Tuesday, February 28, 2012

School Tube on iPad

In looking for a video to supplement our study on the writing of the Constitution, I (re)discovered School Tube videos work on the iPad.  I say rediscovered because at one point during last year, I may have checked and it didn't work or it did work and I don't remember.

Either way, I am happy to say that School Tube videos worked well on the iPad.  The embed code is located in a slightly different spot than YouTube, but accessible.

Here is the video that supplemented our learning.

Consider School Tube as another resource for video supplemental material.

Episode 7 Google and It's New Policy

As of March 1, Google is changing its privacy policy.  I spent some time organizing the most important information.  You may want to take some time to review it before Thursday.

Six Tips To Protect Your Search Privacy

How To Remove Your Search History Before Google's New Policy Takes Affect

Google's Policies and Principles

Don't Have Time?  View This:

Whiteboards Get All Involved

I continue to be pleased with the group whiteboards that were created at the beginning of the year.  This video is a great example of how the whiteboard is large enough to facilitate all students participating at the same time.

Changing Word Documents To Web Pages

Monday, February 27, 2012

Google Docs and Form For Voting On Best T-Shirt Design

Students spent one class period designing a t-shirt which gave some background before attacking a theme problem in math.  In order to vote on the best designed t-shirt, a process was set up.

Student Link For Information

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Episode 6 Organizing Google Docs

Digital Citizenship For The Entire 8th Grade

As our school implements more and more digital devices, we took an afternoon to explain everything about rights and responsibilities of using technology.

We know that it is an ongoing process each day to teach proper digital citizenship, but this was a good starting point for students outside of our house setting.

The presentation below was our guide.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Google Form To Enhance Learning Through Video

In my Wall Street class, students learn many aspects of business.  Today we watched two videos.  One on a company's CEO that looks to candidates who have overcome adversity.

Another video was by a YouTube boss who looks for candidates who have more to offer than just what's on paper.

As students watched these short videos, a Google Form was completed by them.  Google forms are great technology tools to engage all learners.  Each students must provide their own voice, and they can not hide in a notebook.

Our students are active in this process as seen below...

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Shirtee App & Google Forms Sets Math Problem

The students experienced this blog post without any further instruction.
A response in the form of a Google Form was asked of the students.

The initial problem in our book was modified and presented to the students with this post.

As always, I find the concepts that problems are embracing and try to find an app or web resource that enhances the concept.  The Shirtee app served our purpose.

Students then posted their t-shirt design to their blog.

We will continue with the problem during our next math time!

Students Finally Can Get A Cell Phone

As I try to challenge students more in developing mathematical thinking.  Basically trying to follow some advice from Dan Meyer!  I went about a problem that was presented in our textbook, which of course, laid out the entire problem for them, in a slightly different way.

My plan presented them with this blog post and nothing more!

Students really struggled with the question of what to do.  Some even displayed their frustration through loud speaking!
  • I don't get this!
  • What are we suppose to do!
  • Where's the math in this!

Eventually, a student realized they need to research plans to see what the most cost efficient plan would be based on minutes.

After the initial fury of questions and debates, I presented the students with another Dan Meyer tactic.  A very small piece of the problem.

Finally, students started to use resources that seemed to fit the task.  The Graphing Calc app was used by this student to compare different plans that were presented in the problem on our blog.  I really liked how this student explained the reason why he was using the app.

As a bonus, I was able to utilize my new podium placement with a student immediately placing their graph so all of the students could see.  I really like this podium placement as it is centrally located.  I also have another mirror connection cable so that students in the front of the class can quickly display their iPad screens.

DrawPad for iPad

I always celebrate it as a win when students choose an app that best fits their educational need.  Especially, if I don't help them.  This girl explains how the DrawPad Pro for iPad fits her needs and why she is using it for her debate!

Whiteboard Work Areas

Due our remodeling (so to speak), we have new whiteboard work areas!  Perfect for group work or individual instruction!

QR Code After Remodel


After I remodel the room slightly, students reacted via a QR code's question.

