At the end of last term I presented an iPad workshop for teachers on planning Apptivities based on the SAMR Model. Teachers are all too familiar with the lesson planning procedure: We think of the outcomes of the lesson or task and plan how we will assist the students to reach an end product. In my experience, when presented with new technology, some teachers can become overwhelmed by of a lack of confidence and technological knowledge. At times they forget the planning procedure and rely too heavily on the tools rather than the process and the end product. The aim of my workshop was to remind teachers of the lesson planning fundamentals and show them how they still need to be in the forefront of our minds in a lesson that utilises iPads.
Teachers were presented with an exemplar Apptivity planning sheet and the matching Apptivity. We discussed the importance of establishing the outcomes of the task first, before deciding on suitable apps to help students achieve the outcomes and complete the task. We evaluated the level of the task in accordance with the SAMR Model, aiming to ‘teach above the line’. Examples were provided on how the task could be modified to sit higher in the SAMR model, within the context of the modelled response.
Year level teams were then given their own planning sheets to map out an Apptivity for an upcoming unit of work. They were given laminated cut-outs of app icons to physically manipulate in order to see a visual representation of their app smash. Within a short time frame each year level team followed the outlined plan and produced an idea for an innovative, rich task. All teachers were excited by the app smashing and SAMR concepts, and were eager to get to work on building a bank of rich, relevant, content specific Apptivities for their year level.