Tabaldo on Tech

Teaching with Technology in the 21st Century

image Flicker (Kevin Jarrett)
image Flicker (Brad Flickinger)

iPads in Middle School

Students pioneer the iPad frontier!

Every fifth-grader at Heim Middle School in Williamsville recently received an iPad to use until the end of the school year. Robert Kirkham/Buffalo News

Every fifth-grader at Heim Middle School in Williamsville recently received an iPad to use until the end of the school year. Robert Kirkham/Buffalo News

I just read this article from the Buffalo News about the iPad initiative that is rolling out in progressive public school districts.

“It’s transforming instruction,”  “I’ve got kindergarteners who email me their work.”

 

“the change in classroom instruction has been huge.”

 

“No more stumbling over unknown words in reading class. A light tap on the electronic page calls up the definition from Webster’s Dictionary.”

The use of polling apps, emailing assignments, instant access to digital content like definitions and e-books this is amazing. The article states that iPads in education is still in infancy and there are still bugs to be worked out, but for the most part they are successful at this time.

I am waiting for the research to be complete from the University at Buffalo to see if iPad use translates into improved academic achievement.

Students Need Google Search Help

Just because we think our students are tech savvy, does not mean they are proficient when it comes to productive web searching.

Students might come to us with tech skills, but those skills might be gaming skills, iTunes skills, singing cat on YouTube searching skills or App Store purchasing skills. Our students are not necessarily coming to school with quality web searching skills.  Google offers Lesson Plans for teaching Google Search. These lessons are separated into Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced and are on topics like “Picking the right search terms,” “Understanding search results” and “Evaluating credibility of sources” and more. In the Lesson Plan tab, you will find Standards mapping (CC, AASL & ISTE NETS-S.)

There are also YouTube videos we can show that gives students a better idea of how Google Search works:

It is not difficult to teach some basic search practices, and even work in some Google Search Lessons into you activities. This will make for more productive, robust and well-rounded searching results in the future.

iPad Screen Display in the Classroom

ToT-wpid-photo-2013-02-10-1032-pm I recently stumbled across a blog post that talked about how to project your iPad to a projector on the TeachingWithiPads.com site. I liked both methods described in the article, but I was able to quickly implement Method 2, in 10 minutes.

Method 1: Use AirPlay with AppleTV to projector (or in some cases a TV monitor.)

Method 2: Use Reflector software, installed on a Mac (or PC) that is hooked up to the projector.

I purchased the Reflector software for $12.99 and was able to install it on my MacBook via download and activation. I turned on my iPad and made sure both devices were on the same WiFi network. I double clicked the “home” button and swiped right to get the AirPlay activation.TOT-mirroring

I selected “my computer” and turned on “Mirroring” and viola I was up and running.

photo 2

Reflection in Full Screen

photo (2)

Reflection on the Desktop

 

President Obama talks STEM in Education

In President Obama’s February 12, 2013 Fireside Google Hangout, he specifically mentions STEM and the lack of women in STEM fields. In the next question he talks about including Computer Programming Language as a legitimate language in secondary education and how it would open opportunities for technology minded students before college.

You will need to fast forward the video to the start of the STEM discussion, about 24:55.

For an article on more information about this topic click here.

Looking for Free Images?

Free Images for use in Educational Settings

Looking for images to go along with your lesson?

Yes, there is always Google Image Search (I use it daily) but those images may be protected by copyright law. If you are looking free images that you can use legally check out these sites:

morgueFile

morgueFile – Free high resolution photographs, (as a courtesy you could site the photographer.) The morguefile images are really free to use in creative projects, although they are not in the public domain. These images are provided with free usage rights, it is similar to taking the image yourself, but you can not claim ownership of the image.

pics4learning

Pics4Learning – Pics4Learning is a safe, free image library for education. Teachers and students can use the copyright-friendly photos and images for classrooms, multimedia projects, web sites, videos, portfolios, or any other project in an educational setting.

freefoto

FreeFoto – FreeFoto.com is made up of 132549 images with 183 sections organized into 3640 categories. Educational users may download images to use off-line in school projects. FreeFoto.com does ask for link back and attribution for photos used.

 

 

Cloud Storage Recommendations

When it comes to Cloud Storage there are options. These are my recommendations:

Google Drive

Google Drive
Cost: Free 5GB
Platforms: PC, OSX, iOS, Droid, Mobile
Upgrade Storage: 25GB-$2.49/mo, 100GB-$4.99/mo up to 16TB

dropbox.com

Dropbox
Cost: Free 2GB (500MB/referral up to 18GB)
Platforms: PC, OSX, iOS, Droid, Linux, Mobile
Upgrade Storage: 100GB-$99/yr, 200GB-$199/yr, 500GB-$499/yr (These are Pro versions)

cubby by logmein

Cubby by LogMeIn
Cost: Free 5GB (1GB/referral up to 20GB)
Platforms: PC, OSX, iOS, Droid, Linux, Mobile
Upgrade Storage: 100GB-$84/yr, 200GB-$168/yr, 500GB-$420/yr (These are Pro versions. They sell space in increments of 100GB and have a multi user option as well.)

Bitcasa-Logo-Green

Bitcasa
Cost: Free 10GB
Platforms: PC, OSX, iOS, Droid, Lunix, Mobile
Upgrade Storage: $99/yr for Infinite storage space

If you are using Google App for Education at your school (or Google just apps) and are looking for a collaboration space and place where your students can share documents and information with you, Google Drive is the best option. If you are looking for a place to house all your teaching materials where you can access it from wherever you are one of the other options might compliment Drive.

Being the Nerd that I am I have an account with all of these. I use them all for different purposes, and they keep my data separate and organized.

Keeping your data in the cloud ensures that the data is never lost in a hard drive crash, and it will always be accessible with an Internet connection, usually from any device. As a teacher this is extremely valuable.

Find the best option for you, and let me know what you chose and why…

There is a Cloud in My Classroom

We hear all the time about “the cloud” but do we really know what the cloud is and what it does?

Photograph taken by Michael Jastremski

Photograph taken by Michael Jastremski

The Cloud or “Cloud Computing” is using applications and resources that are located on a network, usually the Internet instead of on a local computer or device.

To simply explain this, think of when you purchased you last computer or laptop and you wanted to have a word processing program on it. You probably had to spend another $100+ to get Microsoft Word. The software was then installed, probably from a CD, to your computer and there it lives for you to use as long as you own the computer. This is a traditional installation to a local machine. Now imagine that you purchased that same computer and did NOT pay the extra $100 for Microsoft Word. Instead, you went on the internet, logged into your Google account and opened up Google Drive and began to create new documents, spreadsheets, forms, pictures and presentations all from the web. This is cloud computing. You are using the Google resources online to create the same content you could create using a similar locally installed program.

The Cloud can refer to programs or applications that reside on the web, and it can also refers to data storage. The Cloud can offer the ability to collaborate without having to email documents back and forth. Documents and folders can now be shared and edited in real time with others no matter where they are.

Using The Cloud in the classroom can be very powerful. Students can be working on a research project in Science class, save it to their secure Cloud storage area, continue to work on it no matter what computer they are on or where they are at (provided they have an Internet connection.) Upon completion of the assignment the students simply moves the finished document into the Science Homework Submissions folder that is shared with the teacher and viola it is submitted. No papers to lug around, just the opportunity to read and comment on the assignment. The teacher can see the progression of the assignment, as well as have an archive of the students’ work. The student now has a digital collection of their work safe on the web, accessible later for reference or just to see their growth.

The Cloud service I recommend is of course Google Apps for Education. Google apps integrate well together and are compatible with every device I have tried them on. Google Drive has plenty of storage space for students and gives them the ability to share and collaborate with others. Google Drive can create Documents, Spreadsheets, Presentations, Pictures and Forms. Drive can also act as storage for any other digital file. (There are some limitations on file size.)

(If you would like to learn more about Google Apps for Education, check out my Tabaldo on Google site.)

There are so many examples I could give but I really want your feedback on how you are using The Cloud in your classroom.

(Next post will be on Cloud Storage Services. – Stay tuned.)

I’ve Been Adding Resources

Pages Are Updated

Although there have been no Blog posts this last week I have been updating pages of my Site. (Remember this is just the beginning. I am relying on my fellow teachers to add to this content as we find it.) Here is a quick overview of what has been added:

Articles:

In the Articles section I have added 2 pages, Flipped Classroom and Paperless. I will continue to add articles on these topics as I come across quality reading.
articles1

 

Teacher Resources:

In the Teacher Resources section I have added 3 new pages under iPad Apps: Science Apps, Math Apps and Literacy Apps. These pages are just the beginning of providing links to iPad apps that may be useful in your classroom.
iPadapps1Be sure to subscribe to the Blog so you know when new content is added. You don’t want to miss out!