Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Middle School Language Arts - Lynn Hagen

Lynn teaches at Smithton Middle School. She's a language arts teacher who would love to have a set of iPads at her disposal on a full-time basis. Lynn has her top five apps listed below. Check out how she communicates with her team of teachers. Hadn't thought of that one...

Lynn's top five apps:

1. Skype - easy communication with my team during the day
2.  Evernote - I know where my stuff is (I use penultimate with it to take notes)
3.  iMovie - so easy to use with kids for videos and book trailers
4.  Kindle - love having easy reference to my books and being able to read anytime
5.  Markup - this is new as of yesterday and may have some kinks to be worked out, but I love it already. Kids can email me papers; I can write on them with a stylus and send them back.

I also use my TED talk & Pinterest apps a lot but those are more for ideas to inspire me instead of directly with kids.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Ninth Grade Physics - Ben Fortel

Ben does some cool things with his students. He has showed just how seamless it is to integrate iPad apps with Airserver to deliver engaging content to students. Ben also included some apps that can help you unwind after a long day with ninth graders.

Ben's top five:
Chess and Words with Friends: fun
YouTube and Educreations: I use these several times a week at least in class - AirServer to project notes or demonstration videos onto the Smart Board.
Kindle: I love to read.
Dropbox: I would prefer to use Google Drive, but it's buggy on my school desktop.
Flipboard: quick way to catch up on news.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Secondary Math - Angel Renick

Angel teaches Algebra 2 and Pre-Calculus at Rock Bridge High School. She's done some really cool things with QR codes, which is probably why she has QRafter listed as one of her favorites.

Angel's top five apps:

1. Splash top
2. Google Drive
3. Evernote
4. QRafter
5. Google 

Thursday, April 18, 2013

First Grade - Jaci Jackson

This screen took some work to get. Jaci claims that she isn't a "super user" with her iPad yet, but I think otherwise. You can follow her classroom at @mrsjackson1st. Jaci does an awesome job of sharing her students' learning through her Twitter feed. She would tell you that her best integration ideas were sparked by me. And she's right. 

Jaci's top five apps:

Twitter- ‘Twitterist’ is a monthly job.  Student composes our tweet of the day.
Cargo-Bot- Exciting way to introduce computer programming (coding) 
McGraw Hill Math Apps- Top-it, Squeeze- work on specific skills McGraw Hill Literacy Apps: Grammar Wonderland 
Sushi Monster- Reinforces Fastt Math concepts Hooked on- App version of Boggle
Evernote- Easily record and organize running records of my students
Educreations- easy to use whiteboard to use with my small groups and save the notes to pull up later, such as writing the tricky words for a guided reading group then pulling them up again the next day

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Second Grade - Haley Woods

Another telling home screen. Haley teaches second grade at Benton Elementary. Check out the apps that Haley uses personally and professionally. 

Haley's top five apps:
1. Google earth. Great way to show students different places on the globe and to give the background knowledge on a topic
2. Record of reading: a free app that allows you to take running records of students and store them in files
3. Prompts guides 1&2: these are Fountas and Pinnell apps that cost but are great for helping in guided reading. They have prompts and teaching points for everything from fluency to comprehension
4. Common core: free app that shows overview of all of the common core standards
5 Evernote: great app for taking notes and tagging certain things in them

ELL Superstar - Karen Sander

Take a good look at Karen's iPad. She's done some great things after only a short time with the iPad. She won't tell you this, but she's a great resource for advice on how to work more efficiently and excite your students with technology. 

Karen's top five apps:

1.  Socrative--can use to electronically collect student responses to questions during class (compare to SMART Response clickers)
2.  PixnTell--allows students to easily create and narrate multimedia projects (compare to Photo Story 3)
3.  Futaba--allows students to "race" to answer questions (math, reading vocab, etc).  Free version lets you use pre-set lists of questions with two players.  Paid version (~$7) lets you input your own questions and have up to 4 players.
4.  Evernote--lets you organize notes and multimedia artifacts about student learning
5.  Google Drive--I store documents here I want to access while away from my desk.  I put guided reading lesson plans here so I can access them while I'm teaching.  Also, I use Google Forms to have students participate in data collection for later analysis.

Media Specialist Extraordinaire - Kerry Townsend

Meet Kerry's iPad. If you are stickler for organization, you may not want to look. In fact, she included the disclaimer that she uses SmartSearch to find her apps. I wonder why?

Kerry's top five apps:

  1. Evernote:  for recording and collecting ideas / information / thoughts / evolving documents
  2. Dropbox / Google Drive:  My buckets of everything, everywhere.  I can share with both and, just recently, I can use Google Drive to edit as well as hold Docs / Spreadsheets
  3. Photos / Photostream:   also for recording and collecting  ideas / information / thoughts / evolving documents. . .also a lovely record of my real / teaching life  
  4. iBooks:  Instant book gratification.  It is better than Amazon Prime and I have all of my books / notes with me at all times.  If not on my iPad, previously purchased books can be downloaded in less than 10 seconds.  
  5. Twitter / Reeder RSS Reader:  Best Professional Development Ever.  Also a great way to cover real-time current events.  I can only begin to imagine how I would be using these Primary Sources if I were still teaching in a High School classroom.    

