Monday, December 5, 2011

Updating to iOS5

Zack and I are in the long tedious process of updating the student iPods/iPads to iOS 5. There is one major benefit to all this busywork: wireless updating. From now on, the students can update the operating system on their devices through the wireless internet. Right now (according to the pictures that are posted below) we have to plug each device into a computer, download the iOS, and then put the devices into the sync cart to put the apps back on the devices. The reason we have to use all these computers is that you can only update one device at a time on  any computer. That includes our sync cart that allows you to put apps on 30 devices simultaneously. (Makes a lot of sense...huh?) Hopefully we will finish before Christmas break. Then once January kicks in, we can spend some time showing the benefits of iOS5.

Using the iPad Synccart

Using the iPad Synccart

This is to put the apps back onto the student devices.

Multiple Computers to Update 2

Multiple Computers to Update 2

Multiple Computers to Update 1

Multiple Computers to Update 1

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Edmodo and Learning New Tricks

Edmodo is looking to really change classrooms. It provides teachers with the opportunity to receive instant results in a poll, quiz, assignments, group discussions etc... It really can become an online classroom. I think most teachers at the elementary level are thinking that this could be a great tool for guided reading groups. You could communicate the group expectations and directions all online, carry a conversation with them, and allow the students to collaborate on projects and ideas.

Last week, I introduced the website to some 4th graders. As they were discussion a poll I had created, the students were having to scroll all the way to the top of the website. When over 30 replies occurred, it really started to crowd the page and make it long! As I was telling the students to flick their finger so that they could get to the top of the page, a student stopped me and said, "Mr. Yoder, you just have to tap on the black bar at the top of the page and it will go straight to the top." I had him show me, and sure enough when you are on a website, if you tap around where the clock is located, it will take you to the top of a website. The things we can learn from our own students always surprises me. It reminded me that even though I do not know everything about an iPad, the students will continue to make discoveries just by using them and I need to make the most of that resource!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Bat Project: Videolicious

Last week, I had the opportunity to work in a second grade classroom (Mrs. Miller's) at South Side Elementary School. When I first worked with these kids about a month or so ago, they struggled with knowing how to navigate through the iPad. Following directions was difficult because they were just plain excited about using the devices. What a change I have seen in this group of students since the beginning of the year! Now that the novelty has worn off a little, they listened carefully. It was almost so quiet that you could hear a pin drop. It was so quiet that they actually laughed at my jokes! They also have no problem moving throughout their iPad.

The students were working on a bat project where they would share pictures and report facts that they had learned about the animal. They used an app called Photo Farm (new to me) to find pictures so that they could import them into Videolicious. It is a pretty good, simple app that pulls picture from Google pictures without using a web browser, or difficult steps to save the pictures. Some students also used Doodle Buddy to make their own designs along with pictures with bats. When they finished making their Doodle Buddy pictures, they just saved it to their camera roll so that they can import it into their project.

The Videolicious app is pretty simple to use. It starts out with the students choosing up to 10 pictures to use, they take a video of themselves while telling about the bats then they finished up with choosing a song that was already preloaded in the app. The app automatically coordinates the music, pictures, and video into a quick finished project. Lastly, the students emailed their project to their teacher. It only took some students about 5 minutes to make their final product.

I do have a sample of a product. There was a lot of background noise since all the students were working on their own project at the same time. Some of the Doodle Buddy pictures were sideways as well. These are all issues that the students will work out as they get more accustomed to using the devices. However, I didn't think it was too bad for a second grader's first time using this app.

