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14 Feb 2012
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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.

 


13 Feb 2012
Comments: 0

It's An Appy Day 4 an iPlayground: TCEA 2012

I feel very blessed to have the app-ortunity to be part of the iPlayground at TCEA 2012. Yolanda and I weren’t quite sure what the format of the session would be or how many people would be in attendance. The room was set up with a place for presenters on the left which included seating for observers. The right side of the room included colorful bean bag chairs and a Bretford cart of fully-loaded iPads (decked out with 600+ apps to explore). The room was also open to the hallway so passerby’s could stand and take it all in.

Having an App-tastic Time at iPlayground

 

During our stint at the iPlayground, we presented Surprisingly Educational Apps sharing 28 “surprisingly educational apps” providing classroom integration ideas for each. We had not expected such a large crowd but were appy to entertain and explain. If you missed playing at the iPlayground, I have included all of the apps we shared on Symbaloo. All of the integration ideas provided during the session came straight from the 3 surprisingly educational apps episodes aired during “Appy Hours 4 U“.

Bringing Appy Hours to TCEA 2012

 

Here is a rendition of “Call it What You Want” by Foster the People (video below) created with the app Video Star. We made sure to stay within copyright length limitations.

Using the Video Star app and music from their iPod, students can create “surprisingly educational” music videos. The classroom integration would be choosing segments of songs or thematic music that would represent a character or a scene. Then students could act out a scene having each character sing a relevant portion or trim the song to only have one character sing a segment. (Check out these History-Based Music Videos for more ideas).

Over the weekend, I came across a couple of blogs with notes on “suprisingly educational apps” and wanted to share.

Paul Briseno: Paul is an Instructional Technology Administrator for South San ISD and a fellow alumni from Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio.

Live. Learn. Teach. Lead (see full post here)

Paul Briseno's Post: Live. Learn. Teach. Lead.

 

Terri Eichholz: Terri is a teacher in North East ISD who teaches gifted students in grades K-5.

Engage Their Minds: (see full post here)

Terri Eichholz's Blog: Engage Their Minds

 

iShare: If you attended our iPlayground session and have blogged about it, we would love to see your feedback, notes, and ideas. Please send an email or leave a comment below.

More iPlayground Sessions: Utility Apps and WoScholar Apps 

 


12 Feb 2012
Comments: 1

Inferencing iValentines

Carnazzo's Inferencing Valentines iProject

I was originally quite appy to see a new Talking Tom app (Talking Tom’s Love Letters), but crestfallen when I found it had no ability to actually record sound like Talking Tom and Ben Do the News.

Leave it up to Clever Carnazzo to come up with a way to not only use this surprisingly educational app but make it deliciously instructional. To support the skill of inferencing in reading, students used Talking Tom and Angela to make conjectures on character’s emotions, thoughts, and intentions based on body language and facial expressions. Students used multiple screenshots from Talking Tom’s Love Letters in Popplet Lite to showcase their inferencing skills.

Carnazzo's Inferencing Valentines iProject

 

Check out all 7 student submissions: Inferencing Valentines 1 and Inferencing Valentines 2

Hungry for more Carnazzo gems… check out all of her iLessons.

 

 


11 Feb 2012
Comments: 0

Appy Hours 4 U

Suffering from insomnia one evening, I decided to google “appy hours”. I came across our show, my blog, Eanes ISD’s appy hours, and this review of the show. The review was written last fall (our first show was aired on August 25th, 2011).

