Thursday, May 10, 2012

I am thrilled that the Lower School will have dedicated faculty meeting time next year to better explore and apply iPad use in the Lower School.  It became very clear this year that in order to make the best use of this technology in our classrooms, we needed adequate time to work together and learn from each other about what the iPad has to offer.  I feel that this focus is a logical next step to what has already been established this year.  The School has made an investment in adopting this technology initiative.  With the addition of dedicated meeting time, we will be able to better honor this investment.  Thank you Ben, Page and anyone else responsible for facilitating and supporting this valuable, pertinent professional development focus.      

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Time Travel in Augusta
Last week I went to the Jum$tart Financial Literacy Conference for Teachers at the Civic Center in Augusta.  I went for professional development, I went because the conference invited our Reserve Cup Team to attend as student ambassadors, and I went to present a session myself (first time!).  I made my powerpoint and then decided to show it as slides from the iPad rather than bring the laptop.  I find that I don't ever want to bring a laptop anywhere anymore - iPad or bust!  When I got to the Civic Center I was anxious to check out the room for my presentation.  The room looked normal enough, you know the "conference" look that you see in hotel conference rooms, or civic centers.  Confidently I took my iPad and dongle up to the front to plug in and test the equipment.  Ok, no projector that I can see.  That could be an issue.  But what I saw next horrified me.  Set low on the far wall below the electrical outlet was a panel of ports for connection.  But these ports were shapes and sizes that resembled something out of the original Star Trek series!  There was no way any technology produced within the last 20 years was going to fit into any of these plugs.  I think the room, no the entire building itself was uncomfortable with an iPad being in the house.  I asked a few people what they knew about the setup and it was clear that the iPad/Apple/2012 language I used was not getting me anywhere.  In my mind I had visions of me holding my iPad over my head and walking around the room showing my presentation like John Cusack in "Say Anything".  Just then, one of my colleagues from the Jum$tart Board arrived and told me that they had a new projection kit that they could bring.  Saved!!!  In the end the technology worked great - even though I needed some help from Addison to set it up :)

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

School Visit

I had a fantastic visit at Bancroft last week.  The Spanish teacher I visited with is using iPads in her classroom with enthusiasm and she allowed the US students to share their favorites with me (as a way to review for quizzes the next day).  She has changed her teaching style to incorporate the flipped classroom approach and uses class time like a workshop allowing collaboration, feedback and questions and avoiding "lecturing" or giving information.  She has found that her students are more engaged with the material and talking to each other and with her more often in the target language.  She will be a wonderful colleague for me to collaborate with in the future!!   Here is a link she shared with me regarding flipping the classroom (and some info about a workshop in Chicago in June): 

Here are some apps that all of the students use in all of their classes:

Notability or Pages for note taking and writing/composition
iHomeowrk or Todo for Organization

She uses PDF Expert to send quizzes to students and they take their quizzes on the iPad.
The also do a lot of real-time Google Docs work together

I was impressed by how willing students were to share and comment on each other's work and progress!  I also got to visit with 2 teachers I had 33 years ago!

Thanks for this connection, Page!!