Then later that afternoon, while I was in another classroom, I started get a ton of emails! I was wondering what was going on and when I had a free moment, I realized that I was getting pictures of a Popplet project the students were doing with their afternoon teacher, Mrs. Becker. Popplet is a really simple app for organizing thoughts and ideas into boxes that connect with one another. Here is what Mrs. Becker had her second graders doing with it:

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Getting Ready for October 13th

Thursday is a very big day. The peer coaches of East Noble School Corporation have been working hard to provide opportunities for teachers to learn or gather ideas for ways to incorporate technology into the classroom. Zack and I have had the unique challenge of trying to provide sessions that are applicable to lower Elementary as well as grades two through four. It has been good for Zack and I as well because it has forced us to look for more materials or even just to become more oriented with materials that have previously been discovered. My wife, Michelle Yoder, is even helping with this endeavor as she is sharing her experience with first graders as she has tried to use the iPods for more than just skill and drill. This is exciting for me as I have been an active part in her classroom and have been able to watch the kids use the iPods as learning tools.

Here are some things we will be presenting:
Big Universe - Big Universe is a collection of online books for grade levels k-8. Here the teacher has the ability to assign texts to students and have them take tests to check their comprehension (tests unavailable on iPod/iPad.) Students also have access from home. Take advantage of these excellent materials.

Top Ten Apps:
Must have apps for iPods and iPads. These are apps that will assist you and your students to make good use of the devices in the learning environment. You may want to have these apps already downloaded on your teacher device. Show Me (iPad), Leaf Snap(both), Popplet lite (iPad), Singing fFingers (Both), iMovie (iPad Paid), Videolicious (both), professor garfield (iPad), Story Kit (ipad/ipod), iBooks (both), Discover (Wikipedia iPad),

iPods in the classroom (K-1) – Michelle Yoder. - Young students can use their iPods to create, not just skill and drill. Come listen and share ideas of how you can use Doodle Buddy and Story Kit to publish work. Also learn how to share it with family members to build rapport between the classroom and home.

PDF’s on the iPad/iPod (K-4) – Lance Yoder. - Check out the neu.annotate app. Find out how you can create pdf files on word, send them to students, and have the students fill in their answers using neu.annotate. Students can even store and organize their files on ibooks! Both apps are necessary for this session.

Mini modo - Using Edmodo in the k-4 classroom. We will setup teacher accounts, give some basics for navigation, and give practical ideas for how the website can be used. We will hopefully have time to brainstorm and discuss as teachers how to implement it.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Story Kit

One of the challenges that Zack and I have faced the last few weeks is finding apps that allow primary students to create on an iPod. Sure, there are a lot of apps out there that help kids practice and develop skills, but most of the production opportunities are with the iPads and are too complex for a kindergartener or a first grader to use. Doodle Buddy has worked well in the past, but teachers obviously need more than one free app that will allow the students to be creative. This week I came across an app called Story Kit. (New to me, not to iPods.) I think this app will really allow young students to show their creative abilities. The kids have the option to take pictures, add text, and record their voice while reading it. I could see this being used in all content areas. It could be to demonstrate a skill, publish a story, publish a how-to book, share an event, etc. Not only that, but it is a pretty simple and straight-forward app. I hope to have the opportunity in the near future to work with some teachers and students on a project using Story Kit.


Thursday, September 8, 2011


Last week's post had to do with the exciting project that I was able to be involved with at Avilla Elementary. The students created spirit signs using Doodle Buddy for the Mount Vernon Nazarene Cougar volleyball team. The game is on Saturday the 10th and many of the students will actually be at the game. (I know I will, and I will get pictures!) This week, we actually heard back from the Cougars and they had a message for the Avilla first graders! What an opportunity technology has provided for these students. Who knows if this would have happened without the 1:1 initiative throughout East Noble Schools.


Here's the action from the game!!!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

College Bound

Last week I had the opportunity to work in Mrs. Yoder's 1st grade class. The students are using their iPods and creating pictures using the Doodle Buddy app to focus on being "College Bound." (Being college bound is a mind set that college is in their future and they need to work towards it.) Mrs. Yoder's sponsor school is Mount Vernon Nazarene University (MVNU), and it just so happens that the MVNU girls' volleyball team will be playing St. Francis in the near future. The students will also have the opportunity to go to the game; so the whole experience will be exciting for them. I was excited to be able to help them in this activity. They all took a picture of a volleyball and created some spirit posters to help encourage the Mt. Vernon Cougars towards a win. I helped them with the devices while Mrs. Yoder taught the lesson on how to use Doodle Buddy. They were extremely excited and some were even able to make multiple pictures. I hope to be able to continue participating in classrooms like I did in this experience.

