Friday, January 31, 2014

Big Ol' Pile of iPads;) AND the Good Ol' Floppy;)

   We have been in the process of trying to put together a scope and sequence for Technology for both buildings.  It has been a VERY difficult process as there aren't many out there to follow - and the ones that are, of course, don't meet our needs with the 1:1 in place.  SO SO what to do?  We are starting to compile some things and then Casey remember, "Hey, Mr. Nelson, a former 2nd grade teacher, has this stuffed saved."  Here is what he pulls out:
REMEMBER THESE??  My first thought - do we even HAVE anything that will work with these?  Casey sent me to a computer in the library - and SURE ENOUGH we DID have one that still has a slot for these:)!  However - the info that we needed wasn't on there - UGH!!  BACK. TO. THE. DRAWING. BOARD.  If ANYONE out there has a great one - please let me know:)

   On a second note, I had a high school student go to the elementary to grab some iPads for me and bring them back.  This is what I see when I look out my office window:

  Again, my first thought was TAKE A PICTURE so I have PROOF of this and the fact that he actually DID this - and second thought, PLEASE stack them in two piles - LOVE:)!!

Happy Weekend to everyone,
Mrs. I:)

Monday, January 27, 2014


This site ABSOLUTELY. FLOORS. ME!!!!  I JUST found out about it today - via Mrs. Kovash, a teacher in Perham.  It's called Worldometers and it has REAL TIME stats on just about anything - SO SO SO SO COOL!!!  And it can't be flash based as it works on the iPads - WOW!

Be SO SURE to CHECK. IT. OUT!! I have NEVER seen anything like it before:)!
Happy Night,
Mrs. I:)

Apple TV - WAY. TO. GO!!!

    When we got the iPads two years ago - we decided to try and save some money and buy Air Server which projects the iPad wirelessly via your computer that is hooked up to a projector.  At only $15 per license, we thought this was it, or definitely worth trying!  In the beginning it seemed to work ok - kicking us out occasionally, but not too bad.  Over time, though, it seems to just not work more and more. I have tried it in other districts, too, and it does the same thing - which is good as we know it's not network related.  It's just REALLY frustrating for the teachers - so we need to go another direction.   After fighting with it and having it sometimes work and other times not - we are going to maybe get some Apple Tvs!  We used it a few times this past week and it worked FLAWLESS!!!   We also tried it at the busiest times of the day as far as network goes - and worked PERFECTLY!!!  So we will see what happens.  They are more expensive at $100 a pop - but I think that those teachers that really want to take advantage of this amazing airplay ability should get one.

Here it is - the magic black box:

     You simply plug this bugger into your projector via the HDMI cable and you're good to good.  On the iPad you swipe up - click on AirPlay and choose Apple TV and turn mirroring on - the iPad projects - YES:)!!
   The other thing is that Casey has replaced almost all projectors now - and they all have HDMI.  Which is PERFECT as we won't need to buy the $80 converter cable - which we would have had to had we bought Apple TVs two years ago - so that in itself is a great savings for us! 
     I am going to see if a teacher wants to try it for a little while and then monitor how it goes for like a week and see if it's working - if so we will slowly add these in.

Happy Snow Day - well 2 hour late snow day for us -
Mrs. I:)

Friday, January 24, 2014


  HaPpY bIrThDaY aPpLe:)!!!  Yes, in 1984, Apple introduced the world to the Macintosh!!  Imagine where we would be today without this???  Yes - I know that I am an APPLE FREAK:), BUT look at all the other amazing products that have been developed because of "copy cat" remakes of Apple.  SO. GLAD. FOR. STEVE. JOBS. AND. STEVE. WOZNIAK!  Here is it:

     I STILL remember playing Oregon Trail on one of these buggers in Mr. Ramacher's 4th Grade classroom - OH do you remember???  And look where we are today:

THANK YOU APPLE for ALL you have provided for our world the last 30 years!!  If you want to watch a REALLY neat timeline of what Apple has provided us with - check out 30 Years of Innovation on the Mac!

 Happy weekend,
Mrs. I:)


   One of our Kindergarten teachers, Mrs. Willers, uses these GREAT little cards.  She uses the cards during her Centers/Guided Reading time. When the kids go to the iPad center, she has 3 choices of apps displayed in the pocket chart using the cards.  They can go back and forth from these apps during their center time to practice specific skills that she wants to review/work on.

 Here is what they look like:

     The BEST part - the top says which folder they are in - there's an icon to show what the app looks like - and underneath the app is what the name of it is as it appears on their iPads - BRILLIANT:)!!

Another SUPER GREAT idea from an amazing Kindergarten teacher - hands down - and so so practical!

Happy Weekend,
Mrs. I:)

Thursday, January 23, 2014

How could I forget Blendspace?

