Archives For iPads in the classroom

**Updated January 4 2017 with information about artsy.net and seeing more Miro art.**

This blog post includes a 5 minute video, a lesson plan and examples of student that show integration of visual art curriculum and Computational Thinking in my grade 3 classroom.

Thank you to Bea Leiderman, Carolyn Skibba, Douglas Kian and my experience at the Apple Institute in Berlin for this idea.  Using Keynote and Kandinsky is Bea’s idea. It’s brilliant. Bea, Carolyn and I went to the Bauhaus Archive in Berlin where we saw Kandinsky’s work. We also had in depth workshops on Keynote. The combination of these experiences at the Apple Institute in Berlin lead to this idea and a project. Bea, Douglas and I are currently working on a project where we are investigating how these ideas of art, coding, and Computational Thinking might fit together. This is the early stage of this team project.

This video gives an overview of the lesson and a chance to peak inside my grade 3 classroom:

Visual Arts Expectations

These are the expectations from the Ontario Arts Curriculum that apply to this lesson:

Elements of Design:

• line: variety of line (e.g., thick, thin, dotted)

• shape and form: composite shapes; symmetrical and asymmetrical shapes and forms in both the human-made environment and the natural world

Principles of Design:

• variety: slight variations on a major theme; strong contrasts (e.g., use of different lines, shapes, values, and colours to create interest)

Creating and Presenting:

D1.1 create two- and three-dimensional works of art that express personal feelings and ideas inspired by the environment or that have the community as their subject

D1.2 demonstrate an understanding of compo – sition, using principles of design to create narrative art works or art works on a theme or topic

D1.4 use a variety of materials, tools, and techniques to respond to design challenges

Reflecting Responding and Analysing:

D2.2 explain how elements and principles of design are used to communicate meaning or understanding in their own and others’ art work

Exploring Forms and Cultural Contexts:

D3.2 demonstrate an awareness of a variety of works of art and artistic traditions from diverse communities, times, and places

Computational Thinking Goals

Karen Brennan and Mitch Resnick published a paper in 2012 describing a framework for teaching and assessing Computational Thinking (CT). I learned about this paper from a presentation by Julie Mueller at a CT event for teachers in August 2016.  Based on this framework, these are the CT goals of this lesson:

Coding Concepts (actual computer science concepts): Sequencing and Debugging.

Practices (thinking habits): Being incremental and iterative, testing and debugging, reusing and remixing.

Perspective (beliefs about self): Using technology to express oneself.

Materials:

ios10-960x960_swift-playgrounds-icon_us-enscreen-shot-2016-12-04-at-11-51-01-amimovieseesaw

Source: Wassily Kandinsky [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

the-smile-of-the-flamboyant-wings

Source: The Smile of the Flamboyant Wings, 1953 by Joan Miro

For more information on Joan Miro, check out this artsy.net site here. Thank you Louise L. for letting me know about this site.The page I have linked “provides visitors with Miró’s bio, over 400 of his works, exclusive articles, and up-to-date Miró exhibition listings. The page also includes related artists and categories, allowing viewers to discover art beyond our Miró page.”  The rest of artsy.net is very much worth looking at also.

Teacher Prior Knowledge/Experience:

Student Prior Knowledge/Experience:

  • Time to play with Keynote

Lesson Part 1:

Bell-work and Minds On:

As students enter the classroom, give them the option of taking either a Miro or Kandinsky colouring sheet. While the students settle and the teacher takes attendance, students colour the colouring sheets anyway they like.

Introducing the Project and Meeting Miro and Kandinsky:

Introduce the project by showing an example. This was created by Bea:

Next, show examples of Kandinsky and Miro works. Ideally show the same art work as the colouring pages and several more.

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Explain how the art is abstract. Show how the example has movement that happens with just a single click.

Go over the success criteria:

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Teach Art Concepts:

Have students compare their colouring pages to the actual artists’ works. Notice the main differences. Miro uses curved lines and primary colours whereas Kandinsky uses many different colours but has more geometric shapes and straight lines.

Teach Coding Concepts:

Introduce the coding concepts of sequence and debugging.

Working On It:

Now it’s up to students to create their own Kandinsky or Miro style art, or a mixture of both.  You should model how to find shapes, lines, and how to add animation. There are two ways to animate and they are shown in the screenshots below.

First, tap on the More button (…) and then select “Transitions and Builds.”
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Or, tap on the object you want to animate and tap on “Animate.”

