In addition to my presentation for the speed-geeking event at Castilleja, I got to listen in on another presentation that was part of the Castilleja faculty’s all-day inservice about iPads. This one came from Cheryl Davis of Acalanes Union High School District. This four-high-school district in the east bay is fast becoming a leader in digital media in education, especially in the use of digital textbooks. Their faculty members have created several digital textbooks using the iBooks Author tool, which we’re hoping to bring to our own campus in the years ahead. Their faculty members also make use of the free materials available through the K-12 materials available on iTunesU and the Khan Academy, which I hope you’ll peruse if you get a chance.
Once again, no one book or video or demo tool is the magic bullet for teaching any subject or any student. But there are a ton of great resources out there that teachers can use to expand and improve their existing courses. I think this is the thing that means in-person education is here to stay: it takes a master teacher to make learning meaningful for his or her students. Although the teacher is no longer the primary deliverer of information–Wikipedia and Google can handle that, these days–the teacher is the expert in the room who helps students make sense of all the information out there. To me, the 21st century teacher’s role is as an expert guide, not as the “sage on the stage” anymore.
Stay tuned: Ms. Davis talked about a series of amazing apps that I’d love to share with you and that I hope you’ll take the time to explore.