Thursday, May 31, 2012

TGIAF (Thank Gawd It's Almost Friday)

What a busy week, I'm not sure where it went and what I accomplished! Next week I will be presenting a couple sessions on iPads in education at the TNT (Technology & Teaching) conference in Bismarck. I have spent the past few days preparing and can't help but realize that integrating technology can be tricky, regardless if you are an administrator or first grade teacher. I'm hoping that participants at my sessions will at least take away one good idea to bring back and try.

And of course, I would never post without giving some kind of tip or app recommendation for the is todays gem!

The creators of this app intended it to be a place to make "poetry creations" using a photo board (photos) and magnets (words). This app has potential for much more. With a little creativity you can create a fun word sort (picture below) or even create a fluency activity with sight words (picture below). Anyone else have suggestions?

On the right side of this picture it is a little hard to see, but the user can add a magnet to the board, this would be fun with the sight words, spelling words, creating sentences with punctuation.

I created this board in another app (Explain Everything) and then took a picture and pulled it into Sticky Words from the Camera Roll. This would be a beginning sound sort probably for a kindergarten class.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Strip Designer

This afternoon I decided to mess around with the app Strip Design ($2.99). I have seen this app used with students and math, so I thought I would try it out. Here are some of the ideas I came up with....

Have students go around the classroom and find 3D shapes, take pictures, and then create a comic strip.
This app can even create a poster, doesn't look like a comic, but is a way to scaffold the project for some students.

Have the students create characters or take pictures of themselves. Then create math problems for the class to solve.

Again, students can find math in their classroom and create a problem for their peers.

This is more of a science activity...have students go outside and take pictures of leaves, plants, or trees. Then have them write down characteristics of each plant and investigate specific sites. If you have a few sites that you would like students to use for this project, what about creating a link to your diigo site....

Diigo Bookmarking....
Identifying Plants Project Resources

The above is an example of a link to a teacher's Diigo bookmarking site. Students could use these resources while working on the "Identifying Plants" project. These lists can even be embedded into a website, wiki, the one below...

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Projecting IPads

There are two ways that I have used to project the IPad so that your whole class can see your screen....Wirelessly and through a VGA Adapter. I've heard there are a couple types of adapters floating around, the one I recommend is located at the link below and costs around $30. (One negative about this setup is that the cord easily falls out if you move the ipad and you lose the picture on the screen)

There is also a software program called Reflection that loads on you computer or laptop. You then set your IPad to find the computer using Bluetooth. Here is the link below to the learn more about Relection, it costs around $15.

Reflection Software:

I have also seen an IPad projected using the Apple TV, it is a little bit more expensive, but definitely is the best option in my opinion. The Apple TV is sold for around $100.

Monday, May 14, 2012

IPad Quick Tips

Clip Art from Icon Bug: Author is YOOtheme

Tomorrow will officially be the last day of school for the summer, at the wonderful school I call TJES. I'm writing this post today because many of you (teachers, etc.) will be putting your classroom things away for the summer. If you are fortunate to have multiple devices in your classroom, here are five quick tips......
  1. Clean out the Photos and Videos that are not needed anymore or that can be saved in a file on a jump drive or teacher computer. This will also free up space on the iCloud for next years student projects
  2. Which is our second tip...clean out any contents in your iWork folder (Pages, Numbers, and Keynote apps) on the iCloud that you are finished with and can be stored in another place. Go to the following url: on your computer and it will make transferring your documents easier. 
  3. Give your IPads a fresh new look for next year by changing the wallpaper. I usually try to change the wallpaper on the IPads around holidays. Students mention the different wallpapers and keeps things fresh and new! Here are a couple of wallpaper apps: Cool Wallpaper HD (Free) and Skins and Shelves (Free)
  4. Clean your iPads...let me know if there are other teachers out there that can't stand the finger smudges on the screen. Here is a link to the proper cleaning techniques from Apple: If your case that holds the IPad has seen better days, I just take a Chlorox Wipe and wipe them down.
  5. If your IPads will be sitting for an extended period over the summer months, the best things to do for your battery is to store it at a 50% to 75% charge..the exact words from Apple are as follows: