Monday, January 28, 2013

Week 2 The Workflow Begins

As I begin to think about how the ipads will be utilized in the classroom to support the learning in all subject areas, I begin to think about the apps that the students have explored the last 2 years with one ipad in the classroom. This requires lots of planning on my part and some knowledge of the apps themselves. This is why it is so important to know what apps will deliver the end result of any project. So the apps that I have chosen for my Daily 5 and my Math iStations are ones that my students are familiar with and have explored in a small group setting the last 2 years with 1 ipad. At the elementary level, students still need structure and consistency so that they will become self-directed learners. This is the goal when integrating mobile technologies. Here you will see how I have set up the iStations for Reading Language Arts and Math. The students have been using this management system for two years since I have looped with them. Each app icon gives the student a visual for the daily rotations. I took a screen shot of each of the icons in the iTunes App store and printed them out for the pocket charts. Each day the clips and the group cards are rotated by 2 students who have this job. All of my students have certain jobs that they are responsible for so this helps me manage the pocket charts on a daily basis. Today we began the "workflow" as I modeled what each group was going to work on. Since they knew all about the app, they knew what to do. This year, I'm using a new rule that our pilot group learned during our Apple Training sessions...C3B4Me. This means that when a student has a question about the app or what they are supposed to do, they must see three other people before seeing me to help them with their app. This allows for the students to become problem solvers and for those helping to become the "experts" or members of the S.W.A.T. Team, which I will go over in my next post. I made myself available today throughout the rotations for questions or trouble shooting if needed. My heart was happy seeing how engaged the students were. I learned one thing for sure today....that students really know more than we think they know. They are fearless and this makes my heart go "pitter patter".

Saturday, January 26, 2013

A Tweeting We Shall Go!

Puffin Browser

It was so exciting to see all my students "tweeting" out their first tweet using their ipad! We used the Puffin browser, which we love, to send out our first tweet. They logged into our class account as I typed in the password. They knew how to tweet using my macbook so this was an easy task for them to do on their ipad. It was so much fun watching their excitement as the feed began to show all the responses coming in. Their reaction was priceless and the conversations were engaging! We hope to use Twitter as a means to share our learning with other connected learning communities.

iStation 3

iStation 2

Setting Up Wallpaper on the First Week

So now that we have the ipads in our hands what do students do the first week? Since I only have 17 students in my class, the management of the devices may not be as difficult as in a class with multiple students. So after much discussion on how we were going to keep up with the ipads, we decided that taking our picture and using that as our wallpaper would be the way to identify each one if it were missing. This also was a great way to put 
students in groups when working on a project or "bumping" one ipad to another. I used the Doceri app to mirror my ipad on the big screen and the students watched as I showed them how to set their wallpaper. Most of them already knew how to do this because they had practiced it on our itouch's. Another great day of learning!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Learning the "How To's" Before the "I Do's"

As with any new program you start in your classroom or new procedures you begin after the holidays, when introducing new devices, I think one of the most important ways to get students responsible for these devices is to go over the procedures for the management of these tools. So the first week, I introduced an AUP policy document for the iPad to let students know their responsibility for this device. I translated the document in google docs to share with my parents along with our pilot district letter and had them sign and return it the next day. This holds them a little accountable for their iPad and teaches them some character traits about being a good digital citizen. I modeled each one of the rules for them and allowed for questions from the students. Once you set these procedures in place, then students will be more responsible for taking care of the device. I think this is SO important at the elementary level especially for students who have never held or seen a mobile device. Here is the AUP document I found on Pinterest for iPods and iPads. It may have also been shared as a public link on google docs.  You can find me on Pinterest under Martha Lackey and I have pinned it to all of my technology boards...21st Century Technologies, 1:1 Bilingual Classroom or Goodnight iPad.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

A Day of Digital Celebration

I woke up this morning like any other morning but with a bit of excitement in the pit of my stomach. You see, my students have been anticipating the arrival of our iPads. I have spent the last 4 months emotionally and physically getting ready for this day to arrive. That day was today! My students were listening to a guest author in the library (Lucas Miller) when I felt a tap on my shoulder to come out to the hallway..there it was, that beautiful cart ready to be rolled into my room. The students had no clue until after we walked back into the room. I won't tell you their reaction but it was one I will treasure for ever in my heart. It was like christmas in January all over and their faces lit up as I showed them their very own iPad. As we begin our journey into this world of digital learning, the next four months will be the ride of our lives, sharing our successes and our failures with a connected world and creating new paths for future generations to come. This is our story and we hope that you will share and learn along with us! We are so very excited to have this opportunity.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

A New Edutech Year on the Horizon

As a new year begins for my students and myself, I can only think about the journey my students and I are about to embark on. It started back in the summer of 2012 when several colleagues of mine (tech nerds like myself) decided to grow our learning in mobile device and all that it brings! So we began this journey by taking a crash course in Google Apps for Education and I mean a crash course! We (11-12) teachers, tech leaders and tech trainers learned all that Google Apps has to offer for schools and the power of global collaboration. So we all became google apps qualified teachers that summer and the so the journey began here. Now 7 months later, my students and I will be piloting a 1:1 iPad classroom. I begin to plan and design lessons that will empower my young students to be the next bilingual innovators of 2013. The next 4-5 months will be ones that I will remember for the rest of my life. The failures and successes of my students will show how technology can enhance student learning and empower them on a level they have never quite been empowered before. My dream is for them to take ownership of their learning and begin to experience the power of mobile device learning along with sharing that learning with the world they live in. These next few months I will be showcasing that learning here and other social networks. I hope to learn from the failures and successes of my students, the process behind piloting such a powerful program and the stories that will be shared by the students. This has been a dream come true in my lifetime as an educator and it is almost here! I can't sleep, eat right, talk slowly but I'm doing a whole lot of running in preparation for this marvelous journey we are about to begin. Happy new year to all those in education and may we always keep in sight that it's all about the students and what they can accomplish if given the opportunity!!