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Warning: Many students will figure out how to add the animations but won’t be able to link them together.   I skip telling them this step so they are confronted with having to problem solve and debug.  Once they have a need for this information, I show them how, though many figured it out on their own.  The screenshot below shows how to link the animation. To sequence the animation tap on the object, then tap Animate, then tap the heading to get the options you see in the screenshot.  Notice that you have to change “Start Build” from “On Tap” to “With Previous Build” or “After Previous Build.”img_0486

Once students have completed their projects ask them to share the Keynote files with you.  You could do this by using Airdrop or having them save the Keynote file to Google Drive.

This is the end of the first part of the lesson. Now you will need some time to convert those Keynote files on your Mac to mP4. This part was time consuming.  I wish I could export keynote files to iMovie on iPad. But, at this point you can only send a copy As Keynote, PDF, or PowerPoint.

Teacher’s Homework Prior to Part 2:

This part is not fun.

  1. Open each file in Keynote on a Mac and export the file as a Quicktime. (File>Export To>QuickTime…)
  2. Then, open each file in iMovie and export as MP4.
  3. Share these files with students. I used Google Drive.

Lesson Part 2:

Bell-work and Housekeeping:

Give students instructions to retrieve the MP4 file you created with the Keynote files.  Ask students to open the file in iMovie. Review the success criteria.

Teach Art Concepts ~ Reflection:

Students use iMovie to create a voice over audio recording explaining why Miro or Kandinsky would like their art work.  Review the key elements and principles of design for each artist. Give students time to do their reflection and upload videos to Seesaw.

Teach Coding Concepts:

When students are finished uploading their art reflection, have students use Apple Swift Playgrounds Learn to Code 1 to reinforce coding concepts. Have students work on the Command puzzles.

Examples of Student Work:

Here are examples of the animations prior to students adding reflections.

Here are examples including the reflection:

What is Swift Playgrounds?

Swift Playgrounds is a free app that runs on iPad, as long as that iPad is running iOS 10 or later. It’s such a large and powerful programming app that it needs the power of an iPad to run. This is why you can’t get it on a Chromebook and why it is not web-based.

ios10-960x960_swift-playgrounds-icon_us-en

 

swift-playgrounds

What makes Swift Playgrounds special?

  1. It will help your students bridge the gap from block based coding to real programming.  Working with block based programming tools like Blockly and Scratch is a great way to get started, but how do kids learn to write actual lines of code? Swift Playgrounds is designed to solve that problem. Users can tap on lines of code and drop them into the project or use a keyboard to actually type out commands.
  2. Swift Playgrounds is a modern programming language designed to be simple and intuitive yet powerful. You can develop an app completely on iPad using Swift Playground except for the final step of preparing the app for the app store using XCode.
  3. Swift Playgrounds works on both an iPad and Mac. With Swift Playgrounds, you can start a project on iPad and transition to using a Mac.

How to get Started

In Swift Playgrounds you can develop your own Playgrounds from a template (I found this too hard for me at this stage) or you can interact with pre-made Playbooks. Start by downloading Learn to Code 1, 2 and 3.  Each one is a series of puzzles that you need to solve using lines of Swift code. The objective is to get Byte or one of the other avatars to move through a 3D world to collect gems, toggle switches and more.

fullsizerender-3

You and your students will learn:

“the fundamentals of Swift, the programming language used to create apps for Apple products.”

Fun fact: I’m working through Learn to Code 1 and I have completed all the puzzles for the following computer science concepts: Commands, Functions, and For Loops. Next up: Conditional Code.

Here is a screen shot of my next puzzle:
img_0480

Are there lessons and resources?

Puzzles are grouped by computer science (CS) concepts such as Commands, Logical Operators and Conditionals. At the beginning of each set of puzzles there is a mini lesson explaining to the user the CS concept. In addition, there are free Teacher Guides and an iTunes Course that include complete lessons, videos and Keynote slides to help teachers guide students through learning computer science concepts in Swift Playgrounds.  The Teacher Guides also include all the solutions to the puzzles. 

screen-shot-2016-12-03-at-4-59-14-pm

 

The Learn to Code 3 Teacher Guide has just been released too:

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Hour of Code

Try downloading the Hour of Code activity which is a few puzzles from Learn to Code 1:fullsizerender-2

 

There is also a Facilitator’s Guide for the Hour of Code:

hour-of-code-swift-playgrounds

What do students say?

I ran a Swift Playgrounds coding club for 8 weeks and here is what some of my students had to say about learning with Swift Playgrounds:

What else can you do in Swift Playgrounds?