Monday, February 20, 2012

This Is How We Do It!

Today our school district created a professional development day that was conducted entirely in house.  Twenty-six different staff members developed a lesson for staff that was based on something they feel passionate about relating to technology.

Our idea was to teach staff how we would teach students.  Conducting a lesson plan complete with integrating technology while learning content.  Our content needed to be fun.  We chose bathroom etiquette.  It was well received.

Our entire lesson was really a Lesson About Nothing. (We created a blog specifically for all the resources that we used, and the Simple Mind creations of the teachers)  However, we incorporated a number of tech tools.
Non tech tools included an introduction to our collaborative white board areas.

Teachers laughed, struggled, and engaged their way through the lesson and discovered the possibilities of truly integrating technology into a classroom setting.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

iPad Camera & BYOD Perfect Tool For Self Assessment

Our students are preparing for a debate with a partner against another two students from our class.  Today we created an itinerary for the afternoon block.  As part of this, students needed to filming their partner talking about the section they must present on Tuesday.

Advantages of using iPad camera (compared to other device) for video assessment and prep!
  • Ease of use
  • Large screen for viewing
  • Front and rear facing camera
  • Instant clear access to video for review
Advantages of using BYOD camera's for video assessment and prep!
  • Students can still use iPad for viewing notes
  • Have video on device for use and practice at home
  • Students were able to blog (see last video) while other student has iPad
Words spoken after reviewing (blogging) about their video and speaking presence on camera!
  • I move a lot
  • I need to look at the camera
  • I need to talk slower
  • I need to know the material better
Words of reflection can create actions of change!
See how we did it!

Notes (PaperPort Notes) Speech To Text

A student found a great feature in this app!

Student demonstrates how to create a speech to text option!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Simple Mind App for Organizing Debate Topic

As students develop debate topics with facts and research, we had them organize with the help of the Simple Mind App.  See Teacher's Example

Integrating Technology, Group Work, Individual Work

Once again, implementing tech at the right time is crucial.  Today our lesson was displayed in depth for the students to follow.

Items In Today's Lesson:

  • Group Work
  • Individual Work
  • Google Forms (for submitting homework scores)
  • Contextual Problems
  • Drill & Practice
  • Choice
  • Web 2.0 - GoSoapBox.com
  • Graphing Calculator
  • Blogging
See It:

Google Search Slightly Different on an iPad

Created a resource for students on Google Search Tips and Tricks.  I discovered that the searching is a slightly different look on the iPad.

See The Entire Blog Post For Students

View the Screen Shots (used Skitch)

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Student Blog Reflection Before Quiz

Students are able to quickly reflect on topics that will be presented to them in a quiz through blogger.  Before iPads, I would have never taken ten minutes for students to reflect and process quiz topics.

Benefits of Reflection:

  • Processing Skills
  • Students must explain the processes
  • Teachers can review "what the students know" prior to the quiz
  • World Wide Web always brings out the best in students as they know it will be available to everyone
  • Time is really not a factor, and I believe that in the end, overall knowledge of concepts is retained longer
See How We Blog:

Students really start to use different tools to enhance their blog post with multimedia documents!

DEBATE? Google Groups Perfect Tool

As we continue to combine communication arts and social studies this year, a perfect marriage of the two contents comes in the form of debate and the U.S. Constitution.  We are setting up the great debate that is the writing of the Constitution by displaying proper debating techniques and discussing debate topics.

With this comes the opportunity to debate topics that are really not social studies related, but definitely topics that students can proclaim yes or no.

In order to "give every student a voice", I decided to try Google Groups.  I chose Groups because
  • it was a closed, invite only forum that would allow our students to state their opinion without the entire world knowing.  
  • a thread, reply type flow of conversation exists
  • we are a GAFE 
  • students didn't need to set up another account with another web service
  • worked very smoothly on iPads

The Set Up:
  • Create Your Group - keep private
  • Invite members of class - used emails from contacts
  • Edit my membership - all students should do this because they can read it on the web

View videos of Google Groups in action:

We did openly talk about the different responses that students had by displaying the threads of responses on the SMARTboard.

