Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Common iPad/iOS Questions from Teachers

As I began developing presentations for upcoming iPad "basics" and "apps/advanced" sessions for the "Let's Talk Science" professional development (PD) series, a number of questions from past iPad training sessions with classroom teachers came to mind that I wanted to share.  From these past iPad inservice teacher training sessions, I quickly realized why classroom management needs to be an integral part of any technology PD initiative.  Topics ranging from "what is the best way to connect my iPad to a projector?" to lesson plan development that utilizes biology/productivity iOS apps and engaging instructional strategies, need to be (1) ongoing  and a collaborative effort between classroom teachers and administrators and (2) a priority in any technology/PD plan if there is to be any evidence of a "return on investment."  Below I have listed several questions that have become a recurring themes; especially for districts or individuals that have recently or are considering deploying an iPad 1-to-to computing program.
  1. Can I create an iTunes App Store account (i.e. an Apple ID) without having to use a Credit card?  Yes.  Read here to learn how to do this.
  2. What are some different options and equipment needed to mirror my iPad 2 through a projector?
    • Connect with VGA adapter.  
    • Connect with a digital AV adapter (via HDMI).
    • Connect wirelessly with an Apple TV.  This may not be typical of most classrooms, but the following must be in place:
      • Both the iPad 2 and Apple TV must be connected to the same WiFi network.
      • The projector (or monitor) must have an HDMI input port.  This allows you to connect the Apple TV to the projector via an HDMI cable.
      • Both the iPad 2 and Apple TV must be updated to iOS 5.
    • NOTE:  The full mirroring options listed above only works with the iPad 2 (and iPhone 4s) only.  "Full mirroring" means that you want to display your iPad 2 desktop and any app through the projector.  For the original iPad, mirroring only works for apps that enable mirroring such as sideshows in the Photo app or playing video via the Video app.  You can not mirror the desktop of the original iPad (iPad 1) using the methods above.
  1. What is iCloud?
  2. How do I set up iCloud on my iOS devices, Mac, and PC?
More questions will be added to this blog post as I, and others, encounter them with classroom teachers.  Also explore the Science, Math, and Productivity iOS Apps post for links to apps and integration ideas.  Feel free to add your frequently encountered questions and resources in the comments sections below.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Science, Math and Productivity iOS Apps

Although the iPad, or similar tablet devices, can easily be viewed as an instructional technology fad, and an additional technology that may overload students and teachers with, the educational implications of such devices to engage learners and transition our schools out of the Industrial Age surpass their disadvantages.  As STEM education continues to be of great importance throughout the United States, educators, administrators, and other educational leaders must be cognizant of the instructional resources, including mobile devices, that provides access to information and multimedia content, aligns to curriculum standards, induces sharing and collaboration, induces other 21st century skills in conjunction with effective classroom management and instructional strategies, and most importantly..........engage learners.

Below you will find two lists, math and science, of Web resources to iOS (Apple's operating system for mobile devices) apps that support specific math/science content areas and general productivity.

Math iOS Apps

Science iOS Apps


Friday, June 24, 2011

Twitter in Education: Initial Thoughts and Resources

Many educators are bringing authentic real-time communication of Twitter that support students' learning.  After several years of backchanneling at conferences and building a learning network with individuals with similar educational interests, I've come to the conclusion that Twitter can help teachers learn as well.  Twitter has simply become one of the best resources for teachers to build personal learning networks, collaborate, share Web resources and ideas to common classroom challenges, and discuss educational policy.   

During my time as a technology administrator in a school district in South Carolina, I was constantly asked "how do you find out about these emerging technologies and Web tools for the classroom?"  My response was always "Twitter."  Twitter, along with RSS feeds via Google Reader, have been valuable resources for keep up with the latest trends in classroom technologies and pedagogical practices.  I hope to instill in participants at this year's Texas Regional Collaboratives Seventeenth Annual Meeting how Twitter can be used to engage students and be an integral tool for collaborating with other teachers with similar interests.  The resources below should provide a starting point for further exploring implications of Twitter.  I will be adding more resources so be sure to check periodically for updates.  Enjoy!

 Blogs and Websites

Friday, May 6, 2011

QR (Quick Response) Codes in the Classroom

Recently, I've been receiving a number of articles and blog posting about the use of QR (Quick Response) codes in the classroom. While reading the Using QR Codes in Education blog post on the ISTE website, I started watching the following embedded YouTube video, Black & White and Scanned All Over, which helped me put this unique technology into perspective. 


qrcodeFrom a professional development perspective, QR codes can be an efficient way for teachers to access Web-based supplemental materials.  Even on print-based handouts that many teachers prefer to have on hand, QR codes can be used to reduce the amount of printing and place links to even more resources on the World Wide Web.  QR codes can be read with any device that has a camera and an appropriate reader.  Devices such as the iPhone and iPad 2 can read QR codes.  Scan the QR code to the right to view an example that links to a Web page.  Below you will find links to (1) QR code generators that are free on the web, (2) QR reader apps for the iPhone and iPad 1/2 and (2) integration ideas for classroom use.  Enjoy and share any thoughts and/or resources you may have in the comments sections below!

QR Code Generators
 iPhone/iPad 2 QR Reader Apps
Integrating QR Codes in the Classroom