Tag Archives: ipad summit atlanta

iPads for Administrators by Chris Casal

Jen Carey is LIVE blogging for us from the EdTechTeacher iPad Summit USA. You can also find these posts on her site – indianajen.com.

Concurrent Session #1: iPads for Administrators – Chris Casal

While the title of this talk is iPad for Administrators, the focus is less about administration and more on working as a leader (in every capacity) in the school. Chris works for a public school in NYC of about 1,000 students.

Administrators view iPads primarily for three things: communication, collaboration, and observation. They often have a fourth goal as well: going paperless. iPad is an amazing tool for communication and for being able to do so silently. Using a traditional PA system is loud and disruptive. In a school environment, we seem to either be inundated with information via interruption, or we are entirely out of the loop. In terms of communication within a school, we have the old standby of technology: the email distribution list. This way, we can limit information to a select group and send it out electronically. If teachers have iPads, they are not tied to a computer, they can get it on the go.

In addition to traditional list serves, there are also new media being used by schools: blogs and Twitter that can readily be followed by students and faculty. While using hashtags is new, administrators seem to be embracing it. The school has various hashtags that they use to disseminate information, and since so many students, as well as parents, are on Twitter that it can be a faster medium by which to distribute information.

casal-dropboxCollaboration at PS10 in Brooklyn is primarily in the cloud (they are a Google Apps School), and they also use DropBox to share information. The school has various shared folders that they use for administrative details, staff, and/or students. This is another quick and easy way to distribute information as it limits paper distribution and inbox clutter. In addition to DropBox, the school uses Google Drive.

By using Google Drive, not only can staff and students share information but they can also edit them live. Google Drive is still fairly new, and it is not as iPad friendly – yet. Chris said that they currently prefer DropBox as it is more adaptable for various programs and more cross-platform friendly. The great benefits of the cloud is that content can always be accessed regardless of device or platform. Chris also likes to use the program DROPitTOme for student submission of work. It helps to keep all content for a class in one place. Using DROPTitTOme means that you no longer have to manage folders or sharing permissions. It is purely a submission element. However, Chris does say that ultimately they will move entirely to Google Drive in the next few years.

Another great element of iPad is that it allows for real-time observation and feedback. If you look at his presentation, available here, you can see a variety of his favorite applications to use for collaboration and observation on iPad. Chris demonstrates the ability of annotating a PDF observation form using the app Good Reader. He quickly accesses and annotates the form via DropBox and then posts it within seconds. This demonstrates how easy it is to use iPad for portable and paperless record keeping – making the bane of education a little more palpable 😉

Chris’s ultimate message is that you have to try things out. Fortunately, iPad apps are cheap or even have free “lite” versions. Two dollars is a worthy investment for exploration. If you want to try something new, try it out. It’s about being flexible and finding options. Ultimately, iPad can help administrators and educators achieve that fourth goal: to become paperless (or at least less paper-y). Take the printer out of the thought process. Send it to iPad!

You can view all of Chris’ presentation materials – as well as those from other presenters – on the iPad Summit web site.

iPad Summit Keynote Speaker Angela Maiers: Passion Matters

Jen Carey is LIVE blogging for us from the EdTechTeacher iPad Summit USA. You can also find these posts on her site – indianajen.com.

“Follow my lead. Let’s go somewhere that matters – not just somewhere that glitters.” – Angela Maiers

Please note: the slides and audio for Angela’s talks are available on her website. Angela Maiers is an experienced and passionate educator. She is a celebrated author and keynote speaker. She just kicked off the iPad Summit with her keynote address. Angela’s excitement is palpable in the large conference room. In spite of some technical difficulties (a staple at all talks on technology), she pushes through and begins chatting about the role of passion within education. You can see Angela speak about passion at the TEDxDesMoines event, recorded here.

“Passion is not an event, it’s an emotion,” Angela states. She argues that we often view passion as a luxury. Rather, we should recognize that we all have passion inherently – as educators that work at our craft, travel for learning, and recognize in our students.

“Nothing great in the world can be or has ever been accomplished without passion.” A single person that hides their passion, drive, and discipline actually harms the community. We need passion to drive us forward as a society. We need to protect our own passion as well as cultivate the passion of our students.

Looking at the American educational system, the rules are written by people who don’t “get it.” Educators and those that work directly with children do. That’s why we’re here today. Angela tells the story of attending a summit of three hours addressing the need to create innovative students. Out of 8,677 Tweets, not a single mention was made of cultivating passion. Instead, the focus was on accountability, standards, and rigorous assessment. Three concepts that make teachers around the world cringe. Creativity and innovation… risk taking – these were all neglected. Without passion, education cannot be an innovative industry.

Compare this mentality with a collection of individuals at SXSW. While the event is famous for its music and film festivals, the core element of South by Southwest is that it’s a collection of tech innovators. A core element of this festival is a focus on innovative and emerging technologies. She pointed out that in this element alone, the word “passion” was mentioned thousands of times.

Angela highlights that passion is necessary in education, and that, interestingly, iPad has fostered and encouraged an element of passion within the world of education. In other words, “Passion Matters”!

The conversations about education often focus on data. This is in part where some of the disconnect happens. We want our students to be ready to be global citizens, and yet data-driven education does not fuel passion or innovative success. Passion is not quantitative it’s emotional. We need to make these conversations part of the culture. For many students, school is a “soul sucker.” It penalizes risk taking and discourages passion. We have a passion gap in this country, not a technology or achievement gap. Students need to be driven to do work that matters. If you can secure the heart, then you can get everything that the mind is capable of achieving. As Angela reinforces, schools today kill students’ passion as we remove the focus from passion and work that matters to instead look at testing and data-driven assessment.

“Where would the world be without teachers who had a passion for their science and craft and loved it right in front of us!” – Mr. Rogers

Passionate individuals can and do change the world. Angela argues that the geniuses who have contributed to society throughout the history of the world have discussed the painful and gut wrenching nature of the innovative process. It is physical and emotional pain to push through for what matters. Passion is not about something you “like” to do or are good at doing. Rather, passion is getting in touch with what you must do and what you will be called to do as a contributing citizen of the world. Without it, we become complacent and apathetic. Passion is drive and discipline. It requires commitment at an incredibly deep level. This is what we need to cultivate in our classrooms. In order to do that, we need to surround our students with passion driven people: leaders, teachers, and other students. Witnessing someone driven by passion is inspiring.

“Secure the heart or you don’t have a shot at their brains or business” – Angela Maiers

After we meet basic needs, the brain focuses on our social interactions with the world around us: knowing that we are valued and mattered. Per Malcolm Gladwell, this happens in seconds. If we do not take H.E.A.R.T. (Honor Expect Act Risk Take action) then we will lose them. We need to ensure that we recognize others’ value. Any level of genius that you recognize in others you must excavate and get out of them. Everyone has an element of genius. Great educators understand how to get this out of individuals.

In order to live up to our genius, we need to act, to take courage, and to demonstrate a willingness to take risk. We can foster that willingness by surrounding ourselves with passionate people. A passionate individual influences the world around them. For example, Zappos specifically recruits passionate individuals for their company. Passion allows you to be who you are, not what you do.

“You are a genius and the world needs your contribution.”

As educators, we need to stop focusing on what children consume and instead focus on what they contribute. The 21st century demands that we contribute. There is more contributed in a single second on the web than there is in a year via traditional media. Pumping out content is easy, but making it meaningful and ensuring that others care about it is challenging. The web is inherently passion driven, people share what they care about. Looking at Google and Yahoo trending, we can view what captures the hearts of the public.

In terms of iPad, it allows students to act on their passions wherever and whenever they need. It allows them to contribute to the world, acting on their passion. As students, they can act on a “to be” list rather than a “to do” list. Your “to do list” should be a “get to do” list. Passion driven people are never “done” with their to do list. Our work is not about getting there, but about becoming more successful and impactful.

If you do not know how to take a chance or a risk, then the 21st century will be a dangerous place for you. In fact, safe is risky – playing it safe does not solve problems. To get past “safe” and encourage kids to risk, we set “Big Hairy Audacious Goals” (B.H.A.G.). If you want to know if it matters, then it should scare you. Big goals are terrifying. Without them, genius will not show up. You must live and learn as though you are capable of solving the world’s biggest problems.

In order to get students to take action, ask them “What breaks your heart about the world?” Then… act on that. Passion drives young people to do amazing things. Technology allows individuals to reach farther and have a broader impact. It expects students to contribute and participate in the world.

Angela highlights that her heartbreak is that the genius of kids and teachers is not valued by the world. As such, she had the individuals at TopCoder build a site, Choose2matter, an organization that celebrates the genius of students and teachers. It launches this week and its focus is to recognize the genius of ALL students and children.

Heading to Atlanta for the iPad Summit!

Screen Shot 2013-04-08 at 9.39.26 AMI will be flying to the great city of Atlanta to attend the Spring iPad Summit at Georgia Tech. The new conference (which has sold out at every offering) is hosted by Ed Tech Teacher. I will be presenting this Friday, focusing on using the iPad for personal professional development.

Keep an eye on my blog where I will be live blogging the event with assistance from Beth Holland. You can also follow the event on twitter using #ettipad. If Fall was any indicator, this will be an amazing event for educators and administrators alike.