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27 Feb 2012
Comments: 4

Exceptional E-Book Creators: Episode 20

E-Books in the iClassroom: How can, have, or will you use E-Book projects in your classroom? Want to win a free promo code for the full version of Albums FX (regularly $4.99)?

Create unlimited albums and pages with Text, Videos, and Photos with Albums FX  which offers Clipart, Stencils, Backgrounds, Animation, and Particle Effects. Albums can be emailed, shared, and printed. Leave a comment on “Exceptional E-Book Creators” (this blog) with the following information to be entered in a random drawing to win 1 of 5 Albums FX promo codes:

  1. Grade Level  and Content area taught
  2. Details and info about how you can, have, or will use app(s) to create an E-Book project with your class.
All winners will be selected and announced Monday, March 5th.

Albums FX: Create Unlimited Books with Movies, Text, Photos, Animations, and Much More!

Now that I have your attention…

This is a supplement to “Appy Hours 4 You” Blog Talk Radio Show: Episode 20: “Exceptional E-book Creators“. In this episode we featured nine FREE apps that could be utilized to create an E-book on the iPad. We discussed the features of each app as well as how it could be integrated into the classroom in multiple content areas and grade levels.

This week we discussed the following free apps:

  1. Story Spine: (also check out Words 4 Students for more mad-lib like apps to create a framework for a creative writing piece)
  2. StoryKit: (International Children’s Library)
  3. Picturebook (take a glimpse at Picturebook School Edition with 250 illustrations in 12 complete picture sets)
  4. iPen Free: (take a peek at iPen, XNote, and XNote Free)
  5. Demibooks Composer: (take a gander at Demibooks Composer User Guide)
  6. Albums FX Lite: (leave a comment and be entered to win Albums FX with unlimited albums and pages and tons of content)
  7. Clibe: (take a peek at their site and all of the public journals in the Clibe gallery)
  8. ScrapPad Movie Night Collage: (also check out Back to School and 9 other FREE themed books)
  9. Album App: (Tips & Tricks)

 

Stream this week’s episode or download it in iTunes directly.

Listen to internet radio with Techchef4u on Blog Talk Radio

 

 


24 Feb 2012
Comments: 0

Math-tastic iVocabulary

After taking a look at the 8th Math Benchmark Exam and perusing the student data, a few things became abundantly clear: Much of the test involved vocabulary AND successful problem-solving was based on the knowledge of that vocabulary and the ability to assimilate the given terms and information in order to draw an object, produce a table, or complete a graph.

While this is not really a shocking revelation (especially to those who teach Math as I did), I instantly began thinking of apps that could support math vocabulary in engaging ways.

All of our Math classrooms at Ed White have access to a class set of iPods. Thus, I focused on three FREE iPod apps that could be used in small groups and stations.

Doodle Buddy: The Math Facilitator had mentioned an activity where students work in pairs. One student would have a vocabulary word (e.g. isosceles right triangle) and the other student would have a dry erase board. Student 1 would be provided with a word and a sample drawing/representation or definition for that word. Student 2 would then draw the word without looking at the representation. Students would take turns reading and drawing.

  1. iPodsibility: Student 1 would use teacher-created Quizlet vocabulary deck imported into Flashcards* app to provide the words and definitions (pictures can be included in the deck for $15/year). Student 2 would then draw the figure using Doodle Buddy (with Dots & Boxes background). Doodle Buddy app can be shaken to clear the board for the next object much like an etch-a-sketch. (More iClassroom Examples of Doodle Buddy: Apps for the Classroom & Techchef4u.)
 

Doodle Buddy

 

StoryLines for Schools: This is a surprisingly educational app and a modern day app-ification of the telephone game! The classroom application would be vocabulary.

StoryLines for Schools: Student 2 View

 

  1. iPodsibility (1 iPod): Students could work in small groups of 3 with 1 iPod. Using 1 iPod: Student 1 would type in the definition of a word (e.g. “a triangle with two equal sides”) and then pass the device to student 2. Student 2 would draw an example of this definition and then pass the device to student 3. Student 3 would then write the word that is associated with the picture (they would not see the definition).
  2. iPodsibility (3 iPods): This idea is very similar to using 1 iPod but each student would enter in a definition and then pass the device. Thus, there would actually be three vocabulary words going around at the same time.