If you know about Tickle then you already know that you can use other apps to program robots and smart-toys.  Just like Tickle, Swift Playgrounds can be used to interact and program robots. Wonder Workshop, the makers of Dash, have created a Playbook that works with Dash called Dashbook. Read about and download the Playbook here. Below is a screen shot of what the Dashbook looks like:

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This is one of the activities I will be doing this week with my class to celebrate Computer Science week which is December 5-9 2016.

Going even Deeper with Swift

If you want to go even deeper, I recommend following Brian Foutty and subscribing to his  iTunesU course on Swift.

screen-shot-2016-12-03-at-5-55-18-pm

 

Or check out Paul Hamilton‘s YouTube Playlist with ideas and challenges to go further with Swift Playgrounds.

Do you use the Daily 5 and CAFE in your class?

Perhaps you are familiar with this series of books:
I attended “Hacking the Daily Five” presented byVictoria Olson MsVictoriaOlson and Sara Boucher @MsGeekyTeach. Victoria and Sara demonstrated how to integrate technology with the Daily 5. They focused on Google and iOS Apple tools. To get session resources, go to the links below:

They gave a Daily-5-Disclaimer saying they don’t follow every aspect of the Sister’s Approach.  They hack it.  Victoria and Sara do stick with the 5 parts of the program. In each of these areas, I learned something new.

Read to Self New Learning:

    • Literably A website where students can read text and the online service provides a running record.  I think this is pretty cool, but I like that Victoria emphasized that nothing beats the classroom teacher sitting down with a student. Nothing.
    • Google and Explain Everything: Victoria fills a Google folder full of books she has downloaded from Reading A-Z.  Students can then bring those books into Explain Everything and record their reading.  The key idea for me was the idea of using Google and Explain Everything to make a library of things for students to read. I would like to put in shared reading from the previous week, books I have written, classbooks, as well as texts I have access to use.

Read to Someone New Learning:

    • Have two students record their reading and then switch iPad devices.
    • Invite guest authors via Skype and Google Hangout or even invite parents to read to students if they can make a short break during their work day!

Listen to Reading New Learning:

    • Use Popplet or PicCollage to have students create a retell, summary, character analysis or other task to show their reading comprehension and experience with the text.
  • Tools and Websites for Listening to Reading:

Work on Writing New Learning:

Word Work New Learning: 

Websites for Word Work:

And, I was really happy to meet Erica Oakhill and Gloria A (a fellow Canadian)!

Here is a recap of the sessions I attended at iPadpalooza 2015.

ipad

Share it’s so Human –  Felix Jacomino

Share. Tweet. Blog. Crowdsource. Connect. Rinse and repeat daily for best results. Felix Jacomino shared his thoughts and interviews with edtech influencers through his session.  A perfect follow-up to Adam’s keynote, the message to share was becoming the anthem of the conference before noon on the first day.

I think you have probably read or heard about Steal Like An Artist and Show Your Work both by Austin Kleon.  We love this, don’t we?  Always worth a visit to these ideas, don’t you think?

Did you know that Command + F1 on your Apple computer will toggle between presentation mode in keynote and mirroring your desktop.  I didn’t!  Thank you Felix!

Tools, Sites and Apps Mentioned in Felix Jacominio’s session:

Conferences to attend that promise to be as fun asiPadpalooza

Crowdsourcing & Crowdsharing

Tools to help make sharing easier (if you use Google Blogger):

Mixing Paint and Pixels In The Creative iPad Classroom ~ Cathy Hunt

Cathy Hunt‘s general art resources can be found here and iBooks to download are here.  In the session, Cathy emphasized the importance of capturing the process as well as sharing out the product.  She encourages students to do time-lapse photography of their art making using iMotionHD and an iPad stand. She suggests getting iPad stands like the one pictured below or like this or like these.

ipad standShe taught us that an inexpensive stand like this is essential for taking pictures of the process and it’s also important that students grapple with setting up their work stations.  For presentation and sharing the student’s product, she uses Book Creator.

A Book Creator tip that I think you’ll love is to have students crop photos in a square shape and then add to the portrait or landscape books in book creator. This will make for a very consistent look throughout the book allowing for consistent white space for writing descriptions. Primary teachers, don’t you think this would be great for classroom books too?

When we opened an app for the first time she would tell us to “touch the heck out of the screen.”  Touch Everything may be the simplest instructions for figuring out any app that I have every heard in my life.  Brilliant. Stop teaching apps, just open then up and say “Touch Everything” – it’s the Bibbiti Bobbiti Boo of iTeaching!

Using the headphones to trigger photos was another great tip.  Plus, she keeps things simple and easy and goes around taking pictures of student’s art work on their iPads as an easy workflow solution for assessment.

