Skip to main content


Showing posts from 2013

Holiday Poetry

Ms. Ruse and Ms. Doyle of Rome City got their class into the holiday spirit by having their first graders at Rome City Elementary  create poems. Last week I setup accounts on Pic Collage for both teachers, logged each iPod into the accounts, and downloaded all the holiday themed backgrounds and stickers that were available for free this month.  (I will explain the advantages of creating a class account in the near future.) This week we took the poems they created in Pic Collage, and imported them into Shadow Puppet. ( Shadow Puppet also has advantages to creating class accounts .) Each student not only titled their Shadow Puppet by their first name, but they also included a "selfie." This helped them quickly identify their work if they happened to forget to include their name in the title. (It also helps the teacher find it on their device.) This is a great way to share writing and work on their speaking skills. Here is a fun example:

Samples, Samples, Samples

I love to take time out to post the fun and cool ideas my fellow teachers are doing in their classrooms. It is always a great way to inspire and encourage one another as East Noble Staff. Please comment if you have other ideas or are inspired by these samples. Mrs. Erexson Second grade teacher at Wayne Center, Mrs. Erexson, has been really excited about the possibilities that her iPads hold for gathering information about her students' learning. Through her classroom set of iPads, she's able to essentially able to meet with every student because she gets to see their responses all from the convenience of her iPad and PC. Using 30 Hands , her student was able to take a picture and report a quick summary about the book. This allows Mrs. Erexson to conference with more students than ever before. Does she have to listen to every video? That's probably not even necessary, but it allows her to do quick and regular checks with students. This activity of taking a picture of t

ChatterPix Kids

I'm extremely excited about the potential ChatterPix Kids holds for students as they can use it to respond to learning in a quick and engaging way. Here is the basic process for ChatterPix Kids: Take a picture Draw a line for the mouth on the object Record your voice for up to 30 seconds Add stickers if necessary Save to the camera roll In reality, we are looking at a project that shouldn't take much more than five minutes to complete. I bet the kids will enjoy using it!  Here is an overview of the whole app: : Here is the final product using the app to report the author's purpose for Tough Cookie: There are lots of ways this application could be used, but here are a few ideas to get your creative juices flowing: Take a picture of an object an add adjectives to describe it. Take a picture of geometric shape and have the shape give its attributes. Take a picture of a character in a book and have them introduce him/herself.  Take a picture

Pic Collage and the Holiday Season!!!

Alert, alert, alert! You may want to go and update pic collage on your student iOS devices. If you update now, you get some free holiday backgrounds as well as some sticker packs! This would be espcially fun with Christmas break rapidly approaching. Some sticker packs require that you create an account. If you really want your students to have those stickers, we can create a teacher account, log each device into it and have the students download the stickers. Once they are downloaded, we can then have the students log out of the account so that you do not have to worry about the students posting collages under your name to the entire world. The stickers are still usable even once logged out of the account. 

First Grade Shadow Puppet and Kindergarten Story

The first graders at Rome City took a field trip to the Gingerbread Festival today! They were able to take pictures of gingerbread houses and were looking for patterns at the same time. As the first graders were on their trip, Ms. Ruse contacted me over email asking if we could come up with a project on Shadow Puppets to talk about the patterns they saw while on their trip. Here is a small sample of what they created. Using Shadow Puppets is easy. However, we have run into a few issues with it. For example, by having all students signed into the same account, I didn't realize that when a student created a video that it would go to the entire class set of iPods. That was quite a surprise last week. Instead of dismissing it, we trained the students to make sure that they always put their first name in the title and that it was vitally important that they did not change or delete another student's video. This is going to take some practice and quite a few reminders. 

Highlights Kids

Highlights Kids  is a resource that was recently brought to my attention. It is a free resource and can be used in multiple ways for teachers and students.  The "play it" section has quite a few learning games and digital art activities that would work extremely well on an interactive whiteboard. Students could create their own silly stories, do puzzles, unscramble words, along with many other fun activities.  The "read it" section has quite a few short stories and articles that can be accessed on any device. What especially nice is that it will read the text aloud and highlight the words as it reads. The first grade teachers at Wayne Center Elementary are sending specific articles to students through email that they will utilize for vocabulary instruction throughout the whole week. The fact that it also reads the text aloud allows struggling readers to participate as well. 

Create a Google Form for a Reading Assessment

Last week I posted several example ideas of how you can utilize Google Forms in the elementary classroom. I decided to go ahead and create an instructional video of how I went about making a form that includes a picture. This provides quite an opportunity for assessment as the students are able to view the text as well as complete the assessment all from one page. Once you are familiar with Google Forms, these assessments can be made between five to ten minutes.  This first grader was able to complete the task within five minutes. All the data was then sent directly to the teacher's Google Drive account.

Google Forms Ideas

I have provided a few professional development opportunities on Google Forms and the possibilities it holds for your classroom. I think the real key is that you start small and pick one area where you want to apply this tool. I've been brainstorming various ideas and I think by posting them here teachers can get a good feel of ways to get started. Feel free to input data yourself. In this example, I found a passage and took a picture of it online. I then uploaded the picture and added some multiple choice questions to the form. This example was actually used with a first grade classroom as of this morning on their iPod Touch. I sent it through email and most of the students were able to successfully click on the link, read the passage, and submit their answers independently. Loading... Here is one I came up with just to save time. It is just an attendance and lunch check and can be cleared out each day. This could be a part of their daily routine. The info is automatically ta

Snag-It Personified

I'm very excited for the potential that Snag-It  will provide for our PC users at Wayne Center and Rome City.  Techsmith provides some really good quality products for both the business realm as well as for education. My teachers will find this especially useful since many websites and resources restrict student access under the age of 13. Since this program runs directly on their laptops, this is not an issue. For those of you that are unfamiliar, Snag-it is a full featured photo editor, annotator, and screen-casting tool. The video portion would have to be edited by an outside resource, but Techsmith offers a good quality option through Camtasia . This week, I worked with Mrs. Ortiz's sixth graders to install the program and get students oriented with some of the basics. Students learned how to snag pictures from the internet, combine and edit pictures, and annotate them all from Snag-It. One of the skills that Mrs. Ortiz is currently covering is Personification. So I ca

Color Words

Last week I posted about using Story by Disney  with second grade students to create an adjective book. This week I began using Story with Kindergarten students at Rome City Elementary . After taking a look at the Kindergarten scope and sequence chart for East Noble School Corporation, I saw that color words was being covered for this week. So to help support their learning and introduce this new app, all the students created a Story on their own iPod while I demonstrated on my iPad. To start the procedure, I sent the students images of foods the match the color words through email. (The students especially found the eggplant to be humorous for the color purple.) The students downloaded the images onto their iPod touch and we moved on to the Story app. I went through the first few steps to show them what to expect because Kindergarten kids tend to panic with their device if something is not familiar. By the time we were finished, they had imported all the pictures, added the text for

Video Slideshow App Ideas

This week I have been working a lot with how apps like 30 Hands and Shadow Puppet can be utilized. Last week I worked with Mrs. Erexson's second graders to take a picture of a passage in their text and record it being read aloud. This task can be used with any fluency skill. After discussing it with Mrs. Erexson, she has had the students make use of 30 hands a few more times and her comment was that she likes that she is essentially able to check-in and monitor with students that she missed during class. It gives also gives the students a sense of accountability as they need to have evidence that they are completing the task of practicing fluency. This would be extremely difficult without an app like 30 Hands. I am providing an example, but want the view to keep in mind that this is the first time the student has ever used the application. We were more focused on getting accustomed to the app than the actual fluency skill. As the students get more familiar with the app, the foc

Story, Pic Collage, Kidblog, and Snag-It

I have had a really busy week getting classes rolling with new tech skills and thinking up possibilities for teachers. I was pondering how beneficial it would be for me to share out what I've been doing this week. I am hoping it will spark some ideas for teachers as they contemplate lesson planning in the next few weeks. This week in Mrs. Bollman's second grade class at Wayne Center Elementary we utilized Story by Disney on the iPad to create an adjective book. The students had never used Story before, but I was able to get the kids oriented with the app well enough that they were able to get started on a digital book. We worked together as a class on the first one and then I cut them loose and had them try it on their own. The activity included pictures that I sent to them through email, making a list of adjectives to describe the picture, and then a sentence using one of the adjectives. It turned out to be a fun little project. (As you can see, it can be embedded on a web

Pic Collage is a Great Place to Start

I know Pic Collage is an application that I've probably overused, but it is such a great place to start due to the flexibility of the app. Yesterday I worked with Mrs. Bollman's class on Pic Collage because it is a great place for teachers to go when they need students to create a quick product or even a larger project. She gave me a list of skills that they have covered recently and needed to review. So I chose to discuss plural vs. possessive nouns. I collected a few pictures for the students and emailed them out instead of having theme use the web search feature built into Pic Collage. Mainly due to time constraints for the students and they needed images for both a plural and a possesive noun. The students saved the images from their email, inserted them into Pic Collage, and wrote a sentence using the noun as plural and possessive. Here are some examples of what was accomplished. We had a great time. 

