iPad iFootball

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Today was the last day of term and we had our Prep12 footy match and footy day. I was amazed to see one of our students use his iPad at the game on the official time keepers table. The app he used was Soccer sound box.
http://itunes.apple.com/au/app/a-soccer-sound-box-free/id373058312?mt=8
He had, on his own downloaded an app that gives you various sounds you might hear at a footy game and set up with the speaker so he could play the siren sound at the appropriate time. Yes there’s an app for that. During the last half he disappeared inside where the wifi was better to download a song he wanted for the winners, We are the Champions. And so at the end after the siren went the music came on and everyone sang along and cheered the winners.
This was a fitting end to the term and an example of how the iPads are now being used for all sorts of uses at school. Oh and yes there was a plan B as we always need plan B, the old school bell but it wasn’t used.

To finish the term off the students made a keynote about our school concert and the used many iPad skills such as screen shots, copying images to the photo gallery, keynote features and page layout and email. Talking Tom featured in some keynotes.

How to get things on the iPads without usb’s has become a great problem solving exercise that’s finding different solutions every day. Email seems to be the quickest way. An example today was a student who wanted the concert program in his keynote. He came to find the scanner to scan the document. I asked, “I wonder if someone has this on a computer? Perhaps they could email it to you and then you would have it to use.” A screen shot and a crop and it’s done. Much quicker than a scanner.

Thinking back on the introduction of the iPads I would change the following next time.

1. I would have a parents only information evening. This would allow for talk about security issues and iTunes accounts.
Also I would demonstrate creating an account and downloading. This wasn’t done as everyone seemed to say we know but actually about 10 students have had problems with this either the downloading or use of the accounts. Assuming the students would know or older siblings could set it up, it wasn’t always a good idea. It would have been good to give out the iTunes cards and everyone redeem them on their accounts at school together.

2. The security on the iPads should be turned on with selections of restrictions and a code from the school set on each iPad. This would make it impossible to add unsuitable apps, music etc. Ratings can be selected. I didn’t know this at the time and now have set it on a couple of iPads where children were downloading unsuitable apps.

3. If the volume licencing is available I would sync them all at school. This would make sure all the apps are on the iPads right from the start. We still have some students struggling to get all the apps. One downside would be if the students wanted to upload an app like today at the footy it wouldn’t be possible if the students didn’t have access to an account.

I don’t know why you need an account for free apps. There needs to be a way as finding the apps to suit various jobs is one of the great things iPads allow students to do, just in time learning.

4. I would use the iPad licence testing as a way to begin the iPad use again. This worked very well and the students liked the idea of a licence.

So at the end of the term I would say at this stage the iPads have gained a lot of the students full support and have become the tool of choice for most jobs. The netbooks are staying in their cases.

The cables and wall connectors will need to be collected early in Dec along with the iPads so we have them all for next year. Whether returning students will have holiday access and if next years grade will be given them to take home are issues that need some thought. Our grade structure changes next year and we may have the netbooks in another class and the ipads in the other as we will have more grade 5 students than grade 6’s requiring 2 grades with grade 5’s.

I am on leave for a large part of next term and this will be interesting to see how the iPads continue to be used. I will be emailing the students and teacher to keep up with the iPad use and will be inviting the teacher of the class to put some guest blogs here on this blog.

3 weeks later

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We have now had the iPads for three weeks.  Today the students were busily creating presentations about our school Variety Show which was held last night.  Our school gallery is available for easy access and the photos copy to the photo gallery on the iPads easily for use in the presentations.  I have been observing the students over the weeks and noticed today a marked difference in the number of students who were using their iPad and not their netbook.  In the first weeks there were quite a few students who were still using the netbooks in preference.  They have been given the choice to select the tool they would like to use for tasks and now more are choosing the iPads.   I quizzed them about it today just by a show of hands-

Who likes using the iPads in preference to the netbooks?

Who has changed their thinking about the use of the iPads since the first few days when we got them?

