Friday, January 25, 2013

Edtechkit Weekly Report - The #Educon edition #scc21c

In the news

This week/weekend I’ll be attending the Educon conference in Philadelphia. This annual conference hosted at the Science and Leadership Academy and spearheaded by Chris Lehman is unique because of it’s conversation driven format. Make sure to look at the Conversation descriptions and pay close attention to the Conversational Practice descriptions that outline the strategies each facilitator intends to use in their session.

iPads vs. Chromebooks - Are you evaluating which tools you’ll need to support student learning in your school and are at the stage of picking a device. This article by Beth Holland articulates how she is evaluating both iPad and Chromebook in the search for that elusive perfect machine.

Apps for publishing ebooks from the iPad - Here’s a nice infographic and app matrix breaking down the features available across several ebook creation apps for the iPad. Creating your own ebooks or having students create ebooks can be a great way to make engaging and accessible learning resources. This article will help you to pick the right app for you.

Technology enhanced, not technology driven - Need some integration inspiration? Take a look at this semester review strategy written by Carolyn Durley. Notice that the technology plays a background role and that the driving force behind this activity is to have students conversing about and categorizing terms. Yes, there is some implied technology expertise running in the background but technology doesn’t trump the learning strategy, one that is decidedly rooted in live interactions and physical manipulatives.

Upcoming events

One more plug for Educon January 25-27. You can attend virtually by following the #educon hashtag on twitter. Watch for links to the livestreamed events as well.

Digital Learning Day  February 6~ *Free*  Digital Learning Day is a national campaign that celebrates learning and shines a spotlight on successful instructional practice and effective use of technology in classrooms across the country. The inaugural Digital Learning Day boasted tens of thousands of teachers representing nearly 2 million students.

EdCampOAISD ~ *Free*   February 23 ~ A day of connecting, learning, collaborating, and networking for all educators! Follow @edcampoaisd on Twitter!

New apps to check out

Ask 3 - Ask 3 is the latest iPad screencasting app from Michigan based TechSmith with a collaborative twist. Now you can have threaded class discussions that encourage participants to remix or respond to any screencast posted to the Bulletin Board. The app is more or less a mashup of their Screenchomp app and a threaded forum discussion tool. For a good overview be sure to check out John Sowash’s post about Ask 3 here.

Last week I featured Trading Cards by read/write/think. They also offer a free magnetic poetry type app called Word Mover that has a few unique features. One important feature is the ability to set up individual student profiles. This is a much needed option for those who are using iPads in a shared setting. The app gives the option of letting students remix word banks that draw from famous historical writings like the Gettysburg Address or by adding their own words. This might be an engaging way to work with vocabulary lists, spelling lists, or brainstorming ideas. The ability to resize and reposition words on the board opens up interesting possibilities for doing word sorts and categorizing activities.

Roll your own PD

I’ll be working on a series of teacher and student focused tutorials centered on using Google Drive in the classroom over the next few weeks. This week I added a student tutorial for Google Drive on the iPad. Do you know of any comprehensive resources geared toward students using Google Drive? Feel free to share any links in the comments section below.

Thought for the week

I’m finishing this week’s update from my hotel room in Philadelphia after a morning of conversations and a tour of the Science and Leadership Academy. The big takeaway so far is that it can be done - whatever vision or dream we have of what learning truly is and should be - it can be done. Perhaps not perfectly but what is?. Will it be done? Are we bold enough to step out of our limitations? Stop seeking the universal solution that will fix everything for everyone and make your vision a reality to any extent that you’re able.

On the right - my guide today at SLA


Brad Wilson said...

Nice post, Kit!. Perhaps you can recruit Chris to come speak in Michigan… Maybe at the learning symposium?

I'm very intrigued by the format of Educon.. Wondering if this is something that would fit at some of our local events?

I'll send along some Google Drive links for students, but I'm anxious to see the updated stuff that you produce. Enjoy Philly!

Unknown said...

Thanks, Brad. I'll certainly look for that opportunity to invite Chris if I can. My fall back plan is to invite EVERYONE else from this conference. This is an amazing congregation of learner leaders. More to follow!