 

StoryLines for Schools: Student 3 View

 

TypeDrawing Free: This app allows students to draw with words and is perfect for illustrating vocabulary in a beautifully graphic and memorable visualization.

  1. iPodsibility: This would be best executed at a station or with individual students. The idea would be to think of all of the components and words that make up a shape. For example, the following words could be associated with an isosceles right triangle: leg, right angle, height, base, hypotenuse, acute angle, triangle, etc… Students would generate a list of vocabulary words (on a sheet of paper or in the Notes app). These words would then be used to describe a shape and then illustrate the shape given those words.

 

TypeDrawing Free

 

 Hungry for more Math lessons, check out these

 


21 Feb 2012
Comments: 0

iVocabulary

Earlier in the year, I spent a few hours planning with Mrs. Deforrest (a secondary ELAR specialist). She shared with me this fantastic resource she had created for her teachers. It was a deck of brightly colored cards on a keyring. Each card had a vocabulary instruction strategy ranging from a Frayer model to a Word Analysis Chart. I instantly perused the deck and started assigning an app to each strategy. Pondering what the best iOS method would be to deliver this new tool, I set this post aside for a few weeks. My intention was to provide teachers with a quick reference iVocabulary Toolkit of apps they could use to teach and support vocabulary instruction in a variety of ways while modeling a tool (flashcards) that could be used in a myriad of settings.

 

Teacher: The simplest way to disseminate one deck of cards to multiple students (on campus devices or their own personal devices) is to create a deck using the online version of Quizlet. Users can create unlimited decks with a free Quizlet account.
  1. Teacher Username: As students will be searching by their teacher’s username to locate the deck, I would recommend creating a username that is short and simple.
  2. Deck Visibility: If you are creating the deck with the intention of making it accessible to your students, make sure you select the option “visible to everyone”.
  3. Images: If you would like to include images in your decks, upgrade to Quizlet Plus for $15/year and unlock the ability to upload your own images or import from Flickr.
  4. Deck Accessibility (Computers): If you are in a classroom with computers or if you have access to a lab, you can grab the embed code for the deck and paste it on to your teacher or class website for students to study and review.
  5. Deck Accessibility (Mobile Devices): If your class has access to mobile devices, review the directions below using the app Flashcardlet (Flashcards*) to access the sample iVocabulary deck(s).
    1. iPhone/iPod Mobility: iPhone/iPod Apps that interface w/ Quizlet
    2. iPad Mobility: iPad Apps that interface w/ Quizlet

 

Easily Create Quizlet Decks


Student: While these are the directions for accessing the iVocabulary deck, the same directions could be used for locating a teacher-created deck.

    1. Launch Flashcardlet app.
    2. Tap Flashcards.
    3. Tap + sign in upper right hand corner to Download from Quizlet.
    4. Tap in the search space.
    5. Type “Techchef4u”.
    6. Tap Creator and tap Search.
    7. Select iVocabulary.
    8. Tap Add to Library.
    9. Tap Cancel and tap Library to return to your personal Flashcard library.
    10. Tap to select iVocabulary to review deck.
    11. Tap Study and start studying.
    12. Review all 5 cards in the deck: swipe to go to the next card and tap on a card to see the back of the card.

