Shift Happens

This youtube video originating out of the University of Minnesota keys in on the “Why” of our iPad learning tool initiative.

*From the Desk of A Monroe Township Classroom
As the math and science teacher in the MAPS program I have been able to use the IPAD in several ways to actively engage my students which increases their motivation and improves their attitude about school. Here are a few highlights of how we use the IPADS in my classroom.

Dynamics of Geometry – I have created a digital notebook for my students in iPUB that they can open in their IBOOKS library. Also, the students are using the Garage Band app to make a song project called “The Beats of Geometry” in which they rap about our essential questions and enduring understandings.

Algebra II – We have gone completely paperless. My students get their do now and classroom notes from my WIKI, download these files and open them in Good Reader. In Good Reader they can type into the PDF files or use the freestyle tool to write free hand on the IPAD. They are looking forward to taking their first “paperless” test next week on the IPADS.

Physics – We often begin our day by watching a video that has been embedded in the class WIKI then students will complete the DO NOW by posting on the WIKI; this creates an environment of collaboration in the class. We are able to video tape all of our labs on the IPADS and review them for purposes of revisiting our data. Currently the students are working on a project in where they combine images, facts, and video feed to create a timeline about a famous physicist.

Chemistry – My class starts the day with a question in POLL FOR or more recently in today’s, the class can see everyone’s responses instantaneously on the whiteboard. The students are currently working on a project in Keynote about the elements. They are also looking forward to my training them in IMOVIE so we can create a project comparing and contrasting their life with recent developments in chemistry industry and technology.

A New Paradigm Actualized

I received this great email from the school’s Media Specialist and I wanted to share her thoughts on our iPad learning tool initiative.

Last week I conducted several freshman media center orientations using the iPad. It was a relatively seamless operation, knowing what I knew at the time. Students had all of the programs at their fingertips and could bookmark and save sites and handouts. The reduction in paper alone is phenomenal. All handouts were put up on the Media Center website and downloaded into Pages. However, after today’s first vanguard teacher’s professional development session, I think I would like, when the opportunity presents itself to have our students make an ePub file on articles that they will read and upload them toiBooks. What a great way to organize information when preparing sites that you will use during the preparation of a major research paper/endeavor. I am still in awe at what this tool can do and will be able to do, as we become all become a community of learners.


Differentiated Instruction

As I look back on the first week of our iPad initiative, I am incredibly impressed with the staff and students who have embraced this technology to compliment learning in and out of the classroom. One of the great outcomes of a one to one technology learning environment is that each student has the ability to learn what is personally meaningful to them as individuals.

The following is one example of a teacher embracing this learning tool with her students:

My Honors American Studies used the iPads to continue research they began at home for a speech with a partner that defends or refutes rights granted by the US Amendments. They were locating contemporary examples of the Amendments in action. They also drafted a portion of their speech together.

Tomorrow, my Honors LA II is working on a stations activity and 2 of the stations will be for iPads so they can access the web to answer these questions:

(iPads) Imagine your were making The Catcher in the Rye into a film…

  • Whom would you cast? Justify your selection.
  • How would you start and end your film?
  • On which scenes would you focus?

(iPads) Research info on these two cases…

  • After he killed John Lennon in 1980, Mark David Chapman said he had done it to promote the reading of Salinger’s book.
  • A few months later, when he headed out to shoot President Ronald Reagan, John Hinckley Jr. left behind a copy of the book in his hotel room.
  • Why might The Catcher in the Rye be tied to Chapman and Hinckley?

My standard LA II classes have downloaded a volume of Edgar Allan Poe short stories and tomorrow I am teaching them how to use the annotating functions. They are reading the story for homework and answering study guide questions with the post-it notes feature.

And PS—The iPads rock!

iPads Being Used in Classrooms

Now that the iPads have been successfully deployed, I have been visiting classrooms regularly. I am happy to report that the teachers and students are really embracing this great technology. Here are two examples that I recently observed:

I stopped by Mr. Rooney’ s 10th grade Language Arts Class. The students were discussing external and internal conflict within the storyline of The Crucible. I watched as the students used an iDo app to journalize their ideas that helped them to identify conflicts within the story among the different characters. Congratulations to Mr. Rooney and his 4 B class. Well done!

Yesterday, I visited Mr. Allen’ s Contemporary Issues class. The students worked collaboratively with their iPads to take an oral assessment using Garage Band. They responded orally to a question from their peers and recorded it via a PodCast. Each student e-mailed their audio recorded responses to the teacher in Spanish where upon Mr. Allen will grade this assessment. This classroom was completely engaged and the students truly enjoyed their work. Nice job Mr. Allen and students!

This morning, I stopped into Ms Docherty’s 2A Foods class. The students viewed a video on the topic of battered and biscuit bread preparation. The students took notes on their iPad and created a Venn Diagram on the similarities and differences of the breads. Awesome to to see our teachers and students being creative on using different tools on the iPad. It is this type of creativity and thinking that will lead to stronger critical and problem thinking skills for our students. Great Job!

Deployment – Night 1 – Sophomores

Last night we began our deployment of the iPad learning devices to all of our 10th grade students. During our orientation, students received some guidelines and expectations in using this powerful learning tool. We will post a video of the deployment orientation if any of you missed it.  There is a new tab on our website titled Deployment.  You will shortly see the video link and any other information regarding the orientation on this tab.  In addition, Mr. Esteves and Ms. Varacallo, two of our High School teachers provided parents and students a view into 21st Century learning through instructional strategies that they will use with their students. I want to thank our technology staff for their efforts last night. I would also like to thank our students and parents for their support and patience during our initial deployment.

Using Technology

In surveying the building yesterday, I was inspired and excited at seeing so many teachers using their new technology and the knowledge that they have received from their professional development to prepare for their classes. I saw teachers working with each other to create new content for their students via KeyNote presentations or embedding photos and videos via iPhoto as they prepare for their students. Kudos to our staff for continuing to grow as educators and demonstrating complete professionalism as they journey along this new path of learning for our students.

Professional Development

I spent some time with our History department who are engaged in the professional development today with the Apple educational division. I can see the excitement of our teachers as they learn the possibilities for learning through the iPad.

My First iPad Blog – by Mr. Goodall, MTHS Principal

There is a feeling of excitement at our high school as our rollout for the iPads draws near. I have heard some concern about our initiative, but in a few months we will see how our students will be gaining a distinct advantage over competing students in neighboring and regional school districts. Watch the video above to understand what we envision our classrooms to looking like in the 21st century.  Our teachers are involved in Phase One of their professional development with educational experts from the Apple Education Division, and they are gaining valuable experience and knowledge about how to infuse technology and further engage our students. As the building principal I am very proud of our commitment to be progressive and provide our students with learning tools for exploration and the creation of new content during the technology-advanced 21st Century.