Jun 27, 2012

ISTE 2012: Pirates of the Class-I-Wanna-Be-In ~ The Journey to Paper's End

I loved this presentation! From the start, it was very entertaining. The presenter, Captain IO, was clad in pirate costume and brought on the full effect with an authentic pirate accent! Aargh!
The focus of this workshop was on the paperless classroom and use of mobile devices. He poses the idea that a trained "tech pirate" can find most anything:

Pull media
Pick out images
Snag shared fair-use resources
Collaborate with others
Acquire inspiration and creativity

If going paperless, Cap'n IO mentions that you have to get yer stuff from somewhere! Creating a site to put things out on the web was necessary. His choice was dreamweaver, weebly, and wix. Weebly and Wix provided a user friendly drag and drop interface for teachers who didn't feel savvy enough for dreamweaver.

He says you also need a means of assessment, content absorption, and expression. In other words, testin', learnin', and creatin'! The key is to go around the HMS Admin. that thar was a boat to avoid! Rough waters ahead he says (ya feelin' how cheeky this presentation was?).

His setup meant that he totally threw out all paper. And aside from his website, he had a teacher workstation, student owned devices, a projector, and a few other peripherals.

Keeping the attention of the kids was a problem, but he says it can be easy. What with all the activities, parent meetings, sports events,and tutoring sessions ( sound familiar), he had to keep their attention. But he needed machines. He had enough machines (rebuilt, borrowed, hijacked) to create a 2:1 ratio. Even though it wasn't 1:1 it wasn't bad. He even had a kid that brought in a PS3 because it had wifi and could get on the net. Anything to get them wired. And the techs didn't quite love it.
They complained about the hodge-podge of machines and the nightmare created by the mix. But no matter how old it was, once he reached the satisfaction of making it work, the key was it worked.

Turning in work came down to emailing assignments. Gmail was what he used. He had now entered Googledom. He had one gmail address, one site, per class.

For grading and assessment, he used Quia.com. He never had to grade homework, but he could track mastery and understanding of content.

"Thar still be big problems"

The desire would be to have a 1:1 environment, but sometimes that doesn't happen. And kids get lost and sucked in by the "Fracken" (Facebook) or other distractions. And when not all kids are working on the same device and same format, you get assignments turned in in so many formats (.doc, PDF, works, ppt, etc...) that it can be frustrating. Also, where do they take notes? How do you know the work is authentic? So rather than have them do all the work outside, it was done in class, by hand on paper; their own, not the schools. But by flipping it in this way, their understanding transformed.

But this wasn't paperless! He still depended on the kids to buy theme books for writing. Argh! There be no papers end!

"But thar be a place!"

A place called Tabletonia! They headed in to Tabletonia and found Everything he had created could be ported through one device with a battery that would last all day. But flash became a problem, as when he created his videos with Camtasia, they couldn't be viewed on iPads. But he found if when creating links, he linked to the video instead of the site, they indeed could be viewed on iPads!

As well, the iPad allowed students/teachers to record, edit, use special effects, create, and export items on one device. And rather than spend tons of dollars on graphing calculators, he used the $0.99 calculator on the app store.

Apps provided a way so that notes could be handwritten, PDF could be converted to word and back, comments could be written, and it was paperless! Try Notability. Notes can be created by hand and emailed from within the app. And in PDF format. Everything could be converted and handed in via the PDF format. You can also record. Great value.

If you want more about this great speaker go to http://templeeduneering.com/ISTE/x.html
Print out a poster of his material for your classroom.

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