So, a lot can happen in a 15 days. I will find some time to post about each of these in more detail, but to keep you updated, here is the rundown:

  • Our iPad program has been very successful so far, student engagement is through the roof. The iPad in the Classroom sessions are providing students and teachers with some great new skills and they are sharing these with the rest of the school community.
  • To continue the momentum, and to allow our teachers to create great new content for the iPad program, as well as collaborate, communicate and create, I have been given the approval (and funding) for a MacBook Laptop program for all staff. These will be rolling out over the next few weeks and I will have a lot more details up here soon.
  • We have our first published teacher on our public iTunes U Channel. One of my goals here is to showcase the great work by our teachers and give them the opportunity to become published authors (one thing I believe should be the goal of all teachers). And now we have our first course up by one of the teachers here at Good Sam. These courses may be a simple lesson, or a whole series. I hope to have many more to follow. You can check it out here: Book Creator and Creating New Narratives
  • I have been asked by the DEECD to showcase the power of iTunes U and teacher created content by putting some of my courses on the DEECD iTunes U Channel. These course have been used in the past to show teachers around Victoria the potential and power of this platform. You can check them out here: Victorian Department of Education and Early Childhood Development

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  • Finally, I have been asked by Apple Australia to be a facilitator on their Transforming Your iTunes U Course (Bangkok & Singapore) sessions. These are, you guessed it, in Bangkok and Singapore. I will be flying out soon and will have a lot more info on these sessions and what I will be working on soon.

Changing the way staff professional development is presented and assessed using iTunes U

We all know that having a teacher stand in front of a classroom of students and presenting information may not be the best practice all the time, so why do a lot of schools use this method when presenting PD (professional development) to staff?

I know our staff are super enthusiastic and engaged when it comes to their own learning, but I also know that finding the time can be tough. In the below video I quickly demonstrate how I am trying to move PD from the staffroom to an online, collaborative space using iTunes U.

I will also be adapting my staff course mentioned in video and creating a public course that anyone can enrol in. Details coming soon.

Using iOS Keyboard Shortcuts on the iPad to help students with long, log-in details

One of the first things I discovered when I started working in a Primary School environment is that some of the smallest things can be big time wasters. In the catholic primary school system for example, all users need to type in a long email address before they can access the internet, studentname@gsroxburghpark.catholic.edu.au for example is a tough one for a Prep student to remember each time.

But, using the Keyboard Shortcuts feature built into the iPad can make this a lot easier, and can be done in one key press, how? check out the video below.

 

 

Creating a School iPad Program – Post 9: Staff Presentation Keynote and iPad Agreement

I have been asked if I could share some of the resources I made for the staff section of my iPad program. Here are the first two.

First up is my presentation slides, might be handy to see what I covered, but I’m afraid without my (obviously) charming self they will be lacking in context. Remember, my goal here was to be very basic and let the staff explore over the holidays.

Keynote

Secondly, here is the iPad Staff Agreement I put together for my staff to look at and sign, again, with plenty of context and explanation from myself.

iPad Agreement

Creating a School iPad Program – Post 8: Teacher Usage and Support

So, it has been a little while since I have updated you on how my iPad Program is going (which the whole, holidays, San Diego, and Baby thing getting in the way) so this post will sum up what has happened and how we are going.

First up my presentation and rollout of the devices to staff when very well. This was done in the week before the holidays. I went over the basics, but I really wanted staff to just play with the device and explore. Now that I am back it has been great to see a lot of this going on. Not only have staff been exploring the device, but a range of apps that will help in the teaching and learning in the classroom. I already have evernote masters, GarageBand conductors & iTunes U course creators!. This exploration stage will continue this term as I build of PD, resources and support for the staff.

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One of my key resource in supporting the staff in this phase is my iTunes U Course. Created specifically for staff it will offer a wealth of personalised resources. It is also home to my Apple Genius Sessions, weekly PD I am running that will focus on certain topics such as the iPad, Apps, Resource Creation, Embedding the device in the classroom, and a bunch more. Obviously staff are very busy and adding another meeting day to focus on eLearning and ICT could be a bit much. This course allows staff to go at their own pace, but it is very encouraging to have so many turn up in person for the sessions!IMG_0188

So far everything has been very encouraging. By supporting staff, providing them with as much resources as possible, and always taking the time to answer any question or concern they have on the way as been paramount in the success so far, that, and I think I am very lucky to have such and enthusiastic and passionate group of people to work with.

Next up, I am feverishly trying to get the class sets up and running so I can head into the classroom and begin some exiting team teaching projects!

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Never underestimate the eagerness of students to help with the cool new toys, they make a great child workforce…and cheap!

 

ADE Global Institute 2014 – Post 3: The Week Wrap-up

Well, the week is up. I will add some more detailed posts in the coming days, but as I wait for my plane out of here I thought I would add some details of the more technical stuff I got up to.

