This week's highlights have of course involved the LEAP Motion and Sortee but we've also officially kicked off our trial 1:1 iPad group at Jackson School, all with great results. Aside from playing with tech all day and getting my students over excited, we held a local IT Leaders meeting on Thursday night, which was a fantastic event. Perhaps the coolest coincidence of the week was discovering that the team from Devoid Games were based in Rio de Janeiro, my surrogate home. Can't wait to catch up for some ice-cold Antarctica Original in September.
I've had an interesting reminder when working with kids this week about 'letting go'. With good reason, I was quite cautious and guided students a lot during the first week's usage of the LEAP and although there have been some tremendously positive outcomes, the best ones have been when I've left students to explore through play. I've attached a video below of a really great example. The student chose to play LEAPflying during free-time and I gave him no reminders or explanations on how to control the game. What was really wonderful to see was how imaginative play was for him, the language that was used throughout play and the physical gestures and expressions that were used. These sorts of things are a big deal for our kids and for early learners in general.
Mat and I got to talk about IT at Jackson School and our approach to managing iPads, particularly when it's a 1:many model and not 1:1. The big thing we stressed to our peers was the use of FileBrowser to link iPads to a school's server so that work can be backed up and restored onto iPads easily, reliably and without the contraints of storage on an iPad. We also discussed how we store and charge iPads, as well as the day to day managing of apps and the ones that really allow for creativity.
As you can expect I also touted the power of the LEAP and what I've observed so far in my weekly lessons when students have been using it. Oddly enough only 1 person in the meeting had heard of it and had it on pre-order. Perhaps you guys at LEAP need a sales representative and promoter down under? ;)
I also managed to convince a relatively new IT teacher to go and buy some Xbox Kinect units instead of the outdated and less functional Wii consoles that her school was about to buy. This was made easier through a short demo of Kinect Party, which is still my favourite game on Kinect to date.
A huge shout out and thanks must go to Deb Hicks for allowing us to hold the meeting. We appreciate your confidence and trust in what we do with IT at Jackson School. Also, thanks for ordering some of our custom iPad carts!
I'll close with an interesting reminder I experienced this morning about being a life-long learner. I found a very cheap ($5) boxing class within a local gym this week and gave it a shot this morning. As with anything new that I try, I probably looked quite shy to other trainees, based on their willingness to help me out. The trainer/coach was nothing short of excellent and was exactly what I was looking for - technique and no la de da rubbish. From the get go this guy put me in my place, without being forceful, and I felt like a humbled new learner. It was a great feeling and a pleasant reminder to always be open to learning and taking on new experiences. The absolutely classic moment was when I put up my guard in front of the coach. His response? "What's your hand doing there? That's what they blood well do in the movies..."
Thanks again to all the wonderful people who have been showing me support!