This eBook provides a useful approach to selecting iPad applications for teaching and learning.
Jim Norwood’s 99 cent eBook is an easy read that lays out a logical approach to thinking about what types of iPad apps can play a useful role in instruction, and where they fit in the learning continuum. The “Rule of 6” provides an organized set of natural steps in the teaching and learning process, which in turn can be readily applied to thinking about how apps, the lifeblood of the iPad, can fit into the educational process. Many apps are cited as examples that work within each of the 6 lesson stages discussed, and an Appendix of apps is offered, with the same organizational structure.
The “Rule of 6” identifies six steps that typically occur in effective lesson design and delivery:
- Gather: The initial stage of the student takes in some information, either on his or her own, or via a teacher or possibly another student.
- Organize: The student applies pre-existing knowledge, rules, patterns, etc., to this new information to discern meaning and internalize this new found knowledge.
- Transform: At this stage, the student “explicitly transforms and internalizes the material. A pathway solution is apprehended, or a knowledge artifact is conceived.”
- Format: The student prepares the solution or knowledge artifact for communication to an audience.
- Transmit: The knowledge is communicated (at which time it can be gathered by someone else and the cycle can begin again).
- Collaborate: Any and all of the above areas of a lesson can incorporate collaboration.
Each of these ideas is discussed at length and developed into a useful rubric of sorts that can be an aide in many sorts of lesson planning activities. Each stage is thoughtfully illuminated with a discussion of synonyms that shed further light on activities that can correspond to it. For example, in the Gather stage, information may be Viewed, Collected, Sensed, Acquired, Received, and so on. This sets the stage for transforming these actions into Apps correspond to them.
Applying the Rule of 6 to App selection
By taking each of the 6 identified stages and identifying synonyms that correspond to them, we create a framework that facilitates the selection of iPad Apps. Taking the example discussed above forward, if we examine just the iPad’s stock applications for those that are used to view, collect, sense, acquire, receive, or otherwise gather information, one finds apps such as the Safari web browser, iBooks, Newsstand, Photos, Videos, and more. If we turn to the ebook’s appendix, we will find many more examples of such applications, including YouTube, TED, Goodreader, Zite, The Elements: A Visual Exploration, and many more.
This basic approach is then repeated for all six of the Rules that the author espouses, and dozens of apps are presented within this staged learning structure. This logical approach, along with a straightforward writing style and very low cost (just $US 0.99), make Jim Norwood’s eBook, The Rule of 6: How to Teaching with the iPad, an affordable robust resource for selecting apps to use in teaching and designing lesson plans and facilitating education.
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