Overall, Google Groups was a great tool for debating topics, worked well on the iPad, and engaged all students with a voice!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Blog Post As Assessment

I have recently been focused on students writing more complete blog posts.  Our second installment of this took place today.  See what the students saw, and view the action.

What this does for understanding:
  • Students must provide individual voice
  • Students must explain what they have discovered
  • Students review the process
  • Students must formulate the "whys" to the math concept
Why I like blogging:
  • Easy using blogger app
  • Allows for media to be added to the blog post
  • iPad camera certainly provides an "open window" to multimedia
  • the blogging "time stamp" creates a natural deadline.  I think students need to become aware of deadlines and how to adjust to them.  Almost all business and college settings require a task that needs to be completed by a certain time.
iPads (or any digital device) really do allow us formulate our discoveries in to our own language.  I encourage all teachers to take moments to reflect on topics that are being discovered in your classrooms.

American Revolutionary War Experiential Learning

As you know, we are about using iPads and experiencing learning.  Below is our final product of scripts, students filming the events from different angles, and FUN!

Who wouldn't want to be involved in this type of discovery!

Big thanks to the teachers and students of the Endeavor House for the creation!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Student Blogging Allows For Personalized Understanding

I can't emphasize enough how blogging has positively affected my students' understanding of concepts.  After some small instruction, students are so efficient at blogging about concepts that we can complete great blog posts in minutes.

It has taken some time (about 5 months), but students really can blog quickly!

For me it proves that digital devices can't be in a lab.  They have to be with students, a part of students, an extension of students.  Having them accessible all the time, allows for efficient reflection and creation!

iPad For Rubric Evaluations!

I have found a way that allows me to be quite efficient in grading blog posts.  I use a laptop to view the blog posts and my iPad along with a Google form to complete the rubric.  View the images below to see iPad screen shots of the process.  In the screen shots I am using the Google app.

*note: I created the Google form on a laptop prior to using it on an iPad.
*note: I used Skitch to create the screen shots below - great app!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Commemorative Stamp Created Through Pic Collage App

Students were instructed to follow these directions.  To formally assess the students on their knowledge of events during the American Revolutionary War, students used the Pic Collage app and Blogger to demonstrate their knowledge.

A student's final production!

How Ant Smasher App Fit Into Elimination Method

One More Time:  Integrating a tech tool at the appropriate time is THE single most important concept teachers need to understand when using tech tools in their classroom.

Today was a prime example.

I introduced the Elimination Method in a Direct Instruction setting.  After showing one problem, I asked the students to find the Ant Smasher App (FREE) on their iPad.  I did not instruct them in any way, but told them to play.

Screams, Shrills, Excitement (especially when bugs multiplied) Commenced!

After 3-4 minutes of smashing ants, I asked this...

The students then proceeded to their groups to work on similar problems.

As always, I find a concept and attach any app, website, video, or anything else that connects life moments to mathematical content.

Setting The Message In (Virtual) Stone

While I am impartial to iPads, I realize that many digital devices will make my following point!  Having verbal guidance from a teacher is one thing (an effective thing), having visually appealing pictures, written language, or video substance can make or break a student's ability to succeed.

Since we have iPads and every student has digital access during school AND after school, I decided to place all three lessons (Algebra, PreAlgebra, Social Studies) in written form and visual form on our classroom blog.  I am finding that many students struggle with following directions!  In the past, students may only hear the instructions while in class or receive the instructions on paper (but subsequently lose the paper).  Placing instructions on the web, allows for the content to be relatively "written in stone".

Digital Tools Used By Instructor OR Students During The Three Lessons

Without a digital device, iPads!, this would not be possible.

Become a student and see what they saw, read what they read, and view what they viewed.



