Day 12 (of 185) technology in-service reflection
I had the chance to spend a Monday pro-d morning with another staff that just received iPad minis for the teachers. I was brought in to give them some of my pointers. So here’s what I said:
1. I love the iPad mini. Great sized device that students in particular feel comfortable moving around with (iPad 2 etc tended to be used, but placed on a flat surface first).
2. Gotta play with them. One asked “can we take them home” – I always encourage taking devices home as you need to get comfortable with the. Tablets can be shared, but always work better with a level of personalization (even if it’s just a digital file w specific apps)
3. Rule #1 identify (and talk about) “tool or toy”. Tools help learning, toys distract – and admit sometimes kids will need the ‘toy’ to help them self regulate – don’t care which as much as I want to know how it is being used.
4. It is a powerful tool that can act like many other devices. A music maker, camera, recording studio and more. Even a common “soft” technology distuptor like a document camera (often a soft-disruptor that lets student work be shared in real time) but one that is much more mobile and can move to where the student work is rather than them bringing it to where the camera is
5. The keyboard may be “smallish” but I’m a larger fellow and even my thumbs hit the right keys….and for those doubters there is always peripheral keyboards that work very well. But if you need one, get a quality one…..
6. There are some amazing ways for students to consume info (YouTube web browsers, apps galore)
7. There are even better ways to create content (YouTube blogs iMovies GarageBand iPhoto – the iLife suite is unparalleled)
8. It has proven to be a great tool for eportfolios – the portability and mobility allows great real-time communication of learning (with the right app)
But really….the best part of bringing the right technology tool into the discussion around Learbing was the evolution of who was leading the session. While I had a framework (on keynote of course wirelessly connected to the projector thanks to AppleTV Bluetooth) to guide the discussion and highlight some key “starting points” – it was neat to see leaders emerge from around the room. The principal was encouraging using iMessage so they could be in touch with each other (not everyone felt comfortable having their phone on them – something I still encourage my staff to do: text me when you need me.)
But I spoke less and less as others shared ideas. And discoveries. And ideas on what could be done. And questions around limitations of one tool/room.
Powerful conversations and ongoing ownership over how to best use the tool to enhance learning – what I’ve called “technologization”.