When you attend an amazing event such as the 20th Anniversary of the ADE Program it is hard to reflect about what the best take-away from the event was. In the case of San Diego it was particularly difficult, there were so many positive things: the scenery, the field trips, the deep and meaningful conversations that allow us to improve our global practice as educators.
However, as I sit down to write my first reflection three weeks after the institute I realize that for me the event was all about the iBeacons.
As a classroom teacher I am constantly searching for tools that I know will be engaging for my students but at that same time will improve my student achievement data. In the classroom the iBeacon technology certainly has the potential to delight, to inform, and to lead to innovation.
As an aspiring administrator, I like tools that can be used on the school wide level. I see iBeacons as something that have tremendous potential to be used with parents on a back to school night to increase their engagement in the learning space.
As part of the institute there were iBeacon notifications/clues that were hidden at various locations on our off-site visits. The ADE program did an excellent job of modeling what iBeacon tech could look like in our schools. Imagine doing this sort of iBeacon treasure hunt outdoors as part of a science lab. Or inside of a library as part of a book talk… Or on a school wide level with an incoming class as part of a school orientation or step-up day…
The most valuable workshop for me at the institute was the iBeacon workshop. In this workshop we were introduced to the app Beacondo. Well, I realized in this workshop that I had been pronouncing Beacondo with an extra syllable. It is pronounced bee-CONDO. After I had that epic revelation, I learned that I could create an iBeacon app by dropping and dragging interface and not have to do a lick of coding. Don’t get me wrong I believe that coding is the new literacy but that is another conversation. We as educators don’t always have endless amounts of time to code our own apps so Beacondo was an excellent tool that the institute allowed us to become more informed about.
Extending the Conversation
Since the institute, I have done three different presentations in Chicago, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. I incorporated iBeacon technology into the conversations with teachers, administrators, and developers. Everyone seems to agree that this technology has great potential in our school environments in the upcoming school year. Let’s continue the conversation…
On the horizon…
I have a couple iBeacon projects that I am currently working on. As soon as the apps are ready to be beta-tested I will share the results of my iBeacon adventures on this blog.