NCAIS Innovate Presentation – Reflection on Year 1 with iPads

hearstpool http://www.flickr.com/photos/95572727@N00/4321052153

I will be presenting at the 2013 NCAIS Innovate Conference titled Make the Connection. More information is available at the NCAIS Innovate website. I am also one of the instructors for VISnets Teaching Academy being held August 5th through 7th at Charlotte Latin School. To register or get more information.

This is the presentation I will be using for my talk about my reflections on our school’s first year with a 1:1 iPad program in grades 5 through 8. I have two slides at the end of the presentation that you are welcome to add your suggestions, comments, or questions either before my presentation or during my presentation. I hope the presentation is more of a conversation between us then my just talking for an hour. 

Student vs. Faculty Basketball Game

Spirit Wk Bball Jan 2013 Donnelly DSC 2455 jpg

Photo by Ms. Donnelly

This is the second year that students and faculty have played a basketball game as part of Spirit week. Last year the teachers one on a last minute shot by Ms. Ellis. This year’s rematch may allow the students to avenge this heartbreaking loss. You will need to watch the whole movie to find out as there are no spoilers.

 

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hb8O84nodEc which is viewable by teachers on campus and students off-campus.

 

VoiceThread: which students can watch on their iPads at school. https://damiddle.ed.voicethread.com/share/4073858/

 

Last years game is here if you want to see it. http://damiddle.ed.voicethread.com/share/2702997/

 

 

 

 

 

Learn to Write Computer Code with Mr. Schaefer

After school programming

 

I was very intrigued when I read about Code Academy offering free coding courses. I decided to try something after-school when I saw they had a curriculum guide. So for any parents of students that go to Durham Academy, I am pleased to announce that I will be offering a Spring Enrichment Class.

Learn to Write Computer Code After-School
How does a computer do that? Join our class to answer that question and more. We will use the online coursework of Code Academy and some Khan Academy to learn how to write computer code. Students will learn about topics like drawing, animation, basic programming, and languages like HTML/CSS and Javascript. This class is open to any level of student as the coursework is flexible enough to accommodate all levels of learners. Student will also be exposed to problem solving and troubleshooting in a collaborative environment. Students will use their DA email address to create an account at Code Academy. Girls are encouraged to attend.

This information from the Code Academy web site explains the goals very well. 

“Why should every child learn how to program?
Technology is radically changing every area of our society, from communication to government to how we do our jobs. Digital literacy is now a fundamental skill like reading and writing.

By learning to program, kids can have a say in how software shapes their world. Plus, programming teaches important reasoning, logic, and communication skills”.

Karl Schaefer is the Middle School Digital Learning Coordinator and Computer Department Chairperson. He is an NCAIS Master Teacher and long time blogger at http://528tech.edublogs.org. He has taught young and old how to get the most out of technology while also maintaining a balance in the use of technology. When not teaching, he is on his farm where he enjoys being off line and on land.

SPRING SESSION 2013:

– Classes will be held on Thursdays from January 31 – May 16 (15 classes)
– No class when Durham Academy is not in session
– Class time will be 3:30 pm – 4:30 pm
– Class will be held in the MS Computer Lab
– The cost of the classes will be $300.00

If interested, please register at the After School section of our web page.

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.

Creativity at the Point of Passion

piano keys

Image from: http://www.flickr.com/photos/8207694@N08/4224038790

My inbox today held a great example of how students will use their iPads in ways we never thought of when we discussed possible uses. Neil used his with his school sponsored VoiceThread account to record himself playing the piano. He tells the story in his blog post so I will just say that his example highlights what our students can and will do when creativity and passion intersect along with technology. His ability to share his passion with the world is what has changed. Go Neil!

“Pink Panther Song by Neil M.

I recorded the Pink panther song on the piano. Below I inserted the recording of it, on VoiceThread, using the iPad. This particular piece was the hardest I had ever played, taking me over three weeks to master. My piano teacher helped me to break it down and lead me to success. On the day I recorded the song, I had just had a piano lesson. Even though I thought I was ready, playing a three page song with no mistakes is difficult. Especially when I know that one mistake and I would have to restart from the beginning. After about 40 previous mess-ups, I reached the end on a perfect run. This song really challenged my piano skill. Please enjoy! This song took a lot of effort to play. Maybe the only reason I was able to perfect it was because I saw my friend in Pennsylvania played it when he was nine. So I thought, “If he could do it, then I certainly could too.”

Read the original post at  http://pdroom212.edublogs.org/2012/11/29/pink-panther-song-neil-m/

Because folks wanted to watch the VoiceThread but did not have an account, I exported it as a movie file for uploading here. Of course, the music is copyrighted so I am going out on a limb to show it here as the performance rights were not purchased.

PinkPantherbyNeil

 

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

Canción del Jinete Cami S.

Federico García Lorca

Federico García Lorca

Each year the 6th grade Spanish students create a VoiceThread project where they read and illustrate the poem Canción del jinete by Federico García Lorca. The purpose is really three fold in that students should be able use the language well, illustrate the poem with images that capture the mood of the poem while also being unique, and giving proper credit on the use of the images by doing a proper bibliography. We start the class with me showing the students how to use Skitch to create a title slide either with an image or just a drawing. We discuss how to resize the images in Skitch so they fill the screen in VoiceThread. Students who are using images other then their own creations use a Google Doc for citation which is then downloaded as a PDF and uploaded to VoiceThread as the final slide. After the initial title slide is created in Skitch, students drag it to their desktop. Then we create the new VoiceThread, edit the title, add a description, give it tags for easy searching. Next, we adjust the publishing so it is viewable, comments are both allowed and moderated. The last part is to use the Share settings to get a link and the embed code to add it to a Moodle Discussion forum. We do this in one class and then the students get to work on getting other images, creating images, and citing their sources. The last part is to record the VoiceThread using our Logitech Headsets. It takes about 3 to 4 class periods from start to finish and since the VoiceThread is embedded in the class Moodle course, all additions to the VoiceThread show up automatically. Students always think this is cool, which is a good thing as I think their learning should be embedded everywhere. Some also put it in their Google Site Learning Portfolio to showcase their Multimedia skills.

Below is one that Mr. Glass was a true showcase as the language is well done and the student clearly understands the poem since all artwork was created by her. I love it when all elements of learning come together. Of course, projects like this are always easier in May after students have been exposed to the use of the tools throughout the year.

 

http://damiddle.ed.voicethread.com/share/3087495/

 

Give a Learner an iPad, Task, and Let Them Teach

IPad VoiceThread 1

Ms. Donnelly’s class has had an assignment this week that asked them to create tutorials on how to use the iPad, Apps, and other things that teachers should know.

“One minute presentation about specific topic related to Evernote, Voicethread, Google Docs, or the iPad.”

I prompted her to do this with her students as I think our school is going to move ahead with an iPad program for Middle School students. There are still many details to be worked out, but the energy is moving in that direction.

This is one example done on an iPad at school with more then one student working on the project. It also took multiple attempts since even though the apps and technology worked very well, there were limitations to what the students could get off of the iPad because of the setup and the file structure that is not apparent or familiar with the iPad. Perseverance and a growth mindset proved successful.