Beating The Money Men
Thursday November 01st 2012, 1:55 pm  Tagged ,
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This is my iPad storage box, there aren’t any like this and this one is mine.

Yep, this is my brilliant box and I love it.

I was looking through the catalogues of iPad storage and was astonished at the prices. Roughly £2500 for a sync and charge case really got me going, considering that as a class, we had already spent £8000 on the iPads and network.

I’m not going to lie, our caretaker is amazing and can make pretty much anything, so when we baulked at the cost of a “proper” sync and charge we asked our man what he could do. He didn’t disappoint. For around £300, including our caretaker’s labour, we’ve managed to turn a construction site lock box into a store and charge facility.

You may be thinking that without a sync, we’re doomed, but syncing isn’t a bad job and after I did it the first time, I realised I could do our class’ set in a wee while and even manage to do a bit of work in between iPads.

We’re pretty pleased here at Leamore about our box.

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A Half Term Review
Friday October 19th 2012, 8:41 pm  Tagged
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Ho ho ho, it’s nearly Christmas… To the shops at least. There’s still 8 weeks of hard graft to go before we’re arranging pigs in blankets and arguing about baubles and tinsel. But, I like to digress and do it well. I’ve also started some one to one iPad thing in my class and in true teacher fashion, I’m going to give it a report.

I’ll go with the positives first…

There aren’t half of the techie problems that I thought there would be. The class Internet has held up impeccably to all the thirty kids and myself have thrown at it. Also, the children have got on quite well with our workflows. Blogging, Smartnote and emailing have worked a treat. A little problem with entering tags exactly, but it’s easily ironed out and not a techie issue.

In the near future I hope to get the class into Google Apps and creating projects in Sketchup and Scratch.

The cons of the whole thing…

The iPads came around four weeks late. For the first month, there was a huge sense of the whole thing being temporary. We couldn’t get new apps on and we couldn’t configure them to how we wanted them. Also, and I don’t know whether it’s a problem with other children, but quite a few of the class are adamant that a password can be nearly right to get in. I think I’m just mad at that through mild OCD.

Overall, I think the project suffered a stutter with the late delivery of the iPads, but it’s a project I am passionate about and the children are feeling their way into it day by day. It’s something both me and the kids are learning more and more about, it’s exciting and worth all the craziness around it.

If you’re still reading my waffle, you’re a person who can put up with quite a lot.

Have a bostin’ half term!

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It’s Been A While…
Thursday October 11th 2012, 6:27 am
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Hello, I’ve been a lazy little blogger and not put anything out there for a while. Well I have a good excuse for that – our iPads finally arrived, our very own ones that are dedicated to the children! It was great to see them finally get their iPads and it was great for us behind the scenes. We could finally get rid of that feeling of being on standby, and really get into our work.

I must say, though, it has been a frustrating month and no part was more frustrating than logging the children into their Google account. Take a tip from me – use short email addresses!!! I think that my life was shortened by six months on that morning alone.

I know this is a short one (probably for the best!) but I hope to be a bit more regular now we’ve all calmed down a tad.

Cheerio!

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The Introduction To iPads And Blogging…
Saturday September 08th 2012, 10:44 am  Tagged
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So then, last week I had my first three days with near continuous iPad teaching and learning, and I have to say, it went pretty well. Before we got back to school, myself and my two technological whizzes scrapped the highly ambitious plans we had for the children. This included blogging on WordPress, using Google Apps, Purplemash, Screenchomp, Ibooks Author, Corkboard and even a bit of Edmodo thrown in for good measure. From what I have seen so far, I am glad that we slowed ourselves down in time or the previous three days would’ve been an utter nightmare!

However, I did say it went well, so I won’t bore you with shoulda, woulda, coulda and get down to what did happen.

We’ve decided to take this coming week to train them as well as those awkward three starting days (One local comprehensive started back on Friday, so I shouldn’t moan) What we have made sure of in those three days is that the children can use WordPress to blog written pieces as well as adding videos. For me, this will happily cover a lot of subjects and the children took to it well. The only glitches we came across were that some iPads didn’t configure to our new wi-fi and thus chucked out the posts. Secondly, in updating the iPads, WordPress was also updated, so a few children got a little bit confused with the layout of the fresh version.

As a class, we made sure we could use the camera on the iPad and navigate our way through the screens of apps quickly – sometimes scrolling, sometimes searching. The children now also understand about what to look out for in regards to battery life, internet connectivity and how to airplay their iPads. Last week, I was a nice man who did not punish for butting in on somebody else’s airplaying, I warned the children that from Monday, it changes, and that it was akin to shouting out, only virtually. We even used Epic Citadel to garner some descriptive writing for use on the blog. This combined note taking, (on Notes, what else?) blog writing, taking a snap shot of their screen and jumping between apps, rather than searching through time and time again.

Overall, It has been a success so far but the biggest problem with doing this at the start of the year is the amount of absentees I have had in class. Out of 30 children, I have had 24 in each day. Instead of being able to push on and treat others equally, I have to split, chop and change to suit the varying levels of proficiency when at the start of the week it was a clean slate.

I know this has been a bit of an essay and I hope you’ve enjoyed reading our first steps into iPad centred learning and teaching. Onwards… To Google Apps!

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Hi There, This Is My Blog!
Wednesday September 05th 2012, 3:00 pm
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Hello, I’m Mr Ellison and I am the class teacher of Year Five. This year we are trying to use the school’s iPads as the cornerstone of the children’s work. In the months before this blog I have had my brain wrung out and filled with all kinds of ICT shenanigans. I must say that before all this, I wasn’t much of a techie and I tended to shy away from large ICT projects, leaving it to the PPA cover of the deputy head.

Why have I let myself in for this you may ask? I have to say, I fancied something different and I am backed up by a couple of very enthusiastic people who, like me, believe that this kind of teaching is the way forward. I’m probably not going to thank them in a few months when the internet goes down or an iPad breaks but it seems like it’ll do my class good, so I’m happy enough with that!

Mr Ellison.

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