Archives For April 15, 2013


Here is the second part of my recap and reflection on the Ed Tech Teacher iPad Summit in Atlanta, Georgia on April 11 and 12, 2013. I am having fun looking at all the presenter material, but before I geek out, here is my recap!

Friday, April 12th 2013

Late Thursday night leaked into early Friday morning.  Thursday night was a “tweet up” at Taco Mac’s initiated by rock star Jon “Sammy” Samuelson @ipadSammy, dazzling Lisa Johnson @TechChef4U the über clever Greg Garner classroom_tech.  The sessions are important, but it’s meeting people that really makes going to conferences worth while. I can attend a lot of webinars, I can download and seek out people’s favourite resources and apps, but I can’t just sit next to someone and riff on ideas and laugh – except face to face.  This was the most fun I had while in Atlanta. If it hadn’t been for my looming presentation, I would have joined Sammy and Greg (who looks amazingly like my husband Greg Marshall @mr_marshall, see below) for pancakes. Alas, ISTE San Antonia will provide another opportunity for late night Waffle House and more tweet ups I am sure!

Demonstrating how Greg Garner and Greg Marshall actually do look alike.

Demonstrating how Greg Garner and Greg Marshall actually do look alike.


Another bonus of the tweet up was meeting the Friday morning keynotes: Jennie, Autumn and Anita. Three brilliant and amazing educators.

Redefining the Classroom

Keynote by Jennie Magiera @MsMagiera, Autumn Laidler @mslaidler and Anita Orozco @AnitaOrozco2

I am deeply impressed by women who can start a session with a joke, killer outfits and a theoretical framework. These are my kind of women. Super nice yet sharp witted; fabulously dressed but no-nonsense and they aren’t afraid to show their smarts and their faults.  This is a triple threat of powerfully engaging educators.

They began with my beloved SAMR model:

SAMR Model by Dr. Ruben Puentedura

SAMR Model by Dr. Ruben Puentedura

Screen Shot 2013-04-15 at 9.16.23 PM

The smallest circle is the most important and it’s about redefining education with the implementation of iPads. The three part talk went on to explore ways iPads are redefining education in science, special education and mathematics.

I loved the brief videos of students from the Chicago schools where the kids explained how iPads had change the learning.  Most important to me was a young boy who said that he like iPads “because they make me feel powerful.”  I think empowering learners is becoming one of the most important findings about using iPads.

Autumn had great ideas about having students make their own textbooks with notes to refer back to later. I love the idea of having kids create their own content.  She uses the app Mental Note to:

    • type or annotate
    • for voice recording
    • including photos
    • improving workflow
    • giving students paper choice (No more having to glue in a page to your workbook! Sometimes the little things are actually massive!)

The session ended by talking about PLAYDATE the unconference where educators come together to play and then show off what they made. I love the idea of ending a PLAYDATE session with a massive slam where teachers demo creations in a poetry slam style. Here is a little overview of PLAYDATE:

Explaining Everything: Screen casting and Qualitative Formative Assessment

The creator of Explain Everything, Reshan Richards @reshanrichards, might be the nicest man in tech ed circles. He is humble, caring, total honest and has create a darn good app.  His presentation was fun, informative and I was inspired by his kind heartedness.

Reshan talked about how most apps are for consumption or content delivery. He is interested in student authoring and is trying to stay clear of teacher offloading.  Here are my attempts at capturing the session through the power of limericks (and this is where you leave my blog?):

Here is a limerick summary of this session:

Rhesan Richards made Explain Everything

To fight off consuming and offloading

To see daily growth

He did make an oath

And now let’s get creating!

Attempt #2:

There once was an app right and true

Which captured ones learning and audio too

Made not for consuming

Nor teacher offloading

Rhesan Richards made ExplainEverything for you!

At the end of the session we were tasked to make groups and create using the app. Here is our team doing our best at making BradyBunch mashups.

Trying to get a BradyBunch style intro in 10 minutes!

Trying to get a BradyBunch style intro in 10 minutes!

Courtney Pepe @ipadqueen2012
Amy Dortch @usnscience6
Connie Fink @finkteach
Lisa Jacobsen not on twitter
Barbara Kurtzman @barbarateacher
Sue Tummarello @suetummarello
Michelle Cordy @cordym
Chris Bigenho @bigenhoc

Getting your iBook Published in the iBookstore

Josh Allen @j_allen presented a great session on iBooks and authoring your own content. I was holding on to the mornings keynote where Autumn Laidler emphasized having students create their own content and Reshan Richards fighting (ever so gently) for iPads to be tools for creation and not just sit-and-git style teaching. But, with many apps publishing straight to iBooks, it’s increasingly possible to get kids work even a little closer to publication.

He game many options for sharing content from iBooks Author (from an Apple Computer with this software):

iBooks Author export options
– easiest way to share is file cabinet on google sites
– hosting on a file cabinet
– share with tiny URL and bitly
– box, CX, Dropbox
– CX cloud, ditched because sign up
– Dropbox, sometimes look liked downloading but then wouldn’t
He argued that iTunes is a better place for storing data because there is more space and the potential for a broader audience.
Since I have committed to creating content for the TLLP grant I have just received with my colleague Lisa Morris, I was glad to get some more information abut how this process might unfold.

Grand Finale: iPads and Democracy

My session was the final time slot on the final day.  I really appreciated that my new friends from the tweet up and conference buddies joined the crowd for my session. Big thanks to Chris Williams @Modblog1, Chad McGowan @AHSTechTeacher, Courtney Pepe @ipadqueen2012 and Greg Garner @classroom_tech for your support, live tweets and feedback.

Final Reflections

The big ideas and take aways from this experience can be boiled down to:

  • The Camera is King:  Mostly people are excited about the iPads ability to take pictures and document learning.
  • Wheels are the new killer app: Classroom spaces are rigid and mobile devices are free and open. At this point, the solution seems to be wheels. I think we have much further to go.
  • Tweet Ups: staying up late is worth it, even if you have to present the next day.
  • What Happens on the iPad Stays on the iPad: Everyone’s biggest problem is safely and easily sharing content.
  • 1:1 iPads but not 1:1 Programming: Many are going 1:1, but we are a long way from personalized learning. When will we get to 1:1 interest based programming that’s the perfect fit for each kid? How might we approach this model?
  • Apps, Apps, Apps: We all love to say it’s not about the Apps, but the minute you throw up an app in a presentation, everybody’s head goes down and people start searching/downloading.
  • Thought Leadership: Greg Garner @classroom_tech gave me this phrase and it felt good to have a name for the type of workshop I was going for. He’s a clever lad! I loved my experience, but I would have enjoyed more sessions that were pushing big ideas and less on button pushing.