Getting Excited to Kno

Kno

 As I continue to look for alternatives to the heavy and expensive textbooks for our students, one company Kno, is rising to the top. I like their business model, (they have one) and the response time from their employees is swift. I have observed the company mature for a few years as they only continue to get better. In my opinion, they have now overtaken everyone but Amazon’s Kindle as the supplier of textbooks that are dynamic, affordable and easy to deploy if you work with them. I know that iBooks are wonderful, but they are device specific which is a real drawback as I want students to have access to textbooks no matter where they and there iPad happen to be located. Learning no longer happens only during class and with the textbook so access to the digital textbook at the point of learning is what is needed.

I am not sold on having novels and reading books as only a digital option as there is something nice and non-distracting about curling up with a book and reading. My iPad provides too many opportunities to take away from the reading even though I try to read. I know I could do the same with a paper book by putting it down and picking up my iPad, but that effort is just enough to prevent me. Besides, novels are not nearly as large as some of the textbooks.

I have the expectation that the books our students need will be setup with accounts they create for us. In addition, they will bill us so we can bill the parents. Cost is huge in that a Kno version of our current English textbook is $9.99 versions compared to $110.00 for a paper version. Besides the cost factor, there is much more interactivity and learning objects which will allow for deeper learning. I am hopeful that next year the backpacks of some of our students will be less as we begin to shift some of the mass from hard cover paper books to downloaded textbooks.

The movie below gives a nice overview of what the company is doing. I could have done without the whole Valley Girl stuff, but it does make the video available.

 

 

AirServer Tutorial

AirServer  The game console for Mac PC has arrived

One of the dilemmas encountered with using iPads in classrooms is the desire to display the iPad without being hooked up to an LCD projector. A mobile device begs to be free and not tethered to a cable. While the Apple TV has great promise, many schools have yet to move in that direction due to concerns with securing the wifi connection and configuring a school full of Apple TVs. Our school’s IT department came up with this solution which seems to be a solid compromise and solution. AirServer is an inexpensive application that can be installed on any computer and it turns it into an Apple TV wannabe device capable of displaying any iPad on the same wifi network. There are other apps that can do this as well and some are outlined in this article. http://ioswikis.mycues.org/groups/ipadresources/wiki/1ad2e/Reflection_Aerodrom_or_Apple_TV.html

This tutorial will show you how to set it up and use it with your students. Passwords are important to remember as the biggest concern I would have is a student guessing your password and displaying their iPad while you are trying to have a different instructional display.

A nice thing about AirServer was we were able to buy 20 licenses at a volume discount so it was very budget friendly. 

http://portal.sliderocket.com/CCKUT/AirServerDirectionsJanuary2013

 

Great Video on How to Use the iPad for Literacy

Explain Everything  EE Showcase

 

I have been interested in this app for a while and thought it had value but just wasn’t sure. I liked the idea of being able to share to Evernote which is a huge issue when trying to get files off of an iPad. With the new features coming in EE 2.0, we may need to look at including this in our list of must have apps for students and teachers. I like the fact that users will be able to edit the recording track as that was one downfall when I used it in my testing. This video by David W. Malone does a wonderful job with this video on how to use iTunes U, Explain Everything, and Evernote for literacy. 

 

Google Drive iPad App Tutorial for Uploading

Keynote

I have written about the Google Drive app before, but the latest update really helps us with a major problem we have been having with Keynote presentations in particular but will also work for movies and other large files that exceed the 10 MB email message limit.

Many Keynote Presentations are larger then 10 MB due to the theme used, size of images or sheer length of the presentation. Up until this Google Drive update, students often had to email each as an image to their teacher which sort of defeats the whole idea of a presentation. There are times when simply sharing a PDF will work while other times a true Keynote file is needed as the teacher wants to evaluate it as a presentation or the students will be presenting it to the whole class from the teachers computer. Of course, the iPads can display the Keynote as well.

This tutorial will show you how to use the Google Drive app to upload and share non-google formatted files. If you want to learn more about how to use the Google Drive app, check out this post where I discuss that and other apps.

 


Update: I wanted to include this link to a Miguel Guhlin’s great post One Drive to Rule Them All as it has solid screen shots and good directions as well. Tip of the hat to Miguel.

What Do You Get When You …

Reading

Stop me if you heard this one already. What do you get when you give a student a Nook, an iPad, a Hardcover, or a Paperback? Answer: Reading! Which is superior, which is inferior and why does this matter if what we hope for is to have our students develop a love of reading? I think too often the device conversation can take away from the pedagogical or curricular goal if we are not clear of the objective. I like being able to find the definition of a word without asking someone or getting a dictionary as it removes the stigma of not knowing a word. I also enjoy reading the hardcover edition of a book as I try to find the meaning of the word in the context of the writing. Paperbacks are great as I think of them as consumables where hardcovers are for shelves after I finish like some sort of display of how well read I am or might be if I read all of the books on my shelves.

