Mobile Reach #39 – Welcome Back, Mobile Learning



Mobile Reach #39 – Welcome Back, Mobile Learning  Chad, Judi and Tammy are back to start teh school year and share all kinds of mobile news that has happened recently.  We talk about the new iOS Google Drive app update and what it can mean for schools. We dissect some of the offerings of iOS 6.  We also share out some apps we’ve been trying out lately.  All this and more on this week’s episode of Mobile Reach! Show Host: Chad Kafka (@chadkafkaCo-Hosts: Judi Epcke (@jepcke), Tammy Lind (@taml17) |  The Mobile Reach Show Notes


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Mobile Reach #33 – Google, iPads And Apps…Oh My!


Mobile Reach #33 – Google, iPads and Apps…Oh My!  Chad, Judi and Tammy talk more about Google Drive now that it’s been out a week.  We share out some apps for use in the classroom or for school events and Chad shares a project he’s working on with 5th graders using iPads as this week’s #eduwin.

Show Host: Chad Kafka (@chadkafka)

Co-Hosts: Judi Epcke (@jepcke), Tammy Lind (@taml17)

The Mobile Reach Show Notes


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Mobile Reach #31 – Shiny-New-Google-Toy-SQUIRREL!


Mobile Reach #31 – Shiny-New-Google-Toy-SQUIRREL!  The group shares some recent feedback we’ve received on past episodes. We share out a some great ideas for teachers texting for school purposes.  The new Google Glasses (Squirrel!) prototype was rumored to be out in public.  And of course, we share out a few apps we’ve been trying out.  All this and more on this week’s MOBILE REACH!

Show Host: Chad Kafka (@chadkafka)

Co-Hosts: Judi Epcke (@jepcke), Tammy Lind (@TamL17)

The Mobile Reach Show Notes


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Mobile Reach #27 – This is a Man’s App World


Mobile Reach #27 – This is A Man’s App World.  The team discusses each using Reflection this week for different teaching or presenting situations.  We talk about the iPad 3 coming out today (3/16) and look at the Digital Wish App Center.  We share apps and talk some QR #eduwin situations.  Oh…and there’s the title of the show and where exactly did that come from.  Have to give a listen to find out!

Show Host: Chad Kafka (@chadkafka)

Co-Hosts: Judi Epcke (@jepcke), Tammy Lind (@TamL17)



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Mobile Reach #26 – Reflection(s) on the new iPad


Mobile Reach #26 – Reflection(s) on the new iPad.  Lots of announcements this week related to mobile learning.  Google Play was announced as was the ‘new’ iPad (3rd Generation).  We cover both stories and talk about how they can relation to education.  We also review some apps and Chad shares his love of the new Mac app, Reflection.  Come check us out!

Show Host: Chad Kafka (@chadkafka)

Co-Hosts: Judi Epcke (@jepcke), Tammy Lind (@TamL17)



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Mobile Reach #25 – A Milestone.


Mobile Reach #25 – A Milestone.  It’s our 25th show!!  We keep it short and sweet this week and share a few news bits related to Mountain Lion being announced and the Google Docs Android update.  Tammy shares how she’s been using Socrative in her school district.  And we go around and each share out an app we’ve been checking out this week.  Break out the bubbly and join us for our 25th show extravaganza!

Show Host: Chad Kafka (@chadkafka)

Co-Hosts: Judi Epcke (@jepcke), Tammy Lind (@TamL17)



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5 Reflections From My Day Off of School

