A Letter to #MASSP-- Encourage Collaboration

Hello Michigan Secondary School Principals,

Many of us had the chance to chat at the iPad Summit held in East Lansing a few weeks ago. But for those of us who didn't I wanted to take a moment and inform/remind you about the iBooks Author Collaborative project going on this summer. If you're currently, or will be soon, educating in a 1 to 1 iPad environment at any grade level this project is a worthy investment of your money and your staff's time.

We all reach a point in our iPad initiatives when we must evaluate the technology, address how it is transforming our teaching and learning practice, and answer the question 'how will we sustain the program?' I deeply believe this project can help us address all of these concerns.

Collaborate - Create- Share
The iBooks Author collaborative is a project that will bring teachers together to create and share high quality, digital 'textbook' content. Teachers participating in this event will also have access to the content created by other teachers so that they can adopt their work and personalize it for their own students.

We know, and research shows, a personalized learning experience is a contributing factor to an engaging and successful learning experience. Teachers will have the ability to update and personalize these interactive ebooks which is unlike any other hard bound textbook.

The vast amount of digital content readily available online along with access to high end authoring tools like iBooks Author makes a great case for this project. However, to the average teacher, the task to create this digital content can seem daunting unless we work together. I have no doubt that by participating in a hackathon event this summer your staff will be well on its way to authoring authentic content, increasing their expertise in their field, stimulating their creativity, and leading your school into a deeper and more meaningful level of tech integration.

I want to ask you to encourage your creative and motivated staff members to get involved. The cost of the two day event is minimal ($30). I want to ask you to support their efforts, possibly offer participants $200 for creating shareable content. What could possibly cost the district $2000 this summer (sending 10 hackers) could possibly lead to saving tens of thousands of dollars in the coming years by not having to purchase textbooks.

In conclusion, we truly believe the better reason for getting involved is the benefit to student learning that will occur as a result of your teachers getting highly active in collaborating, creating, and sharing these resources.

Please feel free to ask further questions or direct teachers to our website and Google Community.

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