Friday, December 21, 2012

iste Nets.....

   If you aren't aware of, or haven't had a chance yet to check out the International Society for Technology in Education (iste) you must!  Here you will find standards for students, teachers, coaches and administrators on teaching in the digital world.  This is sometimes a tough topic to talk about in districts as what are the technology standards?  Where do they lie?  Who is to create them or know about them?  In all reality we ALL need to know what our role is regards to technology and the classroom.  We ALL need to be aware of the needs of the students in sending them off in this "techy" world.  This site really provides GREAT insight into what each of these roles should know, model and lead!  Below are the Nets listed for each person involved in this technology implementation and the roles that each might possibly play:

     Each year iste also has a national conference - BIGGER and BOLDER than TIES if you can believe that:)!!  It was held in San Antonio this year and over 18,000 teachers, administrators, technology leaders, etc.. from all over the world attended - can you imagine????  WOW - that would be a BRAIN OVERLOAD if I have ever heard of one:)!!
     If you get a chance, take a peek - it's really neat how they don't target specific "skills" per say but more things like problem solving, creativity, etc...

Happy Friday,
Mrs. I:)


Thursday, December 20, 2012

States Project...

   The 4th graders each year learn about the regions of the country and different states.  Usually they create a PowerPoint about the state and then a poster.  This year they utilized the iPads and used Pic Collage to create and compile their information.  Look how great they turned out:)!!!

Mrs. I:)


     Well, now the updates are ALL into our iTunes account - so we will have to see how that will work when we hook the iPads up again in January!  I have solved SOME of the problems - but this one iPad is DRIVING ME NUTS:(!!!  I think I may have to unsupervise it and then reload everything - I have tried everything I know.  I have already been on the phone with Apple for over an hour today - so I MIGHT try them one more time before resorting to that;)!!  They REALLY are helpful - just SO many steps!  I want ONE Apple person that will solve ALL my problems, but I have to always call multiple places to answer the three things that need to be answered!  Oh well - I want it all in ONE:)!!
Happy Thursday
Mrs. I:)

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Configurator frustrations continue.....

   Just about to my breaking point again:(!!!  WHY DOESN"T CONFIGURATOR WORK!!!??????  I have successfully formatted perfectly 15 iPads and all is well = NOW all of a sudden I plug one in and it tried to "supervise" it again and won't take our profile - UGH!!!  Back to Apple I call I am afraid!  I can't figure it out - BUMMER!!  I HATE THAT!!!! 
   I also just spent two days downloading all the updates for the apps.  However, this will cause some delay time when we hook up the iPads again in January as Configurator will have to install ALL the updates first before allowing me to add or change things - the updates are needed for MANY of the apps as it allows for some more options; especially with Schoology!  So we will have to take the time to do it.  I was just hoping that we would be able to get the whole school done in a week - probably not now - maybe a building each week instead;)!!
   ALL will be fine - Apple will help me figure out Apple Configurator and I will be able to leave here during break not worrying about things - life here is good:)!!

Happy Wednesday - still hoping to get off a few more posts before break
Mrs. I:)

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Apple Configurator....

   Well, we were able to figure out SOME of the problems with Apple Configurator!  I talked yesterday with a gentleman from Apple, and we were able to solve some things; we talked about grouping students and how to organize them, preferences, etc... so some were good outcomes.  He thought that with the update of Apple Configurator - the option to "view" the live iPad is gone since it will remember what was supposed to be on it - and Apple Configurator will override EVERYTHING else!  So Casey and I will have to do some changes again:)!  I am in process of updating ALL apps since we will be reconfigurating all of the iPads the second week in January.  We are allowing teachers ONE more opportunity to put on up to 5 more free apps if they so choose.  So hooking up all those buggers one more time:)!
    Here are a few things that I sent to the teachers regarding app choices and review of apps that might be the most beneficial and used most often in their classrooms:

  The first list is a TON of information with a TON of different sites to look at!  All seemed very helpful when trying to decide on apps for the iPad!

Happy Tuesday,
Mrs. I:)

Friday, December 14, 2012

QR Codes to Try.....

    I just LOVE QR (quick response) Codes and KNOW that they would be a hit in the classroom at ANY level!  If you are not sure how they work - make sure that you have a QR Reader downloaded on your iPad or iPhone - scan the codes below and you will find some fun things:
   Good luck with these!  If you need more help or clarification on what do to - feel free to contact me ANYTIME!

Happy Weekend,
Mrs. I:)

Leaning Objectives with iPad.....

  The high principal, Mr. Strand, attended the TIES conference also.  At one of his sessions he got the great site about iPads with learning objectives.  This site lists 19 leaning objectives for the iPad and when you click on that objective, it brings you to a list of apps that help you accomplish this objective.  A really neat site with direct links to learning objectives:)!

Good luck with this - again - SO much information - but take a peek as you might find one thing that was worth it:)

Happy Friday-
Mrs. I:)

**I will be posting later a little more about QR codes:)**

Thursday, December 13, 2012

What About Thomas Suarez?

  I had the opportunity to talk with some teachers and administrators from Climax yesterday.  They came for a school visit to see how the iPads are being implemented.  They observed classrooms and talked with various staff members, myself, Mr. Strand and STUDENTS:)!!  That was the best part they said, was sitting down and talking with some kids about their thoughts on the MOVE 21 implementation.  The final question they asked me before leaving was, "Why the iPad?"  I had a hard time right away trying to answer this and thought for a few seconds; a video came to me that we saw at TIES:

    What about Thomas Suarez?  How do we reach him?  And that was my question and comments for them - if you want kids to have a device so they can word process, create PowerPoints, and use the Internet, then I told them to go with a laptop.  If you want a device that will allow for creativity, imagination and INNOVATION - then you should go with the iPad! 
     I KNOW that we made the right choice here in Barnesville - we have SO many kids like Thomas Suarez that NEED to think outside the box and should be allowed to think outside the box - and the iPad, a great TOOL, combined with even GREATER AND AMAZING teachers who LET them use this tool to be innovative - makes for a successful and fabulous school district with successful and fabulous students!

Happy Thursday,
Mrs. I:)


   My mind is STILL trying to wrap itself around ALL that was learned and discussed at TIES!  To write EVERYTHING at one time would be SO overwhelming to not only me - but you as well!  SO many ideas, SO many great things, WHERE is the time to keep learning and implementing - the always never going away question for educators:)!!
   The thing that I would like to talk about today are QR (Quick Response) codes!!  We have had a few teachers at the high school tamper with them a little bit - but I never really thought of the many ways that they truly CAN be used!  Not only can you have one up each day for a daily agenda or outline, but you could post answers to assignments for students to scan and self correct, you could have a code for your contact information, you could randomly put up QR codes around your classroom for spelling words, information about what you are learning at that time, worksheets, YOU NAME IT there's a code you can make for it;)!!
    The site that I like the best, as did the presenter at TIES is QR Stuff!  This site has many ways that you can make a code, and make ways to download various things to it - GREAT ONE:)!!  Also - here are some sites to look at for ways to implement and use QR codes in your classroom:

     I think those will be enough to get you rolling with them!  If you want ANY help with this - PLEASE let me know - OR Mrs. Detloff has ALSO used them (I hope she doesn't mind), so she is a great resource person, too:)

Good Luck - HAVE fun:)!!
Mrs. I:)

Monday, December 10, 2012

Another WOW!!!

   My mind hurts!!!!  Five sessions and all great - the best one BY FAR was the last one I went to.  The speaker was Mark Garrison, and he is the technology coordinator at White Bear Lake Public Schools.  His enthusiasm, passion, and motivation to do better was felt throughout the session.  His website is one that I have already talked about Garrison Sites, and if you click on the TIES 2012 link on the left hand side, he showed us "50 Sites in 50 Minutes."  AMAZING:)!!!! 
   Now, of course, the bad news!  Some of the sites that he showed us of course have flash and can't be used on our iPads - bummer;(!!!  Students CAN use them on the 6 computers that we have in our elementary classrooms and the labs at the high school.  But, MANY of the sites can be used with the iPads!! 
  Here are my TOP favorites that Mr. Garrison went over:)

This wind map site shows you the wind patterns across the US - you could use it to talk to your kids about weather patterns and storms that are taking place, as well as fronts that you can visibly see!

A peek into the National Archives in Washington, DC, students are able to view and learn about these very important documents.  Although it doesn't look as "cool" on the iPad, it still is able to be used here!

This website shows you superimposed ratios and proportions of events and things that have happened.  For example, you can see how big the area of the moon that has been studied compared certain continents and land areas.

This site allows you to create a map that you can draw on and write about events, import picture and video and tell a story.  Some examples on there include having students track the Lewis and Clark Expedition - but the ideas are LIMITLESS!!  You could use this for assessment for ANY History related event as well as time order words and sequence of events;)!

  Well, that's all I have for tonight!  Mark Garrison really is AMAZING!!  Check out his site and some of the links above!

Happy Monday Night,
Mrs. I:)

TIES 2012

   WOW!!  If you have never had the opportunity to attend the Minnesota TIES Conference 2012 in Minneapolis, you MUST go!  It is WORTH your time:)!!  My mind is hurting indeed, but the things I am learning about and the connections I am making are great!  I still have two sessions left today - and five more tomorrow!  Tonight I will put on some of the things I have learned about - and continue this again on Tuesday night when I have learned more tomorrow!

Happy Monday,
Mrs. I:)

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Day of Frustration.....

  Now I knew that there would be days that would be frustrating - but TWO IN A ROW:(! Bummer!

Bummer #1 - I thought for SURE that I had solved the mystery of the "Virtual History-ROMA" app!  Long story short:  I bought this app in August for a Social Studies teacher- and tried to import it and the codes couldn't be imported!  After trying multiple times (and hours on the phone with Apple), a breakthrough was reached!  The lady at Apple had me change some things in the spreadsheet and I was able to import them - YAHOO!!  The good news is that we have 30 codes as Apple reimbursed us for the cost of these totally!  The bad news is that we HAD 54 codes but since the price of the app went up - go figure:) - I only had enough money to buy 30.  I have an elevated case with Apple - who will soon know me by name - asking for no money - just 24 more licenses for this app.  We will see where I get with this.  This app IS really cool, and hopefully it will work out!

Bummer #2 - Apple Configurator is doing WEIRD things!  When I hook up an iPad - usually I put on another profile to install apps and remove/add whatever needs to be done.  For some reason - Configurator isn't recognizing the iPads as they CURRENTLY are - it says that it has apps on there that are NOT on there.  Also - when I try to uncheck unnecessary apps and apply ones needed, it will remove other apps at random - and the codes are lost too - UGH!!  Casey, the BIG DOG, called on this one as I dont' know the "behind the scenes" stuff.  Apple's engineer is supposed to be calling back today - he wasn't worried about the apps, as he said we would be reimbursed for them, but they haven't seen something like this - UGH!!!  I JUST realized it this morning as two girls came in saying that their Notability app was gone - UGH UGH UGH as they had ALL their notes, sheets, everything in there!  I felt SO bad - but really I didn't touch Notability - so weird things indeed!!

Hopefully all this will get solved today or tomorrow and we will be off and running again soon!!!
Happy Wednesday
Mrs. I:)

Monday, December 3, 2012

Blows My Mind.....60 Seconds

  Now, I realize that with ALL the technologies we will NEVER keep up!  But when you look at this graphic organizer and really think about what happens in 60 SECONDS all day every day - it's pretty unreal how fast the times are changing. 

  That's why I feel it is more important now than ever to continue to find ways to incorporate technology into our classrooms!  Changing the way we teach to meet the needs of our students is something teachers do DAILY - just adding technology to already amazing teaching - creates learners that are truly ready for this busy, crazy tech-wild world that they are going out into!!

Mrs. I;)

Helpful Things for the iPad and others.....

  I thought today I might post about some resources that are out there to help with the iPad along with some other great sites and resources that I have come across:
1. There is always a need for a good User Guide for your iPad, iPod Touch or iPhone.  This is Apple's manual page where you can download which guide you are looking for.

2. Garrison Sites is a great blog to go to when looking for creative, innovative and 21st Century learning technology ideas!!

3. I found this on a ISTE Wiki Space.  It gives you an AMAZING amount of resources on the web of things and ideas to do with the iPad on on a computer.  TONS of great resources here!!

4. LOVE THESE CHARTS!!!  Useful Charts is a site that contains "useful" charts for studying, learning and quick references for a plethora of things.  They are quite neat!

5. Here is just a good blog about using Technology in the classroom.

I hope you find some of these useful - I will continue to post things that I find that I feel will benefit teachers and students!  There is SO much out there - I am glad I am able to find some of these, and save you a little time, as you continue to be AMAZING teachers!!!
Happy Monday,
Mrs. I:)

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

iPads in Action....

These paraprofessionals work with students daily on individualized skills.  Below you can see pictures of students using their iPads for various things:

One student is working on Tappy Tunes to hear and touch with her iPad while another one looks at the weather forecast for the coming week and finds out what kinds of temperatures we will be experiencing.
 Here is another example of how the iPads are used daily.  There are SO many great apps that help provide opportunities and learning that might not have been possible through other means.  The ease of the iPad helps all students!

Just another AMAZING way that the iPads are providing individualized learning opportunities for our students in Barnesville!
Mrs. I:)

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

More Pic Collage.....

  Here's another SUPER great way for kids to create TRUE meaning of words!  Mrs. Askegaard had students create Pic Collages for their spelling words.
  Students looked up definitions, wrote sentences, and then created these to go along with that.  What a neat idea for students to really "grasp" the words - not only words but a visual - kids WILL remember these:)!!

I will post again later today
Mrs. I:)

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


  So, my NEW favorite app TODAY is Voice Thread!  This app allows you to create, record voice or movie, and explain, demonstrate or create things!  I have made 3 of them already just trying to figure out how to do them and I LOVE IT:)!!!  Some of our students DO have this one already as our English department asked for it and IT IS COOL!!! 

Ways that it could be used include:
     1 - students could write summaries of books and include story elements
     2 - while researching states, students could tell about their state and things found in it
     3 - book reviews - what books they love and why - persuasive writing
     4 - tell about anything - life cycle of a frog, different habitats of animals, why pulleys work
     5 - use it to tell about the different body systems - what they do and what organs are included
     6 - students could draw different musical notes and tell the beats they have and what certain   musical symbols that they represent
I could really go on and on - you HAVE to check this one out - and it's FREE:)!!

The other great thing is that is works hand in hand with the Voice Thread website - so you aren't just limited to the app - you can go upload Powerpoint presentations that you may have already created and turn them into something the kids can easily access!  HAVE FUN WITH THIS ONE:)!

Happy Thanksgiving to Everyone
Mrs. I:)

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Just Keep Swimming...........

   I DIE laughing every time I see this movie or think of this part!!  A 2nd Grade teacher here and I call each other "Dori," because it seems that just when you THINK you have things going and MIGHT be caught up in one area of your life - something else takes your time and energy!  We tell each other "Just Keep Swimming!" 

   That SHOULD be our motto this year as many people, myself included, have SO many things to learn, do and keep up with!!  When you're feeling this way - come back to this post and watch the video again:)!

Mrs. I (aka Dori:)

Educational Sites.....

   Here is a list of Educational Sites that I have found to be useful!  Some are iPad related, and others are not, but all are good ones.  I will continue to add to and update this list sporadically as I find others sites that I feel are worth mentioning.  It is CRAZY how many wonderful sites are out there for SO many content areas - to search the Internet is SO overwhelming at times because of the plethora of information there - scary but exciting all at once!!

