#edtech #ipaded #mlearning
August 20, 2012 – iBand Journal Entry No. 1
I met with three fifth grade students this week to see if they could even play a few chords on the iPad. So I downloaded some lyrics that showed the chords for Boulevard of Broken Dreams by Green Day, I know nothing about music so I hoped this going in the right direction.
I started up my iPad and launched GarageBand and selected the smart guitar, I set it to the correct key (F minor) and showed the kids how to strum the guitar on the iPad.
I was surprised at how fast they picked it up, especially John, he had no music experience but played the chords well. After 15 minutes it actually started to sound like the real song. There might be something to this after all so I went to www.specialistID.com and ordered some lanyards for our Band, you can't have a band without some '”All Access” lanyards.
Brad Flickinger, tech teacher, Bethke Elementary.
#edtech #mlearning #ipaded #atomiclearning
Yesterday afternoon I had a blast filling in for my over-scheduled friend Susan Williams over at Atomic Learning as I facilitated a discussion as part of her blended learning course she is teaching called “Going Mobile.” At about 4:30 I got home from teaching and logged into their Adobe Connect account and prepared things on my end as I waited for the educators to join our online discussion.
I got things started by reviewing what they had been learning this past week which turned out to be the SAMR Model, something I ramble on about all the time. Many of them were familiar with the logic behind this model for tech integration, but there needed to be some clarification on how to apply it to lesson planning. I had some in-the-trenches stories to help explain the levels. They then shared how the SAMR Model was applicable to their classroom situations.
Since this next week the participants would be reviewing my Atomic Learning course on authentic assessment using iPads, I took the remainder of the hour to tell them about some of the iPad projects I had been working on since I made the assessment course last June. It is fun to be connected virtually with other educators and share ideas about the exciting reformation of education – some of what is driving this is the use of mobile technologies like the iPad.
It is like all of us educational heretics are starting to unite and organize.
We are going forward, and there is no stopping us — the status-quo of education is not enough for this type of educators. They are hungry for more and courses like Going Mobile is feeding their appetite for direction and information.
- Brad Flickinger, TechTeacher, Bethke Elementary
#edtech #mlearning #ipaded
So unless you have been living under a rock (cue old GEICO ad), if you're an educator then you've been hearing a lot of fuss over the adoption of the Common Core Standards, and if you're connected to technology like myself, then you have been waiting for today for the launch of the yet un-named iPad Mini.
But what on earth do the two have in common?
This morning I started my daily churn of the edtech news by reading about Atomic Learning's new program for addressing tech components of the Common Core standards. Which comes on the heals of an article I read in Edudemic magazine on the same subject. Now you combine this with the news that Apple's introduction of the much-rumored iPad Mini press event today will focus on this new iPad and education then you might have some connections.
Although I believe that much of the iPad Mini and education connection today will focus on iBooks and pricing, I am holding on to the hope that the iPad Mini will be a great publishing tool, much like it's bigger brother.
You see, much to do to with Common Core standards and technology centers around students being able to publish their writings, through blogs, wikis, podcasts and such. But I also hope that today we see some changes with the iBooks Author. For example, I hope that students can publish directly from their iPads and not need to use a computer like with the current iBooks Author. Come on Apple let's publish iBooks from our iPads, computers are so pre-iPads.
So with fingers crossed and my breath held, I wait for today's Apple event.
#edtech #ipaded #mlearning
This past summer I converted our conventional podcasting studio with PCs over to iPads in hopes of improving the workflow. To be honest, I amazed at how easy podcasting is now for my elementary students. Here are the basics:
iPad number 1: Sound Effects. The host of each episode has this iPad his/her desk in the studio, this iPad used the Soundboard app from Ambrosia for all of the different sound effects that we use to make a show; laughter, applause, ohh-ahhh, etc. Before converting to iPads, the sound effect were handled by a different students, which often led to some mis-timed sound effects, now that the host Han control his/her own sound effects, the show is much better.
iPad number 2: Music. Before each show we play about 10 minutes of music while students come into their classrooms, this allows teachers to adjust the volume of the show. We mostly play Kidz Bop songs from the Music app since the lyrics have been scrubbed clean for our young audience.
iPad number 3: AudioBoo. We connect our sound mixer's USB cable into the bottom of this iPad through the Camera Connection Kit. Each show is recorded into the AudioBoo app and then we add album art and upload to our AudioBoo account which is then picked up by iTunes within an hour. AudioBoo also sends out a Tweet using our school's Twitter account.
That's it. What used to take us about 13 steps to get each episode from our studio to iTunes, now happens in three. Here is a link to our show on iTunes. http://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/bethke-elementarys-boos/id556878539
- Brad Flickinger, Tech Teacher, Bethke Elementary
The drive today from my house in Northern Colorado to Wichita, KS for Podstock is 9 hours. Which has given me a lot of time to think. I am finally in Old Town, Wichita at the tasty restaurant Cafe Moderne taking advantage of both their incredible menu and their free WiFi.
You see, this Thursday I give the opening keynote for Podstock, which has caused me to rehearse it over and over again in my head during the drive out here. I am sure that the people on the interstate with me thought I was nuts talking to myself as I cruised across the pains of Colorado and Kansas.
In this keynote I am giving is totally new information that I have not shared before. Some of the ideas I am presenting are things that I have been working on for years. I am going to finally share some of the secrets that I have been using to get my students to do amazing edtech projects like movies and podcasts.
I have been reluctant to share these ideas in the past because many of them were unproven – and maybe just a flash-in-the-pan – and not a sustainable program. I have also struggled with how to articulate these ideas into something that is easy for other teachers to replicate without being just another “program.”
I am happy to report that everything has come together for me in the past 90 days. I finally have such a large body of evidence that supports my ideas and beliefs, that I now have all the missing pieces in place.
I even got a few new insights as the corn fields passed by – who knew that corn fields could be so inspirational?
As I sit here in the San Diego airport waiting for my flight to leave for home I can't help but reflect upon my five days here at ISTE 2012. Each year, as it turns out, ISTE is a little bit different than the previous years. In part, I believe, because I change and also because the world of edtech is such a moving target. Although every year has a theme, and this year's was “Expanding Horizons,” there seems to be a few sub-themes that aren't published, it is something that just happens. Here are some of the sub-themes that I saw…
This was the year about mobile computing or BYOD. Although we talked a lot about mobile computing and BYOD(in theory) last year, this year we seemed to now know what to do about it. There we're tons of sessions dedicated to this topic, with many success stories to be shared and duplicated.
There was also a lot of informal discussions about edupreneurs (educators who are entrepreneurs). I never knew this crowd even existed until this year. And when I say informal discussions, I mean what people are talking about at lunch and in the hallways between sessions.
This was one of the most positive years as far as the vibe among edtech educators. I don't thing we feel as beat up as in years past – I think we are finally coming into our own. And we are a force to be reckoned with. Most of us are turning into our own advocates for change – I think we feel not so alone after attending this ISTE.
I just checked my idea list from this year and there are 42 items on it, and over the coming weeks I will narrow it down to about 4 or 5 things I will try in my school with my students, but it is these ideas that are going to change things, these are the big things.
Thank you ISTE for another great year – well done and I can't wait until next year. Watch out Texas, here we come!
- Brad Flickinger, tech teacher, Bethke Elementary