Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Macbook 101 - Day 1

  We also decided that since we have Macbook Pros, and some are still not very comfortable using them, that we would try and get more on board and have mini sessions for them as well!  We went over BASIC stuff today:

1.  Using the spotlight
2. Using Air Drop
3. Stickies on your desktop
4. Downloading documents
5. Saving documents
6. Creating folder on the desktop and putting documents in them
7. Screen shots - not sure if you know these = MOST HELPFUL:)!!!

Command/Shift/3 for screenshot
Command/Shift/4 for screen clipping
Command/Shift/Control/4 for screen clipping saved to clipboard that you can paste into document
  I would like to do ONE Macbook session each week - progressing through the basic use of it to creating documents in Pages, Keynote, and "other" type of teacher created items:)!
Happy Day Y'all
Mrs. I:)

Podcasts 101

  Yesterday morning, we offered a session on creating Podcasts for the classroom.  We showed them a couple of ways to create podcasts for their classrooms.  The tools we used were:

All three of these are interactive whiteboards that kids and teachers can use for a variety of things.  Students can use them for basic things like showing work and interacting on, or use for creating a podcast themselves of a lesson that they learned a particular day. ALL of them are SUPER SUPER easy to use and allow you to share and/or embed them for viewing.  I REALLY like Explain Everything the BEST as it allows you to save and continue to go back and work on it without "publishing" it, which is what the other two do.  You can also upload directly to YouTube and then put the link to the video right on Schoology, which is what I have been doing with the fifth graders for math.  Either way, SUPER GREAT way to flip your classroom, teach lessons for review, of have kiddos show what they learned!

Happy Tuesday,
Mrs. I:)

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Puppet Pals App.....

  I am not sure if you are familiar with an app called Puppet Pals Director's Pass, but it is an app that allows you to create a "puppet play" using animations, backdrops, and voice recordings.  This app is used in Kindergarten and 12th Grade - go figure, huh?:)  Mr. Krause, our social studies teacher, is the one that has asked for this one for his 12th graders.  The first assignment that they do is create a fable with it.   This one KILLED ME:)!!  I laughed SO SO hard - the voice of this kiddo is SO GREAT:)!!  Take a look:

   The best thing about this app is that it is SO SO open ended that you can do virtually ANYTHING with it.  Whether it be Kindergarten, where they make little plays with sight words, color words and numbers, to Seniors that use it for creating fables and World War II propaganda projects - really endless possibilities here;)!!  AND it's on the volume purchasing for education site, so it's $1.50 instead of $3.99.

Happy Tuesday,
Mrs. I:)

Monday, October 13, 2014

Independent Reading and QR Codes:)

   Mrs. Gross, an English teacher here, has a new class this year called Independent Reading.  The students basically read:)!! They get to choose some of their own books, but they also have to choose books off the College Bound reading list.   Various assignments complement what they have to do when they are done with a book, and one of them is creating a book review, uploading it to her YouTube channel, and then creating a QR code with that link.  They are turning out SO SO great;)!!  Here is a snapshot of what they look like:

  Then - Mrs. Duval, our high school librarian, is going to take these QR codes and put them INTO the books.  That way when kiddos come to the library looking for a book, they can see an ACTUAL book review, told by an ACTUAL kid in our school - HOW NEAT IS THAT:)!!!  Just one more FABULOUS way to use QR codes in your classroom!

Happy Coding Everyone,
Mrs. I:)

***Here's the URL to the Independent Reading Channel if anyone wants to see it:)!***

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Explain Everything App

  The app Explain Everything is EVERY bit as good as they say it is AND MORE!!!  This is ONE app that I REALLY feel is worth the cost - GET IT:)!!  It is SO SO open ended and can be used with EVERY content area!  Mrs. Askegaard and myself have been using it to make podcasts for her math lessons, which she then uploads to Youtube and links to Schoology each day - SUPER EASY!  I have been in Mrs. Tonsfeldt's third grade this year showing it to her kiddos, and was in Ms. Brown's room yesterday showing 2nd graders.  PLEASE PLEASE use this one!  We have this for every student grades K-5 and SO glad we did!  It is the GO TO app of apps!  Even Kindergarteners can do it - YAHOO:)!
   If you ARE using it - here is a screen shot of a cheat sheet that I made for Mrs. Forsgren, a second grade teacher, as she wanted to post it as a "reference." 

