<![CDATA[eLearning Resources by Jeff Thornton - Blog]]>Tue, 22 Dec 2015 18:59:06 -0600Weebly<![CDATA[Lights, Camera, iPad! -¬†Creating Video And Audio Projects With The iPad]]>Mon, 06 Jul 2015 03:17:37 GMThttp://mrthornton.weebly.com/blog/lights-camera-ipad-creating-video-and-audio-projects-with-the-ipadDescription: 
During this workshop, participants will learn the details of using the iPad to edit audio and video to create student centered classroom projects. Emphasis will be placed on using Apple's GarageBand and iMovie along with other media creation apps. The first part of the session will be focused on learning the tools while the last part will be focused on using these tools to create a mock student project. Participants should bring an iPad with iMovie and GarageBand installed prior to the workshop. An iPad 2 with iOS 8 is preferred.
Workshop Notes
  1. Welcome and introductions
  2. Intro to Movie Making on the iPad - different cameras (slo-mo, time lapse, focus, exposure adjustment, portrait vs. landscape, front and back cameras, microphone placement on iPad)

  1. Introduction to iMovie
  2. iMovie is free to most Apple users - "iMovie is free on the App Store for qualifying iOS 8 compatible devices with initial activation on or after September 1, 2013. See www.apple.com/ios/whats-new/ for iOS 8 compatible devices. Downloading apps requires an Apple ID." from http://apple.com/ios/imovie 
  3. iMovie - Trailer vs. Movie. Trailer is a pre-made video with a storyboard included - you pick the footage to include and it automatically makes the movie. With trailers you have little control over edits of your videos. Movies are free form and you have control of all of the edits and lengths.
  4. Movie projects edits - Editing tools only appear when you select the clip - only the tools you need or can use will be available as you select clips. Editing tools: speed up slow down, add text, trimming the clip length, cutting a clip, adding transitions, fade in/fade out, change the sound level, apply filters to video

Importing Video to iPad:
  1. Take video on the iPad is the easiest
  2. Use AirDrop to share video from one iOS device to another - requires newer iOS device
  3. Import from iCloud Drive, One Drive, Dropbox
  4. Import from camera connection kit
  5. Capture audio with a microphone plugged into the headphone jack or USB microphone with camera connection kit
Movie Audio:
  1. iMovie contains audio and sound effects which can be used
  2. Encourage students to create their own music for a unique movie

  1. Smart instruments (gear) vs. instruments - smart instruments can automatically play chords and patterns for you. The regular instruments require you to be able to play - know the keys, frets, etc. to produce music.
  2. Encourage students to pick 2 or 3 (at the most) chords with smart instruments to create their work
  3. Layer instruments by switching to the track view.
  4. Record then add instruments (remember your 2 or 3 chords and stick with them for the best sound)
  5. Add loops from the loop browser for even more variety
  6. Export your music to iMovie or other video editing programs

Planning your Video:
  1. Encourage students to plan out their video or create a storyboard containing all of the scenes and necessary plot info for their video.
  2. Sample Planning Sheet to help get the process started: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1BPvfuJGKELMGHctPS5w_hz_zS8A1Q6UD9oVacIQn4Qg/edit?usp=sharing
  1. Sample Story Board Sheet for each scene: https://docs.google.com/document/d/19U0aJdv17B_rqgOzDiebGr6-UmfaUPtA1CqWAgiTb1I/edit?usp=sharing
  1. Sample Rubric for grading: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Qg_bT2HORWN4O3CoCeFqI94uVpxsCP9Ln9ldJB5ANu8/edit?usp=sharing

Other Video and Audio Apps:
Here are a few other video and audio creation apps which can be used in conjunction with iMovie to create movies.

Almost all of these apps allow you to save a video or audio project which can be brought into iMovie to use with your movie creations.

<![CDATA[Google Drive Sharing]]>Tue, 17 Mar 2015 20:21:28 GMThttp://mrthornton.weebly.com/blog/google-drive-sharingThis session will explore the ways to share, receive, and organize documents in Google Drive. 
EVSC teachers can login to Google Drive by going to http://drive.google.com and login with your EVSC Google account - first.lastname@evsck12.com (please note @evsck12.com NOT @evsc.k12.in.us)
Login screen to Google Drive
Once you are logged in to Google Drive you will see your Drive. 
  • The search bar at the top allows you to search any items in Google Drive. 
  • The sorting options and settings, allow you to change how your documents looks, how they're organized, and adjust Google Drive settings (the gear).
  • Shared with Me displays any documents that others have created and shared with me
  • Recent shows any recent documents that I or others have viewed or edited recently
To create a document click on the red New button to see the available items you can create. With the New button, you can create a Folder to organize your files, upload a file, create a Google Doc (like Microsoft Word), Google Sheet (Like Microsoft Excel), Google Slides (like Microsoft PowerPoint), and under More are Google Forms and other apps.
Any file or folder that you create or upload to Google Drive can be shared with others who work in the EVSC or can also be shared with people outside of the EVSC. Once you have a folder or document that you would like to share click the share button within Drive. You can do this in a number of ways:
  • Select the document or folder in your drive list and click the Share button that appears
  • Right click on a document or folder in your drive list and select Share
  • Open a document and click the blue Share button in the top right
Once you know what you want to share, you have a number of sharing options available.
  • Begin typing names of those you want to share with and add them so they can see the document or folder in their Shared with Me section
  • Select whether these people can edit, view, or comment on a document
  • Add a note which will show in the email that goes to those you share the document with
  • With the shareable link button, you can copy and paste a link in an email or wherever you want to share the link
  • Select Advanced to get access to more features
The following Advanced features are available by selected Advanced and then clicking Change under the access section of the sharing screen.