 

iDeas for Integrating Flashcards into the iClassroom (from “appy hours 4 U” episode – “Notable Apps 4 Note-Taking“:

  1. Students could create their own decks of cards within the app to take notes or study.
  2. Teachers could disseminate information or task instructions using decks (e.g. roles for a project, use all of these words in a sentence, writing prompts, math word problems with answers on back to self-check).
  3. Teachers could create decks for students that could be utilized to flip the classroom (providing instruction at home) and allow students access to vocabulary or notes anywhere/anytime they have access to a computer or a mobile device. (Decks can also be printed).
  4. Individualized Instruction: the decks lends themselves to indivualized instruction as students can filter cards, mark a card as mastered, and study in a variety of ways (e.g. show back first, show progress, shuffle cards, etc…)

20 Feb 2012
Comments: 0

Tooning iN to History

I had the pleasure of observing Mrs. Lair’s Regular Reading class this past Friday at Ed White Middle School. She had mentioned that she was using the Toontastic app (which oftentimes goes on sale for FREE) to have students create their own fairy tale or toon version similar to the plight and struggle of the Freedom Riders to illustrate the conflict and resolution between two entities. I loved the cross-curricular integration.

Mrs. Lair provided students with a paper copy of the Toontastic Storyboard template she had created to complete prior to using the iPad. It mimicked the 5 sections of Toontastic’s Story Arc (Setup, Conflict, Challenge, Climax, and Resolution). She also included a statement about each of the scenes:

  1. Setup: only sets up the setting and introduces the character
  2. Conflict: Introduces the problem
  3. Challenge: Problem is in the works (action)
  4. Climax: The height of the story
  5. Resolution: How has the problem been resolved? (How does the story end?)

 

Toontastic Storyboard


 
Supports Differentiated Instruction: Beyond the project itself, I was pleased to see how the app itself supported differentiated instruction and multiple learning styles. Within the story arc framework, students could add another conflict or rearrange the current elements. Students also had the choice between multiple characters and settings as well as the option to create their own characters and backgrounds. Some students chose to use the default characters, others drew their own sets, and others customized the existing characters. Some students chose to use mood music and sound effects to illustrate tone and others selected specific characters and colors to represent an emotion.

Sharing/Publishing/Evaluating Student Products: While there is no way to publish without setting up an account, students did save their projects within the app. To work around the publishing issue, Mrs. Lair decided to have students do a gallery walk and will provide each student with a rubric to assess each of the project as they walk around the room.

Check out these iLessons.

 


20 Feb 2012
Comments: 3

Gratitude & App-reciation

During our TCEA 2012 workshops and seminars, Yolanda Barker and I handed out cards with promo codes on them for the following apps. I would first like to say that we do not endorse apps or products that we do not APP-SOLUTELY LOVE and USE. We would feature and mention the apps regardless of their appy donation(s). That being said, I would like to take a moment and thank the app developers for their gracious donations to our TCEA 2012 participants. I know everyone APP-RECIATED the schwag.

App-reciation Collage created with Turbo Collage app

 

  1. Puppet Pals Directors Pass: This app is a main staple in the techchef4u kitchen and can be utilized to create animated videos to support any content area at any grade level. (See Samples).
  2. To me By me: This “surprisingly educational” app allows users to write a letter to their future self to be delivered on a specific date. The app is perfect to practice letter-writing and goal-setting.
  3. Tacky Wales Create: This app is fantastic to teach parts of speech and creative writing. (See Samples).
  4. iCardSort: This app is a MUST for any classroom. It can be used in multiple settings (e.g. individual, cooperative pairs, small groups, stations, whole group) and has so much functionality (users can customize the background and decks in a variety of ways as well as wirelessly beam/blast decks to other users) and versatility (can be used in multiple content areas and grade levels). (See Samples).
  5. Explain Everything: This is by far the best paid app for screen-casting! You can import documents and presentations from Dropbox and Evernote and then annotate and narrate over them. Explain Everything also offers multiple export options that do not require logins! (See Sample).
  6. La Di Da: Created by the makers of Songify, this app allows users to speak a selection and transform it into a song. Clearly “surprisingly educational“, users can practice foreign language, speeches and soliloquies, and create innovative media to support any content area’s project. (See Samples).
  7. Root-1: Root-1 donated the cool “Begin Your Quest” eco-friendly shopping bags and have created the “surprisingly educational” app, StoryLines for Schools. The app is a modern day telephone game. Users choose a vocabulary word or quote or generate their own, pass the device to another student who must draw a representation of the word/quote, and pass it to yet another student who must decipher what the drawing is. The app can be used to support vocabulary, themes, events, and concepts in multiple content areas. Root-1 also makes a few other wonderfully free and educational apps: Word Joust K-5, Word Joust 6-8, xWords, and Word Kung Fu in beta (coming soon).
  8. Inspiration Diagrams: Inspiration Diagrams donated an iPad cover for each of our 3 workshops. I had the pleasure of being a beta tester for Inspiration Diagrams. The Lite version will be released in March and the full in April. The possibilities for support and integration of the writing process are endless. The current version of the app has 11 templates ranging from Cause and Effect and Book Report to Fiction Reading Notes and Chronology. The app still mimics Inspiration software in the outline and diagram views but boasts new features such as Send to Dropbox and iTunes. I am very eager to see what the final product will look like.
  9. Matt Barker: This is Yolanda Barker’s husband. He graciously donated his CD to our participants. While his music is copyright free and he welcomes those who seek to modify and integrate it into their own projects, I am sure he would love to hear how it is being used in the classroom or other settings (share your thoughts with him). Matt is also the artist behind “appy hours 4 u” intro, outro, and voice over and plays live at a few local hangouts in San Antonio.
  10. Coach’s Eye: This was a late edition to our schwag. Coach’s Eye is from the makers of ScreenChomp and Camtastia and offers countless classroom integration possibilities. The name is a bit misleading as it was originally created for coach’s to instantly review and analyze their player’s videos. The app allows users to record or import video, slow it down, narrate and annotate over it, and even export it! Imagine recording and reviewing a science lab, public speaking event or debate, or even  weather patterns on a field trip.

 

Please give these people and app developers a nice round of APP-LAUSE! Thanks Again!

 


18 Feb 2012
Comments: 2

Tis the Season for iLearning

I have had the pleasure of sharing many of Ms. Carnazzo’s creations in the techchef4u kitchen and thought it was about time I took a trip to her classroom. Yolanda and I had the opportunity to observe Carnazzo in action and assist a group in completing their Seasons project. The weather that day was quite fitting as neither one of us were dressed nor prepared for the torrential downpour.

The first thing I noticed was her classroom management. All students were on task, at a level 0, and were working on the assignment that they were expected to complete. Before the activity, Ms. Carnazzo (2nd grade teacher) reviewed the task and the CHAMP’s Expectations for student behavior. Then students were then split up into 4 groups. One group worked with Ms. Carnazzo on the carpet finalizing their script and storyboard while the others worked quietly at their desks doing independent work. Each group was responsible for a different season.

Carnazzo's iClassroom

 

Science 2.8B: Identify the importance of weather and seasonal information to make choices in clothing, activities and transportation.

Beforehand: Before we arrived, small groups had researched info on their season using BrinpopJr videos and the Science text to describe their seasons citing the following elements:

  1. Typical weather/temperature
  2. Types of clothing to wear
  3. Activities appropriate for that weather
  4. Kinds of transportation they might use (e.g. to get to school)

 
Groups had also discussed and written ideas for their Puppet Pals video using the provided Storyboard template. Ms. Carnazzo had pre-selected a seasonal image background from both Puppet Pals Director’s Pass app and Doodle Buddy’s background gallery.

During Class: Small groups worked with the teacher (and Yolanda and myself) to:

  1. Finalize their Puppet Pals ideas
  2. Practice their presentations without actually recording (took several run-throughs)
  3. Record their video (as time permits)
  4.  

Logistics: Groups not working with a teacher had another weather activity to work on quietly at their desk. In working with a group first-hand I discovered a few things:

  1. You can only practice the script a couple of times before the students start losing interest. I found the best course of action was to practice once or twice with the script, record a rough draft, listen to it, and record one more, and then choose the best of the two.
  2. Passing around the script and the iPad causes a bit of background noise. I found if I held the iPad and handed it to each child when it was their time to speak, some of the noise of moving the iPad was reduced.
  3. The Puppet Pals video file is too large to email. Since the students recorded their show on my device and not Ms. Carnazzo’s, I had one of two options: upload to YouTube as a private file and then download from there, or pull it off when I synced my device at home.

