Sunday, December 2, 2012

EdTech Teacher iPad Summit 2012

I attended the EdTech Teacher iPad Summit on November 6-8th at the Harvard Conference Center, and WOW! there was a lot to learn! The pre-conference session was a great way to get myself into the right mindset and learn about how to think about iPads in the Elementary Classroom. The speaker, Tony Perez, created an agenda using the C-R-C-D Framework from Ben Scheiderman’s book, Leonardo’s Laptop.
  • Collect: gather and research information
  • Relate: make connections and collaborate to solve problems
  • Create: construct content and demonstrate understanding
  • Donate: contribute to the class or a broader community
A common theme during the whole conventions was that as educators we should not find apps to teach our students, but focus on the learning objective we want the kids to understand, and then adding technology into the lesson to help re-enforce the objective.

Apps for Collecting & Relating Information: The iPad is changing so fast, how do you keep up? How can you keep track of everything that your students create?

Apps for Creating Information

Screencasting apps are becoming more popular in education around the globe. Screenchomp, ExplainEverything, and Educreations are a few of the more popular apps of their kind. Screencasting apps allow you to make a video and audio recording on the iPad, while you draw move and erase with your finger! I have already begun to brainstorm about how my students can storytell and narrate using screencasting apps, and I hope to document their learning throughout the year.

More Creating Apps


Apps for Donating Information

"Think about how you could use the photos, audio recording, and note taking features of Evernote to collect and assess student work. Students can also have all of their iPad projects organized into Evernote by emailing to their specific Notebook." (Tony Perez)


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

ipad Summit (by EdTechTeacher)

Three days of ipad summit (put on by EdTechTeacher) was awesome! One of the best conferences I've attended in the long time. Here are my takeaways.

Keynote take aways: 

  • With all things tech, first ask “Why?” This was kind of a theme
  • It's not about the iPad or apps We have heard that allot
  • "There’s no app for good teaching" Tom Daccord
  • "How can I put students in creative learning environment?" Was a question on everyone's mind
  • "Innovation is a team sport" Doug Kiang
  • Consume, Curate, Create and Share This was another theme

    What is the most impactful and significant aspect of iPads?

    • The iPad simplifies the technology This came up a lot
    • iPad as a digital organizer But saving to the cloud is a fundamental change
    • It’s not always about the apps It's often about the workflow
    • The Camera Roll is King I agree with Beth Holland
    Apps take aways


    • Step back in time with What Was There
    • FlipBoards allows you to browse tons of web content as if you were flipping through a newspaper
    • Puffin Web Browser allows you to use Flash-based content on the iPad

    • Notability allows you take notes and annotate PDF
    • iBooks allows you to mark up and highlight text inside of PDF’s or e-textbooks
    • Socrative allows you to quickly poll your students. Students can use Student Clicker and PIN code to join your room
    • You can use QR Reader to read OR Codes
    • You can generate QR Codes for free at this site
    • Check out this poster with embedded videos you can red with QR Reader!
    • Print Friendly allows you to convert web pages into PDF’s that you can annotate
    • iPad X Macbeth interesting integration of an ipad in english classroom

    • Haiku Deck allows you to create beautiful slideshows with Creative Commons images automatically
    • Create a screencast with photos with FotoBabble
    • Create and narrate a series of images with VoiceThread
    • Create screencasts with Explain Everything
    • NearPod allows you to broadcast and control slideshows on individual iPads
    • imovie puts everything you need to tell your story at your fingertips.
    • GarageBand turns your iPad into a collection of Touch Instruments and a full-featured recording studio
    • Experience the power of Visualize with Viz
    • The easiest and fastest way to make cartoons on your iPad. Cut anything out of your photos and move it on the screen. PhotoPuppet HD will record everything you do.

