Today we were in sunny Pembrokeshire at Oriel Q Gallery, Narberth delivering Photography and PS Express on the iPad for NAWR Arts and Education Network. This workshop was for teachers who wanted to learn more about photography on their iPads and how to get to grips with PSExpress.
It’s always interesting when you get a mix of skills and abilities. Some participants just needed a few pointers and ideas whilst others hadn’t really explored creating with the iPad. Working together we explored a range of possible activities which can be used in the classroom. This group of education specialists were fully open to extending, developing, and adapting their skills to fit the needs of their pupils.
Throughout the day I overheard comments and conversations such as “I can see how this activity would work with this type of student, but how about we adapt it like this to work for a student with these specific needs.” Whomever said education is a ‘one size fits all’ system clearly hasn’t met these intrepid and inventive professionals. Empowering participants to improve their existing knowledge base, have the space to become more innovative, and share best practice, is what contemporary teachers in Wales are all about.
Today I’ve been working with teachers in the Pontardawe area showing them how to use the iPad more creatively in the classroom. It’s not hard. The iPad is child’s play so why do teachers feel they need training?
Teachers have such a workload that sometimes the main thing they’re missing is thinking time. Working upwards of 50 hours a week and switching constantly between roles and responsibilities is taxing. Teachers and creative practioners need calm and quiet to develop ideas and initiatives. They need space to knit together innovations and theories with the students they encounter.
Today’s workshop has given everyone involved the time to consider how the camera on the iPad can be used to tell stories, spark debates, create enigmas, and develop visual communication skills. We looked at how the simplest of words can evolve into a full project and how to tell stories in a short sequence of images. We also looked at what can go wrong with the technology and how you can work in creative ways around this when you have a group of knowledge-hungry students in front of you.
Our participants are now itching to get back to the classroom and weave iPad magic into the curriculum. Good luck! In a few weeks it will be the turn of teachers in Narberth, Pembrokeshire to learn all about Photoshop Express on the iPad.