Got up at 6.30 … Felt like middle of the night, but they want us in the main meeting room by 7.45, freshly showered and fed. Thankfully, they do decent coffee here!
Great opening by Peter Scott from the Open University: Great content its king – but only if backed up by context, reflection, engagement and assessment. Like the idea that you have to DESIGN courses to suit these needs, transforming teachers into mentors. For them, iBooks is much more than a book – it’s a virtual learning environment. He even goes so far as to say that VLEs will eventually kill apps … Guess he is right, too. We’ll probably be going deeper into this during the workshop this afternoon.
Next up was Bill Frakes, Sports Illustrator Photograph, working on behalf of Apple for quite some time. His pics are amazing, telling great stories in a nutshell. His videos, too, are heavily focussed on telling the story. He uses very little technical tools or tricks of the trade, but brings in the camera as replacement of the eyes of the curious spectator. Love the examples of Mark Coppins school with Sepcial Needs Kids doing stunning things with iPads.
Following a non-disclosure event, we had two sessions on iBooks Authors and iTunes U Course Manager. Got loads of information, but couldn’t really let it sink in yet .. Will definitely look into how to use video-hotspots into iBooks .. very cool feature for panorama pictures, tests or interactive pages. I must admit that I am rather tired now – glad the dinner break is approaching! Slightly unsure as to how fit I will be for the evening session …
The evening session was destined for group formation. “My” topic started out with a lot of people interested to work on it somehow, but then they all broke a way one way or other – either abandoning the question of how we can create an environment that fosters creativity entirely, or narrowing it down to the extent of specifics like how to use storytelling or photographing. In the end, it was just Ross Wallis and me who were very passionate about creating a toolbox of sorts to enable teachers to use specific creativity technics or settings to create a structured chaos that would then leave room for creativity. Alas, a group of 2 does not count as a group, so we had to get assignments in other groups. Ross will do something on photography, and I got adopted by a group that is working on digital citizenship.
In the end, it was after 22.30 that we finished, and I was going to retire, but then Werner and I were sorting out some quick matters like Twitter and e-Mail problems he had, and it was after midnight – and one whisky later – that I made it to my room, where I was summing up everything that had happened to Marie: She hadn’t understood most of what had been presented in the workshops, because the people spoke too quickly for her, and had missed out entirely on the group finding activity, not realizing what it was all about. By 2 o’clock, we finally switched off the lights …