Posts Tagged ‘YouTube’

Post 27 for the TeachThought 30-Day Blogging ChallengeWhat role do holidays and weekends play in your teaching?


Like many educators, I take weekends and holidays to relax, enjoy my family, and get some ‘me’ time. But, given how we’re all so easily connected in today’s world, I also respond to questions or queries from teachers in our schools, I read  and interact with my Twitter and Google+ feeds, and often take time to try out new tools.

Today, we went for a beautiful foliage drive here in Vermont with one of our sons. The leaves are nearing peak in the highest elevations and we’re seeing beautiful color in the valleys as well.



Once I got home, I decided I’d try out some screencasting tools on the Chromebook. To get some practice, I made a screencast about how you can create photo slideshows on YouTube. I learned this trick from my friend and colleague, Lucie DelaBruere this summer and have been meaning to share it with teachers in my school. I thought a screencast was a good way to get the word out. Teachers are frequently seeking ways to share photos in slideshows and use a variety of tools. Here’s one more for their toolbox.

I used Snagit on the Chromebook to create this screencast. It’s Saturday afternoon and I’m exploring new tools. That’s how holidays and weekends play a role in my work. They provide time for me to do some things that I can’t fit in during the work week.




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Last year we proposed to start a 1:1 iPad initiative with our 5th and 6th graders. That didn’t pass in our community. I wrote about it in this post.

So, back to the drawing board we went. We did get some iPads with funds we had available. Our preK-2 school already had 2 carts. This year we got 3 carts at our grades 3-8 school building. The challenge facing us – sharing iPads, which are ideally a personal device, among many students.

When I was at ISTE this summer, I was especially focused on finding sessions, resources, or people who were sharing iPads. That was not easy- almost everyone had some sort of a 1:1 setting. I didn’t find answers to my questions.

So, I thought I would share this post with some details about what systems and logistics we have put in place in our schools to help others in our situation.

1. Pledges and Promises: Leave the iPads ready for the next user.

  • Teachers and students must clean off photos and videos when they complete a project.
  • Teachers and students must remember to sign out of any accounts they’ve signed into.
  • We’re not printing from iPads. Period.

2. Signing Out iPads:

photo (2) We have carts with 30 iPads. Within that, the iPads are grouped in 5’s. Each group of 5 iPads has a different color case. And there’s a sticker on the back that has a letter. Therefore, if a student starts a project on the blue iPad with the letter C on it, they easily know which iPad to get when they resume their work.

Teachers use the Google calendars to sign out iPads. They can sign out as many groups of 5 iPads they need. Some sign out one group of 5 when using them as a small station or project with a small group. At other times, teachers sign out 4 or 5 groups of 5 iPads to have a whole-class set for a specific task or project.

Teachers view availability on the calendars before signing them out. They also commit to returning iPads promptly when finished so that they are present for someone else who signed them out just after their time slot. Students may help get and return iPads as long as there’s an appropriate number of students to the number of iPads for safe handling.



3. Workflow:

Here are some of the ways in which we’re working to share things created ON the iPads and/or get them OFF the iPads:

Screen Shot 2013-08-25 at 9.27.30 PM Email- we have email accounts set up specifically for the iPads. There’s not one per iPad, but rather for each of our grade spans – K-2, 3-4, 5-8. We can email photos or other projects from the iPad to teachers or student email account to access later.




Screen Shot 2013-08-25 at 9.21.11 PM Dropbox – we have installed the Dropbox app. At this point, teachers can use their own Dropbox accounts. At some point, we may set up Dropbox accounts using the 3 email accounts above. We’re wondering who will manage those accounts and keep them relatively clean for others to use when getting close to the storage limit. This one isn’t fully developed yet!




Screen Shot 2013-08-25 at 9.23.20 PM PhotoSync– We installed PhotoSync on all iPads. This is already helping to solve issues we’ve had in the past. iMovie trailers created on iPads are generally too big to email. Sharing a collection of photos, rather than one at a time is challenging. PhotoSync allows us to share from one device to another (already helping some of our Special Educators) or to Drive or even to a computer via an IP address. So far, this is a very helpful app.



Screen Shot 2013-08-25 at 9.25.44 PM Drive– teachers and students can use Drive to access their GAFE accounts to create documents, spreadsheets, etc. on the iPads and then can access them again later on a computer, if necessary.





Screen Shot 2013-08-25 at 9.24.44 PM YouTube – we set up 3 YouTube accounts using the email accounts for each grade span listed above. This way we can upload straight to a YouTube channel and have this channel as a showcase of student work produced on iPads or with other tools. We hope it will be a way to share with our larger community and demonstrate what we are creating with iPads.




We’re off to a great start and teachers are very open-minded and exciting about new opportunities ahead. I’d appreciate any more insight, ideas, and suggestions for systems and logistics that work for others.


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