Here are a couple videos to show the experience:



Tuesday, August 30, 2011

I'm Obviously Upper-El

Wrong Way

Today I was excited to help 1st graders connect their iPods to the wireless internet. Mrs. Baker at South Side was gracious enough to allow me to come in and assist her. Yesterday, I thought I was such a genius because I had created a video that I thought would help the teachers get their kids connected. Once again...I came to the realization that teaching fourth graders is a much different world than first grade. My video only kept their attention for about 20 seconds, most kids were just playing apps (I know I heard Talking Tom yawn), and I realized just how dull my video really was. (I'm feeling very humbled at the moment.)

Right Way

As the kids are on their iPods doing their own thing anyway and I'm actually trying to tell them how to connect to the wireless, (first grade remember) only a select few can follow me. I am assuming they have experience with these devices at home. I eventually just gave in and let the kids have some free time with the things. Mrs. Baker and I just went around to each one to make sure they were connected. Everyone was content, no one was bored, and everyone was connected. Lesson learned: just let the kids use them, have at least a couple people in there to go through the procedure, and pray the network doesn't crash while you are doing it.

Thanks, Mrs. Baker, for letting me learn this lesson. I seriously appreciate it. :) Lots of respect goes out to all lower elementary teachers. You are a blessing!

1st grader that thought I was cool and wanted his picture taken.

1st grader with iPod

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Let there be Internet

Here we've come to the end of week number two and the students are extremely excited. It was fun having the opportunity to deliver the boxes of iPads and iPods and see their excitement. It was fun to see the excitement of the teachers as well as they have long anticipated the day that the devices would arrive. As I walked the halls of North Side today, I witnessed the new technology being used in numerous classrooms (despite the lack of Internet). Hopefully next week the network issues will be resolved and we can get kids going on email and Internet access. This will really open up the world to them.

Now that Zack and I have gotten through this initial rush of trying to get apps loaded onto the devices, we are now getting to the point where teachers can start scheduling times for us to assist them. We are putting into the works a plan to use YouTube to display various teaching videos for both the students and the teachers. I was thinking it might even be a good idea to create a video on now to connect to the wireless (once it is working) and set up their email accounts to assist teachers in teaching the students. We are also looking into creating some videos on how to use the sync cart because not all staff members were able to come to the training. Not only that, but the big thing can feel a little intimidating especially the first time you sync to it. I was helping Tim Miller today at North Side and his response was, "It's really that easy?"

This week I was also able to post some calendars so that the teachers can schedule when they would like to meet with us. It could be for assisting with a lesson using technology, planning individually or with a group, or even just to load apps until they feel more comfortable. Hopefully I have been an approachable coach. :)


Friday, August 19, 2011

First Week

Hello all,

This first three days of school have certainly been interesting. Zack and I have been attempting to load apps and make sure all classes have an accurate count of devices per student. This is difficult due to the ever changing numbers that come in and out of classrooms (especially at the beginning of the year). I know those frustrations for you as teachers. Some stability would feel pretty good right now, right? I'm finding (as I've entered this new role as a peer coach) is that the same desire for stability exsists in the tech department.

Other challenges we are facing is the devices just not loading apps correctly and also the drag on the network. Yesterday, as I was sitting between two kindergarten classrooms, I could tell that almost every kid that had a device at South Side was using it. The lag on download speed was without a doubt felt. (That wasn't necessarily a frustration...more of a comfort in knowing it was being used.)

Hopefully soon Zack and I will be getting more materials out to the teachers. At this point, we are just trying to overcome the obsticales of new technology and get the devices into the hands of students as fast as possible.

[caption id="attachment_7" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Too much time together.:)"]Bentford SyncCart[/caption]