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Sunday, December 15, 2013

Are You a One and Done? Using iPads to Help ALL Students Learn (Part 1)

On Monday, December 16th, I will be making a presentation at the Capital Area IU (Harrisburg, PA) for their 2nd Annual iPad Summit titled Don't Be a One and Done. This presentation has inspired this series! I hope you find the ideas helpful!

Introduction

iPads have been a game-changer in education for many years, but the way that you use this device can have lasting impacts on the way students learn. How would you describe your "iPad Philosophy"?

Are you using iPads as a tool to help ALL students learn? OR are you just trying to keep up with the latest fad? Be careful how you answer! You might be a One and Done or an educator who takes a one-size-fits-all approach to iPad usage. 

You might use only one App per educational experience to address the learning needs of some, but neglect the needs of others. Are you thinking of the needs of some or all of your students? Are you Universally Designing your iPad experience?
Avoiding the Mistakes of a One and Done:

Our classrooms in the 21st century are filled with diversity that cannot be addressed through One and Done usage. One App doesn't solve the needs of all students. 

Why? "The way that students learn is as different as their DNA" (CAST, 2013). Each student's brain interacts with content and materials differently, creating a unique learning experience for everyone (Check out some of the latest research from CAST).

How can you avoid this easy-to-make mistake? 

1. Open your eyes and to see the diversity learners around you. From IEP students to GIEP students, it is stunning to see the variety that exists in a single classroom.

2. Think about the barriers an App could pose for some students and find ways to overcome them. For example, you may give a reading assignment in a PDF or eBook format; however, did you think about the student who may have visual difficulties or the auditory learner? Sure they may be able to zoom in and view text better, but perhaps an audio version of the text could help.

3. Avoid making assumptions about Apps! Some of the most common assumptions that I hear are
  • Assumption: We would love to use Apps, but they are so expensive!
  • Assumption: If an it doesn't cost money, then there is probably no educational value or it is filled with a bunch of ads.
  • Assumption: If an App doesn't do everything we want it to do, then it must have little value.
Conclusion:

Unfortunately, one App is not going to solve the learning needs of ALL of our students! This is why I have created several additional iPad recipes to share with you over the next few posts. I have made some suggestions in the past, but I will be updating you with new ideas! 

DECEMBER CONTINUES CLICK FOR A CAUSE!

Ayden Murray is from Wrightsville, PA and was diagnosed with Stage 4 neuroblastoma. He is receiving treatment at Hershey Medical Center and needs your prayers and support. 
For every time someone visits my blog until the end of December, myself and several donors will donate to his medical fund "Prayers 4 Ayden." 

How can you get involved?

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