Monday, December 1, 2014

Happy Techie Holidays

I was inspired after seeing the adorable creations from this teacher on Flickr:

We used parts of our district's motto to create a personalized image. Then we used that Keynote image in Thinglink, added a few fun holiday themed links and sent this out as our holiday card from the instructional technologists. 

We became the prize patrol to deliver the prizes for Tech the Halls. 
I was so impressed with the boards our students and teachers made. The district winner had Aurasma ornaments for every child that shared their favorite parts of the holidays, stocking for every teacher that linked to Chatterpix or Jibjab dance videos, music notes that played carols, and snowflakes with AR codes to content questions. Wow!
Here is a video that shows all of the boards.
Enjoy and happy holidays!

Discover PD Series

We chose three words to be in our logo for our ipad initiative: discover, transform and excel. We took these three words and used them as inspiration for our PD plans. 
In the Spring we will be offering monthly professional development to our schools so that they can "discover" new tools for their classroom. 
Our district just purchased Notability for all of our students so we will begin with learning this app. After the holiday break we will be sharing tips for managing a 1:1 classroom, using Twitter, digital assessment tools, Google Apps for Education and a session designed specifically for the needs of our individual schools. I will be sure to share materials for our sessions here.
I am looking forward to getting in to see each of my five schools and continuing to build relationships with the teachers. I have found that time like this with the teachers has really increased their trust in me and their willingness to invite me into the classroom. 

Our annual June district PD days will be a conference style event. We are calling the event Transform 2015. There will be traditional sessions, but also an unconference style portion, App Gallery, Creation Stations and many more fun, interactive learning opportunities. We are very excited about the event and created this Save the Date card.

The Excel portion of our plan is still in the works, but we hope to celebrate the achievement of our students when we return next Fall. 

Does your district organize PD based on themes or annual goals? I would love to hear about it.

K-2 Tech Fun Day

One of my elementary schools asked if I would organize an event for their K-2 students that would be similar to the fun had by our 3-5 students on iPad roll out day.
Thankfully the related arts teachers were willing so we planned 8 different stations for the day.
1. Kahoot games with me. The students had a blast answering questions about animals and cartoon characters using public Kahoot games I found online. They loved the competitive portion and screamed after every question. Yes, every question. Several teachers had not seen Kahoot before and asked if I would show them how to use it in their class. Score!

2. HMH Readers app with the reading coach. The student enjoyed reading and being read to using this app. Other popular reading apps in my district are Raz Kids and Epic.

3. My Heart Rate, Virtual Heart and NFL Play 60 with the PE teacher. 

4. Tune Train and singing with the music teacher.

5. Colar with the art teacher. Often mentioned as one of their favorites that day (after Kahoot of course).

6. Lightbot coding in the computer lab.

7. Chatterpix for sharing their favorite book in the library.

8. Common Sense lesson about online safety with their classroom teacher.

All of the kids had a blast and several teachers learned about tools and apps they had never seen so I was very happy!
What are your favorite apps for our youngest grades?

Monday, November 24, 2014

Tech the Halls

The Instructional Technology team is celebrating the holidays with a bulletin board contest called Tech the Halls. We will visit all of our schools in a few weeks to take pictures of the boards and a panel of judges at the district office will choose their favorites. School winners will receive ornaments made from recycled tech gadgets like mice and RAM and a bag of holidays sweets. The district winner will receive a new iPad case with a customized vinyl monogram. Southern women love monograms!

How do you recognize the holidays in your school?

Monday, October 20, 2014

A1Digital Expedition

For the past several years our district has offered a course called 21 Things that was designed by me and a few other tech leaders in our district. It has been very popular and so important to our district tech goals that it became a requirement for technology certification renewal. This summer we decided to update the course.
Now instead of 21 Things the course is called Digital Expedition. The title ties in with our A1 Digital Innovation initiative. We made several improvements including creating a version for teachers and another for administrators. We cut down to 15 tasks, but they are more in depth. Finally, we made the course more iPad focused and moved the course from Wikispaces to iTunes U. We wanted the course to serve as a model for how teachers could deliver content to their students on the iPad.
The teacher version is still facilitated by the librarian at each school. The three instructional technologists debated this choice because we don't want to burden others with technology tasks, but in the end we decided that it was important to have someone at each school that was easily accessible. I also wanted the librarians to remain in this role to illustrate that they are still tech leaders in our district.

