It was a very busy two days at Bangkok University for Apple Thailand. The goal here was to work with a group of higher education teachers (mostly University Lecturers, Doctors, and Professors) to develop and refine their resources (Multitouch iBooks) and iTunes U courses. My job was to talk about the process I went through as a teacher using these tools and what I learnt along the way, my journey – if you want to get all reality TV dramatic (I will post up the resources I created for these workshops soon). I then gave some workshops on iTunes U, iBooks Author and Keynote and spent the rest of the day working with them on their courses.
The other Apple folks talked about great content such as SAMR and other best practices. The biggest thing I saw is that the participants had great content, they were doctors and lectures after all, and knew what they wanted to share, but it was the simple design and layout that was causing problems. Yes, being a Graphic designer for many years before I got into teaching was helpful, but I talked about ways I put my books together thinking of the students that would use them. Breaking up text with entertaining media, adding in a range of content to cater for different learning styles and always trying to add in a touch of humour.
Other things that were more obvious to me but not to those starting out were things like layout. Using only a few styles of text, each representing a certain thing (for a heading, section or body of text). What is most important on the page?, moving media around or in different spots to make the important sections stand out. All these things I found came naturally to me now but not for beginners starting out.
It got me thinking that my next iTunes U course should be about the how of creating resources such as Multi-Touch books and the why of how the look. Stay tuned for that one.
Another bonus is I was able to make some great connections for my school. Moving forward I am now looking at projects that Good Sam can work on with the help of Apple Thailand, Singapore and New Zealand and some new ways of sharing resources from our students with schools from those regions.
So, time to catch a plane to Singapore and to Apple’s head office for all of Asia Pacific (they have over 4000 Apple employees there, and I am told I will get the rare treat of eating at Steve Job’s designed cafeteria)