Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Chaos in the Moment.....

The end of the year ALWAYS brings TONS of chaos for us as one would imagine.  Tables are set up for cleaning -

Students in grades 4-12 have been coming in to clean his/her OWN cases and then put them back together.  Once they do this, they label chargers, grab his/her card that matches his/her iPad and turns it in.  We then check it into the system and all is well.
After they have turned everything in, I cross them off my MASTER list and then start hooking them up to Apple Configurator to remove the paid apps so I gain back the redemption codes for next year's use.  

HOWEVER - next year we will be using Casper Suite - and I CAN. NOT. WAIT!!!  Everything can be pushed wirelessly through this MDM so I am PUMPED!  Truly, this has worked for us the past four years, but we will not be able to do Apple Classroom without an MDM, so we are in need now!  The things that this allows you to do via an MDM is something you MUST look into if you are a 1:1 iPad school.  Here are just a FEW of the things:

1.  Teachers can see which app each student is on in the class
2.  Teachers can lock students IN an app so they can't cheat of exit out (without using accessibility)
3. Student iPads can be LOCKED if they are not doing what you want them to do
4. You can put SOME students in one app, others in another, and so forth

The control is REALLY given back to the teacher as far as those students that aren't doing what they are supposed to be doing - LOVE!  IT!!

Have a great night - check this one out, also
Mrs. I:)

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Have NEVER Seen This.........

The past four years I have been in charge of the iPads here in Barnesville.  My role is one of integration, as well as knowing the majority of the apps and how they function.  Occasionally I will go into classrooms to teach an app, help with teachers, and do coding.  Broken iPads have crossed my hands indeed, but NOTHING like this.  You see, there's a "NEW" thing here to do that's frustrating.  Kiddos are taking the cover off their iPad, ripping the plastic screen off, and then putting the cover BACK on so basically their iPad has ZERO protection on the screen - UGH!  MOST of the time I catch them, and if they have ruined the case, they pay the $35 for a new case and then we take care of the issue.  However, yesterday a kiddo came in with his iPad like this:

NOW - how do you handle this one?  Well, I didn't handle it well! A kiddo walked into my office and showed me his iPad and said he accidentally did this.  I told the kid that I was PRETTY sure it wasn't an accident when you PURPOSELY take off your case, and then proceed to rip off the plastic piece that protects your iPad, and that he is going to have to pay the ENTIRE cost of a new iPad or the ENTIRE cost to replace what needs to be fixed in addition to the cost of the case - we're talking $400 at WORST - and $250 at BEST.  Apparently he took the plastic piece off because he couldn't write, and then just kept it off.  He then decided to chuck his iPad in the backseat floor of his car and a friend stepped on it - my fault apparently - as he doesn't see how this is possibly not an accident - UGH! 


THIS student brought her iPad in and said she has NO IDEA how this happened!  Again, I have seen enough to know how MOST iPads typically break or get cracked, and she neglected to remember this.  She told me that she set her iPad on her desk and then was doing homework on paper.  When she picked up the iPad it has the crack in it.  She also mentioned that possibly the change in temperature from the science room to the health room could have also caused the crack.  My only response was, "That's NOT what happened.  Please leave your iPad here, think about "HOW" this crack happened, and then come back and let me know."

AGAIN - this is even CLOSE to the one without the case on, but you can clearly see the point of impact on the iPad, whether is was dropped, or hit the corner of something, temperature change and pure magic DID NOT cause this - UGH!

I am seriously LAUGHING OUT LOUD as I type this as these kiddos are just TWO examples of what I hear almost DAILY - OH WOW! 

Happy Wednesday all
Mrs. I:)

Thursday, May 5, 2016

NoRedInk - CHECK IT OUT!!!

SO - Mrs. Gross, an English teacher here, learned about the site NoRedInk at TIES a few years ago.  She told me about it then, but I had learned many other things I wanted to check out first, so I book marked it and moved on to what I had seen and we both put it on the back burner.  Well, she "rediscovered" it a few days ago and IS. LOVING. IT!!!  In a nutshell, NoRedInk is a website that has grammar practice on it for kids - BUT - it uses things they're interested in for the questions asked.  For instance,  I selected Harry Potter, Phineas and Ferb, and The Fault in Our Stars as my "topics," so everything that I am reading and answering has these characters in it - DYING HERE AND BIG SMILING EMOJI:)!!  Look at these screen shots to get an idea:

I am STILL totally LAUGHING! OUT! LOUD! as I type this- good humor for a Thursday:)  Basically like EVERY great website, they give you "teasers" for free and then have a charge for you.  We were FLAT OUT turned down as we are a "smaller" district and you have to have at least 200 students to get the paid version, and we're pursuing it and bugging them because it's AWESOME!  Basically you go in, set up a free account where you get an access code, then you can differentiate where you want, assign assignments, etc... pretty cool way to review/learn grammar:)!  Here's a few screenshots of what is there to choose from - remember this is a free account so it's going to have limited topics for each area - but you get the idea:
OOPS forgot one of the AMAZING features, when doing the practice - it also provides a lesson for each topic so if the kiddos forgot what a specific topic means, or is unclear about something, etc... they can quickly have a reminder:

Happy Thursday all -
Mrs. I:)

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Winding Down Another Year......

Well, the 2015-16 school year is almost in the books.  Once again I have started to do the typical end of the year things:

1. I sent out a note to the teachers to let them know app lists are due today.  If they don't get back to me I assume that they want all the ones from the previous year.  If NOT, I adjust accordingly.  If the teachers want a NEW app, they have to fill out this form (THANK YOU Kathy Schrock), and then we add it to our technology budget. (I will update once again this spring or fall on the blog)

2.  Teachers have been notified as to when student iPads will be collected.  The week before I will collect Kindergarten-6th grade (two grade levels per day), and then depending on when finals are, the 7-12th graders will turn theirs in.  I, along with some amazing student helpers at the high school, will clean ALL iPads in Kindergarten-2nd grade.  The 3-12th graders will come in and clean them themselves.  We have a water based cleaner for the cases and screens, and the will wash all and then put their iPads back together.  I then stack them in grade levels (once I have pulled and redeemed all codes back again) and store in the lab for the summer.

3. Websites - THIS has been a challenging issue of the last couple of years.  JUST because a teacher uses a website, DOES NOT mean it's technology's responsibility to pay for the paid version.  Through the diligent work of Casey, our tech coordinator, and teachers combined, we have been able to find a way to get MANY of these websites without it coming out of the much needed technology budget.

4. Typical End of Year Tasks - Casey has also sent out a not for an technology requests that teachers have that are NOT iPad related.  Things like new Smartboards, projectors, desktop computers, Apple TVs, cables, monitors, etc.... We have had a TON of requests - which is always promising as things are probably working then:)

That's all for now!  Hopefully things will continue to go at a smooth rate and the end of this year will work out great!
Happy Tuesday
Mrs. I:)