There are so many options today for workshops and lectures to attend. I elected to go to the talk “ILessons (on the iPad) for Higher Order Thinking Skills” by Sue Gorman. Sue introduced herself as an Apple Distinguished Educator and set up our backchannel via Today’s Meet. Also, if you’re a lover of Pinterest (as I am), you can see her Ed Tech Pinterest Board.
While today’s talk is about using applications, she does emphasize that it’s not about the quantity of applications or even the app itself – rather, its about effectively using a tool. “It’s about how we are going to use the device and how we will get there.” She emphasized that students do not need to follow the same path as long as they get to the same place. The power should be in the students’ hands.
If you follow Bloom’s Taxonomy, then you should know “there’s an app for that.” Educators and students can find an application that will help them to learn, explore, evaluate, create, remember, and achieve!
A great free book, published by other educators, is the iBook “Hot Apps 4 Hots” which contains numerous lesson plans and pedagogical suggestions for employing the iPad in the classroom.
Sue also emphasized the need to do more than “add technology and stir.” It is not enough to simply add technology, we need to develop meaningful pedagogy.
She walked us through the SAMR model, which I have outlined below if you are unfamiliar with it.
S – Substitution; e.g. word processing
A – Augmentation, technology as as a direct tool substitute
M – Modification, technology allows for significant task redesign
R – Redefinition, technology allows for creation of new tasks previously inconceivable
While Substitution and Augmentation are not bad, they are not the end goal and objective. What we want, is innovation and creation that are achieved later on with technological integration. Many apps that can be used for substitution or augmentation can also be adapted for modification and redefinition. For example, “Explain Everything” can be a simple drawing or recording document, but can also be used to create powerful screen casts and digital stories. Again, the power lies in effective use of the tool rather than the tool itself.
There are thousands of amazing tools and applications available to students and educators, but what is key is applicable innovation. We, as educators, need to find creative and new ways to apply them. Collaborating with colleagues via blogs, twitter, pinterest, and other means of social media are a great way to do this.