Sunday, April 1, 2012

iPad Academy Background

So to catch up, a few weeks ago our superintendent, Dr. Deborah Blow, announced an iPad Academy. Our district! Cambrian Union in San Jose, CA, has implemented a hybrid Professional development(PD) model where teachers who are interested in an area of study can apply to an 'academy' where they will learn a lot and get the tools to use what they learn.

Here is a description of the academy:

Purpose: To provide Cambrian teachers with a collaborative learning opportunity to develop their use of technology as a powerful teaching and learning tool for the integration of 21st century skills.

Requirements of participants

•Completed application for the iPad Action Research Academy
•Commitment to integration of technology into instruction
•Participation in the 21st Century Learning iPad Academy Kick-Off Event – Monday, March 26 from 3:30 to 7:30
•On Time, required participation in monthly sessions (2 hour sessions, 3:30 pm to 5:30 pm) on Monday, April 23 and Monday May 21. Additionally there will be monthly meetings next school year, dates TBD.
•Maintenance of a digital journal/portfolio
•Attendance at end of year Colloquium in Spring of 2013

Components of Professional Development/Areas of Study
•Through action research, investigate the use of iPads to individualize learning forall students
•Components of instruction necessary for our 21st Century Students
•Building upon the integration of technology into standards based instruction that leads to measurable student achievement gains
•Challenge-Based Learning
•Increasing student creativity and innovation
•How to increase student collaboration and problem-solving skills
•Fostering the use of engaging learning environments

Each participant in the academy will receive:
•A class set of iPads
•An iPad for teacher use
•An iPad Cart for storage and charging
•An Apple TV, which will allow you to project from your iPad to the White Board
•Opportunity for further incentives in technology if participating in 21stCentury Learning Academy in future years.

Here is my application.

As soon as the iPad came out, I knew I wanted them for my classroom. They bring a level of student motivation, engagement and learning possibilities that was unprecedented before. I have used my owniPad as a productivity tool and have let students use it to play educational games and to make teaching videos (that is, students teaching other how to do something – like a mini-khan academy). I have also had BYOT days where I had 2:1 “iThings” (touches and pads) for math and literacy centers. I am interested in the iPad Action Research Academy as a way for me to learn new ways to harness this tool but also as a way to find out what works and what doesn’t. Some teachers are apprehensive or unaware of the benefits of using technology in the classroom. I’d like to be able to share tools, procedures and apps that will help allay some fears of implementation in their own classrooms. I see the role of teachers in the iPad Academy as being tech evangelists. Learning with an iPad provides additional opportunities for differentiation and compacting as well as an opportunity to present information to students in a variety of modalities. They provide access to information and research that is too expensive to do with books and hard to access with only seven old PCs or even the C.O.W., including access to regularly updated core content, without waiting for the next textbook adoption. With iPads, students can create their own learning opportunities and teach each other. I would love the opportunity to bring this technology, and these opportunities, to my students.

Ideally, Ms. Monger and I will both be accepted into the academy. S. and I both are impressed with the apps we have used in the classroom individually and would love to collaboratively work on implementing some projects within our co-teaching structure.

I believe I am a good candidate for the iPad Action Research Academy because I am an open minded, tech-savvy, and extremely enthusiastic. I have taught other teachers how to use technology on my own time, including a summer website building workshop. Once I learn how to use something, I want to share it with anyone. I am also committed and organized which will help as we explore and establish ways to manage iPads in the classroom going forward. It is an exciting opportunity to be involved in the early stages of this project with the district and even though I am a temp, I hope you will seriously consider my application.

1 comment:

  1. Sandy,
    I love the term "technology evangelists". Yep! That is what we are! I have been posting a few comments to my regular teaching blog, but now I am thinking maybe I should create a special blog/journal/??? just about my iPad journey with the academy. Not sure.
    P.S. I look forward to learning from and with you!