Who's in the Burrow?

iPads at SBA: New App-roaches + Traditional Best Practices = Enhanced Teaching and Learning

 I hit the “Play” button and the voice of SBA junior Daisy Schadlich comes over my computer speakers as I stare at the snow-white screen in front of me. 

“Hi calculus class, this is Daisy, and here is my problem.”

“So you have a hill” - a downsloping black line appears on my screen - “you’re going to have two gates, a blue gate and a red gate” - the blue gate appears uphill and the red gate downhill. 

“You have a skier at the first gate right now, and his coach is standing perpendicular to the second gate...” - two stick figures appear at their respective gates on the hill, then Daisy walks me through some mathematical formulas before letting me know the following: “We are looking for dx over dt which is going to tell us how fast the skier is going.”

As Daisy walks me through the problem, explaining the steps along the way, I hear her mental wheels turning as I see the solution unfold on my computer screen. Nothing new here: how many times have you heard a math teacher instruct you: “Ok, walk me through what you did here.” This is traditional best practice at work: students have been asked by their math teachers from time immemorial to articulate how they arrived at the solution to a math problem. 

Adding to the old-school feel of the assignment is that this is really just pen-and-paper or maker-board problem solving, but with a fresh and innovative approach that has far-reaching implications for Sugar Bowl Academy student-athletes, who must interface with teachers while on the road in the winter and early spring to far-flung races and comps. 

That’s where SBA’s 1:1 iPad program promises to make a tremendous difference in teaching and learning. The potential for flipped instruction on a highly portable platform is where the real magic lies; with teachers screencasting and posting instructional videos for the benefit of their students, and students then showing their mastery of the material presented through their own iPad screen castings. 
"The recorded narration of the problem-solving process helps me to truly see and understand the students' thought process as they are working through the problems, and to identify where, if anywhere, the break-down in reasoning occurs. On the students' end, using the iPad seems to really enhance their engagement in the assignment and their investment in the learning process." - Steve Ascher
You can watch and listen to Daisy’s solution to her related-rates
calculus problem at 
Said Daisy: “The interactive aspect of the project is really helpful to my understanding of the material. I think it helped everyone in the class to have to actually think through the process of the problem, instead of just doing the math mindlessly.”

Click HERE to see Daisy's "Educreation" project.