Happy Tuesday to Everyone,
Mrs. I:)

Monday, November 19, 2012

Splashtop - Desktop Control......

   Are students paying attention or not?  That's always a good question, but especially in a school with iPads 1:1, how can one be sure?  Students are SO fast to jump between applications, websites, pages, etc with a swipe of a finger.  You want them to be taking notes and paying attention - but the temptation is just too great.  Since we also have Smartboards, many teachers feel a little "stuck" to the board without the ability to walk around.  However - that can change!
   There is an app called SplashTop that works in conjunction with a SplashTop Website that you log into that allows you to walk around your classroom and actually be "behind" the students and watching what they are doing without losing the ability to work on the Smartboard or white board.  

    This app allows the teacher to walk around with his/her iPad and control the computer that is hooked up to the projector or Smartboard.  As the teacher becomes more mobile. the temptation to do what is NOT supposed to be done lessens, and I believe that kids would pay attention more and stay on task.  
     We actually purchased the SplashTop app for each teacher, so the ability to do this is already here!  Again, a username and account has to be created and logged in to, but once that is done, and you log in to the app on your iPad, control of your Desktop computer is just a touch away:)!

Happy Monday
Mrs. I:)

Friday, November 16, 2012


Here's another great one;)!!  JoinMe is a website that works hand in hand with the app that allows you to show your computer screen onto the iPad.  Once you have an account created, you log in and then share your screen.  The students open up the JoinMe app on their iPad and put in the code provided to the teacher and your screen will appear on their iPad.  THIS IS AWESOME:)!  Students will no longer complain that they can't see what's going on - and better yet - have them take a screen shot of the particular sites, pages, or presentations that they might need to have for future reference!  Again, here is a JoinMe Cheat Sheet for additional help. 

Keep Being Amazing Everyone!!!
Happy Friday,
Mrs. I:)


  If you haven't used Dropbox yet, you need to take a look at it!  This is a great online storage unit - but combined with the Dropbox App - it becomes a powerful tool to use in your classroom.  Simply go to the Dropbox Link and create a user name and password if you haven't done so yet.  You will be able to then create folders, upload files, upload video and MP3, etc.. which are too large to email.  Share the folders with your students and you have found an instant way to communicate information and assignments to your students without the hassle of email.  I also created a Dropbox Cheat Sheet for you to reference if you aren't sure how to go about this!


Mrs. I:)

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Warhol and a few more with Pic Collage......

A few more GREAT ideas and examples for Pic Collage:

   LOVE ANDY WARHOL - LOVE his works!  Why not use Pic Collage to create Warhol Art?  Find a picture you like, and with the editing and color changing features, make a "replica" of what Warhol himself might have done!  Mrs. Askegaard's 5th Graders created images like this with the Warhol theme:

     One more way that she uses Pic Collage is for student examples for Word a Day.  Each student is assigned a word each week that they have to present and "show" to the class.  Many of her students are choosing to create Pic Collages to use as an example for their word - FUN FUN FUN:)!

Happy Collaging (is that even a word:))
Mrs. I:)

More with Pic Collage.....

   Both our Fifth Grade and our Third Grade have been using Pic Collage for various projects.  In the Fifth Grade, one of the rotations that they have, and that Mrs. Askegaard teaches, is MOVE 21.  She incorporates art with the iPads.  I will continue to post projects that she does, but one thing that she had the kids create was adjective collages.  Students had to take a picture of themselves, turn it black and white, and then come up with adjectives that they would use to describe themselves.  Aren't they just DARLING?!!!!  I LOVE IT:)!!  What a great way to review what adjectives are, along with a project on photography and using the app Pic Collage.

   Third graders also used Pic Collage and made collages titled "Third Grade Is..."  The kids used photos from the Internet, took photos around the room, of people, etc.. and then created collages about what they feel Third Grade means to them - again DARLING:)!!!

SO GREAT AND SO FUN!!  Two more ways to use this fantastic app -
Happy Thursday,
Mrs. I:)

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

More about CK-12 Site.......

   Here is a "quick" look of the books that are available for download from the CK-12 Site out of California.  Again, these are still free downloads for these specific content areas.  A LOT of great information here.

   Mrs. I:)


  This is a GREAT APP (I say that a lot don't I:)!  I know that it is simply a recording app, but once recorded you can download, email, post, use as an MP3, etc.. LOVE LOVE LOVE it:)!  AND so does SeƱorita Shannon!  She is our Spanish teacher at our high school and has always had her students speak phrases and conversation in Spanish.  In the past, she has had to sit one on one with the students and then listen to them - if they make a mistake, they start over, if it's louder in the classroom, she can't hear them - Audioboo SOLVED THIS:)!!!  The students now can record their lovely Spanish speaking voices at home without all the interruptions and the stress!  If they make a mistake, they simply record another version!  When they are finished they email them to her and she is able to hear them without the chaos of trying to do it during class.  This also has given her more freedom to teach more things as she doesn't have to take class time to do this!

