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The Invisible iPad

The Invisible iPad - It's Not About The Device! 2016

Michael Cohen

In 2012, while attending my first ISTE conference, I was both overwhelmed and inspired by the literary thousands of ways that technology could be used in the classroom. Sessions like “60 Apps in 60 minutes” and “100 Apps for the English Classroom” seemed to be staple session titles. These sessions seemed like standard protocol and “best practice” when looking at technology’s role in the classroom.

Our aim is to use as much technology as possible, but not the same app twice.

I have always had technology in my life, from America Online, to building my own computers, to early 90's video conferencing. The unique experience, I feel, especially when hearing people reminisce of real old-school tech, is that my technology did things, and it did them with simplicity and ease. This critical point should be acknowledged, that in the 90's technology truly became a consumer product that could get things done.

Read more Here.... 

I Think In Pictures, Don't You?

Michael Cohen

I think in pictures. Needless to say, I was quite surprised when I first heard that others thought with words. Then I realized even thoughts made up of words are pictures as well. We are visual creatures. Still, in the classroom we rely mostly on verbal communication backed by technology in the form of text based slideshows, and words on the board. This 20th century approach still in practice is not only outdated but is leaving behind a majority of learners to struggle on their own to internalize information. This approach was developed with technologies available in the 1900’s, primarily printed books, pencils, and paper. Today’s educators can no longer ignore multimedia technologies when looking to support all learners in the classroom. When exploring how to integrate more multimedia and visual communication methods in your classroom, consider these 3 ways to engage visual learners, and hopefully all learners.

Read more here... 

4 Ways to Promote Collaboration in the Classroom That Are Enjoyable.

Michael Cohen

Collaboration is a mixed bag. We know all too well the familiar roles of group work. You have the one who does everything, the one who shows up at the end and gets credit, and the ones that do just enough to get by.

 

This is because we are doing collaboration all wrong.

 

We are at best teaching students how to cooperate, and at worst trying to ease our burden by grading 5, rather than 20, projects. Cooperation is a skillset that is more about “playing nice” and has little to do with what is possible when working with others. That is because working with others should allow for something amazing to happen. Whether it's 1st graders creating a stop-motion film about the monthly cycle of the moon, or a group of dreamers trying to create the next Uber spin-off, very little in the “real world” gets done solo. Now with that said, collaboration, like any tool, approach, or mindset, has a time and a place. With these 4 ideas in mind, you should have a new appreciation for collaboration’s role in your classroom.

 Read more here...

 

4 Ways to Promote Collaboration in the Classroom That Are Enjoyable.

Michael Cohen

Collaboration is a mixed bag. We know all too well the familiar roles of group work. You have the one who does everything, the one who shows up at the end and gets credit, and the ones that do just enough to get by.

 

This is because we are doing collaboration all wrong.

 

We are at best teaching students how to cooperate, and at worst trying to ease our burden by grading 5, rather than 20, projects. Cooperation is a skillset that is more about “playing nice” and has little to do with what is possible when working with others. That is because working with others should allow for something amazing to happen. Whether it's 1st graders creating a stop-motion film about the monthly cycle of the moon, or a group of dreamers trying to create the next Uber spin-off, very little in the “real world” gets done solo. Now with that said, collaboration, like any tool, approach, or mindset, has a time and a place. With these 4 ideas in mind, you should have a new appreciation for collaboration’s role in your classroom.

 Read more here...

 

I Preordered the iPad Pro and I am Scared

TheTechRabbi

I love the iPad. I find it to be one of the most amazing computing devices of the past two decades. It's tactile and model experiences are untouched by any of its competition, and while some will gripe at its premium price, I will smile and say its worth it. I have iPad 2's at my school that are albeit a bit sluggishly running iMovie on iOS 9 yet I would be surprised to hear of a netbook, chromebook, or even a laptop holding up that long (4 years) in an educational environment.

Still, we must be clear that the iPad is NOT a computer replacement for everyone.

Apple boldly said in their March Keynote that the iPad pro is in fact a computer replacement, it is missing a serious demographic, and that is creative professionals. If you are a business person or someone that needs simple programs and multitasking, then the iPad Pro models might work for you. I on the other hand have spent the past decade and a half using Adobe creative products and the iPad app alternatives are simply not there. While I find myself more and more working on hand drawn sketch style projects, there are certain things on the iPad that at least it this point I cant imagine doing even if it is possible.

JIFA_finalmark

Take this logo for example. Its done by slicing, layering, and rotating watercolor swatches which are then masked behind the the three unique shapes to create a single unified mark. Can this be done on the iPad Pro? Unsure and uncomfortable are two words that come to mind.

In the realm of sketching work, my go-to app has been Paper by 53 with the Pencil by 53. With my expensive yet amazing Apple Pencil, I just lost the power of the Apple Pencil and my favorite app.

Still, I am excited for the possibilities. The iPad Pro packs a powerful mix of software and hardware and I believe that the 9.7 model will attract developers including Adobe to push the limits of design.

With all this said, for the first time ever, I preordered the iPad Pro 9.7 with the keyboard case, Apple Pencil, and USB adapter. I am excited but also a bit scared. Not just because it costs as much as a macbook pro, but because I don't want to find myself on my Macbook pro because the iPad Pro can't perform.