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Fifth Grade - John Nies

I think I need to have some meals with John. He teaches fifth grade at Grant Elementary here in Columbia. Check out some of the apps that John uses:

iPad Guru - Ken Shelton

Here's a look at Ken Shelton's iPad and his top five apps. If you aren't following Ken and his work in education, you are missing out on a great resource. You can follow Ken on Twitter at @k_shelton

Friday, April 12, 2013

eMINTS Instructional Specialist - Carmen Marty

Here's a look at Carmen's iPad. Literally, her entire iPad. But if you know Carmen, you wouldn't be surprised. She's just so excited to share that I should have expected four screen shots. For this one, I put her Top 5 apps at the top. You can follow Carmen at @carmen_emints.

Carmen's Top Five Apps:
  1. Notability-import and mark up PD4s,  Take notes organize into folders
  2. WWF Together-Interactive use of ipad to learn more about endangered animals.  Clever programing
  3. Side by Side-Look at two screens next to each other
  4. Haiku Deck-Great presentation think outside box
  5. Three Ring-Easily create and tag portfolio items

Middle School Science - Dean Klempke

Here's a sneak peek at Dean Klempke's iPad. Dean teaches Science at Gentry Middle School. 

Dean's Top 5 Apps:

  1. Educreations-- easy for kids to use.
  2. YouTube-- post videos directly for students and parents to access.
  3. Splashtop--ease of use of desktop from around the room.
  4. PenUltimate--easy organization of different files.
  5. Evernote--easy sharing of files with parents. 

Fourth Grade - Rebecca Wildman

Rebecca is a fourth grade language arts teacher from Michigan. She authors a great site called iPadPD.com. You can follow her at @RebeccaWildman. Check out Rebecca's iPad and her favorite apps:

Rebecca's Top 5 Apps:

  1. iTunes U
  2. Book Creator
  3. iMovie
  4. Ask3
  5. Edmodo

High School Social Studies: Jill Villasana's iPad

Jill Villasana teaches 9th grade social studies at Jefferson Junior High. She is possibly the most amazing teacher in all of the world. And it's purely coincidence that we share the same last name. You can follow her at @jillvill1. Here's Jill's iPad:

Jill's Top 5 Apps:
  1. Rover: browser to view flash files on the web
  2. Google Calendar Link: my favorite way to organize life & share it with my colleagues & family
  3. Dropbox: a convenient way to share documents from iPad to desktop to print, edit, and share
  4. Splashtop: run your desktop computer through your iPad, kids always think it is cool!
  5. Evernote: how I take notes and will encourage my students to take notes (easy to index, search)

Fourth Grade - Allison Chostner

Allison teaches fourth grade at Midway Elementary. She is truly an iPad innovator and asks some of the most challenging questions I've ever fielded to push the technology envelope. Here's a look at her iPad:

Allison's Top 5 Apps:

  1. Squeebles Fractions: Works on fraction equivalents, adding fractions, comparing fractions and picturing fractions with cakes. The students get to make their own profiles and earn cake ingredients to enter the "Cake Show". It was not free, but well worth the money.
  2. SMART Notebook: Any smart notebook file you made on your PC can be accessible on your iPad. Students can edit files or create new ones. If made on iPad, then it can still be used on your PC. The files are easily shared from your PC and iPad through Dropbox. It does not have every feature Smart Notebook on you PC has, but the basics are there (text, pics, shapes, lines, stylus pens). It is not free.
  3. SMART Office 2: This is Microsoft Word, Excel, and Powerpoint all in one for the iPad! Students can edit files already made on a PC or create new ones. If started on the iPad, then it can still be used on your PC. The files are easily shared from your PC and iPad through Dropbox. It does not have every feature as on your PC has, but can do all the basics. It was well worth the  cost!
  4. Dropbox: This is you My Docs file folder that can be accessed from any PC or Apple Product (iphone, iPad). It automatically syncs with your pics on Apple Products so you can access them from you desktop at any time. This is what i use to open any files on either my PC or iPad! I find myself now saving everything on Dropbox instead of my My Docs. It is free to use!
  5. Math Fact Master: Addition, Subtraction, Multiplication, and Division: My favorite math fact app because it allows me to select the specific facts for a student to practice. For example, I have a student still needing to work on his multiplication facts x 8 and x 9. I can go in and select multiplication and then select 8 and 9. It will then only do facts x8 and facts x9. It did cost $1.99.

High School Math - Michael Collins

Michael teaches Algebra 1 and Geometry at Oakland Junior High. Take a look at some shots of Michael's iPad. I need to get some insight on the story of his wallpaper.

