to introduce you to yet another part of the UDG Agora. Dilo is a the online space where we will share our work, resources, after our face to face sessions.

The entrance to dilo
The entrance to dilo

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