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30 Sep 2014
Comments: 3

9 Must Read iPad Instructional Support Resources!

With Apple Under 13 and new parameters for enrollment of iPads within JAMF’s Casper system, this year of iPad deployment and support has been full of new learning app-ortunities and challenges. In fact, I feel as if I have been living and breathing and even sleeping iPads since the beginning of school. That being said, these experiences have fostered deeper learning about our initiative and continued ways to fine tune managing devices to sharpen their impact within the instructional setting. Reflecting upon the past two months, I found these experiences and resources could be easily divided into 3 different platters: Students, Parents, and Process.

Students

  • Student iPad Orientation iTunes U Course: This course serves the purpose of providing all iPad set up and instructional materials in one place that is easily accessible and can be stored on their device for later reference.
  • Student iPad Apps for Secondary: As many students may not know what apps are provided to them or what these apps do (especially the ones that are similar in nature), this Thinglink provides a quick overview of some of the apps that are essential for workflow and productivity.

 

Parents

  • Social Media Awareness: A Letter for Parents: This is a fantastic post from Carl Hooker highlighting a letter that was sent to parents addressing social media and student’s digital footprints.
  • Digital Parenting 101 iTunes U Course: Carl has designed an excellent iTunes U course to serve and support parents as well.
  • Staying Sane in Cyberspace: This is a Listly that TechChef assembled highlighting multiple tools, parent/child technology agreements, and articles to aid parents in navigating conversations with their mobile natives.

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Process

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Certainly this list of resources is in no way comprehensive but I think it does a good job of highlighting both the reflections of the process as well as the instructional resources that have been designed to underpin the ever-evolving nature of iPad management and instructional support.

Of course, I could not forget my educators… I have one delicious new resource for y’all as well…

Teachers

Recently, I delivered a webinar (which has been archived) focusing on “Back to School with iPads in the Classroom”. Both the webinar and slides are available HERE. The webinar touches on:

  • First Steps with iPads in both Elementary and Secondary
  • Critical Considerations to keep in mind
  • 8 Must Have Apps for Back to School with iPads

All 8 of the apps are evergreen in nature (can be used year round in a variety of different ways) and quite a few have had feature updates that will definitely leave you brimming with ideas and inspiration.

 

 

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1:1 Deployment and Interested in 1:1 Deployment or PD strategies and implementation? Looking for a dynamic presenter or interactive workshop? Contact TechChef4u (lisa.johnson@techchef4u.com) for parent presentations, hands-on workshops, keynotes, and much more! Read testimonials about TechChef presentations.

 

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24 Sep 2014
Comments: 6

6 Do’s and Don’ts for Secondary iPad Deployment and Support of New Initiatives

 

Tech Ninja Todd, Michelle Cordy, and a recent Do and Don’t list inspired me to sit down and reflect upon the start of this year with secondary iPads and the new enrollment system. While the new enrollment system is fiscally responsible (as we can now push and pull apps), allows for improved management (e.g. disabling iMessages and Game Center), and even provides the functionality to lock down devices during a testing situation with Casper Focus, any new system and process will encounter a few bumps in the road.

 

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I hope this Do’s and Don’t lists serves to support others that are embarking on this journey as well as proves to be a fruitful reflection on the process:

Do Communicate with and Include Key Decision Makers in the Planning Process

Include key decision makers (e.g. teachers, admin, ed tech, and technicians) in every level of the decision-making process. Teachers and students are affected by the new deployment and enrollment process and need to know how it will impact them. Include questions like:

  • How will STUDENTS RECEIVE the INFO they need to set up their iPad?: With the new enrollment process, students need a Novell login as well as their iTunes account. Should students receive their student login information prior to picking up their iPad to expedite the process? Students are also encouraged to use a personal iTunes account rather than a family one in secondary. While many students have a personal iTunes account, there are quite a few that do not. As the setup process for creating an account can take up to 10-15 minutes, consider options for ensuring students have this account prior to iPad rollout and enrollment day.
  • When/Where/How will STUDENTS RECEIVE their iPad?: Discuss the procedure for how students will be pulled out of class to pick up their iPads and when that process will occur.
  • How will we catch the DEPLOYMENT STRAGGLERS?: Have a plan in place for students that missed the day they were supposed to pick up their iPad. Do they come the next day? Do they visit the juice bar during lunch?
  • When can I start UTILIZING INSTRUCTIONAL MATERIALS within the iPad?: While we encourage students to keep their iPads over the summer so they can hit the instructional ground running with them the first day of school, there are inevitably some that decide to not keep them over the summer. As we move to be more and more paperless, how do you modify for these students until they receive their iPad (especially if teachers are using iTunes U as their textbook and the only device students can access the course on is an iPhone or an iPad)?
  • When can I start ASSIGNING PROJECTS utilizing iPad apps?: Students that downloaded a district-issued app in a previous year with their current iTunes account can retrieve it within the Purchased section of the app store. However, new students and students that did not download that app last year will have to wait until the wireless app push of this app is initiated.

