Yesterday I wrote about my experience at Institute, reflecting on the ADE community as a whole, the theme of the week and how I benefit from being a part of this group. Today I want to share 5 of my greatest learning moments.
The ADE Playground
We had an evening where we could get our hands on some of the latest iOS compatible devices that support coding in the curriculum. I got to code the flight path of a drone, evaluate Sphero, meet Dash and Dot, see other’s use a MakeyMakey (which I already own), work with Lego Mindstorm kits and design then 3D print.
It’s so valuable to have time to explore this tech and just play with it yourself. It helps to make the right choice for your own school. I already have a MakeyMakey and I have blogged about it here. Having time with Dash and Dot was great, and I have a great expectation that this product will make a lot of noise in infant coding! They are a friendly pair of robots who are designed specifically for 4+ years. Dot is a robot who responds to you and what happens around him, whereas Dash is mobile and the environment responds to it! Both robots are multi-modal. They use light, sound and motion to communicate with you. They also come with a suite of apps designed
specifically for infants. There are 4 apps from Make Wonder and they progress beautifully through the principles of early coding skills. To take Dash and Dot in to an older age group, Juniors maybe, you can use Tickle. This is slightly more sophisticated in it’s look and precision but offers the same functionality as the Make Wonder ‘Blockly’ app.
I was lucky enough to pick up a ‘Wonder Pack’ whilst in Amsterdam. I’ll be writing more about Dash and Dot in the new academic year. They come with great accessories, including a Xylophone for Dash with an app to accompany it and Lego adapters to build on to the robots.
I tweeted a video clip of my Dash and Dot in action:
— Marc ADE (@MarcWithersey) August 4, 2015
Showcases: Communication is Key, Animating Scientific Diagrams.
Each morning of the week began with 60 minutes of ADE Showcases. Each ADE who participated told their story in 3 minutes, in a TeachMeet style micro-presentation. Hearing stories from Higher Ed, Secondary and International Schools really open my eyes to the places that my young learners will be going. It’s great to hear these wonderful things. I have to bring it home though, and for me, Stuart Hammersley and Catherine Jessey are just wonderful. Maybe I’m being bias because I know these two from the Apple Regional Training Centre circuit, but it’s so great that they made it in to the ADE Class of 2015.
Stuart is a teacher in a special needs school and he told a story of how using a bank of apps gave a child in his class a voice and choice. Catherine talks passionately about animating in science and explaining complex scientific knowledge through these simple, fun stop frame animations. I just love their work and how they tell their stories as if everybody does what they do. They are truly innovative in their own fields and we can all learn a lot from them.
Engaging with the Community
This is a new area for me. As is the case with many teachers, we do our thing in our classroom and are so busy with our day to day duties we rarely get to look beyond school at what is happening in our localities. There are ADEs who are not teachers but who are educating in the voluntary sector, working with charities and non-profit organisations out in the community. Sarah Hoyle is one of these special people, and hearing about her work is so inspiring. Sarah has challenged me to reach out to a non-profit organisation this year and help develop content and materials for use beyond a school setting. I have a few meetings lined up and something exciting is starting to take place. I can’t wait to share this in the coming months! Thanks Sarah!
One huge advantage of being an ADE is getting to know the teams who develop the Apple hardware and software in Cupertino. We had an inspiring session where we watched a team create movies using iMovie for iOS, iMovie for Mac, Final Cut Pro, GarageBand for iOS, GarageBand for Mac and Logic. Wow. It was a rollercoaster 60 minutes but seeing this project move from start to end was incredible and I gained so many skills for video and music editing which I will use when authoring my own content for iTunes.
We also spent time in workshops, learning how to get the most out of our Macs and the Apple software included on it. I’ve had my Mac for 2 years now and every Institute I come away with new tips and tricks to improve my workflow but also the content that I create on it.
Getting Started with iPad
This is set of iTunes U course published by Apple for teachers using iPads for the first time. I cannot wait to share at my iPad in Education Networks for Nottinghamshire, at the Ruschliffe Learning Alliance ICT Leaders Networks and at my own Apple Regional Training Centre in Nottingham. The Getting Started with iPad collection is a series of lesson guides for using popular iPad apps in the classroom. It covers all age ranges and curriculum areas. Visit the Getting Started Teaching with iPad library here.
The Apple team also shared a few other new resources with us. Lesson Ideas is a collection of free multi-touch books, organised in to 3 categories: Show What You Know, STEAM and Real-World Learning. These sets of free books give activity outlines, examples of work and even suggest assessment opportunities of these outcomes. Visit the Lesson Ideas store front here and dive in to these fantastic resources today
My last set of resources to share from Institute comes from the Apple Distinguished Educator’s on iTunes U library, and in particular the Lessons for the Classroom collection. These courses are curated by ADEs from all over the world and published here by Apple. They are lesson plans, activities, ideas or examples of best practise and are designed to be put in to the hands of educators or students to further develop the use of iPads in the classroom. I am also very proud to announce that my own Lesson for the Classroom ‘We’re Going on a Shape Hunt’ has been published to this collection and is available to download for free right now.