New frontier of learning is interactive

Workshops centred on tablets and how to integrate them into the classroom were a highlight of TeachXpo day two yesterday.

Workshops centred on tablets and how to integrate them into the classroom were a highlight of TeachXpo day two yesterday.

TURNING A NEW PAGE: Lil Rangihuna and Janine McDiarmid from Wainui Beach Primary School learn a lesson or two from e-learning consultant Innes Kennard. Mr Kennard hosted a workshop on iPads and how they can be used for creative storytelling. Mr Kennard is hosting 11 different iPad workshops over the three day TeachXpo conference. His are part of more than 100 different workshops taking place at Lytton High School and Mangapapa School. Picture by Liam Clayton

INNES Kennard is delivering 11 workshops based on tablet technology, specifically iPads, over the course of the region’s first three-day, technology-focused conference for teachers.

Yesterday Mr Kennard spoke about the importance of professional development and creative story-telling.

“Much of educational development is hindered by a lack of professional development. We do not know what we do not know.”

He likened the introduction of the iPad five-and-a-half years ago to the emergence of computers in classrooms in the ’80s and ’90s.

“Back then teachers did not understand the link between computers and learning — that is the hard thing, that is the challenge for schools.”

Mr Kennard has been an educator for nearly 50 years. He worked as a primary school principal and teacher for 20 years, as a leadership adviser for Victoria University for 25 years and has been a private e-learning consultant since 2010.

“By nature, schools are challenged for funding. Equity is another issue. The thing with iPads is they are a third of the cost of a device last century, so we are able to get things into the hands of kids more easily.”

Life changing

He says the introduction of tablets changed his life.

“I was ready to retire. But now I go back into classrooms and I am able to do the things I have always wanted to do.”

He then used the app Explain Everything to reiterate his point. Explain Everything is an easy-to-use design, screen-casting and interactive whiteboard tool that lets users annotate, animate, narrate, import and export almost anything.

“This allows students to get involved in creative story-telling. We can now look at ways that engage kids at a deeper level and tell stories through more than just words. That means photographs, drawings and text.

“We are moving from a single media form, like a pencil, to a multimedia combination of a whole range of things.”

Mr Kennard says the app lets students do everything themselves — take pictures, write, draw and animate things, without the use of Google images or other media sites.

“One of the most important things a child can say to you is, ‘there is more of me in my story’ — this way lets them engage and do everything themselves.”

He explained this in his storytelling workshop by creating a narrative using the children’s book Greedy Cat. He superimposed Greedy Cat over photos of Lytton High School, animated the cat and recorded himself as its voice.

“Through an app like Explain Everything, they learn all sorts of things like how to re-record over a bit of audio they do not like — suddenly we have six-year-olds in charge of audio recordings, this has never happened before.”

Explain Everything can be downloaded on other devices through Google Play and the Windows Store.

Other workshops included one-to-one learning advisory conversations with students by Australian Council for Educational Leaders fellow Joan Dalton, and compass thinking for the digital age by Network for Learning education sector lead Carolyn Stuart.

INNES Kennard is delivering 11 workshops based on tablet technology, specifically iPads, over the course of the region’s first three-day, technology-focused conference for teachers.

Yesterday Mr Kennard spoke about the importance of professional development and creative story-telling.

“Much of educational development is hindered by a lack of professional development. We do not know what we do not know.”

He likened the introduction of the iPad five-and-a-half years ago to the emergence of computers in classrooms in the ’80s and ’90s.

“Back then teachers did not understand the link between computers and learning — that is the hard thing, that is the challenge for schools.”

Mr Kennard has been an educator for nearly 50 years. He worked as a primary school principal and teacher for 20 years, as a leadership adviser for Victoria University for 25 years and has been a private e-learning consultant since 2010.

“By nature, schools are challenged for funding. Equity is another issue. The thing with iPads is they are a third of the cost of a device last century, so we are able to get things into the hands of kids more easily.”

Life changing

He says the introduction of tablets changed his life.

“I was ready to retire. But now I go back into classrooms and I am able to do the things I have always wanted to do.”

He then used the app Explain Everything to reiterate his point. Explain Everything is an easy-to-use design, screen-casting and interactive whiteboard tool that lets users annotate, animate, narrate, import and export almost anything.

“This allows students to get involved in creative story-telling. We can now look at ways that engage kids at a deeper level and tell stories through more than just words. That means photographs, drawings and text.

“We are moving from a single media form, like a pencil, to a multimedia combination of a whole range of things.”

Mr Kennard says the app lets students do everything themselves — take pictures, write, draw and animate things, without the use of Google images or other media sites.

“One of the most important things a child can say to you is, ‘there is more of me in my story’ — this way lets them engage and do everything themselves.”

He explained this in his storytelling workshop by creating a narrative using the children’s book Greedy Cat. He superimposed Greedy Cat over photos of Lytton High School, animated the cat and recorded himself as its voice.

“Through an app like Explain Everything, they learn all sorts of things like how to re-record over a bit of audio they do not like — suddenly we have six-year-olds in charge of audio recordings, this has never happened before.”

Explain Everything can be downloaded on other devices through Google Play and the Windows Store.

Other workshops included one-to-one learning advisory conversations with students by Australian Council for Educational Leaders fellow Joan Dalton, and compass thinking for the digital age by Network for Learning education sector lead Carolyn Stuart.

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