Monday, November 19, 2012

Just back from a great iPad conference, now what?

I am in my first year of using iPads in a fourth grade classroom and have just returned from the very energizing, exciting, and information-filled Leveraging Learning 2012It is all a bit overwhelming actually. I found most of the speakers' messages seemed to revolve around the idea that it is time to change the way you teach: make learning student centered, not teacher centered. However, the school year is moving along at its usual rapid pace and I do not want to wait to experiment while I reflect on all of the big ideas (mass customized learning, SAMR model, 21st century learning, and many others). Therefore I have decided to follow the advice of one of the most inspiring presenters, Jennie Mageira. She suggested:

1. Make lots of mistakes: pick one thing you learned here and do it. She talked about how everyone who presents at iPad conferences usually has made lots of mistakes on their journey. They make it look smooth and like they know just the right ways to create wonderful learning experiences for their students, but what they do not tell you about is all of the times that their plans did not work. That was actually really great to hear.

 2. Foster teacher leadership: as you do that one new thing, write about it, tell what it is like to be at the beginning of the journey.

 3. When in doubt, ask a student: set up a student "Genius Bar", they can figure it out. She has several students play with a new app that she is thinking of using. Once they have had some time with it she has them go out to the other students in her classroom and teach them how to use it. This is allowing her students to take charge of their own learning. When my students have been working on the iPads I have noticed how quickly they figure out who can help them solve any problems that they encounter. They quickly figure out that it is usually not the teacher, more often it is a classmate.

So, as I return to my classroom, I will be busy trying my first experiment based on what I learned at the conference: to provide students feedback on their handwritten pieces by using several different apps (docAS lite and showbie). Nothing very revolutionary, but it feels like a good first step.

No comments:

Post a Comment