Our 15 tasks for teachers are:
  1. Office 365
  2. Schoolwires
  3. PD Express
  4. Using the Smartboard with the iPad
  5. iWork Suite
  6. Edmodo
  7. Core Apps
  8. Beyond the Core
  9. Flipping the Classroom
  10. Formative Assessment Tools
  11. Blogs and RSS Feeds
  12. Using Twitter
  13. Curation Tools
  14. Evaluating Apps
  15. Goals and Reflection

Our 15 tasks for administrators are:
  1. Office 365
  2. Schoolwires
  3. PD Express
  4. Building the Home/School Connection
  5. iWork Suite
  6. Edmodo
  7. Using the iPads for Evaluations
  8. Beyond the Core
  9. Flipping the Faculty Meeting
  10. Formative Assessment Tools
  11. Blogs and RSS Feeds
  12. Using Twitter
  13. Curation Tools
  14. Evaluating Apps
  15. Goals and Reflection

The course is a public course on iTunes U if you'd like to take a look.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Individual Tech Goals

In my home state all teachers are required to create a goal for Goals Based Evaluation each year. This includes the instructional technologists, as we are still classified as teachers. This year we tried to not only write our goal, but help our teachers write theirs.
I loved this article about individual technology goals:
The three of us put together a presentation that stated our district goals and provided a few sample tech goals. We knew that not everyone would write a technology related goal, but we wanted to help those that were interested in pursing a tech goal. We shared the presentation with the principals and were even invited to share these goals at some of our schools. I've even been pulled aside while walking down the halls to help teachers come up with something. This was an excellent way we could serve our teachers as well as opening the door to future collaborations.

In addition to offering sample goals we asked teachers to answer this survey. The survey was intended to help us tailor the professional development we design to the needs and requests of our teachers.

For my own goal I utilized the questions shared in this blog post to reflect and focus my thoughts.

I'm still thinking about these four and trying to make sure I address them throughout the year.

1. How can I build my working relationship with the teachers I serve to become collaborative and trusting?
4. What instructional problem is the technology integration solving, or what problem does it need to solve based on these students' needs?
7. How can I plan time to observe teachers and listen to their needs?
9. How can I plan to constantly reevaluate my coaching strategies throughout the year and not just set a plan in place at the first of the year?
How do you design your goals for year?

Admin iPad Walk

Just like our teachers, our administrators can be at different levels of comfort with technology. In order to address this and give our principals a chance to see technology in action we decided to plan an Admin iPad Walk. We combined them with the regularly scheduled district principal's meetings.
The host school created a list of teachers that would be using the iPads that day and which apps they would be using. This would allow them to see specific subjects or apps if they wanted.
Our first iPad walk was this week at the middle school. They did a wonderful job.
We all started in the library where they shared an iMovie trailer of pictures from the classroom. Then they shared an Aurasma welcome video from the principal and the student "tech ninjas" went around helping all of the principals follow the school channel. At the door of each classroom was an Aurasma sharing the apps the teachers used and how they used them in their class. The Tech Ninjas served as tour guides. Not only was it great to see the iPads in action, but everyone enjoyed hearing the Tech Ninjas share their perspective.
One of our goals was to allow principals to see some model classrooms so they know what to expect from staff and push their faculty to be risk takers. When the administrator lets it be known that it is ok for teachers to try and fail, the teachers are more likely to try new things and grow.
We would also love to see our schools try something similar with their teachers. During planning periods teachers could tour classrooms in other grades so that they can get this same experience.
After visiting classrooms we reconvened in the library for discussion and sharing. It was a wonderful day.
We are hosting our assistant principals in an elementary school next week and two more in my feeder system next month at another elementary school and the high school. After Christmas we will visit the other two feeder areas.

Have you ever hosted a similar event? I would love to hear how other schools have addressed the needs of their principals and administrators.

Our Latest PD in Action

Now that our iPad deployment is complete and things are working pretty smoothly, the instructional technology team has been able to focus on professional development. One of our most recent big projects was a district wide staff development day. We have lots of creative, innovative teachers that volunteered to lead sessions. We had something for everyone and were very proud of how the day went.
We shared some of our Techie Challenge videos on the TVs in the lobby. These were fun.
I want to share a few of my favorite sessions.

Share Sessions:
We divided the staff into two lunches. While one group enjoyed several food trucks brought in for the event the other group had share sessions with the teachers that teach the same subject and level. Our teachers often say they do not have time to sit down and share with each other so we gave each group a room and asked someone to facilitate to make sure the time was well spent. We heard a lot of positive comments from these sessions.

Round Table App Sessions:
We also asked our high school advocates to lead app mini sessions during lunch. Teachers that wanted to earn an extra hour had the choice of bringing their lunch into the cafeteria and listening as our advocates traveled around teaching about their favorite apps. Those that didn't want to participate were able to eat in the lobby area and courtyard. The students did a wonderful job.

Another complaint we tried to address was that teachers hear about a lot of apps, but not necessarily how to use them in class. We hand selected teachers to lead 2 hour sessions for each subject area that would address this need. Each teacher began by sharing one of their favorite tech lessons then participants had time to design and perfect one tech lesson for themselves. These were a big hit.

The instructional technologists met with our principals to give them updates, check on issues at their school and ask about PD needs they have seen in classrooms.

One of our elementary PD sessions targeted our K-2nd grade teachers who use carts. We scheduled a K-2 Pick Six session at each elementary school. We advertised with this Smore flyer. We set up 12 stations of activities. Teachers had to complete six of them to earn the hour of tech credit. All materials are in the Dropbox folder linked in the flyer. This has led to several lessons including making adjective selfies with Phonto in 1st grade, Number Pieces math in 2nd grade and Chatterpix projects.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Packing the Perfect Roll Out Kit

In preparation for our roll out days we packed kits to travel with us. This is what we included:
three green milk crates
masking tape
posters with social media info and hashtag for the day
box cutters
work gloves
extension cords
power strips
lots of scanners borrowed from our libraries
microfiber cloths
signs and sign display holders for scanning stations
scrap paper
permanent markers
sticky notes
large rolls of asset tags/barcodes
A poster size of our master schedule
individual packets with maps, roll out assignments, locations and times
laminated print outs showing where the warranty sticker will go on cases
bottles of soapy water and old store discount cards for getting on stubborn cases

Our amazing district staff brought drinks and lunch every day and our super efficient maintenance staff delivered tables, iPads and cases every day. My sympathies to the janitorial staff that tackles the mountains of trash we produced every where we went.

No matter how prepared you think you are, things always pop up. Looking back we should have brought a first aid kit. You'd be surprised how dangerous cardboard can be when you're frantically opening, stickering and cataloging.

Roll Out Day Activities

We worked really hard on organizing and scheduling our roll out days. One of our major priorities for instructional technology was creating the student activities. This is what we put together.

 case study  
Case Studies
Lead a discussion about digital citizenship scenarios using the case studies posted below.
   Elementary & Middle School Case Studies ~
      Chat Rooms      CyberBullying
   High School Case Studies ~
      Cell Phones       CyberBully
      Cut and Paste    Social Media
 Arvin Assembly/Keynote
Awakening Your Creative Genius with Arvin from iSchool. (1 hour)
Tour Bus
Digital Learning Revolution bus tour from iSchool Initiative. 
band  iBand: Garageband activity with the amazing musicians from Store Van Music.
 advocates Appapalooza
Our iSchool Student Advocates will present 6 apps for students. 
Edmodo Click here!
myHomework ~ Click here!
Students will create an Edmodo account, edit/create profiles, and join teacher groups.
(If students already have an account and remember the password they may continue
to use that account. If they don't remember the password, they should create a new account.)
 pic collage
Lockscreen Instructions ~ Click here!
Students will create a lock screen picture using the instructions above. If the class is assigned a location for this session, they will visit a Photobooth station. 
HeartBeat Lab ~ Click here!
Students will use the Virtual Heart app to record resting and active heartbeat.