I had Presidents’ Day off from school recently. It’s one of the perks of being a teacher. Oh, don’t get me wrong. There are lots of perks when you are a teacher.  Our day ends at 3pm. No weekend work. Long winter breaks, spring break, and of course, one of the main reasons all educators decide to become a teacher; summer vacation. Are you picking up on my sarcasm? I hope so, because I’m laying it on pretty thick. Actually, my President’s Day off turned out to be a day ON to reflect. A number of ideas came to mind, but a few thoughts seemed to resonate in the Eduverse on Twitter that day.
Reflection #1: How can we ask students to be lifelong learners if we aren’t learning ourselves? Educators must become digitally literate.
I consider myself pretty tech savvy. But it wasn’t until April of 2011 that I decided to actually use my Twitter account.  650+ followers later, Twitter is now the best professional development and learning tool I have ever encountered. Did I mention ever?! Teaching is my third and last career, and thank goodness I took the Twitter plunge. Even though I consider myself a “content expert,” if Google can answer my students’ questions, I better have more to offer. That’s where Twitter comes in. I have read more, learned more, and connected more with innovative thinkers from all over the world, more in the past 10 months than possibly the other 39 years of my life on earth. Education reform, technology in the classroom, digital media, iPads, apps, apps, and more apps. Educational pedagogy, inspiration, motivation, support…..you bet. I encounter it all. I am more committed than ever to continue my life long learning.
Reflection #2: I never ask a student to complete an activity I wouldn’t do myself. I don’t do worksheets. Neither do they.

I came into the year wanting my students to blog. So I began to blog last summer. I now submit educational blogs to 6 national publications. I have certain expectations and techniques for video production. I personally produce 3-4 videos a month, and work directly with my students on these real projects to exemplify those techniques. I was a terrible test taker and poor note writer as a student, so we don’t take tests in my class. I prefer to videotape and record lessons as tutorials, rather than having students spend time taking copious notes. My students collaborate, work independently and create videos to tell stories, promote positive news, and to show content comprehension for a variety of subject matter.

Reflection #3: I never did well on tests. I performed best on project based learning & assessment. Guess which one we do in my class?

I have come to realize that I have successfully been implementing project based learning for the past seven years. Now, my critics will tell you that’s because of my content; broadcast technology and film. My content must be presented as projects. In part, they are correct. But I firmly believe that by basing my classes and instruction on projects for comprehension and assessment, students have fallen in love with the process and therefore like completing our coursework. What’s preventing you from creating at least 1 project based lesson in your class?

Reflection #4: We ask our students to collaborate, share, communicate, & create. Shouldn’t teachers do the same in their work?

Through my blogs, video publishing, tweets, podcasts, educational conferences and various other forms of social media, I relish the opportunity to reach out to educators all over the world to hear their stories. I want to learn from them. Share a common experience. I believe that not only should all educators find their niche in a similar fashion, but that it should be a requirement. Not a state mandate or school mandate, “you must do this…..” causing teachers everywhere to cringe. But rather, each of us should check our internal ticker, look in the mirror, and realize, there is a greater world out there for all of us if we allow for it to happen. Educators everywhere, please, take the leap. Take the initiative to guide your own professional learning. You won’t regret it.

Reflection #5: Quote from student – “We learn more than technical skills in Mr. Goble’s class. We learn life skills.” Bingo!

We all truly want to prepare our students for a successful life. That is the essence of why we became educators. I don’t believe we chose this profession to stand in front of a row of desks, talk for 50 minutes, and expect students to glean wisdom from us that would guide their successes. I believe we all want to engage our students in the creation and recreation of their thoughts, ideas, hopes and dreams, that are relevant to the world they will live in, not the world we were told was in store for us. Beyond the curriculum, we are in fact teaching our students life skills that will hopefully empower them to make smart choices for the rest of their lives.

Presidents’ Day was a great day off from school. I feel very accomplished, rested and ready to get back to my class. Can’t wait for spring break to see what creeps into my mind next.

Mobile Reach #23 – The MacBook Sad Horse


Mobile Reach #23 – The MacBook Sad Horse.   This week, the team shares some examples they’ve seen or been working on that exemplifies “mobile learning in the classroom.”  We discuss the recent news that the white MacBooks are now officially going away for the education market.  We also share some apps we’ve been using recently in our respective roles in education.  Come hop on that sad horse with us and ride around a little…

Show Host: Chad Kafka (@chadkafka)

Co-Hosts: Judi Epcke (@jepcke), Tammy Lind (@TamL17)



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We’re All Products of Our Own Personal Learning Experience

