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1-to-1 Tech Use to Enhance Learning

June 11, 2013

At STEM School Chattanooga our primary focus is on moving education from a teacher directed and disseminated environment to a student owned and centered learning experience.  In order to make this transition, it is vital for students to own the technology and information.  So we have flipped the paradigm of the classroom so that the student is in control of the knowledge and information, as opposed to the teacher.

STEM School Chattanooga has a 1-to-1 structure in our school.  Every student has an iPad that the student uses 24/7.  Content delivery is no longer the primary role of the teacher.  Instead, we expect students to use critical thinking skills in all content. We define critical thinking as students understanding how to access, use, and apply information.  Because the technology is in the hands of the students, students are no longer held captive by when a teacher disseminates the knowledge.  The students already have access to the knowledge and the student’s job is to now figure out how to access it, what it means and what pieces of it are important, and ultimately use that knowledge to create innovative and original products.

The three tenets of our school are critical thinking, collaboration, and innovation.  In order for these to happen, they must be tenets that students are doing throughout all their coursework.  1-to-1 technology is the lever for providing the avenue to make this change a reality in every classroom, everyday.

Below is a list that was put together after just five months of student 1-to-1 iPad use. It is important to note that the goal is to move from dependence of a teacher for individual and group success to student’s owning their learning and being in control of that learning.  In traditional settings, students are reliant on teachers to provide whole class instruction to supply the students with the content information at hopefully the right time.  In a 1-to-1 setting used appropriately, students are no longer dependent on the one person standing in front of the classroom nor limited to a finite piece of time, but can access, use, and apply information collaboratively and have real control over their learning.  Teachers teach students critical thinking and students become critical thinkers, readers, writers, and presenters throughout their school day.

25 Apps used daily in our high school:
1.    Edmodo: Provides a safe and easy way to connect and collaborate, share content, access homework, and share school notices
2.    Evernote: Cloud-based app used for archiving and sharing documents across platforms
3.    Pages: Word Processing for papers, letters, and all documents
4.    GoodNotes: Note-taking and Annotation app for PDFs
5.    ITunesU: Online courses and resources
6.    HMH Fuse book app: Math textbook in an interactive app using videos, practice problems, and formative assessment
7.    Wolfram Alpha: Access facts and calculate answers across topics in science, math, engineering, and other subject areas
8.    iMovie: Create and edit original movies and videos
9.    iTunes: Access and listen to podcasts, news recordings and music
10.  Keynote: Create multimedia presentations
11.  Prezi: Create online multimedia timelines and presentations
12.  PowerOne SL calculator: Calculate and graph complex equations
13.  Calendar: Sync dates, alerts, and reminders across all platforms
14.  Photoshop Express: Create and edit digital photographs
15.  Google Earth: Explore the world from street level and beyond
16.  Camera: Quickly captures audio and video recordings
17.  Notes: Simple note taking app
18.  TED: iPad Explorer and Player for TED videos
19.  Titan player: Watch videos offline without internet
20.  Safari Browser: Browse the Web
21.  Google Chrome Browser: Browse the Web and save bookmarks across platforms
22.  Apps gone Free: Find the latest apps on sale or free for the day
23.  Puffin: Web Browser for Flash media
24.  Pandora: Search and discover new genres of music based on preferences
25.  Pic collage: Create collages of pictures using text, images, and graphics

Comments from students on the most useful apps:
·     Evernote helps with organization. It is where we turn in most of the work we do for teachers. It is helpful for taking notes for a class, and you can save the settings to share work with the teacher of any class. Teachers can then download and write feedback directly on our work, then put the file back in Evernote for us. You can even backup the storage in Evernote on iCloud. That way if you somehow accidentally erase data, you will still have whatever you saved in iCloud from Evernote.
·     Edmodo is useful because it is where we get the bulk of our assignments. They are posted there weekly, even daily, and it is an easy way to see what is due for a teacher and when it is due. This helps us keep all of our assignments organized by date and when to turn them in. It also reminds us when assignments are late. It is an easy way to communicate not only to your teachers if you need help, but you can also ask other students for help or clarification on assignments.
·     Goodnotes is an awesome app because it allows you to write on pdfs, pictures, or even word documents that you have to submit for teachers. It is very good for subjects like math, where you have to write down your answers. It is kind of the loophole to us being a “paperless environment”. It is not really writing on paper, but it gives you a similar experience to writing on paper. You can also highlight books and complete digital worksheets with this app.
·     Pages is a useful app for when you have to do a paper of some sort for a class. It gives you the different sizes of texts, and the different fonts to you can use in a paper. You can customize virtually every word in a paper if you wanted to with this app. It is helpful because most English or History papers require Times New Roman style font with size 12 letters, so you can customize it to where it automatically makes your words that size and style.
·     TED is like an educational YouTube filled with valuable information. TED is a useful app because it will show you all of the amazing things that people are doing and working on in this world today. TED lectures will show you many amazing things and even teach you about many topics that you have not even known existed.
·     Titan player is a useful app because it lets you download videos off YouTube and any other video site. I use this app for downloading videos for school to watch without internet later at home.
·     Apps Gone Free allows us to look at all the cool apps that are free or on sale and maybe find some apps that will help us individually with our school work or some that we think are just fun at a discounted price.
·     Photoshop Touch is a very useful app to me, as it is pretty quick and easy to use, and it comes with just about the same features as the Windows Photoshop 11 does. It makes it rather easy to photoshop my images, as I can use my finger to “lasso” the picture. PS Touch has been helpful to me in school on multiple occasions.

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