Redefining Teaching & Learning with Technology

This year the West London Apple RTC is running a Teacher Learning Community focused on "Redefining Teaching and Learning with Technology." The community meets face-to-face once per half term to discuss recent research related to educational technologies.

Second Meeting: December 2018

summary by Jonathan White

In early December, our Teacher Learning Community met for the second time. Our goal for the year is to examine the impact of educational technology on the classroom, specifically focusing on how it can be used to "redefine" teaching and learning. Each meeting is preceded by a some assigned pre-reading. If you're not familiar with TLCs, have a look at the post from our previous meeting for some more general information.

For this meeting, our topic was "Everyone Can Create," and Apple's recent ebooks on teaching and learning with their creative apps were assigned as pre-reading.

The original plan had been for a member of the TLC who had attended a recent "Everyone Can Create" event for Apple RTCs to feed back to the group, but due to unforseen circumstances, she was unable to attend. Instead, we spent some time discussing three main themes:

  • Everyone Can Create: Evaluating the guides produced by Apple - can some of these ideas be implemented in our classrooms? What would they add? Are they practical? Do they work in our context?
  • Homework, Oh Homework!: We watched Apple's recent education-focused iPad advertisement as a way of sparking further discussion about creative assignments. While what is depicted in the advert may not work out quite that way in the "real world," elements of it were good food for thought.
  • Help From the Tech Industry: We widened the discussion to more generally talk about how the major players in technology - Apple, Google, and Microsoft - produce "help for teachers" in various ways. How much of this is genuinely helpful vs. pure marketing? How much thought does each of the three seem to put into pedagogy? Do you think they've got teachers or marketing execs writing their materials? What sort of things have they produced that have been genuinely helpful to educators? We discussed each company's track record in education as well, including Apple's historical dominance in the US education market and efforts they put into it, such as the Apple Classrooms of Tomorrow project, a landmark study in educational technology.

Slides from our meeting are available below:

Redefining Teaching & Learning with Technology Meeting 2

Reading materials:

Members of the TLC formulated action plans related to creativity in the classroom to complete before our next meeting in February. Our third meeting will focus on a piece of action research on digital assessment and feedback completed by my co-chair.