Tag Archives: iPad

Nevada ACTE 2012 Presentations

One of the conferences that I attend every year is the Nevada ACTE conference in Lake Tahoe. I like this conference because it is small enough that you can have face-to-face conversations with peers from around the state, but large enough to provide excellent choices for presentations to attend.

This year, I presented three different topics. During the Administration Division meeting, I presented “Get Your Head and School into the Cloud.” The primary focus of this presentation was on how Google Apps for Education can improve communication, organization, and productivity for school administrators. This was one the more difficult presentations that I have had to put together because I am not an administrator. I help my school’s administrators get the most out of Google Apps, but I cannot speak on the day-to-day use as an administrator. The session went well as most of the questions focused on what the school as a whole does and not specific administrative duties.

My second presentation was for the Information and Media Technology division, titled “Every Thing in Evernote.” I was asked by the IMT division vice-president to talk about Evernote because every time I do a presentation, I mention it multiple times. This presentation was shorter in terms of time, but not much easier. It was difficult to set up and get ready to do back-to-back presentations in two different rooms on two different topics. This presentation went well because I was able to show examples of how I organize my classroom, curriculum, and other tasks using Evernote. It is hard to touch on everything that Evernote can do for a teacher in 30 minutes, but hopefully some of the teachers will be able to start using Evernote for their classrooms.

My final presentation was for the general sessions on the second day of the conference, titled “iPad Apps for Classroom Management.” This was my easiest presentation because I had done it before for an individual school in the spring. These are all apps on my iPad that I use to help manage my classroom. I do use additional apps, but these are the main iPad apps that are most helpful to me.

As far as sessions that I attended, Adobe did a hands-on session using some of the new tools is CS6. While I don’t have CS6 in my classroom, it was great to see what is new and I can’t wait to get the software in my classroom. Jayme Rawson from East Career and Technical Academy did a great presentation title “Common Core State Standards – Putting it ALL Together” (PowerPoint file). She did a great job explaining that we did not need to know every aspect of the Common Core State Standards as CTE teachers, but how we can help English and Math teachers accomplish their goals.

I was the moderator/assistant for the other two sessions that I attended. Steve New, also from East Career and Technical Academy, did an excellent presentation on screen-casting titled “Maximizing your time while minimizing your effort through Screen-casting“. He did a good job explaining the options for screen-casting (PC and Mac), the benefits of screen-casts, and tips for beginners. The final general session that I observed was “Math, the Brain, and CTE” by Laura Reed. This presentation focused on providing hands-on math activities for CTE students since they tend to be kinesthetic learners.

Overall, it was a great conference that was informative and gave me some things to think about as the start of the school year approaches.

ISTE Day 1 – A First for Everything

Today was my first day at the ISTE conference – I skipped Sir Ken Robinson’s keynote because I had seen him a few months ago at the ACTE conference. I wasn’t sure what I should expect from ISTE, but the day contained a few surprises.

Every session was full so get there early. I have been to conferences where there are one or two sessions that are full during the entire conference. Today, I attended five sessions and all five sessions were full. For the first time attending any conference, I had a perfect record of picking sessions. I  went to five great sessions where I picked up something new or was inspired at each session.

Session 1: Are You in Top Form? Google Forms for Administrators – I use some Google Forms at school and our administration uses them as well. When I left this session, I was impressed by the templates and the formulas that make them work, the amount of data that was collected in these forms was incredible, and I realized that our school and myself do not use Google Forms enough to collect data.

Session 2: Becoming a Mobile Learner – Two years ago, the iSchool initiative video was shown at the Nevada ACTE conference. From the minute I saw the video, I was texting my principal and CTE coordinator that this is what we should be doing at our school. Two years later, I work at a school where 10th-12th grades can opt-in for an iOS device and was recognized for being an Apple Distinguished School. It was great to see how the iSchool initiative has developed over time. It was also great to get some apps to look at including: iStudy Pro, Cramberry, Meal Snap, and TourWrist (which I heard about 4 times today).

Session 3: Google Slam: GCTs Share New Tricks for Some “Old” Tools – I use Google products frequently and think that I am pretty good at most Google products. I learned several new “slams” that I will be able to use in my classroom including Google Voice for receiving questions from students, Form Emailer Scripts, and YouTube annotations.

Session 4: There’s an App for That! Finding Real Solutions with Today’s Apps (Version 2.0) – I was looking forward to this presentation all day because some of the educators on the panel were some of the first people I started to follow when I joined Twitter and I subscribed to their blog RSS feeds. While they did take some criticism in the backchannel for they way the technology was working, I was actually impressed how smooth it was going. It is difficult to alternate and project six different iPads using Apple TV and I thought they did a great job. This session was all about apps and I got a few that I can use including Mindo, Green Screen, and Tapose. The only thing that I wish was added to this session was that each panelist could have stated their favorite app.

Session 5: Beyond Googling: Using Technology To Build A Culture of Inquiry – Another session that I was looking forward to all day for the same reason as above. I have seen other presentations online from Chris Lehmann and this one did not disappoint. At my school, we do some similar things to the Science Leadership Academy and it was great to hear the stories from Chris and be inspired to do more with our project-based learning projects.

I have several other take-aways from today’s sessions and will post those once I fully absorb them. It is getting late and I am looking forward to day two of ISTE.

Pre-ISTE Conference

I leave tomorrow for my first ISTE conference. I spent a couple of hours last night going through the program and the concurrent sessions listed on the ISTE Conference website. ISTE makes it easy for you to keep track of the sessions that you want to attend. If I like a session, I just click “Add to Planner” and it adds it to my digital planner on the ISTE conference site – which I can download later. I go through all 13 sessions and then check my planner to see what my schedule looks like. Like most conferences, there are multiple sessions at the same time that I would like to attend, but there were a few time slots where I had up to four sessions that I had added to the planner. I am sure that this will get reduced when a couple of co-workers and I decide to divide and conquer through the sessions.

As it stands right now, the majority of the sessions that I want to attend focus on iPad apps, Google Apps, and blended learning environments. I love technology and attending sessions on these topics and,hopefully, it will make my life easier when presenting professional development in the fall and when presenting new content to students. I will try and post updates on this blog and on Twitter throughout the conference.

Latest Apps I’m Using in the Classroom

Today was a staff development day. After teaching a beginner and intermediate Google Docs class at my school, I went to another Career and Technical Academy to present on iPad Apps that I am using to manage my classroom. Here is a link to the presentation:


Numbers and iPad for Student Assessment

In a previous post and during a few conference presentations, I discussed how I use Google forms and an iPad to assess my students on a daily basis. Shortly after the start of the school year, I realized that I had to change my plans on assessing my students. My school has added several new teachers this year and more students have devices that use WiFi which was slowing down my use of Google forms in the classroom. It was taking too long for the form to submit and I found myself wasting time waiting on the Internet.

I still wanted to assess students in the same method, but without using a Google form. I have started using Numbers for the iPad. While I did not set it up as a form, I did create a spreadsheet on my laptop that included all of the students names in one column and my grading tenets in each of the other columns. Using my iDisk account, I was able to transfer the documents for each class to my iPad. I enter the grades as I am walking around to each students work into the copy on my iPad. At the end of class, I copy the document back to my iDisk account and open the document on my laptop so I can copy and paste the grades into the gradebook.

The total process does involve a few more steps, but the biggest benefit right now for me is that I am not dependent on WiFi to grade the students work.

Show and Tell

Yesterday’s post discussed my decision to do a demo for my presentation instead of a hands-on activity. The limited time of my sessions was the leading factor in my decision, but I think another surpassed it today. That factor was actual interest in using the iPad for student assessment.

The teachers on campus had to choose four separate topics from a selection of eight to attend. I presented three times and assisted another teacher during his presentation during the fourth. I think my best session was actually the best one. It was my fullest session, despite the request from administration, to limit each session to fifteen teachers. I know that I was over fifteen, but I don’t have the heart to turn anyone away. In this first session, I’m estimating that all but two or three teachers will actually use the iPad to assess students in their classes. The group was tech savvy and asked quality questions throughout the presentation.

My second session was small with five teachers. Most of these teachers will probably not use the iPad for assessment, but were there to be informed about what I am doing in the class. While the may not have been interested specifically in student assessment, they did ask great questions about other apps I use and whether or not they can be used on an iPod effectively. The last session I presented had about fifteen teachers, but only about four or five will seriously consider using the iPad to assess students.

These last two groups are why I am glad that I didn’t do a hands-on presentation. I don’t think there is anything more difficult than teaching hands-on technology to people that don’t want to use it. My time will be better served by giving an intro, provide a resource for teachers to do step-by-step, and make myself available for one-on-one help.

Demo vs. Presentation

Tomorrow is the first official day back for teachers in Clark County. I say official because I (and several other teachers) have been back to work for the last couple of weeks. The first day back is typically filled with staff development and tomorrow is no exception. The teachers on our campus can choose four sessions attend from ten potential options. I am responsible for presenting during three of the four sessions and assisting another teacher in the fourth session.

I am presenting a variation of my NACTE presentation on using the iPad and Google Apps. The focus of my presentation is on creating forms in Google Docs and use the forms on an iPad for student assessment. I have created a Prezi presentation that shows the step-by-step process of setting up the forms and the iPad. My concern is that I will not have enough time, about 45 minutes, to have each teacher work through each step.

What I have decided is to do a live demonstration from beginning to end on the entire process. If there is time at the end of each session, teachers can start to create any forms. I am usually not a fan of doing live demos because since so much can go wrong when using Internet-based technologies, but at least I have the Prezi downloaded in case something goes wrong.

iPad and Google Apps to Manage a Classroom (Pt. 3)

This is part three of three about my presentation at NACTE 2011 on managing a classroom using the iPad and Google Apps. In part one, I focused on the reasons why a teacher would want to use these tools, the Google calendar, and Google Docs. In part two, I focused on using Google forms and the iPad to grade students and give the students quick feedback. In this final part, I will discuss the other apps that I use on my iPad.

The first application that I use in my classroom is Dropbox.com. While I like to use Google Docs for assignments like spreadsheets, word processing, and presentations, I love using Dropbox.com for larger projects and atypical files like Photoshop, Flash, and Maya. I have created an account where I share the password with all of my students. My students will submit their work to the appropriate folder from their computers. At the end of class, I move the Dropbox folder on my computer to the desktop and grade their work from there. I am also able to send students files via Dropbox when I decide not to use Remote Desktop. In addition, I have the Dropbox.com app on my iPad and can let the students know from anywhere in the classroom whether or not I received their submissions.

The second app I frequently use on my iPad is CalenGoo. I like CalenGoo because I can create my lesson plans for each class without having to be online. I will have to sync it wirelessly later, but I am able to get some work done when I am at locations without free WiFi.

Another app that I like to use is Office2 HD. Like CalenGoo, I am able to create documents without being online at Google and sync them later on. I also like the way Google Docs, especially spreadsheets, work in Office2 HD rather than online on an iPad.

While this app does not have any sync capabilities with the software we use at our school, I still like Attendance. I do use it for an unofficial attendance record, but I am also able to create custom attendance fields. This is important for me because I can track when a student does not dress appropriately for my Industry Attire Days. Since these days are worth points in my class, it is easy to remember who receives full credit. This app would be excellent for any PE teachers that use iTouch devices to keep track of their attendance. The Attendance app also comes in helpful during fire drills because I can quickly take roll outside and not have to try and remember who was absent at the beginning of class.

The final app that I use frequently in class is Evernote. I will probably write a future post discussing all of the different ways that I use Evernote, but for now, I will say that I don’t use an app on my iPad, iPhone, or computer as much as I use Evernote. Evernote is a reference guide for all lesson plans, lesson ideas, interesting articles, and planning projects. I also take pictures of my lecture notes on the board and post them to a shared notebook that all of my students can access. I do pay for the premium version, even though, I don’t think I come close to using my full data allotment because of the high quality of Evernote.

This concludes the explanation of my presentation on how to use the iPad and Google Apps to Manage a Classroom.

iPad and Google Apps to Manage a Classroom (Pt. 2)

This is part two of three about my presentation at NACTE 2011 on managing a classroom using the iPad and Google Apps. In part one, I focused on the reasons why a teacher would want to use these tools, the Google calendar, and Google Docs. In this part, I am going to focus grading using the iPad and Google forms. In terms of managing my classroom, this has had the biggest impact because it saves me time and I can give students instant feedback.

