Saturday, August 1, 2009

11.5 More Things: Thing 6-iTouch Apps

I had fun with this 'thing.' I personally do not own an iPhone or an iTouch (too attached to my BlackBerry), but I recently helped my parents purchase one.
I borrowed their phone and found a couple of apps I felt appropriate...namely Google Earth. It was amazing to search with the phone as opposed to my computer. I also accessed a couple of my class wikis to see what the interface would look like...awesome! It took me a couple minutes to get the hang of how to use a smaller space to edit; however, I found it invigorating to complete edits in this different interface.

I scanned so many apps...I can see a number of uses for the iTouch in our Resource Center. I'm a computer geek in a computer lab, though, so I wanted to see what librarians and others thought about the possibilities. I surfed through the 'Beachcombers' and 'Certifed Divers' (those participating in this online PD) and found one post particularly interesting. I believe this blogger is a Spring Branch librarian...anyway I love the ideas presented there and agree with them...

What would be ideal; however, would be to get an iTouch in the hands of all students. They would have instant access to any/all school information including news/announcements, athletic schedules, testing information...they could download podcasts/vidcasts of lessons, share student generated work...the list goes on...wonder if we could write a grant for something like that? Things that make you go hhhmmmm....

I'm a wikipedia junkie and have been for a long time now. I'm still amazed at the number of core teachers that will not allow students to use Wikipedia as a source in research. But, then again, I'm amazed at the number of core teachers that discount Career and Technology Education "only vocational," "not rigorous," and "only for students not going to college." How misinformed is that?...but, that's another post entirely.

Back to Wikis...
I learned about wikis last summer while completing the "23 Things" online PD. I decided to try and incorporate wikis into my classes. The application of wikis worked very well in my Sports Marketing Class and my Business Education Independent Study (BEIS) classes. In addition, my BEIS class participated in the 2008 Flat Classroom Project, which utilizes wikis so that students across the globe can communicate and collaborate to complete a comprehensive project.
Wikis are an amazing way for students to collaborate. I found that many of my student teams worked on assignments (diligently) outside of class. It was 'homework,' but the students didn't see it that way. They were innovating, creating, and collaborating...these are some of the characteristics that that define the NetGeneration.
We have 21st century learners in our classes that demand a 21st century approach to education...wikis (and wikipedia) are a part of that approach.

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