Friday, May 1, 2009
Apps of Steel
Our Mac server arrived today for the 21st Century Lab! The lab is not ready yet, but we're setting up our ipod cart so that it works with the server, allowing us to manage the apps and other settings on the ipods. I want to add lots of apps to the ipods so teachers can start learning and helping me to find those "Apps of Steel" that should be on all of the units. We're looking for all the apps we can try that are related to the various curriculum areas in a high school. Teachers will evaluate them and once we decide which apps each department wants to use, we'll put them on the server to sync with the ipods.
I have talked with one teacher and actually gave him one of the ipods to try. He's been very successful in learning to use the ipod as well as find many apps that are available for his discipline (Social Studies). His department recently got together and he shared what he was finding. I asked how it was received and he said it was positive, but with any new technology, there were concerns.
Not only are teachers concerned about learning how to use the equipment, but they are still looking at it as an "extra" thing to add to their day. I mentioned this in another blog post and it becomes more aware to me every day that I need to refocus their thinking on technology integration.
It was also mentioned that teachers might be a little resentful of the new equipment because of the budget cuts in our state. My talk with this teacher solidified the fact that I may need to step lightly around this for a little while-at least until the dust settles this year. In the mean time, we are pushing forward. I believe once a few of the teachers here start to see the educational options available with the ipod touch, word will travel quickly and we'll get buy-in from the teachers. I know I already have excitement of the students because every student that walks in my office drops their jaw when they see the stack of ipods on my table!