Awake your Appthusiasm for Learning
I am an Instructional Technology Specialist at NEISD that serves 3 Title 1 campuses. We are very fortunate to have an abundance of technology at our disposal to service the students.
With a background in English & Math and a love for all things Apple, I naturally gravitate to the iPad. We have 60 currently on campus with 90+ on the way so I have been working very diligently over the past few months creating lessons for them (as well as training teachers ahead of time) to reduce the turnaround time between when they arrive and when they are actually used for instruction in the classroom.
While these lessons were inspired by apps, I did not want to make the lesson exclusive to the app so I have given suggestions/extensions and projects that can be accomplished with Web 2.0 tools. I have also provided interactive Web 2.0 tools that can serve as an alternative to the app if teachers would still like to use the lesson (and do not have access to an iPad).
Do you have an App-titude for Lesson Development?
After writing a series of iPad lessons, I wanted to share my process in creating the lessons:
- Theme/Topic/Content Focus: While I try to choose a theme or topic (graphic novels, government, poetry) or locate an inspiring app to build my lesson around to make the lesson general enough that it can be used/adapted by various grade levels, teachers may want to ask themselves some more specific questions as they begin the planning process:
- What TEK(S) do you plan to cover, focus on, support?
- What is the purpose of the lesson (pre-activity, review, formative/summative assessment)?
- How long do I have for the activity?
- What background information should the students have prior to the lesson?
- How will I differentiate or provide scaffolding to meet the needs of all learners?
- How will the lesson be delivered (individual, pairs, small groups, stations, whole class)
- Should activities within the lesson be completed in a certain order?
- How will the activities be assessed (questions, lab, oral discussion, project/product, blog/online post)?
- Supporting Apps & Resources: Find more apps like it or to support it (also consider what materials & resources you already have: websites, PDF’s, movies, podcasts, etc…). If you do not have supporting content already created, consider creating an ePub or interactive PDF.
- Similar Lessons: Find similar topic/theme lessons online
- Apps Mirror Interactive Sites: Find similar sites (virtual/interactive/Web 2.0) as apps (for teachers who do not have an iPad to use the same lesson)
- Projects/Assessment: Compile project ideas/suggestions/products that can be created using Web 2.0 tools, interactive sites, or peripherals (assessment and student products/projects)
- Resources & Extensions: Gather links to resources used, lessons, extension ideas, etc…
This whole process from start to finish typically takes me 10-15 hours a lesson.
Template for building these lessons: Word_Template (Lesson Outline_Word). Microsoft also offers thousands of templates for Publisher & Word that can be modified to be used as a lesson template or task card. In Pages, choose a newsletter from the template chooser or a Poster (for a task card).
I have also included sample iPad lessons that I have “cooked up” this year in the next post!
Apptivities.org is also a great site for iDevice Lessons and a great way to get inspired. Krueger’s KSAT program also has a site with a few example lessons that may give you some direction. Escondido’s iRead site is also a great place to start. This is a fantastic site to understand how to use digital audio tools to improve the reading process.
A wonderful TCEA Workshop left us on this note and so will I, “It’s Not About the Tech. It’s About the Teach.” Be mindful of this when building your iDevice lessons.
For those of you who may want an agenda for this course, I have gone the nontraditional route and used iBrainstorm to generate a plan!
©2011. Lisa Johnson. All rights reserved. Permission to reproduce for classroom use granted.