Making kaleidoscope's with MegaPhoto and Craft supplies.

Making kaleidoscope’s with MegaPhoto and Craft supplies.

Art Apps Mentioned in Cathy Hunt’s session:

 

iGoogle ~ Jennie Mageira

Jennie Mageira knows that many iOS users want and need to be Googly too. This session was about blending the tools together. Her session resources are here.

Jennie points out that Google classroom is great, but there is still a place for Shared Google folders through Google Drive.  She demonstrated that Shared folders is the best option when you want students to be able to see each other’s work.  Good point, Jennie, good point!

She breaks down the apps into those for creating, consuming and connecting.  All the apps she recommends can be seen here.

As a presenter, Jennie Mageira has excellent plan-b-ability. When she was not able to mirror her iPad on the Apple TV, she was quick to turn on Photo Booth and use that to show her iPad.  I think this smooth and nimble use of technology is exactly what we want to strive for and want our students to strive for. There are always glitches and it’s key to problem solve and move forward. Mageira is a pro.

Individualizing Staff Instruction with the ITP ~ Amy Mayer

Amy Mayer is a YouTuber for teachers.  Her channel, FriEd Technology has a vast collection of how-to tutorials to support others. Again, the theme of sharing persisted in this session too as Amy talked about supporting staff.

Her top tools and tips for coaches and learning coordinators that are getting buried by email:

Boomerang

Using canned responses in gmail

Follow Michael Jaber on twitter if you need another guardian angel like Amy to help you out!

I went to the session to hear Amy speak, but you may be interested in seeing her Individual Technology Plan form if you do support teachers who are trying to integrate technology in your board or district.

 

Explain Everything & #QFAT – Reshan Richards

Reshan Richards, creator of Explain Everything, introduced the notion of #QFAT ~ Qualitative Formative Assessment Tool ~ and makes it so clear how to use iPad. He says there are four ways to capture content on iPad:

    • Photos
    • Screenshot
    • Video
    • Screencasting

He engaged his audience to use a combination of these and the game Disruptus to get depth of thinking and use the tools effectively.

Explain Everything and Disruptus

Crafting Creativity with Canva ~ Lisa Johnson

Lisa Johnson did a standing-room-only session on Canva which is a tool for making beautiful content!  What I liked most was learning about her process for making her Canva pieces.  She keeps a Pinterest board called Delectable Designer Designs where she collects samples of visual messages and content that she likes the looks of. Then, she uses these to guide her own creations. Circle back to Felix’s session, we were evoking Austin Kleon’s book Steal Like An Artist!  It’s useful to know where to start, right?

She also has two more boards to check out for lesson plans and ideas:

Canva Lesson Plans – Pinterest

Ways to Use Canva – Pinterest

For finding more eye candy for creative content creation, Lisa also recommended Creative Market. She also uses images from Noun Project in her Canva creations. Smart!  She also pairs her Canva creations with Thinglink such as this Outlander themed SAMR model interactive poster:

Dean Shareski

Dean Shareski says “Creativity is like a muscle you have to exercise it daily.” He spoke to leaders about being a creative leader like Chris Kennedy who writes a blog titled The Culture of Yes. Every April 1st he writes a gag blog. Dean suggests that it’s important for leaders to work creativity muscles in this way. He reminded the leaders in the room to engage in “cheap failure” (Clay Shirky’s words) and take risks by playing games such as Pecha Flicker Improv.

He also did a session titled “The Airing of the Grievances.”  I didn’t get to go because I was presenting, but I love the title.  You and I can creep his slides here.

It’s all about the sharing and the people!

People I was thrilled to see

….and you may want to follow so all the names will take you to their twitter accounts:

Tracy ClarkCarl HookerLisa JohnsonJennifer FloodDon Goble, Jessica Young,  Debbie SmithMeghan ZigmondSue Gorman, Jennie MageiraCathy YencaReshan Richards, Dean ShareskiJames RichardsonCraig RobleBrian FouttyRafranz DavisCathy HuntRichard WellsCarolyn FooteKyle PearceFelix JacominoAmy Mayer, Todd Nesloney, Rabbi Michael Cohen, Chris Parker

 

With thanks to….

Massive T-Rex size thank you to Carl for inviting me and for Tracy for letting me stay with you.

iPadpalooza

I am starting to feel more confident with teaching through inquiry based learning and problem based learning. One challenge can be getting started and deciding what to focus on for inquiry.  Though models of inquiry hint at starting points, I have 6 ideas in this post that came about through reading these sources.

Harvey, S., & Daniels, H. (2009). Comprehension & collaboration: Inquiry circles in action. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.

