Starting an iPad 1:1 program

We started our iPad 1:1 program with our middle school students 4 years ago. If given the chance to reset and do it all over again, here are the top five things that I would make sure to do.

  1. Know why you are going 1:1 before you get to far into the process.

If you are going 1:1 to replace textbooks or as a direct substitute for existing educational technology tools, then you are wasting your time and money. iPads, and any 1:1 initiative, should transform your learning environment. It should also change the way teachers teach. Which leads me to #2.

  1.  Provide teachers planning, and professional development time.

When we first started, we gave our teachers about 5 months to prepare. It just wasn’t enough time. At that time, were one of the first schools to go with iPads in a 1:1 environment, so there were hardly any resources available. I would make sure to provide teachers with a good base of understanding of how the iPad works, with time for them to play and meet with each other on a semi-regular basis. I would introduce teachers to the SAMR model of technology integration. I would  have faculty meetings to brainstorm and rework curriculum based on using the SAMR model.  Send a few teachers to some conference or training that specifically covers iPad integration. There is so much more available to schools and teachers now.

  1. Establish a “program”.iPad program

Meaning, set up rules and guidelines that everyone adheres to. This should cover everything from etiquette to appropriate time for usage both in and out of the classroom.  The image to the right has our our current iPad policies. We review this at the end of every school year or sooner if needed. Establishing a program should also include a learning management system (LMS). An LMS will help you with consistent delivery of information to your students. We currently use Google Classroom, but there are a ton of great LMS options to choose from. Schoology, Haiku and Canvas are a few that we have tried.

  1.  Include parents and students in the process.

I am not suggesting that parents or students should make the decisions when it comes to implementing changes at your school. However, they are voices that need to be heard. If you can’t reasonably answer most of the parental concerns then you might want to rethink what your are doing. The student voice is also important, since they will be the ones carrying around these little powerhouse devices. They should be part of how the devices are going to be used at school. There is no better way to get student buy in than to have them be part of the process. Our student government plays a major role in establishing the policies that were created for our iPad program.

  1. Establish a Digital Literacy class for both teachers, students and parents.

Contrary to popular belief, young people are not digital natives. If they were, then they wouldn’t make so many mistakes in online spaces. This class will help you establish a baseline of skills that the teachers all know and can expect the students to be able to use in their classroom. The skills can range from how to manage the storage on your device to what is the best workflow for turning in work to digital citizenship.

I could go on for days. What do you think are vital and important for establishing a 1:1 program? What am I missing?

The Rochester Mini Maker Faire

Rochester_MMF_logos_GooglePlusI am excited to be a part of the upcoming Rochester Mini Maker Faire on Saturday, November 22nd at the Rochester Riverside Convention Center. I will be showing off some Allendale Columbia student projects from the Makey Makey May Term class from last school year.  AC students will also be on-site to demonstrate how Makey Makey works. This is going to be a great event! Read below to find out more!

“Ever wonder what you could make with a 3D printer, how to build your own robot at home, or design your own game? Rochester is hosting it’s first Mini Maker Faire. Mini Maker Faires celebrate everyone who loves to make, create, craft, build and anything DIY. The inaugural Rochester event takes place on Saturday November 22nd, from 10am to 4pm at the Rochester Riverside Convention Center. The day will be filled with exciting exhibitions, demonstrations, and hands-on activities for all ages. In addition, there will be interesting presentations, speakers, live music, and visual and performing arts.”
-The text above is from The Rochester Mini Maker Faire press release.
For more information check out the links below:
Rochester Mini Maker Faire – rochesterfaireinfo@gmail.com

Tech Tool of The Week – Socrative

Socrative is an awesome formative (and summative) assessment tool for teachers. And, most importantly, it’s free and usable on any web-enabled device.

I have used Socrative in class with students and with parents at an open house. In a previous post I wrote about how great Socrative was, but recent updates have made it even better!  I really like the preset “Exit Ticket.” Socrative also gives you several ways to get the data out of the app.

Screen Shot 2014-10-10 at 11.38.41 AM

It’s an app that is well worth your time to explore.

Let me know what you think. Do you use any other web based tools with your students for formative assessement?

Tech Tuesday 8.12.14 – Teaching with Tech? Learn about SAMR

This post was co-written by Judy Van Alstyne.

Image from Jonathan Brubaker’s blog Tech Tips for Education

What does SAMR stand for?

Substitution • Augmentation • Modification • Redefinition

What is SAMR?

