Schoology Meets the Station Rotation Model

Pairing the station rotation model with Schoology has a profound impact on teaching and learning and benefits students in the following ways: streamlined access to differentiated learning materials, collaboration, descriptive feedback from an authentic audience, reflection, and small group interaction with peers and the teacher. In order for the station rotation model to be successful, students and teachers need a consistent digital workflow to share resources.

The station rotation model is a flexible instructional model that addresses the unique needs of students and is used regularly in the classroom. Students are placed in groups which are flexible and students can be regrouped by topic or unit of study based on data from a pre-test. Students rotate through three or four stations in the instructional block. One of these stations is teacher led where teachers work with students at their level of development and personalize the material to meet the needs of all learners. Technology affords teachers new opportunities to significantly impact learning by using real-time data to impact the learning experience in the moment. Digital tools make it easy for teachers to monitor learning as it is happening and adjust accordingly. Schoology ensures seamless delivery of content and allows teachers to design online instruction that provides students autonomy, choice, creation, and control of the pacing.

Let’s look at an example of how Schoology can be leveraged in a four group station rotation model. It is important to note that one station must be the teacher station.

  1. Teacher Station: Teachers provide small group instruction. Teachers can leverage apps such as Socrative, Classkick, or Nearpod where both the teacher and student are provided instant feedback and the teacher can monitor and adjust the lesson as needed. The codes to the activities are posted in Schoology and available for students to access anywhere/anytime to review the lesson.
  2. Creation Station: Students become the teacher and create an artifact to demonstrate mastery of a concept or learning objective. Students can use an app such as Clips, Notability, Explain Everything, Pic Collage, Chatterpix, Keynote or the screen recording feature in iOS 11 to make their learning visible. Students upload the project to Schoology resources and share it as a Schoology discussion board post. All students can see one another’s projects on the Schoology discussion board. Students can use the like feature to indicate which projects helped them review the concept the best.
  3. Teacher Created Video Station: Teachers create a video lecture using Explain Everything or an app of their choice. Teachers upload the video to Schoology where students access the video lesson. Students access the video from Schoology and control the pacing of the lesson using the pause, rewind, play again cycle as they learn. The video is available on demand in Schoology for students to access for re-teaching any time. A short Schoology assessment can be used for a check for understanding and help students gauge if they need to listen to the video again.
  4. Collaborative Activity: Teachers provide each groups differentiated collaborative activities via the grading group feature in Schoology. Once groups are set up, teachers assign groups different activities with just a click. This private differentiation Schoology provides gives teachers a way to challenge students at their level. These collaborative activities can be remediation, extension activities, or learning games. The directions for the activity are provided in Schoology and all the hands on materials are located at the station. This station requires collaboration, thus talking, so it is a good idea to put this station across the room from the teacher station so as not to distract from the direct instruction.

In the station rotation model, students are active nearly every minute of the instructional block, have a level of control and independence in the learning experience, use data to guide their learning, collaborate, and engage in reflective practice. Pairing Schoology with the Station Rotation Model of blended learning is an integral component to crafting a personalized learning environment which leads to student agency and increased engagement in the classroom.

BPS BlendED Teacher Spotlight

Spotlight (1)

Our Bellevue Public Schools #ipadacademy teachers are a talented and innovative group of educators. We are grateful for their time, enthusiasm, and positivity as they transform their classrooms with blended learning strategies and personalize learning for their students. This series is a way to celebrate them and share their wisdom on blended learning. The resources, advice, and passion from these educators is something we need to capture and share. These trailblazers are helping to lead the way in creating a change in teaching and learning. This blog series will give you a chance to meet and learn from these inspirational educators!

Angie EllisAngie Ellis, 2nd Grade Teacher-Belleaire Elementary

Before I had technology I ….. and now as a 1:1 blended classroom I …….

”Before I had technology, I taught in front of the classroom to the whole group at one time. I would casually walk around as student’s began working on their assignment to see if they were grasping the concept I was teaching. Now as a blended classroom, I  have transformed my teaching with more engaging lessons. One subject that stands out the most is Math. I am able to introduce my lesson by creating a Nearpod presentation for the class to follow along with as I teach the new concept for the day. The students are able to work out a problem and submit it to me where I can see each student’s work all at one. I can share their work for the rest of the students to see on their iPads. They love the quiz questions that I create at the end of the presentation to check for understanding. Once we are done with the introduction of the lesson for that day, student’s come and get their math paper to listen to me teach the lesson via Schoology. They can work at their own pace. I can pull small groups back to my table to give guided practice. The students who finish early are then able to use Seesaw to reflect on their learning for that day. When finished with their Seesaw reflection video they can practice their math facts in Front Row.”

