I’ve had a chance to mull over all the great information from #ettipad and I am trying to land on the most practical strategies I can employ right now with my staff and within my school. A lot of big ideas and concepts were presented but I like to think about practical application too.
Creating Artifacts of Learning:
This is a concept I really love. Our assignments on the iPad should be a vehicle for having students create artifacts of learning. This artifact could be a movie, a digital book, a collage, a screen-cast, a song, or a presentation. Then once artifacts are collected they can be reflected on, shared with parents, used for assessment, and saved to show growth over time in a digital portfolio. As a school we could look at how we define what the artifacts are and how many students may choose to showcase.
Over and over, I heard about the one screen of tools that becomes the screen that holds everything a student should need to make a product that demonstrates their learning. I can tell you that my school has many screens of iPad apps, and they cover a broad range of topics. We do use open-ended apps, but it has been up to each individual teacher to propose the open-ended app and decide how and when they would like to use it with their curriculum. I think it would be beneficial for students and teachers to decide on which apps to include on our school’s “one screen.” Then, for each grade level set that one screen up so students are viewing each year in approximately the same way. This will allow the students and the teachers to focus on curricular topics and lessens the focus on navigating app.
Another theme present throughout the conference was the creation of authentic audiences for our students. I heard about a lot of classes using Twitter as a vehicle for an audience as well as a vehicle for research. I saw several examples of students using blogs as a vehicle for accessing an authentic audience. What audiences can I access for my students to make their learning more meaningful? powerful? and create a positive digital footprint?
The SAMR method for analyzing technology integration was introduced to me in Boston, but it was reiterated again throughout the conference. If we are replacing writing with composing on an iPad then we are just at the substitution level of technology integration. SAMR provides a vehicle for conversation about raising the bar with the use of technology in the classroom. How can we work to the Modification and Redefinition level?
I’m often asked after attending conferences how our school compares to others who are navigating 1:1 iPads in their schools. When attending, I don’t focus on comparing my school to others but how I can strive to continue to move the program at my school forward for the benefit of our students and how I can help teachers learn and think about possibilities within their classroom. It’s hard work. It would be far easier to say that we are 1:1 and be happy with our iPads. Thank you #ettipad for the challenges!