Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Draw Venn for iPad

In every classroom setting, I always start with the educational content that students need to discover and build tech tools around that.  At 8:00 am yesterday, I knew we were going to discuss the two different major armies in the American Revolutionary War.  With that came us describing each advantage that the armies had while fighting.  This led to some differences that they had as well.

This brought me to the thought that a Venn Diagram would the perfect tool.  Prior to iPads, I would have had students draw two big circles on their papers.  Black and White with some Blue horizontal lines running through them.  This would get the job done, but really allows for little creativity.  It also allows for students to hide in their notebook.

As always, there must be an app for that!  This brings me to Draw Venn for iPad.  A well designed app that is visually appealing.  I found it by simply searching with Google: "Venn Diagram iTunes App"  Whenever I use iTunes app it simply searches the links from iTunes and usually nets plenty of choices!

When introducing an app for the first time, I show VERY minimal features of the app.  Simple navigation is the only features shown.  Below are the quick items I displayed for students!

Initial Explanation of App

The Features That Create The Circles

Changing Fonts and Colors of Text

Color of Venn Diagrams Matter

Creating Picture as Watermark Background on Venn Diagram

Saving A Document
Saves venn diagrams directly in the app!  No Cloud Needed.  This allows for multiple users on the device to be able individually have a creation without disrupting another's work!  Big Bonus!

We will be posting these creations to our students' professional blogs.
Overall, this app rocks and could be used for MANY curricular areas.  Always a bonus when spending money!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Career Day - iPad Apps In Use!

As our career day rolled on, students started to ask if they could use the iPad for creation of a game that the presenters originally wanted on paper.

Apps that students used: Whiteboard App, Photo Editing, Animation HD

Presenters said, "Now we can tell our bosses that we need iPads to do our job!"

See how the students did it!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Student - Led Conferences Night 2

This night was really highlighted when a dad of one of our students placed his son's professional blog on his smart phone.  To top things off, his dad placed a notification so that every time his son posts on his blog, his dad will be notified.

Connection. Communication. Engaged.

See the son's reaction!

Another great win went like this: (apologize that I don't have video)
Two parents of our our students have not allowed their children to use Twitter.  One of those parents attended conferences tonight.  As his daughter was talking through the agenda for the night, he waved me over and asked about Twitter.

I explained to him ways that we use Twitter in the classroom:

  • Our MVP - most valuable point from a day's lesson
  • Anything that interests the students should be posted to the world
  • We created a Twitter Timeline of events from the Road to the Revolution
  • Another way to ask questions of students and teachers
I also explained to him that we teach students how to be professional while using social media and not banning it.  Just as we don't ban students at 16 from using the car, but teach them how to drive.  We do the same with technology.

After the explanation, he looked at me and said, "Sign her up tomorrow!"

Win. Win. Win.  Both for me and the smile that was brought to the student's face!

Collaborative Groups, Team Tests, & Google Forms,

Today we completed our team test which is an activity that allows students to work through math problems that resemble questions they will see on their individual test.  We changed it slightly today to incorporate the "Let the Internet Grade Your Assessment"  See how it works:


  • Students really discuss questions, processes, and answers
  • The Google form and corresponding spreadsheet provides valuable data to direct teaching and learning prior to moving on.
  • Allowed me to really focus on the concepts that students needed reteaching prior to moving on
  • I tried to create the Google form with more fill in the blank and less multiple choice answers.  This was a HUGE negative.  Even with specific directions on each question, students did not follow them.  
  • Once answers are inputted incorrectly, it is very challenging to change them on the form (I haven't found an easy way)
  • Today, it required me to correct them the old fashion way.  Not the time saver that has happened in the past
Final Thoughts:
  • Concept Good
  • Must get students to understand importance of following directions
  • Will try again!

Tech Tool Tip Episode #3: Change That Password!

Thanks to a great poster created by the Daring Librarian, changing passwords is today's episode!
No matter how painful it may seem, change your passwords!!!

Get The Poster In The Video

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

American Revolution Interactive Timeline

The American Revolution Interactive Timeline App is a great find for front loading the students with information about the American Revolution. I decided that the best tool for recording the information from the timeline was going to be paper.  Yes, paper.  I didn't want students working back and forth between apps today because the timeline is so well designed and streamlined that I wanted the students to "stay in the war" so to speak.

