On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me… an introduction to an app, whose very existence opened doors, saved time, and made the sharing of knowledge faster, farther-reaching, or simply better.

Post by BCcampus’ editorial team

Granted, it may not make much of a song, but there will definitely be visions of the 12 Apps of Christmas dancing in our heads this year as we cross our fingers that our names make it onto the Nice list.

Last year brought about the first-ever British Columbia version of the much-beloved U.K. 12 Apps of Christmas, first launched in 2014 at Regent’s University London (RUL). The fine folks at RUL were kind enough to set up a guide to help others around the globe to create their own 12 Days.  Sylvia Riessner from the Educational Technology Users Group (ETUG) brought the idea forward, and along with Clint Lalonde and Leva Lee from BCcampus, set about creating a version for educators in B.C., with help and contributions from ETUG and our teaching and learning community. With over 200 participants, primarily from Canada but also some from the U.S. and the U.K., last year was a resounding success—so naturally, we can’t wait to do it again!

Starting December 4th, 2017, the 12 Apps of Christmas will launch, and we will highlight and unveil a new app each day. Each app will be accompanied by a post detailing what it is, where and how you can get it yourself, and some helpful tips and suggestions on ways it might prove useful in a teaching and learning context.

Each day’s reveal will also include a small challenge, test or instruction of sorts, to get readers trying the app, with participants invited and encouraged to share their results and findings as they go.

You may wonder about the thought processes behind the 12 Apps of Christmas format, how it came to be, and why it is important. Again and again, educators have said that lack of time is one of the most significant obstacles to their ongoing professional development, particularly when it comes to exploring new technology tools that have the potential to support teaching and learning. Of all the resources, it seems time is in shortest supply all around. The 12 Apps of Christmas is an easy and quick way to engage participants to experiment with a selection of apps that fellow educators have found particularly useful. The hope is that the manageable, fun and bite-sized delivery format of the 12 Apps challenge makes participation doable even for those who are juggling the busiest of schedules.

Further to the spirit of the gift of giving this holiday, all lessons from these microlearning events are shared under a CC Attribution 4.0 International License, with further sharing welcomed and encouraged.

Eager to sign up? The 12 Apps of Christmas would love to have you register and join in with us. ‘Tis the season – or at least it will be before you know it.

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