Today is the pre-conference workshop for the iPad Summit here in beautiful San Diego. I had the privilege of working with the esteemed Shawn McCusker. Working with advanced teachers, we were able to play with advanced creative techniques and really get to the heart of building creative and innovative lessons.
If you would like to see the agenda for the day, you can do so by clicking here. Because our classroom of teachers really wanted to delve deeply into the material at hand, we could only touch on a few of the topics we had planned to tackle.
Keeping with the EdTechTeacher model of hands on exploration and learning (see my article “Challenge Based, One-Screen, & T-21: The EdTechTeacher Approach to iPad PD“). This means that there is very little direct instruction – instead, the focus is on allowing teachers to explore, experiment, and create. It’s effective in helping teachers to experience the process the same way our students’ do: figuring things out as they go along. In fact, I have brought many of these same concepts into my own classroom.
A key concept that we employed is that it’s about using a handful of apps to do a variety of projects effectively and creatively. This is the “One Screen Model” (see “All the Good Apps Fit on One Screen“). It’s easy for teachers to feel quickly overwhelmed by the sheer volume of apps out there. This is why EdTechTeacher curates a handful of apps to help you accomplish your lesson objects, see their incredibly helpful post “iPad As;” it will help you to navigate the App store with an eye to utility.
The central tenet of using iPads is App Fluency: “The ultimate goal of fluency challenges is to be able to move information from app to app and from device
to device in order to process it and share it efficiently and effectively (Shawn).” This means that to effectively navigate the iPad, you must understand how to pull content into an app and what you can push out. For example, pulling images or videos into iMovie from the camera roll or Google Drive, editing them into a composed single piece, and then publishing it via YouTube or Google Drive. Shawn expressed his opinion that any app on the iPad that cannot work with other tools (is an isolated program) is ultimately useless.
App fluency allows you to create more complex and advanced projects via a process known as “App Smashing” – “Using two or more applications or web tools in conjunction with one another to create a final product or experience that would not be possible with using a single tool (Shawn)”. By collecting content from a variety of sources and then manipulating them in multiple ways incorporates higher level learning and skills. Check out “App Smashing with iOS 7.” You can also check out this great example below:
As workflow was a common topic throughout the session, we decided to switch up in the end to discuss some ways to facilitate collecting and curating student material. One of the most popular tools for getting content off of iPads and shared with the teacher is Google Drive; many schools have become Google Apps for Education institutions making this much easier. One of the best tools available to teachers working in a GAFE environment is the script Doctopus. This tool enables teachers to distribute content effectively and collect it easily without having to worry about all of the snafu’s that happen with sharing (typos in email addresses, titles, etc). If you would like to see a run through, check the video below:
Overall, it was an exciting and innovative day with high enthusiasm, excitement, and energy. I can’t wait to continue the moment tomorrow with the rest of the iPad Summit!