Student Explains the App

Amazing Detail!!!

We also allowed for a back channel of "Hey, I found this" on Twitter.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Student-Led Conferences: Parents & Students Engaged!

Day 1 of Student-Led Conferences is in the books

This was probably the best student-led conferences that I have experienced.


The parents and students were engaged because the students really knew how to maneuver the iPad to demonstrate all of the work that they completed.  I could sense that students were taking pride in showing their online professional portfolio, creations, and tweets.  I am also thrilled that the professional blogs are a year-to-date body of work.  We didn't just show them tests as was in the past, but all the learning experiences that have occurred along the journey. Students had an agenda that they were to follow and parents totally wanted to hear all about it.  Some parents and students were present for over a half hour!

My favorite video was when a parent asked, "Can I come back to school?"

 See some other reactions below.

Google Form For Formal Assessment

In our study of the "Rise to (American) Revolution", we have emphasized to the students that they need to be able to tell the story.  We have completed several activities to help in this, including tweeting a timeline of events.

Today we used Google Forms to acquire the story from the students.  I liked the fact that all student response were organized neatly in a Google spreadsheet for assessing.

I will copy the student's writing and paste it into an email.  My comments will be in red so that they will know the corrections that need to be made.

No Paper!

Google Docs on the iPad

I shared a Google Document that allowed students to summarize a section of a book.  Students contributed to the summary by including all thoughts on one document.

Some people have said that Google Docs do not work well with the iPad.  I had absolutely no problems today while using this!

The Reading (Found on Internet for Free); The Google Document 

Important Step:

Blogging Continues To Be Great Reflection Piece

See what the students had to include in their post HERE

Blogging was also an effective tool for students to place in writing a concept that was just learned.  Before students could post the information, we verified that the information was accurate.  It was a great eye opening experience as students at first could not articulate what they had learned.  Awesome tool to solidify the concepts before moving on.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Text Message To Parents: See You At Student-Led Conferences

We have tried to inform parents in a technological way about our Student-Led Conferences that are happening next week.  We sent parents in invitation via the iPad.  Today, students used their their cell phones to inform parents about the event.  See the instructions for students.  View how we did it below.

Since our district allows BYOD, some students made it easier on themselves because they had their parent's cell number already in their device.  Worked great!

Great to see a quick response from parents!

Some clarification by students needed to be made to parents.  What's not shown is that her mother responded with a confirmation text that she totally understood what we were doing.

IMPORTANT:  I made sure that students capitalized correctly and spelled correctly prior to sending the text.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

iPad + Twitter = Perfect Tool For A Timeline

We have been studying the events leading up to the American Revolution.  First, with individual exploration of learning, and second, with some direct instruction. Read all of about that here, here, and here,

Today, we have assigned students an assessment that requires them to use Twitter.  Items we needed to think about prior to assigning this type of assessment are below:
  • What order should the tweets be in?  We decided to have the tweets be in reverse chronological order so that when the student is done, the tweets will be in the correct order from the top (beginning of the story) to the bottom (end of the story).
  • How will we be able to quickly view the tweets?  Students have their own, unique hashtag for each tweet.  This will allow us to click on the hashtag to see all tweets in order.
  • How hard is it?  Some students expressed a challenge of limiting to 140 characters.  The purpose is to give a timeline of events, which SHOULD be summarized in short phrases.
View the Process:

Engaged Learning But Not Enough Time

I really dislike that learning somewhat ends when the bell rings.  This does not happen in real life.  Today, the students needed to use a proportion to solve a "tag and capture" problem.  The main goal was to have the students determine the process and MORE IMPORTANTLY reflect through blogging the challenges and successes of the day.

Many students struggled with the concept and organizing the data.  This was frustrating as we have been working through the concept for three days.  However, the most frustrating thing about the day was not being able to bring closure to the activity.  Because of the frustrations, an ideal learning opportunity would have been for students to reflect and learn from others reflections as well.

Tomorrow, we will need to wrap up the lesson with a reflection.

