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June 13, 2012

Preparing for a Deluge of iPads – from Justin on EdTechResearcher
EdTechResearcherTomorrow marks the start of our first iPad workshop for this summer. At present, we will be running 5 iPad-based workshops over the next few weeks in both Atlanta as well as Cambridge. From the iPad Classroom to Creating Digital Content to Leveraging iPads to Create Differentiated Learning Environments, we have sold out almost every session. Last week, we also announced the launch of our November iPad Summit. In light of all of this, Justin wrote a great post on EdTechResearch both about the influx of iPads in schools as well as our efforts.
It also squares with my experience as the co-founder of EdTechTeacher, a professional learning firm. We've been deluged in the last 18 months with requests from schools for iPad professional development experiences. Every week, new schools get in touch with us explaining that they are starting an iPad pilot and they need some help. We are very concerned that the supply of high quality professional development available to teachers is outstripping what we see as rapidly growing demand. There is a real risk here that schools will buy new tablet technology faster than the education community can really figure out how to make the most of it. We've launched a few different strategies to try to support teachers who are starting to use tablets in the classroom. My colleagues Beth Holland and Greg Kulowiec are doing some great action research with teachers around using iPads in the classroom. They are documenting their research on a Diigo page, and their respective blogs (linked on their names) are full of articles about their design experiments. We ran a series of free Webinars this past spring (herehere ,here, and here). We're running several summer workshops for teachers (all sold out), and we've designed a year long program for working with cohorts of iPad teachers from schools and districts. Most importantly, we're putting together a national conference of iPad-using educators called Leading Change in Changing Times: EdTechTeacher iPad Summit USA, which will be at Harvard this coming November. Innovation guru Tony Wagner and MIT professor Eric Klopfer are among those who will be helping us set the frame for our discussions, but we've also just opened a call for presentations to invite iPad-using educators to come and share their ideas, their practices, their projects, their successes, and their obstacles. We hope to create a space where innovative tablet-using teachers can come together, take a deep dive into pedagogy, and ensure that all of this investment in tablets leads to powerful learning opportunities for students. If you are doing awesome work with iPads in your school or classroom, please consider submitting a proposal and sharing your work in November!