"Appy Hours 4 U" Review by The Constructivist Toolkit

 

As I have had a few questions about the format and intent of our show since then, I thought it might be nice to share the vision and mechanics behind the show:

  1. Who hosts the show? Blog Talk Radio hosts non prime-time 15 and 30 minute episodes for FREE!
  2. Why is the show aired live? We chose the live format to save time (as Yolanda Barker and myself are both perfectionists and we worried it might take multiple takes and many hours to have the 30 minute show meet our high standards).
  3. What are the mechanics behind the show? About ten-fifteen minutes before we go live, we call in to the host telephone number from a landline telephone. Originally, in the first few episodes, we used a cell phone and the sound quality was not as good. We found after a few episodes that using a land line speaker phone presented a much clearer option.
  4. Why do a radio show for teachers? Over the summer, I was asked to be a guest on another BTR show “Social Geek Radio“. After that, I got the bug to create my own show. The topic for the show was birthed out of the need for “PD in your PJ’s” or “PD for Commuters”. The show can either be listened to in conjunction with exploring the featured apps (always listed in the BTR or iTunes description of each episode) or simply listened to for integration ideas and insights based on FREE apps. The intent was to provide a resource that met the needs of many learners that don’t attend after school workshops or have time to read blogs or lengthy emails.

 

Check out our Spring 2012 Schedule with a new intro and voice-over provided by Matt Barker Tunes and our new appy icon (in honor of recent release of “Hot Apps 4 HOTS” to iBooks!)

 


11 Feb 2012
Comments: 0

Lessons Learned from iPad & iPod for Secondary: TCEA 2012

One of the sessions I was able to attend this week other than the iPlayground(s) was “iPad & iPod for Secondary“.


SlideRocket: http://bit.ly/uOvX12

Road Blocks to an iPad 1:1: They began with the above Xtranormal which was a great ice-breaker and good platform to get everyone thinking about managing road blocks and criticisms of integrating the iPad into the classroom.

The full presentation is up in Sliderocket (including videos).

iPad and iPod Touches in the Secondary Classroom

 

  1. Learner-Centered: Teachers filled out an application to be part of the pilot and integrated the flipped classroom model which morphs the environment from teacher-centered to learner-centered. To support this model, teachers created a calendar on their website that housed the videos and handouts and study guides. If students did not have access to internet at home, teachers could provide the resources on a flash drive as well.
  2. iClassroom Management: The iPads were provided for each student to use while they were at school (they did not leave campus) and all teachers had the password to the iTunes account. The only paid apps resident on the devices were Pages, Keynote, Numbers, and iMovie. Each classroom also had 3 MacBook Pros for student use and 1 Mac for teacher use and to be utilized to purchase further apps for the classroom. A 10 Port Hub was also purchased to make the syncing process quicker. Other relevant tidbits were the access of Facebook and YouTube to all students (this was addressed in their updated AUP) and a Digital Cafe in Edmodo.
  3. The session also shared a few of their favorite apps: Join.Me (screen sharing and collaboration: must install desktop software), Evernote, ScreenChomp, Science 360, Jot! Whiteboard, Side by Side, PDF Notes, Sundry Notes, CloudOn, ShowMe, Popplet Lite, Toontastic, and Word Jewels.

 

Visit these links for more apps for secondary (Science, Math, ELAR, History) and appy integration for all content areas and grade levels.

11 Feb 2012
Comments: 1

iPrep 4 Kinder: TCEA 2012

This was a last minute addition to TCEA 2012’s iPlayground and ran from 4:00-5:00 pm on Monday afternoon. As a mother of two preschool boys (and with a little help from Yolanda Barker), I knew we wouldn’t have too much of a problem slapping a list of preschool apps together that would support skills such as color and shapes, sight words, hand-writing, letter recognition, time, patterns and sequences, and basic math.

The list of 62 apps shared in “iPrep 4 Kinder” at the iPlayground was composed in Evernote and then tweeted and shared with a public URL generated by Evernote.

