Tag Archive for iPad

Using Educreations for Screencasting

I’ve previously written about using the Educreations app in the classroom, but now the app got even better! I’d like to say to say that I had a part in it, but it’s only because I tweeted to @Educreations about a feature that I hoped would improve and they responded quickly that the change update would come soon (wish I saved that tweet for this post!)

Previously if you made a mistake in recording your voice, if you needed to start over, it also meant your screen would start over.  The update now allows you to clear the screen or clear the audio recording which makes the process easier if you make any mistakes.

In effort to keep supporting my teachers with our 1:1 iPad implementation, I’ve added an “iPad Tip of the Week” to my Friday Focus post for staff.  So far, I’m just starting out with very basic tips. Last week was how to add bookmarks to your homescreen and how to create folders. This week I wanted to share how to change the default email signature so it no longer says “sent from my iPad.” To also show my use of the iPad, I used Educreations to create a quick screencast to show teachers how to change their email signature and to show that I am also using an app that they can use with their students. The beauty of this? It took me less than 5 minutes to create! Thank you Educreations!

I have a secret…

I am leading a session on use of specific apps on the iPad for teachers in my building tomorrow and I am NOT an expert on any of the apps I’m sharing. That’s right. I’m showing how to use them, giving ideas of how they can be used and I don’t know everything about each of them and I probably can’t answer all the questions that may be asked of me.

But, I do know that if there are any questions I can’t answer I can tweet them out and am 99.9% sure that someone in my Twitter PLN will have the answer for us.  I have used Educreations in 4 classrooms, showing the teacher and the students all at once how to use it.  Each time, a student (or the teacher) discovered something new or came up with a tip to help everyone.  Every time I use it, I learn something new.  Even if I did become an expert on any one of these apps, the developers are constantly listening to feedback from the users and updating the features, so I would have new features to learn about each time they are updated. I also know that as teachers begin using the apps in their classrooms they will come up with great new ways of using them for student learning and share them with others.

We do not have to be experts at the tools…we have to be experts at learning and show students what it is like in real life to not know the answer or not know how to do something.  To be successful in life you need to know how to find it out.  Or as Will Richardson says we have to be able to “learn, unlearn and relearn.”

 

Too Little Time?

I have listened to podcasts from BAM Radio Network for years now, so you can imagine my excitement when I was contacted by Rae Pica to join in on a podcast.  I have joined in on other podcasts before, but I was still nervous for this one!

Over the years I have been learning new strategies to keep myself organized and efficient with my time, while struggling to meet the many demands of the principal role so the topic of “Too Little Time?” was well needed for me.

Click HERE to listen to the podcast

While I had the chance to share a few of my thoughts, I enjoyed learning from the other podcasters as well.  Professor Zoe Chance shared the following research on time management: “when people perform very brief, random acts of kindness, helping others they can feel as though they have more time.”  Their studies found that repeatedly, people that help others, it contributes to the feeling of having more time.  She went on to share that “feelings of awe and wonder” feel that they have more time and are more productive. When you have this feeling, you feel present in the moment.

I found these findings very interesting, because even though it takes time each day for me to contribute to my Professional Learning Network (PLN) on Twitter, it has always made me feel good to share with others, because it also requires me to reflect on the ideas I am sharing.  Lisa Dabbs then pushed the idea of “unplugging” and finding balance, which is something that I am working on too!

So, how does an administrator get into that feeling of “awe and wonder” to be present in the moment?  I’ve said before and I’ll say it again, that you can learn a great deal from Getting Things Done and the productivity tips for administrators at Eduleadership.  I have found the app Remember the Milk to be an extremely helpful tool for me to manage the never ending list of everything I have to get done.  My desk used to be cluttered with post-it notes of everything I needed to do, but now everything goes into this app. If something pops into my head, I immediately put it in Remember the Milk so I can get it out of my head and focus on what task or conversation I have at hand.  Remember the Milk allows me to schedule what day I am going to complete a task, prioritize the list, add notes to each, make it a recurring to-do, and create separate lists that I can use for projects.

 
 

I’d love to hear your favorite tips to keep yourself organized and efficient with your time so that you can find that state of “awe and wonder” and be in the moment.

 

Using the iPad to Increase my Productivity

Even though there are numerous other blog posts by principals using the iPad, I have said numerous times that my blog is a great place for me to reflect on my practice and seek the feedback of others. I have learned a great deal of iPad tips from other princpals, and I will list those blog posts/helpful sites below. I plan to use this post to explain how I am using my school issued iPad to increase my productivity and spend more time in classrooms (my ULTIMATE goal as a principal).

As basic as it sounds, the top 2 reasons I use the iPad more than anything else are to keep up with emails and my calendar. Since I spend more time out of my office than in it, I am able to quickly read emails while walking the hallway and delete, respond or file for action later. I have a busy schedule (what administrator doesn’t) so I love having my calendar right there with me. This year I am planning to switch to google calendar so that my secretary can add to my calendar during the day if I’m out and about.

When I am walking through classrooms, I have just used the Notes app on the iPad to quickly type feedback to teachers and email them. We do not have wifi throughout our building, but I could still use the email feature and have this sync when I went near the wifi hotspot. I also emailed these to myself and kept them all in a folder for teacher feedback. So here’s what you would actually see me doing when I’m making rounds-when I enter a classroom I would open up a new note and start typing “Dear Ms. Carson, When I visited your classroom…” I will either type one handed (I’m getting good at that) while in the classroom or wait until I get in the hallway if any students seem distracted by what I’m doing. Then I email the teacher the note right away. Then I open my Simple Goals app (see below) and tap on my classroom walkthroughs goal to add another one for the week. Then I go to my clipboard (here’s when I need a suggestion) to find my teacher spreadsheet and write the date of my walk through. I still do this because I like to visually see who I haven’t been to yet. I would love any app suggestions to still do this and get rid of my clipboard!

I have just begun to use Evernote in place of the Notes app. Since Evernote is a web based virtual cabinet, I love that I can access my notes on my iPad, iPod, or desktop. When typing up teacher feedback, I can also add a “tag” so it will organize my notes by teacher instead of having them all within one of my email folders. The only problem I’ve found is that when I email the note to a teacher, it goes straight to their junk mail file thanks to our web filter, so I don’t think I can use this for my walk throughs.

I keep track of my daily goals with the app “Simple Goals.” This is a simple free app that just lets you keep a running total of goals for each week. This is where I keep track of the number of classroom walkthroughs, 1:1 discussions with staff, if I leave my office with a clean desk, and if I exercise (that one is usually a low number!)

I used to be the queen of post-it notes of to-do lists each day, but I have now been using the app “Get it Done.” What I love about this app is that I can organize To Do folders and categorize them by when they’re do. It is easier on my eyes/brain to just see the list of what I need to do for the day and not my entire list of EVERYTHING! Every time I remember something I need to do, I just add it in there, put a date on it and add it to a special group/folder if I need to. Some of the group/folders I’ve had running for to-do lists include: staff evaluations, summer school preparation, To Learn, etc.

Those are the main apps I use each day, but I do also utilize the following apps:
-Twitter (only can use this at home, no twitter access at school)
-Google docs
-Google Reader
-Flipboard
-App Shopper (I love seeing when apps are down in price or FREE!)
-Various news apps
-Kindle (I also love that this syncs with the kindle reader on my iPod)
-PowerSchool shortcut (this is our student information system)

The Complete List of iPad Tips, Tricks and Tutorials

10 Ways to Work Smarter on Your iPad

iPad Resources for Administrators

Blog posts by other principals:
The 21st Century Principal

A Principal’s Reflections