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.

Pre-School
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

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