The last talk of the day was entitled: “Preparing & Supporting the iPad Teacher” with Tom Daccord. The focus of the discussion is how to prepare and support iPad teachers in the classroom. He stated that the talk is an adaptation of the article he wrote for Edudemic: “5 Critical Mistakes Schools Make with iPads and how to Correct Them.”
There’s NOT an app for that!
Faculty, staff, students, and parents need to be on board with the goal and the objectives of the iPad program. You need to deliver a compelling and concise message to your community.
iPads are not about content specific applications. Rather, it’s about using the available tools to meet your teaching objectives. EdTech Teacher has a great list of apps for the iPad to meet your various, specific objectives and goals. “What is it that you want to be able to do?” You must identify your learning objectives and then select the tool appropriate for those activities.
Failure is Mandatory
Teachers can, will, and should fail. Exploring and learning by doing is far more effective than disseminating knowledge. Experimenting and experiencing is far more powerful than instruction. Overcoming fear and discomfort leads to growth. With technology, you learn from doing!
iBooks vs. ePub vs. PDF
PDF is the best generic format for all platforms – especially the iPad. You can convert documents to PDFs using a variety of tools – even online with sites like PrintFriendly.com.
iPad as a Response System
Another way to use the iPad is as an instant response system.
You can use your iPad for class polling or quizzing and Thomas highlights the easy tools of Poll Everywhere and Socrative. These free software tools can be useful for gauging the pulse of your classroom, a pop quiz, or a back channel.
The American educational system allows teachers great latitude – it is open to innovation. However, we do not have a clearly understood or concise definition of technological integration. We do not know what it is or understand it.
If we are going to integrate iPads into our classrooms, we need to have an objective mission.
We should also keep in mind that the iPad is a powerful tool for creativity. I, personally, believe that children need to create. Creation is a powerful tool in education and one that is oft overlooked. However, creativity is essential in education, critical thinking, and problem solving.
After we have determined the why, educators need to approach – HOW? How do students submit work for assessment? What does this look like in a 1:1 program vs a shared cart format? There are many tools educators can use, Evernote, DropBox, and Google Drive are the most popular. However, these solutions are not always straight forward (especially in shared environment).
If administrators are going to support their educators, they need to be prepared to provide the framework, training, and administrative support to make these programs successful. It cannot be just “add iPads and stir.”