Happy New Year

We would like to welcome you back from what we hope was a restful vacation filled with rest, loved ones, and food.  As we round out our first week back we hope you are thinking of ways to make 2015 the best year ever.  Not just personally, but professionally as well.  Here are two things that we think would be a great start to 2015.

Grab your iPad mini and subscribe to our iTunes U courses!

We have seen some amazing work come from our past three cohorts of Leading Edge Certified Teachers and many of the lesson plans are currently in our iTunes U grade level courses.

Check out an EdCamp!

What is EdCamp?  Well it is not your typical sit and get conference that is for sure.  Participants will begin by creating a list of interests, tools, and/or questions they would like to explore and discuss with other educators.  Attendees will have the opportunity for some hands on learning and some pretty amazing conversations.  Best part is that it is free.  Yes you read that right.  It is free!

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Leading Edge Certified Teacher

Ever wanted to know what teachers in our district are doing with technology?  If so, you have to check out our iTunes U Courses which can be viewed from your iPad.  All you need to do is download the free iTunes U App and subscribe to any of our courses that you are interested in.  For Elementary Teachers we have created a course for each grade level, and content specific courses for Middle School Teachers.  We are posting lesson, activities, and projects that Leading Edge Certified Teachers are creating.  What is a Leading Edge Certified Teacher you ask?

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Teachers will participate in an online course.  They will be asked to attend our initial kickoff, and a final wrap-up in person meeting.  The course consists of eight modules; however, based on feedback from our first two cohorts, we are spreading it out over eleven weeks to give you time to teach the lessons you will be designing.  You can view the curriculum here: http://lecftde.weebly.com/.

We are starting our fourth (and likely last) cohort of the Leading Edge Certification class on January 26th.  We are looking for twenty-five teachers interested in learning and integrating technology into their instructional practices. All grade levels and subjects are welcome to participate. You do not have to be an expert in technology to participate, just a strong willingness to learn.

Screen Shot 2014-12-12 at 8.38.34 AMCupertino Teachers, if you are interested in joining our Winter Cohort please fill out an information form here http://bit.ly/1wjHZMO.  This form is used to better understand who you are, and what your classroom is like. We have enough space to hold twenty-five people in this winters cadre.  This form will be available until 5pm on Friday, January 16th, and you will be notified on Saturday, January 17th about your participation.

One Best Thing

“Discover innovative classroom strategies and activities in these Multi-Touch books by Apple Distinguished Educators.  Each guide in the One Best Thing collection highlights a specific use of Apple products, apps, and other content to transform teaching and learning.  From effective assessment practices to exciting student projects, this professional learning series – devised by outstanding educators – provides practical tips and a lot of inspiration.”  The collection can be found by CLICKING HERE.

Obviously we haven’t gone though each book (there are over 100), but here are some that caught our eye right away.

iPad Enhanced Reading Interventions – Learn how to transform the reading classroom using research based literacy strategies and the power of an iPad

Explain Everything: Formative Assessment and Screencasting – This project provides three repeatable, modular, and scalable examples of teachers using screencasting to captures students thinking, provide contextual feedback, and engage learners in a rich and authentic creation process.

The Shooting Gallery: Film Foundations for the Classroom – This project is originally geared towards a film class, but also lends itself to core classes.  Students make their media-based projects with an iPad, iPhone or Macbook and one period of editing on iMovie or Final Cut Pro X.

Digital Discourse in Mathematics – In this project an early elementary teacher shares strategies for increasing math discourse for young learners via digital drawings, written conversation and video capture.

First Four Presidents – iPad Edition

Last week we showed how to create an infographic with Google Drawing, which works great on Chromebooks, Laptops, and Desktops.  If you liked the idea and have students using iPads, consider having your students do an AppSmash with Pic Collage and Thinglink.

You may already know from my previous post on Pic Collage that I love this app, yes I had to make that red!  It is free, no accounts are needed, pictures are sent to the camera roll, and you have the choice to make your background mustaches.  Does it get any better?

Here was my workflow for this project on the iPad:

1.  Find pictures of the first four presidents via Google Images.  Head over to google.com/images and search for “George Washington” select “Search Tools” and I recommend you select either “labeled for reuse” or “labeled for noncommercial (meaning you won’t make money off of it) reuse.”  When you find images you like save them to the camera roll.

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2.  Create a new Pic Collage.  Within Pic Collage you can create a picture layout, and change the background image.  You can add pictures, video, text, and stickers.  Watch out for in app purchases…

3.  Create a collage using those images.  Once your collage is done export your image to the camera roll by selecting the icon in the bottom right and under “More Actions” you will find “Save to Library”

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4.  Start creating your ThingLink.   When you open the ThingLink app you will be asked to choose an image from your camera roll, so go ahead and select that beautiful Pic Collage you just created.  You can add Media, which would be anything from your camera roll or any YouTube video.  You can also add text, url, and twitter handles.

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Click to view ThingLink

I recommend creating a classroom ThingLink account that all of your students can access via their iPads.  You can make your ThingLink “unlisted” which will only allow users with the direct link to view it.

 

The iPad and The Teacher

We are about halfway done with our Teacher iPad roll out and it has been an exciting experience.  It is also pretty good timing considering that we are currently in Teacher Appreciation Week!  We have three goals at each deployment session:

  1. Chat about cases – Holy toledo this is a very personal question!  Some people like this color, but not that one.  Some want a front cover, and others want a strap to wrap around their hand.  To accommodate as many people as we can, we are offering three different options for cases to our teachers.
  2. Enroll to our Mobile Device Management (MDM) system – This allows us to push apps out to Teachers without taking their iPad away from them to do a sync with a computer.  Amazing.
  3. Complete the iPad scavenger hunt – We gave Teachers ten different activities to do with their iPad before they left – we had to cut it down from our original eighteen!  We wanted them to know a few quick tricks that could make their iPad experience a little more efficient.  Such as taking a screenshot and creating folders.

We want every teacher to have access to the technology we are putting in the hands of our students and provide an opportunity to explore how technology can be used as a tool for learning.  This is one of many steps toward our goal to have students using technology in their individual and group learning everyday.  Check out our iTunes U course “Exploring the iPad” to learn more about how to get started using your iPad!

Apps to check out:

Scholastic Book Wizard  iOS App Teachers can search for a book or use the built-in-barcode scanner to view the following: Title, Author, Interest Level, Reading Level by Grade Level Equivalent, Lexile Measure, Guided Reading Level, and DRA (developmental reading assessment).

eStandards iOS App Teachers can look up California Common Core Standards for ELA, Literacy, Mathematics, and ELD

Too Noisy iOS App Teachers can display this App while students are working within a group settings.  Will display graphically the noise level in the room, and will let the students known when the noise gets too loud.

Download all the FREE APPS that come with your new iPad Mini – click on them to learn more and obtain the download link.