The Single iPad Classroom Surprise Follow Up
Wow! I had no idea that this post from last April 2012, titled, The Single iPad Classroom, would live so long.
I am noticing comments from as recently as last week.
Here’s the link to the original post. Be sure to check out the comments because many of them are very helpful and they extend the story….
Also, I am including a link to my new website which is where I’m posting recent activities and lessons. These are a chronicle of our 1-1 iPad initiative. However many of the ideas can be applied to 1 iPad classrooms.
And here is a link to the session we did at TCEA 2013 last week, titled: Teach Different: 1-1 iPad Immersion in Elementary.
Be sure to check out the links to all the presenters websites, there are a lot of activities, ideas and tutorials on them:
And…here’s a link to a presentation at TCEA by Richardson ISD called the One iPad Classroom. I was not able to attend it, but I heard it was really good. I recommend their Video Tutorials link.
Thanks for your wonderful comments and for reading!!
iPad Palooza and ISTE 12 Take Aways
- Posted by Margie Brown, EISD EdTech @mbrowneisd
- Here are some Take Aways from our iPad Palooza and ISTE 2012. They were created in a tool called Storify. This year I tried something new for note taking during conferences. I posted on twitter ideas, thoughts and links that I wanted to remember.
- Then I went to the Storify site and just dragged any post from twitter onto my page. From there I added text, links, etc. to tell my story of ipad Palooza and ISTE 2012. Storify allows you to export your story straight to your wordpress blog (which is right here!) A very cool tool!!!
- Some of the entries are just ideas with a reference to who said them, some have links to resources or more information.
So….here’s my Storify…
- First, I want to include Debbie Smith’s reflections on ISTE. We were together for all of our sessions and most of our adventures (except my “excellent trolley adventure”).
iMovie Trailers and QR Codes: That’s the Fun Part
Every once in a while, in the world of planning Professional Development, the most enjoyable segments are the ones that called for the least planning.
This was the case as my partner in all things EdTech, Debbie Smith (@austindeb2003), and I discovered to our surprise, when we were implementing our iPad Immersion sessions over the last few weeks.
We spent a lot of time planning curriculum based critical thinking and creativity activities that integrated iPads. We wanted the teachers to look at the curriculum they use regularly in a different way. And we came up with some pretty good activities, we thought.
The creativity activities were adapted from the AIMS Science curriculum used in grades K-2 and 3-5. Teachers researched types of weather or planets, created a storyboard with Keynote or the Popplet App then created a movie with iMovie, in partners.
The critical thinking activities came from AIMS Science and Stemscopes Science and involved observing, measuring, recording and comparing. The K-2 group used the Hummingbird Helicopters and the Tables tool in Numbers for their task, along with the video feature on the iPad. The 3-5 group used internet photos of life cycle stages and the Explain Everything App for their task. They were each charged with telling the story of their findings using Keynote.
While they were engaged in these activities and completed them with varying measures of success, engagement and enjoyment in the morning, the real fun happened in the afternoon.
First they watched a video created by our very own Laura Wright (http://goo.gl/y0T03) explaining the nuts and bolts of having a room full of 8 year olds, each with their own iPad. We included this because many of them will be implementing 1-1 iPads in their elementary classrooms next year, and are a bit unsure about the day to day management aspect.
Then Debbie and Jon (@ipadsammy) gave them a quick overview of iMovie trailers and cut them loose to create. Lots of fun, creativity, concentration and laughter followed. The presenter, Debbie, even got into the fun by creating her own iMovie Trailer , Adventures in iPad Immersion.
Switching gears to QR codes took some fancy footwork, but when they started discovering what they and their students could do with QR codes, they were hooked.
They loved the idea of the Audioboo App, in which students can record anything (book reports, description of a picture, explanations of a project, etc.) and have the recording go straight to a website that they can create a QR code for.
After following a sample QR Code Treasure Hunt, they were sold on the QRCode Treasure Hunt Generator from Class Tools http://classtools.net/QR/ .
When we explored http://www.qrstuff.com/ , which is a site in which QR codes can be generated for a variety of things in a variety of colors, they were ready to start creating.
They left with many ideas on ways to deliver the same curriculum in more student centered ways….and commented on how much fun they had learning how to do it.
Post by Margie Brown, Eanes ISD EdTech @mbrowneisd and Debbie Smith, Eanes ISD EdTech @austindeb2003
Putting the Real Professionals in Professional Development
Our district tried a fresh approach to professional development this summer.We knew we had a lot of teachers doing great things in their classrooms, but all teachers are so busy, that sharing these great strategies and ideas is difficult to do.
