Tag Archives: iPad

Individualized Learning (Teaching?) on the iPad… A Holiday Story



Teaching a two day week is hard, but that is exactly what our teachers had to do this week.  They are great days to break from routine and try something creative, so our first grade 1:1 iPad classes went to work.  They knew that they wanted to add some pizzazz to the normal assignment of…”What I am thankful for…” writing assignments.  I gave them some options on what they could do, and then something terrific happened.  They ALL did the SAME assignment using the iPads in completely DIFFERENT ways.  I finished recording the last student (on my iRig microphone) and thought about how great that was.  Every teacher using the iPad in different ways, and achieving the same great results.  Ideally, I would like the students to choose what they do for individualized learning, but I think individualized teaching could be the first step.

Teacher #1 used Voicethread on iPad.  This was very simple and we split this project into parts over the two days.  We took the pictures of the students with their writing on the first day.  The next day I came in and recorded them reading what they had written down on the iPad.  We finished, and I emailed the link to the presentation to the teacher to send to her parents.  No muss, no fuss.  The only downside to this way was it was all done on my iPad.  I do show the students what we are doing and describe the steps, but that just isn’t the same as actually DOING it.  The finished product was very nice though, and I am sure the parents will love it. 

Teacher #2 used Explain Everything.  The bonus of using Explain Everything is that I love it! The more I use Explain Everything, I think of some new way to integrate it in the classroom.  We used this much the same way we used the VoiceThread app.  The difference was the kids were using their own iPads and experimenting with the app more.  The teacher also had them take their own pictures of their writing to practice using the iPad camera.  We showed them how to manipulate the picture in Explain Everything, and they got the hang of it.  The only downside to this was that it did take more time.  We exported their movies to the camera roll, but then we didn’t have them in a place to share with their parents, they are just on the camera roll.  We didn’t have time to move them to our shared drive to put them together in iMovie. 

Teacher #3 used Screen Chomp.  I love Screen Chomp, the only thing that is difficult for me is that I feel like I don’t have control of my video once it is completed.  It is hosted on their site and you can send the link to parents, but I can’t get it to the camera roll on the iPad.  I watched this teacher use this with the students and did not assist her.  She really wants her students to learn to use the apps on their own and solve their own problems.  I completely respect that attitude.  I think it is awesome.  So I don’t know if she got them all finished and was able to share them with her parents.  I suspect she did, I will ask after the holiday break. 

Teacher #4 used iMovie.  The teacher had done it this way last year, but her difference was that she had them use the camera and take their own video using the front camera.  After the students completed their movie, they moved the file to a shared folder using iFiles.  Then when they came back in the afternoon she took the files and showed them how to take the clips and create an iMovie on her iPad.  She used her dongle to project her iPad on the SMART Board while she created the movie to demonstrate.  The movie is then a simple email away to share with parents.  

Is individualized teaching the first step to integrating the iPad?  Time will tell.  I love these teachers and their willingness to get out there and try different things with the iPads.



1:1 iPad Immersion For K-2


I just finished my first training for my school district on Thursday.  Marianna Husain and I tried to create a starting point for our teachers going 1:1 iPads this year.  It can be very overwhelming for teachers to start the year, and know that by September 30 that their students will all have an iPad.  We tried to ease them in gently.  Below are the links to the apps we introduced and had them create with.  I would appreciate any feedback on the list, or suggestions on other items we could have introduced.

We tried to be very transparent with what we were doing.  An introduction video of what a 1:1 iPad class looked like in our district last year was viewed.  We then shared our philosophy of keeping it simple, letting students explore, and slowly building a repertoire of apps over the first part of the year.  The final step was sharing the apps over the rest of the day.  We would share a student sample, demo the app features on the screen for all to see, then give them an assignment to create their own project.  We ended with an appy hour where all groups came up and shared an app.

List of Apps Shared for K-2 iPad Immersion

iMovie Trailers:  We started with iMovie trailers because they work for both students and teachers.  They are also incredibly fun to create, and look polished when you are finished.  Marianna had a great sample of a trailer second graders had made to sell friendship bracelets at her school.

Skitch:  Skitch is easily one of my favorite apps to use with students.  I have so many samples to choose from.  I also used samples that I got from @matt_gomez.  He left some nice slides on my iPad from when we presented together at iPadpalooza in June. A simple annotating app from Evernote, click the link and get Skitch…you can thank me later.

Snapguide:  Snapguide is a very simple app to use.  Create how to guides/books that are simple to export and share. You can add pictures/video and put 200 characters underneath per page.  My fourth graders created one on how to do lattice multiplication last year.  But you can check out the full span of our Snapguides right here.

Audioboo:  Marianna and I thought that we had featured some apps that highlighted the features of the iPad camera.  We also wanted to feature the iPad as a voice recorder.  I find Audioboo works very nicely for what students need in the classroom.  I also like to take advice from professionals, and Wes Fryer likes Audioboo.  That is all the recommendation I need.  We had teachers record an introduction of themselves and then used QR Stuff to create a QR code that linked to their recording to put outside their classroom.

i-nigma and Qrafter:  The last item was QR codes.  I get asked all the time which QR code reader is my favorite.  I think i-nigma is simple, quick, and free.  A bonus is that Tony Vincent has told me that he likes that reader.  Similar to the Wes Fryer comment above, always defer to the experts.  Tony is THE expert on mobile devices.

We then finished with our appy hour.  Our teachers are good, they found a few that I hadn’t heard of.  Here are their finds:

Word Wizard

Handwriting Without Tears

Spelling: Squeebles Words

Addition + Multiplication Number Bubbles

Arithmetic Invaders Express

I would appreciate any comments and/or feedback.  There are many of us going into the great unknown of having iPads in the classroom this year.  We need to stick together and share as many resources, successes, and failures as possible.  I know that I will.  Please follow me on Twitter if you don’t already.  Here is my online resume if you would like me to present to your school district or at a local conference:

iPadsammy –  Jon Samuelson   Page 9 has recent conferences presented at, and page 11 has many great resources and links that I curate.  Have a very APPY school year!!!

Lisa Johnson needs your support….


Here is the link: http://www.weareteachers.com/partners/teachersfirst/get-thinking-iste-2012?page=1&orderby=DESC&sortby=votes&q=&emailFormId=10759#list

I have been trying to drum up support for Lisa ever since I saw this contest.  Simply put, Lisa is one of the top iPad educators out there today.  You don’t believe me?  That’s OK, I can back it up with several links that will prove me right.  I believe that the ISTE conference is about sharing great things that you do with your students.  Lisa Johnson, embodies that spirit, and it is worth the 30 seconds it will take to vote for her.  She needs to attend this conference and she WILL share EVERYTHING she learns, as well as present there.  Allow me to e-introduce Lisa Johnson and the reasons you should help her out.

She has her own Podcast that she does with her friend, Yolanda Barker, here: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/techchef4u

If you take a listen, she has interviewed such people as: Tony Vincent, Diane Darrow, Kathy Burdick, Carl Hooker, Bryan Doyle, Derek Keenan, Travis Allen, and of course…the great @ipadsammy!!

She took months and created her own app.  The app has a list of over 500 FREE APPS available for teachers to use in lessons with their class.  The link to the app is here, and of course, it is FREE: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/techchef4u/id517554320?mt=8

She posts her links to SEVEN Scoop.it pages!! I don’t even know how to get seven pages, they limited me to five.  Lisa gets special favors, THAT is how good she is.  Her topics are here: http://www.scoop.it/u/lisa-johnson

Her Twitter account she shares with all the time. Her profile is here: https://twitter.com/#!/ComputerExplore

Finally her Techchef4u Blog is a great resource for anyone trying to integrate iPad lessons into the classroom.  Just take a moment to look down and at all the resources on the side.  Yolanda Barker and her spend a lot of time on this blog, and it shows.  The link is here: http://www.techchef4u.com/

These are just the basics.  She has list.ly pages, Symbaloo pages, Glogster pages, the list goes on and on.  She wants to PRESENT and SHARE.  That is what this contest is about, and that is why you should take the time to vote for her.  The contest ends May 31, please help a deserving teacher out.