I’m really excited about the potential in our new iPad app, Making Camp. I’ve been taking an online course on mobile web design and it reminded me of all of the cool features we could use for mobile devices.
- We could use geolocation to compute distance from where the student is to a specific place, like Copa Ruinas, Honduras. (That’s featured in a game coming out next year, Aztech games.)
- We can use all of the touch capabilities. We did that some now, with tap and swipe events. We can do a lot more, though. We can allow students to rotate their phones or shake them to cause certain things to happen. This could be anything, from “shaking” a person to wake them up in the game to causing it to snow in a snow globe.
- We can also combine the location and rotation capabilities so that as students move their phone around they can see different things in augmented reality games. (Yes, this is coming up in 2018.)
- There is also the option of recording voice, so students with reading disabilities, or physical disabilities, or who just happen to feel like it, can submit their answers via voice instead of type text.
…And that’s just the tip of the iceberg!
We didn’t include these features in Making Camp originally because we made it for Chromebook which did not have any of these features.
My point isn’t that I didn’t already know about these features, I did. However, I was busy working on something else that didn’t use those features.
What does this have to do with professional development for teachers? Actually, a lot.
Now that the course has reminded me and given me some ideas of how to implement those, I’m very excited about it.
Sometimes, the benefit of a professional development activity for me as a teacher isn’t learning about maximum likelihood methods or project-based learning or whatever, because I already know that information. So, is a waste of time? Usually, no. Even if I know the content, I may get examples that had not occurred to me of how to apply that and what I’m trying to teach. Often, the benefit for me is that something that has been simmering on the back burner of my mind as an idea I could use gets heated up by the excitement and actually happens.
I’m not talking about those really boring professional developing activities with a drone on and on about nothing. I’ve been in those too, and I feel for you.