iPad Always on My Mind

Willie Nelson sang the song, Always on My Mind, well I have a new take. I have ordered 3 iPads so that each technology integration specialist could develop ideas on how we will use these devices with students and teachers. I have been waiting (not very patiently) for them to arrive. I had hoped they would have been delivered on Monday, but alas nothing but a VGA Dock Cable for the iPad.Tuesday, two more boxes showed up, and alas, nothing but the Case and Dock connector. But wait, printed on the packing list was the sales order number and with it came the ability to track the shipment. The news is not good for my desire to have one in my hands today. You see the iPads left Shenzhen, China at 1:30 PM today (weird as it is only 9:29 AM now) and will not arrive in Durham NC until 4/8/10. That is not until this Thursday!
Ups  Tracking Information
Luckily, I teach at a great school where students are often the first adopters. I had wondered how long it would take to have a student ask me to help them set up their iPad. Students were off on Monday so today was the first day back in the post iPad era. School started at 8:00 AM and at 9:01 in walked Tim P. with his new iPad wondering if he could get it on the network, download the Durham Academy Mobile app and get FirstClass installed. We worked on it together and at one point, he said, “Go ahead you can touch it”. Be still my heart. Thank you Tim and Thursday can not come soon enough.
If we get textbooks on this device, there will be no need to carry around 30 to 40 pounds of dead atoms.

I am also reminded of the famous math word problems we all loved so much when in school. Two trains leave … In 2010, if a plane leaves Shenzhen, China traveling East and a plane leaves Raleigh NC traveling west, when will I get my iPad? Perhaps it is time for Wolfram Alpha?

Back to reality Karl or at least deep breaths….

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Poetry in VoiceThread

Recently I had the opportunity to work with Sarah Parry and Claire Lescop to take poems written by students and create illustrated versions. The pictures were used to highlight the content of the poem in order to bring the poem alive via images. We used Keynote to assemble the poem, images, while also discussing copyright and creative commons. With this in mind, students used Creative Commons images which allow for use without attribution. Once the Keynote Slide was completed, they were exported as an image and upload via a Moodle Assignment. Teachers then added them to the VoiceThread while the students rehearsed their reading of the poem so they would be ready to record. Once the VoiceThread was ready, students donned the Logitech Headsets and recorded their poems. After recording their poem, the listened to others and added a comment.

After the process was complete, the VoiceThreads were shared on the main Browse page of VoiceThread for the world to appreciate. The project took 5 class periods not counting the writing of the poem.

This is a great example of an integrated unit that can extend what you already do in your classroom using digital tools.

Williams Carlos Williams inspired poems by Claire Lescop’s students

Where I’m From poems by Sarah Parry’s students

I hope you enjoy them.

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Lego Festival – Brick Magic

I got this the other day from the organizer:

The Lego magazine, Brick Journal, which is published in Raleigh. We are hosting a Lego festival, Brick Magic, on May 8-9, 2010, at the North Raleigh Hilton. This is the 1st annual event and we know that we will be at a larger venue next year! We expect @ 4000 visitors per day. Please see attachments to learn about Brick Magic.

There will also be a Lego film festival at the Carolina Theater in Durham on May 5th. We are having a Lego Car Contest on Friday, May 7th. Our guest of honor is Lego artist, Nathan Sawaya. As you can see…we have a lot going on!

I would like to invite you and your students/campers to attend. Schools in Wake County are participating in a fundraiser. The schools are sending a flyer (that we provide) home in the weekly folders. For every student ticket purchased, we will send $1 back to his/her school. This could benefit your camp. We would like to include Durham Academy. Please let me know if you are interested.

Please contact me with any questions. Thank you for your time!
Maria A.
Brick Journal
phone: 919-821-9643

It looks like a great opportunity for students and parents. I will not be attending as I will be involved with my daughters wedding.

Event: http://www.brickmagic.org/
Contest: http://midtownmag.com/showpage.asp?PageID=13
Brick Journal: http://www.brickjournal.com/
Nathan Sawaya Lego Artist: http://www.brickartist.com/

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Help us win a Digital Music Lab

Dear Friends,
The 7th grade chorus has submitted a jingle and we need your votes to win. Please visit the link below to vote and leave us a comment. You can vote once each day!

We would appreciate you forwarding this to as many people as you can so we can collect votes. Grand prize is $10,000.00.

Please help us win so we can build a digital music lab at the Middle School.

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How do students use FirstClass email?

While this is no scientific experiment, twice today I have seen a answer to this question.

These students each have their own way of using FirstClass. I think Student 1 seems to have figured out that there is a difference between Home and School while Student 2 just tunes out the stuff he does not want to read. Not connected to the larger community is an issue. The GPA is here to show that they are not failing school, but perhaps we are failing to help them connect school to their larger life.

Student 1: Cumulative Weighted GPA is 3.97
Asking how big a file can he upload. Seems simple enough, but look at his FirstClass signature and you can see why the question is even being asked. Gmail – not much of a limit FirstClass – 70 MB at the most and that is just the amount of space he has on the server. The actual file size is probably much smaller around 5 to 7 MB.

R____ S.

Home: r____s______@gmail.com

School: 1____s_____s@da.org

Student 2: Cumulative Weighted GPA 3.01
Left his computer logged in and a FirstClass chat session open. He is notorious for this as the bell rings and off he goes, not know there is a dialog window needing attention. (BTW: The chat involved an Upper School student not even on our campus).
Notice the number of messages he has not read. If you were to see into his mailbox (I chose not to show it as you could figure out who he was), you would see he reads all messages from his friends, but none from his teachers.

Firstclassstudent2 22 10

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6 Words to Describe Your Online Life has a Wider Audience

I love how easily connected my students can be with the world through projects we work on. I shared the VoiceThread my students did with the Kaiser Family Foundation as I felt it mirrored the Generation M2 study they recently published. Besides adding the video to our DAILE Moodle course, I added a comment at the KFF site. I think authentic audience is incredibly important for any writer no matter their age.

For more information on the KFF study, go to http://www.kff.org/entmedia/mh012010pkg.cfm

This is what I heard back from Ms. Boston.

Mr. Schaefer,

Thank you for your comment on the Generation M2 study. I passed along your comment and the link to your VoiceThread project to my boss, Vicky Rideout, who is a Vice President at the Foundation and lead author of the study. She did get a chance to watch your video and found it to be fun and very interesting. Thank you for sharing your work and your interest in the Foundation’s work.


Theresa Boston
Program Associate, Program for the Study of Media and Health
Kaiser Family Foundation
2400 Sand Hill Road | Menlo Park, CA 94025
tboston@kff.org | 650.854.9400

Key Staff of KFF

This is the Video from KFF that mirrors what our students shared about their lives.

Our VoiceThread Project

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Amazing Creativity, Artwork, and Spanish Rolled into One Project!

Senor David Glass has had his students working on Spanish Comics that some how depict aspects of school life. We have used Skitch (free), Comic Life (reasonable price from Plasq) to create them. Once done the students upload them via their Moodle course assignment. We then created a VoiceThread for the students to record their comic so Mr. Glass could hear how they pronounced the words and how fluent they were becoming. The possibilities with these 3 tools are endless.

Here is an example of one students Comic


This is the VoiceThread

In case it does not load, here is the link: http://voicethread.com/share/803865/

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What students think about the iPod Touch

Earlier, Mrs. Williams used the cart of iPod Touches with her Language Arts Class. They used the SAT® Vocab Challenge Vol. 1, by The Princeton Review [iTunes Link] by Modality, Inc. (Full Disclosure: I know the owner and his wife is the Mrs. Williams referenced in this article). After using some of the apps, the goal was to use the tool to interact with her Moodle course where there was a discussion forum for students to share what they thought about the use of the Touch. Here are a few of the responses as for the most part the students enjoyed them. Some did struggle with the virtual keyboard at first.

These images are taken from the Moodle Discussion Forum:

Eng6Jwill  Ipod Touches1

Ryansusing An Ipod Touch In La Class!

Eileneusing My Ipod Touch
Tools that connect students to their learning is what we need more of. I think the comment by Eilene is very telling: “reminds me of having fun with friends and just hanging out, so it didn’t seem like school work”. Why does school work seem so much like school work?

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iTouch, iLearn

We were finally able to use the iPod Touch Cart today with Mrs. Hall’s 5th grade History class. It took some learning on my part to make sure the settings were correct to insure the students would be able to use them on our wireless network in a safe manner. Mrs. Hall had a great lesson designed that used Moodle, Dictionary, All Countries, Today in History, and Google Earth. Students found their pen pal school in Shipley UK.

This is a picture the student took of Shipley using Google Earth on the iTouch.

From Google Earth on an iPod Touch

From Google Earth on an iPod Touch


We purchased the following apps: (When possible I purchased multiple copies of the application since we have 30 iPods)
SAT Princeton Review $4.99
AlgebraPrep Equations $2.99
AlgebraPrep Factoring $2.99
AlgebraPrep Graphing $2.99
AlgebraPrep Real Numbers $2.99
Lemonade Stand .99 cents
Word Warp .99 cents
JV idioms .99 cents
More Blanks $1.99
Units – Converter .99 cents
Chemical Touch .99 cents
USA Factbook and Quiz .99 cents
Today in History .99 cents
Art .99 cents

We use the following free apps:
Vocab Wiz
Stanza – eBook reader
Dictionary and Thesaurus
VocabDaily – Word of the Day

Math Drills Lite
Math Tricks Lite
Elementary Math Lite
HiCalc Lite

Distant Suns Lite

Declaration of Independence
All The Countries
Maps of the World
USA Presidents

Spanish Tutor

iHandy Level
Google Earth

Podcasts and iTunesU Movies
Speaking of History
Grammar Girl
WGBH Earth and Space
WGBH Physical Science

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Social Collaboration via Twitter, Ning and Voicethread for a Sharing Experience

In the past with Melissa Tredenick and I worked together with NCAIS Blended Learning Conference. She is now at The Linsly School in Wheeling, West Virginia. She posted on the Voicethread Ning how her and the 5th grade teacher had created a Voicethread to discuss their favorite scene in the book Because of Winn Dixie. We kept in touch and today our students are adding their voices with their favorite scenes. Our students created an avatar in Photobooth and then logged in to Voicethread. They did no pre-writing but recorded their favorite parts of the book – cold.

Very cool. I am including a screen grab of the Twitter direct messages that Melissa has sent me as she listened and approved the many comments.

Nice when a plan comes together.

Twitter   Direct Messages
Oh, yes there is a reporter from the Herald-Sun coming last period today.

Check out the Voicethread as well.


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