It’s been crazy few weeks. Since my last post, 10 Ideas for Creating Literacy Centers with iPads, but that does’t mean I haven’t been writing. The posts below were all originally published on Edudemic and then re-blogged on the EdTechTeacher blog.
In our workshops, we begin by discussing how Apple initially marketed the iPad as a device for consumption – watch a movie, read a book, browse the web…. With the iPad2, thanks in part to the integration of the camera as well as the rapid development of apps, it started to become more of a creation tool – make a movie, share a photo, create a song…. We’ve applied that same thought process to iBooks, and explored it across the spectrum from consumption to creation.
With regard to consuming books, I wrote about teaching active reading skills, supporting students’ active reading, and supporting diverse learners. On the creation side, teachers and students can use tools such as dotEPUB to generate custom course content for consumption via iBooks as well as apps like Book Creator ($3.99), Creative Book Builder ($3.99), and Composer (free) for building multi-media iBooks.
Educators may or may not be using iBooks as a typical eReader, or in the way that Apple initially assumed, and with the rise of textbook apps like Inkling as well as collaborative readers like SubText, one reading app of choice may not emerge. Additionally, as more classrooms and schools move towards a BYOD/BYOT environment, iBooks as an app may play a less centralized role. However, the concept of creating and curating digital content as ePubs certainly works across devices – a variety of eReader apps and extensions exist for Kindle, Nook, Android, FireFox and Chrome. While, the mechanics for collecting and annotating course content may change depending on the platform, the concepts apply.
As a follow-up to that first post, I wrote…
Two of the most powerful apps on the iPad may be completely invisible: iBooks and the Camera Roll. However, when used together, they have the potential to create powerful learning experiences and dynamic projects.
From Dynamic Math Portfolios to Science Lab Book Collections to Books of Books, combining apps via the Camera Roll and then curating student-generated content with iBooks opens up a a world of possibility for students.
Imagine the end of the school year for students whose teachers fully leveraged the potential of iBooks and the Camera. Perusing through their iBooks collections, they could have documentation of their learning for each of their courses as well as their research materials and reading assignments. As these students prepare for final exams, they could share eBooks for virtual study groups using Subtext. Imagine a review conversation occurring directly inside of student-generated content….
Online, in workshops, and even with friends, I frequently get asked What can the iPad actually do? as a sort of challenge to the worth of the device. I would rather that they ask, What can you actually do with an iPad?
So last week, in preparing for the New England Reading Association Conference and the NYSCATE Mobile Learning Summit, I decided to change my approach. Rather than structure my presentations by tool, or by app, or even by project, I organized myself around desired student outcomes – aka. what students can actually do.
However, before addressing that question, I asked not only WHY iPads but WHY Technology? Because….
- I want my students to communicate in complex and modern ways.
- I want my students to make their thinking visible as an alternative assessment.
- I want my students to document their thinking as they work through a process.
- I want my students to have multiple ways through which to interact with learning objects.
What does this tangibly look like in the classroom? One English teachers asked where to even begin, so we started with a set of content-specific learning objectives.