TEC SIG 2008
I had the good fortune of attending this year’s TEC SIG conference in Austin and was not disappointed. Apple was the primary sponsor and presenter (along with Eduphoria and Discovery Education) and, as per usual with Apple, they continue to motivate and innovate in the field of education. Several presentations were given in the various meeting rooms regarding Apple’s MacBook Air and a Mac Server integration discussion. I attended the course on Apple’s Academy and the use of iPods in the classroom. Here are the highlights of the discussions I attended:
Apple Educational Trends –
Dr. Tom Burnett gave a riveting and rather quick example of the changes in education today. Primarily, the use of “Hyper Mobile” devices (i.e. cell phones, PDAs, iPhones, etc) vs. the traditional laptop. In one study, he claimed that while over 80% of Penn State University students owned a laptop (a number I actually thought was low), only 20% took them to class. This study was done in 2006, but it basically stated that students were either being forced not to take laptops to a lecture hall (by the overprotective and controlling professors) or that they were getting their notes in other fashions, as in Hyper mobile devices. A compelling argument for the future of education for sure.
iPods in Education
As per the earlier discussion re:Hyper mobile devices, this one focused primarily on iPods (nanos, shuffles, iTouch) and their uses in education. Ysleta ISD in El Paso gave an iTouch to every administrator to use during observations and walk-throughs. The responses have been overwhelmingly positive, except for the fact that they also want to take these home and turn them into their own personal mp3 and movie playing devices.
They are able to take notes and sync remotely since these devices pick up Wi-Fi signals. Teachers can then access the notes through Eduphoria for immediate feedback. Short, simple, and no need to copy multiple notes for someone’s file.
Apple Certification Training -
Much like Microsoft’s Intel Training, Apple also offers training with primary focus being on Final Cut Pro, their high end version of iMovie. Teachers or districts pay to attend classes in person or self-paced virtual to complete the one-year course (*approx). Certification includes licensing to Final Cut Pro and other possible hardware devices. The idea is a simple one, kids are learning through digital video more now than ever (and idea I agree with completely). As a result, we need to start teaching differently to encourage this kind of technique in the day-to-day classroom. It allows for instant expression and collaboration (thanks to Youtube and other video sharing sites). Here’s a riveting example by “Funtwo” a student that’s gained fame for his version of Vivaldi’s Canon on guitar. Check out how many hits his video has gotten and you’ll see that we’ve entered a global realm of collabation.
Then, look at all the people from various cultures and backgrounds that have turned in video responses to his video, and you’ll see the power this media has to reach a multitude of audiences. Enjoy!