 

Carnazzo's Season's Student Projects


 
If you are interested in how to manage an iClassroom or how to purposefully integrate 1 iPad in to a classroom, tune in Thursday March 1st at 3:30pm as the famous Lisa Carnazzo will be our guest “The 1 iPad Classroom“. If you missed the live show, check it out in iTunes the next day.


17 Feb 2012
Comments: 3

iSpy a Story

Tasked with the initiative to gather student products created from intra-district iPad Lessons, I sent out an email to my campuses that had multiple devices (see below).
 

Letter to My Campuses


 
Within a few minutes, I started receiving emails with student work attachments. Many times I have a specific idea or set of ideas for how an app can be used.
 

Blank Story Spine Template in app

Story Spine Teacher-Created Apptivity: It is always refreshing when I come across innovative and purposeful classroom integration ideas as the ones Ashley Solomon (8th grade ACL & Reading Workshop at Ed White Middle School) shared below using the app Story Spine:
  1. Grade Level: 7th grade
  2. Content Area: Reading Workshop
  3. Topic/Focus/TEKS: The focus was chronological order/sequence of events.
  4. Quick Summary of the Lesson: The book for this week was, “The Transcontinental Railroad.” I had them use the “Story Spine” app to write a story about the transcontinental railroad. I started them out with the first sentence, “Once upon a time many people traveled to California to search for gold.”
  5. Student Task or Product: They were responsible for finishing the story by looking for dates and keywords like, first, last, then, etc in their book. This was an independent activity. The product was their story.
  6. Teacher Notes: I asked them to email it to me and I printed them. I usually have 1 or 2 students volunteer to read their story. For my Reading Workshop kids, an activity like this would take about 30 minutes. So, it can be completed in one day.  I usually don’t print the same day so they won’t get to read their story until the following day.

 

Student Sample of Story Spine Project copied into Notes app


 
What really speaks testaments about this assignment above and beyond the purposeful use of technology and cross-curricular content integration is the fact that the students in her classes have not passed the Reading TAKS. Mrs. Solomon actively integrates the iPads at least three days a week to support and improve student literacy and reading comprehension and will be sharing further lessons over the next few weeks with the techchef4u diners. While she doesn’t believe any of them are “earth shattering”, I would have to disagree as I feel they present lots of app-tastic iPadsibilities. Another thing to note is that student engagement in her classroom is on the rise and paper waste is on the decline.
 
For more iPad Mad-Lib apptivities, check out these.


16 Feb 2012
Comments: 4

Kicking it up an iNotch: The Water Cycle Explained

Many times I am asked (especially by Science teachers) if there is an app for a specific concept or topic. While there are multiple free instructionally sound resources for Math and English Language Arts, many times I struggle with finding appropriate (and free) apps for Science. When there is not an app or the app for the topic is more consumption-based than product-based in nature, consider using your arsenal of iTools to cook up one of your own.

I came across the Water Cycle app a few weeks back. It is a drag-and-drop labeling animated app which is a nice tool but fairly low on the Bloom’s Level. It works fine for an intro but doesn’t really allow students to truly apply their knowledge of the water cycle.

Science 2.8C: Explore the processes in the water cycle, including evaporation, condensation and precipitation, as connected to weather conditions.

The Water Cycle App


That’s why I was so thrilled when Ms. Carnazzo (2nd grade teacher) sent me her Water Cycle iLesson. Rather than letting an app teach the students the water cycle, Carnazzo’s class kicked up their iLearning a notch by creating their own screencasts to illustrate their knowledge of the water cycle using the app ScreenChomp. Students also used the app(s) Songify and Talkapella to make water cycle songs.

Carnazzo's Class Teaches the Water Cycle using ScreenChomp

 

Students worked in small groups of 4-6 to create their screencasts and scripted and practiced their lines prior to recording. Ms. Carnazzo located the images using MorgueFile and had them accessible for students to bring into the ScreenChomp app. (Check out all of Carnazzo’s iLessons).

