Friday, February 19, 2016

Where will #DLDay 2016 take you next?

Digital Learning Day 2016 is in the books and we here at Catholic Central High School had a blast Tweeting out what some of our teachers were doing with technology. The best part? We didn't ask the teachers to do anything special. We simply took photos of what happens everyday here at CC and honored teachers for doing it. Students were asked about what they thought their teachers were doing well with technology in the classroom and then presented certificates (designed by our student tech support team) of tech use merit to those teachers. Several teachers were surprised by the certificate because they didn't think they used tech all that much. It was how they used the tech that captured their students attention.

So where do we go from here? 

As I was reading through the twitter feeds for #DLDay, I found a post about 20 ways to use tablets in the classroom. Since all our students have iPads, this caught my interest. There are some really cool ideas in here! Some I've introduced before and some were new to me. Read on for a few of my favorites.

The first thing I had to try were the Discovery Learning and YouTube 360-degree videos. Seriously, I may be late to the party but these are awesome! Load one, hit play and then move around with your iPad. From behind the scenes at the Iowa caucus to tours of Australia to being in the jungle with a band of gorillas, there's a 360-degree video for it.

Another media-centric idea is creating a pod-cast. This might be good for World Language classes or for those students that have difficulty typing but no problem speaking. There are many apps for voice recording including the one mentioned in the article. I've also worked some with Voice Record Pro which seems to have many features for importing and exporting sound files, conversion to other formats and is also free. If you're interested in trying out podcasting let me know and I can provide some how-to resources I've acquired.

What about note taking? How can we amp it up?
Try Sketchnoting - I know that I've mentioned it before. Ya, ya... Several times. But it bears repeating! The built-in and updated Notes app or other drawing apps such as Paper by 53 are great for this. Trust me when I tell you that artistic ability is not required! Simple boxes, lines, bullets and color help to organize and group your thoughts together. With the new features built into these apps you can now organize your notes using lists, hand-written or typed text, shapes, and allow import photos that illustrate concepts.

Your students write all the time. Let them turn their writing into a book or graphic story using an app such as Book Creator. There is a free version available that allows you to create one eBook. For unlimited books and additional templates such as the comic book template you'll need Tthe full version for $4.99 (or a school can purchase with an Apple VPP voucher for a 50% discount with 20 or more licenses.) It's easy to use and the final product can be exported in several formats.

These are only a few of the ideas mentioned in the article. Read through it and find one that sparks your interest and give it a try!

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