Now that I am teaching teachers, my busiest months are during July and August…the traditional vacation taking months! So my “summer” comes in September, when there aren’t any teachers who want to be out of their classrooms attending training. Last week we headed down to Punta Cana! To say it was beautiful would be an understatement! While my waist line is a few inches larger and my skin a few shades darker, what else did I accomplish while there? Along with lots of sunscreen and bathing suits, I packed a few things to read…People magazines and……
Lori’s Teach Like a Techie with Apps book. To say I am challenged with technology would be an understatement! I surround myself with younger, more tech savvy teachers and I look to the experts. And that is what Lori is…an expert. What do I like most about her….she makes you feel empowered. She never makes you feel “stupid” about technology, but leaves you feeling like you “can do this”. I love hearing her present. It is like you are having your own private conversation, and she is funny. She writes just like she talks. So when I was reading her book, I could hear her saying it! Bet Lori doesn’t know that she was with me in Punta Cana!
Here’s how the book is set up:
It starts with some general classroom management tips when using ipads in the classroom and how to get everything set up. She goes back to the basics:
how to take a screenshot
how to change the wallpaper
how to create a website shortcut
how to create a photo album
Then she gives 20 of her favorite apps. She reviews some that will help you manage your classroom and help you organize your assessments. She also reviews some that are for the kids to use. Now these aren’t the “games” that you might be thinking about. These are apps that will have your children working at the highest levels of thinking as they create, analyze, and apply.
She also gives you a checklist of questions to ask yourself before you add the apps…free or purchased.
The one part I was really excited to read was the last chapter on projecting from your ipad. While she explains how to do this in the classroom, as presenter I am already thinking about how I can use that information in my presentation!
Oh and one more thing about Punta Cana….Did you know that only 40% of the children in the Dom. Republic attend school? While that number may seem low, at one point it was less than 10%! So why don’t kids go to school? While Andy and I were on an excursion that took us into the Dom. Republic culture, our tour guide explained the reason. First, the parents who live in the countryside need the children to work, to help support the family. So schools in the countryside run in shifts…ages 5-10 go from 8-12, ages 10-13 go from 2-6, and over 13 can go from 6-10 in the evening or on Saturdays for an 8 hour session. There are schools in the cities that run on a more traditional schedule.
The other reason that kids don’t go to school…the parents can’t afford it. While the government pays for the teacher and the school building, it is the parents responsibility to pay for the uniforms and the school supplies…all of them. How much is it? $300 a year. But if you have 10-20 children, which is normal in the countryside, you can see how that would add up. So schools rely on sponsorships. We drove by the school that the tour company sponsored. They provide all the needed supplies and uniforms for ANY children who want to go to school.
The kids were at a recess break when we drove by. The girls at the little building were signing up for the things they needed. While you may not of heard of Bavaro Runners, the tour company, I bet lots of us have heard of the other sponsor…Scentsy!
One last picture…Andy and I went by ourselves to Punta Cana. But the weekend before we went, Megan and I went with my sweet daughter in law, Ginny and her mom for a girls weekend in Hilton Head. Only boy that was allowed….Matthew! Oh my word, isn’t he just the cutest? I may be a little partial…