What are you proud of in your blended learning classroom?

“I am most proud of the way my blended classroom flows. At the beginning of the year, I take the time to each the most important apps that we use in our everyday learning, such as Schoology, Notability, Seesaw, Nearpod, and Classkick. As we move through the year, I teach them what I call “show me what you know” apps such as Book Creator, Explain Everything, Keynote, and others.  Once they have a good grasp of how to use these apps, it allows them to have a choice to pick which app to “show me what you know”. I love to see how engaged they are when creating projects and how proud they are of their work.”

Learning workflows and favorite apps for your blended classroom

Currently, I use Schoology to deliver Daily Spiral Review in Math as well as Reader’s Writer’s Notebook in Reading where student’s can then upload to Notability.  My student’s can also access the Math videos the I have pre-recorded for each Math topic to use for self paced learning. This year, I cuse pre-made Words Their Way Stick Around Puzzles, found in the Blended Learning Schoology Group, and load them into my course.

Some of my favorite apps are Nearpod, to create presentations to introduce a topic or review for a test. Kahoot! is another great app for reviewing a concept. Book Creator is perfect for students to show their creativity by making a book about a certain topic. Seesaw is great for any subject to give a reflection or to show how to work out a math problem. Parents love hearing their child talk about what they’re learning in school.  As a parent of a third grader, I love being able to see and hear what my son is doing in class everyday.

1:1 iPad Classroom/ Blended Learning Advice

“My advice to a teacher who is just getting started with 1:1 iPads in their classroom, would be to start slow. Pick one subject and think how you could use the apps mentioned above to create more student engagement.”

Connect with Angie: Twitter @angie_ellis

Robin Kratina Social Studies Teacher-Bellevue West High School


Before I had technology I ….. and now as a 1:1 blended classroom I …….

“Before I had technology, I was using a lot of paper!  I was building classes every year, and had filing cabinets full of folders and lots of paper!  When you have multiple preps and every prep is a different content that’s a lot of master copies!  

With Schoology it is all in one place, build a class that maybe you don’t get assigned for a few semesters and it is o.k. because you have your class built.  Also I chased after absent kiddos, now I have a place to send them. I also sent time competing for time in computer labs.”

What are you proud of in your blended learning classroom?

“Students who take responsibility for their own learning.  My students are smarter than me, they teach me all kinds of new tech stuff every day.”

Learning workflows and favorite apps for your blended classroom

The simplest thing we do, and they one they have the most fun with is making paper slides. Very simple, but their creativity goes crazy! Another thing they like is making mind maps, I have been playing with SimpleMind+Intuitive Mind and a couple of others with the AP classes looking for ways to have them synthesize the content from a Unit as a closure activity

1:1 iPad Classroom/ Blended Learning Advice

“Sometimes when we are facing change it feels like the message is that we’ve been doing it wrong,  I read that in an article, and realized I felt a little like this.

I felt like I didn’t know what was wrong with what I had been doing, but it must be wrong, and suddenly there was this pressure to get on board.  What I came to understand is, we can take our time, and do what we do at our own pace. What we’ve been doing is right for each of us, and what we will do will be right for us and our students too.”

Connect with Robin: Twitter @RKratina

The Amazing Race

IMG_0751Differentiation and Schoology and Gamification…OH MY!!! You have probably heard almost all of these words, but when you put them all together, you have some very powerful tools in your hands! You may ask yourself, “Why gamification?” My response is, “Why not?” Don’t get me wrong; there were definitely feelings of wanting to quit and visions of throwing my computer across the room while creating my very first classroom game. I had been using Schoology for a little over 2 years and I could see what I had done the previous semester just staring at me, screaming, “Just use me!” Despite the temptation to simply reuse, I persevered and created my game.

After using numerous apps on the iPads, I was trying to decide what I should do next.

