Once you get familiar with all the tools at your disposal it is now time to unleash them on the students!
There are of course a lot more resources I use in the classroom, each dependent on what I want out of it (like the popplets and padlets you have used today, interactive Keynotes, thinking routines and much more) and a lot I just make up on the fly!
I have found that students will take up this challenge and run with it. Their knowledge and ease of adapting to what ever you throw at them is great, BUT, using these tools also comes with some risk. With any form of social or online media these are the tools that your students use everyday, probably not in this regard, but they expect a certain level of service. For example if you setup a blog with resources for students to use when at home and expect them to comment, then they would expect a reply, ASAP! You need to be ready and willing to do this. As I have said before the point of using this technology is not only for the benefit of students but also for you and once you have a system in place you will see the benefits, both in saving you time and student engagement. There is a bit of a learning curve, and you need to be a few steps ahead of the students every time but soon you can make this a part of your daily routine and incorporate it into how you plan, structure and run your classes.
For example whenever I begin to plan a new lesson I try to think about all the possibilities to incorporate the things we have looked at today.
I will create all my lessons in iBooks Author because I know I can then easily send these to students, make them accessible online for those absent, and give them to other teachers to run without needed extra resources.
I record ‘how-to’ videos on the blog beforehand for lessons I know would take some explaining to do in class so this saves me time and I don’t have to repeat myself (if students were away they know to follow the blog and watch these videos at home)
Every time I step into a class I record everything. It only takes a second to start recoding the lesson on my laptop or iPad. I may never use it but just having it there is the key. Great lesson? Had some great responses from the students? — Put them on the blog. Students away? — Upload the lesson to the blog. All this becomes part of my day.
I think the biggest advantage of all of this is freedom, for both students and the teacher. When I know students have all the resources at their fingertips I am confident in letting them go, work things out for themselves, and most importantly, work in a style that best suits them.
I brought up an example earlier about a project on reading Weather Maps. This was a class that I knew students understood (from the comments on the blog) had all the resources they needed (I created an interactive iBook for the class) and the knowledge to create the final product (I put up a video of how to use iMovie for the iPad on the blog they watched a few nights before [confirmed by looking at the analytics] — this was a video I created for another class but I knew I had it and it would work perfectly in this situation saving me time).
Armed with all of this I just let them go.
Below are some of the results. Through the use of the blog, YouTube and the iBook students had all the resource and knowledge at the start of the lesson. These final videos were completed in just one lesson.
Note: You can download this entire lesson as an iTunes U course here:
https://itunesu.itunes.apple.com/audit/CODFYM25X4 (open on your iPad)