April 26, 2012

The iPads Are Here!

The iPads are here!  Oh happy day... right?  After the excitement wears down, reality creeps in:  how do I manage these devices?  After much reading and research, I developed a plan to manage my iPads for my high school library program.  Over the next couple of weeks, I will be working with Reading, Geometry, AVID, Urban Studies and Chemistry teachers.  I've already identified apps to use with the students.  But first things first, I needed to set up my iPads in a systematic manner that would be effective.  Most importantly, a set up that would not interfere with the normal 'flow' of the teacher's class period.
The following pictures and captions describe what I have done since receiving the devices last week. Though these plans are not etched in stone, I feel it's a good start.  As the students, teachers and I use these devices over the next couple of weeks, I will be compiling a list of 'what's working and what's not working.'  Wish me luck!
The syncing cart has 30 slots for iPads and enough room to store a laptop and some NOOK e-Readers.

Each slot is numbered and has it's own charge/sync cable. 
(look at how each number is etched in the metal surface)
The cart can be secured by using a combination pad 
lock that is included with the purchase of the cart.

This is what the iPad looks like when it's powered up for the first time!

After going through a registration process, I opted to skip the iTunes registration because I need more clarity about the assigned VPP email address.   (Hopefully I will have a moment tomorrow to contact a specialist)  I decided to turn on the Passcode on the iPad to discourage theft and maintain control of the use of the device.

I turned off the Keyboard Clicks option.  I just can't 
image hearing a classroom full of them during instruction!

I accessed the 'Serial Number' from the settings/general screen.  

Using powerpoint, I created lock/home screens savers and printed each number.  I took a picture of each printed number using each iPad.  For example, I used the iPad that was assigned #5 to take the picture of the above picture.   

This is what the iPad screen looks like once the lock/home screen is applied.   I decided to be a little fancy and include a picture of the school, address and phone number.

I barcoded and entered each iPad in my SOAR/TLC automation system as 'equipment'  Since the iPad will have a flexible silicone cover, I used the extra barcode and adhered it to my printed home screen/screen savers print out.  My plan is to have each print out laminated and placed in a binder.  When the students check out an iPad during class, they will exchange their id for an iPad.  I can scan their id and scan their assigned iPad (the print out) at the beginning of class.

I recorded each iPad's serial number on each print out.  (after I completed all of this work, I realized that I could have performed a screen shot to record the serial number...there's time and I will do this)  

Using the signature option on the Mail/Contact/Calendars screen, I replaced the Apple standard, 'Sent from my iPad' to 'Sent from iPad #5 and the barcode number"  This will help me greatly when students print their work. (we don't have the wireless printing option set up yet)   The catch to making this all work is I must ensure that the students remember their iPad number during the class period.

To ensure that I had recorded and numbered each iPad correctly, 
I re-scanned each iPad using my automation system. 

Using a scratch-free microfiber cloth, I cleaned each iPad screen.   Removing the fingerprints is a must!

The iPad is returned to it's correct slot and plugged back up using the charging/syncling cable.

April 20, 2012

1st NOOK Book Meeting

Today, the students and I held our first NOOK Street Lit. Book Club meeting.  We met for an hour and discussed K'wan's "The Leak."  The students also enjoyed a 'healthy' book club meal of salad, fruit, granola and juice.  Our wonderful Spanish teacher Ms Carter joined the discussion and checked out a NOOK.  She is just as excited as the students to read the next book club selection by authors Ashley and JaQuavis.

Check out the pictures below from today's meeting.

Salad, fruit and granola

Bacon bits add a zing to a salad

The Spanish olives were a hit!

Our wonderful Spanish teacher, Ms Carter, joined the discussion!

The students discussed a healthy menu for the next book club meeting.

April 19, 2012

NOOKs in the Classroom - Part I

The day has finally come.  The NOOK Simple Touch e-Readers were introduced Ms Tillman's reading classes.  These students were selected because they are interested in reading books within the Street Literature genre.  The students are especially excited to be the first class at Phillips to use the NOOKs.   The NOOKs were awarded to the Phillips Library through the Chicago Public Schools Dept. of Libraries and Information Services VITAL Grant.  The Phillips library was one in five high school libraries in the district that was awarded this grant.

