It’s a Monday, it’s summer, and my brain is still working to wake up. So much of what you’ll read below is from an official Apple press release concerning the recent update to the mobile iTunes U app.
My own words on the subject?
If you have Apple devices in your building, you need to be using iTunes U as an instructional and learning tool. It’s a great way to push content out to students and, now with the recent update, pul content in from kids.
iTunes U – together with the free iTunes U Course Manager – helps you create courses including lectures, assignments, books, quizzes and more for your face-to-face students as well as students outside your classroom. With over 750,000 individual learning materials available on the iTunes U app, iTunes U is the world’s largest online catalog of free educational content from top schools and prominent organizations. You can access the work from thousands of educational institutions hosting over 7,500 public courses.
The new in-app updates Read more
I get the chance to spend a lot of my time working with Apple products and how they can be integrated into instruction. This means, obviously, I also get the chance to work with lots of educators who are looking for just the right tool and just the right app. And we always memorize together the mantra – “it’s not about the app, it’s about what kids do with the app. It’s not about the app, it’s about what kids do with the app.”
But there is still a need to know what sorts of things are out there. So today, seven of my favorite places to go to find just the right tool for what you want kids to do. Read more
I think we sometimes forget that every time we step in front of a room full of students, we are performers. I’ve heard some make the comment:
“I’m here to teach. Not to entertain.”
I wouldn’t necessarily disagree with that. But I’m not talking about entertainment here, simply trying to keep all the cats in a herd by doing a song and a dance without any real purpose. Think the last day of school around 1:30.
I’m talking about performing. The idea that I have information and knowledge and wisdom to transfer. And the way to get all of that stuff across is through a performance – the act of emotionally grabbing a group of people and sucking them into your world. There’s a difference. And there’s also tons of brain research out there that can help us make our performances as effective as possible. Find some of that research here, here, here, and here.
It’s not just educators who use this research to connect with others. A recent article over at Entrepreneur highlights what this can look like in the world outside of the classroom. The article describes the presentations of Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of software engineering, and how he uses specific brain-based strategies to suck audiences into his world.
You need to head over to get the full details but I like how the article highlights five specific presentation techniques that Federighi does very effectively, techniques that you can — and should — use in your classroom: Read more
The Educational and Mobile Learning site highlighted a great step by step iPad task tutorial by the folks over at iSupport. They outline five tasks that “every modern teacher” should be able to do and use in their classrooms.
It’s a great list:
- A PDF
- A presentation
- An interactive book
- A podcast
- A movie
I really like how they put together an easy way to see how using iPad tools can lead kids through low level to high levels of thinking and doing.
But the list isn’t comprehensive. And it might start past the point where some teachers are right now.
So I’ve added five extra iPad basic skills that I think every teacher using iPads needs to have: Read more
June used to be the slow month. School got out. I’d grab a book and a cool beverage. Play some softball. Do a little life guarding at the pool. Drive to the mountains for a week. If you’re old enough, you probably remember that sort of summer.
June is a busy month for many educators. Conferences. End of the year professional learning. Curriculum alignment. Standards training. In my case, June is full of mobile devices training. Over the next six weeks or so, I get the chance to spend time with a variety of folks around the country, working with schools that have latched onto the idea of tablets, clouding computing, and educational apps.
But in the rush to get the latest shiny tools, I think it’s easy sometimes to forget that the end in mind is teaching and learning, not the gadgets. So today a few things to remember when using apps in the classroom: Read more
More and more schools are integrating iPads into classrooms. And while there are tons of apps designed for social studies teachers that encourage quality teaching and learning, new tools always create unexpected consequences. One of the things that I constantly hear from teachers is that their students are easily distracted while using iPads.
It’s easy to say that it’s simply a matter of designing engaging lessons to keep kids on task. But we all realize that the iPad, and all of its bells and whistles, can be hard to resist. You might have one or two students who are always off-task no matter what is assigned. So teachers keep asking
Is there some sort of management tool that I can use to keep that one kid where he belongs?
And the answer is Read more