"iPrep 4 Kinder": TCEA 2012 iPlayground Resource

 

The following day I had the pleasure of sitting in on another iPlayground session the following day entitled “iPads for Young Learners” hosted by Ruth Jungman and Carol Fenley of Alamo Heights who took a slightly different app-sharing approach. Instead of providing an appy hour of fast-paced app-sharing, they highlighted 5 free apps and spoke in depth about how each one was being used in the primary classroom:

  1. ABC Magnetic Alphabet Lite: Students worked in small groups with the task of changing one letter in a word to make it another word (e.g. take hat and make it sat or rat, take rat and make it ran)
  2. ABC Tracer: Students worked individually in work stations and literacy stations to practice writing letters, numbers, and words. A nice feature of this app is that it will correct students that begin drawing at a different starting point in the letter rather than starting at the top.
  3. Doodle Buddy: This is one of my favorite apps and I tend to use it a lot to annotate over images, create scenes, Frayer models and even bar graphs, but had not considered the following task. Students make a letter and then use clip art to represent words that begin with that latter. The same task could be completed with colors as well (green: add clip art for objects that are green). The ladies also mentioned that the app supported improving fine motor skills mirroring tasks like writing letters in the sand.
  4. Sock Puppets: This is another fantastic app and definitely supports creativity on Bloom’s. Jungman & Fenley also discussed how the app supports sequencing, storytelling, collaborative learning, and self-directed learning. Students worked in pairs with the task of creating a video to support one of the eight keys to character education (some of the keys featured were “speak with good purpose”, “integrity”, and “do the right thing even when no one is looking”). When the videos were complete, they would be shared on the teacher website as well as showcased in the technology showcase. (Other iLessons with Sock Puppets)
  5. Flip it! Lite: Jungman & Fenley mentioned that they offer free centers in Kindergarten. In these centers, students have a choice from a limited number of apps. The app Flip it! Lite offers the potential for creating up to 5 books free and supports skills such as logic and sequencing. Students use the app to create animated books that highlight actions such as life cycles, kicking a soccer ball, and jumping rope. While there is no way to email the product out, teachers can take a screenshot or use a document camera to record the action.

"All things Green" created with Doodle Buddy app

 

The ladies also discussed classroom and iPad management techniques. Many of the classrooms have a parent volunteer that arrives to set up the work stations and add task cards. Apps on the iPads themselves are managed through folders on a blank screen. The folder for that day would only house one or two apptivities which limits off-task behavior.

Before the iPlayground session ended, they shared 4 more of their favorite apps: Clifford, My Word Wall, Teach Me Kindergarten, and Word Magic.

Also check out “iPrep for Preschool and Kindergarten” and my partner-in-crime (Yolanda Barker’s) post to iPrep 4 Kinder.

 

 

 

 


03 Feb 2012
Comments: 0

Hot Apps 4 HOTS: From iCeption to iSBN

"Hot Apps 4 HOTS" road to iBooks

This is a supplement to “Appy Hours 4 You” Blog Talk Radio Show: Episode 19 – “Hot Apps 4 HOTS: From iCeption to ISBN“. In this episode we discuss our journey to the iBookStore and some tips for self-publishing. We answered questions and gave more information on the following topics.

    1. iCeption: Our Inspiration for the Book
    2. Why we chose product-based FREE apps?
    3. What type of research and preparation went into the book?
    4. Why we chose a cooking theme?
    5. Where we got a template?
    6. The evolution of the book and what events led us to change our course
    7. Info on How to get an ISBN
    8. Info on Creative Commons Licensing
    9. What resources the book contains for presenters and educators?
    10. Who Reviewed our book?
    11. Who designed the cover art?
    12. How do you handle spacing in Pages/ePubs?
    13. ePub Checker
    14. Getting ePubs on a device without publishing to iBooks
    15. iTunes Connect Online Application & Free Books Account
    16. The iBooks Review Process

 

Here are some other articles on self-publishing that we found useful:

  1. eHow: How to Publish Content on Apple iBooks
  2. Creating ePub files with Pages
  3. Apps in Education: ePub – Publishing your own books for the iPad
  4. Dragos Roua: How to Self-Publish On Amazon, Kindle, and iBookstore

 

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

Listen to internet radio with Techchef4u on Blog Talk Radio

 

Many thanks to all of you who have rated and reviewed the iBook on your site or in the iBookStore.

Customer Rating(s): “HOT! by *MuSiC*:) Devoured this inspiring treat! Loved the detailed directions using these amazing free apps. Thank you for writing and sharing it with the world!”

District Comments: “I already sent this out to all the facilitators and my staff on my campuses yesterday. I saw your tweet the night before and had already downloaded it and read it! You are a ROCKSTAR! This is awesome! I love it, I love the step by step directions for the teachers in as well as it being all free apps! Ideas were just spinning in my head. My coordinator replied back how wonderful it was as well as the rest of the facilitators! Do you ever sleep? Oh my goodness you do a lot. I am thankful you do because I have learned so much from all your sites and everything. I also shared your site at our last Tenor meeting last month with surrounding school districts! Thanks for all your awesomeness!:-)” – Donita O’Hair (Technology Integration Facilitator  – Frisco ISD)

“Free Technology for Teachers” featured Hot Apps 4 HOTS

"Free Technology for Teachers" highlights "Hot Apps 4 HOTS"

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


02 Feb 2012
Comments: 1

Surprisingly Educational Apps: Part 3 – Episode 18

String Augmented Reality Creatures: Print Targets Here!

This is a supplement to “Appy Hours 4 You” Blog Talk Radio Show: Episode 18– “Surprisingly Educational Apps: Part 3. In this episode we featured multiple edutainment apps that that at first glance might not appear educational. For each free app we shared multiple integration ideas across content areas and grade levels. Check out our other installments of “Surprisingly Educational Apps1” and “Surprisingly Educational Apps 2“.

 

This week we discussed the following free apps:

  1. TurboCollage
  2. Photo Measure Lite
  3. Tracing Paper Lite
  4. Skitch for iPad
  5. String (print the targets to use with the app)
  6. Epic Citadel
    1. Epic Citadel Teacher Challenge Resources
    2. Creative Writing Using Simulated Environment Apps
    3. Creative Writing with Epic Citadel (possible teaching and learning ideas)
    4. Citadel: Telling an Epic Tale (Student Writing Samples)
  7. Video Star
  8. Word Lens
  9. My Secret Diary
  10. Awesome Photo Calendar Lite
  11. QR Code Beamer

 

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

Listen to internet radio with Techchef4u on Blog Talk Radio

 

Check out all of the Surprisingly Educational Apps we featured thus far. If you are attending TCEA 2012, stop by the iPlayground for more classroom integration ideas for all of the apps listed below:

Surprisingly Educational Apps


01 Feb 2012
Comments: 5

Hot Apps 4 HOTS Live in iTunes!

After months of work and preparation, our  “Hot Apps 4 HOTS” ePub is now officially available in the iBookStore for download. This was a self-published effort by myself and Yolanda Barker and we are “oh so appy” and overjoyed to share it with the world. The book includes 9 step-by-step apptivities that focus on each level of Bloom’s (some levels have more than one apptivity). The resource will also serve for our TCEA 2012 workshop by the same name.

Hot Apps 4 HOTS Now Available in iTunes!!!!!!

Please download and share!  If you enjoyed the book…we would greatly appreciate reviews/ratings. =)


31 Jan 2012
Comments: 2

On Fire for Bloom's

Hot Apps 4 HOTS

Just finished a Super Saturday “Hot Apps 4 HOTS” workshop. Wish I had come across Brad Wilson’s “App Learning Tasks” sooner. What a fantastic resource! Have included his site with seven others I thought might be useful for promoting higher order thinking skills when utilizing an iDevice.

Other Bloom’s App Resources:

  1. Kathy Schrock Bloomin’ iPad
  2. Edutopia’s K-5 iPad Apps According to Bloom’s Taxonomy
  3. Edorigami’s Bloom’s Digital Taxonomy
  4. Appitic
  5. Bloom’s Apps
  6. Kelly Tenkely’s Bloom’s Taxonomy of Apps
  7. Teach with your iPad’s Blooms Taxonomy with Apps
  8. App Learning Tasks

 

App Learning Tasks by Brad Wilson: Classified by Bloom's