Digital Scavenger Hunt
Students explore all of the features of their new device during these teacher led activities.
Student Teams Take Photos & Videos -Team Hunt & iMovie 

Interactive Game Format -Kahoot! (Tap "Start Now," then directions for students will come on screen.) 
Core Apps Thinglink ~ Click here
Students will explore links that describe each of the core apps during this teacher led activity. Students can use iPads to scan the QR Code to access the Thinglink, or the teacher can use the embedded version below.
App Showcase Menu ~ Click here!
Students will use a creation app to describe how iPads will change their school during this teacher led activity. See above for instructions.
If time permits, students may share projects with the class.
Document the Day ~ Students create a product using pictures they took throughout the day and share on a school Padlet wall.
iPad Policies and Procedures for Students
Teachers lead the students through district policies for ipads.
Three Tech Videos and Discussion:
1, You're More Powerful Than You Think
Watch the video and ask students to answer these questions. Then discuss as a class.
  • How will technology make you a more powerful learner?
  • How do you believe iPads will change school and how your teachers lead a classroom?
 2. Augmented Reality Video 
Watch the video and ask students to answer these questions. Then discuss as a class.
  • Have you ever used or seen augmented reality? If so, describe your experience.
  • How could augmented reality be used in the classroom?
  • How could businesses, government agencies and others use augmented reality?
 3. Evolution of Technology
Watch the video and ask your students to answer these questions. Then discuss as a class.
  • Describe what technology looked like in the classroom when you started kindergarten. 
  • Knowing how quickly technology advances, describe the classroom of the future.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Techie Challenge: What's Your Favorite App?

I try to draw inspiration from pop culture and put a twist on lessons and professional development ideas. My most recent idea was inspired by the ice bucket challenge. Everywhere I look on TV or social media I see the ice bucket challenge, gratitude challenge and others like it so I thought it might be fun to do a tech spin on this type of challenge.  I wanted to do something that would encourage our teachers to share apps and ideas, but I couldn't think of how we could do this in a funny way. My instructional tech partner in crime, Kristen Gunter, suggested combining Photo Booth pictures and Chaterpix to share the apps. Perfect! It is easy to do, funny to see the crazy Photo Booth picture and simple to share.

I made a video to get us started that you can see here.

Here are a few of the response videos so far and it's only been a few days.

The apps shared so far are Chatterpix, Adobe Voice, Pic Play Post, Thinglink, Evernote, and Write About This. If you make your own, please use the hashtag #techiechallenge.

We plan to compile these videos and share on the giant, lobby TVs at our next professional development day and before an app sharing session planned in October. 
I hope the challenge takes off in our schools and gets teachers accustomed to sharing.

Friday, August 15, 2014


If you'd like to follow our team's journey, find us on Twitter and Instagram. We created this poster to display on roll out days and send to our teachers. 
We will be sharing roll out day updates and pictures as well as sharing exciting tech lessons we observe and assist with during the school year. 

Monday, August 4, 2014


In October we hosted an Apptoberfest at each of our feeder system high schools. The idea was to allow our students and teachers to share some of the ways the ipads were being used and invite parents and community members. We hosted the event at our high schools on the same night district-wide. Think science fair but with ipads. 

First we explained the event to our principals and tech leaders at each school and sent this Save the Date flyer to share online and print in poster size.

That evening we had four tables per school set up and each school decided on how to decorate. Along with two of my high school advocates I set up and ran an ipad parent playground where we had a technology Kahoot game running all night using ipads from our elementary carts. Each of the three instructional technologists had our own children illustrate the sign for that table. I used research on the history of technology to create the questions for the game.

