It’s hard to put into words what I experienced on Day 2! There was a whole lot to take-in, consider, fathom, alongside the thoughts I’m continuing to have about our own 1:1 efforts in Goochland.
So, I thought I’d share some highlights.
I visited a session on 1:1 with iPads where they used the “Flipped Classroom” model using teacher-made videos for students to take home. There are a number of these video apps available for the Mac and iPad; the Mac of course lets you capture via the iSight camera that’s built in so we can do things like talk to students. It also allows us now to capture what’s on our iPad using software we’ve purchased called Reflector. And then on the iPad, there are “draw and sketch” movie apps that were popularized in part by Sal Khan with his tutorial videos. The idea is to send kids home with videos to watch so that what happens the next day is powerful in the classroom. They emphasized the fact that what happens at home is less important than what can happen the next day.
Parents became involved in this process – many watched the videos with their kids, which the teachers thought was important. Taking iPads home made this possible – which meant for their community that the videos be on the iPads before the kids went home. While they used a manual sync process, I think my choice would be the podcasting app and for us to publish the videos via that app.
They emphasize the use of all kinds of tools – these teachers didn’t abandon paper, pencils, markers, etc., just because they had iPads – they still saw value in using these time-trusted tools.
Best comment from a parent: “My child was blessed to have taken part in this program – thank you!”
In the exhibit hall there are all kinds of things to take-in. Of course, most all of it costs money. This stand from Anthrocart caught my eye, as it securely holds an iPad and also has space for a laptop.
How cool is this? So far, they’ve had no sales to K-12 school, only universities. But wow – it’s got the richest color you’ve seen, it’s glossy, and it can be made different sizes. It’s true multitouch; in fact, you put all five fingers on it from a hand then those touch points turn into tools! It also recognizes little cards which command the thing to do different things. This was the one thing I saw that screamed “the future” and evoked the sense of a futuristic sci-fi movie.
I spent some time talking to a consultant about how we move forward with Google Apps in Goochland. He was a smart guy and recommended the use of Hapara – which has a teacher dashboard product for Google Apps. What this product does is it talks to PowerSchool, creates student accounts from PowerSchool, then it provides a teacher dashboard service. This allows teachers to see their class and into folders in each GoogleApps Drive account from students. It makes it easy to manage classwork by having kids accounts grouped by classes; you can easily share documents with your classes and get documents back seamlessly with this tool.
George Couros is an educator in charge of “instructional technology” for a district in Canada; I follow him on Twitter because he’s got a lot of great ideas. Dr. Gretz I know follows his blog, and he told us in his session that he wouldn’t let his district use “instructional technology” in his title! Instead, he uses something like “Innovative Learning.” He feels that puts the proper emphasis on why he’s there – instead of something to do with electronic devices.
His talk was on leadership and he shared some excellent information – some of it thought provoking – using his own experiences to qualify his stances. He warned us we can over plan and take too much time thinking about things, then showed a video that I’ve seen of a kid at the top of a ski jump. He used it to illustrate his point.
He was also an excellent presenter with his slide ware – he really followed the “Presentation Zen” style.
There were a lot of Poster Presenters today and a lot of information to be found. Among the posters was a presentation by Slippery Rock University on great apps to use for Physical Education classes. I snapped a photo so I can follow-up.
ISTE has a bookstore at the conference – although I didn’t pick any up – there were a lot of interesting titles that are new – and the keynote speakers also each have their books. The first keynote we saw was interesting – on the impact of games – and her book would be a good read, I think. Check out Jane McGonigal’s book on Amazon.
The last session on Monday I attended was on UDL principles with the iPads. Universal design for learning is a concept most often seen in special education – that lessons can be designed for all learners, with options for modifying lessons to meet the needs of everyone – whether that’s optional products to be produced, approaches that differentiate, etc. Since the iPad is one of the most forward-designed devices with accessibility, the presenters shared a some apps that can help with making lessons more UDL-aligned, and also they covered the accessibility functions of the iPad. In addition, I learned that some switches used with special education students can work with some iPad apps that use VoiceOver. One of the presenters, Luis Perez has written a book. The other presenter has a well-stocked wiki with resources!