So, I’ve just finished the EMEIA (Europe, Middle East, Indian & Africa) Institute as a newly (qualified? graduated? inducted?) Apple Distinguished Educator. It’s been an intense four days of professional development, hearing stories from educators from across the (third of the) world, sharing a bit of my story, meeting lots of new people and making some friends.
Here’s a few things that I’m going to take away from the time:
Step away from the computer
I was quite surprised by how many people here are actually ‘just’ educators who use Apple stuff in their classrooms, rather than a techy/geek person (like me). But what people are doing in their classrooms with technology is amazing! Like making multi-touch books to teach medicine, or creating video walls with iPads or even just doing a spot of green screen. I need to make sure I don’t get bogged down with getting the technology to ‘just’ work that I don’t end up with no time to work with teachers on transforming the learning that goes on in the classroom.
Ice ice baby
On the last day of the event, I was asked to share on the main stage a little bit of my experience of the week. And for some reason, the lyrics of Vanilla Ice sprang to mind: “Stop! Collaborate and listen…” As they do.
But seriously, it’s been a great time to actually stop (in amidst the hectic schedule) and reflect on what I do in the classroom, work with other brilliant teachers from all over the world and listen to the cool stuff that they’re doing. Of which there is much. It makes me feel very ordinary coming to a place like this!
Paper by FiftyThree
I’ve also discovered and now avidly taken up ‘sketch noting’, which is where you draw notes on your iPad rather than just typing. I’ve been using the app ‘Paper‘, which now seems to be free to use, including all of the clever pens and tools. It’s a lot of fun and lets me be creative whilst listening. I’ve put some of these on twitter, so do take a look.
The 1:1 Question
Over the last year I’ve kind of resigned myself to the fact that we’re never going to be a 1:1 iPad school. But having met people from lots of state schools, including primaries, where they have gone 1:1, that little dream has returned. I need to come up with a serious plan (which basically will involve working out where savings can be made to pay for it…printing/photocopying/SIMS I’m looking at you!)