Just wrapped up a four day workshop entitled iPads for iProfs, part of the Pacific Regions Learning Summit 2013. We had a great week with lively discussions and hands on activities. The track was comprised of 6 participants including one from Kapiolani CC and one from Windward CC. Junie Hayashi and myself were co-facilitators. The track met Monday May 13th to Thursday May 16th, from 9-12 and 1-3:30.
iPads (BYOD)- We were lucky that each participant brought their own iPad, of which, one was brand new (had been unopened in a box for a year), and one was an iPad-mini. We requested the participants bring a headset for audio content and their power cube and their charging cable, we intended to use the iPads all day for everything. We provided each table cluster with with power strips. The battery life of my iPad 2 is amazing, but as you can imagine facilitating a hands on iPad workshop for 5 1/2 hours each day pretty much required me to charge the device each night. I forgot to charge the device prior to the last day and just barely made it. As a facilitator I was loving the freedom to move around with the iPad (thanks Apple TV) , it would have been a bummer to have been tethered for charging, thankfully I just made it. =) I feel pretty accomplished to have used the iPad almost exclusively for 4 straight days, all day. It makes you feel like a power user or like you are putting the iPad through it's paces. All in all the Apple iPad2 was up to the challenge and didn't flinch with the rapid opening and closing of apps even in the middle of using an app. In fact that was actually pretty interesting, the iOS is pretty resilient and didn't seem to need time to "think".
Apple TV- This worked as advertised. Although we did have the iPad to VGA adapter on standby we primarily tried to use the Apple TV to show and share. The only modification we had to make was to set the Apple TV sleep feature to "Never". We wanted it to be on and available, to display content as a reference and not to enter into screen saver mode. In addition to facilitators using the Apple TV, after the first day participants began using the Apple TV to show and help others across the room while the facilitators were busy helping others. The Apple TV really became an accepted member of the classroom, all participants were willing, when asked to "send it to the Apple TV" to show the class. The only caveat was in the way our Apple TV was set up, it requires an onscreen password. The process of using the onscreen password, seeing the password prompt on the iPad and getting access to the screen seemed a little inconsistent at times. Of all the iPad processes it seemed like the authentication process was the biggest hurdle. It could be related to the networking between the Apple TV, and iPad. I know enterprise IT has to do "special work arounds" for these Apple TV devices because the devices are not designed for enterprise use. This could very well be causing this authentication inconsistency. But hey I'll put up with it, if it means the difference between having or not having an Apple TV device.
Network (WiFi)- Props to our campus IT for having the foresight to participate in the wireless network pass through initiative. The pass through allows for users to register their devices and therefore not get logged out from our campus network. With the amount of time we were interacting with web content and services with our iPads the pass through saved time and nerves, it was transparent. =) The only network issue we seemed to have may have been related to the network/ iPad or app, occasionally the iPad would show no wireless signal at all, the work around for that seemed to be to launch a browser app to "spark" the wifi back on.
iPad Mini- One observation that we experienced with the iPad Mini, was that in landscape view, occasionally the onscreen keyboard was covering the cursor so the user was not able to view where she was typing, which you can imagine, is frustrating. The solution was to rotate and work in portrait when this happened.
Blogs- We asked our participants to blog and tweet (hashtag #prlsipad) their accomplishments, some did, some needed prompting. We had hoped to follow a structured format of reflecting after each activity, but once we were in the trenches we tended to go with the flow of the group, rather than force an awkward blog reflection. We chose to support conversations and time extensions that felt right (as in giving them more time to work on projects that were engrossed in relevant to their teaching, or more time to for group discussions and critical thinking). So as a result we probably don't have a structured pattern of posts, but we do have some (participants blog) . We used an Edublogs blog as an aggregation tool to aggregate our participant blogs and tweets and embedded the Edublogs blog into our Google site. At the time it seemed like the way to go because I was more familiar with Blogger (having built up this blog ), in addition participants would already be using Google Accounts so this would eliminate participants having to create an additional account. In retrospect we could have done it all in Edublog and Edublog pages, I suppose.
Monday (iPad foundation/ basic setup [house keeping] to facilitate using, sharing files and installing apps easier]
- Building a case for iPads in education
- Identifying each MAC address
- Registration for UH ITS wireless pass through
- Setting up email in iPad iOS mail app
- Identifying Apple ID and passwords
- Google Vs. Google@UH
- Creating a Google.com account
- Setup iPad for iProfs website as a home screen icon
- Creating a new Blogger blog (web)
- Blogger (app)
- Twitter (app)
- Educreations (app)
- ScreenChomp (app)
- Google Drive (app)
- MiniKeePass (app)
- VoiceThread (app)
- Storify (app)
In the end there were many people students and staff of the Educational Media Center who assisted with the many details (setup/ cleanup, event administration, food purchasing/ prep, a/v setup, picture taking/ printing) contributing to in making this track a success.