Developing Community in the Field: an inquiry built with iTunes U

I was lucky to be able to collaborate on a back2school week project.
Objective: to build community amongst our faculty of educators and administrators.
Establishing connections within our local environment became a central focus and fresh from the Apple Distinguished Educator Global Institute where the entire week of learning experiences were structure around iTunes U, I decided to develop a series of engagements in iTunes U allowing participating teams the freedom to explore, capture and publish artifacts directly from their iPad.
Entitled: Evolving Skylines, our environmental treasure hunt was specifically designed as an exploration of who we are and how we are part of our collective ‘skyline’ or landscape. Embracing innovative inquiry, mobile learning and the use of social media directly established a blend of physical and digital connections.

Teams were established mixing departments and new/existing faculty, each requiring a car, one smartphone, an iPad with the course & media creation tools, Twitter account and QR reader.

With all team members being entirely new to iTunes U I was amazed by how easily the course allowed them to immediately engage with their environment and learning experiences. Utilising the embedded content and capture potential of iPad gave each team the opportunity to personalised the experience and created media rich stories.

Heading out into the field, each team had to tweet artifacts back to HQ once an engagement was completed. Using a hashtag #evolvingskyline ensured all tweets could be curated and encouraged a little healthy competition.

Twelve teams excitedly hit the road and
Tweets were curated via Storify

Reflection
Returning to HQ teams gathered an curated their experiences directly from iPad, from soundscapes, GoPro clips to Picstitched images. I was particularly impressed by the level of engagement of each team, transforming ways of collaboration and creativity and further establishing a culture of mobile learning through our school landscape.

Feel free to check out the course here:
An exploration of our landscape
(https://itunesu.itunes.apple.com/enroll/FES-ZPP-5X2)

With such rich beginnings to the school year, it is essential to both maintain and sustain this model for mobile learning and further develop these ideas amongst the student body.

To facilitate continued engagement we launched a new iTunes U course:
Developing Leaders:Redefining Mobile Learning
Collaboratively design together with fellow ADE Caroline Haebig, the course specifically models and provides a professional learning curriculum that is focussed on embedding mobile learning technologies in ways that support strong instructional practices directly increasing student engagement and building teacher capacity to be mobile learning leaders.
More on this in a new post.
Screen Shot 2014-08-31 at 12.24.26

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