Tabaldo on Tech

Teaching with Technology in the 21st Century

Tabaldo on Tech - Teaching with Technology in the 21st Century

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.

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!

Stuff I Recommend

Sometimes I come across a product that I just LOVE, and I want to share. I have a few links posted on the right nav bar under “GADGETS” but I want to really highlight them and a few more.

AppleTV

Let’s begin with the Apple TV. This little gadget is such a great deal. Think of the BANG for the BUCK! For only $99 you get a 1080p HD experience. This little box has changed my life, literally. I can stream from the iPhones, iPads to the big TV. I can watch Netflix or HuluPlus and YouTube. We can access the music, videos & pictures on the Media Server (separate post on the Media Server set up) from iTunes.  The AppleTV will AirPlay Mirror wireless from a Mac with the Mountain Lion OS, I see this as an asset in any classroom.

ZAGG, Inc.

Now let’s talk about productivity. As an administrator and a professor, I sometimes rely on my iPad to take notes in a meeting, or demonstrate a concept to a classroom. Lucky for me with this accessory my iPad becomes even more powerful. The ZAGGfolio is a protective case, a stand and a bluetooth keyboard all in one! When I take notes in Pages or Notes it feels almost like I’m typing on my MacBook. I can whip up a Keynote in minutes, and most importantly as an administrator I can answer email quickly and efficiently. The bluetooth keyboard holds a charge for about a month with moderate usage, and at $79 and a variety of colors, it  is a must have accessory no matter what your job.

NeatDesk

An organized, digital life.

OK – so let’s get organized! I love getting organized as much as the next guy, but who has time? Well I had been wanting one of these bad boys for a while and the price tag is what prohibited me for making the leap. At $399 NeatDesk is a big investment to say the least. So I’ll tell you, I saved up rebate cards and Staples gift cards until the investment could be made and let me tell you it was worth it. I went for NeatDesk because it was able to handle the many different needs I had as a business owner and for my personal paper clutter. The NeatDesk will scan business cards and import then to my Outlook Contacts, it can scan documents like articles and invoices and organize them into appropriate folders/categories that I have predefined, and of course it can scan receipts as well. The scanner is FAST! I began with scanning the bank statements for the last 3 years to date. I knocked this out for  4 accounts in about 5 minutes. It was simple and easy to figure. The software is powerful and can even generate reports for you. There is Neatcloud, a service that will back up everything for you, but I felt it was not worth it since I already back up using Carbonite.

Carbonite Online Backup System


Unlimited online backup for your small business

We all have external hard drives that we back up our data to, right? Well what happens when that external HD fails? Or better yet when your friend/spouse/kid/{fill in the blank} turns off the automatic back up to the external drive and you don’t know it. Unknowingly you take your computer to the shop to have the OS updated and you assure the tech that your data is recoverable on your external hard drive. When you excitedly get your computer back and go to to restore the data, your heart sinks as the last back up date you see is July 1, 2010! This is a true story, it really happened to a friend of mine and two years worth of work was gone, not recoverable! It is a feeling that just breaks my heart.

Those who know me say I’m a back up freak! I have 3 external HDs that I back up to and I also save photos to CD by month/year. But when it comes to my data/pictures/videos/music I don’t delete anything and I don’t risk it either. I have had an external HD fail on me, and luckily I have a back up to my back up. Now, let me explain my back up plan to you: My iMac (the family computer) has an external HD that backs up all the music, data and photos from the individual users. I have a W7 PC that I use for my business that has a small external HD for data back up. Finally I have a NAS drive (or 2) that house all media in the entire house (that’s all music and all digital movies.)  I have 2 NAS drives because one is a back up of the other.  So you are asking yourself where does Carbonite come in? Well, where doesn’t it? I use Carbonite to back all the data on the PC. The PC holds all my business records and even though it is on an external it is not automatically backed to the external drive. Only when I think of it. With Carbonite, I just set the folders I want backed up and it’s done. Period! I know that if there is an issue and I need to restore my data it’s there ready for me. For the price ($59/year for 1 computer Mac/PC) you can’t beat the peace of mind! Try Carbonite Online Backup FREE for 15 days and back up your irreplaceable files automatically and securely. No credit card required!