Friday, April 20, 2012

Consume, Create, CONNECT

In the natural progression of using the iPad, I have had the pleasure of working with students as we...

-Consume information: What an amazing tool to gather information! Science is so real time, that it is silly to limit our learning to the textbook.

*Some of our fave consumption apps- Solar System by Marcus Chown, Bobo Explores Light, TED, Simple Circuits, BrainPop, NASA, Wonders of Geology, LeafSnapHD, GreenPlanets4Kids, Stack the States, MathDrills, and Math Ninja

-Create representations of our understand (or emerging understanding): LOVE this part! Show me what you know...share...learn from each other. The iPad unlocks and showcases the creativity in our students.

*Some of our fave create apps-
DrawingPad and...

Using our iPads to connect has been one of the most exciting ways we have learned this year. The dialogue my students are having within the classroom, between the classroom, and beyond the classroom has been the most beneficial, for them and me! It circles back to conversations and giving students the experiences and forum to feel confident to share. I hear and see concept understanding and misconceptions in an easy to identify way.

Some apps/ways we are CONNECTING:

*email- sounds silly, but seriously...I have students share a lot of their work with me, their peers, and others through email! As a matter of fact, a group of students conducting an investigation with expanding peeps in the microwave were able to get some answers to the makers of PEEPS within a day. They wanted to know about variables in peep production, and they got answers!

*Edmodo app- within, between, and beyond class with conversations and sharing of media

*Twitter app- results for labs, pics of work, and links shared between and beyond class. Loaded to all my student iPads now, my students are getting better and better at using this tool to share and transfer work to others. We used twitter many times when creating a class blog on our website.

*Dropbox- With a folder for each project and class within our account and the app loaded on each iPad, we transfer our work to each other and between classes.

*Skype- Most times we Skype from the main class computer, but we have employed the iPad Skype with success! Many times in the whole class Skype sessions, my students are still using their iPads! Sharing on edmodo and twitter usually is occurring during most skypes! (Including our scientist skype with Phil Plait @BadAstronomer and the upcoming Skype with Neil deGrasse Tyson in May!)

And, Reflection app...
While it is still a bit buggy, it was a great way to connect student projects with dueling iPad screens on the projector. I was able to show 2 student lab design keynote presentations at the same time. What an awesome way to compare, contrast, and help to strengthen before the lab was conducted! Wow!

So, just a short Friday reflection...but, I'm beginning to see another area that we have branched out in this year.
Consume, Create, CONNECT...

Do you have any connection apps/ideas to share?

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Peanut butter on the burger?!

Some kids need ketchup on their burger. Some need ketchup, mayo, mustard, lettuce, and tomato. And, then some need peanut butter!

That has been my latest description for describing my son's needs. At home and at school, we are trying to piece together the puzzle of a boy with attention issues, emotional struggles, Tourette's Syndrome, Obsessive Compulsive tendencies, and more! With so many variables that I can't always control (including teachers, other children, his dynamic/changing ways), it has felt as though I am struggling through a fog. I can't quite pinpoint all his needs, which is frustrating. I can't always explain the reason for actions. And, I feel that being the champion of his cause is sometimes so taxing that I'm not sure I'm the right person.

But, I waited 10 years for my son...
I asked him to be mine with a fortune cookie...
And, I made a promise to be the absolute best mom to him.

Even if I'm still hunting down the perfect brand of peanut butter.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad