Friday, March 16, 2012

iPad Integration by Chris Grattoni

The most thought-provoking breakout session I attended at the ICE Conference on Friday, March 2nd was entitled "iPad Integration." The presenters used this time to outline a variety of apps that can be used to facilitate learning in the 1-to-1 classroom.

Perhaps the most enticing was the eClicker Response System. This app is reminiscent of the CPS clicker remotes that many of us have used in our classrooms. However, having this system on a 1-to-1 device overcomes the main challenge of the CPS remotes: the logistics of handing out 32 remotes to your students and tracking who has which remote. Now the students will come into class with their remote, and we will know how each individual student responds. Teachers can gather formative assessment data throughout their lessons and identify individual student who need additional help. The students get immediate feedback on how well they understand the material.

Next, the presenters showed us two apps that students or teachers can use to record their voices over content written on a digital whiteboard: Chomp and Show Me. In a math classroom, we could have the students record their explanation of a homework problem or a summary of an important mathematical idea! If they uploaded the video to a Moodle or Sharepoint page for the course, the teacher could use the videos to assess the students' learning, while students could watch the videos of their peers to assist with their own learning.

There were many other apps we looked at during this session, but the next one that really got me excited was Stick Pick. This app is just like the jar of Popsicle sticks that teachers used to keep on their desk so they could call on students in a truly random manner. But Stick Pick goes one step further! You can use the app to record whether the student you called on gave a correct answer, and you can use the app to give you question prompts that use Bloom's Taxonomy.

Finally, one of the session attendees told me about GoodReader, which can be used to ink on PDF documents. We will need an app like this in a math classroom if we want to go truly paperless in the course. Another person sitting next to me told me about some apps out there that allow easy tablet access to Moodle.

I was very impressed not just at the knowledge of the presenters at the ICE conference, but at the passion and knowledge of those attending. I was learning between sessions as well as during them.

IAPPS: Coache's eye, apple TV and evernotes.

Duirng the presentation on IAPPS, several teachers showed and suggested several apps that they use in the classroom.

coaches eye was one that i think could be of great use to the coaches at d211.

Another piece of technology that could be useful is apple TV. The presenter mentioned that you can mirror the teacher IPAD through apple tv. this could be useful in the classroom.

Evernote appears to be an awesome way students can create interactive notes.

March 7th ipad 3
Better than blue ray, thicker, better camera, 4g, faster processor, 128g, apple tv to screen, projector with HDMI, ipad apps
30 dollar vga adaptor
Panaromic 360 (1.99), image
Flipclass room apps
Showme, create a picture, with audio, share with network, creating content that you tie in with lesson, seconds to create, second to share
Showme channel, share videos from device
Evernote peak, create notes or notebooks, great way to study, the students create the words



ICE Conference Thoughts

Below are several apps that can be used with the IPAD. I provided a list that categorized by topic. Several of the apps are free and there are some free app finders included.

Bottom line, there are several apps available for the ipad that can be integrated into the classroom in several ways. I was especially intrigue by the apps that allow the user to integrate sound and video seamlessly together.

Ipad integration

·         Appstart
·         Appsgonefree
o   w/ push notification for daily free apps, can volumize it, NCTM, around holidays
·         ipadeducator

eclicker response system
·         eclicker is free
·         host is 9.99, then you can put it on the student machines
·         up to 30 students can be hosted at once, the closer 30 but it slows down
·         send question and pushes to device (can be timed, and gives feedback on performance)
·         bonjour needs to be disabled for the e clicker to work on the network
·         you can bring your own device, iphone or itouch, not android or blackberry

Show me or screen chomp
·         free app
·         math, English (sentence structure), geography (maps)
·         great for alternative assessment
·         you can search for teacher and student work

Flashscards Deluxe
·         3.99
·         Create flashcards with (Free)
·         Create cards with real pictures from flicker
·         Create or search for shared cards
·         Kids can assess themselves

Animation creator and flipbook
·         Creater 0.99
·         Flip book 4.99
·         Create animations to tell a story

·         Creative genius 0.99
·         Sparks thinking
·         3d math, get’s students to think about math operations

·         Motion math HD 2.99, good for fractions, decimals, percents. Use a ball to provide intervention, used for all levels
·         Factor samuri, free, slice through numbers until they are prime, similar to fruit ninja
·         Success maker speed games, 1.99, rti intervention, tracks progress        

·         Tools 4 student 0.99
·         Graphic organizers, used over and over again, can be emailed, monitors comprehension. Can be used across disciplines
·         Good for monitoring progress

Madlibs is a good way to teach using the ipad!

·         Spell board is 4.99
·         Create spelling lists
·         Good language practice, good practice with words, can share practice between devices, logs time spent on practice sessions

Story writing
·         Storyrobe is 0.99
·         Record a story, 3 min long, share by email, record story and draw picture

·         Oresome elements is free, periodic table app
·         Simple physics 1.99, figure out things work – simple machines, build and test
·         Build a bird free, teachers about structure and function
·         Hudson alpha is free, Icell 3d view of organism (animals, plants, and cells)

Social studies
·         Wordfoto 1.99, allows 10 words become part of a photo, great for vocabulary
·         Britannica kids apps are 4.99, several for social studies and science

Teacher tools
·         Stick pics, 2.99, questions starts based on blooms taxonomy

Flipped Classroom

Flipped Classroom
The basics of the flipped classroom:
·         Students watch lecture online or on a mobile device
·         Students complete homework during class time
·         The rationale is that students cannot ask for help with homework at home, but can receive instruction at home through the use of technology.
·         Some lessons even involved taping in class activities
·         I think this could be implemented in co-taught math classes
·         Used for laboratory experiments when students miss class.

Tech for the Behavior Needs Classroom

Tech for the Behavior Needs Classroom (Kelly Geigner)
Kelly discussed some of the high and low tech options for students her school.  The school is a self-contained behavior needs school with a small population (just over 30 students) and limited access to technology.  The sites she discussed were mostly free sites.  They involved little set-up or preparation and most of them could be incorporated into short lessons.  I’ve already used in one of my Science lessons.  A list of sites I found interesting are listed below, but a complete list is available at her blog (

Smart sync software
Picasso head
This is sand
Dogo news
10x10 news
Career information systems

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

When will blogging officially be dead?

I've read numerous times that blogging is a dead medium.  No one writes blogs anymore, they say. No one reads blogs anymore, they say.  Everyone is on Twitter and Facebook, they say.  Blogging is not a form of social media, and social media is where things are at, they say.

I started to have the same feelings - that the blog had passed its prime.  I recently began using Twitter as a communication and professional development tool, and soon I will use it to get kids to participate in discussions on the one to one program in our district.  I have a Google+ account which I use for creating communication groups for my various committees.  I contribute to wikis, save web sites to Delicious, post videos on YouTube, and use Google Hangouts and Skype for video chats.  And of course, I have a Facebook account for my personal use (sorry, but there's no way I am bringing my work life and my semi-dormant Rock Band obsession together into the same location).   With all of this going on, why would I ever return to blogging?

The answer is simple: a blog is the only place to lay out a fully-formed thought in one space that is easy to find, easy to search, and easy to manage.  It is easy to spit out fragments of ideas or to retweet someone else's post.  If Snooki can do it, so can I, right?  It takes time to write a blog, and it takes time to read a blog just like it also takes time to comprehend an idea and it takes time to form your own opinion.  Tweeting takes a minute to write and a minute to read - and it takes one minute before you move on to the next thing.

Besides, blogging is not dead.  It has evolved and gotten better.  Are you posting photos with captions on Tumblr?  That's blogging.  Are you publishing a web site on WordPress?  That's blogging.  Twitter is even technically a form of blogging in the short form - it reaches more people but contains less content.

Blogging is a lot like Facebook if you think of it.  They both give you the ability to post several sentences coupled with photos, videos, and URL links.  The difference is what surrounds your writing.  On most blogs, your posts are surrounded by links back to your other posts.  Your blog does one thing - highlights your writing.  In Facebook your posts are surrounded by photos from your grandma's birthday, offers for better cellular service, and your friend's latest high score on Bejeweled Blitz.  Yes, I know you are good at Words With Friends, but do you really need to post your score every day?  Some of these things are good, others are a distraction, and some simply don't make sense.  Here are the posts my friends sent out today:

There is something simple about using a blog.  I think its simplicity makes it powerful.  Write.  Write every day.  Write something meaningful.  Write something worthwhile.  If people like it, they will keep coming back for the words you write and not for any other reason.  Keep using Twitter, Facebook or any other social media form to send out your blog articles to your friends and colleagues.  But don't give up on blogs.  They're not dead yet.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Chromebook or iPad2?

Now that Apple has dropped the price of the iPad 2 to $379 we finally have a real horse race as we begin to pick a device for our one to one pilot program.  At a similar price point, we can now truly compare both devices in the most important areas - compatibility with curriculum and resources, access to new resources (i.e. apps), functionality of the device, and the ability to easily manage thousands of devices.  Both devices have advantages and disadvantages.  Both devices will serve our needs.  Both devices will do most (but not all) things we want to do.  Both devices will require us to give up something we really want to do because it simply will not do everything.  In the end, though, we won't go wrong with either one.

We are still responsible for choosing the BEST overall device.  At the end of the day, everyone involved in the one to one program will have to stand up and say that we made teaching and learning better and that we spent millions of dollars responsibly.

My personal opinion is that teachers should be able to choose the device their students use next year.  What better way to test a device's compatibility with ALL the web sites, electronic books, videos, learning management systems, interactive activities, and virtual science labs that we use in ALL of our classes than to put them to the test with actual students for an entire year? We know we will get some Chromebook users and some (i.e. MANY) iPad users, and whichever device that is not chosen in the long run won't go to waste.  There are plenty of other uses for Chromebooks or iPads in the library, in check-out carts, or in classrooms that are not yet part of the one to one program.

Stop Consuming and Start Creating

presented by Katie Seveska, Becky Labbe, and Courtland Funke

PDF list of Materials

Quicktime Movie of Presentation

The description stated that the session would focus on generating teacher created contend and student created work, and it certainly lived up to expectations. While the presenting team works at the elementary level, the concepts of simplicity and efficiently generating content apply to any level. The session used some simple apps for the iPad, along with the hardware, to help students create projects quickly and with minimal intervention. Some apps were also discussed that facilitated this creation.

The first app presented was Sonic Pics. This is a slideshow program that allows simple voiceovers. Simplicity is the name of the game, and this app fulfills that both in its ease of use and its compatibility with other computers. Students could take pictures of what they are doing, whether it is a field trip, group project, or homework, and then report on it using the voiceover feature. The second app, Moodboard, worked on a similar principle, but uses still images to build a bulletin board type story. Not as useful, in my opinion.

Photosync was the key to many of their successes. It is a program that allows the Photo Gallery to sync with a computer on the same network. With the push of 3 buttons, student’s projects were uploaded to the classroom workstation. Any app that would not export a finished product was put onto their Do Not Use list, and so every project that a student wanted to make can be uploaded. This program is similar to Dropbox, but does not use the cloud. It can, but it is faster and safer to skip this step. The only caveat was that they found the device and computer had to be on the same network, and they had split their network between devices and computers (they quickly changed this back).

Other programs such as Skype and Facetime were discussed, and you can find out more about these by watching the quicktime video. As a Choir director, this presentation sparked some thoughts about advantages and disadvantages of the iPad in a choir setting. These included: Sound Isolating qualities are excellent – students recorded voiceovers in Sonic Pics while on a Bus, and you can barely hear any road noise. Recording quality is very good – Little to no distortion, as there is on a smaller device with a small mic packed in. Record portions of class for home practice – Post videos online, then have students practice with them. Students can even record their practice sessions on the iPad to turn in at a later date. Section leaders are trainers – teach other students how to record class for posting. Voiceover for the assignments – no typing necessary for the teacher, simply speak in the directions.

Flipping the Classroom

This was an excellent presentation done by two middle school teachers in Kenilworth.

I have thought about doing this in the past, but after seeing the presentation, I am certain that this is something I will do.

Things they use:

Screencast -- video hosting site

They emphasized an the considerable amount of increased instruction time and measurable increases in student performance.  Their own videos are posted on screencast and encourage the use of other educational instructional videos such as Khan Academy or some others.  The advantage is that students can play the videos at their own pace, pause, fast forward, or rewind to view again.

The presenters discussed that from time to time students do not have time or the ability to watch the videos at home.  They said the students go the to the library before school or during thier lunch or study hall to view them.

Next week, I will experiment with this in my AP Government Class.  I will record a powerpoint lecture -- both audio and video -- post the video to Edmodo, and then do more applications in class.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Learning to Fly...Piloting the 1:1 Flipped Classroom

Top Ten Things I Learned While Flipping a Classroom within a 1:1 Environment

Course: World History
Unit: French Revolution
Duration: 2 Weeks

Students: Freshmen and Sophomores

Level: Mainstream
Homework Transmission: Box. net and Good Reader
Web Tools: 

Location: Media Center

Devices used: Tablets
Classroom Portal: SharePoint
File Management and Word Processing: Google
Assessment Tool:
10. My students were't as tech savvy as I first thought. Their tech skills were limited to social networking, gaming, and entertainment. The concept of using technology to create and learn was very new to many of them.

9.  Be patient, there were many obstacles that I wasn’t ready for.

8.  There will come a time when you will have to tell a student, “figure it out”.  Working within a 1:1 environment is an exploration for both the students and the teacher.   Guide them, but allow them to explore and make mistakes.

7.   Your worst student will do better, and your best student will be challenged.

6.  “Make-up work” was not done during class time.  My students were asked to meet either before/after school or during a free period if they needed extra help or time.  This forced the students to take ownership of their studies and their learning.

5.  Student interest in Social Studies increased.  The project based learning allowed for students to learn history in a way that made sense to them. 

4.  As a Social Studies teacher, I had to create lesson plans that were far more abstract than ever before.   

3.  Differentiated instruction is implemented with greater ease and with more frequency when compared to a traditional classroom.  

2.  You are driving in the Daytona 500, so leave your scooter at home.  The devices, software, and technology used must be up-to-date and run smoothly, because tech problems can feel like driving on a flat tire.

1.  Students will learn more than the teacher could ever hope to teach them.

Doing the Flip: A Flipped Biology Classroom

The last session I attended on Thursday was one presented by Chris Gales and James Workman from Downers Grove South High School.  They decided to flip their biology classrooms in August for this school year.  They settled on Camtasia to do screencasts for their students which they have them watch 2 or 3 times a week.  They don't have a 1 to 1 program but almost all their students have computer access.  They found that in the first quarter alone that they were able to do 4 more labs that they had always dreamed about doing but never had time for.  They stressed that it takes a lot of time outside of class to make their own screencasts and to rethink what and how they teach topics.  They have a great deal more time in class to work with students individually, conduct short formative assessments based on their screencasts and have learned a lot about technology.  Students can watch a screencast multiple times and take notes at their own pace.  They come to class the next day with questions.  They said that they are able to talk to each student almost every day.
Next year I am hoping to be part of the 1 to 1 program.  I most likely will make some screencasts but also look for things that are already made such as from the Bozeman site and Khan Academy.  They talked about some pitfalls, the time committment, the excitement their students have and they have for the process and how much fun it is to re-invent how they teach.  I am really looking forward to this same opportunity with my AP Biology students next year and having more time in class to implement the inquiry labs that are part of the new AP Biology curriculum.   Lots of great ideas!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

iPad E-reader App

One of the sessions I found useful was led by Cathy Baker from Elmhurst. She showed us many different e-reader apps for the iPad and discussed the benefits and drawbacks of each. She showed us some of the nuances of the apps, which could save many of us the effort of having to play around with it ourselves. For example, she showed how to use the text-to-speech function in iBooks by turning on the sound function through settings. She also showed how other apps could be more useful, such as using the app Kobo for pdfs, highlighting, and also tracking reading stats.

It's Not About The Apps!

The most informative session I attended was a brief overview of how teachers at Stevenson HS are utilizing IPADS in their classrooms.  While a few different teachers showed specific examples of projects they do in class, they all had the same basic message:  Using the IPAD in the classroom is NOT about finding content specific apps.  Most content specific apps are boring and nothing more then a glorified textbook.  Their focus was on finding Apps that allow students to create and animoto, voicethread, screencast-o-matic, etc..  The trick is to utilize these Apps to enhance your curriculum.

I personally hope we go with the Ipad.  The ease of movement around the classroom allows for a great deal of student interaction.  Students can also snap photos and record audio/video very easily with the Ipad.

Thoughts on "Flipping the Classroom" - Joseph Sears School, Kenilworth

I am looking forward to flipping my classroom next year.

My motivations are:

1. Gaining back 10-15 minutes per day of one-on-one student-teacher time.
2. Moving to more advanced problems in-class, rather than catering to the struggling learners during lecture.
3. Enabling advanced students to move ahead at their own pace.

Potential issues:

1. Lack of computer availability.  This will be mitigated if every student has their own device to take home.
2. Lack of internet connection.  This can be mitigated if either the videos are kept short enough that students can do them as soon as they get to school, or if the videos are pushed to the device and are stored locally (i.e. iTunes University, or similar).
3. Students not paying attention during the video.  As recommended by Justyna Kalinowska (, insert pause points in the video, where students are required to stop and do the example problem.
4. Students not watching the video.  Do a short formative quiz at the beginning of the period that quickly identifies students who didn't watch the video.
5. Significant prep time associated with creating videos.  The teachers at Joseph Sears School both said that it typically takes 1 hour to prepare for 5 minutes of completed video.  This can be mitigated by using Khan Academy videos (, or similar.  Unfortunately, Sal Khan doesn't pause to allow students to try the work themselves, so it might be necessary to create our own.

-Chris Bruce
Physics Teacher
Conant High School

Social media for coaches and activity sponsors

Otis Price sent me a great article on how to maximize a coach's use of social media.  I thought the best tips that were given had to do with WHAT you should post to your page.  If you recognize that your site is for your team's parents, relatives, and the community - and treat your information as breaking news - you will be successful.

The information a coach should post regularly on the team page includes:
  • Game and practice time reminders
  • Cancellations/postponements of practices and games
  • Score updates – several times per game!
  • News feeds from local papers
  • Honors and awards about your student-athletes or teams
Read the full article on the official site of the National Federation of State High School Associations.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Preparing for a 1:1 Classroom

Several presenters at the ICE Conference reiterated the same idea; going to a 1:1 classroom requires a huge amount of effort up-front, but it gets easier for the teacher every subsequent year.  I attended the conference in hopes of finding helpful hints for flipping my classroom using the 1:1 design.  I took ideas from different presenters and came up with a list of things to get done by next fall.
1.  Create a library of 5-9 minute videos that students will watch as homework each night.  Ugh!  This task will be time-consuming.  Do we have a summer curriculum project?  Get a You Tube channel.
2.  Learn how to use Moodle as a portal. 
3.  I can have students take quizzes at home or in class using Moodle.  Quizzes can be imported through ExamView.  Sign-up for an ExamView class.
4.  Find Salmaan Khan on You Tube.  Apparently he has a tremendous number of science lectures and demos already made, which would decrease the number of videos I would have to make myself.
5.  Investigate the Mobile Interactive Whiteboard ($300) which would allow me to roam around the room while I write on the tablet and project the information.  Prevents being locked in one place and improves ability to manage the classroom.
6.  Go digital with my curriculum.  All handouts should be prepared and placed in Moodle for kids to access.
7.  Create a list of apps that my students will need to successfully learn in a 1:1 classroom.  An app that appears to be extremely useful for students is "Good Reader."  It allows Powerpoints to be converted into pdf files, which kids can type their notes into or write on top of with a stylus.  It also allows me to grade documents, put immediate feedback on the paper using a stylus, and email the document back to the kid.  Sounds great for going paperless!

Tech. Philosophies

Our views of technology affect how we use them in education. From slide 27 on from below, slide content guides the ideas verbalized by Nicholas Carr. Added to the conflicting philosophies of technology tool-ists (better word in script) and technology determinists, educational technologies can become very muddied. Data or thinking?

Reading comprehension decreases 20% when on a screen vs. paper; tech. does shape our mental practices, which if we don't practice go away; students have to be taught evaluation skills on a high level. Even the teacher must be aware that his own reading of student work, such as a blog, is distracted reading when it is on-line. Limiting the distractions by using 'Reader' can help, but still may prove to be an issue.

Presenter, Spilo Bolos, shared much research to support his points, and concluded that much more discussion is needed during the very revolutionary time in teaching and thinking. The potential for positive change, negative change, and no change are all possibilities, depending on educational and technological philosophies, as well as what yet is to come.

ICE 2012 - Putting your class online

Putting your course online - Friday 3/2/2012 - This session was presented by Pete Dulany.  His presentation focus on using CourseSites as a classroom LMS.  This was easily the best session that I attended at ICE.  Like Moodle or Blackboard, CourseSites allows you to manage practically every aspect of your connected classroom.  I found the program easier to use, and more complete than Moodle.  It was more visually appealing, and like Moodle, it is free - although you are limited to five "active" class classes.  I am using CourseSites to develop a student course focusing on digital literacy and NETS.  I am also working on a PD course for teachers.  Finally, I am in the planning stages of creating an online course for Google Apps.  CourseSites is one of the best products that I have seen - and yes, Google Apps, and Infinite Campus can both be integrated into this LMS.

ICE 2012 - Google Apps

Surprise, surprise - I am talking enthusiastically about Google Apps for Education!  I attended two Google related sessions on Thursday 3/1; "Putting it all together with Google", and "Gone Google".  These were presented by Teachers and Tech Staff personnel from Maine 207.  Nothing too ground-breaking presented here, there was really too much information to be presented thoroughly.  Google Docs, namely forms, were discussed here.  It was interesting to see how Google forms + Flubaroo can be used to create online assessments that are immediately scored so that feedback can be provided instantly.  In addition, the scores automatically populate a data sheet so that a summary page is immediately available.
It also became obvious to see how the Google Apps can be used to create flipped classroom opportunities.

ICE 2012 - Moodle for Beginners

Moodle in the Classroom - Tuesday 2/28 Workshop - presented by Diana Dell.  This full-day workshop provided a beginner's guide using Moodle for a classroom management system / informational portal.  Our focus was setting up classroom tools such as blogs, polls, quizzes, and a homework drop to stay connected with students beyond the time and space constraints of the classroom.  The presentation was "hands-on" and easy to follow.  It became obvious that some upfront work is needed to set up classes and the overall LMS platform.  After looking at several LMS programs - I would consider Moodle to be one of the top programs offered at any price, but being that it is "open source" - it is free.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

ICE Conference: Collaborative Tools for the Classroom

ICE Conference, Collaborative Tools

Wow! The logo on everything "nebraska loves our public schools" and it is stated frequently. I want to hear "illinois loves our public schools & teachers" so was very interested in what they are doing. One technique to gain community support, I was able to identify is the many video clips they publish online for the community to view. Videos are students explaining what and how they are learning in a Challenge Based Learning community. the raw footage goes to a digital editing class lab at the high school so has a professional touch.

Focus of Presentation: Challenge Based Learning
Not enough to just use technology anymore, in the future must collaborate from behind the walls. Katie Morrow from O'Neil, NE a very small community was an excellent presenter. Because O'Neill is isolated the desire to reach out and communicate with other communities is strong. She is a distinguished Apple educator and had many apps to bring collaboration within the classroom as well as outside the community and country.

Socrative (just out of beta version)
free response engage the class using any device--any web enabled
quiz poll

Daily blogger--each day different student adds to blog
collaboritive through Blogger
google presentations students work together on creating a presentation
voicethread Advantage: more than one voice comments on presentation. Teacher can add voice for comments. (Feedback is instant) Other students can give voice feedback

backchannel -use students interest in Twitter to complement the classroom creat a room, no account, transcript from chat can be viewed. can view transcript
google Presentations;; backchannel view together; anyone else can joint the chat

Google Forms
Assessment --peer evalutation
creat form
collet results
results summary

available on all web enabled devices

Social Bookmarking bookmarks--central place for all your bookmarks. Can choose which ones you want to share

concept map: wall on a topic; anyone can click on a wall and add buggy

Collaborate with Experts
video conferenceing software
Skype, Ichat
Ichat theatre
-- Homebound or sick student can join the class
Outline a chapter. groups decide on dividing the work up.

