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Educated By Design Blog

Filtering by Category: iPad

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.

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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.

 

5 Ways The iPad Revolutionized Education

TheTechRabbi

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5WaysTheiPadRevolutionizedEducation The truth is, that it isn't just the iPad. Tablet technology has revolutionized education. It has such potential to completely transform student learning, when used in a purposeful and thoughtful manner. Bonus #6 is that it's mobile and agile unlike its laptop cousins. It is in this respect that where and how we learn is only limited to our WiFi access. You can deep sea dive with an iPad. I can't imagine doing the same thing with a Chromebook or even a Macbook Pro.

Time Machines, Management, & Misuse

TheTechRabbi

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Technology is something powerful. The innovative and imaginative experiences that we are able to create today are unlike anything seen in history. Technology by definition gives us the ability to make and modify any object in order to solve a problem, improve an existing solution, or achieve a goal. No one questions the qualitative enhancements of the use of technology, as these results are clear and well documented. Our challenges now are in our ability to achieve these previously inconceivable outcomes in a reasonable period of time.

The iPad gives its user the ability to create powerful visual and audial experiences that push the limits of creativity through their mobile, customizable, and flexible design. Our ability to create, capture, and curate our experiences is no longer bound by a multiple device processes requiring advanced training. In the past, a film, for example, was produced through a process involving video cameras, cables, computers, and software, to achieve a final product capable of visually engaging an audience. This process is now possible through a single device with diverse components giving even the most inexperienced novice the ability to produce engaging and dynamic visual experiences.

The Invisible iPad approach enables the users to use the iPad as a tool to achieve clear learning goals and objectives, vs. focus on using the technology for its own sake. Yet, even “authentic invisibility” can encounter a serious dilemma plaguing many 1st year 1:1 programs or even worse, something that even veteran school cannot avoid, and that is time management.

Time Machines

We have yet to successfully travel back in time, but in the event that it does become possible, it will not be a justified solution for poor planning. Imagine a society that never learns from any of their mistakes because the bending of time will allow for a quick fix. A current trend in education today promotes an "embracing of failure". While failure is part of the learning process, it is not something we are supposed to plan for. As educators and facilitators we need to properly plan our projects. This is not a technology issue, this is a human one.

When we effectively teach our students planning and time management we give them something more than just guidance on a project, we give them a foundational skill set that if lacking will cause them to struggle in "real world" environments where late work isn't accepted and extra credit doesn't exist.

Time Management

Teachers need to keep in mind the following time-related obstacles to meet planned deadlines.

  • Plan for tech glitches (This cannot be stressed enough- YES! Google Drive is going to fail to upload videos the day its due)
  • Students are going to loose their work, just like they lost it before the iPad. (They need to back up projects at specific benchmarks during the project)
  • Students are going to come up with an awesome and creative solution to their project goal three days before the deadline, and it's going to take twice as long as the original project idea. Students need to be taught how to prioritize, plan, and also to save "good ideas" for another project.
  • School events, and special programing. If you have 8 out of 14 students on the basketball team, or 2 special events that run during your period, do not plan a project due date that doesn't account for the lose of class time.

Outside of planning and management, there is one philosophical approach that we cannot waver on and this is that

In the real world, innovation is does not justify or even make up for missed deadlines. 

Misuse of Time

The misuse of time is another "non-technology" challenge, and it is important to help students differentiate between the misuse of time and exploratory learning. This exploratory process is important for any type learning, to see how to excel in using a tool or process as well as to discover new ways to use them. However, this can lead to a misuse of time that will be challenging to make up and still meet project deadlines.

This is a work in progress for all parties involved. Administrators need to embrace and support the innovative and experimental approaches of their teachers. Teachers need to help facilitate 21st century skills built on planning and time management, and students need to continue blowing our minds with their amazing imaginations and significant learning experiences.

Think Different, More Than Just a Choice of Device

TheTechRabbi

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It was 1997 and Apple challenged the world to "Think Different"This cliché is more than meets the eye, speaking more about the decision not go with the status quo device than a challenge for us as innovators and users of technology to use their devices to, think different. This is because 1997 was the same year that Apple almost went bankrupt. Twenty years later, we see Apple is a leading technology company, one who continues to push the limits of how technology can shape our future. When analyzing technology's impact on experiences in and out of education, we need to appreciate that technology affords us the ability to think different. It allows us to enhance experiences, alter others, and cause daily experiences to become obsolete. It is in this spirit that models such as SAMR as so dangerous, yet simultaneously so magical in how they enable us to measure our thoughtful use of technology.