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DON’T use Email as the Sole Means of Communication 

Don’t use email as the sole means of communication to inform teachers and students of a new initiative. Clearly the aforementioned questions and discussions are integral to the success of the devices in the classroom within the first few weeks of school. While email should not be used as the sole means to communicate this information, it can be effective if it is kept clear and concise and communicated to both teachers, students, and parents:

  • Announcements: Include information in the student announcements during the day.
  • Email: Communicate to both staff, students, and parents.
  • Newsletter: Send additional information in the weekly school newsletter so parents can remind students as well.

DO Plan

In my last post, I mentioned the Why of our district and how I felt it is a clear and compelling WHY that is at the forefront of our decision making. This year, we sought to alleviate some of the distraction of texting and gaming as well as utilize the devices for testing. To do this we are using a new enrollment process with our iPads. Carl Hooker has done an excellent job of creating a visual and explanation to detail some of the changes to restrictions in his most recent post.

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DON’T be Scared to Redesign the Map or Change Course Direction on the Fly

We all know the best laid plans sometimes need to be adjusted. Yesterday, I discovered that our 12+ Apps Only restriction (which limits our Freshman and Sophomores to only downloading apps that are rated 12-16) put the kibosh on downloading DocAS. DocAS is the paid app we provision to students to annotate PDF’s. It is a truly a solid and effective app but it has a built-in web browser that we can not filter and thus scores a 17+ rating. While I still believe in setting restrictions on student devices, know that this is not a fail-safe. Unfortunately, restricting games like Grand Theft Auto gives way to impeding instructional content like DocAS. Since we started using DocAS, apps like eBackpack and iFiles have since then included a PDF annotation tool or widget that we can switch too and still retain our management parameters. Fortunately, I was in the Juice Bar supporting our tech this week and I was able to catch this issue and quickly remedy it with some suitable alternatives…which leads me to my last Do and Don’t.

Screen Shot 2014-09-23 at 8.21.49 PM

DO Address Troubleshooting Concerns ASAP with all vested parties

We all make mistakes and discover better paths for maneuvering through a process. While it is important to be able to think on your feet and change course direction on the fly, it is just as important to communicate these changes and findings to the greater team. The Ed Tech, Librarian, Technician, Director of Innovation, and Director of Technology work hand in hand to execute and support our initiatives and they need to be made aware of bumps along the road as well as the on-the-fly detours that you make.

DON’T Get Caught in the Troubleshooting Doldrums

The beginning of the year can be fraught with wires and pliers kinds of tasks as well as technical “should” and “supposed to” frustrations. This device “should”_____ but doesn’t. This Application was “supposed to” _____ when it was installed. It is very easy to get caught in a whirlwind of blame and complain games. Don’t lose sight of your goal and purpose (the WHY that started it all). Know that all of these things shall pass and that getting “up and running” very much impacts instruction in the classroom. Before you can raise the walls and break through the ceilings, you have to ensure that the foundation is solid.

DO Teach Students to Select Appropriate Avenues for Backing up and Archiving their work

While iCloud initially may seem like the best and simplest option for back up, sometimes things mysteriously disappear, user error occurs in the back up process, or managed devices will not allow for a perfect replica of an iCloud back-up. Teaching students to always have a back-up plan and set systems in place for school and beyond is essential. Perhaps I am old school in this thought, but I find that that I can ensure that I have most things backed up within a 3 step process:

  • Photos/Videos: I like to create a back-up of these using a sync cable and a computer or upload them to a third party site with unlimited photo storage like Shutterfly (photos only) or Google Drive.
  • Apple Apps: The easiest way to assure that documents and media will transfer from a device is using iCloud within each app.
  • Non-Apple Apps: Depending on what these are, I will select the Open-In on each item and back them up to a cloud-based service that I will retain ownership of like a Google or Evernote account.