What I Could Have Done Better:
  • I could have established a time for a follow up on our blog or twitter for this evening.  
  • Instead of a long blog post, I could have had them tweet a quick reflection followed by a more detailed blog post tomorrow.
  • I should have broken the lesson down into two days at the start.  
Items I Liked From The Lesson:
  • I like problems that don't give the students much direction.  I larger question steers them in the direction they need to go.  My question: "How many tadpoles in their pond (bag)?"
  • I liked the opportunity to show them the YouTube clip of an actual person in the woods collecting data.  This I thought gave a great visual relationship to the simulation in our book.
  • The whiteboard groups continue to provide small positive learning environments
See the Day


Tech Tool Tip Episode #2: Google Bookmarks

Get Google Bookmark Tab On Chrome
Google Bookmarks Help

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Model Classroom Concept at WASB

It was with great pleasure that we provided a session on how our school district is implementing digital devices.


View the Setup:

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

iPad Keyboard NOT an Issue For Students

So many people ask me if the iPad keyboard is an issue.  Just now, I viewed two students utilizing the keyboard in two effective ways.  See how they do it!

Tweeting In Math Class!

Without the iPads and the personalization of it, we couldn't tweet using the Twitter app for iPad or even tweet using the web version.  All of our students worked to tweet about items learned today in class.

We even had some students start to form conversations!

Split Keyboard on iPad - Student Teaches Me!!!

Once again, I find students teaching me.  This student was using the split screen, which he demonstrates how to get.

I didn't know, but now I do!

Lecturing In An Unique Way

At times we do need to give the students information!  We decided that we were going to have 2 days of student investigation using QR codes and search tools on the iPad.

After that we are solidifying their learning by "telling the story" so that they can understand the Rise to Revolution!

See how we did it!

Love the fact that students are starting to grab the app they feel is best for the job!

Student demonstrates split keyboard while taking notes in Google Docs

Monday, January 16, 2012

Direct Instruction To Group Work

This activity didn't really require much from the iPad, but the whole "rethinking the learning environment" has come about because of iPads.

Today, we needed to get some direct facts to the student, but certainly didn't want to have an entire class period of "sit and get".  So we came up with the below activity.

Individual Instruction Based On Assessment Data

On Friday, students completed our first ever paperless quiz.  From that quiz and the use of a Google form, I have received valuable data that was used for individual instruction.  This individual instruction allowed students to have the unmastered concepts to be retaught.  In the mean time, students on their iPads watching individual instruction on a new concept.

Transition from direct instruction to individual review small groups

Second Transition:

Third Transition:

My Reflection:

  • Overall, I believe that it was a valuable use of the iPad for individual video lessons and individual review of quiz material.  Some might argue about having the students use a video to help, but those same people may not be in a classroom with 26 students who need your attention.  The video allows for me to be everywhere!
  • After reviewing the work  by students, some students need to do a better job of checking over their entries in the Google form.  Some students had the correct answer on their work, but didn't record the answer correctly on the form.  I emphasized with students how important it is to check over their work so that it coincides with their inputted answer.  A learning lesson!
  • After experiencing a different way of providing feedback in the form of individual videos emailed (here as well) to the students, I felt like the data from the Google form provided definitive data for corrections.  I also felt that the whiteboard lesson was more interactive and controlled than the individual videos.
  • Will try again!

Simple Mind App - Perfect Tool!

This is amazing!  Student CHOOSES Simple Mind app because as he puts it when asked was it an easy app to use, "Yes, especially for this purpose!"

Students continue to know about tools on the iPad and use them when they feel they would be best.

*Really, isn't that what technology is!  A tool and students need to know when to use the correct tool for learning to effectively understand!

The detail and organization is NOT something we mandated.  He decided to come up with the organization of colors, views, and order of events.  This starts to give me some feedback on whether he understands the events leading up to the Revolutionary War.

QR Codes, Videos, Multiple Times For Learning

This student was in the process of watching information for the second time.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

BYOD - Our District Allows This!

*** Our district's practices and policies are below the video!

I am so thankful for our district that allows students to bring their own digital device.  Even though we have iPads in our classroom, students still bring XOOMS, Kindle Fires, Kindles, Smartphones, and iPod touches.

What really impresses me is that students KNOW when to use them for educational purposes.  See how this student utilizes a Kindle Fire (which I mistakenly took for a XOOM, sorry about that!).

