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Leveraging Technology to Choose Your Own Learning Adventure

Pennsylvania Convention Center, 118A

Explore and create: Exploratory Creation lab
Preregistration Required
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Innovation & Technology Coordinator
Branksome Hall
Junior School Innovation & Technology Coordinator at an IB PYP school in Toronto Canada. Experience working overseas in Hong Kong, Italy and the UAE with Canadian, International Baccalaureate, and American curriculums. With experience as an Innovation Coach at an Apple Distinguished School, and as an Apple Distinguished Educator, Apple Professional Learning Specialist, and a Google Trainer, passionate about the power technology has to transform learning.

Session description

Participants will learn how to use tools within Apple's iWork suite to create personalized and interactive learning experiences that allow students to "choose their own adventure." These engagements apply to all K-8 subject areas. ISTE Standards for Students addressed: 1.1, 1.4, 1.5, 1.6.

Purpose & objective

The purpose of this session is to support teachers in developing learning engagements that promote learner agency, voice and choice. Learners will use the tools within Numbers and Keynote to create learning engagements for students which promotes universal design for learning across the curriculum.

- Learners will be able to use the iWork suite (e.g. Numbers and Keynote) to develop choose your own adventure learning engagements.
- Learners will learn how to use the various tools within the iWork suite (e.g. video, drawing, tables, audio recording) to develop engaging learning experiences.
- Learners will explore how these strategies can be used across subject areas (e.g. storytelling, open ended mathematics problems, science experiments, social studies)
- Teachers will learn how to use algorithmic thinking strategies to develop learning engagements which incorporate learner choice and learning style.

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Introduction: 5 mins
Show an example of how Numbers can be used to create a "choose your own adventure" learning engagement in social studies. This was used as part of a unit around settlement. Each page of the "spreadsheet" is a different engagement related to creating a place to live. For example, students have to decide a place to live, choosing this through drawing and/or video. Next they need to include an audio recording justifying their choice. Mathematics is incorporated through budgeting for the settlement. Students need to calculate the cost of their purchases and running total.

Exploration: 20 mins (5 mins per station) - Peer to peer interaction, device based activity
Participants have the opportunity to explore 4 different examples of these learning engagements:
- Mathematics: low floor, high ceiling choose your own adventure
- Science: Sphero experiment for forces and motion
- Literacy: Choose your own adventure Keynote storytelling
- Social Studies/Literacy: app prototyping & information texts

Using sticky notes (or Padlet), learners will reflect on how these examples help promote learner agency, voice and choice.

Core Learning (15 minutes):
Facilitator shows the basic functions of the iWork suite for multimodal learning engagement design.
- Formatting (e.g. stages, linking to following activities)
- Media (e.g. drawing, video, audio recording)
- Forms of reflection (e.g. tables, conditional formatting, drop down options)

Practice (15 minutes):
In the spirit of "choose your own adventure," teachers can choose between the following two activities.
1. Teachers are provided time to begin developing their own engagement with support from others and the facilitator
2. Group brainstorm, using Padlet, Nearpod, or similar to group brainstorm how this idea can be used in different contexts.

Using the thinking routine Square, Circle, Triangle:
Triangle: 3 big points you are taking away.
Circle: A question that is circling your mind.
Square: Something that is "squaring" with you.

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Supporting research

ISTE, EdTech for the K-12 Classroom , Second Edition: ISTE Readings on the How, When and Why to Use Technology in the K-12 Classroom

McBride, A (2021), The EdTech Coaching Primer: Supporting Teachers in the Digital Age Classroom.

Apple: Elements of Learning

Apple: Elements of Leadership

Apple: Everyone Can Create

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Session specifications

Universal Design for Learning/differentiated learning
Grade level:
Skill level:
Coaches, Teachers, Technology coordinators/facilitators
Attendee devices:
Devices required
Attendee device specification:
Laptop: Mac
Tablet: iOS
Participant accounts, software and other materials:
iPad or Mac with iWork suite installed (Keynote, Numbers, Pages)
Subject area:
Math, Special education
ISTE Standards:
For Educators:
  • Use technology to create, adapt and personalize learning experiences that foster independent learning and accommodate learner differences and needs.
  • Foster a culture where students take ownership of their learning goals and outcomes in both independent and group settings.
For Students:
Computational Thinker
  • Students break problems into component parts, extract key information, and develop descriptive models to understand complex systems or facilitate problem-solving.