Barell, J., & Barell, J. (2007). Problem-based learning: An inquiry approach (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.

Stacey, S. (2011). The unscripted classroom: Emergent curriculum in action. St. Paul, MN: Redleaf Press.

Capacity Building Series (2011) Getting Started with Student Inquiry

1. Use a factoid to invite and provoke student questions

In Problem-based learning: An inquiry approach (2nd ed.) the authors suggest starting with provoking factoids and then asking students to observe, think and question.  Use the factoid to get kids asking related questions.

For example, what questions come to mind when you read this factoid?

Tornadoes are nearly invisible whirling winds until dust and debris are picked up or a cloud forms inside the funnel.

Questions come to mind about vocabulary, but also about the shape and colour of tornadoes. Including a picture also helps students access prior knowledge and start wondering.

2. Quality Responding

Instead of thinking about what good questions a teacher should ask, think about asking students questions in response to their ideas. Ask students to expand and elaborate.

Teachers could try pushing student thinking forward by asking:

  • What do you wonder about now?
  • Does this suggest any new approaches, ideas to you worth investigating?
  • What kinds of connections can you make?
  • Where do we go from here?

3. Slow down

Both Susan Stacey, author of The Unscripted Classroom: Emergent Curriculum in Action and this Ontario monograph titled “Getting Started with Student Inquiry” suggest teachers slow down.  Observation is essential. Slow down and watch what children are doing. Reflect and interpret what you see. Then try to provoke a next step.  Slowing down and taking time to reflect and interpret is the fulcrum on which we can balance student’s authentic questions and theories with teacher’s agenda and the curriculum. We do not need to pit student interest and freedom in a fist fight with the curriculum.  If we as teachers know our curriculum and take time to reflect and interpret what our students are interested in, there is a way to honour their interests and curiosities. This is a chance for teachers to get creative and innovative.

balancing T and S agendas with time

4. Be on the look out for student’s questions, theories and persistent interests

Student driven inquiry does not need to start with a question. It can start when a teacher notices a student has a theory about something. This can be challenging since students are often bringing a lot of ideas, questions, and interests forward. Which ones do we focus on as educators?  When we notice that a student or a group of students are consistently interested in a topic, we should head in that direction. It’s best to focus on ideas that have some persistence according to Stacey (2011). Or, if you aren’t sure the idea merits moving forward with inquiry, test it out by provoking students with materials and resources and see if they take the bait.  The teacher can not and should not respond to every question and whim in the classroom. Or else, he or she will be like the golden retriever in this video, chasing after every little flash of student interest.

5. Use previous activities to feed forward

Don’t let the learning come to a full stop. Let investigations and units propel new topics. I need to work on this in a major way. So far this year we have taken a PBL or IBL approach to learning about magnets, friction and extreme weather. When the final assignment was in and graded that was it!  I didn’t go back and reflect. I didn’t go back and ask the students to look at each other’s work and see if there were some new questions to move us forward. I was the driver.  I was leading teacher directed PBL and IBL.  Now I know.

6. Help students make sense of non fiction text

Reading about an interesting topic is a great way to open up new questions. Help students use a coding system to monitor their thinking as they read. With paper books sticky notes work great. If iPads are available, Good Reader is my preferred markup app. This strategy comes from Harvey and Daniels (2008) Comprehension and Collaboration: Inquiry Circles in Action.

coding as we read

iOS 8 is a bit of a bummer.

September 20, 2014 — 6 Comments

iOS 8: A total bummer, but not for the reasons you might expect.  (This blog post was updated 10 minutes after posting thanks to Greg Garner and John Shoemaker. Thanks guys).

Short/TLDR version of this blog post.

Girl buys new iPad and expensive case.

Girl realizes that new iPad doesn’t have enough space for iOS8.

Girl feels old when she realizes that 16G used to be massive, but is now tiny.

Girl thinks she should refer to herself as lady or woman, now that she knows she is old.

Woman decides to refer to self as womyn.

Womyn spends hours getting new iPad 36G from Apple Store, updating 16G iPhone to iOS8 and. then. it. happens.

Womyn realizes that she is going to have to update 50 iPads at school on bad wifi.

Womyn realizes she may only have one more good year with her current set of iPad devices.

Panic. Heartache. Frustration. Fear. Sadness. Realization-of-first-world-problems. Dinner. Hope.

Womyn writes blog post.

I am not going to write here about new features. I did that this morning on Twitter.  Read Tony Vincent and TechChef4U for her blog post and Listly on features and articles.

The day 16 G became teeny tiny.

