Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Apple Site Visit

The iAchieve Project is an Apple Distinguished Program. As part of that designation we host site visits. Apple advertises and supports the visit but we do the hosting and presenting. During the site visit, attendees from other schools and districts come to hear and see how we are integrating Apple products to impact learning.

Last Thursday, November 13th, was out fall visit. We chose one of our schools that has 7 flipped learning classrooms supported by 1:1 iPads. There were about 20 attendees along with 4 representatives from Apple. We shared information about iAchieve: how it all started, how we use the iPods for learning, iPad Media Kits being used by teachers, and our 1:1 iPad flipped learning classrooms.

The highlight of the day is visiting classrooms. The teachers and students did a great job and everyone was excited and impressed.

Fifth grade was beginning their study space. One group had brainstormed questions they had about space and were researching the different topics. When they had completed their research, they began creating presentations about their findings.

Another group was working on a study of the planets. They too researched their chosen planet and then began making presentations on the iPads. Most of them were using our favorite app - Explain Everything.

As we entered fourth grade, we were greeted by a welcome poster with QR Codes. Students had used the Croak.it! app to record messages for their guests about their class and what they were studying. Here are some of the Croak.its. Just click on the link to listen.

The fourth grade teachers had sent home a flipped learning video the previous night and our visitors were able to observe the interactive and differentiated activities going on in those classrooms the next day.

After the classrooms visits we returned to the Multipurpose Room to debrief. During that time several students and teachers also joined us for a time of questions and comments.

The visit was quite successful. We were able to share our successes and inspire other to follow.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

App of the Week - AZ CORE

Mastery Connect has developed a new Common Core Standards app for each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia. The AZ Core app provides easy access to Arizona's College and Career Ready Standards. The app is free and allows you to search for standards by content area, grade level, or keyword. Check it out!

Click here to download a pdf.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

A Technology Coach by Any Other Name...

When the iAchieve Project first began 5 years ago (where has the time gone!), I spent my days visiting our iPod touch classrooms working with teachers and students integrating the iPods into teaching and learning. I was helping teachers plan lessons and activities, co-taught iPod integrated lessons, and assisted teachers with locating new apps and syncing the iPods.

When I would enter a classroom there was a feeling of excitement in the air along with whispers about what was going to happen that day - I wonder what we are going to do today on the iPods? Are we going to get a new app?

Pretty soon when I entered the room there were whispers of
"The iPod Lady is here; the iPod Lady is here!" That label stuck in classrooms and by students across the district - wherever I would go.

A couple of years later we started integrating iPads. Same thing happened. I would enter a room to students clamoring a new title - "The iPad Lady is here; the iPad Lady is here!"

One day recently I was leaving one of our campuses and saw a student and his mom. He pointed me out to his mom and said "Hi!" His mom asked who I was - the response "She's the App Lady!"

Another name that I am proud to wear!!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

iPad in Education Results

Apple has recently released their iPad in Education Results study.  The study highlights the changes to teaching and learning brought about by the integration of iPads: academic performance, engagement,  flexible instruction, and content design. The study highlights a variety of iPad schools and includes a vast amount of data collected during the study. Really a good read!

Download the document here.

Friday, October 31, 2014

App of the Week - MoMA Art

The Museum of Modern Art (http://www.moma.org/) in New York is a place that "fuels creativity, ignites minds, and provides inspiration." Their MoMa Art iPad app supports that mission.

This app is designed to inspire the artist in each of us. Create art activities inspired by well-know artists or use the built in tools to create your own work of modern art.

Click here to download a pdf version of the App of the Week.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Chicktionary App

Chicktionary is one of the apps that has been part of the iAchieve app list right from the beginning - that's 5 years now! We first used it with our iPod touches and now also include it on all of the iPads for both students and teachers.

While it's classified as a game, it is a great learning tool. It's an engaging word work resource where students think about letter combinations and practice spelling skills.

Previously there were separate apps for iPhone and iPad but now it is a universal app. They have really updated the user interface and it looks very modern and up to date. But the students still love it and are practicing those skills.

Several of our teachers have created their own accountability worksheets for Chicktionary where 

students keep a list of the words they have created and then use them in a sentence. Many of our teachers are using a Chicktionary recording sheet created by Laura Moore. It's a fun sheet with eggs where students record the words they have created.

Monday, October 27, 2014

App of the Week - RWT Timeline

Read*Write*Think (http://www.readwritethink.org/) is a great website for ideas, resources, lesson plans, and tools to support reading and language arts. They have some useful online student interactives to support students in showing what they know.

Over the past couple of years RWT has also been developing iPad apps aligned with a variety of their student interactives. The RWT Timeline app is a great tool for creating projects showing sequential order arranged by date, time, or event. Timelines can include both images and descriptive text.
Click here to download the RWT Timeline pdf.