Today is my first day at the iPad Summit and I was lucky enough to be able to attend the preconference workshop on using the iPad in Middle and High School Classrooms. All of today (November 6, 2012) focuses on application: using iPads in our classrooms.
The day begins with a keynote address by Tom Daccord of EdTechTeacher.org (the organizers of the conference). He is also the author of the Edudemic article: “5 Critical Mistakes Schools Make with iPads (and how to Correct Them). His talk is entitled – iPads in the Classroom: Consumption, Curation, & Creativity. The focus of the workshop is hands on learning and application. Tom starts out by explaining to us the need to break out of the idea and need for subject specific apps. Rather, as educators, we should focus on access to information and then creative application.
In the morning session, we were quickly introduced to some of the basics of the iPad: video, camera, app switching, orientation lock, etc. We then explored how this material might be useful in a classroom environment – both for lessons, organization, and study. It was great to hear my peers’ creative ideas and methods of application.
He emphasized that the “Holy Grail” of iPad use is to use it as a “Creativity Device.” In order to get there, he recommends that we, as educators, define our learning objectives and then find applications that will work to do what we need. He has an excellent list of objectives (with some accompanying apps) available on his website: EdTechTeacher.org/iPads. The list is annotated but limited – rated by usefulness and ease of use.
The key is learning to be creative and flexible when using applications. It’s about building backwards – defining your objectives and then using tools that will help you to obtain them. While the iPad resource on EdTechTeacher is great, it’s just a starting point.