The night went really well. I wasn't sure what to expect for parent turn out because Fall Carnivals were around the same time and other community events, but I was pleasantly surprised. An interesting bonus was that administrators and teachers visited other school's tables and learned from each other.
Have you ever done something similar? I would love to hear about your event.

Tech Training for Induction Teachers

For the past five years I have helped teach a session to our induction teachers on technology. This year I was excited that our instructional technology team was asked to organize the day.
Our induction and new to the district teachers were invited. We had a crowd of around 50 teachers. We sent a list of apps they would need beforehand and issued a few iPads at the last minute if they had not already come in to pick them up.
They began the day with a quick survey asking them to assess their tech comfort level and share a tool they want to learn about this year. The QR code was on the screen when they came in. Getting everyone to successfully scan the code was a lesson in itself. I had to Airdrop or email a few that just were not able to get it done in time.

Our district administration welcomed them and shared some information about our district and curriculum updates. Then we began a rotation of six different hands on sessions.
1. iPad Boot Camp with librarian, Monique.
Monique tailored the session to beginners and advanced. She shared settings, tips and tricks for the device as well as items they may want to purchase such as stands.
2. QR Code App Safari with our Director of Planning and Development. 
This is a session I have blogged about in the past.
3. Tech Door Sign with Instructional Technologist, Kristen.
Using this template,, teachers created their own door sign with QR codes and tech information.
4. Finding and Evaluating Apps with me.
I used Nearpod to share a list of things to consider when evaluating apps, how to request apps for student devices and where to find apps. I used the Chirp app to send them this Thinglink to explore with tons of app resources. 
5. Core Apps with instructional technologist, Jessica.
Teachers explored all of the district selected core apps that will be on all student devices.
6. Digging Into Student Data with our Director of Testing
Teachers used anonymous student test data to discuss strategies for instruction.

We all enjoyed spending time with these enthusiastic, new teachers and we received lots of positive feedback about the day. I look forward to doing this again next year.

Are you involved in your district induction training? What types of activities do you offer them?

Tech Introductions

As the new year begins many of us are starting new positions or starting in a new school. This is my first year as instructional technologist and I wanted to build relationships with my teachers as soon as possible. Just like serving as librarian, this position is all about building trust and forging collaboration with the teachers. All three of the instructional technologists thought it was best if we create some sort of digital introduction. This would not only share our contact information, but allow us to model using the technology we're promoting and allow us to share our goals with the teachers.
Our 1:1 initiative is called A1 Digital Innovation and our three word "brand" is Discover, Transform, Excel. We used this to keep our mission focused and created a sort of vision statement for our team.

"Empowering teachers to discover technology, transform instruction and achieve excellence."

We put our vision into our email signatures and on our presentations. In addition we have a logo incorporating the three words for all of our materials.

Each of us selected a different tool to create our tech introductions. I used the Flowboard app to share a little about my teaching career, services I can provide, pictures and contact information. I would share it here, but I don't want weird spammers calling or emailing me. If you want me to send to you just drop me an email and I'll share. My two colleagues decided to use Adobe Voice and Powtoon.

In our introductory emails we also shared our digital technology magazine in Flipboard.
Finally we shared a template for a door sign that encourages teachers to share their classroom tech information such as Remind #, Twitter handle, class blogs, etc.

If you are starting in a new school or position, how did you introduce yourself? Even if you are staying in the same place, how do you introduce yourself to new staff?

