December 14, 2012

Weekly Update – new articles from Justin & Greg
This week, we have a slightly different approach to our update. If you haven't noticed, we have been working on the EdTechTeacher iPad As... page, and over the coming weeks, you will find updated app descriptions, more suggestions, as well as additional student objectives. As a result of this process, we've learned some new things....

Breaking Research: Most Apps Bad - from Justin on EdTechResearcher

Justin writes....
My EdTechTeacher colleagues Beth, Greg, and Tom have been pouring over educational apps. Lots and lots of apps. As practitioners, their instinct is that the vast majority of educational apps are terrible. Shovel-ware. Flashcards. Garbage. Tens of thousands of them. So, we've developed a framework for thinking about teaching with tablets that focuses on using a handful of curation and media creation apps: one for annotation, one for curating, one for web browsing, one for audio creation, one for video creation, one for screencasting, and so forth. We have some preferences, but it actually probably doesn't matter much which apps you choose, as long as you focus on how the tablet empowers students as researchers, curators, and media-makers.....
According to Justin, our EdTechTeacher framework for approaching app selection, as well as tablet integration, meshes will with the new findings from a new report from the Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop and the New America Foundation on Pioneering Digital Literacy in the Wild West.
... In short, their systematic evaluation of the app marketplace coheres with my colleague's scan: most apps out there are targeting basic skills and basic forms of learning. Of course, early-literacy and primary and secondary instruction are all different, and this study examined inputs rather than learning outcomes, but I'm certainly seeing a very strong pattern. The paucity of rich learning apps suggests that efforts like Common Sense Media's Learning Ratings are all the more important to help guide parents towards higher quality learning experiences. Even more so, we need to be sure that educators and parents don't view the iPad as a repository of apps, but rather as a platform for the thoughtful consumption, curation, and creation of high quality media.
You can read the rest of Justin's article at EdTechResearcher.

iPad X Google Drive X Student Portfolios - from Greg on The History 2.0 Classroom

Initially, leveraging the collaborative and communicative power of Google Docs from an iPad seemed impossible. However, in the past few months, updates to the Drive app has made this relationship a viable option. Greg explains...
With recent upgrades to the Google Drive app on the iPad, Google Drive is now a viable solution for student portfolios that can be created in their entirety on an iPad and everything that is created by a student can be uploaded directly to their Google Drive account to a "Portfolio" folder that can then be shared with any one of their teachers. The Google Drive app now allows for creation of:
  • Documents
  • Spreadsheets
  • Folders
You can now also upload from the camera roll:
  • Images
  • Videos
Many PDF annotation apps also now allow direct upload to Google Drive, I suggest using Notability.
To further explain this process, Greg created this Google Presentation as well as this video tutorial.