Friday, June 5, 2015

Apple Mania

The Apple Mania conference is unique among the Summer of eLearning conferences in that it is one conference, held in two locations. On Thursday, participants converged on Greenfield Central Junior High, while Friday's site moved down the road to Doe Creek Middle School. The community school corporations of Greenfield-Central and Southern Hancock County collaborated in hosting this endeavor to share sessions led by educators from both districts.

They were also joined by teachers and administrators from a third, Lebanon Community School Corporation, who shared their journey of implementing MacBook Airs over the past two years. Southern Hancock students have had Macs for about 5 years, while Greenfield-Central begins their Apple 1:1 in earnest next fall. This made for some powerful question-and-answer sessions that discussed topics like device management, security issues, parent communication and content delivery. In several sessions, Michael Reynolds and a crew of classroom teachers shared information, fielded questions and facilitated a great discussion. Many takeaways for the attendees included knowing your “Why”, being clear about expectations, and connecting with others for support. Lebanon credited Batesville for being a great model for their initiative, and now Lebanon is helping to be a blueprint for Greenfield-Central's implementation.

Dr. James Beeghley brought the keynote for day one, sharing stories about how his own kids had become independent learners using technology. On day two, participants were exposed to the passion of Kevin Honeycutt. Similarly, Honeycutt warned teachers against feeling that they needed to know everything about the software before bringing kids in. "Let your kids learn to find their own answers!" Honeycutt said.

In a Thursday session, Amy Knerr and Jamie Knowe, award-winning educators and math coaches from Greenfield-Central welcomed a full house of participants eager to explore "Math Apps for Increasing Engagement." After a short introduction, everyone got hands-on, moving from station to station interacting with free apps and providing feedback on a Google form. Be sure to check out some of the group favorites: Math Motion, Math Champ, and for you Algebra fans, The 24 Challenge. Reach out to Amy and Jamie for more great math ideas and resources.
One of the sessions on day two addressed the needs of many teachers who are facing the task of migrating bundles they originally created in My Big Campus. Amanda Hoagland, a technology integration specialist for Southern Hancock, developed a workflow for this and walked participants through the steps. Opening a bundle, she used Chrome's 'View' menu to expose the HTML code (View>Developer>View Source). Participants copied the portion of this code that starts with the title of the bundle. Then, they pasted the code into a page on Google Sites. This new page could then be embedded in a new learning management system, or used by sending students the direct link.
In another session, Rebecca Crull, second grade teacher at New Palestine Elementary, took participants in her session, “How to Reach All Learners Through Technology” through a fast paced tour of apps to use in the classroom. Rebecca uses a variety of these apps to make learning engaging for students, and also to address students' individual needs. Her advice was to "choose a couple of apps and make them your own." Here are a few to get started: Notability, Dragon Dictation, and Popplet. Explore all of Rebecca’s great resources on her website.


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  2. Thank you @INeLearn for supporting us and being present at our conference! You inspire us all!

  3. Awesome writeup, @INeLearn! We appreciate the generous attention.

  4. I love reading about the amazing, and bright professionals we have in our districts. Wave reviews came from conference goers about Amy Knerr and Jamie Knowe session. Rebecca Crull from Southern Hancock, way to go. What you shared with your colleagues was just amazing! If anyone out there has interest in the My Big Campus to Google Site conversion, I am happy to assist.!