Comments for Teachers
I was assigned to comment on Lauren Brannan's blog posts from her classroom blog.
Sharing the iPad Screen with Students
This first post was about how the teachers were running into complications with the new iPads they had just bought for their classrooms. Lauren stated that it was difficult sharing one iPad screen with 20 plus students in the classroom especially the teachers were use to working with the large screen of the white board. They knew they had to come up with a solution so they looked into a couple of options. One of the options was the VGA Adapter. What this does is project the iPad screen directly to the projector. This device was around thirty dollars. There was a problem when reviewing this product into further detail, and that was that this product had limitations. According to Apple, certain apps might not work with this adapter and also the iPad must remain tethered to the projector at all times, therefore making it hard for the teacher to circulate around the classroom.
The other option was the Reflection Application. This app uses Apples Airplay to reflect the iPad screen onto the computer, which is then projected onto the whiteboard. The app can be installed onto a Mac or Windows machine for only $14.99. Some of their favorite features of the app were that the audio streams to the computer along with the picture, the ability to record what is happening on the iPad screen, including the audio, and changing to full screen mode on the computer.
Needless to say, they went with the Reflection Application. At the time she posted the blog, Hurricane Issac was headed their way, so they could not try it out the week they wanted to. You can check out the reflection app at work in this video.
In my comment, I told the teacher who I was, what institution I was from, what class, and who my teacher was. I mentioned how I was learning the use of technology in this class and it was neat to see the ways teachers are incorporating it into their classrooms. I agreed that the reflection app was the best way to go. It was the most flexible and the cheapest of the two. Even though they had not tested out the app because of the Hurricane, I asked her to please respond back by saying how and if it worked. She did respond, and she said that it was "awesome". The students were really enjoying the app and she first tried it out by using an app from NASA and reflected it onto the smartboard. The students were able to see the images and the text on the board before they could see it on their iPads! Really good information to know for the future!
We have iPad Covers!
This post was actually created before the last post. I had to comment on this one because the teacher did not create a more recent post since the last time I commented. Nonetheless, this post was about how they had just gotten new iPad covers for their iPads. Lauren mentioned how they quickly discovered it was not a cheap task trying to buy multiple iPads for the students. Even though it was expensive, they saw it as a great investment for their students. At first they were not sure how to receive the funds to buy so many covers to protect their investment. They used multiple fundraisers including: Apples for Students, Labels for Education, Tyson A+, and Boxtops. Because these fundraisers brought in so much money, they were able to buy a Mac Mini, computer parts, and other teacher resources from Apples for Students. The Boxtop Program funded new books for their library. Even though all of these fundraisers were great, some only allowed purchase from a catalog, therefore limited purchases could be made. Therefore, they were not able to cut a big enough check for the covers.
Lauren mentioned that they were so blessed at their school to have a principal who cares so much about technology in the classroom. The principal came up with some money from the office to purchase the iPad covers. After strenuous searching, they finally decided on covers from Big Grips. They were not only reasonably priced, but also great protection for the iPads. The best part about them choosing Big Grips is that they provided them a discount for being an education institution. You can learn more about frames like these at biggrips.com.
For my comment, I reminded Lauren who I was. I mentioned that I could not imagine how much money their school had to raise just to purchase the iPads alone, not including the covers for them. I stated that all of the fundraisers they used were great and also very helpful to their school. I mentioned that it was very exciting and encouraging to see teachers getting exciting and going the extra mile for their students to have technology at their fingertips. I also mentioned how I liked the covers they decided to go with. You cant beat durable covers that come with a discount! There was a place to leave your contact information at the end of the post, so I did so.
Thursday, September 20, 2012
The first podcast I listened to was from a first grade class that had just got done reading about Flat Stanley by Jim Brown. They made their own Flat Stanley's and sent them to their friends and family around the world and had them write stories and take pictures and send them back. These students were inspired by the worldwide success of another first grade class's podcast, that they wanted to make their own.
After brainstorming with their teacher, they came up with a story line so that every student would have a part in the cast. The students were asked to pick one place in the world that they would go if they were to be flattened like Flat Stanley, and choose a book from the library on that place or research it using the internet. They had to include in their script the location, how they got there, what they did, and how they got back home. After creating their own stories their teacher compiled them into one huge story to share with other students around the world, and you can listen to it here!
Podcasting with First Grade
It is strongly encouraged in this post to do podcasting with your students even if they are at a younger age. The first graders at this school had listened to the second grade podcast about animals and they loved their story and became very inspired. The students loved the fact that the second grade got so many comments from teachers around the world. The students were eager record their own voices so that way they "could get into other peoples computers and iPads".
Their teacher had just recently read to them Vacation Under the Volcano by Mary Pope Osborne. For their podcast the idea was to pretend as if they were interviewing Jack and Annie, two main characters from the book, about their last adventure that made them end up in Pompeii. They broke the chapters up and talked about what happened in each and afterwards the teacher typed up all of the questions they compiled. The teacher rotated through all of the students being the interviewer, Jack (boys), and Annie (girls). You can listen to this exciting podcast here.
Benefits of Podcasting in the Classroom
In this video/post, Mr. Bell describes the benefits of podcasting in the classroom. Some things he mentions are as follows: it is an effective way to interact with students outside of the classroom, this is a form of learning that students are unaware of so it helps become more relevant to them, it gives different perspectives for learning and project-based learning, it helps promote creativity and innovation, and also one of the most important factors is that parents can see what their children are doing at school.
I particularly like the last one mentioned, parents being able to see what their students are doing in school. I agree with Mr. Dell, that it is very beneficial for podcasting to be introduced in the classroom for many of the reasons mentioned above. Here is a clip of benefits of podcasting in the classroom.