Screen Shot 2014-09-23 at 8.21.29 PM

DON’T Expect there to be a One-Size-Fits All Streamlined process for Backing Up work

Students have different computers and accounts (e.g. Dropbox, Drive, Copy, etc…) that they can back up to and may only be worried about losing documents within apps and not photos. Thus there is no one-size-fits all approach, but we can significantly alleviate the pain of this process by teaching students to be master organizers and owners of their own content and back-up process.

DO Provide Resources to Support Students

Support resources are imperative. There are some students, parents, and teachers that can successfully troubleshoot with step sheets and videos. That being said… this should not be the sole means of resources and support that your provide for your students…

DON’T Replace Face to Face Interactions with Email and Handouts

We all know that many issues can not be resolved with email. In fact 9 times out 10, the thing someone is asking about in the email isn’t even really the true heart of the problem. Truly there is no substitute for face to face support and interaction with students. While spending time for two class periods a day in the Juice Bar pulls me away from other duties and time that can be spent on instructional support, I have found it is one of the best ways to catch big issues before they spread (e.g. DocAs age restriction), discover troubleshooting trends, and resolve multiple technical issues that ultimately impact instruction in a big way.

 

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DO Make Time to Regroup and Reflect

The beginning of the year can feel like a tasmanian whirlwind of troubleshooting, emails, and support. Carving out time to reflect on the first few weeks can feel like a luxury but know that it is truly a necessity! It serves the dual purpose of being cathartic as well as integral to ensuring that things go smoother next year.

DON’T Be Held Captive to Time – Prioritize and Put out Fires

I am one that thrives on time for creativity and things that inspire me. I often struggle with the quick sand of influx of emails, time-consuming monotonous tasks, and the fact that “there is never enough time”. Being a mother of two elementary-age boys, the start of the year is even more difficult for me as all of these new systems are in place for myself as an employee, instructional supporter, and mother of two students. I eventually had to resign to the fact that I didn’t have time to do everything and had to focus on putting out fires for now and leave elevating thoughts and instruction to late September. Rather than feeling captive to time, I came to grips with it and have created Now and Later lists to support putting things in perspective as well as ensuring that they do not fall off my instructional radar when the time comes that they can receive a little more attention.

 

Hungry for MORE… EXPLORE the TechChef4u Alliteration Alliance!

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TechChef Techucation Gazette: Sign up to receive future issues of the monthly e-Newsletter: There are many more learning app-ortunities and professional development toolkits to come. If you don’t want to miss a morsel of this techucation feast, sign up today.

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Contact TechChef4u to schedule Spring and Summer PD and Workshops: lisa.johnson@techchef4u.com

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19 Sep 2014
Comments: 2

iOS 7… that ship has sailed…

It has been a very busy month of iPad deployments with the new enrollment system and getting campuses up and running (stay tuned for an upcoming Do’s and Don’ts blog on that process).

When you find yourself with a deficiency of time to create content, a simple thing to do is curate content. And what better day to do so then “Talk Like a Pirate” 2014 or as I have coined it “Update Like a Pirate.”

Appy "Update Like a Pirate Day..."

Appy “Update Like a Pirate Day…”

The transition from iOS 7 to iOS 8 this week offered me the platform to do just that. I have seen a myriad of amazing articles and tips and tricks in multiple social media feeds on iOS 8 from installing it and revising privacy settings to becoming acquainted with the new accessibility features as well as some of the lesser known features.

As I hardly have time to create my own tip sheet, I did find a few minutes to at the very least curate one for all of you. Go forth and “Update Like a Pirate!” 😉

Hungry for MORE… EXPLORE the TechChef4u Alliteration Alliance!

Check out the other topics in the Ed Tech alliteration portfolio:

TechChef Presents!

TechChef PresentsWhere will Lisa Johnson be sharing her app-thusiasm next?

1:1 Deployment and Interested in 1:1 Deployment or PD strategies and implementation? Looking for a dynamic presenter or interactive workshop? Contact TechChef4u (lisa.johnson@techchef4u.com) for parent presentations, hands-on workshops, keynotes, and much more! Read testimonials about TechChef presentations.

TechChef Techucation Gazette: Sign up to receive future issues of the monthly e-Newsletter: There are many more learning app-ortunities and professional development toolkits to come. If you don’t want to miss a morsel of this techucation feast, sign up today.

HAVE YOU SEEN THE LATEST ISSUE? WICKED GOOD SUMMER PD IDEAS!

 

Home Button StudsUpdated Stock of Chic Geek iJewelry on etsy!

1,800+ iPad Lessons Pinned HERE!