See “Hot Apps 4 HOTS” for more app integration ideas to support Bloom’s Taxonomy!


15 Feb 2012
Comments: 0

Voices from The Cattle Trail

Yesterday I met with Mrs. Aflatooni, the librarian at Ed White Middle School, to discuss how we could use the iPads to support a study on African American cowboys in Mr. Greeen’s 7th grade Texas History class.

Stations: Multiple stations were already set up to support the study of the Cattle Kingdom, Cattle Trails, and The End of The Open Range:

  1. Trace the development of the cattle industry from its Spanish beginnings.
  2. Explain how geographic factors affected the development of the cattle industry,
  3. Analyze the impact of national markets on the cattle industry in Texas.
  4. Identify the significance of the cattle drive.
  5. Describe life along the cattle trail.
  6. Analyze the effects of barbed wire and the windmill on the ranching industry.
  7. Identify the myths and realities of the cowhand.
 

Cattle Kingdom Stations: 7th Texas History

 

The Task: The original assignment was to read an article on one of the cowboys and either summarize it or answer a couple of questions. We decided that we could definitely access the article via the iPad and I immediately thought of doing a podcast. The original plan (as of yesterday afternoon) was to have students share three interesting facts and 1 item that they would  like to know that the article didn’t answer. When I got to Ed White in the morning, Mrs. Aflatooni suggested that the students actually interview each other (one would be the cowboy and the other the interviewer). I jumped on this idea!

Black Cowboys.Com


 
Task Card: Students were given a task card that provided them with the following directions:

  1. Go to http://blackcowboys.com
  2. Choose one of the following cowboys from the drop-down menu (2nd tab) to read about: (Addison Jones, Bill Pickett, Bose Ikard).
  3. Compose 3-4 questions (and answers) for the cowboy based on what you read.
  4. Add one more question that was not answered in the article and answer it as if you were that cowboy).
  5. With a partner, create an interview to answer these questions using the app iTalk Recorder on the iPad (one person will be the interviewer and one will be the cowboy).
  6. Email the interview to…

 

We made sure that we provided a list of cowboys that had enough meat (content) in the article that a student could easily generate 3-4 questions from. Students used the task card handout to script their interview and did a dry run before recording. Students created a general naming convention for the audio files (e.g. Addison Jones period 3) and included their names in the body of the email before it was sent.

Teacher’s Notes and Modifications: Naturally, we came across a few bumps with the first few groups but were able to remedy them for the next class periods.

  1. Difficulty Reading Article with 1 iPad: I noticed one group had put the iPad between them and were reading the article together with resized text while the other group had one student reading and then dictating to his partner what the questions would be. As we had multiple iPads to use with the groups, I thought it best to make the change to allow each student to use an iPad even though only one would be necessary for the recording.
  2. Size of File was too large with free version of iTalk to be emailed: I noticed that one group had a 47 second interview and had no problem in emailing it and another had a 41 second interview and was prompted to purchase the full version due to the size of the file. This was an oversight and easy to fix. Students had the option before recording to choose good/better/best and one group had chosen best and the other best. Since the bell was about to ring, I decided to use the voice recording feature on my iPhone to re-record the iPad interview and then email it. The sec
  3. Background noise was high: Even in the library, the background noise could be a little high so we tried to make sure we could isolate the groups in a corner or a smaller room if possible.
  4. Some students were not able to finish the article and interview in one class period: If you are limited on time, I suggest creating an additional station for reviewing the article and composing the questions prior to the recording station.

 

In listening to the final student products, it was interesting to see how the apptivity lent itself to multiple outputs while still essentially covering the same content.

  1. Some groups asked more than 4 questions.
  2. Some students customized their voice to pretend to be a cowboy during the recording
  3. Some groups asked more open-ended questions. (see below)
  4.  

Group A: 

Interviewer: “Were you born into slavery in Tennessee in 1843?”

