Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Teachers Attend Tech Summer School

Several of Keystone High School's "Classrooms for the Future" teachers spent two days of their summer break brushing up on iWork and iLife '09 applications. Apple trainer Paul Tarantiles traveled from New Jersey to teach us the latest and greatest about the newest versions of the software. (We haven't met an Apple trainer yet that we didn't like!)

We explored GarageBand (Did you know you can take piano and guitar lessons through GarageBand?) and learned to make Animoto-like videos with iPhoto. We also found that we can create books through iPhoto and have them published into hardbacks. In addition, we developed projects with both iMovie and Photo Booth.

Our second day was spent primarily on podcasting. We explored the thousands of free podcasts available for download through iTunesU and then created enhanced podcasts in GarageBand. Each of us researched historical events that occurred on our birthday, gathered related images, wrote a script, and then narrated our podcast. We had a great time sharing our finished products. Let's just say we have some very creative teachers!

Paul, a former classroom teacher and school technology director, shared excellent ideas for integrating all of these tools into our classrooms. He also convinced me that there is no reason to buy Microsoft Office when you have Pages, Keynote, and Numbers on your computer! (Paul liked our local Italian eatery so much that we took him back there for lunch on the second day. I won't be surprised if he visits us again just so he can eat at Vito and Connie's!)

I think we all enjoyed and benefited from our two days of "summer school." As one teacher put it, it was nice to relax and concentrate on the training instead of worrying about what her class was doing while she wasn't in the room!

Bill Irwin, Brett Vaughn, and Paul Tarantiles

Sharon Geary and Ann Noonen (from Crawford Central SD)

Sandi McElravy and Barbara Beggs

Greg Heath, Bill Irwin, Dan Reed, Brett Vaughn

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