On September 8, twelve days ago at the time of this writing, I purchased a new iPad Air. I spent the extra money to go for the Air and not the Retina display. But, I couldn’t bring myself to spend another $100 for the 32G, so I settled for 16G. Plenty, yes, plenty of space. I splurged on a gorgeous case from Grovemade instead of getting a 32G. Life’s all about choices.

I only partially regret that decision.

Today, Saturday, September 20 rolls along and I go to update my new iPad to the biggest iOS release ever and I see:

ios-8-installation-requirement

 

When did 16 G get to be so small? Realizing 16G is small is about the same thing as realizing that I may need reading glasses or longer arms. This is not a happy moment.

And. It. Gets. Worse.

This is the complaining part of the post, you’ve been warned. It took me bits and pieces of a perfectly good Saturday to update my devices. After pleading with the Apple store people to let me exchange for a 32G, I had to figure out how to update my 16G phone.

How to Install iOS8 on your teeny-tiny-eensie-weensie 16G iOS device OTA.

OTA = Over the air.

Step 1: Backup your iDevice Settings>iCloud>Backup to iCloud

Step 2: Reset your device to factory settings Settings>General>Reset>Erase All Content and Settings

Step 3: Set up your iPad as if new (do not back up from iCloud) and Install iOS8 Settings>General>Software Update>Download (let it download for 30 mins – 1hour)> Install

Step 4: Reset your device to factory settings *Again* Settings>General>Reset>Erase All Content and Settings

Step 5: Set up your iPad as if new and restore from iCloud backup

Why the tedious process?

Well, iOS8, if you haven’t heard is a *big* update. It takes over 5G to install, but once installed only requires about 1G. It’s like an incredible-shrinking-iOS. It’s acting a bit like Alice might.

alice04aalice06a

What this means for my classroom.

This is my third year of running a one to one iPad program. Each student in my class has an iPad assigned to them for the year. They do not take them home, but they access the device throughout the day. I speculated that I would get 5 good years out of the devices before I would no longer be 1:1. I expected that some would be damaged so I wouldn’t have the ratio. Or, I expected that after 5 years I would no longer be able to update to the new operating system. Like a hole in your favourite sweater, I expected things would unravel from there. Old technology doesn’t feel cozy like ripped jeans. Old tech feels heavy and cumbersome like storing a friend’s furniture or pet sitting for your parents. Old tech isn’t terrible, it’s just that it starts getting in the way instead of enabling. Five years. I thought I would have 5 years to deploy and innovate. But, I feel like for two I have deployed and wrestled with the devices and now at the beginning of year 3 it’s going to take a massive amount of work to update 23 devices and the new 23 I just purchased. And what happens next year when iOS9 comes out? I suspect that I will not be able to update the 23 iPad (iPad 3, 30 pin). And then, how long after that will the devices still be powerful? How long after that will they feel like an enhancement instead of a burden? Will future version of Apps I love be backwards compatible?

Update:  Maybe it’s not all that bad.  Greg Garner suggests:

“Plug one into an Apple computer and back up to computer choosing “download only” for the update. Once backed up, update the iOS. For each subsequent device: plug in, back up, click update. It won’t need to re-download the OS, since it is already on your computer.”

Am I telling you not to buy iPad tablets? No, that is not the point.

I still think iPad is the best tablet. This is not an Apple problem, this is a problem for every tablet. Actually, I suspect iPad and Apple devices will have the longest life of any of the tablets out there. I do know that Apple products are the most eco-friendly and environmentally conscious technology products available. I promise the same will happen with other tablets too, even less expensive tablets that have an operating system that largely based online.

The solution

The solution is not to stop buying iPad devices, or to stop buying tablets altogether. That would be like Alice leaving Wonderland before she had an adventure and learned the true meaning of her life and place in the world. No, we who have jumped down the rabbit hole don’t get to jump right out. And, AND, we must continue to encourage others to jump down into edtech with us to make sense of this mess. Teachers especially have to be engaged. If not, powerful companies and uninformed district personnel will decide our tech fate for us.

The solution is to, more than ever before, really honestly drink from the cup of pedagogy-before-technology. We must push ourselves to be more than our devices. We must push the technology to it’s edge, to the point where it will break and then go one step further. Then, we must write honestly and openly and publicly about our trials and tribulations.

Anyone who is writing about how Edtech is easy is lying. They are (or should I say “we are”) not lying in the sense of telling untruths, but the simplicity of the message is a lie by omission. And, it’s not helping anyone.

