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Week of 1/25/16 Tech Tips and Tidbits

posted Jan 24, 2016, 7:47 AM by Melisa Scott
Troubleshooting: I have noticed some common issues happening with some of our iPads. Apps are freezing while kids are using them, apps are closing out repeatedly, and iPads are reacting slowly. If you notice any of these things happening with any of your students the best thing to turn the iPad completely off using the power button. Turning the iPad off and then restarting can reset many of the issues that we see (similar to a restart of your computer fixing small glitches). If the iPad continues to not respond or will not turn off, you can try what's called a "hard reboot". To do this: hold down the power button and home button until the iPad turns off and the apple appears on the screen. I know these issues can be frustrating and interrupt the momentum in your classroom. The tech department is going to begin looking in to a replacement cycle for the iPads but we will definitely have them at least through next year.

STEM Materials: All donated STEM materials have been organized, put in clear bins, and labeled. These bins are in the storage closet on the first shelf on the right. These materials are available to any teacher who is planning a STEM activity in their classroom. Some materials are re-usable so please return them when you are finished so others have access. I'll also be placing a few empty bins on the shelves that you can use as a "shopping cart" to get your materials to your classroom. We can always use more materials so please consider putting a request for donations in your classroom newsletter. We are still in need of: tape (duct, masking, painters), shoeboxes, straws, dixie cups, toothpicks, pipe cleaners, index cards, empty paper towel rolls, plastic spoons, thread spools. I'm happy to sort and organize any materials that come in!

Showbie: Do you find that Eureka Math uses a great deal of paper? Are you looking for a way to cut down on some of the paper and still have everything you need in one place? Then Showbie might be an app for you! Showbie allows teachers to create classes that students join. Teachers can then push out assignments to students that they complete (using a pen tool or text) and turn back in. All completed work is stored within your teacher account and can easily be accessed and sorted by student. I would like to try piloting this with one class at each grade level. If you are interested in piloting or learning more please let me know!

Tech Spotlight: First grades are busy working on learning about penguins. We are incorporating both Skitch and Book Creator in to the learning. Students have labeled the body parts of a penguin using Skitch and are working on a penguin book in Book Creator with different text features to share what they know. A second grade has experimented with the app Nearpod which allows the teacher to run a Nearpod slideshow from their iPad and the slideshow appears on all student iPads. The teacher has full control of the slideshow and advancing the slides. This is a great formative assessment tool. It allows students to take polls, draw, and answer questions and teachers get immediate feedback on student answers and progress. There are many pre-created slideshows in the app and teachers also have the ability to create their own. A fifth grade is about to begin regions projects where the final product is a presentation using Google Slides. Creating a presentation (slideshow) is an important skill to have moving forward to middle school! If any of these ideas sound interesting or you would like to try one or two, let me know and we can set it up!