Kindergarten and First Grade Fun

I love working with primary grades. Everything is so exciting; everything is new. Today I worked with Kindergarten and first grade students at Rome City on different projects. We've made really good progress with using technology. Kindergarten has been working on using Pic Collage for several weeks. I've been meeting with them once a week to get them well oriented with the app and also sending their work through an email. (Still at this point, email is the best avenue for collecting work from iOS devices on the ENSC network.) Today I put together a slideshow with multiple pictures and set it on autoplay. As the slides rolled through, the students had to find the words that started with A. They used Pic Collage to take a picture of the items, place a letter A on the item, and typed their name on it. (I used beginning sounds because most of the majority of students are able to do this skill, but may need practice from time to time because I'm primarily focusing on them

Crayola Photo Mix and Mash

Crayola Photo Mix and Mash  is an easy to use photo editor. Students can use it to crop pictures, add color, and texture to images. It also provides opportunities for students to create a collage of pictures with text and a few free stickers. In many ways, Crayola Photo Mix and Mash reminds me of Pic Collage . You can perform many of the same tasks, but the unfortunate part is that this is only for the iPad. based upon the number of features available, I would assume that it is too robust for the size of an iPod touch or iPhone. How to Use Crayola Photo Mix and Mash What does this mean for the elementary classroom?  Teachers can really utilize this app for almost any purpose. In math, students could take pictures of the manipulatives they used to solve a problem and explain the steps with text. They could also use the free stickers as the manipulatives. In science, students could take pictures of the scientific method they used as they performed an experiment. Having all t

Infuse Learning  is a website that I had actually blogged about a year or so ago. I didn't post very much about it other than make a reference to it. After revisiting the site a bit more over the last few days, I decided a much more detailed description is needed. Infuse Learning is an interactive assessment tool. All students can participate with their own devices. It even possesses some capabilities for your interactive whiteboard or tablet computer on a screen. You can ask questions orally and have students respond a multitude of ways. (My personal favorite is the drawing response.) Once the activity is over, you are also able to download any responses the students give. If it is a drawn response, the file comes as a PDF so that you can see the responses for later viewing. If it is true/false, multiple choice, or even a written response, the download comes as an excel file. I created several videos on how to use this tool. However, I'm always willing to com

Shadow Puppet

Shadow Puppet  provides students and teachers with some great opportunities. With Shadow Puppet, students can take pictures and create a picture slideshow with their voice recorded over the images. There have been several apps that perform similar tasks that I have reported about in the past. ( 30 Hands and Videolicious.) However, the controls on this app are a little more intuitive. The other thing I like about it: the product is stored in the cloud. Much like StoryKit and Story , a link to the actual product can be found online and viewed in that location. So the length of the recording is less of an issue because you are not sending a large file over email or to a blog. In order to use Shadow Puppet, each teacher will need to do the following: Open the app and create an account. Sign each iPad/iPod into the account. Make sure all parents have signed consent for you to use it. (This step is already taken care of at registration for ENSC employees.)  So how is this app usa

iOS 7 Update

We are several weeks out on the iOS7 update now. There are still a few apps here and there that I notice are not iOS7 compliant yet. One in particular that could cause many issues is the Trading Cards app . This happens to be one of my favorites for students to use due to the wide range of uses and simplicity. Hopefully an update is in the "cards" soon. If Trading Cards is an app that you use on a regular basis, I would recommend holding off on the update if possible. I created a video that shows some of the differences between iOS7 and the previous version. I hope that you and your students find it to be helpful in the transition.

More Airwatch Resources

Two scenarios have popped up that need addressed in regards to Airwatch: What to do about paid apps, and what to do when you lose a student. As most ENSC teachers know, Airwatch has not been allowing teachers to install apps that were once free, but are now paid even though the applications are in their iTunes accounts. You can download them through the App Store by using the "purchased" tab. However, Airwatch will not control them. You will need to make sure you delete those apps when turning in a device to your media specialist. Link to the Document To follow that up, there is also a procedure that needs to be taken when you lose a student so that we do not have a mess of mixing up accounts. You need to check-in the device through Airwatch, delete any of the paid apps that you put on through the method in the previous document, and sign out of iTunes. This will alleviate a lot of confusion in the future. Link to Document

Airwatch Documents

Yesterday I had the opportunity to work with teachers on how to navigate/operate Airwatch. For the most part it was a success because every teacher that attended was able to add apps using Airwatch. Upon further discussion, the request was made that I also include documentation on top of the videos I had created earlier. Here they will be posted among all my other Airwatch posts. You can also find these documents through the link in the above line titled "iOS Resources." There is a folder that has "Teacher Resources" and an "Airwatch" folder will be there. You can always access the documents from there. Please let me know if anything changes and I will update these resources so that they remain accurate. For now, I will embed them in this post so that you can view them from here:


