This summer it looks like I will be helping run an iBooks Teacher Academy for teachers in my school. We'll be partnering with a local university (more on this later) so we'll be able to offer SB-CEUs and/or university credit. Our plan is to use this to help leverage the technology we already have in our building. Last summer we bought a cart of iPads and for the most part we've only been using them as a portal to the internet. When we bought the cart we knew this would be the primary way it was utilized, but now we're hoping to move beyond this.
Our secret plan is to get teachers investing in professional development to change the way they think about teaching with technology. Our summer training will only be three four hour days. The focus of the workshop will be split between how to use programs to author interactive iBooks and TPACK (when did this change? I thought it was TPCK). We don't simply want to show teachers how to use the tools. We want to help them think about how to use the tools to teach better.
So how will we accomplish this in 12 hours? The short answer is we won't. We're also planning a series of three to four more 90 minute meetings during the following school year. These will be a chance to get back together and share what we've been working on and get feedback. I'm also planning on pushing for an online collaborative component. I've run some staff training in the past and I've not gotten much traction with any online stuff I've done after the fact, so I'm not dead set on including this. I will be thinking about it through and I'll post details to my blog if anyone is interested on following our progress.
So, why iBooks Author? Because it is really slick. Yes, I know you're locked into the Apple iPad ecosystem. But, at it turns out that's ok at thins point. That said I'll be watching for Inkling Habitat when it becomes available to the public "later this year". Our focus is not only on the specific tool, but how we can use the tool to create pedagogically appropriate content for our students. This last is what I'm excited about.
Below is a my latest iBooks 2.0 demo video. I made it in part to advertise the possibilities to our staff while at the same time testing out the capabilities of Camtasia Mac 2 and Reflection (which lets me mirror my iPad on my computer). I highly recommend both programs!