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.