  Other ways it can be used:

  1. Response to Intervention (RTI) groups - students can read a book to themselves for fluency and then follow along listening to themselves and mistakes they may make

2. Students can use this app to read prompts again and again timing themselves to hear and see improvements

3. Students can record speeches that they may have to give - timing themselves and listening for expression

4. Teachers can record directions for students so when they go home they will have the directions again on how to do something

5. This could be a communication device between parent and teacher for certain students

The list really could go on and on......these are just some ways that I have used it! The best part - it's FREE!  You gotta love that!

Have an AWESOME day and keep doing AWESOME things,
Mrs. I:)

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Rewind to September 2012.......

    I HAD to post this!  When we first started the year off - our Wi-Fi was NOT up to par!  Partially because of the network - well NO IT WAS THE NETWORK!!  However - we had SO many teachers jump on board right away - YEAH TEACHERS - that our network was getting bogged down!  We weren't getting the speed we should have, blah, blah, blah!  The picture below is a reenactment of what we saw DAILY - WHY DIDN"T I TAKE PICTURES????  The students would go around the school and find an access point - then they would hold their iPad up to it HOPING it would connect or speed up - NO LIE!!  It was hilarious - well, now it's hilarious - at the time frustrating and maddening!  So needless to say - after some good humor - and three weeks later - all is well!  We are still not where we should be - but students are now IN their classrooms and not sprawled out all over the hallways hogging access points:)!!

Happy Tuesday Everyone
Mrs. I:)

Monday, November 12, 2012

App Store.....

   I don't know about you, but I always find it hard "finding" new apps for my iPad.  I can go to websites, blogs, the app store, but really it's all TOO OVERWHELMING for me!  So, after doing the iOS 6.1 update, a new button appeared in the "FEATURED" section tab at the bottom in the App Store (Thank you Mr. Hermes for showing me that you have to do the update as it's a feature of the update).  If you scroll to the bottom on the right side there is a button that says Education Connections.  Once you click on it you can choose your content area and then it breaks the content down into strands; apps are listed under each specific strand.  It has made my searching easier in the sense of I know for sure what that specific app is going to offer me!
   Of COURSE I created a "cheat" sheet with visuals in case you can't follow my babbling above:)!  Good luck and please let me know if you can't find it

Happy Monday Evening
Mrs. I:)

Content Area App Lists.....

I just finished up compiling the app lists for specific content areas at the High School.  You will notice them under the App List section on the right hand side.  I also have the others listed there for viewing.  If you have any questions about any of them, please feel free to drop me a note and I will do my best to answer them!
    I brought my boys to the musical, "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory" this weekend - AMAZING!!!  Once again, the kids at BHS have stepped up with a phenomenal performance!  Way to go kiddos - and way to go Mrs. Scherbenske and Mrs. Nibbe on a job well done!

Happy Monday Everyone
Mrs. I:)

Thursday, November 8, 2012

App Lists.....

  Today I simple compiled and posted some lists of apps that we have here in Barnesville.  I have three so far - one is a list of our district apps that we put on all the students in our district, one shows the apps that are in our elementary school which is grades K-6, and the other one is our app list for students in grades 7-12.  I will also compile and post what was ordered per content area at the high school.  Check back next week for those as I will complete them over the weekend and have them done by Monday!

Happy weekend to everyone - keep up the amazing work in your transformation-
Mrs. I:)

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Mac and Pages Help....

   As I have mentioned before, every teacher in our school was handed a Macbook Pro and an iPad 2 last spring.  Now we have been a PC school since I began teaching here 12 years ago, so this was a TOTALLY new thing for most everyone.  Those users, like me, that came to Barnesville as a Mac user had to make the transition from a Mac (well I NEVER really made the transition as I STILL use Mac at home:):).  I had a hard time at first.  Although the platforms were similar, things were NOT the same!  The idea of learning a "new" platform was hard to swallow.  Now the tables were turned and I was the one that was like, "YAHOO!"  Others, however, well everyone except one other teacher, really, had never used a Mac or hadn't used one in years!  Some decided to not even use it.  Others chose to jump on board and put their PC away!  Some are in between - which is where I would have been when I first came to Barnesville.  Over time the adjustment has been fine, and I know that in another year, the teachers here will feel the same way about the Macbook.  I have even TOTALLY converted one teacher here who would have NEVER thought of buying a Mac.  Not only does he have a Mac, he has an iPad, Apple TV, and JUST bought the iPhone 5 - wow:)!!  Who would have thought!!!
   Again, although they are "similar" they are different, too.  Shortcuts are different, icons are different, and the keyboard alone is different.  A few teachers asked me to create a "cheat" sheet to help remember these shortcuts, or even to be AWARE of what they are! So here you go - here is a "helpers" guide for people that haven't been using the Macbook for very long. 

   I am in the process of also creating one for Keynote, so when that is complete, I will upload it as well!

Happy Wednesday
Mrs. I:)

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Change My Thinking.......