Glogster online poster
How can the community become more healthy? Students in PE class documented on spreadsheet family activity, food choices, etc over a specified period of time.

challenge basis learned
collaborators in learning
real world problem
post challenge/ solutions
reduce carbon footprint
start with action word
authentic use of technology

Edmodo -- free safe (just your class not open to whole world

ICE Conference: Goudy IPAD 1:1

Goudy IPAD 1:1 Initiative ICE Conference 2012
Goudy is a CPS elementary school in the Uptown neighborhood. I was interested on a totally personal level because that is where I attended kindgergarten . Awhile back, it was listed as the worst elementary school in America--not a label any school would want. So I was curious as to what was going on there now and what students were doing.

Goudy received a 1:1 grant and all students have an IPad issued to them during the school day. This is some of what the presenter discussed:
Lots of rules concerning use of technology k-8
Students pick up Ipad in a.m. on their way to homeroom, keep through out the day but can't take home. Transient demographics and student may not return next day. (Not a flipped classroom model)
Pays a $20 student tech fee (will cover cost of broken items- which have been very few) Tech coordinator brings to Apple Store and great service is noted.
No student ability to download apps--tech coordinator purchases teacher requested apps and downloads.
Students do not keep same IPAD from year to year, apps are different depending on grade level course work.
no games
no email access other than district account

Students are heavily involved in project based learning assignments. Some excellent student created videos about the cultural diversity of the neighborhood were shown.

Watching these elementary students with the technology in hand made me realize how much high schools will have to adjust to keep students challenged and interested.

ICE Conference: YouTube Lucy Gray

ICE Conference: YouTube
Lucy Gray-certified Google Apps Instructor
Google custom search --roll your own search engine of appropriate classroom youtube videos
curate, locate, organize

unload video via email
We interviewed each other and uploaded to her account
collect collaborated videos, pictures
use photobooth
Students document with video on a Field trip: T-Mobile (or other vendor) wi fi that allows 5 users to connect and upload. Or bring several 3G enabled IPADs. Upload to class video account.

Suggests you have a school account and personal account on YouTube

Showed us how to share link (embed code)
curated a playlist according to contenting
filter channel -- Youtubeedu section; students can only see what you want them to see on Youtube. But, teachers can see everything

ICE Conference: Stick Pick


Teacher Tools for IPad & Iphone

Stick Pick --another favorite app featured
Very useful for recording student responses as teacher walks around room. Organized by class, teacher can randomly choose student and the level of question for assessment.
After inputing student roster the app allows the customization of student level of questioning based on Blooms question stems--knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis, and evaluation. Pick student, choose among question stems, and record-- correct, incorrect, opinion. User can include your own questions. All the stems will work for any subject.

Reports: gives a summary of student responses; participation, quality of answers

Includes ESL: pick a level

assesses & rates
email data

Included is an instruction video about Stick Pick

ICE Conference: Teacher Assistant

Teacher Assistant (Lesson Portal, LLC)
Definitely one of the most practical for teachers. I already have installed full app (free version or $6.99) yes, pricey) It will track Student Behavior and Classroom Habits--Ipad or Itouch, Iphone

Personal comments: For myself, I view this app as an excellent way to accumulate data for a student-teacher conference to work out strategies to change or reward behavior. Currently, I use sticky notes, evernotes, notes on margins of pages and at the end of the day most are lost or forgotten. The presenter uses it in 1st grade--still applicable for high school students!

  • security code available (student confidentiality)

  • iphone or ipad gives easy and ready access to record daily student habit data for student or parent conference

  • Imports your roster from your contacts, csv, manually; can categorized by class period-Can set up several classes

  • Action--whatever you want. After you enter/edit a list of behaviors, you check off. Examples: no homework, phone out, earbuds, sleeping in class, not participating in group work,& good behavior too!

  • auto records date and time

  • teacher response

  • (I added a new field for student response)
    location--you add rooms, computer lab, resource center, gym, then its just a check mark

  • parent notified

  • description

  • color label

  • Keeps record for each student and is easy to email to self, parent, administrator or print out.

