Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Inspired yet overwhelmed....in a good way!

I had the privilege of attending the iPad Summit in Boston last week with Lisa, Nancy, and Linda. I went into it ready to absorb anything and everything I could-- I wanted to LEARN. The workshops I picked for the first day were wonderful and gave me concrete ideas for how to use the iPad in my classroom. Workshop titles such as App-smashing, Collaboration 3.0, and Thinglink drew me in and the presenters didn't disappoint. The workshops on the second day were geared more toward navigating and managing the first year of 1:1 iPads in the classroom. I didn't gain much from these presentations. I decided I was really looking for some do's and don'ts-- suggestions that these workshops fell short of providing. I think the best option is to talk with my fellow techies in 4/5-- they are the best resource.

The definite takeaways for me:

1) Collaboration is a skill all teachers need to incorporate into their classrooms. And cooperative learning or group work isn't the kind of collaboration we're talking about. I learned some fun ways to bring collaboration into the classroom: at the very minimum, GoogleDocs and blogging allow students to collaborate with each other and beyond their classroom walls. To take it to anther level, what about Twitter (she talked about Twitter in a 1st grade classroom!), Google hangouts (a Julius Caesar video call and students play roles from that time period), Skype (with classrooms around the world-- create YouTube videos and send them if there is a time difference), Subtext (iPad app that allows students and teachers to exchange ideas in the pages of digital texts), and eBooks (create books collaboratively, maybe even with a class somewhere else in the world!).

2) The idea of App-smashing blew my mind. App-smashing is when you:
a) Create content with one app.
        b) Create content with another app.
              c) Merge the content together (smashing)
                     d) Publish content to the web.

So, the idea is students collaborate on creating something that can be shared beyond their classroom walls (that's the key!), but they do so using more than one app. For example, students could use the iPad camera, Explain Everything, Paper 53, and skitch.....then upload all of the images generated to the camera roll, then head to iMovie or Book Creator to put it all together. I have used Explain Everything and the camera together, but I hadn't even considered going beyond them for the same project. Cool idea! To check out the presenters notes and suggestions for how to app-smash, see the link below.

App Smashing presentation from iPad Summit

3) Finally, I learned about Thinglink, which is a way to make an interactive image....your images can come alive with music, video, text, and your voice. So, you choose an image, tag it with content, and then share it beyond the classroom walls. Here's an example of a Thinglink that was made to explain the app-smashing ideas. If you hover over the individual app pictures, you'll see video and text windows pop up that teach you about that app.

App-Smash Thinglink

Here's another one-- how about this for a project idea?

Fun Facts about Famous Landmarks in Europe Thinglink

I am still processing everything I have learned and how to put some of the ideas into practice. Lisa K and I have decided to meet regularly to brainstorm ideas and touch base about how we're doing re: putting ideas into action. This is just the beginning-- I am not an expert. But I certainly hope I will be further along the continuum by the end of the year.

1 comment:

  1. Glad to hear that iPad Summit was a success. In my mind it is a game changer. Looking forward to meeting as a TLC to hear all about the great things you mentioned in your post. App Smashing via http://kulowiectech.blogspot.com/ is our next big tech project along with Minecraft.