Michael's Top 5 Apps:

  1. Google Drive-I use google drive almost exclusively to create both on my iPad or on my Laptop.  The app is great for managing and sharing docs, though the app itself is limited in terms of creation...though that's not the iPads primary use anyway!
  2. Edmodo-my LMS until I'm certain that I can or cannot use Facebook.  It's a Facebook-esque closed social network designed for classrooms.  It's the app version for the web-based site.  Similar in nature to how the Facebook app is to the full web version.
  3. Screen Chomp-interactive whiteboard with built in recording and hosting features.  IMO, vastl superior to educreations or skitch.
  4. Noteability-Similiar to Goodnotes, but features auto synching to a cloud server (like google docs) and some recording features.  Teamed with Airserver, it's as useful as Smart Notebook.  Used in tandem with Smart Notebook, it gives you the capability for both you and your students to interact on a document simultaneously.
  5. Doceri- similar to Splashtop, but offers more features, even in the free version.  You can control your PC, drop a whiteboard, and import pictures onto that whiteboard.  It also has a recording feature. 

Also, the app is brand new, but I think Markup is going to be a monster.  It allows for paperless grading.  Also of note is Class Dojo, especially teamed with airServer.

High School Media Specialist - Jayme Pingrey's iPad

Jayme is taking over the media center at Battle High, Columbia's newest high school. She is a fan of using a stylus, but don't hold that against her. You can follow Jayme at @jpingrey.

Jayme's Top 4 Apps:

  1. Feedly: best RSS reader
  2. Notability: annotating/ handwriting & drawing
  3. iMovie- best movie making/ recording app 
  4. Overdrive app- download ebooks from the library 

Elementary Art - Amber Ward

Amber is the art specialist at Ridgeway Elementary. Ridgeway has a set of 30 iPads to support teaching and learning. She is a frequent user of the cart, and would probably hide it in her room if she could get away with it. Here's a look at some of Amber's screens:

Amber's Top 5 Apps:
  1. Evernote
  2. Lino
  3. (Passport) Notes
  4. Keynote
  5. Dictionary
  6. I'm also starting to use Splashtop Presenter, but the jury is out on this one.

Middle School Science - Beth Newton

Beth is an innovative science teacher at Oakland Junior High. She is quick to try new things and even quicker at asking for equipment to use in her room! Check out Beth's iPad:

Beth's Top Five Apps:

  1. Google drive:  like Evernote interfaces better with more apps/documents andeasier to edit documents
  2. Notability. Like penultimate but interfaces better 
  3. Qrafter. Great for creating links to media, resources , answer keys, assignments and study guides 
  4. Penultimate. Interfaces well with Evernote
  5. Evernote. My filing cabinet
  6. iMovie (although iMovie is not on my iPad it takes up too much memory if I am not using it)

Thursday, April 11, 2013

App Review: TimesUp

Here's a simple but productive app. It's called TimesUp. It's a pretty simple timer. So why would I make a big deal out of it?

The teachers in our district all have access to Airserver to mirror their iPads. One hiccup with Airserver is that not every app works perfectly while being mirrored. Some apps will show video but no audio. For timer apps, it's important to be able to hear the timer.

TimesUp offers two important features. First, it gives a visual display of how much time is left. It's not obtrusive or distracting. Just a simple green bar that moves down the screen. Second, you can hear the timer go off while you are mirroring the display. 

Simple enough.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Using iMovie for student book trailers

There is no limit to the ways that iMovie can be used for classroom use. That's the beauty of the app: the only barrier is imagination. With that being said, I've been fortunate enough to work with iMovie in many schools across many different grade levels, from kindergarten to 9th grade. One of the most widespread uses of iMovie has been for creating book trailers. It's been widely popular and very easy to accomplish. Here are some tips and resources to support your project. 

Plan, plan, plan!
I'm not a huge proponent of exclamation points, but I think it's applicable here. Planning is the most important piece of creating book trailers. There is a ton of work that needs to be done before iMovie comes into play. And if you work with kids, you know the value of having a plan. One of the best features of iMovie is the ease of inserting videos and still images. Therefore, the hardest part in my eyes is finding the right content to add. This is where that planning comes into play. So...our gift to you: 

Here are two storyboard examples for you to use:

Storyboard for the "Romance" iMovie trailer - created by the awesome duo of Anna (@annaoz429) and Jill (@jillkiley03)

Show students how to save images to the camera roll
Don't assume anything. Teach the students what to do. This concept isn't tough for any age. However, the smaller the fingers, the harder it is to press the screen without moving the image. I've helped six year-olds with this, and it can be a bit of pain. 

Find an easy way to publish
iMovie offers several ways to publish and share your work. So choose a method that's going to be easy for you, but still offers an audience for your students. Here are some suggestions:
  • YouTube - some folks have an aversion to YouTube. I get it. But it's so easy to export your finished trailers to your class YouTube channel. Easy and awesome for open sharing.
  • Vimeo - a better option if you want to put your videos behind a password-protected wall. Upload trailers to your account and distribute the password to just your students and parents. 
  • Camera Roll - a bit pedestrian, but it works. Save to the camera roll, plug in to your computer, and move it over. Then do whatever you want with them from there. 
So there's three tips and some resources for you. It's a great app to use, and the students absolutely love it. And it's one of those apps that once the students use it once, they start seeing other projects to complete using iMovie. Have fun, and be sure to share your trailers.