So how are we doing on this list?
We’ve got 1-3 covered, though I like how Gliksman states the following:
This is possibly the only period in history where the younger generation has greater ease and expertise with the core tools used throughout society than older generations. Moving the focus from teacher led instruction to student centered learning empowers students to use technology to explore, create and innovate with technology.
4. Develop Management Strategies. Well, we are getting there. Having used the iPads for class projects and understanding some of the issues inherent in share-filing, I think we are very close to a standardized method of proceeding.
Here are a couple of more gems from the article:
6. Use Apps as Tools
Ask a carpenter to build a wine rack. They won’t go out and get a set of “wine rack tools”. A carpenter has developed expertise with a set of hardware tools that are used to build all types of furniture. We need to use a similar strategy when buying and using apps on the iPad.
8. Developing an Ongoing Training & Support Structure
Organizational change requires adequate training and support … and it’s important to understand that “training” doesn’t mean a one day workshop at the start of the school year. Schedule time for ongoing training throughout the year. Develop teacher support groups within your school and with other schools, where teachers can exchange experiences, share their successes, and learn from each other.
I think we are getting there. My impression about large workshops is that they bore those who have a proficiency with the tool while intimidating and consequently losing the ones who do not. After speaking to most of the staff, it seems like a system of peer mentoring, an ongoing, one on one exploring time with a tech savvy peer is more helpful. That way they can address specific projects and explore different solutions in a convivial and non-threatening environment. This means that identifying the hidden experts in your school and then getting them together with the tech-reluctant. But more on that in a lter post…
One last point from the article, and I am quoting the whole point as it says it so well:
10. Embrace the Unpredictable
We’ll often give students a task with very specific expectations of the results they should deliver. Adherence to a strict top-down, curriculum driven agenda requires teachers to be classroom conductors that direct and control every instrument of the learning process. Asking them to relinquish control over student activity is often the hardest part of any technology implementation in schools.
Technology however is most effective when students are given the freedom to use it as a tool for creativity and innovation. The iPad classroom should be open, flexible and driven by passion and initiative. Don’t expect to control every aspect of students’ learning and don’t feel that you always need to be the expert on technology use. You already have rows of them sitting in front of you. Students look at technology as a canvas. Allow them the freedom to paint their own masterpieces.
Yeah. What he said.