Beyond Apps: iPad Workflow to Transform Learning

Workflow is the process of your learning environment. When working with iPads there are several challenges and complexities. Here are a few of the notes and resources from my EdTechSa 2013 session. The three main elements of workflow could be considered:

    • Resourcing
    • Collecting
    • Communicating

Resourcing includes gathering all the links, books, documents, and instructions students need to undertake a given learning engagement. These are generated by both teachers and students and need to be shared with others. Traditionally these have been stored on school servers in shared areas like “Shared Files”, “School Common” or “Common Resources” and also on school learning management systems.

Collecting involves the “handup” process of collecting the various artefacts created by students. In paper this is the teachers’ “in- tray”. Electronically students typically put their assignments in an electronic type of  “in-tray” for teachers to review.

Communicating: I used communication rather than “Review” as ideally there is dialogue that isn’t just one way. Here students reflect on their learning and teachers provide annotations, comments, feedback and summative assessments are all forms of communication.

The complexities that come into play using iPads include imitations of personalising shared use iPads (an oxymoron?)  and the challenges of designing transformational learning engagements.

Personalised Learning

Barbara Bray’s Personalized Learning site.

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Barbara Bray On Personalised Learning

Transformational Learning is about using technology in ways not possible without it. Its about extending or amplifying the pedagogy for purpose.

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Traditional Classroom workflows are paper based. Computers required us to look differently at the processes in our learning environment. Even these “electronic” models don’t fit the way we work with iPads. Trying to force a traditional model doesn’t make sense. Would you “hand up” your iPad for the teacher to make comments on it?   iPads require us to rethink workflows  to personalise and transform learning using iPads to work with new publishable formats and architecture.

Some possible workflow solutions:

SAMR Resources

As always, I look forward to hearing about the learning journeys of other educators grappling with these same challenges.

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Building Learning Communities

Connecting to LearnBuilding Communities

Here are the resources I’ll be sharing in the Building Learning Communities talk for CEGSA 2013.  Please feel free to comment about your own experiences building your Professional Learning Network, Learning Communities in your educational context, creating a Connected Culture in your learning environment and tapping into or initiating purposeful Communities of Practice.

We need each other! People connect with like-minded professionals in purposeful ways. With modern technology, there are more ways than ever to connect in the “in-between” times of face to face gatherings. New opportunities to connect with people around the globe broaden our networks for our own learning, our students and for specific purposes and causes.

My Version of Alvin Toffler’s famous quote

“The literate of the 21st century will be able to learn, unlearn, relearn and co-learn.” C. Haynes

A Must Watch Video

Adam Bellow, ISTE Young Educator of the Year and Keynote Speaker,  EduTecher,  EduClipper  @adambellow

Ways to Connect 

Worth Reading

Essential for ICT School Leaders

Parent Community Examples

Email Lists and Newsletters

Professional Learning – Face to Face

    • ISTE: become a member and join your PLN at ISTE in Atlanta, GA June 2014.
    • EduTech: Exciting new Australian conference. Over 3000 delegates + a new library conference.
    • ACEC2014: National conference in Adelaide October 2014.

Other Tips:

Twitter. Follow conference keynotes and other leaders. See who they follow and connect with them. See the results in Storify of our Mini Twitter Chat conducted during the session.

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ShowBie – The iPad Workflow Solution?

When our Year 1 and 2 teachers embarked on our 1:1 Mobile Learning program last term, they immediately saw the challenges of workflow. While embracing the multimodal capabilities of the iPad, we quickly realised the obstacles with our traditional thinking about the processes of handing up and giving feedback on new media including eBooks, video and the multitude of creations possible on the iPad.

We then asked:

    • Do teachers need to review every video during classtime?
    • What about large file sizes and email?
    • How can we give timely feedback?
    • How can we keep up with all that students are doing?
    • What needs to have peer feedback or be shared with the class via AirPlay?

Collecting, organising and giving feedback on digital media produced by students is a challenge! Until now.

Enter Showbie

Showbie is a workflow app and cloud solution to assign, collect and review “assignments”. It’s clever use of the “Open In” feature allows students to “hand-up” just about anything they create on an iPad using the Showbie app.  What’s more, its simple interface makes this a workable solution even for our 6 and 7 year olds.  From a teacher’s perspective, they can assign tasks, share resources for the tasks and easily see who has handed up their work and comment on it using annotations, audio notes or text comments.

The support team are very responsive to support requests and have made it easy to answer your own questions including useful tutorials on how to use ShowBie with dozens of apps including my favourites: iMovie, Explain Everything, BookCreator, Comic Life and anything in the Camera Roll.

Showbie address the workspace part of an ePortfolio – but does not currently serve as a “showcase” environment or collaborative space.

What’s next?

From a technical perspective, I’d like to see some risk reduction (back-up, versioning, …). I’d also love to see a way for students to communicate not just with their teacher, but with one another.  And.. I’d like to interface (easily) with a blogging platform like EduBlogs so students can publish their ideas and finished products to both gain feedback from broader audiences and maintain a collection of artfefacts of their learning journey beyond a single classroom environment.

Overall, Showbie shows much promise! I’ve just subscribed to a Pro version for our school  and our Year 2 teachers are excited about the potential.

I look forward to hearing your thoughts on iPad Workflow and Showbie in particular. Why not download the free version and see for yourself?

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