Contact TechChef4u to schedule Spring and Summer PD and Workshops: lisa.johnson@techchef4u.com

“Differentiated iClassroom”  iTunes U course is now available!!!


04 Sep 2014
Comments: 2

I Came for the WHY… I Stayed for the WHO!

A chat with one of our new Ed Techs prompted me to reflect on my last two years with Eanes ISD. And that led me to resurrect an unpublished post I drafted on the plane a few weeks ago…

While preparing for last month’s presentation “AWESOME ePortfolios” at Ed Tech Teacher’s Summit in Chicago, I found myself listening to Simon Sinek’s “Golden Circle” Ted Talk and reading Austin Kleon’s “Show Your Work”.

Start with the WHY

Simon’s states, “People don’t buy WHAT you do… they buy WHY you do it and that WHAT you do should prove WHAT you believe.”

ePortfolios are AWESome_ETT.003

Discovering the Golden Circle

His Golden Circle centers with a “Why”. The “How” and “What” must then revolve around the “Why”.

What is the WHY?

 

Applying his tenets and words of wisdom to my own sessions, I couldn’t help but flip the frame of reference on myself.

As I wind down from a very eventFULL summer and become entrenched in my third year as an Educational Technologist for Eanes ISD, I found myself reflecting on my decision to pick up my family and move to Austin to be part of what I very much now feel is my family and by far the best job on earth.

My First Year at Eanes ISD

At my previous job, I knew in my heart that personalized learning was here to stay and that a 1:1 with mobile devices would facilitate that ideal. But what really made me take the Eanes leap… was a very distinct feeling that Eanes special sauce was passion and a clear and compelling vision.

I Came for the WHY

During an inspiring site visit to WHS, I discovered that Eanes ISD didn’t start with the WHAT on a whim: Let’s buy a bunch of devices. They started with the WHY (Learning and Engaging through Access and Personalization) and then moved towards the decision to initiate an iPad pilot. They didn’t say let’s buy this cool mobile furniture… they asked how do we support collaboration and creativity and then designed flexible learning environments to facilitate that. As I dive in to year 3, I have to say their WHY is always at the forefront of their decision-making and I am overjoyed that the 3 C’s as well as social and emotional intelligence will be threaded through instruction as we support the whole child.

After a very reaffirming convocation… I ventured to add a layer to Simon’s Golden Circle… the Who…

Who

 

I Stay for the WHO

But truly beyond the WHY…. is now the WHO, the people that get the vision and work tirelessly to support it and integrate the devices to transform and redefine the classroom. I feel very blessed to be in a place that supports big ideas, pushing the boundaries, and people that want to challenge the status quo. We hire the WHO to support the WHY.

Our amazing teacher of the year, Norm Morgan, devotes himself to our robotics program at the HS and gave an amazing speech… reminding us all that what students learn in the classroom has the impact to change the world.

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While we lost two members of our iVengers team this year, we gained two new members. One of which created by far my favorite interview video of all time:

These are just a few of the people (the WHO) that truly support our WHY.

“So as we embark on the 2014-2015 academic year… I ask you to reflect on your WHY… and the HOW, WHAT, and even the WHO that support that vision.” – Lisa Johnson

As you begin to choose tools and apps, plan student projects, attend conferences, embark on new initiatives, and do what you do best… consider your WHY when making these HOW and WHAT decisions.

Hungry for MORE… EXPLORE the TechChef4u Alliteration Alliance!

Check out the other topics in the Ed Tech alliteration portfolio:

TechChef Presents!

TechChef PresentsWhere will Lisa Johnson be sharing her app-thusiasm next?

1:1 Deployment and Interested in 1:1 Deployment or PD strategies and implementation? Looking for a dynamic presenter or interactive workshop? Contact TechChef4u (lisa.johnson@techchef4u.com) for parent presentations, hands-on workshops, keynotes, and much more! Read testimonials about TechChef presentations.

TechChef Techucation Gazette: Sign up to receive future issues of the monthly e-Newsletter: There are many more learning app-ortunities and professional development toolkits to come. If you don’t want to miss a morsel of this techucation feast, sign up today.

HAVE YOU SEEN THE LATEST ISSUE? WICKED GOOD SUMMER PD IDEAS!

 

Home Button StudsUpdated Stock of Chic Geek iJewelry on etsy!

1,800+ iPad Lessons Pinned HERE!

Contact TechChef4u to schedule Spring and Summer PD and Workshops: lisa.johnson@techchef4u.com

“Differentiated iClassroom”  iTunes U course is now available!!!