So many great people on Twitter ( @jcrawf04  @chadkafka  @g5changeagent21 @jbrogley  @robkmil   @eduvulture  @marmaladelibby  @KristinStrauman  @ryanorilio  @Taml17  @andrew_mcgovern )   retweeted, favorited, followed, asked questions and/or responded to the BYOD information from above, so I thought I would expand on our district's process and policies.

After students and parents sign off on the Wireless Electronic Device Policy and Acceptable Use Policy, student users will be added to the PSD Mobile network.  The PSD Mobile is a "log in" network which students log in by using their GAFE log in as they would do on any wired computer that the district owns.   This allows for our district to monitor the internet traffic and ensure the filtering settings while students are using the district's network.

What a teacher (me) has found:
  • For the most part, students use the internet educationally
  • When they don't, they lose access during school
  • Students hate when their classmates have access and they don't

Friday, January 13, 2012

Paperless Quiz on iPad

I had to try it!

Our first formal quiz strictly using the iPad.  Paperless (as far as the school's budget).  I scanned the test as a .jpg and inserted on our classroom blog.  I created a Google form using Mr Schwen's creation.  Another item that we noticed and implemented was touching the scanned pictures of the test in another window by touching and holding the picture with one finger.  A very cool part of the process is that the scores and explanations of problems that they missed instantly gets emailed to the student.

If you don't have time to watch, view all the great feedback comments BY STUDENTS & ME at the bottom!

Student explains how she easily imported the test into Notes (formally Noterize).  I will be giving these directions to students the next time we complete this task.  She then emailed me the note of her work.  She was efficient at using this process.  I need to get everyone to be like this!

 Some of the student's work from the above process can be found below.  I will respond to her work in an email.  This truly would be a great process if every student could get to be efficient at this.

Comments from students on the process:
  • I actually like it because I can have as much space as I need on my own paper.  I am not restricted to just the space on the test. ~Jenna
  • I like it, but I wish the first answer in the nn the Google form was blank.  In jumping back and forth from test to Google From, I forget where I am at. ~Heaven
  • Honestly, I don't really think it is that hard of a process.  ~Noah
  • It does get somewhat confusing clicking back and forth between test and Google form along with my work on paper. ~Jarrett
  • A little difficult, but next time I'll know what I'm doing (referring to technology) ~Brianna
  • It was ok, not too hard, but it was hard to get it onto an iPad to work. ~ Shannon
  • I liked it because it was a lot easier to do the problem on a separate sheet of paper. ~ Lydia
  • I still prefer paper and pencil, but for all the paper it saves, it was pretty good, ~ Justin
  • I liked that you can see your score right away, because I'm nervous about how I did. ~ Kennedy
My Comments:
  • Wish I could find an easier way to have students do work on iPad!
  • Love the data created by a Google form
  • Love the fact that I only have to look at work on the test.
  • Thankful that maybe I can save some money on paper expenses!
  • Make sure I "Revert To Draft" my blog post when test is over, which removes the test from online.

iPad Camera & YouTube Channel

So many articles have focused on teachers branding themselves in a positive light.  We speak on a daily basis to students about branding themselves in a professional manner on the web.  A FREE and easy method of positively branding your classroom and all that happens on a daily basis is a YouTube Channel.

For me, it started with the idea that I would document everything that happens in my journey with iPads in my classroom.  While I like typing and certainly appreciate my 11th grade teacher teaching me the home row in typing class, I can't type fast enough to document everything.

My solution!  Use the iPad2 camera and a YouTube account.  (Signing in is so easy if you are a GAFE school or have a personal Gmail account)  Having this option has allowed me to post less than three minute videos in such a short time.  The great thing for me is that it is quick.  See how I exactly do it:

Problem:  I don't have an iPad!  If this is you, consider using your Smartphone.  Android services (yes, I said the competitor on this blog) on a Smartphone make it quite easy to upload a video to YouTube.  See how this can be done.

Once you have decided to take the plunge, set up your YouTube channel.  I don't have time to create all of these, so I used a pretty decent series by the manager of the link above.

My Settings:

  • I have connected with our classroom blog and Twitter account
  • I have included Playlists that are educationally based and used in our classroom
  • I have created a featured video section on the front page-this rocks
  • I NEVER state a students name while filming them
  • I try to keep the video less than three minutes
  • Lately, I have started to include students describing steps in tech teaching-it is amazing how much more students listen to themselves and classmates when learning something new.  

