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Jul 22 / Justin

Reflection on ADE Cork

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I write this from Dublin, Ireland. I’ve taken a couple of days after Cork before returning to my new home, Korea, to see a bit of the country that hosted this years “ADE Global Summit.” Whilst here in Dublin I’ve taken it fairly easy and consequently had a bit of time to reflect. This reflection led me to realize that its been quite a while since I’ve posted on this blog – not quite enough to actually post though, mind you. No, the straw that broke the camels back on that front was that the majority of most Twitter posts seems to be mainly about cheese right now. Need to change the conversation..

A good topic whilst it is still fresh is learnings from the ADE event I just attended. I was lucky to be selected to attend this event which was held in Cork, Ireland from the 15 – 28th of July 2012.

My mind is still swirling a bit from all the interactions and presentations during this event so rather than try and sum up I’ll unload them in no particular order below

  • Apple is certainly a company that understands very well the needs of educators. When I say they understand I mean more than simply their products fit well in schools (more on that in the next point) but that the employees of the company and the consultants it employs (for example Bill Frakes the photographer) speak the language of educators very fluently.
  • It gelled with me more at this event than ever before that the tools of technology today are ideal for learning but not necessarily ideal for education (at least as education is often configured). This is where tools like iTunes U and iBooks are so key. They allow for the potential to bridge the gap between devices that are ideal for individual learning and productivity with the needs of an institution/teacher to package and “manage” learning activities and resources. I’m not sure iTunes U goes far enough with this but I’ll reserve judgement until I have more experience.
  • I have big questions about the future of the LMS. Not that it is going away but rather the function it will perform. One of the focus areas for this event was “open learning resources” I thought this was great. In a way a little ironic given that iTunes U courses and iBooks (in particular) are exclusive to iOS devices. It would be great to see if there was a way to publish iTunes U courses not through the iTunes Store or if there was a iTunes U API. I can imagine a LMS of the future being able to create an iTunes U course (and maybe even iBooks) on the fly from a more generic learning database. In this way the LMS is the “uber” database for learning content for a institution and iTunes U is a “channel” whereby this content is distributed.  I love iOS devices. However, I can’t also help feel that BOYD should be the future, if so the content can’t be tied up in a platform specific context.
  • Cork was a great location for the event. I really relished to opportunity to visit Ireland on this trip. The Irish are great hosts and Apple chose a wonderful venue for the event. I wish I had more of an opportunity to speak with the Irish educators at the event – my fault entirely as I found myself handing with the “usual suspects” (and having a great time)
  • There is a need to repackage content – Everyone left the event on a project team that is supposed to put something together for iTunes U. Many of these projects are essentially repackaging “good content” from online sources. I found this interesting. I’m excited about the project my team is working on. Essentially an “Admin Leadership Technology Integration Toolkit.” There is a lot of good content out there but I’m not sure it has been put together for the particular audience we chose.

    Our project description is as below:

Educational leaders at all levels have always needed to make curricular and instructional design decisions. The current context is one where mobile technologies have the ability to transform curriculum design and pedagogy. Therefore educational leaders need to embed decisions about technology into existing curricular design processes. Our iTunesU/iBook will provide resources to help the architects of student learning make decisions to integrate mobile technology to support students in reaching learning targets.

I’m sure this will evolve but that essential idea will remain as I think it is a resource sorley needed. I look forward to posting a link to it from here in the fall.

Tomorrow I head back to Seoul. I’m conscious that my friends in schools are probably getting close to being “anxious” about the new school year. Particularly those in Admin roles. Its strange (and welcome) to have this feeling absent. There is not a lot I can do, I guess except send good vibes their way. Consider them sent.