Every once in a while, in the world of planning Professional Development, the most enjoyable segments are the ones that called for the least planning.
This was the case as my partner in all things EdTech, Debbie Smith (@austindeb2003), and I discovered to our surprise, when we were implementing our iPad Immersion sessions over the last few weeks.
We spent a lot of time planning curriculum based critical thinking and creativity activities that integrated iPads. We wanted the teachers to look at the curriculum they use regularly in a different way. And we came up with some pretty good activities, we thought.
The creativity activities were adapted from the AIMS Science curriculum used in grades K-2 and 3-5. Teachers researched types of weather or planets, created a storyboard with Keynote or the Popplet App then created a movie with iMovie, in partners.
The critical thinking activities came from AIMS Science and Stemscopes Science and involved observing, measuring, recording and comparing. The K-2 group used the Hummingbird Helicopters and the Tables tool in Numbers for their task, along with the video feature on the iPad. The 3-5 group used internet photos of life cycle stages and the Explain Everything App for their task. They were each charged with telling the story of their findings using Keynote.
While they were engaged in these activities and completed them with varying measures of success, engagement and enjoyment in the morning, the real fun happened in the afternoon.
First they watched a video created by our very own Laura Wright (http://goo.gl/y0T03) explaining the nuts and bolts of having a room full of 8 year olds, each with their own iPad. We included this because many of them will be implementing 1-1 iPads in their elementary classrooms next year, and are a bit unsure about the day to day management aspect.
Then Debbie and Jon (@ipadsammy) gave them a quick overview of iMovie trailers and cut them loose to create. Lots of fun, creativity, concentration and laughter followed. The presenter, Debbie, even got into the fun by creating her own iMovie Trailer , Adventures in iPad Immersion.
Switching gears to QR codes took some fancy footwork, but when they started discovering what they and their students could do with QR codes, they were hooked.
They loved the idea of the Audioboo App, in which students can record anything (book reports, description of a picture, explanations of a project, etc.) and have the recording go straight to a website that they can create a QR code for.
After following a sample QR Code Treasure Hunt, they were sold on the QRCode Treasure Hunt Generator from Class Tools http://classtools.net/QR/ .
They left with many ideas on ways to deliver the same curriculum in more student centered ways….and commented on how much fun they had learning how to do it.
Post by Margie Brown, Eanes ISD EdTech @mbrowneisd and Debbie Smith, Eanes ISD EdTech @austindeb2003