Friday, April 26, 2013

Week 5 and 6: Steady As We Go

After weeks and weeks of excitement, new tools and waves and waves of awesomeness, things have finally settled and iPad life has been smooth sailing.  

With my students now the captains of their iPads...

they easily navigate between apps, using Goodreader to complete assignment notebooks, worksheets, take notes and write paragraphs. 

New apps that we (I say we because I currently have a dynamo...awesomely tech savvy...she totally speaks geek student teacher)  have introduced to our students have been warmly welcomed and tired with a fantastic energy and without hesitation.  We have tried Baiboard, Socrative, Study Blue and Bitsboard (all of them and all but Bitsboard are also internet based....BONUS for your non-iPad users or if you do not have iPads).  We continue to have great success and celebrate all the awesomeness of what each app offers our students.  All while knowing there are just so many more awesome apps out there!  

My students are still finding their way around Google Talk (I introduced them to it about a week and a half ago).  This app allows them to easily communicate with me if they have any questions while they are working on their homework.  While my students have become expects at using Edmodo as a communication tool, we quickly found that for homework help, Edmodo doesn't reply fast enough and the multiple posts and long streams of communication can be confusing for them.  We are still in the lets try this out phase of Google Talk... setting our course and hoping we find more treasure...but my students are over the moon they have this tool to use and uber excited at what it can do.  Bonus...can we say independent students advocating for themselves...geee! 
My Goals for NEXT WEEK...

  • Each student has 5 tools (apps) on their iPads they are confident, independent and proficient at using
  • These 5 tools meet and support their educational needs 
  • Of these 5 tools (apps)... 
    • One to two of them improves access to the curriculum and improves output of information
    • One of them allows us (me and my students) to communicate with ease (at home, in my class or away from my class)
    • One to two of them provides interactive and engaging funs that reinforces new and old skills.  

So until next week you can find us sailing the open seas, rocking our iPads and spreading our awesomeness where ever we travel! 

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Week 4: Light Bulbs

Light bulbs were all the rage last week!  

Ah ha moments, glowing eyes of aw and pride, oooo's and ahhs, and glissening wide smiles...with teeth and everything and oh my goodness look at me filled each period! 

My students continued to just rock technology and totally and completely rock being an iPad 1:1 classroom last week.  They continue to become more and more proficient at using their technology.  Lessons continue to flow and the pace of each lesson increases each day.  Their knowledge of the basics is well ingrained... actually fluid!  At only four weeks into being a 1:1 iPad classroom my student and the possible ways we will use technology have already exceeded my expectations. 

You might want to put some sun glasses on. The glow of all the awesomeness could be blinding...

I find myself able to introduce them to new tools and new components of their technology.  Baiboard has become not just a look what your iPad can do tool but a consistent tool...from sharing word lists during group Reading instruction to facilitating peers working together to sharing math notes and completing them as a class.

I find myself looking for ways to tweek and perfect our usage...looking for ways to be increasingly more efficient at changing paper to text form. The Jetscanner app has been an absolute god sent.  Anything paper need to be turned into a PDF for sharing or use on the iPad.  Take a photo, it changes it to a PDF and done! 
'CLICK' for source

I find myself looking for that very last way to remove almost all paper from our daily use. We have switched my students from typing their daily events / daily narrative on a PDF type enables document to putting these events on their Google Calendar.  Why not?  I use my Google Calendar everyday to keep my day organized!

I find myself looking for ways to connect us more.... to show my students the power of technology and communication. Last week two of my students went on Edmodo (unprompted by staff or parents) at home seeking help on a problem they were having on their homework.  That night after several replies from me and my student teacher they had the answers to their questions.  In that instant they learned the power technology has to connect. It actually made me teary.  As a direct result of this (it is actually something that has been on my mind for a while) I am exploring apps that would allow me and my students to chat when they need help on homework. This very moment was my most proudest yet!  Technology does powerful good and connects them to resources.  They learned that that night!

I find myself becoming a paper snotI even lost the capacity to breath for a half second when I actually had to print something last week.  You mean I actually need to have a paper copy...I need to print?! ...Cue Back to the Future 2... What like you thought my geekiness really started and stopped here...

