In June, I attended a workshop for two days at UC Berkeley. The workshop, appropriately named The Advanced iPad Classroom, was presented by instructors at EdTechTeacher.org, a leading organization focusing on the successful and efficient integration of technology into school curriculums. The group of educators in my class included school administrators and teachers representing pre-kindergarten through twelfth grades. The central focus of the workshop was to teach educators how to use the iPad as a powerful tool for creation and to enhance lessons by allowing students to be creators of their own content. During the workshop, we spent time covering many apps, but we worked primarily with a core group of apps that should be used together to take lessons to new heights of greatness. The activity is widely-known as App Smashing, or moving a lesson or piece of media back and forth between several different apps to enhance a project in a way the previous app could not. The video above is an example of a simple app smash that my group worked on during the workshop. We used a free stop-motion app called Koma Koma to produce a short 'How To' video (we decided on how to play Rock, Paper, Scissors). Then we pulled the animation into the iMovie app to add audio effects. We had twenty minutes to plan, produce and complete the project. No pressure :)
Most of the workshop operated this way. We would learn about an app, be given an assignment and a short window of time, then we had to produce something quickly. The workshop was a fast-paced and hands-on approach to learning. As attendees, we had to step outside our comfort zones and create in a very short period of time, but these "pressure" situations were very beneficial to the group. We bonded quickly and became happy colleagues for two days. We were all focused on producing the results we wanted and we helped each other to reach our goals. The workshop was very well-structured and planned. There were times we worked in small groups and times we flew solo. Sometimes we shared our creations with the entire class and other times we partnered-up with one or two other people for peer-to-peer discussions. Aside from App Smashing, we spent time focusing on App Fluency, The SAMR Model, The TPACK Framework, The Technology Integration Matrix, and a variety of ideas and iPad apps.
My experience was very inspirational and I am grateful to have attended the workshop. I highly recommend everyone explore EdTechTeacher.org as you consider your upcoming professional development opportunities.