What I Learned in Vegas Part 2

I'm back with Part 2 about what I learned in Vegas.  Today's blog post is all about technology.  I was able to sit in on two sessions presented by Mary Amoson of Sharing Kindergarten.  Let me just say that this girl is a firecracker.  She has so much energy and enthusiasm.  Her passion for technology his inspiring.  I'm going to do my best to recap everything I learned, but if you get a chance to see her present, it is a must do!!!

I went to her session on using iPads in the classroom.  Mary emphasized throughout her session to
  • Try one idea and KEEP trying until you get it.
  • Fight to get technology in your classroom.
  • Try your ideas at school-school filters can block internet sites.
Setting up the iPads
Before you begin think about
  • Protecting
  • Storage
  • Charging
  • Synching
  • Management
  • Labeling and assigning devices
Protecting: I use the Griffin Survivor case found on Amazon and Walmart for about $35
Storage: I keep mine in a drawer that also has the cords ran through the back to a surge protector, so I can charge them.
ipads in the classroom

Management: This is where I failed last year.  Don't just randomly assign kids to iPads.  Think about it  in terms of how you will have the kids use them. This year I will be assigning kids to specific iPads.  I will be creating a roster for each iPad.  Every app on the iPad will have the login for only the students assigned to that iPad.
ipads in kindergarten
When I'm reedy to install new apps, I can bring the iPads and my iPad roster home to add the students to the apps.  I use my home computer to synch all my iPads.  You will need to check how your school wants you to load and synch apps.

Different Types of Apps
Here is something I learned from Mary's session.  There are different types of Apps.  She has cleverly named them  Assigned, Open and Multi Player.

Assigned Apps: User profiles can be created for student. The games build on the students performance.  Sometimes specific skills can be assigned for each student and data can be collected of the students performance as well as.  Teach Me is one of my favorite Apps.  It is available for several different grade levels. It is well worth the $1.99
ipads in kindergarten
Open Apps: Start from the beginning or where the last student using it left off.  Students can not be specifically assigned to the app.  The only data that can be collected is for the groups of students who are assigned to that specific iPad.
Letter School is an example of an Open App
ipads in kindergarten, time4kindergarten
Multi-Player:  There are only a few apps with this capability as of now.  These Apps allow multiple students to play at the same time.  An example of this type of App would be Counting Together
ipads in kindergarten, time4kindergarten

Did you know that some Apps can be changed from Open to Assigned?  I didn't until Mary told me.  Under the user profile select enable.  I haven't tried it, but I will once I get my new iPads all set up.

Other Great Apps to Try
Storia from Scholastic.  Download 5 free ebooks

QR CODES, ipads in kindergarten, time4kindergarten
I'll admit I'm pretty excited about these.  QR Codes is short for Quick Response.  I experimented a little bit last year with QR Codes using one of Mary's products.  I was so intrigued by the entire thing.  Here is what I know.  The one above is supposed to link to my website.  I currently use i-inigma.  There are many out there, just try a few an see which one you prefer.

QR Codes can be used to:
  • Read text to students such as a story you have recorded
  • Access Youtube videos
  • Check Answers
  • Ideas are endless!!!!
There are many free QR code scanners available.  I use the one 
Mary has a fabulous blogpost that breaks it all down for you.  To get a better understanding of what they are and how to use them in the classroom, read her post.
Mary Amoson, Sharing Kindergarten

O.K. now that you know what they are and how to use them- check this out.  I am sooooo excited about this  I can't wait to use it.  She has created QR Codes for sight words.  When your students come to a word they do not know, they can scan the word and have it read to them.  These are genius!!!

So, are you ready to start the year off with you iPads.  I will be cleaning mine up, updating old apps and wiping out student information.  Then I will be loading all the new apps and assigning each iPad a specific number.  I made iPad backgrounds to help my students identify which iPad is which.  You should be able to right mouse click and save to your iPad desktop, then select to use as background image.
I hope you have found some of this information useful.  
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Kristen's Kindergarten said...

Thanks for sharing! I can't wait to try some of these ideas. :)
Kristen :)

Teach-A-Roo said...

I'm so bummed I missed Mary's classes. Too many to choose from. Thanks for sharing, doll!

Linda said...

Thanks for the info!


Down the Learning Road

Luv My Kinders said...

There were so many great presenters I was only able to attend one of Mary's presentations and I missed the iPad one. These tips will really come in handy I am going 1/1 iPads this year. Fantastic information, thanks so much for sharing.

Luv My Kinders

Unknown said...

I just got my first iPad for my classroom! So excited!
Your post includes so much great info! Thanks for sharing!!