March 29, 2013

4th Graders Present to Yarmouth School Committee - Nexus 7 Pilot

The Yarmouth School Committee opens the monthly meeting with a presentation about a learning setting or offering in our schools. On March 28th we shared a ten minute explanation of the Nexus 7 1:1 Pilot Project that has been part of Kate Parkin's 4th grade classroom. Since we started the project in early December, Kate and I have been exploring ways to use the Nexus 7s in her classroom for learning. In talking with the students, the biggest uses of the tablets are for researching questions and creating written work that is then saved to Google Drive for further editing on laptops. Certainly there are Math apps and some utilities that the students are finding engaging and useful. In addition to the apps we put on initially we have added VidTrim for editing videos, Comic Strip It for creating comics and a Poetry app in honor of April being Poetry Month. While we weren't able to record the student voices that added a powerful element to the slides, this is the presentation we created for the meeting:

March 10, 2013

Explain Everything, KidBlog & YouTube Channels

In working with the first grade classrooms on students recording their stories on iPads I am focusing on Explain Everything these days. There is a significant update in the app that will load if you run updates. There is a video explaining the update at: One option is for students to draw a number sentence and then record their strategy. Another is to record photos during an activity and then have students upload the photo followed by adding voiceover. After the recording you export them to your email, then the videos can be downloaded and posted on the student blogs or classroom blog.

Kidblog: I can export student names from PowerSchool to readily set up each clasroom. Then the individual student blogs can be added to the classroom blog as a link gadget.

Also, one alternative to posting video to Posterous is to post from the iPad to a teacher YouTube channel that is part of Yarmouth Google apps. Once the video is posted, you view it on your computer, click Share, then Embed, turn off suggested videos, copy the embed code to the clipboard, go to your Blogger blog>New Post>html for the post>paste in the embed code.

March 7, 2013

First Grade Stories & Recordings

We have been talking about authentic ways to record student voices and learning on the first grade classroom blogs using the iPad. We were a bit sidetracked this month as Posterous blogs are closing down and it has been the only blog that is setup for us to email media directly to the class blog or individual student blogs. It is possible to request a backup of a Posterous blog and then move it to WordPress without cost. Unfortunately we cannot upload a video directly to a WordPress blog; you can embed a video from a YouTube channel as you would in a Blogger post.

Last week I started setting up classes in Kidblog to be added to classroom blogs as links on the side. In one class we are adding an “Addition Strategy” post in which each child draws a number sentence using Explain Everything on the iPad and then adds her/his voice describing the strategy used for a solution. The process for using Explain Everything was to have the children record and name each one as a project. When the students were done I selected each project to compile and send it via. email to a teacger. Once the projects are in email they are attachments which can be downloaded to a folder on a desktop. In Kidblog it is very easy to login as each student as the names are in a dropdown list and we used the same password for each student. The last step is to create a post and insert the video format of the Explain Everything project.

 Our goal is to put the creation of the product into student hands as much as possible. Pursuing the use of Storykit and Explain Everything as apps that students can use on their own seems like the way to go at this point.