Last week I had the privilege of attending the third iPad Summit hosted by EdTechTeacher in Boston, Massachusetts. This fall’s summit was the largest ever – a sold out crowd of 1,000 participants. I live-blogged the conference, so you can read about the individual sessions I attended, along with the keynotes, on my blog here. (You can find my two previous Summit reports here and here.)
While officially an “iPad conference,” the theme of the Summit was definitely innovation and connectivity in education, whatever the device. Keynote speakers David Weinberger, Ph.D. and Ruben Puentedura, Ph.D. (the father of the SAMR model concept) highlighted key elements about 21st century learning: we must be connected online, we must re-envision education in the wake of new technology, and we should foster creativity and innovation not stymie it with restrictive practices and archaic security (or instructional) systems.
Imagine walking up to a stream. On the far side lies our ideal learning environment — student-centric, inquiry-based, resource-rich — our Someday. A series of stepping stones indicates a way across. These are our Mondays; achievable objectives interspersed across a torrent of new technologies, practices, and theories. This Someday/Monday dichotomy captures one of the core challenges in teacher professional development around educational technology. As we look across to the opposite bank, we can see that the deep integration of new learning technologies into classrooms requires substantially rethinking pedagogy, curriculum, assessment, and teacher practice (Someday). However, as teachers, we need stepping stones (Mondays), and one of the easiest ways to gain experience with emerging tools is through individual projects or units. Teachers recognize the need to imagine a new future, to move towards the creation of innovative learning environments that provide our students with the best possible experience (Someday). In the meantime, we seek out a path of connected Mondays.
In this four-part series, we are using the Someday/Monday concept to explore four dimensions of using tablets, such as iPads, in educational settings. We will do this by examining how teachers can take students on a journey from the consumption of media to curation, creation, and connection. In the first part of this series, we used the Someday/Monday template to explore Consumption. During the second, we examined Curation and the evolving role of the teacher as a curator of learning objects. This week, we will address Creation, examining what is possible when we empower students and teachers as innovators with iPads and other mobile devices.
When Neil Virani walked into his middle school special education classroom at Mulholland Middle School, part of the LA Unified School district, three years ago, he encountered a roomful of students with a range of cognitive, emotional and physical challenges. But the most toxic problem they had to combat was the low expectations from the school system they’d been in since kindergarten. “All they had was coloring books and watercolors. They were not working on any academic aspects of the curriculum,” he says. “When I saw a [previous] teacher had written of a student, “they don’t require ELA writing instruction because they’re never going to manipulate a writing device,’ I said, before I met him, this kid is going to write.”
In Lindsay Duncan’s class at El Camino Creek, one fourth grade student looked up the definition of “blubber.” One girl found a suitable picture of a whale and attached it to her presentation about marine life.
Books, paper and pencils weren’t in the hands of any of Duncan’s students — only iPads. These days, it’s a common sight in classrooms throughout the Encinitas Union School District (EUSD). Every third through six-grader at EUSD has an iPad, and the district is looking at rolling out more iPads for younger students. Meanwhile, researchers are looking at how the rapidly growing technology is impacting learning.
Duncan is among those researchers. She recently wrote a thesis on iPads in schools after surveying 120 fourth-graders and their parents last school year, when the pilot program debuted. Further, the University of San Diego is slated to release a study this summer on the use of iPads in the district.
“Most people think all technology is great,” Duncan said. “Without rushing to that conclusion, my question was: How might this affect kids? Are they (the iPads) motivational? And I was interested in how students and parents perceive the iPads.”
Duncan’s research indicates students largely believe the iPads are a valuable tool. Parents also see the iPads as beneficial, but some have some reservations with the technology.
Notably, 90 percent of students said the iPad aided their learning. For one, they liked the instant feedback that comes with iPads. Students no longer have to wait days for test results — now it’s a matter of minutes.
For years schools have taught kids fundamental skills like math, reading, science and English. While those core classes remain the same, today’s technology is allowing students and teachers to explore learning in a whole new way.
Beresford High School is one school implementing technology into students’ critical thinking skills.
Just two years ago the school district secured funding to purchase an iPad for each student in the high school.
“Education is a changing entity and having the technology is something that you have to do to keep and up and prepare students for the next step,” said Beresford High School Principle Dustin Degen.
“Its a very short period of time from when you’re in High School to when you’re on the job market,” said Mark Winegar.
[Interestingly the staff were given professional development to help them get the most out of the technology. Just what every teacher needs 🙂 ]
iPad has made such a radical change in education with more and more school districts adopting it as a learning tool inside the classroom. Educational Technology and Mobile Learning has been helping teachers all along the way with reviews and tutorials on how to get started using iPad in education. We have reviewed more than 500 apps and we are planning to do more reviews this year.
Having accumulated a modest experience in dealing with educational iPad apps, we deem it important that we share with you some of the learning goals you should keep in mind when using iPad with your students. We have particularly associated sets of educational iPad apps with each learning goal to make it easier for you to achieve the targeted goal.
Check the learning goals below and share with us your feedback. Enjoy
Yes, let’s give students iPads so they can be smarter and learn better. It sounds so easy. The reality is that there are many unknowns, like how do you hand out 800 iPads and keep track of which student has which iPad, and how do you get 800 students to register with iTunes so they can use their iPads on the school system? (The school system: How do you provide enough bandwidth for 800 iPads? That’s another challenge entirely!)
As principal, here are questions myself and faculty have been faced with:
Technology director and teacher Frederico Padovan may be only a few weeks into his school’s first 1-to-1 iPad deployment, but he’s already figured out how to keep students focused on their lessons. He’s not worried about students steering away to surf the Web or chatting with friends on their new devices.
Since the first day of school, Padovan has been using Nearpod, a slide-based multimedia app that lets teachers create presentations by populating pre-built templates with an entire lesson’s worth of text, images, and video. Then, using a special teacher version of the app, the presentations can be pushed out to an entire class, who use their own student version, allowing the teacher great control over the tempo and pace of the lesson.
“It’s PowerPoint on steroids,” explained Padovan, who teaches emerging computer technology and interactive design at Immaculata-La Salle High School in Miami.
iPads are making waves in education all over the nation, even in college classrooms, where they’re replacing laptops, textbooks, and notebooks. Some colleges have even gone so far as to hand out iPads to new students, helping students and faculty all work with the same technology for learning.
This year, the iPad is still going strong and schools are continuing to innovate new ways to use the tablets in class and around campus. Here we share just a few of the coolest ways iPads are making waves in higher ed this year, from helping teams play better to ensuring students never forget their notes.
Very good news for Skitch users out there. Evernote has released Skitch 2.0 (free), a very welcome update to the Skitch app. Skitch is a screenshot and photo annotating app that is very easy to use. With this update, all your Skitch images are synced immediately into Evernote into a notebook appropriately called “Skitch“. Beforehand, you had to tap a few buttons for each image to be sent to Evernote. Now, Skitch files will be made available for viewing on all your other devices: Macs, PCs, iPhones, even iPod touch. If you would prefer not to use Evernote, you can still save to Camera Roll, but there won’t be any syncing. However, it only takes a minute to sign up for Evernote if you do not have an account yet. Evernote as a complete service presents countless benefits to improving your organizational skills.
The iPad and iPhone have taken the world by storm. Only very recently have filmmakers started to see their potential in a production environment. The iPad has only been out a few months and we are already seeing it used in some very creative ways.
For this feature we have rounded up some of the best and most useful Filmmaking Apps that our Deal Leader Steve Jobs has approved for the App Store. As more filmmakers explore the possibilities with these powerful mobile devices, we are sure this list will continue to grow.