This morning, Wes Fryer tweeted something that he probably thought was a pretty simple and routine update…

Twitter / Interactions

…but it got me to thinking…

Jeremy Brueck (brueckj23) on Twitter

which lead into a pretty interesting asynchronous conversation that I think I need to document and remember… Read the rest of this entry…

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apps

From the NAEYC ECETech Listserv:

As it takes so much time to locate and evaluate apps, I was wondering:

-Do you have favorite app review sites? (there are so many now, and video reviews cropping up, so people can see apps before they buy them.)

-Do you have a system, and if you do, what is it, for listing your favorite apps to share with others?  Is your favorites list available online/can you share it? I am interested in ways others in the group are organizing this info, and to take a look at your lists, if possible.

-In schools/programs where teachers in various classrooms may be exploring and finding new apps-are there systems set up to share about these discoveries with others?

So many apps, so little time- thanks for sharing tips from your workflow about these questions.

I’m often asked to provide lists of apps for schools, districts or teachers. This is tricky because of the wide variety of apps. In general, I’d say that there are way more skill and drill type apps available (flashcards, letter games, puzzles, etc…) most likely because they are simple for app developers (non-educators most often) to create. Apps that support higher-order think skills are less in numbers. I think the most important thing for a teacher to consider is what they want their students to accomplish using the app and then consider whether an app is actually the best resource for this learning experience. I like to point admins and teachers to the SAMR model when asking them this and then try to help them discern is the are using the app as simply a substitution for something they have always done or if they are able to use the app to help redefine the learning task.

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I facilitated two 135 minute discussions around the use of iPads in the classroom with teachers and administrators from the Brecksville-Broadview Heights City Schools (BBH) back at the end of August as part of their staff in-service day. Rather than deliver lecture style presentations over a ton of apps, I decided I wanted to create a more meaningful and engaging learning experience to use with the BBH staff.

The concept for the two sessions was to remix ideas and content I had seen used before in other professional learning settings. The first was an idea that I was familiar with from attending and leading conversations at Science Leadership Academy‘s EduCon. It involved the use of a conversation protocol to help guide the session. The second was drawn from a Media Scavenger Hunt that Dr. Wesley Fryer had put together for a session he led called “Simple Ideas for Powerful Sharing.” The final idea was adapted from something I’d seen David Jakes use as part of his What If? presentation series.

Sources

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Today’s students were born digital but those responsible for their education were not. Youngsters arrive at school in tune with the social context and experience the Web offers. Children thrive when teachers find ways to educate them in a more flexible, hypertext manner. This space focuses on development of and support for teachers in their use of technology as they cultivate 21st century content knowledge and skills in their students.