    In reading and talking with educators and other integrationist at workshops and through email - there seems to be a common thing - teaching is changing and teachers need to change.  Although I sit and think about all the changes I made the last 14 years in education, change is inevitable and we can either "embrace" it, or "ignore" it.  I choose to embrace it!!  My two sons are TOO important for me to not know what their world is like - so I am choosing to join them on this journey so to say!  Students today are the same as students yesterday - it's their world that is different!
    That doesn't mean I would change EVERYTHING at one time - how could you?  But if we could pick one thing this week or month and go with that until we are comfortable - but never TOO comfortable to stay with what we have always been doing - THAT"S TOO EASY!!!  Then choose something different, and keep adding things and doing things a "little" different than normal - before we know it - our teaching HAS changed!  This happens every year and it SHOULD!!  I am never satisfied with what I am doing - I can ALWAYS improve and ALWAYS do more!!  That's the problem with education - there is SO much out there and SO much to do - when is it done?  Between Pinterest, Facebook, blogspots, etc.. the feeling of inadequacy is overwhelming!  TAKE A BREATH!!  Pick ONE thing and do it GREAT!  Once that becomes easier - choose another - this will make life in your classroom and life outside of the classroom ever changing - and ever enjoyable!!
  Here is an article about a teacher who changed some things in education - well she was forced to because she got iPads in her classroom - sound familiar:)!!!???  She, too, felt how many of us are - slowly OVER TIME she was able to transform her thinking and the way she did things.  The same is true here - SLOWLY over time things will continue to get easier and continue to evolve - will you JOIN the evolution or IGNORE it - the choice is yours!!

You are all AMAZING and you are all doing GREAT things!  KEEP IT UP!!
Mrs. I:)

Monday, November 5, 2012

Digital Textbooks

  Well, digital textbooks are on my mind today.  I am downloading eBooks from the site CK-12!  This site is based in California and has MANY digital textbooks for FREE to download.  Our thought last spring when buying Macbook Pros for every teacher in our district, was that over the course of three years (roughly), teachers would be using them with iBooks Author to make their own digital textbooks.  These could then be shared with students, and textbooks, as we know them, would become obsolete!  The digital books would be based on the Minnesota standards and match perfectly!  As things change within our state, we could then easily adapt to that change by making adjustments with the digital textbooks that we created!  My job this year - well, my goal this year, is to create a few digital textbooks!:)
   We currently have a 6th Grade teacher, Mr. Cox, who wrote his own math book.  He started chapter for chapter and to my understanding has most of, if not all of it, completed!  He puts the book into Dropbox and the students download it from there.  He is doing a few chapters at a time so it isn't so overwhelming to have the ENTIRE textbook on the iPads - plus the download is SIGNIFICANTLY faster!  Included in his digital book are sites, podcasts, videos, pictures, quizzes, etc.. he has REALLY done a great job with this!!!  He will definitely be our "expert" when we start doing these!  If anyone is interested in checking his out - I KNOW he would be willing to show you how to get started:)!!
   Our Physical Education/Health teacher, Mr. Meyer, has used the eBooks on CK-12!  He finds chapters that pertain to the content that he is teaching and then also throws them in Dropbox for the kids to access.  The information is up to date, and at any time, Mr. Meyer would also be able to use these in iBooks Author to create his "own" book.  For now, he has been able to find the materials he has needed through the CK-12 site.
   If you have NOT been to this site - here is what it will look like.  Simply choose the content area that you are looking for and you're ready to go!

   The BAD thing about this site is the lack of content area covered!  It's GREAT for the Math and Sciences, but LACKING in the areas of English and electives - so some teachers will have NO luck with this at all - BUMMER!  I wish that they would find some individuals to add the arts, home economics and middle school.  There are a FEW things there, but definitely not a TON!!
   Here is the link if you are interested in checking it out and downloading some PDF eBooks to get you started.  The best thing is it's FREE and you can use this for creating your own books - GOOD LUCK!!!

Happy eBooking and Textbook Creating
Mrs. I:)

Friday, November 2, 2012

Ways to Use Technology.....

   Below are some links that show and list different ways that you can use iPads and other technologies in your classrooms and some additional tips and tricks with the iPad 2 in case you still need some refreshers.  Take a peek - you might find a great, fun new way to do something or learn something new.

GOOD LUCK TROJANS!!! Football tonight and Volleyball tomorrow night - not only do we have great things happening with iPads, we have just GREAT things happening in Barnesville!!!

Have a great one and cheer LOUD
Mrs. I:)


   Yesterday I went to a workshop at Lakes Country on eBooks and Digital Learning - WE ARE RIGHT ON here in Barnesville!  Not only am I totally convinced that the iPad was the way to go for Barnesville Public Schools, but I am TOTALLY convinced that EVERYONE here is 100% AMAZING!!  We are SO ahead of the game compared to SO many districts - and all the teachers have done a great job just embracing the fact we have the iPads and using them.  The presenter spent time showing various apps that she really likes - and WE HAVE MANY OF THEM - YAHOO!!  She also really focused on the idea of getting "cross content" area apps, as once you teach a certain topic or unit and the kids master that app skill, they are obsolete!  I totally agree!  Keep finding ways to use the many apps that we have!  I also get the idea of wanting more - I AM QUEEN OF THIS!!  I want more of EVERYTHING especially Apple and techy related items - why I can't ever be CONTENT??  That doesn't mean it's always better - and I need to be reminded of that DAILY!!  So try something  that you have ALREADY used, but maybe in another way - or try something new that you haven't done yet!  There is NO comparing and NO right and wrong - SO many of you have been stepping outside your comfort zone and giving things a shot - and I am SO proud of you!  Keep being amazing and keep plugging away staff - YOU"RE THE BEST!!!
   Check out this video created by students in California for the "Insomnia Film Festival."  They do this every year and kids are given 24 hours to create a video - this was the winner!  They did this JUST FOR FUN!!  And I think that's it!  Kids are going to start doing things like this because it's FUN and because they can SHARE with others their love!  This really is a hoot:)
Have a great weekend!
Mrs. I

