This is student lead, class-room blog about our first year with 1:1 iPads in 8th grade. We are sharing our triumphs and failures as we learn together how to best use this powerful tool to enrich our study of American History. Glad you joined us!
Last week was really incredible for me. This is true for many reasons. Subsequently, I am still sorting it out.
Monday morning I completed high-jump practice with four very talentent young women with great enthusiasm for the sport. Then I heard some heart-breaking news that can only be described as a gut-punch.
Emotionally on edge, I continued on to SXSWEdu that morning and immediately began being bombarded with new ideas and new methods of learning. I was introduced to GeekDom and Spark Ed. I hope to visit their space with students sometime soon.
Some Key Points he made:
1. Start with a field trip to get students invested.
2. Give kids Voice and Choice
3. Do the project yourself FIRST and build the rubric in your head as you do it.
4. After the visit do a Blog-o-Thon (Blog-o-Con not sure which), notice that this gives quite-types a voice.
5. Make your Guiding question UnGoogleable ex. Does Music Make Waves?
I asked my students what we could do with this app. This was the result. Thanks to TechChef4U for making the video.
There are so many things to share about this project. My students wrote children's books about the topic we were studying in class (Washington), they created instructions for the Elementary students to guide them on drawing illustrations and we met in person to record the Elementary students' voices.
Ann Root (5th gr teacher) , Katey Crowley (3rd grade teacher) and Marianna Husain (EdTech) welcomed the idea even before we knew what we were doing.
Its taken me forever to get this post up. You how the end of school is. I plan to make an iTunesU course with all of the materials you will need to replicate in your classroom, so stay tuned.
Here are all the finished books. Thanks to Marianna for making this!
On Friday 2/22, 13 of my students and @techchef4u joined me on a wonderful fieldtrip to @rocksauce studios.
Here are some pictures from our trip.
Our group was amazed by the hospitality of Rocksauce and their team. They welcome us in and shared all parts of their app dev team. Our group was thrilled to see the process of making apps and many commented that, "They had no idea how involved app making was!"
Here are some of the students' reflections on our trip.
"The app world is very complicated. The code and development is very complex and, it seems like, endless. The companies who develop apps run on a type of development process that has many "checks and balances." The app development process can take between 4-24 months and is very tedious."
"Rocksauce Studios has different types of people working there. They develop a client's app idea. There are different stages to the app making process. They are in charge of fixing bugs within the app. Most of the artists majored in graphics design in college. They work well with one another. They have to finish and release version one of an app before even thinking about version two." BC -thought leaders- where on a social media program, others ask the company questions or advice
-you can have any kind of background and still be a part of app development
-there are app maps for each screen and what they lead to
-after, each layer such as a button (the shape, letters etc) is separated
-one section of the company makes the requirements (what it has to have) another reformats and designs that same information in a different way
-when making apps for ios and android you have to use two separate kinds of development
-you can draw a character and then have someone else program/process it into the app
-rating is like status and is very important
-it can take 3 months to 2 years to make an app meeting to store
-you have to have a basic format for the first version of an app before you add transitions
So overall, the trip was HUGE success. We are now hoping to host RockSauce on our campus. What a wonderful example of community involvement outside our classroom!
Today during C lunch, my students have the wonderful chance to talk to a Stanford Professor of App Development. We are using this day as a chance to test our communication systems and prepare for a longer chat in the near future. One of our HC student's uncle is the Stanford Prof, so its a cool in house connection. We look forward to sharing the results!
With the introduction and use of iPads 1:1 in 8th grade, it became clear early in the year that my classroom was going to change! It has in so many ways.
One unexpected change, at least to me, was the need for different furniture. My students brought this up in November. They said that they are uncomfortable all day long and would learn much better in a more warm and inviting environment.
After a little bit of research, its clear that my students are not alone. It appears that individual and collaborative learning that the iPad allows, is driving a whole new 21C way of furnishing classrooms.
My students researched what models and brands they liked. They contacted sales representatives and invited one to come meet with them in our classroom. They moved all the furniture out of our room, took pictures, made plans and presented them to our PTO.
Here are some of the designs they made.
Here is also a thinglink picture with their ideas and the products they requested.
Hello and WOW! How wonderful and easy it is to create a course on iTunes U. If you havent been there yet, take a second to click on the link above, you'll be glad you did. I'll wait for you....go NOW, its awesome!!
For students who wish to enroll copy and paste this link
Edudemic made a list of the top 20 innovators on Pinterest and the Fiskeclass Pinterest Boards made the list! You can follow us at the link above or use the button on our sidebar. It is an honor to be on the list with such distinguished educators.
Hill Country Middle School welcomed leaders in education from across the state on December 11th to view our classroom use of iPads.
Over 30 educators and education leaders came to our school and classrooms to see how we are using iPads in the hands of every 8th grader. A group of about 8 educators rotated through four of our classrooms to observe the iPads in action. Following this, they attended a teacher and a student panel discussion of our iClassrooms. Here you can see the teacher panel where I am one of the teachers.
Please click on the link "See Event Details" below
In an attempt to bring greater communication and understanding to our community regarding the use of technology, particularly iPads in the classroom, a panel discussion was planned by Mr. Carl Hooker and his team.
He invited me to participate and I gladly accepted. The panel included parents from the community, educators and a University of Texas Professor. Each participant was asked to describe the use of technology in their professional and personal lives. Many of the members of the panel were also parents of students in Eanes ISD.
The event was recorded and can be viewed here. Please click on the "See Event Details" link below:
Last Spring as a member of our campus Technology Vision Committee, I was asked to make a video to share with teachers at Hill Country Middle School to help alleviate some of their initial concerns over placing iPads in the hands of middle school students. The committee came up with the name C5 as our campus theme for the iPad initiative. The words are theirs and are the vision that group had for iPads in the classroom.
I worked with an amazing group of students to make this video. I shot all of the footage with my school provided iPad and edited it on my personal MacBook Pro. The students wrote their own scripts and brought in their own pictures. It was a great success and really fired up the campus for our 1:1 iPad initiative.
In the beginning of this year, one of the things that most excited my students was the idea of connecting with younger students. We watched the anti-bullying PSA made by students in the district, and it really sparked their interest in being more involved in our community.
Before the Winter Break, an opportunity presented itself for us to collabortate with a nearby elemenaty school, Cedar Creek Elementary. It is within walking distance which would make the legistics much easier.
After letting my students decide what they wanted to do to connect with younger children, they elected to teach a lesson on the American Revolution. We used the state standards for the American Revolution as our starting point. In Texas, 5th grade social studies has very similar standards to those in 8th grade. Additionally, the 5th grade at Cedar Creek Elementary had a 1:1 iPads in their classrooms. Our goal was to make several mini-lessons on a variety of topics and then compile them into a iBooks Author eBook to share with the 5th grade.
I formed homogenous groups. Then as a class, we viewed the standards on the projector screen and students chose the topics of their interest. Once the topics were assigned, student groups were to decide what they believed would be the best iPad medium to explain their topics to 5th graders.
Some groups chose to make Puppet Pal shows using the characters of their much beloved "Liberty's Kids" show. Others would make Nearpod presentations to share on their iPads.
Still others decided to make Keynote presentations with You Tube videos embedded. All of my classes worked on these projects until the Winter Break began.
After we returned to school in January, my students were very excited to resume working on their projects and it was decided we would go in two groups to Cedar Creek to share in our work in rotations. In order to trouble shoot in advance, we did mock presentations of our work to each other.
I created this form for students to record their evaluations of each other.