Womyn goes to bed. Decides to post without editing. Why bother checking my post over for spelling? (I hear your collective gasp you English teachers who actually read entire blog posts).  Predictive text should be better soon, editing is so iOS7.

iPad deployment in TVDSB

October 6, 2013 — 1 Comment

Teachers and administrators in Thames Valley District School Board are purchasing iPad. I believe this is the right step, but I have 3 key warnings.

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Thank yous and a rationale for this post

*blog post updated with links from Kyle 09-04-2013

Thank Yous

Big thanks to my friends Chris CasalChris Casal and Kyle Pearce Kyle Pearce for meeting up with me over Google hangouts to give advice about iPad deployment.  Clearly, I have a lot more to learn, but these two clever people got me started.  Thank you also to Jon Samuelson a.k.a @iPadSammyPatrick Fogarty and Class Tech Tips who offered to help.  I might be talking to you next summer to up-level my deployment skills.

 

Check out Kyle’s iPad deployment blog posts here:

Apple iPad Deployment Backgrounds

How to Setup iPad – The iPad Classroom Deployment Guide

Rationale

This blog post may be helpful to other people. But, I suspect that other people deploying iPads are using Apple Configurator and VPP.  Since I am not using VPP, I had to find another method. Mostly, I am writing this as a note to the future *me*, the me-getting-ready-for-back-2-school-next-August.

A letter about iPad deployment

Dear Person Setting up iPads,

When you are getting ready for the school year, here are some reminders as to how you set up your class iPads.  If you are really clever, you will dedicate some time over the next 12 months to learn iPhone Configuration Utility and/or Apple Configurator more deeply.  You should probably also learn more about Cisco’s Meraki.  It would be nice if you didn’t have to configure each device individually.

But, if you don’t figure those programs out, or they change, here is what you could do.

The overall goal is to reset each device and upload a fresh version of all the apps, settings in a nice organized fashion.

Step 1: Prepare and Reset

This is where you clean out everything on the iPad.

Settings>General>Reset>Erase All Content and Settings

Note: If one of your students has locked the device with a passcode, then use Apple Configurator to reset.

Note: If one of your students has disabled the device, take a deep breath.  The “bricked” iPad will need to be shut off, plugged in to iTunes while pressing the home key and follow instructions.  Warning: you will have to make several attempts.

Step 2: BackUp

Use a backup from iTunes that has all the apps and settings you desire. If you don’t have a back up, make sure you save one iPad with all apps and clean it up manually. Reset the device to be a perfect iPad. This will be the image for all the other iPads you want to set up.  Back it up to the cloud and your computer with iTunes.

You can backup all the devices over iCloud, but this could take 2-3 days and your Internet will be seriously slow.  The alternative is to plug each device into iTunes and restore from the back up.

Step 3: Name each device

I name each device so they will be unique in Meraki and also so the email signature indicates which device an email comes from.  I also like to have the iPad number visible on the lock screen and homescreen when they are first handed out to students.

Naming the iPad:

Settings> General> About> Name: iPad _ _

 

Changing the email signature to reflect iPad name/number:

Settings> Mail, Contacts, Calendars> Signature> Sent from my iPad_ _

 

Setting Lock Screen and Home Screen with the number of the device:

collage1-25

        • Save the number from the photo stream to camera roll (press and hold the picture>share>to camera roll)
        • Settings> Brightness & Wallpaper> Wallpaper > Camera Roll> Select number picture> Set Both
        • Next erase all the number pictures from the Photo Stream. iCloud> Photo Stream> My Photo Stream *OFF*
            • You will be prompted to delete the Photo Stream, which is perfect!

Note: Photo Stream stopped working part way through. I had to plug in the device into my computer and jump start the Photo Stream. As soon as the numbers appear, I could unplug and proceed.

Step 4: Meraki Magic

Use Meraki Mobile device management to track all the devices.

I think Meraki will save you from the headache of locked iPads.  With Meraki, you can reset passwords without resetting and erasing the entire device.  Plus, it’s much faster then having to plug into iTunes to de-brick.

Meraki also allows you to make WebClips. This is super handy because you can make a website look like an App.  I created a WebClip for a Google Form that my students complete each day called ‘Round Up.’  I used a copyright safe image from Compfight and Pixlr Express to edit the picture and resize.  The picture below and to the right is the image of the web clip on each iPad.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAScreen Shot 2013-09-02 at 2.20.21 PMRound up Happy face

Note: I tried to access a Meraki profile from the website m.meraki.com for each device, but after 16 devices it stopped working. So, I installed the Meraki Systems Manager app and was able to install Meraki for each device.

 

 

Lisa Morris and I are at TLLP and we are struggling with going GAFE and Googly or going with a paid for ePortfolio product like Pathrite.

