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I have long been an advocate for bring your own device (BYOD) in the classroom. I figure that if kids have tools that know well and use well, then there is no reason to restrict them from using them in the classroom.
Key word there: tools, as in apps for learning.
Too many of the teachers who are frustrated with dealing with personal devices often don’t take the learning tools approach. Instead of allowing for specific purposes they end up policing. They collect phones ahead of class or insist on no devices being out at any time. Kids at our high school have even started bringing old phones to turn in at the beginning of class so they can still access their working devices.
I’m not naive enough to think that every time a kid has a device out in the library, they are using it solely for a learning activity. What I do know from 20+ years in the classroom that kids for the most part respond well when you give them some clear expectations and put the responsibility on them to do the right thing.
Despite spending a lot of time on this early in the year I too have had some frustration with our students in the library who are taking online classes. Too many are “forgetting” or just seeing how much they can push our guidelines with personal devices. Usually a friendly reminder gets everybody back on track. Sometimes it takes a few reminders.
Here is a new poster adorning our work stations. The kids got a laugh out of the devices I chose but more importantly the “got” the message.
I have often infuriated my family by not being able to find my keys when we are all ready to go someplace. Last January they bought me a Tile ($25 on their site) that hooks on my keys and connects to an iPhone app. Now when I can’t find my keys and I am within less than 150 feet I tap a button on my phone and the tile starts to chirp. The app uses bluetooth to locate the tile and pinpoints it on a map. Even if I am a greater distance away, the map shows the last place the tile talked to my phone.
All of the above would be cool enough but Tile uses all other users with the app as anonymous trackers. That means that any time anybody gets within 150 feet of a Tile no matter who it belongs to, it’s location is registered with the company and updated on the owner’s app. Imagine losing your keys or a camera or anything at Disney World. Instead of having to look under every seat of every boat in It’s a Small World, just fire up your app and chances are it will get pinged by another Tile user.
The guys from Flite Test have created a great video demonstrating how all of these features work together. Check out the Tile Blog as well.
Here is a great post I came across today highlighting 9 apps for film-making. These are great app smashers where each one performs a certain task and those products can all be mashed into one project.
iPad Apps for Film-making
Listly by Cathy Hunt
These apps provide us with endless possibilities for innovative teaching and creativity in the classroom. Introducing apps and workflows should be a derivative of considered instructional design and pedagogies that stems from a focus on the learning.
Sony’s venture into K-12 education via its Xperia tablet might have gone the way of the dodo bird but some of viva video app our ambassador resources still remain as great tools in teaching and learning.
This spring the class studied the metamorphosis of caterpillars into butterflies. Kristi sent the students daily pictures via Chirp and then by using the Skitch app, each student annotated his or her observations. Students then built beautiful journals of the entire process in the Book Creator app.
By using real pictures and annotation tools, students were able to create truly scientific products as opposed to the old cartoonish drawings they used to make in their science journals. The depth of exploration and knowledge displayed is fascinating.
A year ago, Kristi tried this project as part of a pilot with Sony. That class organized findings in Pic Collage. Employing Book Creator has taken it to a completely new level as the app creates an ePub readable on many electronic devices. To share it here I had to convert the .ePub in Zamzar to a PDF and upload it to Issuu.