Apple’s VP of Education, John Couch closed the conference by discussing the challenges that we face in creating change and growth in education:
- Our current mode in education is like a steam engine pulling horse carriages
- Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower. (Steve Jobs)
- Technology as a tool v. technology as environment
- Substitution v. transformation
Whenever I feel homesick and miss my family and lifelong friends, I remind myself of the opportunities that I have had since becoming an overseas educator. This conference was one of those opportunities. The participation of students, infusion of learning through the music/arts, brilliant presenters and the location in a beautiful, enchanting city and a school that has a vision for the future made it one of the most valuable learning experiences I’ve had.
My questions to keep in mind:
- How can I assist and challenge each student to learn and grow?
- How can I assist in transforming schools?
- How can I inspire and help other educators to learn and grow?
I have thought of teachers as conductors before, but have to admit I hadn’t given much thought to conductors and their styles of leadership. Posted below is Itay Talgam’s TED Talk that demonstrates a portion of what he shared.
- People want to be tested to the extreme, engaged
- You go on roller coasters, but only if they are sound and you feel you can trust that you can push and be tested but you will be safe
- When you cross the line, you need to trust that someone will be there.
- Above self-actualization is self-transcendence
- Control of the environment, climate should be there but there should also exist flexibility, pliancy. It’s not a matter of pulling and releasing a rope.
After Itay spoke, a string quartet preformed and spoke with and interacted with Itay about performing as a group. Then ISP teacher/musicians performed improv jazz and also performed with the string quartet. Itay facilitated discussion and demonstration of performance leadership and improvisation. I was left with the question, What type of leader am I? In the classroom? With colleagues?
Stay in the question(s): Reflections from the Apple Leadership Conference2010 (Part 4/6)
The first half of Saturday consisted of 7 Apple Talks, along the lines of TED Talks. Two of those were from ISPrague staff members and listening to them left me more excited to be joining a school where I would have colleagues of this caliber.
Links and quotes:
- ACOT Apple Classrooms of Tomorrow Today - moving from instruction to construction
- SAMR, Ruben Puentedura, Technology use continuum, Transformation not substitution
- Need to teach collaborative writing to prepare students for working in the future
- Visit the Alamo in Second Life
- Quest to Learn School in NYC – games based learning aligned to standards. Merging traditional and new illiteracies
- Students learning empathy and financial skills through KIVA fundraising accounts management- giving students the opportunity to learn economics as well as experience empathy and make human connections
- Student films- don’t always have to produce skilled filmmaking, but the story needs to be from the heart
- Cyber Security- keep the conversation with students open and on-going, circulate relevant books to staff, parents, students to promote conversation
- Full Sail University Online
Next year I will be joining the staff at the International School of Prague and so I was invited to attend the recent Apple Leadership Conference hosted there. I have read and heard that Apple Conferences are well organized and well worth attending so I was excited to be there and also meet many of my new colleagues. The biggest thought that stuck to me was Marco Torres stating, “Stay in the question.” I would like to share about the Apple Leadership Conference along that theme; the ideas and questions that arose from the presentations and events.
The first highlight of the Conference was listening to students from the International School of Prague present their classroom projects and learning on the first night of the conference and later sharing in a panel discussion with Clay Shirky at the end of the conference. This reminded me of my recent virtual attendance in the Flat Classroom mini-conference in which I worked with students and how much I gained from that experience. Another example, while a teacher in at Horne Street School in Dover, NH in 2006, I co-presented with a group of my grade 3 students in a district workshop where my students prepared and presented a guide they made on how to research using the IIM Research process . The audience was the entire K-12 district staff and the feedback after was that the student presentation was the highlight of the half-day auditorium workshop. I now think that educators should never hold a conference or workshop without students present.
So my first question is, Why do we so rarely consult the students and regard their responses as to how to best educate and facilitate learning in our classrooms and schools?
Tags: iPad studentportfolios assessment
I recently attended a Writer’s Workshop presentation and the same week viewed the video, Up Close: Teaching English Language Learners in Reading and Writing Workshops, prompting me to think more about organizing reading and writing samples and reflections for a student’s portfolio. This coincided with the unveiling of Apple’s iPad and I also began to think about the value of the iPad to a teacher in an elementary classroom. The name “iPad” brings to mind a pad of paper- a simple, versatile tool. The iPad would be a brilliant replacement for the clipboard that a teacher carries around all day- an electronic clipboard full of documents containing student information, schedules, plans, calendars, anecdotal matrix sheets for reading/writing/math continuums, articles, personal reflection note sheets, and content reference materials. I haven’t spent much time imagining how useful an iPad can be to a student in the classroom, however once I have one I will find endless uses for learners. It is because I see the iPad as a mobile tool that I have been imagining how the iPad can be used in the classroom (and outside) mainly by the teacher.
My first thought for the iPad in my classroom was a place to compile notes and audio recordings during our Writer’s Workshop. When meeting with a student, I would touch the class icon to open a tile mosaic of my students’ faces. I would then select the face of the student I’m conferencing with and open his portfolio containing individualized writing continuums and other writing skills documents and anecdotal text notes. Access to the student’s own portfolio containing written material and audio recordings stored on the school’s network would also be available if needed. As the student read his written piece and we discussed his progress it could be audio-recorded on the iPad, allowing me to pay full attention to the student and record text notes later, although an application or document for recording quick notes could be used as well. This process would be implemented in a similar fashion for Reader’s Workshop where we would be able to record students reading a text displayed on the iPad as well.
During math-based activities I would have notes and group/project information open. When conferring with groups or individual students I would touch the student or group’s face/icon and open anecdotal notes, continuums, progress charts, etc related to that student/group. Further, I would be able to check a student’s understanding of a concept or skill by asking her to solve a related problem or task and record her audio description of how she approached and resolved the problem.
During science experiments or exploration students could be recorded describing an experiment while others in their group took still and video images. The advantage of recording with the iPad would be the ability to save an audio file right to that student’s “folder” on the iPad.
Outside the classroom on field trips or on the school campus the iPad would be used to record student observations, comments and reflections. It would also hold appropriate documents and maps that support the trip or activity as well as a document showing student questions that were posed before that trip or activity to refer to during the activity. Paramount would be having access to Google Earth and other web resources right there on the iPad display.
Lastly, the ability to sync my iPad with my laptop and store information on the school network would be incredible. I don’t know if this is possible right now, but I imagine each student’s “folder” on the iPad would be like a playlist in iTunes. New information added or documents modified in each student folder during the day would transfer to my laptop/school network drive when I connected my iPad to my laptop at the end of the day.
In this time where we are striving more than ever to develop more relevant and authentic means for students to learn, we are less and less able to fill in a roster book to document student learning. There is an ever greater need for portfolios that display student achievement and progress. The iPad’s long battery life, 3G and limitless applications add power for its use as a classroom tool (although I would need a protective frame with reinforced rubber corners to protect it.)
I believe the ways the iPad can be an incredibly powerful tool for a teacher and his or her students are limitless- what are your ideas?