5 Reasons to do PD in iTunes U

itunes u post

This past year I was fortunate enough to become an Apple Distinguished Educator Class of 2013.  Prior to attending the summer ADE institute in Austin, Texas I had created a Chemistry course in iTunes.  After attending the Advanced iTunes U Workshop at the institute I became a true believer.  This year I have created Chemistry, Physics, and Forensics courses in iTunes U.  Just last week I created a gifted and talented iTunes U course for a middle school math program that I work with.  However, my favorite project to date has been the creation of a PD course that I am teaching my colleagues: Infusion of the iPads into Curriculum and Instruction.  Here are five reasons why it is so awesome.

1-    Flipping the Classroom- I often have teachers tell me that they love my PD but have trouble retaining the information when they don’t have me right in front of them.  In my iTunes U course I made several video tutorials ranging from how to make a quiz in Socrative Beta/2.0 to how to Make a Google Form Link to a QR Code or how to make a trigger image in LAYAR.  When the teachers are stuck they can just go back to my tutorials.  This really extends and expands the learning…

2-     Images Recycle It:  in preparation for the course I made several QR codes, QR visuals, and LAYAR trigger images that linked to various Today’s Meets, Google Response Forms, or other collaborative measures.  These images were no longer things were just printed out and hung up on the wall but now living breathing learning artifacts that could be reused in these teachers’ classrooms.  An example of this would be a QR visual Socrative trigger that links to the Socrative Beta 2.0 site.

3-    Workflow-  iTunes U allows you to integrate apps into your course.  So I had several free apps that I wanted the teachers to download.  Instead of wasting time having them search for the apps to buy (believe me this can waste more time than you could imagine) they could simply download the apps by clicking on them in the course.

4-    APP-smashing- I love any opportunity I get to APP-smash and this course gave me plenty of chances to do that while I was making the tutorials.  I would create many screen recordings in Quicktime, upload them to Dropbox, and then place the screen recordings into Explain Everything where I would record the audio.  Not a pretty APP-smash but a functional one.

5-    Opportunity to introduce my colleagues Augmented Reality.  I have said on record before that I believe that Augmented Reality and APP-Smashing are the next big game changers in ed-tech.  For the first class, I had them scanning trigger images that led to my screencasts in Explain Everything but they were immediately hooked on how this technology could break down physical boundaries in their classroom.  It was great that iTunes U gave me the platform to present this to my peers.

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