All of this awesomeness is just overwhelming wonderful!!!   I just can't say enough about what has happened to my classroom, to me, to my teaching and to my students!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Our Awesomeness #1

We have tried out a few different tools to project the iPad during lessons.  Reflector is a phenomenal desktop app that projects your iPad through the projector.  It allows me to not have to be plugged in.  I can walk around the classroom continuously displaying what I am doing on the iPad (downfall is my classroom's wifi is not always able to keep up with it so it has only worked half the time).  Another, more reasonable tool to project the iPad is the iPevo camera. It clearly projects the iPad, but does not allow me to move around the classroom.  The above picture is the iPad projected using the iPevo Camera with one of my students navigating the iPad while I instruct.  My favorite way to use the iPad, iPevo and make students part of my teaching.  

 All of the worksheets and templates we use are PDFs 
 uploaded from Dropbox into Goodreader

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Week 3: Juuuust Right

Remember in Goldie Locks and the Three Bears when Goldie Locks (that naughty girl she was, being in someone's house without asking) sat at the table tasting porridge... this one is tooo hot...this one is tooo cold... this one is just right!  That moment...The moment the porridge finally tasted perfectly warm, was exactly what happened this week!

This week things came together in awesome ways!  So much awesomeness is happening.  I simply can not contain it to a day by day account and feel the the urge to shout all of the awesomeness that happened this week!!!!
1)  Students can independently upload documents from Dropbox to Goodreader

2)  Students now complete all worksheets on the iPad (both in class and at home)

3)  All class notes are taken on the iPad

4)  Students know how to independently view documents side by side in Goodreader
     ex. Students can complete their paragraph organizer on the iPad and view it on the same
           screen while typing the paragraph using it

5)  All grading is done at the beginning of each class (a huge change in routine for us)

6)  Grading time is down to 5 minutes

7)  Instant daily feedback of performance has significantly reduced the number of 
     corrections that need to be made to homework

8)  Corrections are now done the day they happen, rather then on a specific day of the week

9)  The overall pace of a class lesson has almost doubled,  
     significantly increasing the amount of instruction given 
     in a week

10) Students are starting to use their iPads to take notes on while looking at 
      videos / resources on the computer

11) We are almost a completely paperless classroom

12) WE... staff...myself and my Teaching Assistants...and my students are crazy 
      giddy happy and proud...WE ARE (almost completely) A PAPERLESS CLASSROOM!!!!

13) Students use all of our basic apps almost completely independently...  
      Goodreader, Dropbox, Google allowing me to begin to slowly introduce new tools

14) New fantasticness is emerging...Fantasticness I tell you! 

15) We use the Socrative app once a week in two classes to record and document 
      student performance in Reading and Social Studies

16) We began using Study Blue to learn measurement abbreviations in Math class

17) Upon learning how to use Study Blue one of my students sat in his desk, stared at 
      me, stared some more and then said...

Student: Wait...this makes note cards.
Me: Yes, it does
Student: I make note cards for Science class
Me: Yes you do
Student: Can I use this to make note cards for Science
Me: You sure can

...and we set up a time after school to make the note cards together. 

 Can you just feel the sparks and connections clicking!!!

18) We discovered the app (during a day it was offered for free...bonus) Jet Scanner and a 
      whole new world of independent awesomeness was opened. No scanner needed 
      when you can take a picture of a worksheet, turn it into a PDF and then upload it 
      to Dropbox, share it with all of your students and they can upload it into Goodreader 
      and type and/or write on it

19) I am in the process of starting Assistive Technology  
      Evaluations for three of my students. I have plenty of 
      data already that these tools need to be a perminent 
      part of their educational days  

Next weeks technology and iPad goals...
  • Introducing, modeling how to use and using Baiboard to students...humongously huge deal...this means working in groups (something that is very challenging for my students and we rarely do)
  • Changing my thinking about how we are teaching measurement to my Math students.  No more memorizing and memorizing and memorizing conversion facts.  I am going to focus on teaching them to use technology as a resource to access facts and information.
  • Teach my students to use the Jet Scanner app, how to upload documents to our Dropbox and make them available to the class
  • Explore and test out ClassDojo behavior management system
  • Continue to our awesmomeness streak into the next week...because seriously..My StUdEnTs RoCk!!!!

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