We are products of our own personal learning experience. We are products of our environment. What happened to us in our past, what we were exposed to, how we felt about school growing up, all play an important role to how our current beliefs of education are perceived. I do believe perception is reality. Whether as a parent, pundit, educator, or by-standing observer, we all seem to have a strong opinion about how schools today in America should operate. Our own educational and personal experiences guide our outspoken thoughts about schools, teaching and learning.
Last week, Apple announced a revolutionary idea with the launch of iBook Author, iBook 2, and the iTunes U app. While I won’t rehash what each tool does, I do feel compelled to share some thoughts about what this announcement may mean on a broader scale.
A colleague of mine recently shared an article with me by Matt Burns, “iPads And Digital Textbooks Do Not Belong In Classrooms Yet.” Mr. Burns expresses some rather unfortunate points of view to me as an educator. Ideas such as “Make my kids do math drills on paper with a dull pencil. Digitalized learning scares me. I simply do not see the value in it.” These concepts are fraught with misguided information, personal bias, and a true lack of what needs to be happening in our classrooms.

 

While I also don’t need to remind anyone that our public schools are constantly dissected and branded in the national media as underachieving, and that pundits and observers alike, believe teachers in America are not doing a good job, I keep coming back to the thought that many of these individuals criticizing schools are NOT in our classrooms. These people don’t see the daily successes, the daily struggle to overcome failure, the daily effort to achieve, and the overall incredible passion of students and teachers in school districts across the country.

As an educator, I am appalled at anyone, pundit or not, who believes that attempts to improve the educational process, either through technology or otherwise, should not be researched or implemented, and that the status quo is acceptable. Do they not see the situation our country is in? Do they not realize many other countries have globally surpassed us when it comes to preparing our children for their future? If you are not in the classroom, or in an educational building, how can you be so certain what the best approach is?  If you are not in the classroom, or in an educational building, how do you know?

My answer is, you can’t be certain. And rather than dismiss innovative, creative and forward-thinking ideas, maybe take a step back and evaluate what it is you do know. And then maybe ask yourself, what should I know. And then, hold your breath for a moment; ask yourself, what should I learn.

I am a teacher in the classroom. I am also a video producer for my district, so I take advantage of all opportunities to visit the schools in our district on a regular basis. I travel the country speaking and meeting educators doing amazing things in their classrooms. I see what is happening firsthand, everyday.

But what you may not know is that I personally hated high school. That’s right. Despised it. High school was one of the worst experiences of my life. Some of my dislike towards high school came from my fractured home life. Some of my disapproval came from the school and the type of kids that attended my high school. I most definitely hated doing math with a dull pencil on a piece of paper. That was MY learning experience.

And yet here I am, a college graduate, who took part in two different business career paths following college, in my tenth year in education, advocating and screaming for educational change, innovation, and support for our current students in school. Much like the individual who is born with a health problem, who is inspired to become a doctor, I am a teacher, who has been inspired to advocate for support and positive change in our schools through technology and innovative teaching methods.

These are my opinions and only my opinions. I am filled with success upon success story, of how students excelled and facilitated their own learning through the use of technology. I believe the tools that Apple supports education with, and many other forms of technology, can create a stronger learner. And I’d be happy to bore you with these stories anytime (and sometimes I do.)

It is also my opinion and hope, that anyone who reads or believes in the words of Mr. Burns, takes a quiet step back, evaluates the world around them, and then properly forms an opinion to decide; should we support educational innovation or should we support “the way it’s always been done.”

I am not an expert on all of this new technology. I don’t have all the answers. And I am an advocate for free speech, so by all means say what you will about teachers, schools and education.

Ultimately what I know is this; it will be the passionate teachers, not the tools or technology, who will continue to help students prepare for their world. Yet, if there is available technology to leverage which would enhance the learning process and engage our kids, we would be absolutely careless to dismiss this innovation due to fear, ignorance, or old-fashioned beliefs. And while it is most important to challenge and question process, decisions, and new techniques, it is also paramount to offer constructive support to impact positive change in our public schools.

What will you do? What will you decide? What will you choose?

Mobile Reach #19 – New Blogs & Blowing Stuff Up in 2012!


Mobile Reach #19 – New Blogs & Blowing Stuff Up in 2012!:  We kick off 2012 with sharing some new articles and blogs related to true mobile learning in the classroom.  We also share some apps that can leave an EXPLOSIVE impression!

Show Host: Chad Kafka (@chadkafka)

Co-Hosts: Judi Epcke (@jepcke), Tammy Lind (@TamL17)



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Mobile Reach #18 – 2011 Goes Out With The Gang


Mobile Reach #18 – 2011 Goes Out With The Gang:  We go out of 2011 with the original group that started Mobile Reach earlier this year and welcome back Scott Meech.  A lot of great discussion occurs around true mobile learning and we share out apps we’ve been trying out or using in the classroom.

Show Host: Chad Kafka (@chadkafka)

Co-Hosts: Judi Epcke (@jepcke), Tammy Lind (@TamL17), & Scott Meech (@smeech)



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Mobile Reach #16 – MeeGenius-Mission: Literacy-To-Go


MeeGenius – Mission: Literacy-To-Go This week, the gang interviews one of the creators of the MeeGenius service which is available on iOS, Android and the web.  Wandy Hoh explains how the app works, how parents can use it with children and how schools can use the service as well.  Apps are also shared by the terrible tri-fecta.

Show Host: Chad Kafka (@chadkafka)

Co-Hosts: Judi Epcke (@jepcke) & Tammy Lind(@TamL17)

The complete show notes are on the EdReach Wiki.


Mobile Reach #15 – Pre-iPad PD


Pre-iPad PD – This week, we discuss some articles we found online related to Pre-iPad Professional Development, kids designing mobile apps and mobile Flash going away.  We also share out a few apps and uses for Mobile Devices for educators to use in the classroom.

Show Host: Chad Kafka (@chadkafka)

Co-Hosts: Judi Epcke (@jepcke) & Tammy Lind(@TamL17)

The complete show notes are on the EdReach Wiki.



Mobile Reach #14 – Androids in the Leaves

Mobile Reach LogoAndroids in the Leaves – The Mobile Reach trio digest the latest news and information related to (more) Android and iOS this week.  We discuss the $45 tablet being released in India, talk Bloomin’ Android Apps, and digest the new Google+ news for higher ed Google Apps users.  We do dabble in some iOS 5 talk since the release a few weeks ago.  Of course, we have some quick App share outs as well.

Show Host: Chad Kafka (@chadkafka)

Co-Hosts: Judi Epcke (@jepcke) & Tammy Lind(@TamL17)

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Mobile Reach #13 – iOS Cream Sandwich

Mobile Reach LogoiOS Cream Sandwich – The group shares recent news and thoughts related to the mobile environment including the iPhone 4S release, the passing of Steve Jobs, and the announcement of the Galaxy Nexus with the new Ice Cream Sandwich Android platform.  They dive into the features of iOS 5 that have been experimented with over the past week since the release.

Show Host: Chad Kafka (@chadkafka)

Co-Hosts: Judi Epcke (@jepcke) & Tammy Lind(@TamL17)

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Mobile Reach #12 – It’s On Like Donkey Kong

Mobile Reach LogoIt’s On Like Donkey Kong: Tensions are heated as Tammy, Chad and Judi discuss the upcoming Bears/Packers game prior to diving into this week’s discussion of true mobile learning, news stories, and apps.

Show Host: Chad Kafka (@chadkafka)

Co-Hosts: Judi Epcke (@jepcke) & Tammy Lind(@TamL17)

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The complete show notes are on the EdReach Wiki.

 Donkey Kong (1981) sound clip copyright to Nintendo.

Mobile Reach #11 – Back, Back To School Again

Mobile Reach LogoBack, Back To School Again: We’ve all started back at school but find some time to share new news, updates and apps related to mobile learning.

Show Host: Chad Kafka (@chadkafka)

Co-Hosts: Judi Epcke (@jepcke) & Tammy Lind(@TamL17)

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The complete show notes are on the EdReach Wiki.

 Grease 2 (1982) “Back To School Again” sound clip copyrighted to Paramount Pictures

Mobile Reach #10 – Double Digits!

Mobile Reach LogoDouble Digits! We kick off our first double digits show with getting back to our regular format where we discuss true mobile learning, iOS updates, Android updates and of course, the APPS we are all playing with.  We give some teacher app suggestions as we get ready to start the next school year.

Show Host: Chad Kafka (@chadkafka)

Co-Hosts: Judi Epcke (@jepcke) & Tammy Lind(@TamL17)

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The complete show notes are on the EdReach Wiki.