One Final Obstacle: My school & district block YouTube!!!  If you have the desire, take my channel and show administrators, school board members, and anyone else that wants to listen and show how it can positively reflect on your school district.  I know that tech support can choose to allow certain YouTube sites to be unblocked.  Have them make your YouTube channel the one!  If that doesn't work, take the video and upload it at home.

There truly is no reason, that you can't create a YouTube channel with a small goal of posting 1 video a week.  I get the fact that I may be overboard by posting 428 videos in less five months, but so many community members, administrators, teachers, students, and parents appreciate seeing the many positive educational experiences occurring daily in our classroom.

I would certainly welcome any feedback on this concept and other examples of educational classrooms that are utilizing this FREE method of promotion!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

An iPad Idea A Day

I had no intention of including any links to other blogs on iPaddiction, but I feel this podcast directly relates to what I'm trying to do which is discover, try, and master something new with an iPad each day.

  • Most importantly, implement the ideas with students!

I love this podcast for three reasons:

  • Quick and informational
  • Directly relates to my educational experience of the iPad
  • Coming from the States, the accent of the presenter @JoeDale is refreshing and awesome to listen to!
Do yourself a favor and learn something new every day!

Listen To:  An iPad Idea A Day

Students Invite Parents To Student-Led Conferences via Diji Invite App

The problem:  Parents need to know the time and place for Student - Led Conferences. Usually teachers worked very hard to run paper off, ask for the sheet to be signed by a parent and returned.  Some of which was "lost in transport".

The solution:  This year students will be the ones inviting parents to Student-Led Conferences.  We will be using the Diji Invite HD Lite App for this.

See how we did it.
We first set up our email accounts:  Here Are The Instructions

Teaching Tech Tool Tips To Teachers Today!

Yes!  That's a a great use of the T!

Today, we are starting our 10 minute teaching of tech tools to teachers.  This was an idea I had for improving the amount of technology knowledge that our teachers have.  Every week or every other week we have a grade level meeting during school!  During this time, I will be teaching a tech tip.  Some tips will be teacher directed and some will be student directed.  It is purely optional for teachers, but I hope that they find these valuable and want to stay!

I Get It!  This is not new! It is, however, new to our teachers.  I am thankful that our leadership team has allowed me to do this.

Really not sure how many episodes there will be.  Don't really care! One episode of learning is better than none.

So without further ramblings, "Episode 1-Gmail Filters"

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Model Classroom Description

Today I was asked by our tech coordinator to create a video that details my classroom set up.  As I looked through the videos, I really liked what I saw.  I couldn't imagine going back to lecture by me and sit and get in rows by the students.

If you are thinking about changing the configuration of your room, maybe these videos will help.

Link To Playlist

Simple Mind App

Students are beginning to gather as much information as they can on events leading up to the Revolutionary War.  Students were given free choices about how they wanted to record the information.  These students chose to use the Simple Mind app that allows for mapping of ideas.  They totally chose the app themselves.  How cool is that!

Personalize & Unpersonalize iPads All In Same Class Period

ATTENTION!  This will be helpful if you have a class set of iPads and multiple students using the iPads in a day!

Many apps are limited in that they need an iPad to be personalized with an email account in order to export through email.  The same holds true for Twitter.

Our students are brilliant! They determined a way that we can do this even though multiple users use the iPad each day.  See how they do it!



Recommended Apps: News360, Hitpad, MapBox

I used a QR code to introduce students to two new apps that they may use during D.E.A.R. time.  See the QR code for message below.

The apps are actually outstanding.

  • Visually Appealing
  • Easy to Navigate
  • Fun
  • Interactive

News 360


Tuesday, January 10, 2012

DiaMath App

Worth the price of the app!

Recording Studios - Sort Of!

We were having a challenge with background noise in our Educreations productions.  We solved this...

Since we are starting to do more student creations, we are looking at a permanent fix to this situation.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Educreations App - Activity and Features of App

The overall lesson in which we implemented Educreations is here.  The specific lesson is here.  We originally were going to use Screenchomp, but with new district settings to the network, we were having trouble saving it to the cloud.  This is our reason for trying Educreations.

