Sunday, April 14, 2013

iPad Summit Atlanta 2013

I wanted to try and start and finish writing while the conference was still in my head. Besides the excellent facilities and constant, freely flowing good food, including lots of vegetarian choices, for yours truly and the fact that I had the super Carolyn T. for company, the conference was extremely well organized and had that personal touch that doesn't necessarily happen at the larger conferences. It was gratifying to see so many people excited and going with ideas to implement iPads in their classrooms in meaningful ways. There were lots of good ideas/presentations/talks. If you want to read up more search for #ettipad on Twitter.

Delighted that this particular blogger wrote about Carolyn and my session as one of the top ten reasons to have attended the iPad summit. Here is the link to our website that contains the presentation and some other information.

Angela Maiers kicked off the summit with her passionate keynote session about what else but leveraging off children's passions. There is so much one can achieve as a teacher in terms of driving students to the next level, just by knowing and working on their passion. If a child does not have one, helping him/her realize his/her passion. Here is her blog. 

One of her constant reminders was taking risks. Sir Ken Robinson has a famous quote on that: "If you are not prepared to make a mistake you will never come up with something original". As educators, we want our students to learn to take risks. However, we may be often reluctant to do so. Just as Rome wasn't built in a day, things don't happen overnight. Students get new tools in their hands. They may not create anywhere near their best work the first time, even the second, or the third. Anything needs practice. Those of you who have heard Malcolm Gladwell's famous 10,000 rule quote - well, reminding ourselves often about it helps. As I was joking in Atlanta with my friends, I must have spent 10,000 hours each so far on Sudokus, Word puzzles, Words with Friends, making rotis (the Indian bread). So now it seems easy and comfortable. So it is with students. When they get used to doing something, they want to get better at it when it is made engaging, exciting and inspiring them to think above and beyond....

There were two places where the SAMR method was talked about - once during a concurrent session and once during a keynote. Dr. Ruben R. Puentedura who is responsible for the idea of the SAMR model will be the keynote speaker at the Boston iPad Summit in November later this year.

The afternoon keynote by Greg Kulowiec  was again inspiring. Loved his analogy to a DJ during the days of LPs and now. He emphasized not being hung up on apps and having just a page. If I was to have just one app on the iPad, it would be Explain Everything.

Tom Daccor's keynote the next afternoon gave more food for thought. He talked about augmented reality. The two free most popular apps are: Aurasma and Layar.

Some more useful links:

Lisa Johnson's page

Teaching like it is 2999

Derrick Willard

Technology Tailgate

Kiang's sessions

Conference Reflections by Derrick Willard

Jen's live blogging

How iPads and Social Media are changing Science Instruction

Justin Reich's article (one of the founders of edtechteacher)

Video of Second Grade student using Evernote for her reading fluency

There were two sessions on interactive Science notebooks, something I have been thinking about now for a few weeks (and talked to a couple of upper elementary teachers at my school about last week). Why do we still have only written notebooks for all subjects. Given all the technology resources at hand, it should be very doable from first or second grade to have interactive journals for all subjects. The level of engagement, thought process and learning for the students should increase exponentially. 

I am sure I will think of more information that I may have left out. There is so much to process but all of it is super exciting. I feel like we are so lucky to be in the field of education in these times!