   One of our 4th grade teachers, Mrs. Anderson, shared a website called Blendspace to our staff this past Friday.  We had learned about it at our Digital Curriculum workshop at Lakes Country but I don't think I blogged about it - and she reminded me of HOW. GREAT. IT. IS:)!!   In literally a matter of minutes, you are able to merge SO much information about any topic you would EVER want.  What the site does is it allows you to put in websites, videos, pictures, etc.. and keep adding more and more.  After you share the URL with the kiddos, they can access all the information in ONE place - GENIUS:!)

Here's a sample one that I have started for the 2014 Winter Olympics -

     On the left hand side is your work space where you choose what you want to do and what it will look like, while the right hand side has all the options and allows you to do all the searching right here!  How easy for you to now take this URL and paste onto your Schoology page, Moodle site, etc.. LOVE. IT!

Happy Thursday,
Mrs. I:)

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

A Few Explain Everything Ideas....

  Here are a few ideas to use with the Explain Everything app.  The first example is from one of Mrs. Askegaard's fifth graders.  She used the app to record what she has learned:

The second example is from Mrs. Tonsfeldt's third grade classroom.   The students had to explain how to use the hundred chart when subtracting:

Just a few more ways to use iPads and apps in your classroom:)
Happy Day,
Mrs. I:)

Unexplained PARTIAL Fix?????

   Ever since we updated to iOS 7, I have been complaining about many things - the biggest being the fact that Configurator doesn't accurately show which apps are on the iPads as I hook them up.  PARTIAL fix - if I double check apps - and make sure all the apps that students SHOULD have are all checked BEFORE I apply the settings, then everything seems to be "normal" and nothing is deleted - weird!!  I have NO idea why I tried this, but I did, and it has worked so far!  The biggest app that we have had a problem with deleting things of course is Notability because this is where the students store EVERYTHING!!  Notes, pictures, projects, etc... so it's REALLY REALLY bad when this app gets deleted from a student iPad.  For whatever reason, I made sure that it was "checked," and when I applied it all worked out - THANK YOU:)!!  Gotta LOVE dumb luck like that, huh??
   BiGgEsT frustration with changing jobs and leaving the classroom is the lack of explanation for things!  I. HATE. THAT!  I want to know WHY things work and WHY things don't - and unfortunately that is not the case ever for me!  They either work or they don't and half the time I can't explain why or why is does or doesn't - YIKES!!  Maybe someday I won't care so much about the "why" and just accept the "is."  I doubt it, though!

Happy Tuesday,
Mrs. I:)

Friday, January 10, 2014

Friday Humor:)

   Mrs. Meissner, one of our 6th grade teachers, shared an awesome video about the iPad and use of it!!  The iPads are SO great, and SO is all this technology - but some things STILL need to be done on paper, and should be.

Happy Friday and weekend,
Mrs. I:)

Decision is MADE!

  We have been going back and forth as to whether or not we should totally wipe ALL iPads this spring and do the same to Apple Configurator - well - we ARE going to do this!  After having the iPads now for two years, we really feel that the students probably have so many things on there that they no longer need.  They can throw things the MUST have into Dropbox, and thus save it forever if they want to.
   Apple Configurator has also been a STINKER to say the least!  Teachers are going to go through their app lists and CUT. CUT. CUT. apps that they don't use.  Again, after two years of use, the teachers now know which apps they REALLY use and which ones they just wanted to try.  The only REAL bummer is that those apps that some of them LOVE that we got on Apps Gone Free are now going to be gone.  However, if it's one they feel is valuable, it will be worth paying for. 
   I am not going to lie - I am A LOT nervous for this ENTIRE process.  The idea of wiping everything really FREAKS. ME. OUT!  However - we DO have Time Capsule - so we will back all up in case we want to go back.  Ever since the update, Apple Configurator just has not been working correctly- so something has to be done.  AND - I am going with my gut and what Apple is suggesting - PLEASE. DON'T. FAIL. ME. APPLE!  We will see what happens!
   On another note - I'm playing basketball today against the seniors for SnowBall week - GOOD GRIEF!  Apparently they need females (although I am the only one), and I am 39 years old and a RUNNER not a BB PLAYER - YIKES!!  Good thing no iPads will be there for proof of this!  At least I'll be able to run back and forth - sigh!

Happy Friday and Weekend,
Mrs. I:)

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Be More Dog - SO SO SO FUNNY:)!

  Mr. Strand, the high school principal, was in a session that showed this video titled "Be More Dog."  take a look at it:

   And it's SO right!  There are so many technologies out there - that sometimes it IS overwhelming.  But little at a time, we can "Be More Dog," stepping outside our comfort zone and trying some of these things.  Not ALL of them - but SOME of them - we ALL have SO. MUCH. TO. LEARN.

Be More Dog,
Mrs. I:)

TIES Day 2 - Session 2 - SO GREAT:)!!!

My last session at TIES was a presentation called "Leverage the iPad to Enhance Your Teaching."  Benjamin Friesen was the presenter, and he is a science teacher and digital content specialist for Hopkins Public Schools.  He showed us various things that he uses in his classroom, along with other ideas to help enhance student learning.  Benjamin actually created a cheat sheet called workflows where it shows students and teachers how to upload homework, open documents into various apps, etc.. BRILLIANT:)!!  That way, the teachers aren't having to always teach the students how to do things.  They can scan the QR code tied with it and have step by step directions - SUPER GREAT idea!! 

The other BIG 3 that I took from this session:

1.  The Padlet website - I think I have already blogged about this - but SO amazing and SO easy to use.  It's like a HUGE poster board that everyone has on their iPad and can contribute to - great way to brainstorm or get valuable information from kids through collaboration!

2. Haiku Deck is also an AMAZING website that has an app to compliment it - where you create presentations BUT it only allows you SO MANY WORDS per slide - so it forces the kids to NOT READ what they have written down - they can't as there's not room - A GEM!!  CHECK. IT. OUT!!

3. Side by Side App - FREE!  This app allows you to have two websites open at a time.  I know that I have talked about the Sling Note app, where you can have a website open and a drawing pad, but this free app is only for websites - still SO valuable - and NO COST!!

Just a few more for you to try out - OH SO GOOD AGAIN!  I always think that maybe I shouldn't go to TIES some year and let someone else go instead?  NO. WAY.  There are SO many AMAZING and OUTSTANDING people doing AMAZING and OUTSTANDING things, that I HAVE to go see and continue to learn!!

Happy Tuesday,
Mrs. I:)

Friday, January 3, 2014

TIES Day 2:) - Session 1

Here are the sessions that I attended Day 2 - my mind was SO SO fried so my notes are CLEARLY not what they should be, and I tended to not write as much as I downloaded the information directly from their presentations:).
  The first one I attended was presented by Pete Markham who is an Apple representative - My DReAM job, right:)!!  His session was titled, "Tips and Tricks for Getting the Most our of Your Mac and iPad."  Perfect session, yes!  Finally all the things that I wanted to know and learn about - and here are some highlights:

1. WHO doesn't want shortcuts!!  Many Windows users really struggle using the Mac - so here is a link to OS X Shortcuts for the Mac - LOVE IT:)!!

2. We have all struggled with iOS 7 and the updates that it has had.  Ok maybe not all of us - but I sure have!  Here are some of Tricks all new iOS 7 Users  should know:)

3. Here is ANYTHING else you might be interested in  - it is his Delicious Site: there are many things here - as you could look for days:)!!

I will write about Session 2 this weekend - as it was SO SO GOOD:)!  AND we don't have school Monday - heck the WHOLE state doesn't because of Governor Dayton - THANK YOU:)!

Happy Weekend,
Mrs. I:)

Thursday, January 2, 2014

More TIES - Sessions 3 and 4

  Happy New Year!  Well I was TOTALLY wrong with my anticipated "working" time during break.  Instead I enjoyed myself with family and friends and did ABSOLUTELY. NOTHING. SCHOOL. RELATED!  SO - here I go again where I left off with the TIES Conference.  Sessions 3 and 4 were JUST as good as the others - actually - the third session was my FAVORITE:)!!

Mark Garrison is a Technology Integrationist for White Bear Lake.  He is KNOWN for his 50 Sites in 50 Minutes presentation that he does each year at TIES.  I could totally POST all the sites that he goes over, but it's SO much easier for you to go there and search and seek for yourself!  NEVER am I disappointed in what he shows!  He is SO SO passionate about what he does and it is SO evident!  Here is his blog where he posts the sites as he finds them.  The ONLY thing that I have frustrations with, of course being an iPad district, is that not all the sites that he has here are iPad friendly because they are flash based.  Know that in advance so you don't get SO SO MAD when you find a gem and learn it doesn't work on the iPad.  That doesn't mean you can't use it - YOU SHOULD - just go the computer lab for those:)

This is a TEDx talk that Mark gave in Burnsville when they had a TEDx Experience.  He is SUCH an adventurous, motivated and boundary-less man - you'll enjoy listening to him!

Here's a LINK to the video:)  Technology, Adventure, and Change: Mark Garrison

  The last session I went to was a FACS teacher named Mary Draper from I believe Mankato.  She did some REALLY great things.  She TOTALLY redid her courses to match the SAMR Model.  The things she showed were really neat:

1. Similar to the Aurasma app - she used the Layar App to augment reality.  It looked really cool and she described it as a step above QR codes.  Although I LOVE those buggers, too:)!

2.  Blabberize is a website that she used to animate food - LOVE. IT. LAUGHED. AND. LAUGHED!!  You can upload any picture that you want - add a mouth to it - and then add audio and talk.  She did a greasy hamburger and told how to make it healthier!!  So fun!

3.  The app Chirp was used to get students immediate items such as websites and pictures.  A time saver for her she said.

4.  Finally - she said that she really used Socrative quite a bit for formative assessments.  It's a great way to do quick checks - create quizzes, students log in via the website or the internet and then take it - results are sent to your email via a spreadsheet - THAT. SIMPLE!!

That's it for today - WOW!!  My mind hurts and I am totally recapping it - YIKES!
Happy New Year - here's to a great and amazing year of innovative and creative advances and uses of technology!

Mrs. I:)