Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Techie Tuesday

Every Tuesday (throughout the summer) I am going to highlight a technology tip that can be used in your classroom, or can be used for you, as a teacher.

In the spring of 2012, our Kindergarten team wrote a grant to receive iPads for our classrooms.  That summer we found out that we would be the iPads, and we would be getting enough iPads for each child to use their own during the school year.  


Once we received the iPads, we didn't know where to start.  Our initial instinct was to start downloading as many free apps as we could.  After looking at some of those apps we began to ask ourselves what the purpose of the iPads was going to be.  Was it to teach? supplement? or enhance our teaching and the child's learning?  Our answer soon became our goal.  We wanted to enhance our teaching and the children's learning.  


In all honesty, that still remains our goal.  In order to reach that goal we need(ed) to go through different phases.  Our first phase, the teach phase.  This was the phase of the free apps.  Each child had their own apps, that matched their learning targets.  As the year went on, I became more comfortable with iPads in the classroom.  I then started looking at different apps, and the purpose of these apps.  That is when I stumble upon the Good Notes app.  


This app takes documents (saved in a PDF format), and instantly creates an activity for the interactive portion of our morning meeting, it serves as a quick check in to each child's learning, an on-line portfolio, math boxes, book boxes, and song and poem books.  This app takes any PDF and creates an image that allows children to write on and save it, all on the iPad!  


If this sound complicated, it is not!  All you need is the Good Notes app, and a Dropbox account.


Start by opening Good notes.


Select Categories.

Create a new Category (These categories could be the names of your students if you do not have a 1 to 1 ratio with iPads).



Select the new category you created and press the + in the upper left corner.




Select import, Dropbox.




Select the file.



Select the file to work on.



Children have the option of using the highlighter, the pencil, eraser, or reading it.





Voila! 

We have used this app for countless purposes in our classroom.  It offers a way to track a child's progress.  You can do this by saving their work in this app, or you (or the child) can export the file to Evernote or Showbie, or the file can be emailed.  

As a teacher I have used this app to upload my classroom schedule/calendar, and was able to write my lesson plans over the PDF file.  I also used it for planning for small groups.

I hope you all enjoyed this "Techie Tuesday!"  

I am adding a link to the iPad Rules that we use in my classroom.

Please leave any questions or comments below! Thank you!

Next week I am going to talk about how I increased parent involvement and communication through the use of technology.

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