The back story: I was in Ms. Williams’ class the other day getting ready to introduce Membean to her students as part of our trial. We were getting the equipment ready and students were occupied with their free reading time. As I was getting ready to start, I saw this happening and after asking the students if I could take their picture to use on my blog, they all said yes. That lead me to think about so many conversations that have taken place regarding our iPad program. It is not about the device, it is about the learning goals! Read on!

By the way, the student iPads now have the Nook app installed so the student would not need to bring his Nook unless he wanted to.

More iPad Tutorials Using VoiceThread

Voicethread app

 

VoiceThread App in a VoiceThread Presentation
Google Drive in a VoiceThread Presentation

iPad Tutorials – Using sliderocket

Blogsy for iPad

Blogsy app -used by students to blog at Edublogs. This is a sliderocket presentation – already in all teachers Moodle course if they blog. http://portal.sliderocket.com/CCKUT/BlogsySetupandUseInstructions

 

 

Atomic Learning iPad app

 
 
 
 
 
 
Goodreader com  products  GoodReader
 
 

Learning When Connected

NewImage

http://www.flickr.com/photos/74998608@N00/2540055580

Our school provided all students in grades 5 through 8 with a iPad in August of this year. Teachers received iPads in April to get ready for a year of discovery and learning together. This was not much time to pull our learning community resources together, but all in all, we are in good shape for the journey we are on this year. I am looking forward to the journey ahead of us this year as I like what I am seeing happen with our school.

As the school moved to adopt the iPad, I began to create resources for our teachers, students, and parents. The Mobile Learning Website gave teachers access to resources for finding apps, restructuring their classrooms, forums for discussing concerns and offering suggestions. In addition to this resource, I created a iPad Passport site that was modeled after Montclair Kimberly Academy’s 1:1 Drivers Manual as I thought it was critical that our school start the year with a common language and community norms. I used our school’s Acceptable Use Policy which we revised based on The Nueva School’s Acceptable Use Policy as a guide as I found the approach to be very user friendly and setting a tone of community important as we gave each student an iPad. I used the book, From Fear to Facebook written by then Middle School Director Matt Levinson at Nueva School to help guide the community norms on when and how to use the iPad efficiently and ethically. I incorporated some of Common Sense Media’s curriculum movies and lessons into the iPad Passport to help guide our students on Digital Citizenship. I also helped to build a portal for parents to get information and questions answered. Unfortunately, the Mobile LEarning Website and the iPad Passport are private so I am not able to show them to you. All of the movies from the iPad Passport are on the portal for parents resource page.

The first two days of school had a special schedule that allowed for work by the entire campus on the iPad Passport together. It was sort of surreal to walk into classrooms and see along with hearing myself teaching the entire school. I think our plan has really worked as we have had a pretty smooth first couple of months given the drastic change a device like the iPad brings to a school. We still have kinks to work out and come up with a better solution for what students do with their iPads during our community meetings, but we heading in the right direction.

We did determine a certian number of apps that we felt all students needed to have with Evernote Premium Sponsored Accounts being the main work horse for both teachers and students. Goodreader was also an app that we knew we would need to deal with PDFs and annotations. Since we also use VoiceThread, Mindmeister, BrainPOP, and Google Apps for Education we made sure these apps were on all iPads. Each grade level added apps that they wanted to include as well. 

I have been kept pretty busy each day helping to teach in classrooms, troubleshoot a network issue here and there or just work on creating a workflow for projects we want to do with the students. I am using my sixth grade technology class to experiment with using both iPads and iMacs.

What I love most is how students have stepped into the learning and teaching roles and how teachers have been able to adjust from what was the previous norm. Today, I was helping a student with an Evernote sync issue and did an impromptu lesson on forgetting a network. As I was leaving the room, the teacher went back to her overhead projector which was projecting the vocabulary words for the week. Students already had the words as she had shared them in a shared Evernote notebook. What I noticed and could not have predicted we would use Evernote for is in the image below. Students had figured out and the teacher had given the green light to using the built in dictionary in Evernote. Connecting and learning together is much like learning how to stack blocks. 

EvernoteVocabHelp

Parent Night at Durham Academy Middle School 2012

Ipads

Image courtesy of Durham Academy at http://www.flickr.com/photos/durhamacademy/7833354824/in/set-72157631182589992/

For parents who could not make it to Parents Night this is the presentation I showed.

 

This is the Edublogs app on the iPad

20120829-134325.jpg
Everything old is new again as the entire campus have iPads. I have been very pleased with how the rollout has gone. The iPad Passport proved to be very successful. I think for the 5th grade we will start with the Edublogs app before trying Blogsy.

20120830-114214.jpg
http://www.flickr.com/photos/41304517@N00/6904758951
After using this app for writing this post I am confident I will be able to teach the fifth graders next week. In time we will move to Blogsy after we have learned how to add images, citations, and text with the Edublog’s app.

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