Thursday, November 1, 2012


   Many teachers in our school have been using the site That Quiz to create quizzes or use the already created quizzes on the site! (Mr. Amundson actually introduced me to this site a few years back:)) It's a VERY powerful tool and many of the school districts that I have talked to about other things always bring up this site - check it out!  The starting page looks like this:

     From here you login and can create your own quiz, or use ones already in the system; you can create any type of quiz from multiple choice, true false, short answer or essay.  Students are then emailed the link and they then take the quiz.  Once completed, the quiz is scored and the teacher can see how they did - the system saves it so you can go back and check things and use the scores to enter into our JMC grading system.
    Mr. Schmitt taught a CPT day for our staff on this and he created a "cheat" sheet to get started.  I have it posted below!  He truly uses this quite a bit - so if our staff here has questions I would talk with him (or Mr. Amundson) - the getting started cheat sheet he created is VERY helpful!

HAPPY QUIZZING - Hope your stomachs don't hurt after Halloween:)!
Mrs. I:)

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Totally NOT iPad related:

  Ok, this has nothing to do with the iPad really - well, not true as kids can VIEW it on their iPad.  My sister sent me this and SO SO PRECIOUS!!! IF you have any kids with the countdown for Christmas in their heads- click here:)!!

Christmas Countdown

   SCAREY for a mom like me that has done VERY little shopping - YIKES!!!  A good reminder for me, too:)  Maybe everyone will just get an iPad Mini this year - you can dream, right???
  I LOVE THE HOLIDAYS!!!  Thanksgiving first, though!

Have a great time trick-or-treating
Mrs. I

Links to Try:

Check out some of the links below - I have been reading them and finding them helpful when trying to find apps, created activities, or just plain informational:

    These LIVEBINDERS are AMAZING!!  They not only have them for iPads - but ANY content area you might be in need of things for!  
Check this iPad one out:

   Each day I will try and post a "new" link that I have either heard about via my other Apple nerdy friends:) or ones that I have found to be quite useful in my teaching as well:)  

Happy Halloween Everyone!
Mrs. I;-)


  I KNEW it was going to happen - but my heart did sink a little when our FIRST broken screen came through my door:(!!!  However - when two more happened about 72 hours later - I was bummed!  This IS part of the deal, I understand, and all were simple accidental incidences - nonetheless I was maybe thinking "Hey, we might not even break a screen this year."  Wishful thinking indeed.  So with these three, we have had to replace a total of 6 iPads since September.  One wouldn't charge, one wouldn't rotate, and the other one the home button was so sticky and not always working properly - all those Apple claimed as "defective," so we simply returned them and they sent us replacement iPads.  These, however, aren't going to be the same deal!  Since we have screens that need replacement we are going to send them to different locations, one being Apple, and the other two local businesses, and compare cost and work done to see what is going to be the best deal.  That is going to be project 101 tomorrow when I head to work in the morning! 

   Here is the screen that has some simple hairline cracks in it - hard to see - but not too bad.

    This one was dropped and landed on a table corner - hitting the screen - which is no wonder as to why the screen cracked.

  This last one again was dropped and landed screen down on tile - ouch!

     All in all we are only considering three iPads here so far - and we KNEW it was going to happen and I know there will be more!  Luckily we had replacement ones in the back for me to configure so each child received another one to continue using in his/her classroom.  There WILL be more - and accidents DO happen - but maybe these three will be it - WHO KNOWS????

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Science Class

  One more post for today!  Mr. Schmitt, who teaches Science at the junior high level was teaching his students about cells.  He had the students use Pic Collage to create cell organelles.  They turned out pretty neat - and yet another way to implement the use of iPads and a great app that all the students have.  Here is a sample of what one of the students came up with:) - maybe this will give you an idea of what you could do in your classroom?:)

Online Classes.....

     Some of our students here have been taking some classes online to receive credit for college or to give them opportunities that our school might not offer.  The iPads have been both helpful and frustrating during this time.  For instance, the students have been able to access things, do assignments, and blog and critique others in their classes as needed.  The one thing I know that has been frustrating is the fact that they can't view "flash" video on the iPad.  We have tried the Rover app, but it has crashed and burned and been a failure for us.  Puffin works REALLY well, but it's age restricted, which is alright for the seniors and juniors that are at least 17, but we can't use it with the younger ages - even though it would be a great web browser for flash.  We have had success with the Puffin App, and students have now been able to use their iPads for viewing these videos.
     More to come about online classes and the iPads.................