One of our District Instructional Technology Specialists, Phillip Loomis (@teachloomis), was coming in to talk to me about lesson plans to wrap up the semester. When he arrived, I talked about how I wanted to do something with “completion rules” on Schoology. As we talked more I started thinking that the concept of “The Amazing Race” would work well. We talked about creating different routes for students around the building and asking them to accomplish different tasks involving balancing equations. I decided I would  have them come back to my room about half way through the race and ask them to create a video before they went back out to do more tasks. I planned for the race to take two class periods.

After the initial idea, I started brainstorming tasks to complete and formulating clues that would take my students around the building. When students got to a location, they would have to take a picture of everyone in their group, also known as a “groupie.” Every student was equipped with their iPads and they all had to complete the race, eliminating the possibility of one person doing all the work.  When you use completion rules in Schoology, you can set it up so that students must complete items in a specific order and items won’t unlock until they have met the requirement that you have set for each specific task. This was very beneficial as it didn’t allow students to create their own path during the game.

Another feature of Schoology that made this game possible was grading groups. You can set as many grading groups as you would like and this feature can also help you differentiate in your classroom. After creating the grading groups of the preselected teams, I was able to assign the grading groups to each of their route’s assignments and then students would only be able to see the route that they were assigned to. Since I was using “completion rules”, this would show one folder as a “Must Complete” folder to every student and that would tell them what team they were on.

Once all of the routes, tasks, grading groups and info cards were made, it was time to see this game in action. I was pretty nervous about creating my first game like this, but amazingly it turned out great and I think that it was something that the majority of my students will remember doing in my class for quite a while. The apps that were used to create and play this game were Schoology, Explain Everything, Pic Collage, Classkick, and Notability.

Phillip had mentioned early on that he thought I would like doing gamification lessons. I was hesitant at first, but eventually I came around and I am so glad I did!  All I can think of now is how am I going to do my next game!  In fact, my students are currently playing Survivor during our speed and acceleration unit.  If this is something that you are thinking about doing in your classrooms, don’t get discouraged, it will all come together.  There are high rewards for both you and your students and it is something that your students will remember for a long time.  Not only has gamification helped my students with balancing equations, it has also taught them how to collaborate with each other and use teamwork to accomplish goals.

Written by Nicole Burns | @janssenburns

Digitized VS Blended

“My teacher hands us a worksheet, opens up her computer and sits there. We use the online book and fill out the worksheet. It’s so boring.”

Stories like these make me cringe. So often students experience a digitized assignment rather than a blended learning experience while they are at school. What is the difference between digitized and blended? Let’s look at an example.

Digitzed or blended_

Simply taking the physical world and making it available in the digital world is not best practice and is not a blended learning experience. In a blended learning environment, there is a clear path for students to access materials and collaborate in an online space. This blended learning workflow enables students to have choice in the pace, path, place, and time of the learning since the materials are available online, anytime. Blended learning occurs when teachers implement blended classroom models, such as a station rotation model, and design the learning environment that engages students in online and face to face learning activities that are directly tied to the curriculum.

A four station rotation can look like this:


When we start our classroom coaching in our iPad Academy, we begin with developing a blended learning workflow. Once students and teachers know how to push and pull content to the iPad, we introduce the in-class flip.  The in-class flip duplicates the teacher and allows them to strategically repurpose class time. Teachers create short video lessons (less than ten minutes in length), share them in Schoology, and teach students the expectations of how to view and learn from a video lesson. The goal of the repurposed class time is to create conditions for every student to learn.

Pairing the in-class flip with the blended learning station rotation model affords the teacher the ability to work with small groups of students every day as they rotate through the stations. The station rotation workflow enables the teacher to personalize the stations and provide opportunities for student creation and choice in how they want to demonstrate mastery of a concept.  When students have choice over how they can work with the material and learn the concepts, they begin to look at their own formative data, set their own learning goals, and work with the content in a variety of ways that help them learn best and gain deeper meaning of the concepts.

When students learn in a blended learning classroom, engagement increases because students have more control over the time, pace, place and path of their learning. Blended learning models break the old cycles of sit and get, lecture based instruction and transform it to an engaging student focused environment.

To see the blended learning station rotation model in action, take a minute to listen to our iPad Academy high school social studies teacher, Sara Fjell, talk about what learning looks like in her 1:1 blended classroom.