    • Evernote allows you to share and organize notes
    • Google Drive syncs and organizes files from your Google Apps account

    Teaching Students How to Cross the Information Street Independently

    Google Apps For Education November 3-4
    Listening to Jamie Casap's Keynote, I couldn't help but get excited about helping students and teachers learn how to curate the information around them. Jamie discussed 21st Century Learning  learning in this century, and how kids and adults are accessing new information everyday.

     Jamie brought up some really interesting questions such as, What will work look like for our graduates in 2037? How do we prepare kids for jobs we don’t know what they look like? Jamie believes Americans will be working high-technology jobs that entail communication, collaboration, curating information, teaching, and networking.

    Here are a few top take aways I had during the keynote:

    Preparing our students cross the information street today, so they are ready for tomorrow.
    I   Check out the skills and tools we can use (as teachers) to prepare our students for future jobs.

    Google_ConferenceInfo title=
    The image above is called an Inforgraphic, and was created in
    Infographics are graphic visual representations of information. 
    Keynote Thoughts That Inspired Me:

     [We need to]“Teach kids how to think, so we don’t need to teach them how to memorize.”

    "The web is not a fad, and we need to teach our students how to be digital citizens and leaders. Teach them how to cross the street."

    "Making sense of all the information, building search skills, teaching kids which videos are worth the time and energy to watch."

    What would Plato or Einstein think if they saw kids having to hide their cell phone in school? “What do you mean you make them check that thing at the door, you have the world’s information at your fingertips!?”

    "Learning happens any place and anytime"


    “You don’t have to know everything, just get good at something that you want to know, and utilize each other.”

    Photos From Jamie's Keynote:

    • Technology is not new if you are born into it. For a 5 or 6 year old the iPad 1 will be the worst technology they see in their lives.

    Jamie's son uses his netbook to watch a YouTube video and learns how to beat a level in his video game. "Learning happens any place any time"

    Tuesday, November 20, 2012

    Google Apps for Education New England Summit

    On Saturday, November 3rd and Sunday, November 4th, I attended the Google Apps for Educators New England Summit at Burlington High School.  The absolute best time of the whole two days was the "demo slam" at the end of the conference where 12 individuals got up on stage for 3 minute demonstrations.  I saw someone recording their voice into a google doc using two devices at the same time.  I saw a demonstration of IFTTT, a service that lets you create personal "recipes" using automated "if this then that" statements.  For example, if I take a picture with instagram, compile it into google drive; or if I am tagged in a photo on FaceBook, send me a text message; or if this blog publishes a new post, send me an email.  I was also introduced to a very cool website "What do you love?" which searches many Google tools at once and presents the results very visually.  Lastly, I saw a presenter chat in multiple languages with people internationally using gmail chat and google translator.  If you invite the translator robot to the chat, it automatically translates whatever is said into another language, so two people speaking two different languages can have a conversation.

    iPad Summit USA

    On November 6th-8th, I attended EdTechTeacher's iPad Summit USA, a professional development conference held in Boston, MA.  The conference was jam-packed with a full-day hands-on pre-conference as well as two additional days consisting of 3 keynote speeches and 8 workshops.  I chose to attend the pre-conference session "iPads in the Elementary Classroom" where I played with apps for collecting information, screencasting, and creating stories and movies.  The most useful apps we used, for both the teacher and for students, were Evernote, Book Creator, Educreations, and Explain Everything.  The biggest takeaway for me is that the strength of iPads lives not in content-specific apps but rather in the students' ability to create projects that demonstrate understanding.

    One important thing I became aware of at this conference was Ruben R. Puentadura's concept of SAMR (substitution, augmentation, modification, and redefinition) which is important to consider when designing lessons plans and deciding how to integrate technology in the classroom..  Check out Ruben presenting this past June 2012 in Cambridge here.

    Lastly, I walked away from the conference with a homework assignment for myself- to read Tony Wagner's book "The Global Achievement Gap."  Wagner was one of our keynote speakers, and he discussed how the culture of schooling as we have traditionally experienced it does not match innovative learning, and I am very interested to learn more about what he has to say on the topic.