The problem is simple:

1) Go google and accept that google is data mining kings and queens. Enjoy the upside that it is free and available. This allows for us to use Google beyond the life of our TLLP. It also makes sharing knowledge with other teachers easier because most will have access to the same tools for free.

Basically, if you are not paying for the product, you are the product!

2) Use a platform like Pathrite for ePs. Data may (or may not) be more secure. Students may not have access to their content after the course ends. It may be harder to scale and share with other teachers because costs and access to other platforms.

Last week I attended iPad Summit USA and this week I am attending the Ontario GAFE Summit.  What a difference in the events and the nature of the tools we are exploring!  I think it would be fun to reflect on the differences of the conferences and the big differences in the feel of Apple vs Google.

Overall, I think iPads and the Ed Tech Teacher Summit is summed up by being creative and creating while GAFE and the Ontario Summit is more about collecting and collaborating.  I think this really reflects the essence of the different tools as well.

Disclaimer: Yes, I realize that you can collaborate with iPads and you can create and be creative with Google products. But, it’s a bit like the way you can buy clothing at Loblaws and groceries at Walmart. To me, when I think Loblaws I think food not affordable fashion and when I think Walmart I think cheap stuff from China and not leafy greens. I recognize that these stores are converging on the products and services they offer much like we see a convergence of services/offerings from Google and Apple.

At the iPad summit there were many sessions focused on creating, being creative and creating learning environments with Apple products and apps in mind. We have digital puppets for story telling, classrooms that are being redesigned with everything on wheels to accommodate mobile learning and the beginnings of maker spaces.  We all struggle like crazy to get student creations off the devices, but learners can make really amazing artifacts of learning.  Where to store student work, how to share and who has access to the student creations changes from app to app and school to school.  Student work sounds a bit like naughty deeds in Vegas. You know, what happens on the iPad, stays on the iPad.  Yes, there are solutions including Kidblog.org, Dropbox, Google Drive and Evernote, but, not all apps have share functions to each of these spaces. Often student work must be shared through camera roll or email if not directly through the app.  It’s a warren of a path to get the data out and it’s unclear who has control of the work once it’s online.  We talked about collaboration at the conference generally and specifically, but it was more like all hovering around a device or having a file rally where you have to pass work back and forth to get something that several people worked on.  In the end, using an iPad is transformative because of the creative capabilities and easy access to information to get ideas rolling.  An iPad, equipped with certain apps, feels like being in the middle of a wonderfully magical craft-store-puppet-costume-closet where learners can conjure multi-modal or multi-media artifacts that are dazzling. The workshops had this feeling too. Many people talked about journeys, paths, redefining, creativity, creation and possibilities. It was a dreamy space for ultra rich media and exploration. Plus, the keynotes felt like pep rallies and calls to action: Ra-Ra Passion and gimme a C-R-E-A-T-E! Energizing and big. Loved it!

While many sessions felt like exploring an art supply shop mixed with a magic suitcase, the sessions I have attended so far at GAFE feel like going to Rona, Home Depot or a lumber yard. Equally empowering and enticing, but with a totally different feel. With Google products, you have to be an all star like Ken Shelton @k_shelton  or Jim Still @mistersill, to make your work really dazzling without huge amounts of time, sweat and large amounts of coffee. (Small correction: Ken Shelton did a pretty darn good job of teaching us how to make super nice websites with Google, but he said “I am going to teach you how to make a google site that doesn’t look like a google site” **enough said**).  It is hard to make beautiful things with Google, but you can make really, really, really good boxes.  Those boxes can be any size and anyone can work in those boxes. The boxes can hold any number of things. Plus, if you are really clever (and can run scripts), those boxes can talk to each other.  Yes, there are circles, but those are just round boxes.  Google is really about a sturdy and robust way to build space to work together, share ideas and manage data, all kinds of data.  The sessions have this feel of being highly pragmatic. This is not to say that it is all button pushing since there is a clear focus on assessment, professional development, user/student generated content and pedagogy. For a conference that deals mostly with cloud computing, it’s a very grounded feeling.  There is far less talk of journeys, learning spaces, possibilities and creativity.  But, there is a far greater focus on weaving tools together and bringing people/learners together. Collaborating and collecting is at the forefront. I love this too.

I am looking forward to “worming the Apple” in my classroom and finding more ways to use Google products on the iPads. After all, creativity and collaboration are both important C words in the current century.

Note:

Michael Fullan’s 6 Cs from the Great to Excellent report:

  • character
  • citizenship
  • communication
  • critical thinking
  • collaboration
  • creativity