  • Presenter commented that the app author is excellent and updates ideas from users who

  • give tutorials on youtube

  • Dropbox exportable (for backup)

Tech Tools to Simplify Your Life

One of my favorite sessions was "Tech Tools to Simplify Your Life."  Not only will I use many of the tools in there, but with our new class, "Emerging Technologies" next school year, I have a myriad of new resources for that class!!

The resources from this session, which provided a myriad of Web 2.0 tools, can be found at:

My favorite "new tool" is Symbaloo, a creative and attractive social bookmarking site.  The sites become icons that serve as links to the various sites.  It also provides additional Web 2.0 resources from which a user can add to their "favorites," providing a learning opportunity in itself!!

I envision using this two ways.

1. Creating a webmix for each class with tools specifically for that class.
2. Showing my students how to develop their own set of tools to use in other classes and to build their own network of resources.

The direct link to the EDU Symbaloo is:

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Thursday - 1:1 Anywhere Anytime Learning (Niles)

This was run by Niles Township (Guy Ballard, Phil Lacy, and Marcelo Sanz).  It was a presentation as to how they've implemented a districtwide 1:1 roll out for the past 2 years (incoming freshmen each year are receiving devices).  I found them to be very professional as well as informative as to how they went about their decisions.

For Professional Development, they had the following:

  • For Teachers
    • 3 levels of in-district classes that teachers can get credit on
    • access to professional workshops and conferences
    • the district will host a technology conference (to aid in bullet#2)
    • a teacher computer lab for a Professional Development Center
  • For Students
    • Tech support and training available for students
    • Community service credit for student techs
  • Dedicated Technical Support for program (2 per school)
Hardware & Printing
  • Purchased devices for students, teachers, tech support, check-outs
  • Developed a quick check-out system to quickly distribute hundreds of devices
  • Went with Netbooks.  Cost is currently $325 with a 3 year warranty.
    • This was chosen based upon cost as well as durability
    • Thee netbook itself is researched and revisited annually to purchase the best choice each year
  • Use open source operating sytem (linux based) and are going to use Ubermix next year. Also use freeware for word processing and similar apps.
  • Encourage students to save everything to cloud and if there are technical issues, netbooks are reset to "factory settings" based upon school image.
  • Students are given ownership of the device once it is given to them.
    • Students can add any personal software including operating system they want. (if problem, district just resets to image.
    • Cost of device should offset cost of books and photocopying over time and is meant to be part of registration fees.
  • 10% replace rule holds true for them.
  • When ordering devices, give time to manufacture as bulk purchases will require extra time to arrive.
  • Niles considers this a BYOD model where the district buys the students their 1st device.
  • Printing is discouraged and printers are purposefully scarce.
  • Student Handbook is no longer printed in Niles. Digital only.
Wireless and Applications
  • Niles currently has 260 MB pipe and will be purchasing an additional 100 for next year. (They have 2500 netbooks in circulation this year.)
  • Niles installed charging stations within the building for students to access.
  • Wireless coverage is a constant work in progress.  Capacity and Density need monitoring and adjustment.
  • Currently using a firewall (Palo Alto) that prioritizes applications so that you can filter based upon that instead of port traffic.
  • Authentication is currently disabled because it choked the system.  They would see 800 kids disappear from the network at the end of a period and then all attempt to jump back onto the network after the passing period.  Authentication could not handle it.
  • District uses Google Apps and through their educational service, they can archive data.

Thursday - One to What? BYOD v. 1:1

This presentation was a soapbox presentation by Michelle Luhtala who expressed her views in regards to BYOD.  Her district uses a MAC Address registration process.  Once that MAC Address is registered, students gain access to the wi-fi.  (This registration includes graduation year so that their information can remain current.)

She also stated a couple interesting tidbits such as the fact that Iowa seems to be heavily using Google Apps and that English Departments should cross check all of their reading lists with books that may be available for free digitally.  (Many of the older authors may indeed be free for download and worth checking out.)

It was also thought provoking as to how open, loud, and digital her library was depicted in videos.  It was more of a cyber cafe than a library and it was more of a commons than a "quiet area".  The students seemed very happy with the situation.

She also supplied an Acceptable Use Policy link  that her district is using.