I’d like to share a few highlights of the iPad Summit I attended in Boston on November 12th.
First, kudos to Sabba Quidwai (@askMsQ), our workshop leader and tech maven Ramona Towner (@rmbtowner_tech) for an outstanding pre-conference workshop. Of all the creative tools and strategies and they presented, a few stand out.
Instead of just telling us about Nearpod (cross-platform app) Sabba used it a management and sharing tool for the day. Each time we completed a project (an annotated book, for example), she had us upload it to Nearpod so everyone could see it.
As Nic points out, although Nearpod is lacking in reviews, some real TechnoYes teachers out there are big fans. It lets you (for free, folks) create and design your own presentations, share them with students, and invite them to respond (live). You can also monitor and measure the results.
Here’s how it works. After creating a free account, Nearpod allows you to use your tablet to manage content on students’ mobile devices. A side benefit is that you can see which students are off task. (Usually just inching toward the girl who is busy checking her email will get her back on track without needing to say a word). Nearpad can also be a boost to collaboration, with students posting their work for others to add to or critique (anonymously if you like). You can also Nearpod it for quizzes (and data collection), as Sabba did to get a sense of where we would place ourselves on the edtech curve. At the end of the session, you can have the data sent to you as a PDF.
For a real time saveer, you can upload your own PowerPoint présentation. You can also find lots of free lessons on the Nearpod website on topics ranging from the Formation of the eEarth to Geometric Elements. Here’s more on why teachers who have access to sets of mobile devices describe Nearpod as a game changer. Check out this link.
The second a-ha for me was having a chance to work with an online bulletin board app called Padlet. Billed as “the easiest way to create and collaborate in the world,” Padlet allows you to create a wall that, among other things, allows you to curate all sorts of images and text focused on a given topic (e.g., current events). It’s hard to explain! You need to see it.
Have a look at the Padlet Gallery to get a sense of the possibilities. I think you’ll come away with a few creative ideas for how you can customize this tool for your students. Also see Richard Byrne’s YouTube video about Padlet for a step-by-step introduction.
My last a-ha was not so much one particular app (although I am really taken with Book Creator, Explain Everything, and Popplet Lite apps—all free). It was more about the mindset for working with apps. First, Sabba recommends that you not try to integrate too many apps all at once. Focusing on one or two per year might be the best way to go. Over time, you will easily build up a repertoire of five or so apps that will become an integral part of your tool kit. And instead of going it alone, think about working with a team.
Another piece of advice Sabba gave us was to give kids “sandbox time” when you introduce a new app. Encourage them to try out everything. Then when you’re ready to move on, your students will be ready.
What experiences with apps do you have to share? Let us know!
Jules and Nic have been (and continue to be!) asked to write for a range of online publications following the release of 'TechnoTeaching'. Some are research features, some reviews and some advice for schools and teachers. They range from light entertainment pieces to academic-based articles
Here are a few that have just been published this autumn/fall 2014:
Secondary Ed (for UK Secondary school staff) Five Simple Ways (to integrate edtech)
HeadTeacher (Primary Headteachers and staff rooms) Top Tips for Being A TechnoTeacher
Nic is also a frequent contributor to InnovateMySchool, writing for their ‘Inspire’ page. Here are some links to her latest articles.
Who is Responsible for Educational Innovation: Suppliers or Educator?
Great Tips On Innovative Ways to Teach Film
10 Tips for Teaching Teachers
How to be An Outstanding Teacher in 2014
MOOCS and the Power of eLearning
The Digital Divide
She has been invited as part of the panel for a recent live web chat on 'How To Use Film Creatively in The Classroom' by The Guardian and Into Film. This was then used for an article in The Guardian - see here. Nic's next piece for them on Time Saving Apps for Teachers was published this week - the Editor cut her bit on Nearpod which seems to have provoked comments!.
They have also currently written on a series of edtech articles for Education Today, School Leadership Today and ASCD at present and awaiting publication of these. Links will be added once they are available - online and offline. Watch this space!
iPad Summit Boston 2014
Given the bewildering array of apps out there, you’re probably wondering which ones are must-haves. Me too. And while it’s great that so many of them are free, you can download those that aren’t for roughly the cost of a pumpkin latte with whipped cream, without needing to burn a couple of hundred calories. If you’re like me, you find it’s all too easy to overload your iPhone or iPad with apps you’ll forget downloading and will probably never use.
What to do? Well, if all goes well at the iPad Summit (November 12-14), I’ll be able to help you zero in on the apps that can make TechnoTeaching a transformative experience. At least for children ages 2-12.
Here are highlights from the list of apps participants are asked to download and play with before the event (free, unless I’ve listed a price).
Stay tuned. And of course write to us and tell us about the apps you think should head up our list list.
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This is where Jules and Nic will post articles, links to interesting sites and things that we think our TechnoTeachers will like.