Social Studies

Monday, February 6, 2012

iPad Camera & YouTube Becomes Great Tool For Sharing Revolutionary War

The iPad camera integrated with our YouTube channel has TRULY been an integral digital tool in our learning environment.  We have been all about "telling the story" of U.S. history.  Over the last two days, our students have acted out major events from the Revolutionary War.   We used a script written in Google Docs and shared on the iPad as our play script along with numerous camera persons to capture the story and discover the learning.

If I didn't have the amazingly quick video upload to YouTube option on the iPad, I would never be able to keep up with shooting video and uploading it so that others (students) can view it!

Another positive is that when all of the video is compiled into a playlist, the story is told and students can refer back to it for studying purposes.

Overall, the iPad camera and quick uploading capabilities has been nothing short of fantastic!

Educreations For Assessment

Once again I am amazed at how well students can perform on a homework assessment, but when asked to explain the process for solving a problem, they struggle.


We finally found something that will work for us.  We created an account that all students can use to upload their content.  We now have all of our student Educreations located in one area on the web.  Each student's creation has an web URL so that it can be shared via email by the instructor after evaluating.  Students will then place the link on their professional blog.

This really opens some doors for us as we have tried to enhance student's understanding of apps that we previously used.  Students will now be able to share their creations and, hopefully, get better at using this app.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Using YouTube To Supplement Lesson

Implement Correct App At Correct Time

Placing a tech tool in the hands of the students AT THE CORRECT TIME is the key component to integrating technology.  I believe we did that today!  Factor Samurai is the app.

Experiential Learning The Battle of Lexington & Concord

Yesterday was a great example of how our house, with smaller student numbers and a flexible schedule, can use technology and experiential learning.

  • We used a script that WASN'T printed on paper to hand out.  We placed the script of each battle in Google Docs and then posted it to our website.  We had enough iPads for most students to view.
  • iPads allowed for us to be mobile.  If we would have had netbooks or laptops they would have been extremely clumsy
  • Different students were filmers of each battle.  The iPad was very mobile and easy to use.
  • We had three different camera people so as to have three different angles.  It is amazing to see how much additional action a person sees from different angles.
  • Students will use Reel Director to create a finished movie project.
  • Students handled the iPads with care.  Nothing negative happened.
  • Our schedule allows for us to have 1:20 to 2:58 for 8th and 9th hour.  We do not need to adhere to the bell which allows for an extended session of discovery.
  • The thought of moving and experiencing learning provides so many positive comments from students.
    • "I understand this because we actually did it.
    • "Is the class period over already?" My Favorite
    • Can I be a filmer?
    • Can I be George Washington?
  • Even though 8th graders "ACT COOL" they love learning like this.
See how we did it.

Battle of Lexington & Concord:

The Reading of The Declaration of Independence

Battle of Bunker Hill

Episode 4 YouTube Playlists

How YouTube is Transforming the Educational World

YouTube For Schools

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

iPads In Education - To The Device and Beyond

N.E.W.L.H.S. is going one to one with the iPad in 2012-2013!

Opening Form

iPad Idea A Day

Volume Purchase Plan

Simple Mind App

My App List

Apps Integrated With Students

Apps Integrated With Adults

Apps For Struggling Readers and Writers

TCEA Apps By Subject

Apps In Education

App Advice

20 Must Have Apps By Real Teachers

IEAR.org Apps For High School

Apple In Education

LiveBinder of iPad Resources

iPad and Bloom's Taxonomy 

Digital Citizenship

Closing Form 

Video After Assessment Ensures Continued Learning

In the past I have often struggled with students who do not complete the assessment while others complete it.  I have found that creating a video cast of the next day's lesson ensures that learning can continue.  If students don't get done with the test during the class time, the instruction is available online.  If students are done with the test, they get individual instruction so that their learning can continue.


  • The video needs to be less than 10 minutes long.
  • Don't complete ALL problems.
  • Require students to STOP the video often and complete problems.
  • Use a screen recorder, options include Screencast-O-Matic, Screenr, I use CamTasia  
  • Post to YouTube or Vimeo
See How We Did It:

Google Maps Allows For Us To View Battles

Reflection Just Before Assessment

Matching Activity With Book & iPad

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...