Sparking Teacher Creativity – A Turning Point

Over the last 8 weeks, our teachers have spent their PLC (Professional Learning Communities) time creating Movies with the iMovie app, and eBooks with the Book Creator App. These units were specifically arranged back-to-back in order to focus on the teachers’ creative side. We wanted them to step outside the box more when it came to presenting material, or even with student assessment.

We began this process in January with a demonstration of iMovie and asked the teachers to create their own iMovie as a hook for an upcoming lesson, or as an example of a project the students would be creating themselves with iMovie.  As with all of our PLC units we had our 3 groups of people.
Group 1 –  “This is cool, I have an idea for this already…”
Group 2 – “I’ll do it, but..”
Group 3 – “I don’t really see the point…”.
I’ve noticed the population of these groups are definitely moving towards Group 1, but with the workload of teachers during the school year, I understand the difficulty getting excited over anything that is presented with even the hint of ‘more work’

After 4 weeks of work on iMovie I was excited to see the results, and I was not disappointed. There were a number of people who used the Trailers and made some excellent hooks for an upcoming unit, and there were a number of people who used iMovie to create short lessons by using screen casting apps and other iPad apps.  For me this was a turning point in our 1:1 journey. Teachers were using everything from My Talking Pet, to Puppet Pals 2, to Explain Everything to create movies. Although I’ve mentioned App Smashing, I’ve never presented a lesson on how to do it. These teachers were starting to put different apps together to create some great finished products.

Click here to see some examples of their Movies

When we followed up iMovie with Book Creator, as usual there were mixed reviews. Some people saw it as glorified PowerPoint, and others didn’t see themselves ever creating their own books. However, the creativity we gained in iMovie definitely carried over into this unit.  Teachers created such a wide variety of books here, and were very open to learning about iBooks Author and taking their book creation to another level.

Their books included semester reviews which included videos of how to solve math problems, summer reading books for Spanish, and even an instructional book for our marching band students. There was one teacher who had already used the app so she took it upon herself to start creating her own textbook for next year.  When teachers begin to take steps like this, without being required, or even asked to, I am beyond proud and excited about the future of our 1:1 program.

Click here to see some examples of their Book Creator projects

The week we will be moving forward with our teachers bringing their own app. I am very excited (and a little scared) that I will be helping support between 30-50 apps. I am definitely THRILLED that in 4 weeks our teachers will have the opportunity to learn about a huge variety of apps, and how their colleagues are planning to use them in the classroom.

About Sean Scanlon

Director of Instructional Technology Marian Catholic High School Google Certified Trainer
This entry was posted in Education, iPad and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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