So the Instructional Partners, the EdTechs, and our Curriculum Administrators came up with the idea of tapping into the talent we have right here in our district to provide Summer Professional Development. We have been using teachers for several years on special topics. But this year we decided to showcase the everyday awesome things many teachers do that make their programs so engaging and effective.
Using a Google form sent out by email, the teachers were surveyed for their interest in presenting and their presentation ideas.
Once the presenters were collected, the days were divided into primary and intermediate level presentations called Content-Linked Instruction K-1 or 3-5.
The Instructional Partners formatted the days into a Summer Camp theme, with a set of sessions in the morning and a different set in the afternoons.
Teachers attended all of the sessions according to the rotation schedule in the Camp Survival Kit they picked up when they signed in.
In the morning the teachers gathered in the library to sign in and to learn about the structure of the day
Then they started their rotations.
Here’s a sample of the offerings:
Interactive Science Journals
Engaging Writing Ideas
Let’s Blog in Kindergarten
Daily 5 Math
Edmodo in the Classroom Depth & Complexity
1-1 iPad Initiative
At the end of the day they regrouped in the library for reflection and feedback.
We used Today’s Meet for feedback.
The creativity, and detailed planning and set up by our Instructional Partners resulted in 100% positive feedback, reminding us that some of our very own professionals are the best providers for Professional Development.
Post by Margie Brown, Eanes ISD EdTech @mbrowneisd
Story Kit and the iPad: It’s Not Just a Toy
Kindergartners in Mrs. Isom’s class use their Camp Think -A-Lot Blog and Story Kit on the iPads to write for a global audience and they can’t wait each day to see who in the world has read their blog.
As these kindergartners are learning to write in their Writing Workshop program, they are also learning geography by locating the people who are reading their creations on their class blog, Camp Think-A-Lot.
They were thrilled to find readers from many states in the United States as well as Kuwait , India and New Zealand.
In addition to using these engaging Web 2.0 tools (Blogger and Clustr Maps), these Kindergartners are also adept at using the iPads for the publishing step of their Writing Workshop program.
First, they write their stories in their Draft Book
Then they edit their story with the help of an editing checklist.
Once their stories are edited and approved by their teacher, they are ready to publish!
While there are many great story creating apps out there…we chose the Story Kit app for publishing. It’s free and the text and paint tools are easy enough for kindergartners without too many bells and whistles.
Here is a great resource from which I learned about digital storytelling with Story Kit: Creative Apptitude, ipad Multimedia Tools for Creativity by Karen Bosch.
Mrs. Isom showed the students how to start a story in Story Kit, and how to add text and drawing to their pages.
And they were off! The intensity of focus, the level of engagement, and the conversation in the room during this publishing step was delightful.
The students knew they had to get all of their text in, with one sentence to each page of their book, before they were able to start their artwork. This really reinforced the concept of a sentence.
Once their pages were checked for sentences copied from their Draft Books correctly, students were free to illustrate their pages.
When their books were complete, students filled in the Details Page with the title and author.
Then it was time to share their creations.
Students clicked Share, which saved the story to the Story Kit App on the iPad.
The next step was to email it to their teacher, which required adult help to be sure the email address was typed in correctly.
After a story is emailed to the teacher, she receives an email message with a link to the story.
Mrs. Isom put these links into her blog so family and friends from all around the world can read and comment on these wonderful stories.
Drop in and read these delightful stories and leave comments…these young authors will be thrilled. Go to:
Then, on the right, in the pages section, click on Published Stories from Writer’s Workshop
About Story Kit
There are a few great things about Story Kit that make it a perfect publishing app for the primary grades.
As I said earlier it’s free. But the power lies in the simplicity of it’s text, graphic, and recording tools for primary students. It is so easy to publish student work on a website or blog because Story Kit emails a URL that opens a very clean view of the book. This URL can easily be placed into your blog, wiki, newsletter, tweet, etc.
Another great thing about Story Kit, which these Kindergartners will be using soon, it the voice recorder. Students can click the record button on their work window and record narration with each page of their book. This narration plays on the website when the story is published to it, by clicking the speaker on each page.
The collection of student stories is saved in the Story Kit App on the iPad. But, be cautious because..if your district updates the iPads, these stories get wiped out.
Since our iPad lab is a school lab, on checkout to everyone, teachers assign iPad numbers to each student so that they work on the same iPad each time, and can find their saved work. This is not ideal, since there have been instances of someone accidentally editing or deleting a project or camera roll item that another student has saved. Personal devices would be the best way for students to manage their digital work…maybe someday in the future.
