Using Flipboard to teach Minecraft and other things

 Flipboard for MinecraftEDU and Parents

Flipboard for MinecraftEDU and Parents

Contemplating the idea of how to refresh the resources we have in school, it dawned on me after a short conversation with Jay Atwood at the Singapore American School, that with the creating of your own magazines in Flipboard could be the solution I've been looking for.

Flipboard has been around a long time and in mobile only format until recently (they took the unusual turn of going from mobile back to the web) when most people think that the web is on it's way out. Hell, some folk even think that the browser is on its last legs. Well, that's been a long poke in the eye of IE anyhow.

If you're not aware of what Flipboard is, then I'll quickly elaborate: Flipboard allows you to curate content much like a magazine for RSS. Excep there is no RSS to control you select content like you would have in the old days via RSS and read it later as it updated. Instead, the collection is based on topics than actual sites. This gives you a flippable magazine of content you want to read on your phone or tablet. Simple, right. You choose and a collection of articles appear.

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As Flipboard evolved, you could search before long and Flipboard began to add features such as custom topics and-the-like and then, the newest of features was a make a your own magazine (this has been out a while now and not really the newest at all!)

The nice thing is that the people you follow in your network of teachers et al are can now be followed on Flipboard. Many of these people make smaller curated magazines and some with original content of their own. This content can be drawn from all over: other social areas like Instagram, Twitter, Facebook etc and individual URLs.

It's this custom URL addition that makes it really handy for a teacher to build their own magazines for any topic they desire. Flipboard has its own online editor at editor.flipboard.com where you sign into a 'dashboard' of sorts and rearrange tiles on the page. The tiles being the pages of your content.

The real beauty of this is that you can do this live while the students are in front of you. It's a bit like Nearpod except the presentation is a bit more organic that Nearpod's ultra linear feel. The tiles you can see below are in lesson format. The '1' you see is the introduction to Ancient China topic and the inventions the Chinese founded many moons ago. These lesson pieces can be swapped out to suit the classes or the students you are aiming it at. You could divide this up into different magazines for groups or even as a research exercise prior to the topic.

Lastly, to make these numbers I simply built a doc on Google Drive and made it publicly available after 'publishing it'. This turn the doc into a webpage for the public URL to be added to the Magazine. Swapping out the tiles and rearranging them made a chapter by chapter magazine.

The other nice thing is we can use this for parents too. Many of our parents want something quick to browse that doesn't necessarily mean logging into the school portal. This is a handy way of sending the info to them without having to resort to email. We even successfully used it as part of a CPD exercise.