Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Starting Out With My iPad in the Classroom (Part 2)

Yesterday I talked about the first steps I took with my iPad, but the post was getting so long I decided to split it in two.  In a nutshell the first 6 tasks included: figuring out how to turn it on, dealing with Wi-Fi and how to type on the thing, taking and working with photos, synching Gmail and Google Calendar, Class Dojo, bookmarking, and selecting a case.  Once that was finished, I started looking into other capabilities:

7.  I downloaded OneNote and played with it a little, but it looks too basic for my word processing needs.  I might try EverNote, but on March 1 there were dozens of reviews saying there was a problem with the update, my husband said they were hacked, so I decided to wait this one out a while!

8.  I downloaded Educreations.  It's free and looks interesting!  Haven't played with it yet, but since my kids love the blog so much, I think they'd like this.  The question is can I put it on my classroom blog!?  That would be the ultimate...but I don't want to get my hopes up.  Difficulty level: TBD

9.  My husband wanted to play, so he downloaded a calculator because it's educational.  I'm surprised it didn't come with one :\

10.  Setting up "Kid's Mode" to lock students into a single program.  It may be a while before I'm ready to leave the iPad on a table with a kid or two or four to play in an educational app, but this was too useful to risk forgetting about!  You don't need to download an app for this; it's a capability that you just need to turn on in settings (the link will walk you through the process).  Easy to set up, easy to get out of.

11.  I set some alarms/alerts.  Through Pinterest I found an article on setting "alarms" right before transition times, such as before dismissal, so that kids get used to how long they have before it's time to go, and start to internalize the process subconsciously with cues from the song.  Interesting!  Setting the alerts themselves was easy.

12.  Getting songs onto the iPad:  This was SO FRUSTRATING.  I don't mean just buying new songs from iTunes, I mean I wanted to take a few MP3s from my pc and put them on the iPad to set as "alarms."  I could not tell you how I finally did it, except for I basically had to get the songs from my pc onto iTunes first (which involved installing iTunes on my pc first) plugging the iPad into my pc, whining to my husband who also struggled a while, and then somehow dragging them from iTunes onto the iPad icon in My Computer.  It was a lot of trial and error, looking up things online, and luck.  Difficulty level:  nightmare (possibly exaggerated). 

So what are my next steps? 

1.  Well, the alerts are set up, so the first thing I plan is to tell the kids about the songs they'll be hearing.  I'm really excited about just this for now! 

2.  I guess after that I should set up the Bluetooth speaker that came free with purchase so the kids can hear them better.

3.  Finish report cards.

4.  Try to figure out this Cloud thing.  How do I get to the cloud?  Do I have to set up an Email like it asks?

5.  Maybe try out that Educreations, or Onenote.

6.  Try writing a blog post on our classroom blog with a picture. 

7.  Sign up for an iPad class or 3.  There's one offered next week locally, but I have a doctor's appointment and can't make it, boo!  These tech classes crop up a couple times per month though, so I'll have to try to catch the next one.

8.  Search for more blog posts and Pinspiration so I know what else is out there!

So the obvious question for you, dear readers is, if you have an iPad for classroom use, what next step do you recommend? 






6 comments :

  1. Educreations is great, I use it to record a math lesson that I know some of my kiddos will struggle with. That way if they are stuck and I am working with someone else they can watch the video as a reminder. I've never tried to attach it to a blog, sorry!
    Hunter's Tales from Teaching

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  2. I can tell you that it works! I made some recordings since posting and Emailed the creator of Educreations. He let me know that you don't need the app to watch the videos online, so I was able to put links on our classroom blog. I really hope my students take advantage of them!

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  3. I did some research about cloud on the internet. there seems to be some controversy about privacy, etc... you might want to check it out before you use it. I deactivated mine.

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    1. I still don't understand the whole cloud thing. I only use my iPad for school related things and don't use the same passwords or anything as I do on my personal (non iPad) machines, so if there's anyone poking around the cloud they won't get much from me!

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  4. is your classroom blog an entire school system thing? (like Classjump.com - but that's not blog really - do you know about it?) or is it your own creation, like this one? have so many questions.

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    1. My principal encouraged us to develop classroom blogs on Weebly. Four of us did, but we're not required to at my school (or in the district as a whole).

      I'm not sure why he suggested that platform. I think he thought it had fewer ads/links than other sites, but I sort of wish I stuck with Blogger (a separate user account though) because it's simple enough to turn off ads, and I find Blogger more customizable (and since I'm so familiar with it, easier to use).

      So yes, it's pretty much my own creation. I have a free download here: http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/How-to-Create-a-Classroom-Website-Blog-716707 that has help on how to go about creating a blog for a classroom. :)

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