Monthly Archives: March, 2012

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.

Our Tech Support Specialist helping at our iPad Support Fair

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.

The Belkin Switch

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.

The Apps and Idea Sharing station at our after school iPad Support Fair

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”

Students practicing Math facts with a Augmented Reality app by PBS called Fetch!Lunch Rush.

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.

Here we go!

Here’s where will be posting all our Ed Tech findings….