It's hard to believe that I have been home from Ireland for almost 2 weeks. Despite a while coming I thought it would be good to sum up what I took away from Cork and the 213 educators who combined to share their experiences of using Apple technologies in education. The event was held in the very beautiful Cork, it was a 4 day event hosted at the luxurious FOTA island resort.
I follow my ADE colleagues closely online. Reading their blogs, and following their Twitter accounts. On day 1, I was quite overwhelmed at spotting the familiar faces, it was like a who's who of the online TechEd world! I knew that this was a really opportunity to learn from some of the very best!
We were eased into our project work. (Projects which had been discussed for 6 weeks prior to arriving in Cork.) It seemed that Apple wanted the ADE's to enjoy the sights and sounds of Ireland and make good friends with our peers. These friendships were cemented with a visit to the Jameson's Whiskey Distillery, Blarney Castle and the city centres of Kinsale and Cork. We also had a surprise trip to Apple HQ in Ireland (Some aspects of the visit were under a Non-Disclosure agreement, we all felt very privileged).
Great friendships were made, but it was the discussions surrounding education which really inspired me. Below I have summed up some of my notes and plans for the rest of this year.
Highlights & Notes
Facilitation As we bound through the second decade of the 21st Century, the role of the teacher is changing, and expectations definitely shifting. It is not reasonable to expect teachers to be proficient with the modern technologies which students are using in the classroom. It is not even necessary for teachers to fully understand how to make a podcast or wiki. An educator does not need to know how to operate an iPad or even a digital camera. If the concept surrounding the functionality and delivery of digital content is understood, the teacher can have the pleasure of facilitating and in many cases learning with the student.
Learning I was fortunate enough to have many conversations with Peter Scott from the Open University.Â The Open University have been leaders in distance learning for decades. These last few years technology has developed perfectly to suit the remote and asynchronous learning methods of many students. Self paced learning, at any time of the day, and adaptive. These learning environments are more relevant now than they have ever been.
Creating Transformational Content - "The HOW (no longer rocket science) The WHY is as hard as ever" 1. Engage student - Create great looking content. 2. Get them to interact - Great content is nothing unless it is in a context that helps you to learn. 3. Build a supportive framework - organising structure and narrative arc (maybe a website, poster, film and media etc), make your teaching accessible. 4. Give credit where credit is due.
WHY? Challenging difficult issues, answering questions finding solutions. Preparing students to be critical thinkers. An ongoing discussion I think!
My Plans Collaboration is so important. This year I will be leaning on my teaching colleagues and ADE friends to create great content utilising iTunes U course manager. The content will be Professional Learning through Digital Storytelling. After all, this is a field I have an interest in at present.
I want to point you to Angie Harrisons blog. Ang has written a great reflection on the ADE Institute and she has started a useful collection of resources from the week. Also please seeÂ Lovey Wymannâ€™s blog for more great resources.