I presented on the SAMR model on the 27th to the Wayne Center Elementary staff. I hope to be able to pass this presentation on to the Rome City staff in the future. It was a great opportunity to discuss and analyze the tools that are being implemented through iPods, iPads, and PC laptops. To summarize SAMR, it is a model by which one can measure how integrating technology may impact teaching and learning. Through the SAMR model, we can determine if we are using technology to enhance the learning experience or to transform it. If the user is at the substitution level, then the tool is a direct substitute for the old technology. If the user is at the augmentation level, the tool is still a substitute but it has a functional improvement from the original task. These two levels may provide the user with an enhancement in their learning. The big dividing line is between Augmentation and Modification because suddenly the tool is much more than an enhancement to learning; it is no

New Student Pack (Updated)

Last year I had a teacher request a document that would share all the information you need to know when receiving a new student. I spent a lot of hours putting together slides that would create this document, but with the implementation of Airwatch, it needed an update. I created the slides using an iPod touch; I apologize to our iPad users. However, it is much easier to follow on an iPad  looking at iPod pictures than flipped the other way around. It also has a table of contents page that is linked to other areas. Some of those links include how to add someone to your Big Universe and Edmodo account, numbered backgrounds, and Overdrive. If you have any other suggestions of topics that may need to be added to the document, please let me know. To access the document, you can click the image above or here. 

Tumblebook Map

Tumblebooks   happens to be one of the best resources East Noble School Corporation can use for our teachers when implementing Daily 5 Literacy. The "Listen to Read" component is a tough one to fill at times. Fortunately, this has been provided for ENSC through our local library. Even though Tumblebooks is an amazing resource for students to listen to quality literature being read aloud, they frequently change their website. This may not seem like a big deal, but to a Kindergarten student these little issues can be a big deal. Through Airwatch, I was able to create a link on all the students' iPods/iPads for Tumblebooks. I also created a PDF file with a map on how to get to Tumblebooks. I had created one similar to this previously, but due to the changes on their site an updated one was in order. ENSC teachers, please let me know if Tumblebooks changes their site again so that I can create an updated Tumblebook map. Click on the Image to View Tumblebook Map

Airwatch - Adding Apps Pt. 2

ENSC Teachers, This is the second video I have made on how to add applications using Airwatch. (I hope that I do not have to make too many more.) As it turns out, the weekend after I made the first video  I found that it was no longer accurate. There were a few steps that had to be substituted. I will for sure keep you posted if more changes are made. Please let me know if you have questions, and let me know if you notice that the process has changed again. :) Sign in to Airwatch through:

Fetch! Lunch Rush

As I was meeting this morning with a Kindergarten teacher, she shared some of the needs of her students and integrating technology. Most of it was focused upon letter sounds. However, through my search of resources I came across this app: Fetch! Lunch Rush . It features Ruff Ruffman from PBS and he gives the user the job of serving sushi to guests. The user has to figure out how much sushi to provide for each order. At first sight, I was not sure exactly what the point of the app was. You had to print these cards out that had odd shapes first.  Once I got into the game and held my iPad over the card, I realized that this mathematics activity was really a type of augmented reality game because the sushi rolls actually appeared on the card. The idea is that the student uses the images of sushi rolls to determine the solution to the equation.What I love about the activity is the engagement involved when practicing solution sentences for numbers ten and under. It touches on basic a

Airwatch - Connecting Email

One of the big questions that has been asked is how to get the students' ENSC email account to work on Airwatch. Frequently the password box has been popping up for students. For Example:  Part of the reason for this is because the tech department is working hard to make sure that the email accounts are working properly. This comes mainly through communication from you as staff as well as myself with them so that they are aware of any issues that arise. When those changes are made, it removes the email password from the devices. After communicating with our network administrator, he believe he has all issues worked out. So ENSC teachers keep trying to get your student email to work. As always, please communicate with me if you need help with this process. I am more than willing to work with you and your students to get this resolved. I also have a presentation that demonstrates how to fix the "Password Incorrect" box that keeps appearing.

Airwatch - Missing Apps?

Have an iPad missing apps through Airwatch? Here are some steps you can take to make sure that your students have the apps that belong on their iOS devices. These steps do not always work depending upon how the device is communicating with the network. However, these are the steps that I have been taking when a teacher reports that there are applications missing. I also apologize for some of the obscure clicking that I did during this presentation. Due to the nature of personal information being displayed publicly, I needed to use blurring effects or zoom on specific parts that will inhibit the audience's ability to view student names.