The first step in the process is to create a form in Google Docs using my desktop computer. I create a form for each class period that I teach and I enter the student’s names so they will appear as a drop-down list on my iPad. I only have to create this form once for each class period because I reuse the form for each assignment I grade.

Once the form is created, I email the form to myself. I open the link to the form on my iPad in Safari. In Safari, I can create a bookmark to be placed on my home screen. I complete this process for each class period’s form. In addition, I created a “Work Ethic” and “Presentation” grading forms. I use the Work Ethic form to log off-task behavior. At my school, our students complete several presentations a year and I use the Presentation form and my Brookstone keyboard for the iPad to provide feedback on those presentations.

In a typical day in my classroom, I will give notes during the first 20 minutes of class and give the students the remaining 60 minutes to complete the day’s assignment or work on the current project. While the students are working on the current day’s assignment, I am walking around to each student grading the previous assignment. I am entering the grade into the iPad for the student, submitting the form, and returning back to the form so I can grade the next student.

The great thing about grading this way is that the student receives instant feedback about the assignment and knows his or her grade before I move on to the next student. If a student completed the assignment incorrectly, I can explain what the student did wrong and have the student redo the assignment for a better grade. In addition, the student can also ask me questions about the current day assignment to make sure he or she is doing it correctly.

I am usually able to get through the entire class in the 60 minutes that they are working on assignments or projects. Once I have graded the entire class, I can open the form in Google Docs on my desktop computer. In the form (which is now a spreadsheet), I can sort by student name, highlight all of the scores, and copy and paste the scores into my gradebook. If the scores/feedback that are in the spreadsheet are scores that I want to keep, I make a copy of the form and name it after the assignment. If I don’t want to keep the scores, I just delete the rows of data in the spreadsheet and my form is ready to go for our next class meeting.

Here’s a quick tip on copying and pasting scores into the gradebook. If you have students that are absent on the day you are grading, you must enter a grade for them into the form. If you don’t do this step, the copy and paste from the spreadsheet will not match up.

In part three, I will be discussing the last portion of my presentation, which is on other apps that I use in managing my classroom.

iPad and Google Apps to Manage a Classroom (Pt. 1)

At the NACTE 2011 conference, I was selected to present on using the iPad and Google Apps in the classroom. The presentation can be viewed here. Since the presentation is mostly graphics and minimal text, I thought that I would use this space to explain my presentation. I use Google Apps and the iPad to solve/improve three issues that I see frequently in classrooms. These three are communication, feedback, and excessive paperwork.

I can improve communication with students, staff members, administration, and parents. This is primarily done through the use of Google Calendars. For each of my classes, I create a calendar that includes objectives, activities, and homework for each class period. Included in the activities are links to any articles, notes, and assignments that the student are completing that day. The calendars are embedded into my class website that students, parents, and administrators can access. Students no longer ask me what they missed after an absence because they can just check the calendar. Since I started using Google Calendars about 4 years ago, my parent-teacher conferences have declined  by about 75% because the parents can see what is going on in my class everyday and know what their child has for homework.

A great thing about using Google calendars is that I can add or modify events anywhere where I have Internet connection. In addition, I use CalenGoo to add or modify events when I have my iPad offline and sync it once the Internet is available. This has enabled me to be more productive during downtimes in meetings or appointments.

Another aspect of Google that I use in my classroom is Google Docs. I create all of my assignments in Google Docs and the majority of my notes. I then make these documents public and post the links into my calendar. My students also use Google Docs to submit assignments to me by sharing them. I am able to type in feedback into the document and save it. Students will see the graded document in their documents list and be able to see why they earned the grade that was given. My students also use Google Docs for collaboration on assignments and projects. I can have multiple students working on a group assignment simultaneously from several different computers in the classroom. The great thing about using Google Docs is that I am not taking home stacks of paper or dealing with no name papers.

In part two, I will discuss how I use Google Forms and the iPad to grade work.

In part three, I will discuss how I use Dropbox.com and other iPad apps to manage my classroom.