    If you are interested in learning more about my experience at the conference, please come find me, email me, or check out my tweets from the conference: @meganhaddadi

    Saturday, October 27, 2012

    MIT's Scratch Educator Meetups

    On Saturday, October 13. 2012, I attended a Scratch educator meetup at the MIT Media Lab in Cambridge.  For those of you who are not familiar with Scratch, it is a programming environment that appeals to students of all ages because, according to Mitch Resnick, it has wide walls, low floors, and high ceilings.  The wide walls mean that the program is attractive to a wide variety of students, as they can build animations, games, or interactive projects in a range of topics.  It has low floors because it is easy for a beginner to use, and it has high ceilings because it is capable of creating advanced programming projects.  The best part of using Scratch in the classroom is that if offers students a venue for being creative, problem-solving, and collaborating.

    MIT's Scratch Educator meetups are particularly helpful because attendees have a chance to meet other educators to discuss how they are using Scratch in the classroom.  In addition, there is always an opportunity to practice using Scratch in hands-on workshops.  The most useful aspects of this particular meetup for me were that I was able to play around with the new version of Scratch (Scratch 2.0), expected to be made available to the public later this year and I learned about a relatively new book for introducing Scratch to kids: Super Scratch Programming Adventure.

    The reflections from last Saturday's meetup, including a list of participants, breakout sessions, announcements, and photos, are posted on the ScratchEd website.  For those interested, the MIT Media Lab will host a Scratch educator meetup on the 2nd Saturday of every month.

    Shaping our Digital World

    On Wednesday, October 3rd, we attended a professional development conference "Shaping Our Digital World: You Have the Power" hosted by Common Sense Media and The Good Play Project at Harvard Graduate School of Education, with the Brookline Parent Education Network.  The evening's discussion was centered around tackling the opportunities and challenges of media and technology.  One panel included Howard Gardner (Hobbs Professor of Cognition and Education, Harvard Graduate School of Education; Co-Director, The Good Play Project, Harvard project Zero), Karen Campbell (a member of the Brookline Parent Education Network), and Elon Fischer (a Brookline High School teacher and parent), while the second panel was comprised of five Brookline High School juniors and seniors.

    Panelists discussed the pros and cons of technology in education, and an important take-away for parents was to stay connected with their teens and keep the dialog open.  Gardner pointed out that one of the benefits of technology is the ability to individualize education, yet he acknowledged that one of the pitfalls is the assumption that everything can and should be "technologized."  A theme that emerged through the panels was the desire for a balance between face-to-face and online communication.  Gardner referenced a study in which students rated face-to-face interaction as their preferred form of communication, reserved for close friends.  Texting, which they claimed to use for organizing their lives, came next, with FaceBook surprisingly lower in the ranks.

    Towards the end of the evening, when addressing the topic of social change, Gardner also commented, "You'd be nuts not to use social media, but you'd be nuts to think digital media itself can make the change."

    -Jen Lavenberg and Megan Haddadi

    Thursday, October 25, 2012

    Being on an Accreditation Team

    On Sunday afternoon I drove up to Maine to participate as a member of a NEASC accreditation team at Berwick Academy. These teams spend 3 days at a school interviewing everyone, reading the school's self-study, and then writing a report. It's always a lot of work and late nights, but you get a lot out of it. Seeing how another school runs inevitably makes you ask yourself how you might improve your own practice, or you might come away with some ideas to share with others.

    At Berwick the technology support center (both academic and repairs) was built into the library building. It was great to see close alignment of tech and library. This is something we're working on here at BB&N. Another neat thing was that they had local university students on work-study helping out. Seems like we might also have that opportunity here? Berwick also has a cool program they call the "Innovation Center" to which students apply. You can check it out on their website.

    Being on an accreditation team is good experience. Everyone should do this every few years, kind of like jury duty.