Video of Mrs. Fjell

Written by Ann Feldmann

BPS BlendED Teacher Spotlight

Spotlight (1)

Our Bellevue Public Schools #ipadacademy teachers are a talented and innovative group of educators. We are grateful for their time, enthusiasm, and positivity as they transform their classrooms with blended learning strategies and personalize learning for their students. This series is a way to celebrate them and share their wisdom on blended learning. The resources, advice, and passion from these educators is something we need to capture and share. These trailblazers are helping to lead the way in creating a change in teaching and learning. This blog series will give you a chance to meet and learn from these inspirational educators! 

IMG_4969Brittany Braasch 3rd Grade Teacher-Bellevue Elementary

Before I had technology I ….. and now as a 1:1 blended classroom I …….
“Before I had technology I was more of a “traditional” teacher–my classroom was set up in rows or groups, and everyone was facing the front of the classroom. Now as a 1:1 blended classroom, I have flexible seating and there is no “front” of the classroom. The kids are working everywhere in the room and making so much growth!”

What are you proud of in your blended learning classroom?
“The students–they are so proud of themselves and really take ownership for the things they create.”

Learning workflows and favorite apps for your blended classroom
Schoology workflow, favorite apps–Stick Around, MobyMax, Keynote, Popplet

1:1 iPad Classroom/ Blended Learning Advice
“Take it slow! Don’t try to do everything at once–start with one thing at a time and let the kids become comfortable with that one skill before moving on to the next.”

Connect with Brittany: Twitter: @BrittanyBraasch

Gina Stukenholtz, Math and History Teacher-Lewis and Clark Middle SchoolScreen Shot 2017-12-04 at 10.43.30 AM

Before I had technology I ….. and now as a 1:1 blended classroom I …….
Before I had technology I….
–spent too much time carrying around papers.
–took too long giving feedback- it might be a few days after kids turned in work.
–Did not use formative assessments and feedback to change my instruction instantly.  It was more like playing catch up after we had moved on.
–I was not as connected to other educators, and missed out on golden opportunities to steal great ideas from great educators.
–I, unintentionally, had a fixed mindset, technology has pushed me full-force into a growth mindset.
–I embrace failure and a can-do attitude in front of kids.  We try things, change things, fix things, and are a LOT MORE flexible with learning and growth.
–We all accept feedback more openly. We learn to embrace the power of sharing and learning from each other. We help each other BE BETTER TOGETHER.

What are you proud of in your blended learning classroom?
“I am proud of the constant growth and change in my classroom. We rarely do things the same year after year. The level of engagement with the curriculum has skyrocketed.”

Learning workflows and favorite apps for your blended classroom
Classkick, videos created in Explain Everything and uploaded to YouTube, and shared in Schoology, Nearpod, SeeSaw, Kahoot, Notability. Those are my go-to’s!

1:1 iPad Classroom/ Blended Learning Advice
“Embrace the challenge! It is not easy, nor will it go perfectly the first time through. Work through the issues, stay connected with people who have trod the path before you. Be OK with not being the expert anymore–allow kids to show you that they know more than you–it is a humbling, awesome experience. Use technology to teach kids skill they will need for a lifetime-being able to share knowledge, giving and accepting constructive feedback to one another, help each other BE BETTER. The world needs more of this.”

Connect with Gina: Twitter: @ginastuk

BPS BlendED Teacher Spotlight

Spotlight (1)

Our Bellevue Public Schools #ipadacademy teachers are a talented and innovative group of educators. We are grateful for their time, enthusiasm, and positivity as they transform their classrooms with blended learning strategies and personalize learning for their students. This series is a way to celebrate them and share their wisdom on blended learning. The resources, advice, and passion from these educators is something we need to capture and share. These trailblazers are helping to lead the way in creating a change in teaching and learning. This blog series will give you a chance to meet and learn from these inspirational educators! 


Angelica Musil, Spanish-Bellevue East High School

Before I had technology I ….. and now as a 1:1 blended classroom I …….
”Before I had technology most of my instruction was teacher led. Now the learning is more student led and students can work on several of the activities at their own pace.”

What are you proud of in your blended learning classroom?
“The amount of technology I am implementing and how much I have grown as an educator.”

Learning workflows and favorite apps for your blended classroom
Schoology, Notability, GarageBand, Super Slide videos, online assessments

1:1 iPad Classroom/ Blended Learning Advice
“Just dive in. You don’t have to know everything to get started. Don’t be shy about contacting your tech trainer. They are great and are always willing to help.”

Connect with Angelica: Twitter: @artamusil

Sharae Geldes, 4th Grade Teacher-Two Springs Elementary
Before I had technology I ….. and now as a 1:1 blended classroom I …….
“Before I had technology I was teaching the same lesson to all of my students with occasional differentiation and now as a 1:1 blended classroom I’m able to differentiate my lessons easily and give my students learning that fits their needs immediately.”

What are you proud of in your blended learning classroom?
“I love that my students are able to interact with their learning by creating, explaining and sharing what they’ve learned. My students don’t have a lot of “down time” because there is always something new for them to learn or create.”

Learning workflows and favorite apps for your blended classroom
I enjoy creating math lessons using Explain Everything or Nearpod. The students like showing evidence of their learning using PicCollage or Clips and sharing their work on SeeSaw.

1:1 iPad Classroom/ Blended Learning Advice
“Be flexible. Know that there will be days things won’t work the way you had planned but be willing to try again. Twitter is your friend!  There are so many ideas being shared on Twitter….use them!!  With that being said, tweet! This is something I struggle with because I’m usually so engaged with my students during a lesson and when it’s over, the first thought that comes to mind is dang! I didn’t get any pictures…that would have been a good thing to put on Twitter.  I’m still trying to be better at this!”

Connect with Sharae: Twitter: @SGeldes

Everyone Can Code

We were delighted to have the Apple Professional Learning team in Bellevue Public Schools last month to provide two Everyone Can Code workshops for our building technology coordinators, instructional coaches, blended learning coaches, and our high ability learner team. Bruce Ahlborn, Apple Professional Learning Specialist, did an excellent job leading the sessions and opening the dialogue about a K-12 coding curriculum.

Over the course of the two days, attendees learned how to use the Swift Playgrounds curriculum materials and walked away with a plan to implement the curriculum in their schools. The Everyone Can Code curriculum provides a logical path for all students and the time is already built into the schedule. I want to thank Apple for making it a priority and providing tools to make it possible for every student everywhere to have an opportunity to solve problems by coding.

In addition to the workshop content, we personalized the training to meet our own district needs by adding a guest speaker on day 1 and a robot playground on day 2. On the first day of the workshop, guest speaker, Michael Feldmann, teenage app developer, shared his coding testimonial. Teachers enjoyed hearing his story and felt his passion for coding as he delivered his message. The message that resonated with all of us was the necessity to provide coding opportunities for our students and the need to start now.

On the second day of the workshop, our blended learning team provided a robot playground with Spheros, Drones, Dash, and Lego Mindstorms. The coding playground was a hit! Attendees worked in teams to program Dash through a maze of PVC pipe. Laughter filled the room as their programs made the robots come to life and move through the maze. We wrapped up the robot playground with a station containing Osmos, Spheros, and Drones programmed and controlled by the Tynker, Tickle, and Sphero EDU apps. It was fantastic to have our teachers leading these rotations. So much coding and robotics experience in one room.


Apps iBooks and PDFs
  1. iBooks
  2. iTunes U
  3. iMovie
  4. Pages
  5. Keynote
  6. Code Spark -The Foos
  7. Tickle
  8. Tynker
  9. Swift Playgrounds

  1. Swift Playgrounds: Learn to Code 1 and 2
  2. Get Started with Code 1
  3. Get Started with Code 2


  1. Getting Started with Code Curriculum Guide
  2. Swift Playgrounds Curriculum Guide

Written by: Ann Feldmann |@annfeldmann1

How the In-class Flip and Classkick Transformed My Classroom

As a math teacher, one of the most important components of my classroom was the independent practice for my students. By implementing an in-class flip model, I was able to free up time for my students to get more independent practice while still in the classroom. This allowed classmates to support one another and allowed me to provide more personalized support. Previously, before iPads, I would teach a lesson for about 30-40 minutes, depending on questions, disruptions and distractions. Then, I would give my students 5-10 minutes to work on independent practice and they would take the rest home for homework and turn it in the next day. Sometimes I would go over the homework or I would have them turn it in and then I would grade it and give it back to the students the next day. This meant that at least 48 hours had passed from the time students learned a topic to the time they would receive feedback. No matter how hard I worked and how personalized and descriptive I made the feedback, it no longer had meaning. My students had then potentially spent two days doing their work wrong before receiving any feedback. This just did not work for me or for my students. By implementing the in-class flip, I was able to present that same 30-40 minute lesson in a 5-7 minute video, made using Explain Everything and uploaded to Schoology. The students watched these videos individually at the beginning of the class. This was great for every level of student. My students, who I sometimes went too fast for and those who struggled learning the content, were able to pause as often as they wanted, rewind and listen to the lesson as many times as they needed to understand the material. At the same time those students, who picked up on material quickly or had previous knowledge on the topic, did not have to sit for 30-40 minutes bored and not learning anything new.  They were able to watch the video, move on and extend their learning by the end of the day.


This left me with just one question, how could I offer independent practice for my IMG_4247students and get them the personalized feedback they needed and deserved immediately? Getting that feedback immediately not only would allow me to see who is mastering the concepts and who is struggling, but the students would also get that information. This is where Classkick came in. This app quickly became my favorite and most used app. The app itself is almost like a PowerPoint presentation with multiple slides, but unlike a PowerPoint, this app is self paced and provides me real time data! This app simultaneously allows me to see students working while providing personalized and in the moment feedback. I was able to provide my students multiple practice problems and they could complete the work at their own pace. While students are working, I could look at my screen and see the work they were doing in REAL time! The app has a feature where I can not only see their screen in real time, but I can open their screen and collaboratively work on it with them. I was able to see students making mistakes and help fix those mistakes before they went onto the next problem, let alone the next day.


The app has a feature where the students can raise their hand if they need help or they can choose Please Check so I knew they wanted help from me or that they wanted me to check their answers. This helped me reach those students who always behave and are never a disruption, but are so quiet that sometimes their voice does not get heard. They were able to ask for help privately and no one in the class knew who was getting help or who I was working with. I was also able to pull my small group of students who needed extra help from me and I could still work with students all around the room. My students who picked up on the material quickly were able to go through the independent practice and, rather than waiting for the rest of the class or for me, they were able to move on to the rest of the agenda to extend their learning, which previously I never had time for.

IMG_4904Now, in one class period my students were learning a topic at their own pace, practicing that topic, getting immediate and personalized feedback on that topic and ensuring they knew it before leaving for the day. Classkick gave me the instant feedback I needed to see where my students were each day. I was then able to target my instruction using that formative data, know who I needed to work with individually, what small group I needed to pull, and what students needed extension materials. If the entire class struggled on a specific problem in Classkick, I knew that immediately, and was able to stop the entire class and reteach.

The in-class flip model was beneficial for my students and truly transformed my teaching. The mentality that every child learns the same way and at the same time was gone. I was able to personalize my student’s learning and provide real time feedback. The best part of this model was that it gave me the gift of time. It got me out of the front of the classroom and it allowed me to work side by side with my students while they mastered the concepts.

Written by Chelsea Hoglund

Opening Game for the BPS BlendED Professional Learning Season

We officially kicked off our BPS BlendED Professional Learning Season with our two day refresher training for 20 teachers! This marks the beginning of our journey to a 1:1 over the next four years.  I felt like a little girl the night before Christmas. All night long I kept waking up with a jolt of excitement. Is it time? Is it time? Is this really happening?

As soon as we said “Welcome to iPad Academy” the twenty teachers burst into applause. This was the highly anticipated time when they became a 1:1 iPad classroom. Armed with a classroom set of iPads, our newest iPad Academy members were ready to investigate the driving question, “What is blended learning?”.  Our team of five iPad coaches each took a group into the field to find the answers in our very own BPS classrooms. Teachers used the Camera and Notes apps to capture evidence of blended learning. In the evening, they used the Clips app to reflect on their field experience and share their creations in a discussion board in Schoology.

As I watched our teachers passionately sharing with their fellow teachers how they use iPads and blended learning strategies to transform their classroom, tears welled in my eyes and a shiver ran through me. Our teachers rocked it!  What a gift for our teachers to learn from one another! Teachers had a rare opportunity to observe, question, and experience a blended learning culture from our own professionals in our own district. Our new iPad Academy teachers were amazed to see and feel the blended learning culture as they moved from elementary to middle school, to high school classrooms.

Screen Shot 2017-09-04 at 5.17.33 PM

Returning to the training room, we took them for a deeper dive into blended learning over the next two days where they learned the secret sauce to transforming their classrooms.
Tomorrow, 450 iPads will be in 450 students’ hands in these 20 new classrooms. Teaching and learning as they have know it will be forever changed as blended learning strategies are implemented right away. Along with the iPads, they will also have one of the five of us as their iPad coach for nine weeks. I am beyond thrilled for every single one of them. Our district is doing it right. Our teachers and students are empowered with the right equipment, training, and coaching support to race down the field. On the way to a touchdown, there are a lots of plays and many first downs. Each day they are all moving the ball down the field and the touchdown will happen for each of them in their own time.

I am grateful for the right people in the right place at the right time to make this happen. It is a result of a relentless desire to transform teaching and learning and the leadership and support of an incredible staff, administrative team, school board, and community. 

Written by Ann Feldmann


Ready or Not, Here We Go!

The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” – Chinese Proverb

As students are returning to school, I have seen a number of tweets and blog posts asking the burning question, “I have iPads, how do I get started?”

That is exactly what we have been doing these last two weeks! Our teachers started back to school on last Monday and our students started last Thursday. Needless to say, we have been very busy helping everyone start the year. Let’s take a peek at our first steps in our iPad Academy up and running.

First, we started with our teacher leaders. We have one iPad Academy teacher in each building who is paid extra duty pay to be the building contact for blended learning with the iPads. We are lucky to spend a full day with them before school starts so they can support teachers in their buildings and provide pre-school inservice to staff. We had a packed day including time to learn about the following:

  • Clips App
  • Apple Classroom App
  • Apple TV configuration
  • Schoology
  • Shared Model
  • App Management
  • Change Management

You may be wondering what is the shared model?

The shared model allows students to log in and out of the iPad and only see their content, similar to logging in and out of a computer. Each student logs in by touching their course, their name, and entering a 4 digit code. Now, personal information such as photos and documents is private for each student. Our secondary teachers are overjoyed to have the shared model in place to streamline student workflow and solve the issue of students accidentally deleting a project that didn’t belong to them. We will be using the shared model until we are completely 1:1 in four years. All you need to run the shared model is a new iPad that is 32 gig or larger and JAMF.

Additionally, we have been traveling around the district visiting all 21 buildings giving our 60 iPad Academy teachers a hand with anything and everything iPad from signing in to Apple TVs, using the classroom app, and setting up iPad charging stations. At the same time, we delivered a green screen and 5 mesh shelves to every media center to be used for teacher check out for creation stations in their classrooms.

Day 1 and 2 with the Students

We begin integrating curriculum by starting with just one subject (elementary) or one class (secondary) and one app. We focus on digital workflow, so students can learn how to access curriculum materials and share work with their teachers, classmates, and parents.

Here are four of our core apps we use for workflow and how our teachers are using them in the first two days of school:

  1. Seesaw is a powerful app for sharing student work, creating reflection videos, and sharing student work with parents. Monica Evon (@mrsevon1), 4th grade teacher and Bellevue Elementary, started the year off with students creating short reflection videos and sharing them in Seesaw.
  2.  Classkick is an app that allows teachers to provide slides to students which can includes links. In addition, as students write, teachers can watch in real-time, jump to students slides, and provide them written or audio feedback as they work. Kelly Benne (@mrsbenne), 2nd grade teacher at Fairview, had her second graders using Classkick for a math lesson which included a teacher created video. She used her teacher iPad for instruction and giving real time feedback to students as they worked on their math lesson.

  3. Nearpod is a great app to use at the beginning of the year because it has free icebreakers you can download and use. These are fun, interactive, and the head fake is that they learn how to use Nearpod too! That could be fun for the first day with the iPads. Carrie Buresh (@CarrieBuresh), 3rd grade teacher, created a Nearpod lesson for the first reading unit which included introducing new vocabulary. Students drew their vocabulary words and submitted them in Nearpod. Next, Buresh shared out several examples to every student using the screen share feature in Nearpod.
  4. Many students also signed in to Schoology, our learning management system. Students access their course materials in Schoology from K-12.

Classroom Management with the Apple TV and Apple Classroom AppBuresh air played the Too Noisy app on her TV so students could see a visual of the noise level in their classroom. The Apple TVs are a fabulous addition to our Apple ecosystem. Teachers can also easily AirPlay student iPads with the Apple Classroom App too.

I’m so proud of how our teachers are leveraging the iPad to be more efficient and effective in the classroom. Check back next week and see what’s happening in #ipadacademy.

Ann Feldmann | @annfeldmann1