  • Our tech people are working very hard to resolve the issue.  They are great and will!

While the app itself is great.  This has been a struggle.  As with anything there is a learning curve.  What I want is to have students create a lesson using the iPad to prove to me that they understand the concepts being taught.  Educreations is perfect for this!  It has a great amount of features which you will see.  One negative is the challenge to post it online in an area like Twitter.

  • Very important video at the end!

However, it takes a few tricks to get the creation to be finalized and viewed.  This is our first attempt at using Educreations.  I am sure it will get better.

There might be a better way!  If so, please leave a comment.

Initially, on Friday, we didn't give them much of a direction as we wanted students to create on their own.  Today, I felt we needed to give some direction.  The organization of four slides helped greatly.

I really liked how this student CHOSE to use a different app to enhance his Educreations. Awesome to see students take control of their learning!

I apologize for the video being turned.  The content is outstanding as a student talks about how to save the Educreation without logging in.  I am so willing to hear from students on what they have learned and they love being video taped and put on YouTube!

Interactive White Board and iPad Apps

Having the iPads plus an interactive SMARTboard really engages students to the point that I believe students are not thinking about anything but our lesson.

See the process:

Finding that color and the ability to customize the writing motivates students to be creative.

All important reflection!  Students complete the learning process by posting their creations from above to their blog!  They do this by holding the home button and the top button of the iPad to create a screen shot.  Students are able to access that picture through the Blogger app.  This allows for summarizing of concepts and finalization.

Student Reviews: Factor Samurai, My Math, Fraction Factory, Tic Tac Frac

On Friday, we gave students the opportunity to choose a math app for personal learning.  Students provided some short answers to questions about the app while playing them.

By far the MOST favorite app was FACTOR SAMURAI.  As a teacher, I found it was the first time that students quickly identified prime numbers.  It was addicting and students were excited about their high score.    We even tweeted about it.

Factor Samurai  FREE

My Math App  FREE

Fraction Factory  FREE

Tic Tac Fraction Review $4.99 (Worth It)

Friday, January 6, 2012

Reel Director App, Pottery HD, Financial Football

Students used the following apps on their own to create and learn.

8 Burning Questions About iPads in Class (Answered!)

I recently received an email from a media and tech teacher from a school district in Wisconsin.  The questions she has asked are awesome and could be helpful to others.  My answers to her questions are followed with actual video clips from my classroom. Enjoy and may this be helpful!

Questions are in bold!

How has it (implementation of iPads) gone for you and the students?
On a scale of 1-10 it's a 100!  The first month we experienced technical issues: not logging in right away, not connected to the internet, not sure how to use them, not what the uses would be.

Since then, we couldn't live without them!  The apps and constant access to the internet has opened up a whole new world of learning.  As one student just stated, "It allows me to learn by myself!" Ah! Self learning-isn't that a life long LEARNING lesson!

It has been a challenge to truly integrate the iPads and there many uses.  I'm not going to lie!  I don't sleep much, but I believe that I have truly come to understand how to integrate them! See this post!  It takes total out of the box thinking.

Take the concept that you need the students to master and think, "How can we do this on the iPad through an app or website!"

The students couldn't imagine school without the iPads.

So many students comment that they love having internet access to look up information to preview a concept.  Some of the favorite apps students like are the creative apps.  See all apps here and here!

What percentage of class time do the students use the iPads?
90% and increasing!!! Update From Friday's Class: Asked the students this question after explaining I received this email and their responses thrilled me.  They somewhat laughed and said, "Tell the teacher ALL THE TIME!"
I really see students moving away from paper notebooks and using their blog or an app to record their thoughts.

We also utilize Twitter as a place to incorporate the #pcsmmvp Most Valuable Point of the day.  Students have also connected their professional blogs with their Twitter account.

What types of activities are they using them for?
EVERYTHING!  The best way to see the activities is to take a half hour and view our YouTube channel!
Our most recent activity replaced a lecture by a teacher and placed the learning on students.  As the students  learned the content, myself and my learning support teacher moved throughout the room answering specific questions from students.  Totally engaged and totally on task!

Students Become Teachers!

How do they handle the onscreen keyboard?  Is it an issue?
Perfectly!  No.  Students are not using the traditional keyboarding finger placement as they would on a desktop or laptop, but it has not been an issue.  We purchased three wired keyboards to test and only 2-3 students ask to use them.  Others don't ask and type full paragraphs without saying a word.

