“Show Me” how to do math!

My students recently created video tutorials on the iPads (our 1st iPad project!) using a FREE app called ShowMe. According to its description on iTunes, “ShowMe allows you to record voice-over whiteboard tutorials and share them online. It’s a radically intuitive app that anyone will find extremely easy to use, regardless of age or background.” I found this to be pretty true as my students started working on their projects immediately without needing any assistance in learning how to use the app. Continue reading “Show Me” how to do math!

iPads are Here! Setup, syncing and storage

After months of waiting and hoping I finally got my iPads!
Through a district “model technology classroom” grant, I received 15 iPads and a set of ActivExpressions (more about those later) to add to my existing collection of tech stuff. Most of my weekend was spent getting them set up, and there’s a lot to it, so I’ll share as much as I can in words and pics (with my new camera, yay!!!)

I took the advice of many iPad teachers on the internet and created custom numbered wallpapers for each unit. I left a lot of empty space at the edges–this is to allow the screen art to be visible in landscape and portrait mode:

I found an iPad wallpaper template online that I brought into Photoshop to make sure nothing was cut off. Here it is–feel free to use it how you wish!

Syncing was good and bad–good because iOS 5 allows wireless syncing, but bad because I still had to plug each iPad in for initial setup and to update them to iOS 5. Please don’t try to set up more than five iPads by yourself. My husband and daughter helped me with syncing, adding wallpapers and creating Gmail and Twitter accounts for each device.
After spending two days installing apps, creating Gmail and Twitter accounts (I had to use two different computers and three different phones to create and verify 15 Gmail accounts), setting up Parental Controls (no porn on my iPads!), syncing apps and books and emailing wallpapers, I now had to figure out how to store and transport these babies.
My principal has asked me to look into security options for the iPads, but until we get that taken care of, I need a cheap, compact way to transport them to and from school and the various trainings and conferences I present at. This Wednesday, I am going to North Louisiana to present at the state math teachers’ conference on iPad Apps for Secondary Math. I needed an easy way to carry the iPads around, so I went to my “super-cute storage headquarters”, AKA Target.
For about $25, I got a storage bin, a smaller one for cords and plugs, and two packs of bubble wrap sleeves to protect the iPads until I get some cases for them.

I’m pretty proud of the bubble wrap solution, although it was more of a “what-can-I-do-with-no-money” fix than a bright idea. The sleeves fit the iPads perfectly, and protect without adding too much bulk for compact storage.
The little container fits 15 power bricks perfectly, with room on top for the sync cords. I expect to only use this for charging, and I store the iPads in the bin upside down with the 30-pin connectors exposed for easy charging. All I need now are a couple of power strips and a luggage cart to roll these bad boys around, and I’m ready to go!

I couldn’t resist letting the kids get their hands on the iPads after all my hard work setting them up. So, today, I let my smallest class check them out. Hopefully, I’ll be able to implement them with all my classes next week after we handle getting them secured.

Periodic Table, Elements, and Technology

My Chemistry class worked on a project to explore the uses of elements in everyday life. Ms. Blanchet and I worked together as a collaborative team to develop this lesson. The lesson was student-centered in that the students had to work together in pairs and use software to gather information. The software was on iPads. In pairs, students were to explore an assigned group of elements. Some students worked alone in order to cover the whole periodic table. This lesson was a great replacement lesson from my rather lackluster and traditional lesson on the elements. The students were involved from the beginning to end of lesson. The lesson was designed for 45 minutes. The introduction of the lesson/ student engagement was a song that had all the elements names in the song. I offered the students who learned this song by heart an incentive of an “A” on a bonus test grade. Next, the students had to find the symbol, the atomic number, draw a picture, and to write a use. The pictures the student drew were admirable, and they had very few problems finding uses. The students were engaged throughout the whole lesson. As for comments from the students, they said the graphics and the software was great, they learned that elements are in many things and is used for everything. Also, they wished they had more time. In order, to achieve an excellent grade, students were encouraged to go home over the weekend to finish with the help of a website: periodictable.com to complete assignment. The final product is to have a huge periodic table to display. I hope this goes well. It is a class effort and everyone had a part to do. -Ms. J. Gibson, John Ehret H. S. Chemistry teacher More Links: