I’m spending the day with about 250 K-12 teachers at the TEEN Mashup conference. For several years, five school districts have banded together to share internet and tech costs. And just recently Brandi Hendrix, the director of that tech coalition, has organized a tech integration conference in January.

Brandi, her staff and assorted tech folks from around the area have done a great job of finding a way for the teachers of the five districts to share tricks and tips with each other. (Brandi just breezed into the room and is buzzing with energy!)

She calls it a mashup because technology, teachers and great ideas all come together in one place today. I love this idea!

I’m facilitating two separate conversations today – the first is with administrators on professional and instructional uses of the iPod Touch. The second session is with classroom teachers on using the iPod Touch as an instructional tool.We’ll be giving away a couple of iPods and some other goodies today. It’ll be fun!

Looking forward to hearing how principals and teachers are already using the Touch. Will post their ideas and suggestions later this afternoon.


(If you need something right now, head over to the “Just a Touch of Leadership” presentation by Andy Crozier & Mike Amante at the K-12 Online Conference.)

Back at the end of the day and have came away with a few impressions. The first one is that very few educators have used iPod Touches. The second is that those who are using the Touch are doing great things with it.

Nadine Smith, principal from tiny Centre High School, demo-ed a great use of the iPod for classroom observations. As a high school administrator, she wants to help teachers implement McREL’s nine strategies. So she created a simple survey using the Forms creator with Google Docs. While doing her classroom observations, she opens up her Google iPod app and simply checks off boxes on the online form. When she gets back into her office, she can organize the data quickly and easily.

I’ve used Google Docs on the iPod before but hadn’t played with the Forms piece. Nice! I’ll need to work on this one a bit.

Another idea I really liked was the one shared by a teacher using the Flashlight app. Instead of having kids give a thumbs up or thumbs down during a classroom discussion, her kids held up their iPod with either the green screen or the red to show agreement or disagreement. And while it seems pretty simple, the teacher shared that this little change in behavior made a big difference in the amount of participation during discussion.

And with over 100,000 iPod apps out there, this is just the tip of the iceberg.

What are your favorite apps or iPod ideas?

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