Final Reflection

How can I fit all that I have learned into one small blog post?  It seems an impossible task.

I have spent the past year learning so many new things.  I will try to use my higher level thinking and rank them from least to most important things that I have learnt over the past year.

5. How to use an ipad and be comfortable using one. Confidence is key.

4.Ipad are not just for games.  They are tools of learning and for learning.  It was great to use them as cameras, video cameras, and tools to strengthen lessons.

3.How to be connected.  There are many ways to talk and share over the internet.  I now have many resources to go to if I need to ask, share or talk with someone about my idea or one I am looking for. Twitter is no longer a word that I roll my eyes to when I hear someone mention it.  It is now a place where I can  quickly jump on, check and connet myself to a world wide web of teacher and educators.

2.Apps – They are so many great apps.  The possibilities are endless.  How creative would you like to be?  Well, apps are great ways to support a lesson and allow the students to it to the next level.  Apps for games, creating, tools, recording, etc, etc.

1. Being open and willing to try new technology.  I have bought in.  Have you?  What is stopping you from getting on board?  This year are made me a better teacher by allowing me to grow in many different forms of technology.  If it wasn’t for the learning leader group, I think I would missed the boat and been stuck in the past.

Ideas that I have done:

  • Pictures to find geometry shapes around the school
  • Recording radio plays on evernote
  • Recording high five routines in gym and watching them later
  • Creating a movie clip on imovie as a teaser for other classes of our upcoming play
  • Taking pictures of PD session presentations that needed to written down
  • Assessaiblity of having an ipad with me to check emails, go online, get connected
  • Use twitter to ask for ideas, help or find answers to my questions
  • Use evernote to easily record ideas and be able to asscess them from all different places
  • Allow my students to explore apps to get them interested
  • Use ipads as mirrors when reading and practice presenting
  • Recording instructions of a big project for students missing that class
  • Recording a conversation, with permission, when I was not able to be there
  • Art ideas through apps
  • Classical music to play in the background when working
  • Music to play off youtube in gym class
  • Record student’s reflections and ideas as a parent center at our heritage lunch so parents can hear their ideas.
  • Take a picture and use it for Art

Endless Possibilities

I consider myself decently proficient when it comes to technology; however, when it comes to the amount of tech tools and ideas and the rate in which change in this area occurs, I realize the possibilities are truly endless. The amount of knowledge and skills I possess in this area is minuscule in comparison. I think that is part of the reason why I am so intrigued with tech stuff. There is always going to be something else that surprises me. My learning will never end. I was reminded of this again as I attended an iPad for administrators session led by @nlakusta where I learned about a number of new apps, tips, and tricks with the iPad.

One of the cool resources she shared was a collaborative Google presentation called 103 Interesting Ways To Use Ipad In The Classroom. Check it out!

iPad’s and Music

Can devices like the iPad work in music programs in school?  This is one of the questions I asked after I installed the iRig app on my iPad.  iRig is an application that allows you to plug your bass or guitar into your iPad and use the pre-installed effects on the app to play your guitar.  iRig itself is a 1/4 inch adapter interface for your guitar that you can purchase at pretty much any electronics shop around for about $40.00.  Once you have the adapter you simply go to th App Store and install the iRig app for free.  Once you have set up an account with iRig you will be able to jam away!

Upon playing around with the application, I realized that there were other several useful tools like the multi-track recorder that could be used to either upload music onto to jam with or record your own original work.  Of course to tap into many of these features iRig expects you to front up the funds to unlock them however, the effects are far more cheaper than purchasing the effects pedals at our local music shop.

I began to wonder if applications such as these could have any place in a school music program.  Many programs are cancelled due to lack of funding for musical equipment.  I see the iPad being a useful tool to overcome issues such as these. Of course when it comes to doing concert bands or larger ensembles, sometimes there is just nothing that can replace the real thing, but for music programs that focus on guitar, bass, keyboards, etc., applications like this could have some real potential.

If iPad ever comes up with an application that allows several users to plug into one hub together to jam together virtually with headphones on…mom’s and dad’s around the world would surely rejoice!

Prep: Learning Leader Program, Session 2

Thank you so much for your participation in the Learning Leader Sessions so far and the work that you have done in between the sessions.  Please remember that all participants are expected to write a blog post in between sessions so you have some time to do that as well.  All of the information on how to post a blog is located on the Session 1 post so please check there if you have any questions.

You will need to complete the following items before the next session:

  1. Sign up for the session that you will be attending by Friday, January 13th on this survey.  If you are unable to attend, you will need to make arrangements with me directly to ensure that that you are not missing anything.
  2. Please sign up for a Dropbox account.  Once that is done, please download the Dropbox App onto your iPad.  (Please ensure that you know your username and password when you come into the session as I am not able to obtain this information.)
  3. Sign up for a Hootsuite account if you do not already have one.  Then download the app for your iPad and use the same information to login to your account.
  4. Ensure that you have the Twitter App on your iPad.

It is beneficial that when you are creating accounts that you use a similar user name that is unique.  Not only does it help you to remember how you have signed up but it also helps to create a digital identity.  For example, I have a unique name so I sign up for most accounts as ‘gcouros’.  This helps people to identify me on these social networks and build a connection with them.

As we will only be using these apps, I invite you to bring or think of some questions that you would like to ask before the next session.  If you are willing, please submit them in the comments and I will see if I can answer them before or during the session.

Before the next session, please also take a look at the following article by Eric Sheninger entitled, “Tools to help become a tech savvy educator“.

I look forward to seeing you soon!

George Couros