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Educated By Design Blog

Filtering by Tag: 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.

 

What A Little Audio Can Do

TheTechRabbi

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There is something powerful about the spoken word. When it's accompanied by a striking visual it can leave the listener thinking, wondering, looking for more. It is this auditory advantage that can bring amazing life and dynamic to your classroom. It is through such a medium that we can take our student learning to a very new and different place. Recording isn't new to education, but it has throughout the 20th-Century been mainly a consuming experience. It really isn't until the mid 2000's that student production was practical or even really possible in an elementary or middle school classroom. For those that tout experiences of multimedia production in the 90's and on, its usually safe to assume that the median age of these producers was around 20. Without name dropping brands and devices, there is something magical about having an all in one filming, editing, and production center all together in your lap. Today, you can do so much more than simply film on site, you can be in post production before you even make it home.

So what are some ways that audio can completely transform your classroom?

Close Reading

Take Book Creator, Explain Everything or any app with recording capability and challenge your students to not just annotate their books but talk about it. Share out those ideas. They can be raw, short, and ready for a response. What if our students could learn not just from a teacher but from their peers deep understanding of content, or even students working towards mastery. Either way, if its constructive both students will benefit.

Audio Book

If you aren't quite ready to retire powerpoint presentations, at least skip one for a truly awesome experience. Book Creator again will serve as a foundation for the publication. Students can use drawings, props, and royalty free images to develop a storyline that informs the viewer of specific content. Lay audio over to give it an audio-visual experience. If its not enough, let the imagery be the audio buttons to bolster interactivity and try to work in some choice for user experience.

Math

Interested in seeing your students math skills? While I am no math whiz, I know that involving multiple senses and learning modalities will not only increase engagement but it will also boost learning outcomes. Empower students to make their own Khan Academy style videos. Don't worry they aren't for you, they are for their peers. Break up your class into levels and challenge the advanced students to teach the students working towards mastery. The best part about it? Students can pause the video, but are still trying to discover how to pause the teacher.

Foreign Languages

What's the secret to learning a foreign language? Practice. Students tend to pick up reading, writing, and listening skills faster than speaking. This is in part due to a lack of confidence and comfort in speaking a new language. Book Creator to the rescue. Let students record either raw conversations, or have them read, translate, and respond to inserted text on the page. This pushes the student while giving others a great experience to learn from as well.

These are just a few ideas to get the imagination running. Audio has huge benefits not just for sharing content but building students communication skills both written (script writing), and oral (recording). These types of experiences can bring out the best in a quiet student, or one who has fine motor challenges preventing them from writing or even typing. The possibilities are almost endless, and it is with this that I say

A little audio can go a long way.

 

 

 

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.

EdTech Is Maturing

TheTechRabbi

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Educational Technology is maturing, and it is without question that the instructors at EdTechTeacher, and the presenters they feature are leading the way. In 2012, I felt a whirlwind as apps arrive on the scene. Full of new features, new upgrades, they came in droves. There was so much new to be seen. As the years have passed, “1,000 Free Apps” sessions have made way for more thoughtful and intentional discussions about technology.

That is because EdTech is becoming less about what you can do with an app, and more about what the app can do for you.

As Beth Holland asked this week in Boston, “Who is in the driver seat?” If it's the iPad then we are doing it wrong. We have to be in control and use technology with purpose and not simply to “use technology”. This approach has a short rush with an uncontrollable descent into nightmares of classroom management and mediocre learning outcomes.

Now with this maturity, comes an awareness, and that is that technology isn’t going anywhere. On twitter this week I read a tweet that if the technology isn’t used “right” (whatever that means) then it shouldn’t be used at all. “Losing Tech” is no longer just a punishment, it is a prevention of learning. Imagine if we took students pencils for “inappropriate use” and refused to give them back at the end of class. Such a scenario would never happen because everyone agrees that students cannot learn without pencils. If our attitude is that technology used wrong can simply be removed, then what is our objective? Are we integrating technology to support unimaginable, unbelievable, and unstoppable learning, or is it to meet a quota or claim 21st-Century status?

As I shared in my session at EdTechTeachers iPad Summit this week, it's bad enough to pull the cart before the horse, now we have strapped rockets and roller-skates on the horse pulling the same old cart. The sessions at the iPad Summit questioned all of the above and more, as inspiring and creative educators sharing their stories. Their sessions spoke about students doing, making, and taking control of learning in the classroom. Today I saw first hand how traditional math solutions and 5 paragraph essays can evolve into interactive and real-world expressions of understanding. It is not the intent to replace them, but instead to add to the avenues in which our students can share their story and promote their understanding. This is lightyears ahead of conversations I have had in the past that seemed to focus on simply digitizing our 20th-Century lecture halls, I like to call “Consumption Classrooms”. During a keynote session, Justin Reich, Director of the Teaching Systems Lab at MIT shared a powerful quote from a scholarly paper on active learning, and STEM, and that is that

given our [research] results, it is reasonable to raise concerns about the continued use of traditional lecturing as a control in future experiments.

This quote is beyond powerful as it speaks to the disconnect between authentic 20th-Century and 21st-Century learning environments and experiences. To play on words, it requires us as educators to give up “control” over knowledge, and where it can take us. This can be hard for educators because to truly integrate technology into classroom learning, you have to start over.

We can no longer expect that the mere digitization of traditional learning will lead to sustainable and meaningful learning for students. Especially when we as adults show them how meaningless the memorization of information and even tasks can be. An anecdote for this is during the repair process of a complex networking component, I went to google to find some forum or youtube video to help solve the problem. I could barely even describe the problem due to its complexity. I found a video, worked through the issue and solved the problem. As I finished up, I turned around to see a student standing there, watch me. She said, “Rabbi Cohen, you use Google? I thought you knew everything.” I told her while I don’t know everything, I do know where to look when trying to solve problems. Why then are the classrooms full of googleable (did I make this word up?) information when instead we could be focusing on learning that pushes higher-order thinking, creative problem solving and knowing where to find resources to help us? While we might not be able to rewrite our entire educational outlook just yet, it is incumbent on use as educators to begin the process of not just redefining our use of technology, but redefining what learning can occur because of it.