Monday, September 24, 2012

Limiting Student App Access on Your iPad

I know in a recent meeting, our staff talked about using the iPad with kids and there was concern about them being able to access contacts, email, etc...  In the new iOS 6 that was just released by Apple last week, there is a great new feature called "Guided Access" that solves these problems.  

Using Guided Access, you are able to open an app and then make it so that kids cannot log out of that app or be where they are not supposed to be.  The example they use is so that kids can be locked into an assessment and not be able to look up the answers in Safari.  

I thought this might be useful when kids are using the classroom iPad or when leaving it for a sub.  Below you will find links for backing-up your iPad and also for setting up Guided Access.

Hope it's helpful!  I plan to try it soon with my iPad!

Follow this Apple link to learn how to back-up your iPad.  Once you have your device backed-up, you can then download the new iOS 6.  

Follow this link for a step-by-step illustration for setting up Guided Access in your iPhone, iPod, or iPad.

Post provided by Amy Hage

Elementary Teacher
Bursley Elementary

Great Free Apps

Great free apps!

Best Sand Timer-- this can be used to help create more effective transitions. We use it after writing when the student need to clean up their writing. They get one minute to organize and be back at our meeting area.  We choose a good example student who can choose the alarm sound for the next day. This is a great motivator for many students. Just a helpful hint, if you are using the document camera right before you use any app, you can put the iPad under the document camera and skip a few extra steps mirroring your iPad.

Curiosity School-- a great science app. We use it whole group, but older students could do it in smaller groups. It shows an experiment, how to set it up, and the basic scientific principles. They are short and ask students questions at the end.  FYI: this is a large app and will take a while to download.

Too Noisy-- exactly what it sounds like.  It measures the noise and changes a happy face to sad as the noise increases. It works great when you are working in one area of the classroom with a group of students while another group of students is working in another area. It will remind them (and you if you mirror) when the group is getting too noisy.

Reviews provided by Sabrina Kind
Elementary Teacher

Monday, September 10, 2012

Miss Allerding's Students Tap In To The Mobile Lab

Last week, I decided to "jump in" and try out our new mobile computer labs.  At first, I thought I was a little crazy to be trying this the first week of school, let alone on the first day, but, what can I say?  What an AMAZING experience it was!  It was wonderful to look out into the classroom and see 30 students with laptops on their desks.  Each student was hanging onto EVERY word I was saying, anxious to show me that they were responsible and ready to use this great technology. 

During Tuesday's lesson, I used a Keynote presentation to teach my students about using the MacBooks appropriately.  This included learning the rules for using the laptops in the classroom, identifying the parts of the MacBook (trackpad, screen, ports, etc.), and playing a game of "Simon Says" to test their knowledge!  We also turned the computers on to practice using the trackpad and begin identifying parts of the desktop and dock.  

By Friday, my students were once again itching to use the MacBooks, and they were excited to see that "Mobile Lab" was included on our daily schedule.  Friday's lesson involved making a Wordle for the students to use on a classroom project called an "Open-Mind Portrait."  Earlier in the week, the students were asked to draw a portrait of themselves and then cut out their "heads."  Their task, then, on Friday was to make a Wordle with words representing them to glue on the backside of their "heads," thus, showing what was important to them.  If you haven't had the opportunity to make a Wordle yet, you might try putting it on your list of tech. things to check out! (  A Wordle is basically a "word cloud" made out of any text you wish to include in it.  You can edit your Wordle with different colors, fonts, and layouts. 

What a great opportunity this was to teach students about using the new mobile labs, to give them opportunities to practice their own computer skills, and to build our classroom community!  I hope you all have a chance to check out the mobile labs in your building soon!  

Posted by Julie Allerding
3rd Grade Teacher
Sandy Hill Elementary

Sunday, September 9, 2012

JPS Tech Day a Success

JPS teachers and administrators returned for the 2012-2013 school year with three days of professional development spanning August 28-30.  The second day was dedicated to technology training and was a grand success.  The event was organized by high school principal Dr. Brandon Graham and Director of Information Technology Dave Tchozewski.

The kick-off for the day was provided by Dave Tchozewski as he shared a picture history of the tech journey traveled this summer.  You can see a few of those pictures below.


Our Keynote Speaker was Andy Losik, Hamilton Public School Technology Teacher.  Andy is the 2009 Michigan Technology Using Educator and is also an Apple Distinguished Educator.  He challenged our staff to tap into the power of the technology to create great student work.  You can follow Andy on Twitter at @mrlosik.

Over 50 technology focused sessions were offered, each being presented by a fellow JPS staff member.  Session topics included using iPads for presentations, using iMovie to create tutorials, learning how to use a document camera, creating websites, creating and sharing epubs, sharing of educational websites and iPad apps, and much more.  You can check out the full list of sessions at this link.

Early feedback from staff members indicate that this type of professional development was beneficial and appreciated.  Most of the sessions were hands-on and allowed for an attendee to leave with knowledge and skills to incorporate the information into their own classroom.

Monday, September 3, 2012

JPS Classroom Technology

Over the summer, Jenison technology staff, working with Moss Communications, installed and/or updated classroom technology throughout the district.  With close to 240 classrooms, this was no small project.  Most of the classrooms will be fully functional when students return on September 4.  While some tweaking will most likely be needed, the majority of classrooms will provide a new type of learning environment for students.

The typical classroom will have an new teacher computer (iMac), a document camera (The Hovercam T3), a digital projector (Epson 96W), and integrated sound system (Lightspeed 855), an Apple TV, and an iPad.

The iPad and Apple TV pairing will allow teachers to make use of the district wide wireless internet access that was installed in December 2011.  By using the Apple TV, teachers will be able to wirelessly send audio and video from their iPad to the projector.  And, because it is wireless, teachers will be able to move throughout their classroom using the iPad and even handing it off to students for them to show the class what they are viewing on the iPad.

The state-of-the-art integrated sound system allows teachers to clearly communicate throughout the classroom using a lightweight microphone that they wear hanging from a lanyard. The teacher computer, iPad, and VCR/DVD players will also transmit their audio through the system.

Great technology enhanced lessons are ahead for JPS students!