Another nice thing about Story Kit is the ease of emailing a story. The email window opens up and all the student needs to do is enter an email address. We put a generic email account on each iPad. At first the concept of a generic email account on student iPads was quite a dilemma because of security and appropriate use…and although we now have generic email accounts on the student iPads, it still has the potential to be troublesome. We decided to go ahead and try it out because some of the best apps required email to get the product to the intended recipient. With this trial goes the responsibility of additional supervision on the teacher’s part and embedded instruction in digital citizenship.
The iPad : Toy or Tool?
There has been quite a bit of discussion in our district and in many others about the value of iPads for education. Some still consider it a toy and are concerned with passive screen time. Mrs. Isom’s Writer’s Workshop is just one of many authentic learning activities that the talented teachers across our district ( and in many other districts) are doing that integrate iPads along with other digital tools. Research and opinion pieces are now surfacing stressing the difference between passive screen time and engaged or learning screen time. Here is a recent one from Harvard Health: http://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/ipad-apps-and-screen-time-for-kids-learning-or-babysitting-201205114673
I would answer these concerns with the view that we trust our children to our teachers every day. We trust teachers to provide meaningful and engaging learning experiences, whether it is with crayons and scissors, books and paper, a video clip and a follow up discussion, or digital tools such as computers and iPads. The advent of iPads brings mixed ideas to the conversation, because many of us saw the iPad first as a toy or an entertainment device for our children. We would pass it to them to keep them occupied. While the iPads can still be used in this way, we have to trust our educators when they say: “The iPad is not just a toy, it’s an educational tool.” ….Trust and watch and be amazed at what teachers and students can do with the addition of this tool to their learning toolboxes.
Post by Margie Brown Eanes EdTech
The Single iPad Classroom
Both of the schools I serve have “Single iPad Classrooms”.
The teachers all have iPads, and, on one campus there is a mobile cart of 30 iPads that is shared on a check-out basis.
Teachers have had their iPads for a while, so I thought it would be interesting to find out how they are getting these in the hands of students. I created a survey in Google Forms (what did we do before Google Forms???).
Below I have summarized the responses.
If you have a system for individual students to use the iPad, can you please explain it?
• Name on a list
• My system is calling on a student and letting him/her play specific apps or use it for free time.
• I open a single app, and assign students
• Rotation schedule for centers
• I have student practice spelling words, high frequency words, math facts or with my younger students practice letter naming and sounds.
• We rotate through two centers a day so 4-5 kids use it.
• Sick or injured students can film certain instructions or games-form our PE coach
• One to two students working on different educational apps. This is done during centers or quiet time.
• They have to “buy” time with their tickets they earn.
• Positive reinforcement for completing tasks/following directions
• Each day 4 students are drawn to use the ipads during Daily 5 choice time to practice their spelling words.
• I have an Ipad class helper who keeps track of who is using it.
• Right now, just a check list to give them equal turns
• They take turns on Fridays during designated times.
• During our center time, students rotate ipad use.
• I have student names on sticks and I pull one each day and that student gets the iPad for that day. When I have gone through all the students, then we start over. So each student gets the iPad once every 20 days.
• Students who have finished checking out books can use the iPad(s), iPods, or nook. I have put books, language arts, and social studies apps on the devices. Some are also using garage band.
• They can use it freely to get on Xtra Math or take an AR quiz. They use it during BYOT tech app Fridays.
• We have an “iPad helper” who draws random names throughout the day. They keep track of who has used the iPad on a special clip board. We make sure everyone has had a chance during that “round” before we start all over again. Usually 3-5 kids use the iPad per day.
If you have a system for small groups to use the iPad, can you please explain it?
• Group A every Monday
• Teacher lead, pass around
• Rotation schedule
• I have iPad at center and students work on a particular app.
• I name the user group
• I work it into my lesson plan for center time
• Using it as station for instruction for some games.
• Incorporate it into our small group table activities during center time rotation
• In small reading group instruction, our ipad is an invaluable tool to help us learn letter names and sounds, correct pronunciation, recognition of sight words, shape recognition, not to mention tactile development.
• BYOT Tech App Fridays
How do you keep the students on the specific apps you want them to use?
• Sitting by them – easy to do in a small group setting.
• I model how to go to each one and how to use them. I’ve put most apps in designated folders, specifically for student use.
• Monitor/1:1 supervision/assistance from a teacher
• I have made folders with different apps for different grade levels I work with.
