Saturday, July 20, 2013

iPads in the classroom workshop

I have just finished an intense week working with educators on iPad integration into the classroom at UNL. We had participants from across the k-16 spectrum and with very different levels of experience. From first time users who unboxed their first iPads the morning of the workshop to a teacher that has already implemented iPads in her classroom effectively.

The approach was developmental and each of our learner-participants (students just sounds wrong) set their own personal goal. They all made it. Outcomes included creating iBooks on grammar, a blog on apps for teachers in the school, books that taught basic words in native languages and many many more. As everyone presented on Friday I could not stop smiling and thinking about this amazing group of learners and their willingness to step with us outside their comfort and embrace twitter, apps, and a new role for the teacher. We aimed straight for the creation and critical thinking (Blooms taxonomy) knowing that the rest was something we could all do.
One of our participants reflected on her blog: "My mind is reeling with ideas now. It is an exciting time for me as I feel we are on the cutting edge rather than just catching up with a movement."
I also like the idea of a flipped classroom.  It was nice that Jason was honest about the startup time and possible frustrations that we may run into while trying to implement this process.

The biggest lesson was mine. Yes, all teachers can learn to CREATE in a short amount of time and all of them created video, screen casts, and other media products. Yes, iPads seem to make sense for everyone in education in different ways although it is by no way a magic bullet. And, Yes, it was very stressful but also lots of fun. Looking forward to next year and using some of this year's participants as coaches. 
Now I am ready for a break...

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