iBooks Author Hackathon…Prelude thoughts.

This was the event I was waiting for at #Macul13. Finally a chance for Steve Dickie (@falconphysics) and I (@anthonydilaura) to tell a wider audience about a large scale cooperative project that will bring educators together to create high quality, interactive content using iBooks Author.

This hour long presentation was an absolute high for me. This is where my passion lies: collaborating with highly motivated, creative educators to create and share digital content that will undoubtedly innovate the way iPad classrooms will function.

Working with Steve and co-presenting this project with him felt like we had been working with one another for years even though it was only our second time of being in the same room. Steve is an incredibly brilliant science teacher that approaches teaching and learning from a very artistic angle. What he brings to this project and to those hacking science content is invaluable.

About the Project

Here is a brief overview of the project as we described it to our audience. For further information see my article that was published at Edudemic.com on March 28th, 2013 and check out the projects website here.

What: Multiple two-day events that bring teachers together to learn how to author content using iBooks Author. Collaborate in content area or grade level teams to divide up and conquer common core aligned granular size learning modules that are shared among teachers.

Who: Motivated and creative teachers working in an iPad learning environment as they will most directly benefit from these resources.

Why: There are literally 100’s of reasons perhaps 1000’s if you consider the amount of money a district can save and redistribute to support student learning by having teachers create and use these “digital textbooks.” But first and foremost is the reason of student learning. What I have experienced and what research backs is that when a curriculum is more personalized and tailored to differentiate for student needs they are more likely to succeed and own the learning. Content delivered in this manner allows the teacher to re-purpose their face to face time. It allows class time to be spent on a deeper exploration and transfer of content.

 

Why this is so exciting?

It’s not that this technology is so amazing and new that gets me giddy. Rather,  it is the idea of accomplishing this task together, collaborating and sharing with a group of like minded teachers. Let’s face it that doesn’t always happen in our building, department, grade level groups.

 I don’t look at this technology as something so innovative that it will blow our doors off. However, I do believe the results of this project are something that could allow teachers to innovate their classroom practices in a way that blows the doors off their student’s learning. That, to me, is very exciting.

I want to learn. I want to share what I know. Doesn’t everyone want professional development to be like this? Learn from others and share what you know put them together to advance education. However, how often do we sit and humbly (or selfishly) remain quiet in department meetings? Or how often do we as teachers not have the buy in for what our PD is about?

This event will be teacher driven and grassroots. It’s not an order coming down from the administrators (at least not yet- ours is thinking about telling departments “no more textbooks”). It will call upon the creativity of many, it will deepen the creativity of many, and it has the potential to deepen the creativity of students.

 

 

 

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