• I’m sitting right there with them as PART of the group( I’m part of the team )
• I put the in three folders on the bottom row where it’s hard to remove them or mess them up. Also, we previewed what to do if the black x shows up. They have done GREAT with it.
• The app they will use is already up and running when they get the iPad.
• Explain to them appropriate use and consequences if they don’t use it appropriately. And trust…
• Honesty…I’ve told them what they can use during Daily 5 and have not caught anyone doing otherwise! I can check how much time they spend in the spelling apps that we use.
• I have them located in folders with the names of the academic areas. So they are instructed to use the apps in the folder of the academic area that are in for the whole class. So, for example, when we are doing Math, they are only allowed to do the Math apps.
• I announce ahead of time which apps can be used during that time.
• Difficult to monitor! I wish I could put a password on my folders! Or put folders within folders to organize things.
What apps have you found that provide an engaging and relevant learning experience for your students?
• Math apps are great! I also use Flash Card app for sight word reading and bingo. In general, the kids respond well to any app I show them. I also use Aimsweb on the iPad and it is wonderful and easy to use when doing progress monitoring on the kids.
• Every day Math apps, Screen Chomp, Daily 5
• Oh No! Fractions, Math Ninja
• Math Bingo, Alphabet apps for younger students
• Math and Word bingo, several different math and language apps, handwriting apps, and sight word apps…
• iMovie, Pullups, and the basic camera.
• iWrite Words
• SpellBoard is what we use for spelling practice. I like that I can program in the words they practice, adding more than what is on our weekly list- more challenging words for those that need it.
• Letter Quiz, Cimo (spell out) Spelling, Sight Words 2, Fun Rhyming, Read-a-Louds
• Puppet Pals, Sock Puppets. I have recently loaded “Snapseed” a free app from Starbucks, and I will use that app more with students who take pictures.
• Word Wizard, Spell Board, Word Bingo, Pop Words, Sight Words Hang Man, Flash to Pass Free, Everyday Math Apps, Math Bingo, Amazing Coins, Grade 1 Math, Teach Me 1st Grade, Flat Stanley, Grade 1 Math and Science….soooooo many!
Post by Margie Brown Eanes ISD EdTech
Solids, Keynote, iPads and First Graders
Students in first grade are using the world around them to understand spheres, rectangular prisms, cylinders, cubes and pyramids. One of several learning activities called for small groups going on a “solid hunt” with iPads. Parent volunteers accompanied small groups of 2-3 students around the school (inside and outside) to capture pictures of solids in their environment on the iPads. This took all of one class period.
The next day the groups, with some parent volunteers, worked together to create a keynote presentation about solids around them. Two to three students collaborated on each presentation. While not directly taught, many students discovered features of Keynote like adding shapes, transitions, and backgrounds.
Some students used their math books to be sure they labeled and spelled their solids correctly.
When finished they will present their “Solid Slide Show”to their class by connecting their iPad to the projector.
Post by Margie Brown Eanes ISD EdTecj
Shutting Down Apps to Save Battery Life
Here’s a video tutorial from Ed Tech John Kuentz on how to shut down your iPad apps running in the background.
If You Give a Teacher an iPad….
…You need to provide ongoing support!
In our school district, teachers have all received iPads at different times. We, the EdTechs in the district, have been working with the teachers to help with understanding ways they can use their iPads for personal productivity and as a digital tool for learning.
It is after the fact, now that all of the teachers have iPads, that we have discovered a bit of a sequence for iPad support. These ideas have evolved over the course of the year as we have lived this. It’s not the only way, I’m sure other districts have ways they have discovered, which I would love to learn about.
Stage 1: When initially distributing iPads, we have an overview that we do with them. It’s in the form of a keynote (that Carl Hooker created) and done on the projector with our iPads, or a new empty iPad, demonstrating the features of the iPad. We go over the physical set up of the iPad, connecting the wifi, setting up gmail, setting up iBooks, using their Self Serve app, and setting up Web Dav. This is always exciting and challenging because we are in a room full of anywhere from 10 to 30 people (see above photo). In the excitement of getting their iPads they may or may not be paying attention to what we are showing them, and there is always a lot of talking. We often have to use “group management tricks ” to redirect attention in these initial sessions.
Stage 2: We do a support follow up. This includes re-teaching anything from the introduction that any teacher needs. Tech support is also given for those who had trouble with Gmail, Web Dav Nav, Self Serve, Wifi, Belkin Switches and dongles, etc. We also dive into personal productivity tools like Keynote, Pages, and some personal productivity apps. This stage has been done a few different ways on different campuses and sometimes not in one session. Some campuses have what they call Tech Bytes, in which the Ed Tech meets with every grade level and department during their planning periods for one or two sessions to provide this stage of support.