During the class period, they learned the nuts-and-bolts of handling the devices and etiquette during class.   The students used the Quick Nav Button to access the home screen and library then learned how to swipe and use the side buttons to turn pages.  The students really liked the note taking and built in dictionary feature and want to use them during class discussions.  According to the students, they said these features were, "fly", which means really good!

Ms Tillman and I were really impressed by the students in her 8th period class.  They suggested that they could compare and contrast notes taken by previous classes that had read the same chapters.  I suspect they would like to make this a 'mini' competition between classes.  I'm anxious to see how this will develop over time!   The highlight of the period was when the students read and discussed an excerpt from K'Wan's book, "The Leak."   The class period ended with a lively discussion on how the student's feedback will be valued by Ms Tillman and I.

Take a look at the pictures below of the class periods from yesterday and check back from time to time to see how we progress.

The students learn that their hands must be clean before using the NOOKs.
Ms Boyd uses a ELMO and Promethian board to demonstrate how to use the NOOKs
Reading Teacher Ms Tillman ensures that students are locating the correct book.
This student uses the library menu to locate "The Leak" by K'wan.
Students following along during class.
Ms Tillman demonstrates how to use the page turn buttons on the NOOKs.
This student is participating in SSR.
Ms Boyd assists students that need help.
This student is one of my avid Street Lit. readers.  His favorite author is Sista Souljah.
Ms Tillman's 8th period class.  These boys can't wait to start reading and discussing 'The Leak" this Friday.  Special thanks to Mrs. Jones who took this picture!

April 18, 2012

NOOK Simple Touch Tutorials

     Later today I will be giving a demonstration on how to use the NOOK Simple Touch eReaders.    After speaking with the collaborating reading teacher, I learned that the students are really excited and ready to read the loaded Street Lit. books on the device.   I checked online and found some cool videos on the Barnes and Noble website that are quite helpful.

April 13, 2012

Get Ready, Get Set, READ!

Yesterday the NOOK Street Lit. Book Club at Phillips met for the very first time.   The NOOKs were purchased through a VITAL Grant that was awarded to the Library Media Center earlier this year.  The students were selected because of their love of the Street Lit. genre and willingness to participate in a weekly discussion about the selected books.  During the first meeting, the students received a brief tutorial about the use of the device and reviewed the three required readings for the week.  One of the books that they will be discussing is, "The Leak" by K'wan.  The meeting wrapped up with the students planning a 'healthy' menu of fruits and vegetables for the next club meeting.

The pictures below describe the students excitement about using the NOOKs.  Stay tuned for another update from the NOOK Street Lit. Book Club.

Notice how my students can multi-task

I can figure this out!

We have three books to read!

We are reading 'The Leak' by K'wan!
I'm going to read these books by Monday!

April 12, 2012

Just Try!

*Please note:  To protect the privacy of my student in this article, she will be called Tammie.  

Sometimes my students can give up before they even try.  An example of this is *Tammie, a senior who had to use the library iPad for the very first time.

Over the past week, her teacher and I showed her class iPad basics and how to use the app, Screen Chomp.  Today, Tammie had to complete her Screen  Chomp describing 'her' America.  This activity is part of a larger unit for a Urban Studies class at Phillips.  The students read the book, "Our America:  Life and Death on the South Side of Chicago," with their teacher and created an interactive poster, Glogster.   At first Tammie grumbled and told me, "I feel stupid!  I'm talking to a iPad."  I told her just try it, take some baby steps then move on to the bigger steps.  With a frown on her face, she ventured off into a quiet area of the library and began her recording.

Twenty minutes later, she came back to the circ desk smiling.  Tammie had made her first recording, colored highlights and all.  She said that she wanted to take more pictures of her neighborhood over the weekend and re-record her Screen Chomp on Monday when school resumes.  Once again, the use of a iPad has swayed even the most reluctant student to participate in a class activity.

View Tammie's Screen Chomp - http://www.screenchomp.com/t/Q1JqIakAGZ