Thursday, March 31, 2011

Learning Environment: Prior To Implementing iPad2

To get an idea of what my classroom looks like now, I created a video.  I have a vision for how the classroom will look differently next year when I implement iPad2's.  That vision will be for a later posting!

Enjoy another look into my classroom.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Equipment: Stands

While money is not limitless, these stand options might be a great addition to the 10 keyboard docking stations that we are thinking about implementing.  The 21st century model classroom is all about independence within a structured setting.  The addition of the choice for a stand may be something to look into.

These stands may be a nice alternative for students who don't want the iPad to be laying flat or we go with cases that don't create their own stand.  Two stands stick out to me due to practicality, endurance, and price and overall cool factor.

The DZ Dock looks rugged and simplistic with a great price of $19.99 found at Amazon.   (It also looks pretty cool!)

The Groovy Stand looks rugged (it's a piece of wood), simplistic, and the price, $11.95, looks fantastic.  Visit Groovy Stand!

Ten of these would enhance the classroom (and create a little higher cool factor) so that students would have a choice.  Eventually, I will need to decide, if the money is available, are they needed?

Larger Screen!!!

A quick thought about how the iPad 2 screen will be much easier to see while walking past students who are working.

iPod in video is version 1: that's what I have access to at this point.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Additional Equipment: Google Apps For Education

I am thrilled that the pilot of Google Apps has been a success and will be implemented district wide next year.  (We will be requiring all staff to use GMAIL and CALENDAR - NO Outlook) I have been fortunate to be a part of that pilot and have used multiple Google tools with students and for myself.  With that being said, the iPad 2 will be extremely friendly toward the use of Google tools.

Google Apps that I will be using with students in 2011-2012 as of March 29, 2011

Google Mail
Fast, searchable email with less spam

Share your life online with a blog - it's quick, easy and free - still working on how I can upload pics from iPad into a post (This is where Posterous comes in!)

Create and share your online documents, presentations and spreadsheets Only Spreadsheet &Word Processing

Organize your schedule and share events with friends

Get all your blogs and news feeds fast - want students to develop their personal reader of math articles

Create mailing lists and discussion groups

Create websites and secure group wikis

Business info, news and interactive charts

A browser built for speed, stability and security - teacher work station


Monday, March 28, 2011

Equipment: Apps List

Maybe this book will help? Get Book

Creating List of Apps For Purchase ($250 limit - consider VPP)I believe this app list will be changing until the absolute last day before needing them deployed on the machines for the start of the school year. In my estimation about eight paid apps averaging $0.99 per app for 30 machines will take the entire $250 budget. Of course, if an app is more than
$0.99 than a smaller amount of apps will be able to be purchased. $250 really doesn't go that far
when the VPP takes affect. I do understand the reason for the VPP as apps are not created for
free. Managing the $250 for paid apps I believe will be the most challenging part of the 1:1 year.

BY NO MEANS is this a FINALIZED list, but I will be adding to it as I find apps that may be of use in my classroom. It is really going to be difficult to pair this down. I do believe that I will develop a rubric to determine the overall ranking of the apps before purchase.
3. Penultimate I really like the ability to write with finger - great for math processing
4. PaperHelper $0.99
5. iSwifter (might be able to use free version)
6. Mathination Unsure if this will be too much math help for students
7. GraphCalc My favorite, A MUST!
8. eClicker Cost efficient!
9. WolframAlpha Algebra Assistant A Great tool, not sure something students need
10. CNN
11. Marquee Great for quick responses by students - show to instructor
12. Reel Director
13. QuickCam
14. Mathboard - Excellent for basic math computational skills
15. Math Drills
16. Animation Creation
17. iAnnotate PDF since our textbook is going to be in PDF, maybe this will be needed
18. Doceri - Possibility

2. Zite Students will be compiling their own math and economics news
6. Dictionary & Merriam-Webster Dictionary
14. Newsy
15. Mindblowing-Mind Map
16. iLunaScape - Alternative To Safari
17. Terra - Web Browser with tabs, Full Screen and Offline Viewing
18. Calculator For iPad Free
22. Bing
23. Terra - web browser: tabs, Incognito Mode, ability to be Mobile Safari, IE, or Firefox
24. Tour Wrist - virtual field trips
25. Snag Films - free, full length documentaries
26. Groupboard - single click collaborative tool
27. Whiteboard Lite - collaborative work tool
28. White House - live updates of news from our capital
29. The Street - Wall Street Stocks
30. Videolicious - free video editing
31. Rock Melt - Web Browser For iPad
32. Super 8 - old fashioned movies - bought when it was free on 5-19-2011
33. Merriam-Webster Dictionary iPad App Review
34. iChromy Web search for iPad
35. Dragon Dictionary
36. QuickVoice Recorder
37. Reuters Insider iPad Edition
38. for iPad
39. Financial Times iPad Edition
40. USA Today
41. XE Currency for iPad
42. Fox News
43. Business Day
45. Fotobabble -


Please leave a comment if have an app that should be on a classroom set of iPads.

Equipment: Cases

Items I am considering for cases must be practical and yet cool looking.  Having iPod touches for two years has allowed me to see that clear, hard cases that encompass the entire iPod has kept the iPods in fairly new condition.  It is with this that I am unsure if the Apple iPad 2 cases, while VERY COOL looking may NOT withstand the use of eighth graders.

With that, I am looking at four cases as of now.
PLEASE leave a comment if you have any thoughts or ideas that could help make the decision!

Another Update - Possibility
I know this seems like it is carrying on, but the options keep showing up.  I need to make a decision.
Positives:  Black and Red (school colors), Front and Back Protection, Two different stands, leather, cost ($34.99)
Cons:  None
See details by

The beautiful thing about creating a program from scratch is that new ideas develop over time.  This is the case (no pun intended) with new possible case option.  It combines color (cool factor rising) with the Apple iPad case and protection on the back side!!!

Positives:  Protective and slim fitting case. colors, front stays closed with micro-suction, cover folds into stand
Cons:  Little bit more expensive
Cost:  $49.95
See Details!

Case 1-Apple
Positives:  Good front protection, cool colors, allows for creation of stand.
Cons: No back protection
Cost:  $39.99
See Details

Case 2-Macally

Positives:  Great back protection, cool color (our school color), hard back
Cons:  No front protection, No chance for creation of stand using cover
Cost: $29.99
See Details

Case 3-Armour
Positives:  Back protection, front protection, able to create a stand
Cons:  Must choose black as white would not be great for greasy, dirty, fingers
Cost: Can't Determine At This Time
See Details

Case 4-Gelli

Positives:  Back protection, somewhat sticky (no sliding on desks), pink (could be a form of red), thin
Cons:  No front protection, no chance to create stand
Cost:  36.95

PLEASE leave a comment if you have any thoughts or ideas that could help make the decision!

Equipment Images

The hardware mentioned in the last post is shown with pictures of the actual item.

MacBook Used To Sync iPods/iPads

Document Camera For Students Sharing Information Found on iPod/iPad
While I have this one, I would buy a MUCH cheaper version in the IPEVO Point 2 if having to do again!
Ceiling Mounted Digital Projector

SMARTboard connected to my laptop:  Used for projecting digital version of math work resources

Sunday, March 27, 2011


Items considering to be purchased for the 2011-2012 school year:
               1.  USB extender:  1 
               2.  iPad 2: 30 
               3.  iPad 2 Cases:    30 
               4.  iPad docs/keyboard:  10 
               5.  iPad cart: 1 
               6.  iPad headphones:  30 
               7.  iPad bluetooth speakers: 1
               8.  iTunes Gift Card:  $250
Still looking for some comfortable furniture to reconfigure the room away from the traditional rows of desks.  Would like a combination of desks and comfortable working chairs.

Items to be used from existing classroom:
               1.  Document Camera
               2.  SMARTboard (Interactive Whiteboard)
               3.  Apple Mac Book
               4.  Ceiling Mounted Projector
               5.  VGA Cable
               6.  Six headphone audio splitters
               7.  DELL laptop
               8.  Camtasia Screen Recording Program
               9.  iPhone

Saturday, March 26, 2011

The Preparation

I have always been intrigued by coaches who "get to start a football program from scratch" as Bill Curry did at Georgia State.  Being a football, basketball, baseball, and track & field coach seeing coaches think of everything at the beginning with the end in mind takes great passion, time, and energy.

I am in the same situation.  I have been given the awesome responsibility to create a 21st century classroom complete with a 1:1 digital device for the 2010-2011 school year.  With a sense of serious purpose many hours will and have gone into thinking, questioning, and creating a "new" classroom.  In essence, building a program.

With that being said, some questions I have been pondering are...

1. Free apps are easy to install, with $250 and the VPP as constraints what are the PAID apps going to be?

2. What categories of apps should I focus on? Two I know I need to have are math and creativity.

3. Since this is a unique program, not many classrooms in our district will have these opportunities, what are the best methods for informing the community of our successes and struggles? Right now, iPaddiction with text is the median. In the future, video and still pictures will be included.

4. How can I find a resource to buy some furniture that will be conducive to a collaboration environment?  I am thinking that desks (which I have) plus some comfortable chairs may be a positive addition to our learning environment.

5.  Should I attempt to go completely digital?  While I can see some of this being possible, I (at this time) don't see how all Algebra work can be completed without paper.  If I can make it work, I will.

Friday, March 25, 2011

It's Announced...Let The Journey Begin!

On February 2, 2011, our district presented the opportunity for current staff members to apply for five 21st century model classrooms to be awarded for the 2011-2012 school year.

After one month of creating a thirteen page website complete with my beliefs, experiences, and vision and another half a month of the "hiring committee" deliberating on who should represent our school district with a 21st century model classroom, the decisions were made yesterday!


Fortunately, I am one of the staff members chosen to be a 21st century model classroom.  When asked what digital tool of choice would be my preference for use in the classroom, there was NO choice.

iPAD2 is my only choice!

What a great opportunity for the students of Pulaski Community Middle School to experience a 1:1 digital device experience (in my case, iPad2's) combined with thinking, questioning, and creating.

In the coming year, I will be documenting EVERYTHING about our experience.

Join our class as we move towards and live in our 21st century classroom!
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