Light Offerings

From the Apple Distinguished Educators Institute, March 2013

Posted by jturner56 on March 31, 2013

Having spent the past week at the Apple Distinguished Educators Institute in Bali, apart from the most impressive locale, hospitality and array of impressive educational technology thought leaders and teachers, what did I actually takeaway?

Firstly, the value to all in getting educational technology leaders and teachers in one spot with one focus – to advance the use of learning technologies for empowering and transforming learning. From increasing Twitter connections to just being able to sit in on conversation of wider value. Something that happens all too rarely for a variety of reasons. Hats off to Apple for making this happen.

On a software level, the opportunity to see how powerful software such as Keynote (as a creative tools) and iBooks (as a professional publishing platform accessible for all teachers) can be. To consider how iTunesU might work with other elearning platforms, and to gain insights into App creation using hitherto unknown software such as Hype or widget sites such as Bookry.

Presentations and discussions also reinforced some of the pathways already in place at our school, such as the C.R.A.P. design principles (Contrast, Reinforcement, Alignment and Proximity), the value of TPCK and the importance of Action Research to generate evidence.

New thoughts arising included

  • the need for new thinking on how best to align different digital resources (desktop labs, 1:1 laptops, mobile tablet, BYO etc). With iBooks author requiring MacOS to publish only for iOS devices, the relationship requirements are changing. But then again so too OS relationships. All schools have finite resource capabilities and need to be clear on learning priorities in fast changing time.
  • how can a school best leverage its creative talents which at times are individualistic in focus within standardized requirements and bureaucratic responsibilities. This may well involves issues of learning spaces, learning teams and learning leadership and is as applicable to students as much as teachers.
  • increased appreciation of the importance of coding literacy and awareness as a bedrock of creativity in the digital age, both individually and as part of teams.
  • an increased appreciation of the potential of table technologies for assisting disabled students who previously would not have been able to personally control their learning progress. From Japanese design stylus to touch software new doors are being opened.
  • further to this the increasing evidence of literacy progress in young students through tablet technologies is gaining momentum.

As part of the institute all attendees were involved in generating their One Best Thing for sharing beyond. While my OBT is more to do with structures and alignment, I explored the technology requirement associated with using iBook Author to publish the book Digital Learning Infusion at Canadian International School of Hong Kong. From this I am analyzing the new publishing potential of teachers able to be their own formal publishers through Apple’s iBook store. This will include the transforming nature of the process behind the publishing of a book that has been formally recognized as indicative of an Apple Distinguished School.

Finally, though, I remain concerned with the inhibiting nature of most industrially-designed school environments and the relative lack of valuing beyond the individual however impressive. But with the hope, commitment and energy on display at the ADE institute one can only remain full of optimism.




3 Responses to “From the Apple Distinguished Educators Institute, March 2013”

  1. Sounds like a thought provoking conference as well as an opportunity to share with like minded individuals.

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