How do you get apps installed?
We use the Bretford Cart and a Macbook.

Are the textbooks on the iPad?  good or bad?
Our textbooks are on the iPad, but not in the interactive way.  Not yet!  I use the smartboard notebook software and create a PDF of our chapters.  I email the students the chapter through our use of Google Apps for Education.  They download the book or open it with PaperPort notes or in iBooks and the book is on their iPad.

STUDENTS ABSOLUTELY RAVE ABOUT THIS!  They leave their traditional book at home and use the iPads at school.

It is not good!  IT IS GREAT!!!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

We Like Technology!

In preparation for our model classroom presentation in two weeks at the WASB convention in Milwaukee, we are creating short videos with student responses to two questions:
  1. How has technology changed the way you learn?
  2. What do you most enjoy about the technology in our classroom?
After receiving emails from all students, I chose the responses that seemed to be well thought out.  I then filmed the students using the iPad and created the video using REEL DIRECTOR on the iPad.  I finalized the video by creating notes for some of the students who may have talked softly during video taping.  This was completed using the YouTube video annotation editing option.

I may be biased, but I think it turned out quite well.  Who says one can't create on the iPad?!

Utilizing Time After Standardized Tests

Today, a two hour block was allotted for testing.  After everyone was done, we customized our professional blogs and linked our tweets with our blogs.  Students had fun and many learned new features of their blog without me guiding them!

Individual Test Corrections Tutorial

Many students require my attention during team study, a quiet time to work.  When I foresee many students needing my attention, I will create a video tutorial for them to view.  I work very hard to keep the tutorials under five (5) minutes.

This leaves me free to give individual instruction to the students that may need more guidance.  Today, I completed this for corrections on an assessment.

Students Thinking Before "School"

I utilize every minute I can.  Today, I asked the students two questions in an email.  The students responded before the actual bell that starts our day.  They even seemed happy about it.  The questions were the following.
(some responses will be in a coming video)

  1. How has technology changed the way you learn?
  2. What do you most enjoy about the technology in our classroom?

Who We Are In A QR Code!

Yesterday, a teacher from sixth grade ran up to our classroom door and said, "I've just learned about QR codes and Jenny (we've removed her real name to protect her identity :) said I should check out what your QR code says next to your classroom doors!" It then dawned on me that I hadn't documented the QR code and its content that is posted next to each of our classroom doors.

So scan below to see more information about the Endeavor House!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Is This iPad Thing Really Working?

Two way traffic

What I know!  I know this technology, iPad thing is engaging students at an all time high.  So many videos that are in my blog are students completely involved in the educational setting.  Maybe it's just the great students I have.  Maybe it's just the great room I have.  Maybe it's just the great furniture I was given.  I doubt it!  The iPad is a living, breathing, interactive tool that requires, yes, I said requires, your attention!  This I know!

What I don't know!  Is the iPad really helping students learn?  Is it helping them to MASTER standards and concepts that the state says they should know?  Is it moving them ahead of students who do NOT have a digital tool in their hands every hour of every day?

Where I am going!  We are planning a meeting with the five model classroom teachers to discuss this very thing.  It will occur during the first week in February.  How do we assess to prove that a digital device improves the ability of a student to learn.  I look forward to discussing this attempt to prove and will obviously present process and findings!

Final Prep For Students' Cyber Safety Creations

Created with Animation HD app

Monday, January 2, 2012

MemMatches App & Combining Like Terms

Sometimes in using iPad apps, an educator needs to think outside the box.  I incorporated a MemMatches App as an introduction to combining like terms.  See how we did it and most importantly a reflection from students!

Can play against one another-always a big hit!

This helped bridge the gap between the game and math concepts!

Great reflection as students use the game and concepts to understand the math!

Rise Over Run

Our students have been studying the slope intercept (y=mx+b) over the course of this chapter.  Today, after our team test, we will be using our iPads to view and respond through a blog post or Twitter to real visual situations of rise over run.

See what the students see!

My QR Code Message To The Students!

As they walk in, this is what they will be using their SCAN QR code app for!

Couldn't do it without the iPads!

See it!

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