"People who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do." - Steve Jobs
This years Apple Distinguished Educators Global Institute brings together attendees from across 38 countries who share a common belief - that they can change the world. Hearing the stories of what educators are doing in their classrooms, watching the passion that people have for the work they do and engaging in conversations with some of the most inspirational people I know, makes this an event that leaves me with an indescribable sense of energy.
It's the fuel we all need for when we return to our respective locations and face the day to day challenges and opportunities of what it means to lead change in the field of education.
There are so many wonderful ideas and resources shared, and to see a complete overview of what is happening follow the event hashtag on Twitter - #ADE2016.
Here are my top five recommendations for you to review as you plan for back to school.
1. Swift - Coding and App Development
"Everyone Should have an opportunity to change the world." -Apple
This is the driving vision behind the new coding and app development curriculum recently launched by Apple, a story beautiful told in this video. There are two parts to this new initiative - Swift Playgrounds and App Development. From elementary to higher ed there is something for everyone. This is a great resource for anyone looking to integrate coding and app development into their courses, and what I really appreciated were the teacher guides that accompany the curriculum.
The Apple website describes it as:
"Swift Playgrounds is a revolutionary new app for iPad that makes learning Swift interactive and fun. Solve puzzles to master the basics using Swift — a powerful programming language created by Apple and used by the pros to build many of today’s most popular apps. Then take on a series of challenges and step up to more advanced creations. Swift Playgrounds requires no coding knowledge, so it’s perfect for students just starting out. It also provides a unique way for seasoned developers to quickly bring ideas to life. And because it’s built to take full advantage of iPad, it’s a first-of-its-kind learning experience."
Some highlights include 45 hours of lessons, enhanced and interactive activities, review and reflection activities and grading rubrics.
This is set to release this fall but for now, click here to download a preview of the Swift Playgrounds Course iBook
Click here to download the Teacher Guide iBook
App Development with Swift
In an interview Guy Kawasaki once said that one of his regrets was not learning how to code, not because he wanted to become a programmer but because understanding the language would have given him a unique perspective in the work he does.
For students middle school and up the app development course helps students create their own apps. If you have an idea for an app, our “App Development with Swift” guide will help you build it from start to finish.
Click here to download the App Development iTunes U Course.
Click here to download the App Development Course iBook.
Click here to download the App Development Teacher Guide Preview.
2. Back to School Lesson Ideas from Apple Distinguished Educators
Everyone is always searching for iPad classroom lesson ideas. As you begin thinking exploring ideas for your classroom be sure to check out the series from Apple Distinguished Educators.
- Lessons on a variety of topics
- Lessons for the Elementary Classroom
- Lessons for Middle School
- Lessons for High School
3. Apple Classroom App and Apple School Manager
If you have shared iPads and/or you would like a more robust way of managing the iPads in your classroom then this is definitely something for you to check out.
Apple Classroom App
Apple describes this as,
"Classroom is a powerful new iPad app that helps teachers guide learning, share work, and manage student devices. Teachers can launch a specific app, website, or textbook page on any device in the class, or share student work on a TV, monitor, or projector using Apple TV. They can even reset a student’s password, see which apps students are working in, and assign a specific shared iPad for the class period. The Classroom app is easy to set up on a teacher’s iPad with the help of MDM."
Shared iPad is perhaps the most exciting of all from this update, Apple describes this as:
"Shared iPad is a new iOS 9 feature for schools that share devices and still want to provide personalized experiences. Before class begins, teachers can assign any student any shared iPad. Students know which devices to use because their pictures are on the Lock screens. Students can access their personal content using a password or easy-to-remember four-digit PIN. And because data is locally stored on the devices, after they log in, their homework, apps, and assignments are exactly as they left them. So teachers and technology managers won’t lose time backing up or wiping data between classes."
Click here watch the Classroom App Guided Tour.
Click here to download the Classroom app.
4. iOS Starter Guides
Apple released six starter guides to help users become more familiar with their products. There is a starter guide for the iPad, Keynote, iMovie, Garageband, Numbers and Pages. Whether you are a beginner or an advanced user, there is something in the book for everyone. Informative and interactive, the Apple apps guides include step-by-step instructions to build a sample project and master basic and intermediate skills in each app.
Click here to view the starter guides.
5. Extreme Presentation Makeover
One of my favorite workshops from the day was called Extreme Presentation Makeover. This hands-on and incredibly informative workshop centered on discussions about how to create compelling presentations, for workshops and for the classroom. Here are the top five lessons shared:
- Be concise
- Balance passive learning with active learning
- Start with meaning
- Use emotions to connect with your audience
- Use visuals
The workshop ended with a quote by Leonardo Da Vinci,
"Knowing is not enough, we must apply. Being willing is not enough, we must do."
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