Airwatch - Webclips

Airwatch provides a handy way for teachers to send out websites to iOS devices. What is especially nice, is that it automatically appears on a student's device appearing to be an app. You also have the ability to upload your own icon. You may want to have your own image ready to go to match the website you want your students to use. Lastly, you can set a time limit to your webclip. If you want it to disappear after a few days, you simply do that through the use of a calendar on Airwatch. I created some directions on how to make a webclip. East Noble teachers can log in at

Adding Apps Using Airwatch

The time is finally here! East Noble teachers will now be able to add applications to their iPods/iPads using Airwatch. Airwatch is a device management tool for mobile devices. iPods/iPads are just a few among many different devices that can be managed with this tool. I have created a quick video on how to add an application. Feel free to try it yourself. I will be happy to assist you through this process and plan on providing training in the future. For my anxious teachers, this one is for you.


I will be the first to admit that iProjection is not exactly what I'd like to see come from Epson for wireless connection between an iPad and an LCD projector. However, it does provide some opportunities for the teachers that I am helping. All of my teachers have Epson projectors that work with the school network, and and a good majority have iPads. I apologize to my staff members that do not have one. I'm sure that if you begged one of your staff members, you could get them to let you try it out. iProjection allows the teacher to take a photo of a document, project it wirelessly, and annotate it at the same time. I've always said that when teaching with technology, proximity is a big issue. Teachers need to be able to be mobile and attend to the entire class. Not only that, but I'm sure the students would love to be able to answer a question when you plop your iPad right in front of them. The drawback: it does not mirror your iPad. You are limited on what you can ac

Little Digital Citizens

Mr. Noble and Zack I've spent a lot of time this week focusing on the topic of digital citizenship . The teachers of Rome City and Wayne Center are working hard to establish strong procedures and high expectations for our students. I have primarily been working with kindergarten, first and second grades to work on how to treat their device as well as the importance of following directions. Next week, the story will stay the same. However, I will be working with some fifth and sixth grade students to discuss how to save files to our new SkyDrive Pro accounts so that our students under the age of 13 can legally have cloud storage that is managed by our network administrator. I will also be assisting them on how to identify malware and why it is vital that they are careful with what they download. (I'm not promoting Trend Micro. It is just a really good explanation.) Ms. Doyle's First Grade I believe it is vitally important to the success of your 1:1 Technology


This year, I will be spending quite a bit of time discussing the need to think about the technologies we actually choose to use in our classroom. As all educators know, if we were to try and grasp every digital resource/tool that was available to us, it would be like drinking out of a fire hose. At KTT 3.0 , Becca Lamon and myself held separate sessions on the subject. I spend a lot of time discussing how it can transform your classroom and how the students perceive the device when the tasks that are being accomplished are beyond what they could possibly do without that piece of technology. Matt Miller posted about his experience in Becca Lamon's session. He gave the SAMR model (a method of measuring a digital tool's usefulness) a great explanation. I invite you to read his post on it by clicking on the image below. SAMR

Welcome to

I'm very excited to be launching my new resource site for elementary teachers wanting to utilize digital tools in the classroom. This blog is primarily maintained for the purpose of keeping the teachers of Rome City Elementary and Wayne Center Elementary   informed about digital resources that are available for teachers as well as students. I focus primarily upon tools available on the iPod touch, iPad, and PC laptop. There are many posts previous to this one due to a blog that I maintained  for the last two years. This school year my job has changed somewhat and I am now focused upon two buildings in my school district instead of five. That caused the desire provide a resource specifically for these teachers to collaborate. I have just recently worked on collecting materials to help teachers launch high expectations with how the devices should be treated and utilized. These resources will be linked at the top of the page. My calendar is also linked there so that teachers ar

#ISTE 2013: San Antonio

ISTE 2013 was awesome. We were able to make connections with many people that we interact with regularly, but only through the digital realm. That is always exciting when you have the opportunity to discuss and collaborate with the people that already make great products for your students to use. I also believe that what makes their services so great is their willingness to listen and discuss the needs of teachers and students. BigUniverse There was a lot of discussion at ISTE about PBL (project-based learning). One particular great resource was a session held by Andrew Miller . During that session, he spoke about how technology can play as the role for distributing the materials and content when giving the students a central question for students to pursue. Repeatedly he mentions the importance for students to have "voice and choice" when providing students with the opportunity to participate in PBL. Students should decide what they want to use