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Education - iPads in the classroom

Websites and blogs to follow

Edutopia is a website produced by the George Lucas Educational Foundation and is dedicated to "improving K-12 learning by documenting, disseminating, and advocating for innovative strategies that prepare students to thrive in their future educarton, careers and adult lives."

In addition to identifying apps that are "good use" in the classroom, there are a number of articles and blogs that contain excellent information on the world of educational technology.

I-Pads in Education is a web-site devoted to exploring " ways iPads and other portable devices could be used to re-imagine the process of education and re-kindle students' innate desire to learn." In addition to presenting an inventory of apps and a review process, the site has a very robust discussion forum, where topics are posted (weekly) and users are invited to share their responses. There is also a video site for creative uses of the ipad in the classroom and a news and views section. Highly recommended.

Kathy Schrock is an American educator, extremely well-versed in the use of technology in the classroom. Her site iPads in the Classroom looks at iPads and techonology in conjunction with assessment and rubriics (American based). She also covers a number of practical aspects of housing and using iPads in the classroom.

 

I-Pads in the school setting

Bring your own device

Equipping a classroom, or a school with tablets is a costly venture. The option of students bringing and using their own devices in classrooms is starting to catch on. If the school adopts this model, then the only issue remaining is that of providing a strong, reliable wiireless system that can be accessed for classroom use. 

Pros for adopting this model include: student familiarity with their device and  ability to customize their own device to suit their own learning needs, opportunities to save on software and textbook costs.

Cons include: Financial constraints on individual families, provision of a robust and secure internet connection to support many devices, protection of student data.

Are you ready for BYOD?

Horizon 2015 report

The New Media Consortium (NMC) " is an international community of experts in educational technology — from the practitioners who work with new technologies on campuses every day; to the visionaries who are shaping the future of learning at think tanks, labs, and research centers; to its staff and board of directors; to the advisory boards and others helping the NMC conduct cutting edge research." As part of their role in driving technology innovation they present the annual Horizons report that  is a list of technologies, trends, and challenges that has been complied by knowledgeable people in technology industries, higher education, K-12, and museums around the world. 

Horizon Report 2015- This report identifies  the top 12 emerging technologies as well as the top ten trends and challenges that the  Horizon K12 Advisory Board believes will have a significant impact on teaching, learning, and creative inquiry in global K-12 education over the next five years. 

The NCM website is a valuable resource for those who are interested in current and upcoming trends in education. Although developed and researched in the States, many of the identified trends are starting to happen in Canada.

Canadian Resources

The Canadian Education Association is a long-standing association dedicated to the advancement of ideas for greater student and teacher engagement in public education. CEA conducts research and spreads useful ideas through "its publications, website, workshops, symposia, and social media channels; supporting education systems to be more adaptive to the rapidly changing needs of all learners in an effort to reverse the trends of students ‘tuning out’ of their learning opportunities."

MediaSmarts is a " Canadian not-for-profit charitable organization for digital and media literacy. Our vision is that children and youth have the critical thinking skills to engage with media as active and informed digital citizens."  In addition to Canadian Canadian-based digital and media literacy resources, MediaSmarts provides leadership in advancing digital and media literacy in Canadian schools, homes and communities and contributes to the development of informed public policy on issues related to the media. 

The Alberta Government has a School Technology Services Program which strives to assist schools in Alberta with governing and managing information technology  investments and assets. As part of this effort, individuals can subscribe to an on-line Tech News newsletter. This is a quarterly letter that focuses on school technology in Alberta.