Recently I hosted an after school iPad Support Fair for the purposes of support for teachers who had received their iPads about 2 weeks before. I sent out a Google Form survey to see what kinds of help they needed. In order to differentiate and meet everyone’s needs in the short time we had, I set up 3 stations. A Tech Support station in which teachers could get help with technical things like wi fi, gmail, etc. A productivity station in which teachers could learn more about Gradebook, Keynote, Pages and the Belkin Switches and dongles that would enable quick switching back and forth between computer, iPad and document camera projecting. The third, and by far the most popular, station was an Apps and Idea sharing station.
Stage 3:This stage is more of an informal sharing time. We often call them Appy Hours or Ice Cream N iPad Appy Hours. At these sessions teachers come and sit around tables with others sharing apps, eating ice cream, and writing down apps that were shared. The wrap up for the session is a sharing time or an App Smack Down. The apps shared at these sessions are published as “Appy Hour Menus”
Stage 4: This stage is the ongoing one-to-one, small group, and large group work we do with teachers. We model lessons in which iPads are integrated, we co-teach these types of lessons also, and we provide warm-body support as teachers teach their own lessons integrating iPads. We also gather and share resources on what these lessons look like, and how to move this technology from a replacement tool to a transformative tool. Important note: We are at the beginning of Stage 4..Check back later for more concrete posts on how this is evolving.
Post by Margie Brown Eanes ISD EdTech
iPad Conversations by Margie Brown
Recently I had the opportunity to have small group iPad Conversations at one of the elementary schools I serve. Teachers received their iPads in October, well before the student iPad cart became available; in order to get familiar with iPads and to begin to see productivity and integration uses for them, Then an iPad mobile lab was ready for check out in January. By now, I thought that enough time had passed to be able to get some early ideas on the successes and challenges of the teacher iPads and the student iPad cart.
The conversations were all very educational and enlightening; and I am excited to share some ideas and a wish list that came out of it.
Ideas for the 1 iPad classroom:
For students in small groups or individually, take turns with:
Spell board: an app that costs $4.99, teachers can record spelling lists in their own voice, students can write the words, have them checked, lists can be shared with other teachers, multiple profiles can be kept on one iPad, there is a word search puzzle for the list.
Built in Camera: students can videotape themselves reading, using the video feature of the camera, for fluency development and reinforcement, as well as for teachers to watch later for monitoring purposes
Word Meaning and Vocabulary Development: in guided reading groups, students can quickly look up the meaning of a word.
Alphabet Magnets: an app that costs $1.99, as the students build words the sound of the letter is pronounced, and blended to form the words. Teachers use this one on with students for phonics work, and students practice in pairs.
iReading apps, other story apps, free books that can be downloaded through iBooks: students enjoy listening to stories, many of which have the words highlighted as they are read.
Connect the iPad to the projector: using the dongle or a Belkin KVM switch, play group games, review facts, vocabulary, spelling, or content using a variety of apps, with the whole class.
Ideas for 1-1 classroom iPad use
Here are some activities teachers and students have engaged in when the cart was checked out and each student had an iPad.
Doodle Buddy and Real Chalk: use as whiteboards, much cleaner and no smelly markers.
Working on the lower end of Bloom’s: sometimes students just need to have activities that promote remembering and understanding. Use any of the creativity and productivity apps for retelling, listing, describing, naming, classifying, comparing, and explaining. Here are some that we have: Poplet, Lino, ABC Notes, Animoto, ToonTastic, ComicLife, Puppet Pals HD, and Sock Puppets
Screen Chomp: students work in pairs to record the steps they used in solving a math problem, their partner starts the recording and follows these steps to see if they work.
Garage Band: students use garage band to create songs and music to retell or teach content.
iMovie: Students created novel trailers in iMovie, then shared by connecting to the projector
Built in Camera: Students took still and video images of geometrical shapes in nature an put them into an iMovie. These were shared by a gallery walk, and projected for the whole class.
The Wish List:
- more iPads , at least one cart per grade level
- KVM switches in every room so it will be easy to project iPads on the screen
- a way to make apps on the iPad interactive on our Smartboards when they are projected.
- when Kindergarten and First Grade teachers are passing the class iPad to students, they would like a way to “lock” the pages, so the student stay on the page with their apps and don’t swipe over to the pages with the teacher’s apps on them.
- more time to learn about new ways to teach and integrate this wonderful tool
- some way for students to work with the flash digital tools that are a part of their math and reading curriculum.