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]