IPad summer trainings for teachers are in the third week and we've had a consistent level of interest. I've been using the website WizIQ to host the online classroom since face to face meetings aren't always possible due to travel and prior commitments.
I began the trainings by introducing various tips and tricks that would aid in navigating and personalizing the iPad. We spent some time becoming familiar with the settings, making changes to many of these areas so the iPads were working for us instead of relying on the Apple default settings. Editing mail settings is an area I'd suggest spending some time so that you have access to all of your folders,trash, and sent mail.
The second class was titled "It's Not Just About the Apps - It's all about quality, flexible, individualized learning and access to content. We explored some great websites like Finding Dulcinia, NASA, Discovery Learning, The Kahn Academy, iTunesU, Wolfram-Alpha, Diigo, Flickr, and eBook collections from iBooks, Stanza, etc... Each attendant checked out a website and then used an app called Sonic Pics to relay the content of the website. They shared their movie via email with members of the class. Sonic Pics is a great app to construct a presentation using image, video, and voice.
The third class was focused on developing skills to move toward iPad fluency. I got this idea from having recently read Langwitches, a terrific blog about learning by Silvia Rosenthal Tolisano. In her blog post she writes about learning a foreign language and the need for a learner to first develop skills that lead to being literate. Continuing in study a learner gains competency and becomes fluent in that particular language. Using the iPad is somewhat similar.
With this in mind we spent some time developing bookmarking skills in Safari and understanding the toolbar capabilities in Safari. Another developing skill is the ability to write, type, cut, copy and paste on the iPad. We practiced these skills in the context of Safari, email, and Notes. Unfortunately, just about this time the WizIQ site went down and the class came to an abrupt end. Such is life with free technology.
The next few weeks will focus on moving toward fluency. Feedback has been positive including requests for activities similar to the Sonic Pics activity used in week 2. Teachers have access to a Facebook group, online recordings and a slew of resources on our iPads Wikipage.
Since I'm typing this post using the Blogsy app I'll need to develop a few skills relating to adding hyperlinks. You see, I'm still working toward developing fluency as well.