First up, let me preface this with the below image which was used for most of the Apple Lab sessions:

confid

So, here is some of what I got up to in the Apple Labs:

  • Met the lead on the iWork and iLife suites (Pages, Keynote, iMovie, GarageBand, etc.) and got some real hands on time with the software. The iCloud integration and collaboration tools will be great for both students and teachers and I am always amazed at just how powerful GarageBand is on the iPad and already planning some workshops with my students.
  • Met the lead on iBooks Author, nothing new that I haven’t been doing already, but I was able to ask some questions on future features I am looking for (and of course, can’t talk about here)
  • iTunes U – This was a fun one, just after lunch so I was lucky enough to be the only one in the room with all 4 leads on the platform and asked all the questions that have been bugging me for a while.
  • Accessibility – This was a great lab demonstrating the potential to reach all learners in the classroom, no matter what disability they may have, using the accessibility features built into iPad and Mac. Very inspiring stuff, and this will be my first session I am going to put together and present to may staff next week (I will also post it here and on my new iTunes U course – more info on that later)
  • E.O. Wilson’s Life on Earth – We met with the creator of this project and talked about the work involved. It would be nice to have their budget and time (27 months) to put together my Multitouch Books. As a side note, I did also meet E.O Wilson personally on the elevator on the first morning here – he ended up being the guest speaker that day.
  • Swift and PIXAR – We were lucky to have a session from Randy Nelson, talking about the new Swift programming language and how we can bring this into the classroom. But I have to say I was more interested in his time as head of PIXAR University.
  • And finally, I gave my presentation in front of 500 ADEs and Apple employees, which was a fun experience and I will post more detail on that one soon, but here is a sneak peek:
an

Remember, I was in San Diego…

ADE Global Institute 2014 – Post 1: New Country, New Run (Venice & Muscle Beach)

Not necessarily a post related to the ADE Global Institute, but a small thing of mine. Whenever I stop in a new country I like to go for a wonder and a walk, generally in that order.

I arrived in LA yesterday (and will be travelling down to San Diego this arvo) and spent the day wandering around LA. It is summer here, and there is a beach (both things I am severely lacking back home) so I headed down to the famous Venice Beach for a bit of a run. Just a few things you might spot in the video below: awesome beach, lots of dogs, the basketball court from White Men Can’t Jump (but no Woody Harrelson I’m sorry to say), I dog loaded with cash, Zoltar!, The outdoor gym Arnold Schwarzenegger used (and giant people who make me fill inferior), and a few other oddities on the way…

Make sure and pump the video up to full HD

Arnold-Schwarzenegger

My upcoming ADE Showcase Session for Apple in San Diego

ADE_ShowcaseAs you know I was accepted into the ADE Global Institute for 2014 in San Diego – A gathering of ADEs from around the globe for Apple’s 20th anniversary of the program.

Well, I am flying out tomorrow morning, so be sure and keep an eye on the blog for any updates I post while there.

I can also announce now that I have been asked to present a keynote in front of everyone at the institute as part of Apple’s 1 in 3 showcase. 30 odd presenters from around the globe will have 3 minutes to present their 1 theme to all. Mine is about the power of teachers becoming authors of their own resources and the many benefits for students.

I not allowed to show anything yet, but I will be sure and have something special to show you soon.

D.

Invitation from Google to participate in their ‘Classrooms by Google’ Program

googleGoogle are getting all, well, Google in the classroom. I have been playing around with Google Apps for Education recently (will put out a more detailed post on that adventure shortly) and have been accepted to take part in their Google Classroom Program.

What is Classroom by Google? check it out below:

But wait I hear you say, “Daniel, aren’t you all into your Apple world of iTunes and other shiny ‘i’ things” Well, yes,  random voice of the internet, I do love me some Apple goodness and the great things they are doing with education, but I am also always on the lookout for anything that will be a benefit in the classroom…and shiny and new of course….

itunes u iconAs you know I am a big fan of iTunes U (see: Professional Stuff: My Courses Top the iTunes Charts). It allows the teacher to create and collaborate on original, personalised (and hopefully) engaging resources designed to take advantage of creation tools like iBooks Author and the functions of the iPad and that can easily be shared with your students and the world.

The latest update (coming July 8) now allows the teacher to create full courses right on the iPad. It will also open up new feedback tools allowing students to start conversations within the course and communicate directly with the teacher. It still doesn’t allow submission of student work for marking, but I have easily added in my own ways of doing this (using a blog for work submission, google docs etc)

iTunes U is becoming a well designed, clean, easy to use LMS, without being, well, a crummy LMS! and it is completely free.

Most importantly it allows the teacher to be in charge of the resources – the author and publisher that all teachers can be.