Bose Ikard: “Yes.”

Group B:

Interviewer: “Today I am interviewing Bose Ikard. When were you born Ikard?”.

Bose Ikard: “I was born in 1843.”

 

For more History Lessons, click here.


14 Feb 2012
Comments: 0

Reflections on a 1:1 iPad: It is a Tool, NOT a Toy!

I had the wonderful app-ortunity to make a site visit to Westlake H.S. in Eanes ISD on Wednesday February 1st. When we arrived, various campus and district officials shared some background on the student-centered learning initiative. They focused on multiple benefits of the 1:1 iPad initiative where high school seniors were issued iPads like textbooks at the beginning of the year. In a time where global communication, inquiry-based opportunities, and self-directed learning is how students manage the information revolution, it was refreshing to get to observe an iLearning Utopia.

WIFI Update from Westlake Chaps on Vimeo: Produced by Westlake Film Production – Special Thanks to Carolyn Foote

When asked what they would miss most about their iPad if it was picked up next week, one student replied “I would miss the responsibility – I feel like the school trusts me.”

Student Responsibilities: Allowing students to take the iPads home “blurs the lines” of school and home and provides for a 24/7 information access environment where students can digitally pursue their passion and interest in authentic learning environments and collaborate and problem-solve with others to deepen understanding. With this came an iPad Loan Agreement which included 10 Student Responsibilities (5 of which are highlighted below):

 

  1. My iPad is my responsibility and I will not leave it in unsupervised areas.
  2. I will honor my family’s values when using the iPad.
  3. I will bring the iPad to school every day with a fully-charged battery.
  4. I will treat the iPad appropriately and will report any mechanical or technical issues to the school.
  5. I agree to use the iPad for appropriate, legitimate, and responsible communications.

 

Parent/Guardian Responsibilities: The agreement also included 7 Parent/Guardian Responsibilities (3 of which are highlighted below) which re-stated many of the Student Responsibilities:

  1. I will supervise my son’s/daughter’s use of the iPad at home.
  2. I will discuss our family’s values and expectations regarding the use of the Internet and email at home and will supervise my son’s/daughter’s use of the Internet and email.
  3. I will ensure that my son/daughter reports any mechanical or technical issues to the school.

 

During my visit, I had the pleasure of observing 3 different classrooms and visiting the Juice Bar.

English 3 AP: While the student task and assignment itself was projected in the SMART board, it was very clear when I walked in to this classroom that the learning had been moved from the wall to the hands of the kids. Students were seated in groups of 4 and 5 (each with their own iPad). Each student was clearly on task and engaged and able to utilize all of the resources around them in a productive and purposeful fashion… including their peers. It was also refreshing to see the teacher, Valerie Taylor, modeling the use of creative commons photos as it is so simple now with an iPad to save any internet image to your Photo Roll for use in a project (without attribution).

Valerie Taylor Moves Learning from the Wall to the Hands of the Kids


 
AP Environmental Science: The teacher, Bob Murphy, discussed how he had found an article that very morning that he felt was more pertinent and relevant than what he had initially planned for the day. Typically, teachers can not change their lessons on the fly to accommodate new or current findings as additional copies and labs require time and planning. With the convenience of having a personal mobile device, students accessed the article with their Austin American Statesman app (they also have a podcast series) and then proceeded to engage in a discussion on the topic.

Statistics: The first thing I noticed about this classroom was the multiple learning styles supported with the iPad. While each student was taking notes on the same topic, many used different note-taking apps (the favorite was NoteTaker), a stylus, a keyboard. Even in the same note-taking app, students notes looked quite different. Brad Smith mentioned a couple of benefits of the 1:1 such as the ability to analyze and manipulate large data sets and make graphs and charts quickly. He also discussed the ability for students to keep a record of their homework and assignments (as these electronic items are resident on their device even after they have submitted them via email to their instructor).

