SUNDAY, MARCH 22, 2015
Posteb by Katie Morrow
The first week of March 2015 was more than the start of another spring season. Instead, Kevin and I traveled to Italy to take on an incredible experience of exposing and inspiring Italian educators.Challenge to Change was the brainchild of Alberto Pian, an ADE from Italy who we met last summer at the ADE Global Institute in San Diego. Our friendship deepened throughout the past school year as we communicated via email and the ADE Community, exploring common passions in education. Alberto dared to organize and orchestrate a four-city Italian tour where we collectively shared our day-long message about summoning courage to challenge the status quo in teaching and learning.
The core team also included Julie Willcott, an ADE/science teacher from Maine, and Ugo Falace, who founded Centro Leonardo, a company that publishes Multi-Touch books and provides diagnosis and tutoring for students with learning disabilities. For months, we planned our message and content across the globe, working through language barriers with the help of Ugo's knowledge of both languages, and Google translate. We spent several hours in Skype sessions and collaboratively designed an iTunes U course (with all 5 of us as course contributors) to be shared in conjunction with the Challenge to Change experience.
Julie's explanation of our preparation process:
"The entire process of preparing for the event has been educational in itself. We established an iTunes U course for participants with all presenters as contributors. We each wrote our posts in our native language and provided a Google translated version of the post. We then reviewed the translations of other presentations who did not speak our native language and "cleaned them up". Through this process we were able to develop a bilingual course. We were also able to prepare ourselves for the upcoming presentations as we had developed an understanding of material that was not to be presented in our native language."
Alberto was able to work with people in each of the four Italian cities (Rome, Naples, Torino, and Lucca) to secure funding and plan for the workshop logistics. Each of the partners were supportive of our efforts to promote iPads and other related technologies to Italian schools. In addition, Alberto summoned ADEs in and near each of the tour stops to support our efforts by promoting the events through social media. This communication was critical to the enthusiasm and following that fueled our week.
The Italian people were so extremely welcoming in all the cities we visited. The Challenge to Change attendees were truly appreciative and excited to soak in as much as they could. Besides being so enthusiastic about what iPad in education can do, I really applaud Alberto's efforts to wrap the experience in pedagogy- through Challenge Based Learning. Kevin and I delivered sessions at the start and the end of the day that bookended all the great content (augmented reality, robotics, Sphero, Osmo, Ozobot, coding, iBeacons, Multi-Touch books, podcasting, game-based education, and more!) demonstrated by the rest of the team. Everything we did throughout the day tied back to the CBL framework, providing the "why" for what we do with technology to promote teaching and learning.
Photo Credit - Giacomo Fedi, UIBI (Lucca)