Recently, after meeting with Robin Stuart, the Drumlin Farm education director, I realized that I would need to ask permission for a new free app that we hope to use in conjunction with Drumlin Farm to build students' naturalist skill and interest.
The app is Creek Critters.
I filled out the form this week (week of July 27, 2015) to get permission to use the app. I would like the app to be put on all the fifth grade iPads. In our system, apps are added to the iPads by the tech department staff. Teachers do not have that ability.
Now that the form is completed, the app will be reviewed by multiple leaders including some from the tech department, the science/math director, the principal, and perhaps others.
Once the app is reviewed, I will receive notice from someone in the group of whether the app is approved or not. Sometimes rather than approval, app requests are met with the need for more meetings so that the app approval team can better understand the request. If that's the case, I'll make time for those meetings, and ask my building principal to attend the meeting with me to make sure that I'm meeting the building objectives for technology use in an optimal way.
Hopefully, I'll receive positive approval by the start of the school year so that I can begin use the app to support students' naturalist science-standard learning efforts.
Earlier in the summer, I queried about the app/tech approval process. I learned that the system above is still the system in place for tech approval. I then wrote a note asking that the system change to what I believe would be a less timely, more teacher-friendly system. The system I desire includes the following steps:
- Teacher identifies a positive tech program.
- Teacher has permission to upload tech programs and apps, and tries the tech program out with students.
- If the tech program proves to meet the educational objectives the teacher and students hoped for, then the tech program is shared with others.
- After that decisions would be made about whether to extend the use of that tech program to others in the system.
I'd like teachers to have greater control over the fluid, facile use of tech to meet the needs of individual, small groups, and whole classes. But our systems have been created by multiple leaders, and they've created the system above as an optimal tech path for good learning.
I'll follow the system as noted, and look forward to the next step with regard to Creek Critters. Let's see what happens.