Monday, October 29, 2012

Physics Class

    I thought I would post a few pictures of our kids working on projects in Physics class.  Mr. Goering is the teacher, and he uses two apps in particular - Data Analysis and Coach My Video.  The pictures are of kids using the Data Analysis app where they are tracking data and creating graphs.  The Coach My Video app he uses for kids to watch frame by frame video and kids then can input the change in position and time into Data Analysis to also create graphs! 
    Coach My Video and Data Analysis are both FREE apps that the kids in his class all have.  Actually, the kids in our entire district have the Coach My Video app to use for various content areas.  Mr. Goering just wanted an app that allowed kids to see the frame by frame video option, and this app is also simple to use.
   He also has his Chemistry and Physics classes use their iPads for note taking and their textbooks.  He emails them PDF files for them to open in iBooks to view their textbook with.  For his robotics kids, he uses Dropbox - which is a free app - that allows you to store information from various devices into one place.  You can access this information from any device that you would like to use.  The writer of his robotics team was then able to grab and compile all the information without using multiple places to find everything needed!

Friday, October 26, 2012

I Can't Believe It!!

     Now, first of all, I must say that I am kind of an Apple nerd!  I have ALWAYS used Apple products, thank you Tracy B:, so the idea of our school implementing iPads and Macbooks was BEYOND exciting for me!!! Finally we jumped on board - YAHOO!  So you can imagine how pumped I was when I finally got the vouchers to spend this money on apps for our students!  I am SO nerdy - that I even took a picture of the vouchers when I got them - HOW FUN!!!  $10,000 - that's a LOT to spend;)!!!
     However, I was also SO scared to redeem these - what if I did something wrong?  What is I lost the money?  Take a peek and see how you might feel - WOW!! I obviously started with the $100 one and bought the cheapest license that I could to make sure I did this correctly!  Then I proceeded to continue buying as I felt more comfortable with the whole process!  YES I did it CORRECT - and YES it was FUN spending this kind of money - especially on APPLE PRODUCTS:)!!  YEA for Steve Jobs!!!

Picture App List.....

     I thought that you might like to "see" the apps that we have purchased for the 2012-13 school year!  We set aside roughly $20,000 this year to spend on apps and have done a GREAT job spending this:)!!!  To date we have redeemed $18,200 worth of Apple vouchers.  Now keep in mind that Pages, Keynote, and Garageband were a HUGE bulk of this money - and each grade level submitted app requests.  We then put together an App Committee consisting of teachers from both buildings and administration along with the technology people to decide how much money to allow for each grade level.  We considered the number of students that would be needing these apps also.  All students in grades 3-12 got Pages, and all students in grades 4-12 got Keynote - so that alone was about $6200.  We also have a large number of students in band and choir, so many Garage Band licenses were needed as well.  Later I will post the ENTIRE list of apps that we have at each grade level so you can see which teachers asked for what.

iPad Cheat Sheet

   Since the iPad is new to SO many of our teachers and paraprofessionals, I created a "cheat" sheet that has basic tips and functions of the iPad.  I  simply put together things that I kept getting questions about and had to keep repeating again and again.  I hope it is helpful to you!
  I am also in the process of putting one together for Pages and Keynote since all our teachers also got a new Macbook Pro - more to come;)!!

More about distribution sessions.....

     Here is the letter that we sent home regarding distribution sessions.  Each family had to call our district secretary and sign up for a time to come.  They could bring all of their children in one session, as grades didn't matter since we were consistent in the message being sent.  We also had a cap of 60 students per session because that is what we thought would be a good number to work with.  A few session were over, but things went really well.

Kathy Schrock WOW!!!

    If you haven't yet seen Kathy Schrock's page - YOU MUST!!  She has SUCH great information about not only the classroom, but has really started doing a ton on her site about iPads and different apps, ways they are used, etc..

Check her out!! 

Thursday, October 25, 2012

   The teachers that we have here have been doing AMAZING things!!!  Some teachers have put their class into Google Docs and do everything that way.  Others have used the various apps that we purchased to help specific grade and content areas.  Yet a few have completely flipped their classrooms.  Each week things get easier and easier and the students are now used to the idea of the iPad and what it can do.  We are also continuing to learn about things that it cannot do - we are all learning together!!

Distribution Days!!!

      We chose nine different days starting the end of July and continuing into the first two weeks in August for students to sign up to come and get their iPads.  Each session was roughly an hour and a half long, with students filling our the paper work needed, paying the insurance fee of $50, and then going through a 30 minute talk on the policies, rules and iPad basics.  Each session was run smoothly, and we had over 90% of the students come during this time to receive his/her iPad.  Those that couldn't attend one of the nights, set up times to meet with building principals to go through the same information.  One thing about the insurance fee; if students were unable to pay the entire amount at one time, they were able to set up a payment plan to accommodate them.  Families that qualified for free and reduced lunch were also given a reduction in this fee as well. 
    The distribution days looked like this...........
1. Students came in and found their stand that was color coded for grade levels and labeled with their initials on it
2. Their grade specific iPad was handed out with the index card on that showed the serial number and Destiny Quest number for checking out easily
3. Parents and students filled out the proper paper work and met in a room privately with a school secretary to pay or set up payment for the insurance fee
4. Students and parents were ushered to the new gym to listen to the rules, policies and iPad basic
5. Students were able to bring their iPads home until school started

THIS WAS HUGE!!!  Many of our students didn't have an iPad and not all of them an iPod Touch either.  This two week period before school started allowed the adequate time to become affiliated with the functions of and use of the iPad.  Many students already knew what most of the apps did when school started, which helped quite a bit for the learning curve.

This is what the set up was like: