Several weeks ago, I received an invitation to attend an Appy Hour from Terri Redpath of Deakin University Warrnambool. As it was after school and at 4:30pm, I was able to accept the invitation.
Approximately 60 educationalists were in attendance, all with a keen interest in getting the best use of iPads in the classroom.Simon Perry, the Principal, briefly spoke about the use of iPads at Woolsthorpe Primary School. An introductory video of one of his five year old students sharing his learning on an iPad was shown. This kickstarted the proceedings.
The organisers had placed posters, labelled with ‘interest group headings’ around the room, encouraging people to gather in interest groups and share their experiences, knowledge and questions. These included: secondary educators, early years educators, special needs, middle years etc. The room was abuzz with chatter, sharing, demonstrating amongst the groups. Conversations centred around the how and why for learning, rather than skill and drill apps.
This type of unconference sharing is great. People have a choice, are able to ask the questions they want to pose and explore the apps they are interested in.
I was particularly interested in learning more about the edublogs app, apps for use with the early years, various options for sharing outcomes and augmented reality apps. Aurasma for augmented reality was demonstrated in a number of the groups and examples of its use in the classroom were also given. I took notes using the evernote app and now just need time to explore and play!
It is hoped that similar sessions will be offered periodically over the year, so that the effective use of iPads escalates in our area. The ability to further develop a professional network was another great take away. Congratulations to the organisers.