Internet & Cell Phone Safety

When you think about children’s online activities, do you consider their cell phones?  Today’s cell phones are full of features with the abilities to exchange information, pictures, and videos like never before.  Children often times are unaware of the dangerous consequences of misusing these devices.  What can be done to help them make wise decisions about their safety online?

Experts all agree that parents should be involved with this important topic.  There are a number of helpful resources to help parents talk to kids of all ages.  Here are a few to help parents get started.

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Google Classroom Preview

Coming soon to all Google App for Education institutions is a feature called Google Classroom.  Its a simple LMS type system that integrates with Google Documents.  Watch the video for a better understanding.  It looks like a very exciting addition for education.

iPad Myth: Editing Video

One of the myths I’ve heard numerous times is that its too cumbersome to edit video on an iPad.  Some will even tell me no good professional would use an iPad to produce video.  As we know technology is always changing.  Today tablet computing is a new revolution much like a previous technology revolution in the 1970s & 80’s.  Formerly large and expensive computing platforms were available to households and small businesses for the first time in the form of the PC.  Tablets and more so well designed Apps can transform processes that used to be confined to expensive professional software packages.  Additionally, tablets are ultra mobile so anyone can leverage their creativity practically anywhere.  To put the myth to rest I present one sterling example of iPads and iPhones used to produce a professional luxury automobile ad for a modest little company called Bentley.

iPads at one time were called a media consumption device.  Creative functions were left to laptops and workstations.  That idea is no longer relevant and our education system can leverage that to provide a wide range of creative projects inside the classroom.  Yes even editing your own videos.

Game-Based Student Response

One of the free tools we learned about at the MACE Conference from Glenn Wiebe is Kahoot.  It is modeled after popular restaurant trivia games and allows teachers to create an exciting quiz that students will enjoy.  All the answers are logged and available in a spreadsheet after the quiz or game is played.  Quiz creation is extremely simple and teachers can also borrow others quizzes for use inside their classrooms.  Below is a great overview video about Kahoot.

MACE 2014 Conference

MACEMandi & I were privileged to present at the MACE 2014 conference a 90 minute session about the Oxford USD 358 iPad 1:1 initiative we administer.  We also attended and gathered great tips and tools to share with you.  One thing we noticed was the large number of sessions that highlight iPads in the classroom.  There is an abundance of high quality teaching tools, services, and lesson plans built around iPads.  Its a reassuring feeling knowing the Technology you’re spending so much money and time on has the support of many many other developers, districts, and education centers. Read more

Improve Student Behaviors – ClassDojo


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On February 17th our elementary training will center around using ClassDojo to improve student behavior.  The simple interface and versatility of the web and mobile apps can help teachers to help keep their students engaged.  Additional features include a student and a parent login.  Reports are available to review a student’s or a class’s behavior history and notes.

Video of training session will be posted later.

Organize & Distribute Courses – iTunes U


On February 17th our training will center around building courses and distributing them via iTunes U.  The simple interface of iTunes U Course Manager will allow you to easily outline your courses and include materials such as documents, audio, video, websites, and links to needed apps.  Students can easily follow the course, make notes, and receive course materials using the iTunes U iPad app

Video of training session will be posted later.

Run a Paperless Classroom – Notablity & Showbie

One of the challenges teachers face in this digital world is reliably handing out digital assignments and retrieving them.  Email was an old standby.  But today’s modern classroom is  restricted by email’s size limitations and student creativity is stifled.  Teachers inboxes overflow and they cannot easily account for missing assignments among other issues.  Thankfully, solutions like Showbie were created with the needs of a modern teacher in mind.  When combined with other apps like Notability, Pages, Keynote, and many others they’re free to use their imaginations and assign engaging creative assignments.  We would like to show you a brief demonstration of how this works.

Useful Resources:
Saving to Showbie from other apps

iPad Classroom Management – Casper Focus

Personal iPads in each student’s hand. There is no doubt that this is a powerful education tool for the classroom. Teachers need not fear that they are losing control of their students. Besides traditional classroom management methods, tools such as Casper Focus are available to help guide the young minds away from distraction.  The video below steps you through the easy process of managing the iPads inside your classroom.  

Casper Focus is part of the Casper Suite by JAMF Software. The Demo inside this video is a piece from this larger webinar video.  Casper Focus requires a Casper Suite Mobile Device Management server or SaaS service.

Projecting iPads Using – Reflector

Projecting the screen of your iPad can be a powerful tool. Using an app called Reflector on a Mac or Windows computer allows you to mirror your iPad, iPhone, or iPod to the screen of your computer. Additionally, students can be allowed to project their iPads. The video below will take you step by step through using the app with an iPad.

Benifits:

  • Freedom to walk around your room while teaching.
  • Display multiple devices a once. (comparison, competition, collaboration)
  • Great replacement for interactive white board tablets
  • Use with a stand to turn your iPad into a document camera
  • Record anything on your iPad screen to a high quality video using Reflector

Reflector is made by: AirSquirrels