Friday, April 18, 2014

The iPad PD Continues, But Now We Have Ninjas!

I described our first four iPad sessions in a previous post so I wanted to share the latest sessions.

5th Session: Evernote
For homework we asked our teachers to load Evernote Webclipper to their laptops and load the Evernote app onto their iPads.
We shared several great Evernote Youtube videos to introduce them to the many uses for this service. Together we went through the steps to creating a checklist and adding the Evernote email address to our contact list. We shared ideas for using Evernote in the classroom including sharing and turning in work, saving important parent emails, creating lesson plan notebooks, using Penultimate for notes, StudyBlue for flashcards that integrate with Evernote, and the cool Post It Note options.
Evernote is such a robust application that I think we went overboard and scared some of the teachers. At the end of the session we asked them to open Aurasma and follow our school channel to prepare for our next session and a few teachers had a freak out moment because they were overwhelmed with so much information.
Our original plan was to have the teachers participate in creating a bulletin board using Aurasma answering our yearbook theme of "What Makes You Soar?". Due to the panic we decided to fall back and punt. Instead I asked each teacher to send me a picture representing their answer to the question and I had my library helpers go around and video the teachers answering the question so that I could put the board together myself. We also sent out a quick survey requesting feedback on the sessions so far as well as asking them if they wanted to stay at the same speed or slow down.
We used this information to differentiate our next PD session on Nearpod.

6th session: Nearpod
For homework they had to turn in the picture for the Aurasma board, load the Nearpod app and bring a previously made Power Point to the session.
This time I took the ones that wanted to slow down into a separate room while my partner in crime, Kristen G., kept the others in the library.
We had 12 teachers that wanted to slow down so we took it one step at a time and went through a Nearpod session we created then I helped them load their own presentation and insert activities. The teachers' responses were very positive. They felt more comfortable in a small group and several of them mentioned that in the library as a whole group they felt like everyone was ahead of them, causing them to panic. One teacher said "Now I know how my students feel when I go fast in class."
On our way out we all stopped by the Aurasma board that I put together and let them watch the augmented reality videos. They thought it was really cool.

7th session: Digital Storytelling
For homework we asked teachers to watch this video, answer a short survey choosing one digital storytelling app and then load that app onto their iPad. Teachers had a choice of these apps: Toontastic, Pixntell, Animation Express, Haiku Deck, Fotobabble, Chatterpix, Voicethread, Puppet Pals HD, Book Creator, and Storehouse. I worked with 8 of our gifted and talented 6th grade students to prepare for this meeting. I assigned each of them an app or two to learn so that they would be on hand to help each group create a product during the meeting. We called the students Tech Ninjas and we ordered shirts for them. The students were a huge help! Several teachers asked if they could come to every meeting. After each teacher created a product in their app they had to pick their favorite from the group to share with everyone. This allowed them to only learn one app, but gain exposure to all of them. We shared the products at the end of the meeting and had a good laugh at some of them. The teacher that had their product shared won a bluetooth speaker and earbuds with built in microphone.

8th session: Pages, Keynote and iMovie
Homework for this session was assigned before our Spring Break. To prepare for this session teachers had to go through a Nearpod homework session describing iMovie's basic features and then create one of their own. When we return from the break we will share a few of these to get us started then we have cheat sheets created for Pages and Keynote. The Tech Ninjas will be on hand to assist as teachers spend 30 minutes on each app going through the cheat sheets and trying out the tools. As an exit ticket we will have a Padlet projected on the screen asking teachers to share ways that they plan to use the iPads in their lessons.

Our last two sessions will focus on lesson planning. We've spent a lot of time learning the basics and exposing the teachers to apps (50 total!), but now it is time to put it into action. I will share the details as we get closer.

News of our successful iPad training has spread across the district and I was asked to lead four sessions with one of my feeder elementary schools. This school has had a rough experience with iPad carts so I wanted to make this as fun and positive as possible.
We started with Nearpod. I created a short presentation of a few fun apps they could use right away such as Name Selector, Sand Timer, Kahoot, Groovy Grader, Too Noisy and Stage Whiteboard, but the real goal was to show the activities that can be built into a Nearpod presentation. Their App Task was to create a background for their lock screen using Pic Collage. This is an app task we did with our faculty and they loved it. Pic Collage is very easy to use and fun. When they finished that task (I knew we would have a wide variety of ability levels) I had another Nearpod session launched as a homework session so they could go through the slides at their own pace. This presentation had apps divided by subject category. Before this session I surveyed the staff and asked them what they would like to learn. I made sure to have slides devoted to the things they asked for like reading, notebooking, and the related arts. They also asked for places to find good apps so at the end of the session they were taken to a few sites like Best Apps for Kids and Appitic. Finally I had a handout with a QR code on it that led them to a Padlet where they shared their favorite takeaway from the day. We ended with a drawing for iPad prizes and they scanned a QR code that took them to a Google Form where they signed in to receive technology credit for the session. The teachers were very excited about what they learned and what they wanted to learn in our future sessions. I left with two iPads to fix and shared a Dropbox folder with them with all the instructions for the apps we used.
My next session is in two weeks and I have a QR Code App Safari planned. I know with only four sessions I need to cram in as much as possible without overwhelming them so I created slides for each of our district's core creation apps (plus a few more) with a QR code that takes them to product examples and instructions. We'll start the session with a Socrative question asking them to share one positive experience with the iPad that they have had in recent weeks. Then they will be able to walk around the room and scan QR codes to explore the different apps. As they move around I'm going to project a Today's Meet session on the board and ask them to share ideas as they explore. The exit ticket will be to create a short app explanation for one of their favorites using Ask3. I did recently read that Ask3 is closing in August, but I wanted to expose them to screencasting. I like the bulletin board feature in Ask3 and still feel it is a good one to use for this purpose. When it goes away they can still use Educreations, Show Me, ScreenChomp or another option. Their homework is to use one of the apps that they explored to create something that will be turned in to me using the app Showbie.

Many teachers say that they want to know how to use the apps, not just a list of apps so I'm trying my best to model app usage in my own sessions with Socrative, Padlet, Showbie, QR codes, etc and talk about how I modeled it at the end of each session.

If you'd like any more details or the presentations for any of these sessions don't hesitate to contact me. I'm happy to share and eager to hear your ideas for faculty professional development.

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