Wednesday, May 30, 2012


Have you ever wondered what a delivery of 430 iPad would look like? If so, then feast your eyes on this shot.

Our district is pushing out these iPads as part of a pilot program for teachers in grades 9-12. All high school teachers will be receiving their iPads starting a few hours ago. The goal is to determine the possibilites of the device in teaching and learning.

Our department is gearing up for pushing out all these devices to teachers. We've scheduled 1,674 training sessions starting tomorrow. Actually, it's more like a few dozen, but both numbers seem equally daunting. I'm really looking forward to seeing all the excited faces of the teachers as they begin to learn about the possibilities that iPad has to offer. For the next few weeks though, I'll probably talking iPad in my sleep!

We hope you follow us on this journey. We've helped deploy a lot of iPads this past school year, but nothing like this. To help keep you up to date, I've created a new hashtag: #CoMoiPad. Look for it on Twitter to find out what's going on in CPS iPads.

Friday, May 25, 2012

App Review: Day One

I downloaded a new app this week called Day One. It's essentially a journal. But it has a lot of great features that I think sets it apart from other journal apps. I really love how it displays a calendar to search your posts by date. Every day that has a post is highlighted so they are easy to find. You can export your entries by email or by Twitter. It also syncs with iCloud so you can access your journal on any iCloud device. Currently, it cost $1.99
Day One would be a great app to try out in the classroom. You could easily have students create posts about their day. Then you would have a running record of the year's learning, special events, reminders, funny happenings, whatever! Easily Tweet the posts you feel should be communicated. Day One allows another way to open up your doors to the world. 
Check out Day One in the App Store.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Don't forget your software update

Another update is ready for iOS devices! Version 5.1.1 does some random things that I'm not sure I really care about. But the important thing is that many apps require you to have the latest software in order to work properly. It's a good idea to go to your settings tab, general, and software update to check for updates. Sometimes, you'll get a little red badge on your settings icon to let you know there is an update available. My badge doesn't show up and  I'm not sure why. If you know the answer, please let me know! So check out  your settings to make sure you are up to date!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

iPad Covers: There are just too many of them!

CaseCrown Bold Trifold Case (Black) for the new iPad / iPad 2 (Built-in magnet for sleep / wake feature)We are getting a huge amount of iPads rolling on to the delivery dock every day. And with a new iPad comes a need for a case. So instead of answering questions individually, we decided to make a reference page to help out our new users. The ones I included on the page have been used by teachers or students in our district. Cases are very personal, but when it comes to student use, I would never recommend Apple's Smart Cover. It looks cool and it's an Apple product, but it offers zero protection from drops. And if you work with students (or teachers), you know they will be dropped. Check out the guide and let me know if you have other suggestions that have worked well for you. 

Friday, May 4, 2012

App Review: Songify

Alright, this one is a bit different. But after you play a bit, I think you'll find some sort of use. I came across Songify quite by accident. I took an Apple TV home one weekend to play around. I stumbled my way onto YouTube and was looking through the most popular videos of all time. And that's when I found Songify.

This will be tough to write about, but bear with me. Are you familiar with auto-tuned songs? If not, it's when artists use a computer to make their voices sound almost digital. It's popular with the young crowd, which I'm no longer a part of. Anyway, these kids find rather unusual news stories or strange events, then dub the video and auto-tune the audio to make it sound well....hilarious.

So Songify lets you auto-tune your voice, puts it to music, and enjoy. Now, I'm not sure how many academic uses there are for this app, but it's fun. My wife loved it and used it in her class. She complains of having to tell her 9th grade students to get out the same supplies every day. So after downloading this app, she recorded the supplies on Songify. Then when students entered the room, she played the Songify version. Apparently some students thought it was funny, and some thought she was crazy. But it got their attention!

So have fun with it and let us know if you find a great use!

App Review: Paper

Looking for an easy to use, beautiful app to record notes in a journal? Look no further than Paper, a free app by I was told about this app by a junior high reading specialist who also works with English Language Learners. After looking at it, I can tell how right she was!

You can create journals for different students, subjects, or ideas. For example, the ELL teacher I work with had each of her students create a journal to record the vocabulary they are working on each day. Students can date each entry and record their learning. The pen strokes are beautiful! It has a calligraphy feel to it. It makes my sloppy handwriting look somewhat artistic! 

The free app comes with a single pen with a variety of colors to choose from. There are in-app purchases available for other writing tools. Several exporting options are available. You can go with the popular iPad options: Twitter, Facebook, or Tumbler. Or you can export one page at a time to the Camera Roll. 

So give Paper a try! There aren't too many apps that give you functionality that is paired with aesthetics. But I don't think you'll be disappointed when you see what Paper has to offer.