I will follow up with a survey so I can collect the stats on these questions and a couple of others.

Another change in work habits has emerged where many students are using both the iPad and the netbooks side by side.  This seems to be a popular way to use them and I even notice myself,  that I  will have something else running on the iPad, the laptop and my iPhone.  Dual screens.

When the students were working on the keynotes I noticed they seemed more willing to make adjustments to their page layouts and to be considering this more than if they were using powerpoint or even keynote on the laptops.  I think this is because it’s so easy to move things around and rearrange.

The prep/1 classes performed the yellow submarine and drew pictures that were used on large screens at the Variety show.  Now they are in our school photo gallery.  The hand drawn submarines looked very nice on the iPads and the grade 5/6 could be organised to have the Prep/1’s create a sonic pics digital story about their submarines on the iPads.  A great buddy activity and it will allow us to share the use of the iPads.

Proxies again

Just when you think you have the proxies all worked out something doesn’t work. Manually having to change the proxies is not good. Today I spoke with Luke at Sunburydowns SC and was given the link for his wiki. Luke has written some great posts on their management of the iPads and the macbook pro. If you are in the DEECD trial it is a terrific resource.
SunburyDowns iPad blog/wiki

Presenting with an iPad

IMG_1680Along with the students the teachers are also trialing the iPads.  So I took the iPad to the IWBnet10 conference in Melbourne and had two presentations to give.  I made it my goal to use the iPad for both presentations.
How did it go?

I was nervous and took my laptop just in case.  On arrival I was told I need to use a USB to put a flip chart on and to run the participant survey……What!  The  iPad doesn’t have a USB drive so the flip chart won’t activate on the iPad.

Unfortunately I didn’t bring a dongle for my laptop as I thought I was using the iPad. We weren’t told about the participant quiz being tied to a clicker.

Keynote on the iPad…..hmm the screen doesn’t show the slide so I had to keep turning around.  The lectern was not flexible at all.  So I had to turn around to see what was on. Later I remembered that if you pressed on the symbol the thumb nails of the keynote would appear.  I need to practise more with using the iPad for a presentation.  I also remember reading if you tap and hold a laser pointer is available but I didn’t try it. Perhaps it was not the best time to be trying out stuff but I wanted a real scenario not a made up one to see how I went using it under pressure.  Just like teachers feel in class when they are starting out using technology.  Its good for you to be put back into that space when you were just beginning to use technology.

It was easy to get my presentation on the iPad.  Under the apps tabs below is a window that list apps on the iPad that allow files to be dragged onto them.   Keynote is one of these apps. So it’s just drag and drop.  Good reader is also great as many types of files can be dragged on and then opened on the iPad like PDF files.

The iPad was much lighter to walk around the conference with each day and easier to get out and use on the run.   It was great to use soundpaper and audio note to take notes in the sessions and record for personal listening for later.  Also twitter was easier to send.  There were many people with iPads.

I used it again for my second keynote the next day. I remembered the thumbnails but still turned around to see the screen as I changing from camera on the document camera to the PC (iPad) as I was showing some apps on the iPods for my literacy and numeracy presentation.

I am not up to speed with using the iPad for presentations but will keep on working at it because the light weight is so much better on my shoulder.  Persistence.
I also discovered that duplicam does share photos from my iphone to the iPad via blue tooth.   I had previously thought that it would only work via a network.

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iPad Licence Testing and Coaching

Today we had the Regional Director Ron Lake and his Regional Network leaders along with other region staff come out and sit for their iPad licences.

The grade 5/6 students very confidently took on the task of coaching and testing the visitors. Sharing knowledge of using the iPad was enjoyed by the students and they loved working with the older people today.  Age was no barrier although it was brought to everyone’s attention that the digital natives were teaching us digital migrants and how well they were doing the job.

The visitors were very pleased with their learning and went away ready to explore their iPads further.

Unboxing

Unboxing

Coaching

Coaching

Testing

Testing

Anne Baird passes her licence test.

Anne Baird passes her licence test.