Preparing for iPadding

My Stop Motion app iconI’ve spent the majority of my school holidays pondering the best ways to assist my colleagues to learn how to effectively utilise the iPad in their classrooms.  I am a firm believer in giving my colleagues a student-experience of something new that they are learning in order for them to understand the technology application from the perspective of a student.  Too often we as teachers plan and plan all our lessons and units of work without putting ourselves in the position of being the student and completing one of the tasks we have set for our students.  Lets face it though, we are short of time but the time we spend on doing one of the tasks we design and set is definitely time well-spent.

So what does this all look like?  It looks a lot like PBL in that you provide the end product at the start and then the students learn new knowledge and skills in their quest to create their own end product.  One of my most valuable experiences as a teacher has been to design a PBL unit that integrates technology and in so doing, complete the assessment tasks designed and set so that I could provide an example to my students.  I had never done this so intentionally before and the value of it has been long-lasting.  I now design my training with that in mind and whilst I don’t always do it very well it is what motivates me to give my colleagues a student-experience in their own professional development. So what does this look like?  It

NOTE: In all of these learning experiences, unless the subject is information technology, the focus must be the concepts/content, enhanced through the integration of technology.  Technology should never be the main focus otherwise quality learning will not occur.

Example

[youtube http://youtu.be/4AT0Ig_oDW0]

A stop-motion animation is shown that demonstrates the effect breathing in and out has on one organ of the body, specifically the expansion of the diaphragm. Students watch the video and are then given the task of creating their own stop-motion animation that demonstrates a knowledge of the impact breathing in oxygen has on the body’s internal organs.

To complete this task, students would need to gather information about breathing and the effect it has on internal organs such as blood flow. They will then need to organise that information and transform it into a stop-motion animation.  They can then reflect on the effectiveness of the animation to communicate their knowledge of the topic and then finalise their animation for publishing and sharing.  The final step would be to collaborate with colleagues, in the case of this being a professional development session, and discuss how this type of technology could utilised in their own lessons.

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