I’d like to continue sharing how we’re getting started with the new iPads in our school with grades 3-8. I wrote about some of the processes in place in my previous post. This post will focus on some of the initial professional development that’s been put in place.
This summer, the administration supported the idea of offering a one-day iPad introduction to the teachers in this building. We spent a 7-hour day together learning about the processes, systems, apps, and important over-riding topics related to the iPads. The administration supported the idea of paying any teachers that came and gave up a summer day to participate. About 20 teachers came and joined in the fun.
During that day we worked on topics such as the SAMR model and Digital Citizenship. When introducing the SAMR model, I used Nearpod to take the teachers through a lesson and a Nearpod experience and showed this video. Teachers were then given a choice of 3 apps on the new iPads to create something to share with the rest of us about that topic. They could choose from Explain Everything, Educreations, or Doodlecast Pro. We spent some time sharing what was created and brainstorming how these apps might be useful in the classroom setting.
Earlier this summer I made a short video to introduce the big topics of Digital Citizenship that would be addressed in school. I used Powtoon to make this video. This was my first attempt, but I had so much fun. I have been sharing this video with teachers for two reasons- to give them the overview of some of the Digital Citizenship topics, and to introduce them to Powtoon. Again, when we looked at this during that summer iPad day, we talked at greater length about these topics and then teachers picked one and chose either Tellagami, BookCreator, or HaikuDeck to teach others.
The final part of the day was spent creating an impromptu video to introduce themselves to their students using iMovie. That idea was prompted by a post I had seen from the Tarrant Institute. It was amazing to see what these creative educators came up with in such a short period of time!
Since that day, it has been made clear that before any teachers use the new iPads with students, they need to have some elements of the training with me. So far, 75% of the teachers have done that! I’ve had to abbreviate the 7 hour training down to 1 hour. The parts that have stayed: using Nearpod to introduce the SAMR model, a discussion about Digital Citizenship, and learning the systems and procedures in place for using the iPads in our environment. So far, it’s going well. It is going to be extremely helpful that everyone has heard the same message, seen the same videos, and had similar discussions.
Last week we had a faculty meeting devoted to technology. After some nuts and bolts, we split into 6 small groups. There was a teacher in each group who facilitated the experience. They introduced an app, showed an example of it in action, had the participants get their hands wet using it, and then they all had a discussion about how it might be integrated into the classroom. The apps featured were: iMovie, Tellagami, BookCreator, GarageBand, Educreations, and Explain Everything. It was fun and energizing to see what people came up with and hear what they were taking away from the short gathering.
We continue to brainstorm how we can further explore, support, and learn about integrating the iPads into our curriculum. Having shared iPads challenges us, but it’s not stopping us!
Your ideas are welcome.