Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Wow Factors with iPads

We have started our 1:1 iPad trial at Jakarta World Academy. Up until this time at Jakarta World Academy, I have been using my iPad with various classes and the mobile set of iPod Touches. Yesterday I got to teach with the iPads in K2. In this trial program the students were issued with an iPad each which they can take home. What I want to learn about is how we can build a system for these children to archive their work easily (probably at this stage by emailing the teacher) and to use these devices effectively in all learning areas.

Wow factors
The iPads have such a large tactile interface which make them perfect for younger learners. What I saw yesterday was a lot of interaction between learners and a lot of fast modelling. Yes the iPod Touch have that touch interface but the screen is small and you really need to hold the iPod in your hand to be able to use it successfully. This can make it hard to look on as the screen must face the user so that they can be accurate with their input. With the iPads what I saw was the child could have the iPad in from of them and the teacher was able to tap and guide without moving the device. This gave the child greater ownership as they could seamlessly have the activity modelled without having to hand the device over.

The second thing that I noticed was how easy it is to cater for differentiation. There are only 6 students in this class but each child was able to work on an activity suited to their level with complete engagement at the same time. Yes I know that this happens in the non-technology classroom - but the level on constant engagement was very intense as the children moved through the task at a pace suited to their own needs.

Yesterday we used many Maths Apps but Lobster Diver was particularly popular. Lobster Diver is a free app and can be found here Lobster Diver

Monday, 18 April 2011

ANPS - Collaboration Online

I have been preparing for my next presentation which will be at the next ANPS Forum for Emerging Leaders on the 30th April. I am trying to make a more dramatic kind of presentation by using the skills that I learned at the recent ADE Institute in HCMC. I am trying to break out of my slideshow habit and engage the audience by telling a story but using visuals as a support.

As a part of my preparations for this workshop I have been interviewing the technical support at my school to find out about the current size of the Internet bandwidth and how many users that can support at the same time. We are indeed fortunate to have 8 megabit bandwidth.

One of the biggest problems that the local schools here in Indonesia face is access. Most schools still use computer labs which offer limited access for teachers other than the computer teacher. On top of this the Internet access is barely sufficient for the teachers to access let alone the students.

This issue of computer access and Internet access will be the deal breaker for most national plus schools. It is very costly often costing more than other school needs - never less it is essential.

Things can only change here if schools consider computer and Internet access as equally important as staffing. It needs to be considered as an integral part of the school and not just 'added value'.

Monday, 11 April 2011

ADE Institute Hochimin City - Thinking about Personal Branding

I feel very honoured to be a member of the ADE Asia Advisory Board. There are nine of us on the board and we have been a part of the running of the Class of 2011 ADE Institute. Currently we are half way through the Institute for 2011 and I feel that I must write about the experience - even though it is not over yet.

The first day was intense. Each member of the board was asked to present their personal branding. I did not attend the Class of 2010 Institute where personal branding was introduced to the ADEs there. I have struggled to get a video made in time. I knew that if I didn't push myself to get something done - that the process to get it ready could go on for some time. As a part of the Apple Institute, all of the ADEs were given a book as a guide about personal branding. I was sent a copy and it was a helpful start but I ended up abandoning it and found it much easier to talk to my husband who knows me both as my artistic self and as my teacher self. I know that these shouldn't be separate but I don't associate the artwork that I do with my teaching practice. My husband helped me to focus on the 'now' and not so much on the past. Indeed as I sit here typing this post - I am already thinking about my version 2 video and how that will look. I already have the concept and how I can make better use of 2 minutes. Less is more ....

I am really interested in how technology can be best used in Kindergarten and younger. In fact I am interested in how it can be used with Toddlers (18 months). I have developed a way to make the iMacs in the Toddlers classroom more accessible for that age group by using programs designed for very young children (such as keyboard bangers) and by making those programs easy to click on through use of big picture icons. These young children cannot talk but they are very comfortable using computers as they are often introduced to them by their parents. My goal is to set up the computers for the teachers so that the students can use them independently. I have started to notice a pattern as these young children develop quickly and soon grow out of using the keyboard banger programs to progress onto more mouse directed games. From this the kids are introduced to creating content and so the progression continues.

And because of this ...

I would love to share what I have developed over the past year in my position as Tech Integrator for Toddlers-Gr5 at JWA and SWA.

Looks like I need to get back to Jakarta so that I can begin making PB video #2

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Personal Branding - janeinjava ADE 

I finally finished the first version of my personal branding video. Here it is for you all to take a look: