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Monday, February 24, 2014

Digital Workflow: How are we using iPads to increase rigor and deepen learning?

Knowing that no one app does it all, one of my goals this school year was to create a system of digital workflow that allows for layering of apps in order to squeeze out the most learning and productivity from our 1:1 digital classroom. It is fairly simple to use the iPad and its apps to substitute or supplement learning activities in order to enhance the learning experience. It is more challenging to use the iPad and its apps to modify or redefine tasks essentially transforming learning and bumping into the higher levels of Blooms Taxonomy. Creating, analyzing and applying knowledge has a significant impact on student outcomes.

Although we've been layering apps, or 'app smashing' for some time, my first attempts at thoughtful 'digital workflow' began last week.  I broke the work down into 3 categories:

  • Information Gathering
  • Information Processing
  • Information Sharing

I intentionally chose apps that would enhance the learning I had in mind for my students. An example of this digital workflow looks something like this:

I noticed that many of my scholars were not reading and writing Word Wall words correctly or with fluency. So, after assessing the class, I assigned a digital project to be completed during Reading/Writing Workshop. Scholars were asked to use the app Magletters to make their six most difficult words, taking a screenshot of each. The screenshots were then uploaded to the app PicCollage and practiced with partners and individually. The PicCollage was then uploaded into the app IPEVO where scholars read and spelled the words aloud. These screencasts were then shared with partners. It is easy to see how this goes beyond traditional writing words multiple times to learn them. Scholars created screencasts to practice words and teach words to their classmates.

This week scholars will be using digital workflow to create screencasts that demonstrate their learning about 3D shapes. The workflow will look like this:

They will use the camera to take photos of real solid shapes. They will then upload these photos into the app Haiku Deck to be labeled and saved as screenshots. Finally the screenshots will be uploaded into the 30 Hands app so that scholars can show what they know in a screencast...identifying each shape, drawing connections to shapes in the real world and verbalizing the attributes of solid shapes.

Ultimately, when I am confident that scholars are quite proficient with many quality apps and their functions, I would like to use the digital workflow system to allow choice in workflow projects because choice creates engagement and a sense of ownership.

Special thanks to Amy Phillips, GCISD Digital Coach, for helping me think through this transformation in my teaching:)

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