Takeaways From the iPad Summit

1.  If you want to be successful you have to accept and share your failures.  You simply will not get it right the first time.  If you can’t admit errors and talk about them with others you might never put all of the pieces together correctly.  The idea that “failure is mandatory for success” is more than an idea.  It should be referred to as the “First Law of Innovation”.  

2.  While I came to the iPad summit I expected my focus to be on lessons and products.  While I had many discussions on this topic, what was on my mind most was the idea that a room where collaboration and higher level thinking takes place, should look like a room where collaboration and higher level thinking takes place even when there are no students using it.  As my friend Greg Kulowiec said so precisely “the sight of students using devices to demonstrate their own learning and creativity while seated in orderly rows that all point to the spot where the teacher stands doesn’t make much sense.” I drew up a new arrangement and it was good.  Then I threw it away.  I’m going to have my students discuss it, debate it and create it.  Thanks to Don Orth for eloquently framing this idea in his presentation. (Link)

3.  There is no single answer to what is the best when it comes to devices in the classroom.  Schools are going to have to find the program that best suits them.  Regardless of what they decide, schools need to identify what needs they are trying to meet, what goals they are trying to achieve and then build a program around that.  Pirating another schools program will not deliver the results that you think it will.

4.  Those who use technology are aware that the technology is ever changing. Tomorrow will be different, the apps you use will change. Technology programs will have to be nimble enough to transfer their goals and objectives to the next device. Staying apprised of what is coming is hard work.  The future belongs to those who build networks that can share in the work and adapt quickly.  Be Nimble!!!

5.  I never heard even a single person at the iPad summit say the words “I don’t have the time” or “it’s not my job to…” I listened to everyone sharing what they wanted to do and what they had to learn.  Yet they all had taken the time to share with each other. When they set off at the end of the conference (the very end, the final session was packed with people) you could tell that they were going to bring it all back to their schools.  I wish them all the best of luck as they share with their staff back home.

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