Happy Day again
Mrs. I:)

iPad Distribution - YEAR 3:)

  Yes - indeed - year 3 HERE.  WE.  ARE!   This year we DID hold iPad distribution nights but they were EASY!!  If there is ONE thing that has gone AMAZINGLY well for use - it would be our distribution nights - we have NAILED it in this area.  I have heard of SO many districts that don't do this.  They simply send home informational letters and parents have to try and figure this all out.  From the BEGINNING, we have been VERY precise in our expectations each year.  Year 1 the distribution night was about an hour and a half each session.  I know SO LONG!  However, the iPads were new to our district, so we went over policy and procedures, insurance fees, breakages, etc.. in addition to a 20 minute session on basic functions of the iPads.  Year 2 was the first year that we were implementing Schoology, so although the distribution nights were shorted to about 45 minutes, the majority of the time was spent on showing parents how to log in and access their child's information, teaching the kiddos what they will be using it for, and reviewing any "new" items related to the iPads.  Year 3 was E  A  S  Y!  Truly - 15 minutes AT MOST!  Kiddos came in, paperwork was completed, cords and iPads were found, and they were checked out!  Students COULD NOT get their iPads unless they had a parent with them, and they HAD to come to one of the two nights offered.  We had the sessions open from 6-8pm on two different nights and it was pretty much an open house as there wasn't anything NEW to go over.  SLICK:)!!  HUGE shout out to Shelly, Cindy, Missy and Susan - MY SAVING GRACES:)!!!  They handled all the paperwork, who has to pay what fees, and checking all out - YES!!  THEY ARE THE BEST:)!!!
   Here are a few pictures of what the night looked like:

Tables were organized by grade level as well as chargers for easy pick up!  Really, it was pretty easy and super fast for check out.  However - DO NOT organize your cords like this:

  This has been an ongoing struggle - keep the cords or have the kiddos keep the cords.   We have been for the past two years and each year I have had to sort through this - YES - it IS as bad as it looks - well, only 12 grades to do, right?  OH well - all sorted and figured out!

Looking forward to Year 4 and what that will all entail - discussions have started, Mr. Askegaard is piloting Surfaces, so time will tell!

Happy Wednesday all,
Mrs. I;0)

Monday, October 6, 2014

Surfaces, too!:)

   I HAVE to admit - I would have been the LAST person that would have said, "Maybe we should pilot some Surfaces in Mr. Askegaard's lab?"  Well, that is EXACTLY what we are doing.  He is having his computer apps classes use Microsoft accounts with the OneNote app and all that is it capable of.  Mr. Askegaard says, "it's like Google Docs on Steroids!!!"  He has been happy with it to say the least:)!!  I must admit, it is SUPER amazing and something that works PERFECT with Microsoft Office.  The students are able to upload assignments to OneNote, and he can go in and then correct everything RIGHT THERE - REAL TIME - and the students can see.  Schoology works in the same way - BUT - it's not as easy with documents that are NOT PDF files. 
  Here is what the lab looks like:

I was SO SO excited when I saw the purple keyboards since purple and white are our school colors - YAHOO:)!!!  Things are going well for Mr. Askegaard - and even though there were a TON of issues at the beginning of the year - he has troubleshooted his way through and things seem to be going much more smoothly now!  MORE TO COME ON THIS....

Happy Monday,
Mrs. I:)

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Long Time No Blog......Oops!

   I am finding out that the only REAL time I have been blogging lately is to COMPLAIN that something is WRONG!  I am happy to report that all is WELL:)!!!  Apple Configurator has been DEFEATED:):)!!!  After restoring all iPads this fall now, and repreparing them, things have been working smoothly!  YAHOO FOR ONCE!!!  There are still a FEW things that I don't "QUITE" understand, however, with a few of the apps.  GarageBand is one that has been killing me lately!  When we did the updates in August - apparently this was a FREE app that I was unsure about at the time, so when it updated, it took my codes away.  I wasn't really paying attention - so when the students go to the app on their iPads, it isn't the COMPLETE set of GarageBand - go figure!  I COULD go and delete the app - redownload spreadsheet and then reimport and hook up iPads again - NOT  GOING  TO   HAPPEN!!  The kiddos in band and choir have just been coming down and I have been doing it manually - UGH!!  It's working, so we'll keep at it and fix the problem in the spring when they are all collected again!  The iOS 8 update has also been winning a little.  I told the kiddos DO NOT do it please!  But, of course, there are many that can NOT handle the push notification of the Settings app, so they did it.  Now some of their apps are going in and out but I am STANDING FIRM and NOT updating the apps!  I am NOT going to go through all that chaos when kids were told to keep as is.  Until is become a "major" problem, it's staying as is!

    So that's all I have for now!  I will FINALLY get to updating the app lists and content lists - SORRY!!  That will be done by tomorrow I hope and then I will list them again on here!  I have been working on some podcasts for Mrs. Askegaard, a fifth grade teacher, again for math.  She uses these as review lessons and uploads them to Schoology for her kids to use - so that's been fun to do!

Take care all - Happy Thursday,
Mrs. I:)