Sharing Apps with the School Board

The instructional technologist team feels that it is important to ensure that our school board remains updated about the progress of our iPad initiative. One way that we are reaching out and communicating with our school board is a series we named "What's APPening in Anderson One". 
Our school board has the confidence in our students, teachers, and administrators to approve the investment of going 1:1 this year, so we want them to feel a part of every step we take.
Our first school board meeting visit was at the end of July. We created all of our presentation materials on the iPad to demonstrate the power of the device. First we created an iMovie highlighting pictures and quotes from our June professional development conference. We shared the movie on the projector. Then we created a Pic Collage using pictures from the day and layered it with quotes we typed up in the Notegraphy app. We used the Aurasma augmented reality app to layer the quotes over the pictures. We mirrored our ipad onto the projector and demonstrated how Aurasma works. Finally we created a QR code that links to our district technology magazine in Flipboard. We printed the code on a graphic "postcard" for each board member. We demonstrated how to use a QR reader app to scan the code and sent them home with their own to try. 
We wanted to make our first board visit a showstopper. I think these apps were great choices because of the "wow" factor. We received very positive remarks and even heard back from one of the board members that went home and scanned the QR code. Overall it was a great success.
Our next meeting is at the end of this month. By then we will have rolled out devices to all of our high schools so we will have pictures and quotes from those days. We plan to use Adobe Voice to narrate the pictures and share the excitement of the day. We also hope to show them how they can Air Drop documents for their meetings to the iPad and annotate in Adobe Reader. We created a Save the Date postcard to share advertising our October student app showcase event, Apptoberfest. I'll write another blog post about that as it gets closer.
How do you communicate your technology goals and achievements to your school board? or district administrators? I would love to hear your ideas.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

No wifi? No problem

After seeing this post,, I was inspired to create our own version. Many of our students do not have internet access at home and our teachers are worried about what the students can do after they leave school. I hope that this image can give them some ideas of how powerful the device is, even offline.
Feel free to use my version.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Innovate & Create: Using iPads in the Visual Arts

I was tasked with creating a presentation on art apps for our distrct's summer conference. I started by searching for apps to get more familiar with the most popular ones. Along the way I curated them into a collection using Edshelf. Thank you, Joyce Valenza!
I'm continuing to find and curate apps so please share this link with your art teachers. 

This is my presentation. You're welcome to use it if it is helpful to you.  The apps with the red star are apps that I opened and showed to the group. 

After showing a few apps and some ideas for projects, each participant downloaded an app from the art Edshelf and created an art product. Finally we put our iPads out on display and had an iPad art show. 

We voted for our favorites and I awarded a prize to the winner in each of the two sessions. My sister is an art teacher and she recommended Sharpies as the prize. I was very impressed with the art these teachers were able to create in less than 15 minutes!

This was a fun presentation because it was so interactive. Even the non-art teachers enjoyed the session.

This session was one of many that our district and iSchool Initiative planned for our district conference. It went so well. Teachers loved the two days. Many teachers said it was the best PD they had ever attended! We are so happy to see the enthusiasm in our teachers as we get ready for iPads next year.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

App Smash and App Dice

As a way of introducing the concept of app smashing to our teachers, Kristen and I put together a session using Nearpod and the Make Dice Lite app.

We shared the definition of app smashing and several examples. We built in a few activities in the Nearpod session that required them to think of a few of their own. Teachers met with their subject area and we provided an app key ring with a small picture of the app icon, brief description and a few ideas for using with the students. Next we asked them to choose their favorite 12 from a list of apps we have learned this year and our district's core and recommended app lists. Then create two dice with those apps on it in the Make Dice Lite app. Finally roll the dice and get your creativity going.

You can use Today's Meet or Padlet to collect their ideas as they brainstorm app smash possibilities.
We did this with our staff and the staff of one of our elementary schools. We plan to submit this session to our state's Edtech conference as well because it is so much fun.

Have you done any app smashing? How do you help your teachers and students understand the concept? I'd love to hear your ideas. Feel free to contact me for more details or the materials we used for these sessions.

10 Super Powers of the World's Greatest Instructional Technologist

I am excited to announce that I will be serving my district in a new capacity next year. I will be the instructional technologist for our feeder system. I am really looking forward to this new challenge and being a part of my district's rapidly growing technology plans. I will be working with an amazing team that includes my "librarian in the middle" counterpart, Kristen H., my professional development partner in crime, Kristen G., and an enthusiastic techie math teacher, Jessica.
It was a difficult decision to even apply for this job because I love being a librarian. I think I will probably go through a bit of an identity crisis because I have associated so much of who I am with being in the library. In fact, I even emailed one of my librarian heroes, Jennifer LaGarde for advice. She left the four walls of her library to serve as Educator on Loan for North Carolina and I knew she would have some words of wisdom about this decision. She calmed my fears when she assured me that I can still take the mission of the library with me no matter the position or title.
From my first year as librarian and the successful Gadget Petting Zoo I feel that professional development has been a strength for me. Now I will be able to focus more on serving my teachers with timely, effective PD. Being a librarian really prepared me for this job because we are accustomed to collaborating with all subjects, levels and personalities, we have mastered the art of co-teaching, and we know what it means to evaluate ourselves and share the impact with others.
As part of the interview process we were given thirty minutes to share why we would make a good instructional technologist. This is part of what I shared. Please visit the site if the embedded links are not working.

Any resemblance to me is purely coincidental, of course! I used around 15 different apps or web tools to create a product for each of the ten super powers. I had a Powtoon resume attached as well, but took it off before posting because of the contact information.
I would love to see someone create one for librarians. It was an exercise in reflection for me to access my skills, experience and narrow down the traits I thought were important for the job.
I was inspired to create this after seeing this infographic about the "world's greatest instructional designer".
I hope that the posts that I share as instructional technologist are still helpful and interesting to you. I see the roles of librarian and instructional technology overlapping more and more. I love the librarian community, both locally and globally, and hope that you will still consider me one of the tribe.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Instructional Goals: District and Teacher

For the last session with our teachers we decided to focus on lesson planning and making goals for the summer.
We used the web tool Edpuzzle to flip part of our meeting. Teachers were asked to watch a video on the flipped model and answer questions we embedded into the video through Edpuzzle. 
This is the video we used.
We started the meeting with a few questions about flipped classes such as pros, cons, and tools for flipping.

Next we looked at a few iPad lessons and determined which level the lesson was on the SAMR model and how the teacher could bump it up. This led us to creating our own lesson plan using the iPads. 

Then we looked at our district's instructional goals for the iPads and talked about how we can individually contribute to those goals and prepare over the summer.

We used the app Chirp to send out this picture so we could reflect (and share if you wanted) on which part of the pencil we are and which part we want to be. This was a nice conclusion because our teachers were able to see how much they have improved and learned.

I was very impressed with the lessons that the teachers created and it was rewarding to see them confidently use the apps that we have been working on. We still have a lot to learn and next year will be a period of trial and error for all of us, but I'm so proud of how far we have come together.

Creating a Core App List

The district wide iPad committee that I served on was tasked with creating a list of core apps for the iPads. There was significant thought and care put into making the list. We wanted to stick with free apps, developmentally appropriate, focused on creation yet considering space limitations on the device.
We liked this visual for sharing the apps so we tried to recreate our list in this style.

This is the list as it stands today for elementary, both teacher and student versions.

This is the list for middle school.
This is the high school list.

What apps would be on your core list? Did we miss anything?

Teaching Tech to Principals

Most professional development is focused on teachers and rightfully so, but we can't forget that our administrators often need help with technology as well. Recently I was asked to share some tech tips with our principals. One teacher shared Evernote and a principal shared Twitter so I decided to share some iPad keyboard tricks, QR codes,  Padlet and Adobe Reader app. 

First I asked the principals to scan a QR code that took them to this article:

After opening in Safari, I showed them how to take away the images and extras from the site, how to bookmark and add to a reading list. 

Then I had them scan a QR code that took them to this PDF:
I showed them how to open in Adobe and how to use the highlight, comment, and other tools in that app. I asked them to contribute some of their thoughts on their role in a 1:1 initiative on a Padlet I created.

Finally I showed them some keyboard shortcuts like the hidden apostrophe, quotation mark, hidden URL endings, and how to type numbers without switching keyboards back and forth.

They seemed to enjoy the hands on time with the iPads and they loved the keyboard shortcuts. I promptly followed several of our new tweeters. 

Do you have special time dedicated to teaching your administrators? I would love to hear your ideas.