Monday, May 10, 2010

Recipe for Success

As I reflect on the ilearn project, I challenge myself to pinpoint what ingredients have promoted or been detrimental to the success of this experience.
The most key ingredients believe it or not have nothing to do with the ipod touches.
Any success we have accomplished is as a result of the human factor. I am so fortunate to work with master chefs Dani Watkins, Cary Harrod and Debra Simson. They keep this project cooking by providing support, resources and research.
If anyone is looking to fire up their own ilearn project, mixing in the right people is key. Our team is comprised of an administrator, technology coordinator, media specialist and classroom teacher. We meet once a week for a hour and communicate in between.
The prep work included is also a factor that should be kneaded in strategically. Preparing the students for the experience and teaching them how to use the tools appropriately was necessary.
Other key ingredients include:
  • Elmo- While I no longer have one in my classroom, I feel purchasing this tool is just as important as the Bretford cart, ipod touches and mic ear buds. It is a challenge to share and provide instruction without a means to project the screen. We were not able to find a way to connect it to my projector. But I'm always up for modifications because this recipe is a work in progress.
  • Time- Does anyone know where you can buy this ingredient in bulk? It has been beneficial to train a grandparent volunteer to sync the cart. Conducting a lot of the research during the planning process also saved quite a bit of time. However, I'd love to be able to add even more time so I could establish a stronger PLN and collaborate.
  • Apps, Apps and more Apps- I'm constantly searching for more publishing apps. I find most of my apps by researching websites and reading reviews on itunes. Knowing which apps are worth it to purchase and implement is the best way to keep the tools boiling. IEAR offers online reviews as well as lesson plan ideas.

I'm really looking forward to using these tools next year with the students. We have been able to accomplish quite a bit since February. I know that it will be beneficial to begin the year with these tools. The icing on the cake happens to be that my other teammates will be implementing them in their classrooms too.

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