(See video below for more teacher tips for integrating the iPad into the iClassroom)

Juice Bar: Our last stop before returning to debrief on our findings and observations was the library which Carolyn Foote has turned into hip and trendy spot to share apps, collaborate, and troubleshoot the devices. The carpet was removed, power strips, cafe tables and chairs were added, idea boards were provided to share apps and resources, and a mentorship program was created to self-support the troubleshooting and mechanics of the devices.

The Juice Bar: Westlake H.S.


I had brought a list of logistical questions to ask students and teachers and will share them with the resulting answers below:
  1. What if you forget your iPad at home? While it clearly states in the student responsibility form that students will bring a fully-charged iPad to school each day, there will be the occasionally day that one will forget. In the event of iAmnesia, students are able to rent one out for the day.
  2. What happens if a student breaks or damages a device? In the past six months, approximately 60 of the 2,000 iPads have been broken or damaged. This amounts to only 3% of the initial load. Students were given the option to purchase optional insurance for their device for a fee of $30. With a 95% acceptance rate, it is clear this was a popular option.
  3. Can students access Facebook? No, this site is blocked by the school Wifi.
  4. Does the device present a distraction? From multiple student interviews, I found the device is a wonderful way to self-manage. Students are aware that they have to complete the assignment regardless and most would rather complete it in class then complete it at home. If students are off-task on the device, teachers have the authority to pick it up and have it returned to the student or parent at the end of the day.
  5. How do teachers interact with students in this “blurred line” atmosphere? Teachers have office hours a few days a week in which they are available to FaceTime with small groups from 6-8pm to discuss assignments – modeling an atmosphere that closely resembles higher education institutions.
  6. What accommodations are made for absent students? Many times a friend will video-tape the lecture or students can FaceTime in directly.
  7. Can’t students cheat with an iPad? Typically assessments are given with an iPad / non iPad section. The iPad section would also allow access to student notes. Many standardized assessments are accessed via a QR code and then completed in Google Forms. (See video below for apps and process used to create and conduct these paperless assessments)
  8. How do students submit work? While Dropbox is an app that easily allows students access to files, multiple teachers mentioned that the organization and maintenance of the utility as well as the ability for students to accidentally delete or move files and folders led them to rely on submitting work almost exclusively via email. So what might that process look like? Students have a school email. Teachers have a Gmail account in which they have set up files and a sorting nomenclature based on the subject line (e.g. Statitsics: Period 2, English AP: Period 3).
  9. Is printing from an iPad an issue? Due to the increase in electronic submissions of work, teachers have begun to consider what truly needs to be printed and what does not. In doing so, they have saved $30,000 in paper alone this semester.
  10. How does the iPad work in conjunction with the existing textbook? The textbook is still used as a resource. However, students don’t always need to lug it around. The beauty of the iPad is that students can take a snapshot of the 2-3 pages they need (whether it be for questions, an article, or vocabulary) or access the online version from the publisher. Eanes is also in the process of setting up an iTunes U channel for the district and investigating iBooksAuthor.
  11. What kind of covers were issued to protect the devices? Initially students were given a Kensington Padfolio-like $30 cover. The campus had assumed the covers would be turned in once students decided to purchase their own trendy covers but found just the opposite trend occurred. Students were able to personalize and customize the device, home screen, and apps itself and had no need or desire to buy trendy cases.
  12. What apps were initially purchased for the students and how were they disseminated? Each student received roughly $40 worth of apps including Pages, Keynote, Numbers, iMovie etc. These apps are considered a consumable cost as the apps are now tied to individual student iTunes accounts when they are redeemed. Casper is used as a storefront to disseminate the apps provided.

 

Eanes Wifi: Taking Copious Notes in the Juice Bar!

 

Paperless Assessments: Bob Murphy models how the iPads can be utilized to manage delivering student assessments and reduce paper waste.

How are Teachers Integrating the iPad into their Life/Classroom and Handling Student Submissions?

Want More? Visit Eanes’ Wifi iPad Pilot Project Blog and the Westlake H.S. page for more videos and resources. Also Check out the “appy hours 4 u” interview with Carl Hooker for more info on the 1:1 iPad Rollout.