I’ve had a great time the last few weeks working with a whole bunch of great teachers. We’ve discussed state standards, Common Core literacy standards, iPad apps, and important stuff like where can I get the best pulled pork BBQ sandwich. And had big plans to share ideas about iBooks Author, iTunes U, and more iPad stuff between now and Friday.
The eight to 14 inches of snow predicted for today and tomorrow slowed me down a bit.
But it’s provided a nice chance to reflect a bit on my own learning since the start of February. I learned that you can order schools desks and tables with marker board material as the top – allowing kids to write, doodle, collaborate, solve problems, and leave themselves notes with dry erase markers right there where they sit. I learned that there are lots of ways to incorporate reading and writing into social studies instruction. I learned that the best pulled pork sandwich in Horry County is at Little Pigs.
And I learned about something cool called Guided Access on your iPad. Apparently it’s something that’s been around a while. Since the update to iOS 6. Yeah.
Where have I been?
Okay. Probably not profit. But hacking Flipboard to make it all about you can be fun.
Yesterday I talked about creating your own liquid network, a professional learning network that makes you and those around you smarter.
But PLNs are not just people. Your PLN should also include news feed apps and RSS aggregators. If you’re not familiar with RSS, head to this handy Youtube video clip. Basically these are tools that you can customize so that just the specific news and information you want automatically appears in that tool. So you don’t have to go out and search for stuff, the stuff comes to you. (One of the easiest tools to use is Google Reader.)
My favorite tool?
Back in the early days of my informal tech integration training, I heard Alan November share his thoughts on how schools could begin the process of embedding technology into instruction.
At that time, he talked about three different levels of integration that seem to make sense to me:
The goal was to move from using technology to complete tasks we’ve always done to using technology for tasks that have never before been done. From using a computer grading program to speed up the scoring of multiple choice tests to using a mobile app to create an interactive and collaborative e-book.
November suggested that we need to move beyond thinking about the tool and think more about the task. Decide first what we want to accomplish and then select the tool:
No one who ever bought a drill wanted a drill. They wanted a hole.
It’s the end result that matters, not the tool.