I just got back from the inaugural iPad Summit USA sponsored by EdTeachTeacher. Wow. Two days of “drinking from the fire hose” that is educational technology. Not only did our hosts book a great venue at the Harvard Medical School campus, but they attracted some great talent.
The conference kicked off with a keynote address by Tony Wagner. Tony has been an advocate of change for schools for several years now, pushing a new skill set for students in the 21st Century. As I mentioned in my last post, there has been a growing chorus of voices over the last five years calling for change in the traditional model of education. Tony says that the current educational system is obsolete, and that technology is a powerful tool to reinvent it. Thanks to the wealth of knowledge now available online, he insists that the world no longer cares about how much a student knows, rather what that student can do with it. In his new book, Creating Innovators, he explains 7 core competencies educators MUST develop in students for their future success:
1. Critical thinking and problem solving.
2. Collaboration through and leadership across networks.
3. Agility and adaptability
4. Initiative and entrepreneurship
5. Effective oral and written communication
6. Access to and analysis of information
7. Creativity and innovation
His voice was a powerful clarion call for those in attendance-an inspiring challenge to effect changes that will produce students that can solve the world’s most complex problems.
After that kickoff there were two days of presentations by the EdTechTeacher staff (notably Tom Daccord, Beth Holland, and Greg Kuloweic) and talent teachers who have been leveraging iPads to transform learning experiences at their schools. There was a wide range of folks in attendance, public and private educators who teach at all levels (but mostly K-12). The EdTechTeacher staff is a knowledgeable group of former teachers who are staying involved in area schools. They shared some valuable tips and tricks, but more importantly they pushed conference attendees to think hard about the why before using any app.
Matt Scully and I gave a presentation about how iPads are changing science instruction. Having run 3 iPad pilot science classes, I have developed a number of successful practices. You can see my slide deck here.
I think the most powerful presentation I saw was from a group of talented young educators from the National Teachers Elementary Academy in Chicago (names linked to blogs/class pages): Jennie Magiera (Digital Learning Coordinator), Holly Mullenix-Stack (Music teacher), Autumn Laidler (Science teacher), and Anita Orozca (Director of Curriculum/Special Ed). They delivered a fast-paced prezi presentation chocked full of powerful examples of transformational teaching using technology (not just iPads). What I loved the most was their framework for decision-making about tech integration. They shared the work of Dr. Ruben R. Puentedura, who developed the SAMR model for selecting, using, and evaluating technology in education. Learn more at their presentation Google site here.
This is the first time I’ve seen this, but apparently it has spread far and wide. I found this image at a wiki made by the talented Australian educator Jenny Luca. If you are thinking about integrating iPads into your instruction, I highly recommend you investigate this model further.
I could write more, but that’s probably plenty to chew on for now. By the way, the EdTechTeacher groups announced another iPad Summit to be held Apri 10-12, 2013 in Atlanta, Georgia. You can sign up for updates here. Maybe I’ll see you there…