Too Many Apps for that!
There are currently over 80,000 Educational Apps on the iTunes store. 80,000+ AMAZING, INTIMIDATING, DIFFERENT, SIMILAR, DAUNTING APPS to choose from and more are coming every day! Part of me wants to run out, explore and go for it. The other part of me wants to channel my inner Luddite and run away.
With >80,000 APPS to choose from, where does one start? It is so overwhelming! There are so many great Apps and sites out there, how do I choose? How do I keep things straight and work smarter, not harder?
This graphic from SeansDesk.com provides a great visual for ED APPS. The key at the top helps break down different APPS by purpose. I’d like to try making one of these with my students as a way to help us all identify and organize the APPS we use, so kids can easily choose the tool that best suits their need.
Pamela DeLoatch‘s post, The Ultimate Guide to Using iPads in the Classroom is a great resource for teachers who are starting to use iPads in the classroom.
Integrating iPads in the Lesson—The Pedagogy Wheel
With the understanding of how iPads can benefit students and teachers in a learning environment, the next question is how, exactly, to use these tablets to enhance education.
What iPad apps, for example, work best to promote creativity, analysis or understanding? Allan Carrington, from the University of Adelaide, created a Padagogy Wheel using Bloom’s Digital Taxonomy and a list of applicable educational iPad apps. This wheel helps connect different aspects of teaching while using iPad apps, in an easy to digest format.
This wheel combines the SAMR model, Bloom’s Taxonomy, and APPs fit for purpose in one place. It helps me organize and make sense of the many options that are out there.
Another challenge I’ve faced is consolidating resources for lessons. My team uses Google Drive and we have unit plans, resources and other really great things in our Drive. We were so excited when ATLAS started linking to Drive! Our resources and curriculum documents are all in one place, but they still feel all over the place. At times I feel like a slave to technology. Document in ATLAS, link to drive, show three forms of evidence for each Power Standard and be sure to assess each of the AERO standards. I’m spending too much time collecting evidence and documenting and not enough time reflecting on teaching and learning, which is really the driving force behind all of the documentation. Round and round we go!
So what to do? How can I make a one-stop-shop for lesson plans, printables, links, videos, etc.? I’ve decided to use Slides to create my units. I can build them as I go, compiling the resources I’ve used in the past and add new ones along the way. Here is a sample you can view.
Each slide follows a similar format, guiding questions, teaching point, and mission of the day. Some slides link to more in-depth lessons on a topic. These are saved as separate slideshows, so they can be accessed easily during other units.
My hope is that by organizing lessons this way, I can consolidate resources in a way that is user-friendly, become a resource for new teachers, provide colleagues with easier access to resources and a way to collaborate digitally with colleagues in real-time.
Setting up resources such as this can also provide more opportunity for a flipped classroom. Students can view lessons at home, have time to process new learning, view resources multiple times to gain understanding, formulate questions for further understanding and share their discoveries with each other.
Teaching and learning have changed and are continuing to change with the introduction of new tools. As digital immigrants, this can be quite scary. Thankfully our digital native students can help us navigate and troubleshoot our way through this new terrain.