Friday, October 31, 2014

Apple Learning Tour- Worth the Time

Recently myself and my two colleagues, Ann Feldmann & Jeanette Carlson, attended an Apple Event focused on curriculum in the classroom.  Our local Apple reps hosted and they did an amazing job.  What was so great about our time there was that we had time to play.  Yes, I said it! “Play”!  We were allowed to explore apps, design small projects, and reflect on our ideas.  We owned our learning with our guide, Barry Sevett, from Apple.  

Even though we are fairly well versed in all things Apple it was a good way to spend the day being the learner and not the trainer.  There are always more things we can learn from each other when given the time.

The Pyramids
I was reminded of amazing apps, books, and other resources that have strong ties to our curriculum, like the apps Back in Time and Human Body.  These are apps that even though content based could be used in so many classrooms.  I was also reminded of the rich resources in the iBooks Store.  One in particular got me excited.  E.O. Wilson’s Book of Life on Earth is just beautiful and is full of accurate scientific material.  He has now broken his book into 7 different books that are absolutely free!  I already have one teacher trying those out.  We had Romeo and Juliet read aloud to us in a variety of forms.  We checked out Lit2go audio books which are also free.  We went inside the Pyramids in Egypt from an app named The Pyramids.  We watched videos of students creating their own iBooks and publishing them to the NeBooks Project.   We enrolled in an iTunes U Course that we took with us for even more resources.  We participated in a backchannel discussion via our iTunes U course throughout the day.  I appreciated how Apple used solid teaching pedagogy during their own trainings as solid models for educators.   

The Human Body

Back in Time

Sometimes it is human nature to become satiated with a product or an idea.  I fear that some educators and leaders have done this with iPads and are considering other options.  Why, I ask would you go with any other tool than Apple when their wealth of resources for education is so huge you can hardly soak it all up?  The creation piece, individualized learning opportunities, and access to the world cannot be replicated with other devices.  

As trainers and sought after leaders in our field, it was an excellent reminder that what we are doing in our classrooms of iPads is transforming learning for kids.   Change takes time and a commitment to change takes persistence.  

If you’d like more information about the resources we learned more about, please email us, tweet us, or Facebook us.  

Happy Learning and Happy Creating

Written by:  Jennifer Krzystowczyk  


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