Wednesday, September 18, 2013

A Few Thoughts...

Hello Fellow iPad Pilot Peeps,

In reflecting on the big question as to whether teacher iPads should replace teacher laptops, I have decided that my answer is no. Although iPads certainly have their effective uses, I much prefer my laptop for carrying out daily duties related to my job. It is incredibly limiting for me to not be able to access "My Documents" from my iPad. Yes, I know I am supposed to transfer the documents I need to google docs in order to be able to access them from my iPad, but this is a tedious and time consuming task that often results in frustration when things do not transfer correctly or have to be reformatted. Also, if the internet connection drops, then google docs are not accessible. I like the fact that my laptop has a USB port for using files I keep on my Zip drive. I prefer the physical attributes of my laptop. Now granted I would much prefer a Mac Book to a PC laptop.  I would love to see the district supply MacBooks to teachers as the old laptops begin to retire. (wishful thinking, I know. ;)) Finally, I prefer the many options I have for formatting emails when sending from my laptop vs the limitations on my iPad. This may not seem like a big deal, but it's nice to be able to highlight, change text colors, etc when sending or responding to emails.

I have found a few cool iPad apps that I thought I would mention including:
Brain Quest 
Science Grade 5
Brain HQ
Mental Math

Also, I love having my iPad for sharing photographs or documents with students because it's easier to carry than my laptop. For example, I am doing a unit using primary sources from the Library of Congress, and it's nice to be able to quickly display the sources for students to view. 

These are a few of my thoughts. I'll be curious to see how others are feeling. 

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Google Docs Challenges

So, it seems like everyone is gaga for Google docs, but I've hit a wall in collaborating with The i Pad. In short, whether using a link to G. Docs or the app, I cannot see tables imported into documents nor can I see revisions made in real time with collaborating colleagues. 
Kind of frustrating...any ideas tech gurus?

Tuesday, June 4, 2013


Kimberly Eggett is a wellspring of ideas including the use of Spreaker, a free app from the App Store. She used Spreaker to record 30 minutes of a seminar we team taught (about computer ethics, perhaps another post), and I've embedded it in one of my blogs:, if you're interested. I've acquired Spreaker and initially find it VERY easy to use, a trait that's right after 'free' in my preferred requirements. Check it out.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

A few favorite apps

I met someone a few days ago that had an iPad 1. The original iPad released 3 years ago. She told me how much she loved it and then asked me how to put apps on it. "Great question" I said. And I thought to myself, "what have you been doing with if it you don't have any apps?". Browsing the web, email and calendar are handy on an iPad. But there is so much more out there when you start exploring apps.

Here are a few great apps to get started with:

  1. Google Drive - access your google drive account, read, edit, and share your google documents; including offline access. This app is not perfect yet, and has some limitations. Tables don't work yet, and you can't work with presentations yet. 
  2. Evernote - take and share notes online in the cloud. Works on a PC and Mac too. Works through a browser or phone too. All your notes are available on any web device. This provides and organization structure as well, including to do lists and web clipping. 
  3. Common Core - access Common Core State Standards on your iPad.
  4. neu.Annotate - open, highlight, add icons and text, annotate, etc. PDF files on your iPad. Save and organize PDFs for future reference. A great tool for working with documents on the web. Allow student to "mark up" text. 
  5. Qrafter - QR code reader.
  6. Gmail - 'nuff said
  7. Feedly - RSS reader. This is my replacement for google reader. I use it to collect new post from blogs I follow.
  8. iPhoto, iMovie, iTunes U, iBooks
I am interested in learning more about these
  1. inkflow
  2. Penultimate

Wednesday, May 15, 2013


I've been looking for a way to use photographs and the ipad to help in charting seminar work with students. Kimberly Eggett has hipped me to "Skitch." This app allows me to take a photo (or use an existing photo or web content) and then draw/annotate over it. I'm still working out how these can be shared, but it's a productive first step.

Skitch is free from the App Store.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Blogger App?

Hey! If you're adding to this blog with your iPad, you should probably try out the Blogger App. It works pretty well. Here you go:

Monday, March 18, 2013

Can an iPad replace a Teacher Laptop? How?

Many of our teachers love iPads. But can they be productive with them? Two years ago the common sense dial pointed to iPad as an entertainment or consumption device, not a production tool for real work. That is proving to be an oversimplification. Is a different kind of production, using different processes and tools, still production? Is it? What can you produce? What do you need to / want to produce? What tools and processes do you need? Let's dig in and invent some answers.

From Edudemic
In our school system we have moved to embrace the iPad rather quickly, faster really than comfortable for some of us. This speed has been a direct result of required assessments, we need the iPads NOW was the call in August. This has up heaved our status quo. We have been a Windows shop, desktops and laptops for 8 years. Now,  iPads...

At this point, we find our teachers replete with technology; desktop, laptop and new iPad. This makes outfitting a teacher expensive, both in dollars and support hours. Something has to give.

The technology department has leaned on school personnel at each step to help us figure out the best way to help teachers and student use the iPads. We are going back to the boots on the ground to find out how far an iPad will take a teacher.OR is that how far a teacher can take an iPad? How far a teacher can take a student using an iPad?

This blog will explore what are we to do moving forward. Do teachers need laptops and iPads? What functionality does an individual lose and gain if they only have a desktop and an iPad (and no laptop). What can the ITT department to do support teachers in this transition.

Please let us all know your initial thoughts, including why you are interested in this pilot program, in responses to this post. thanks in advance. !