A Shout Out to #NISDChat Twitter Sundays at 8:30 PM CST
NISD has Tweet Chats on Sundays at 8:30 PM CST. Thanks to @LisaDegnan1 for the shout out. The questions for this past Sunday looked really cool, but I was on the road. Better late than never, though, so they will be used for today’s post.
How iPads change your role as a teacher in the classroom really depends on the teacher. They can make little or no difference, cause a ton of anxiety, classroom management issues, etc. – or the complete opposite. Teachers can shift how they teach and become more project oriented, facilitating learning or really embracing the role of learning engineer. The kids take an active role in directing inquiry. Higher level thinking is emphasized as are big ideas and essential questions. Students shift from consumers of information to producers of content directly in relation to what they are learning.
I think being a mobile educator definitely leans toward this end of the spectrum above. Certainly the term mobile implies anywhere, anytime learning. Take the devices outside. You they don’t always have to be hooked up to the internet. Take some pictures. Write observations down with notes. Try some of the awesome adapters and probes by Pasco and other vendors for actual research. Check out the ProScope (pictured). Record some audio with GarageBand. iPads are very powerful instruments for doing field research. ChromeBooks definitely pale in comparison.
The basic apps can sometimes be the best. Everyone has their favorites. Each teacher having a different set of tools is great because it gives variety to the activities they assign the students. You can do amazing things with nothing more than an iCloud account and a standard iPad right out of the box. Students can do collaborative photoessays and publish them on the web. No additional apps are needed. However, my wife’s English students were using a variety of apps and workflows on iPads, phones (droid and iOS), and MacBooks to create media to publish their next iBook over Shakespeare’s the Twelfth Night. (You can find last year’s student created iBook over A Midsummer Night’s Dream Study Guide in the iTunes store.)
For teachers just getting started, do yourself a favor and start out slow. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Go for quick, easy successes. Kahoot, NearPod, Camera app, YouTube, Padlet, Explain Everything, Noteability, etc. are all great places to start. Look for Texas Power Techies on Pinterest like Lisa Johnson (TechChef4U), Sue Gorman, Matt Gonzales, Casey Bell, and even your’s truly. You can find links to their boards here.
Find that one thing. Great EdTech is 1) fast, 2) cheap, and 3)easy. It doesn’t have to be rocket science… unless that’s what you are studying. Then, by all means, let it be rocket science!
Make sure you look at your content standards. You can get lost in all the tech, but at the end of the day it is about learning. If your standard says analyze the causes leading to the start of the civil war, then have them do something that requires them to analyze those causes and regurgitate it back at you with the tech. The iPad-a-gogy wheel is a great place to start. You pick out the verbs in your content standard and match them up with apps on the wheel. Find the PDF with clickable links here.
I want to see students creating and publishing more. My pie in the sky dream is that every kid leaving Sanger ISD will have a body of digital work and a positive digital footprint to show scholarship committees, admissions boards, and/or prospective employers. We keep moving in that direction. It’s a very, very exciting time.
So, if you are on Twitter next Sunday at 8:30 CST, be sure to look up #nisdchat – you won’t be disappointed!