When we look at technology only as a computer then we in fact significantly limit our potential outcomes.

file000381054567 One of the greatest technological breakthroughs of the industrial age was the invention of the typewriter. It was a device of empowerment, individuality, and of freedom. We were now able to rapidly produce our thoughts onto paper breaking the shackles of the limitations of pen and ink, and the printing press.

So what did the computer accomplish? Looks like a typewriter to me. For one, it turned production into mass production giving us the ability to store hundreds and even thousands of those typed letters on this "little" innovation. Floppy_disk_2009_G1Computing technology has come a long way, becoming smaller and simpler, with expanded abilities , and more intricate and complex results. As the decades passed this trend continued until

April 3, 2010. That was the day that Apple again, Thought Different.

That day, we went mobile, and dozens of limitations and challenges evaporated into thin air. A truly different device was created. It is not a device that can replace a computer and, therefore, isn't comparable to one. It is like trying to compare a car and a helicopter simply based on their similar ability in respect to travel. The iPad also created a challenge that other tech companies eagerly accepted. How can we take the best features of all creative devices and combine them into one. The mobile tablet was born. IMG_0140   Still, the world looked at the iPad as a consumption device, and Education looked at it was skepticism. Fast forward five years and it is abundantly clear that the iPad is much more, a creative, personalized, empowering, truly mobile device. Still as recently as yesterday I am reading criticisms leveled at the iPad that I thought we had overcome. CK5Pe4hVEAE4_z5 No one will question the importance of easy and advanced levels of writing, but once your Bluetooth keyboard pairs with the iPad, it will give you ample time to question the level of emphasis on essay writing as a means of assessment, which alienates at least four ways students can demonstrate their understanding.

Still, the iPad isn't perfect, for example, it's an IT nightmare. The iPad is extremely difficult for IT Departments to manage and support. This is, unfortunately true, and very frustrating. Apple has made little to no effort to answer the call by educational technology personnel to change how the iPad is set up and managed. Fall 2015 is a little to late and many have given up on the device as an educational tool because of this. For those that have stuck it out I ask the following question.

What drives the choice of technology at your school? The meaningful learning outcomes that students can produce or the ability for the adults to manage it?

I want what's best for my students. I want to afford them the most flexible and versatile learning tools just like I expect those same descriptors to reflect their learning spaces, and the learning itself.

I don't want my students to have an iPad, I want them to have a mobile studio that can plan, design, produce, edit, and publish most excellent learning experiences.

Rewriting History with Book Creator

TheTechRabbi

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One of the challenges of teaching history is that it doesn't change much. While there may be a discovery here and there, it is rare that any sort of drastic discovery might alter the learning experience of a student in history class. Thanks to various technology innovations like the internet and computing technology, this challenge can also be turned into history. That is if as an educator we are willing to be open to the possibility that we are not the all knowing fountain of knowledge, and that our 20-year old textbook might need an upgrade? But who can afford textbooks?!!?

Worry not! We have a classroom of historical researchers and thinkers and the tools to empower them to create their own history book.

In an 8th-grade history class, we did just that. In collaboration with Ilana Zadok, 8th-grade history teacher, we set out to challenge our students to build their own Revolutionary War publication. We wanted it to be something that is 100% student-produced with the goal that others could learn and in the end benefit from the students work. Our students set out to research various events of the Revolutionary War, focusing on primary sources and first-hand encounters. With this research in hand students because to create a window into the past. Through creative writing, photos, and student-produced films these events began to take life through the lens of the students. With all of this amazing content gathered and produced we were at a loss of where to compile it and share it out.

Book Creator to the Rescue!

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After the content was created students imported it into Book Creator and used its features to layout an interactive book full of written, visual, and audial expressions. Each group of students then created an assessment quiz at the end to demonstrate their understanding of the content and to challenge their peers to delve deep into their work. In the end students learned from their peers gaining a deep understanding of a specific Revolutionary event and a general overview of the entire war. With the success of this unit, there was so much more accomplished besides the memorization of battles and soldiers. Students developed important skills in communication, both visually, and verbally. Collaboration, Cooperation, Organization, Critical Thinking and Problem Solving all played a role in this production.

The end result was an 110-page publication that pushed the limits of student learning and technology itself. The Book Creator file was 1GB and due to its size would not export from the iPad. With a little bit of praying and 4 hours of work on my part, I was able to get the file down to 610MB without sacrificing one iota of student work and airdrop it to the students iPads to experience their hard work first hand.

Here are a few screenshots and videos from the publication.

Enjoy.Screen Shot 2015-07-27 at 11.50.15 AM Screen Shot 2015-07-27 at 11.50.40 AM

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