Tuesday, February 28, 2012

iPad conversation

We met after a several-week hiatus (conferences, vacation, etc) and discussed how the iPads are going in our classrooms. We talked about:

-note taking on the iPad is hard...what is the answer? A Bluetooth keyboard?

-struggling with one iPad per room...we need to group them together more

-we will plan ahead to share the iPads

-feel comfortable giving it to the kids...they are quite responsible

-voice thread on the iPad is great because students can choose/take photos and they are automatically put on the camera roll and can be easily uploaded.

We'll meet again in two weeks and then connect with the first grade teachers on March 16th!

Btw...this blog was written on an iPad!

Friday, February 10, 2012

PaperPort Notes!

I have been using this app for about 3 minutes and my mind is going wild.  PaperPort Notes was recommended by Cathy, after she read about it here.  Since it was free, I downloaded it.  With PaperPort you can create a document by typing, writing, and using voice-to-text recording.  I like the flexibility.  It's like dragon dictation and an interactive notebook combined in one app.  On the second try, the voice-to-text recording worked perfectly for me.  The thing that is most exciting, though, is the ability to share in so many different ways.  I can share a document as a PDF file, through email, Dropbox, or Google Docs.  I can also open it in Pages.  What this means is that a child can create a document, using their voice or a combination of voice and typing/writing, and then share it very easily with their teacher.  For students who struggle with handwriting or organizing their thoughts on paper, this is a great step for them.  I am excited to try it with a student soon.

Friday, February 3, 2012


I am using a great app called Educreations to document student understanding of the different algorithms taught in 4th grade.  My goal is to have each student complete a tutorial on several different algorithms.  We started today and several students recorded themselves working on a division problem.  Here is one example:

This is so much more powerful than looking at a student's work on a piece of paper. I can get a sense for his thought process and his understanding.

For some reason the sound doesn't seem to work on the above. Try this link.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

"Trades First Day" in 3rd grade

Two third graders create a "ShowMe" video about trading first in multi-digit subtraction problems.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

What Learning is Happening with iPads in YES Classrooms?

It seems like every day there are conversations buzzing about how we can support learning with the single iPads that are in classrooms at YES. The teachers whose classrooms received the YEF grant iPads are using them connected to the projector for whole class instruction, for individual student use and as a center for a small groups of students. Additional teachers are using iPads that are their own.
  • One class recorded the field trip to the State House in Augusta by creating a Voicethread using the mobile app. The camera on the iPad made taking pictures easy and then students added narration with audio or video clips to describe what they had learned. The kids seemed to enjoy how easy it was to build the slideshow and the iPad made it possible to do everything on one device. 
  • Students are using the ShowMe app to write math procedures and record their descriptions of what they are doing or teachers are creating blog videos for explaining an algorithm.
  • Dragon Dictation is helping some students with writing as they can speak into the iPad microphone and the app turns their voice into text. This text can be emailed to the teacher who can help the student continue the document.

Some other thoughts for exploration are spelling apps, voice recording of reading fluency, math practice and TumbleBooks online. Also, we added an "eprint" color laser printer this week in the YES Lab for printing directly from the iPads.

There is excitement in the air as we explore ways to use this "touch" device in ways that supplement and expand the technology access we offer to students at YES.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

New iPad Learnings

Today the three of us (Rosie, Nicole, and Kate) met with Cathy Wolinsky to share what we've learned (so far!) about using the iPads in our classroom.
  • First we discussed taking photos and video with the iPad, and the best ways to access them once they're on the iPad. We learned that we have a few free options: we can retrieve the photos from our iCloud accounts, or we can purchase the Picasa app from the App Store. In addition, we can email the individual photos to our Picasa account. 
  • Rosie shared with us the way she used VoiceThread to capture a recent field trip to the State House. She was able to take a video of the students in the House of Representatives and upload it to her classroom blog after emailing it to herself. She plans to use VoiceThread to have the students add narration to various photos she took as a way of having students reflect on their experience of the trip.
  • Kate shared her recent use of Dragon Dictation to help a student with a writing prompt. She was impressed with the ease of the application for the student.
  • All three of us would like to use the iPads to assist struggling readers. We talked about different ways we can do this, including TumbleBooks, Kindle books, audio books.