A model, by Dr. Ruben Puentedura, Ph.D., which shows four levels of how technology is used in the classroom from the simple exchange of tools (Substitution) to the sophisticated development of new tasks conceived and created in novel ways (Redefinition).

Example:

Notetaking

S: taking notes with a word processing application

A: taking notes with a word processing application and using built in dictionary and thesaurus tools

M: students create shared notes that allows them to collaborate with peers to create the ultimate study guide

R: study guide is shared with the teacher, peers in another school and/or other experts for feedback and revision to create a presentation (for example, an American Revolution study guide is exchanged with one created by a class in Great Britain)

Why SAMR?

to help educators integrate technology into teaching and learning… to enable teachers to design, develop, and integrate digital learning experiences that utilize technology to transform learning experiences to lead to high levels of achievement for students.”
(Quote from: http://msad75summertechnologyinstitute.wordpress.com/beyond-substitution/)

Does this mean I have to completely redesign every lesson plan to achieve the most sophisticated use of technology?

No! Understanding the SAMR model allows you to choose effectively which lessons are worth redefinition, which lessons work fine with simple augmentation, or which are simple substitutions that might even be better without technology at all.

Where do I start?

Check out Kathy Schrock’s site for a wealth of resources. Our favorite from her site: A flow chart for deciding where a given lesson falls within the SAMR model.

If you work at AC, come to the library after school on Tuesday, March 18th at 3:30 for a special SAMR workshop. Be prepared with lessons or tasks to share, analyze, and potentially redefine!

Tech Tuesday 5.13.14 – Protecing Digital Learners

Too often, Internet safety is presented to kids in a way that only shows the negative side. Kids are told what not to do, and often they don’t understand why. There is a positive side to the web, and learning to navigate it safely is easy. This is so critical, as the term “digital native” is thrown around too often as we assume our young people will innately understand the ins and outs of their online footprint. This assumption causes frustration for educators and students alike. We, as teachers and parents, need to be role models for our children. There is great power in the Internet and with that power comes great responsibility. There is more truth to this now than ever before. We all have a great resource, the Internet, and like any super power, some people don’t know how to wield it. We must be taught. Our children DO NOT possess this ability just by being born. If anything, children and adolescents need more guidance than ever. Scaring kids into believing that the Internet is a bad place where bad things happen is not going to teach them anything. We need to be proactive and teach responsibility. Being safe online is really no different than being safe in your neighborhood.

Below is a link to some excellent resources collected in a post published on the website Educators Technology and Mobile Learning. If you end up using any of the information from this post or if you have any other great ideas or resources, please share in the comments sections. I would love to know what people are trying and how they are using these tools in the classroom or at home with your families.

Tools to Protect and Raise Digital Learners ~ Educational Technology and Mobile Learning.

Tech Tuesday 4.8.14 – What Do You Want Kids to Do With Technology?

I stumbled upon the following image on Twitter the other day and I was impressed with its simplicity. Too often, technology use is viewed as a learning outcome, when it is really just a means to an end, a tool. Technology can be transformative for learning and engagement, but don’t lose sight of your curricular objectives.

So, ask yourself… what do you want kids to do with technology? If your ideas are only on the left hand side of the image below, you need to rethink how you are utilizing technology in your curriculum.

This image was created and shared by William Ferriter.

Essential iPad skills in our Middle School iPad 1:1 (according to the 7th grade)

IMG_4640After a semester of co-teaching our middle school students in a new class, Digital Literacy, I decided to get some information from the 7th graders. The question: what are essential iPad skills that you need on a daily basis at school? Here is the list.

  • How to use more than app at a time
    • Shortcuts, multitasking gestures
  • Navigating homescreen
    • Organizing apps into folders
  • Typing on a touchscreen device

  • Copy/paste

  • Force shutdown or reset of iPad

  • How to use note taking apps

  • Shutting down iPad

  • iCloud backup/management

  • Taking pictures

  • Screen shots

  • Communication
    • Email
    • Contacts
    • Messages app
  • Settings App – manage settings
    • Set passcode
    • Brightness
    • Screen orientation lock
    • Do Not Disturb
  • Password management

  • Closing apps

  • Using GarageBand
    • Create original music
  • Using Pages
    • Word processing
  • Using Keynote
    • Create presentations
  • Using the Calendar

  • Navigate App store
    • Downloading apps, music & books
    • Update apps
  • Control Center in IOS 7 (slide up)

What other skills do you think are essential? How many of these skills have you mastetered?

How do you use your iPad?