Next week, our tech cadre will again host an "Appy Half-Hour" in which we share new apps we've tried with our students. When we first received our iPads, this was a great way to collectively think about ways to use the iPads with students. I think we all have noticed, however, that not all apps are created equally. When considering Bloom's Taxonomy, many apps hover at the end of "remembering" on the taxonomy. Many educators have worked to create lists of apps that might support all areas of Bloom's Taxonomy, such as Diane Darrow, Kathy Schrock, and Richard Byrne. It really isn't about having a lot of apps as it is about how the apps are used with students.
A point made by Ertmer and Ottenbreit-Leftwich (2013) is that educators have been striving for over 30 years to achieve meaningful technology use in the classroom. They suggest that technology integration should not focus on technology integration. Rather, the focus should be on technology-enabled learning, and the pedagogy to support it. Students must be engaged in relevant, meaningful, interdisciplinary work (Iowa Core or Common Core, anyone?). This means a shift in how we approach professional development opportunities for teachers.
For our next Appy Half-Hour, we will focus more on the Four C's (collaboration, creativity, critical thinking, and communication). Our teachers are already doing amazing things with students in these areas. Having the opportunity to showcase this will allow other teachers to see how apps they are already using could be used in new and different ways. I can't wait to see the amazing things they share.