The following Advanced sharing features are available, starting from the bottom and going up:
  • Off - Specific people: means that no one can see your document or folder except for you and the people you have added and invited to the document. This is a good option for sharing with your team.
  • On  - Anyone at EVSC with the link: means that all EVSC employees can click on the link if you share it and login with their Google Account to see the document or folder
  • On - EVSC: means that anyone in the EVSC who is logged in to their Google account can access and find your document by searching EVSC district documents
  • On - Anyone with the link: means that anyone you share the link with can access the document and you can decide if they can edit or just view. This is a good option for sharing with parents or community members.
  • On - Public on the web: means that anyone on the web can search for and find your document in a Google search.
If someone has shared an item with you but you are having trouble locating it, consider adding it to your Drive instead of leaving it in the Shared With Me section. 
  • To do that go to the Shared With Me section of your Drive
  • Search for the document or folder you want to add to your drive
  • Right click on the item you want to add or click and drag that item to My Drive
  • Once the item is in My Drive, you will no longer have to search for it in Shared with Me. It will appear in My Drive and can be organized in folders within your Drive.
Tips for Better Drive Use:
  • Be sure to set your Google Account email to forward to Outlook so you don't miss a notice that someone is sharing with you. Click Here for direction.
  • Consider using Google Chrome instead of other browsers
  • Consider giving an item a Star by right clicking on the resource and select Add star. This will put the folder or document in the Starred section of your Drive.
  • Consider switching the view of your Drive from List to Grid View (top right) to see better visually what's in your Drive.
  • Consider installing the Google Drive on your computer at this link. This program will make Google Drive work like Dropbox and put an actual Google Drive folder on your computer which will sync up to your Drive in the browser.
  • Consider installing the Google Drive iOS app on your iPad, iPhone, or Android phone. This app will also allow you to view and edit Google Docs on your mobile device. Download it here.
<![CDATA[Awesome Accessibility Features in iOS]]>Mon, 09 Dec 2013 19:51:43 GMThttp://mrthornton.weebly.com/blog/awesome-accessibility-features-in-iosOne of the underestimated parts of using an iOS device is that Apple has built in some powerful accessibility features for users who may have impairments that prevent them from using devices traditionally. In the education environment, these features can be a powerful tool to use with all students. All of these features can be found by going to Settings-> General-> Accessibility. Here is a list of some of the features that may be helpful in the classroom.

1. Guided Access - Guided Access allows the iPad to be locked to an app where the user cannot leave the app. The hardware buttons on the iPad are disabled and prevent the user from leaving the app without a passcode. This could be useful for setting up an app in a station, especially in the single iPad classroom. To engage Guided Access, first go to Settings -> General -> Accessibility and make sure that Guided Access is turned on. You will be required to set a passcode to use it but you can wait to do so until the first time you engage Guided Access. To start Guided Access, triple click the home button and you will see a screen like the one below. From this screen you can turn off all touch and motion orientation and even circle areas where you want touch interactivity to be disabled. Press Start and then Guided Access will be enabled. To leave Guided Access, triple click the home button and enter the passcode to disable. 
2. VoiceOver - VoiceOver gives the user the ability to hear what is on the screen. It can be a little tricky to navigate at first but could be most useful for students who need to have large amounts of text read to them. Scroll to the bottom of the Accessibility features to the Accessibility Shortcut and make sure VoiceOver is selected. To activate, click the home button three times (if you enabled Guided Access previously, it will ask what you want to do when you triple click the home button). When using VoiceOver remember that the first time you tap, the reader tells you what is selected. Tap twice to make the selection. For reading, you can launch a reading app, select a book or PDF and then enable VoiceOver to begin hearing the text read to you.

3. Speak Selection - Speak Selection is the 4th option under the Vision category of Accessibility features. When Speak Selection is turned on, you can select text on a page and when the Copy, Paste, Cut, etc. appear, Speak will be one of the options you can select. Once selected the iPad will begin reading the text you've selected on the screen. By selecting the Speak Selection option in the Accessibility features you can turn the feature on or off, change the voice, adjust the speed, and turn on word highlights which will highlight each word as they are read (a great feature for struggling readers). This feature is good for reading text on websites or helping students sound out words that they may not know.
4. Zoom - The 2nd option under the Vision category is Zoom. When Zoom is enabled, you can zoom in on anything on the screen. If you tap with three fingers once on the screen, it will automatically zoom in on the area where you tapped. If you drag around with the three fingers, you can move around the zoomed image. Tapping with three fingers again will return to normal size. You can also incrementally zoom by tapping with three fingers and swiping up to zoom in smaller increments. One additional feature is that using zoom will show while displayed to an Apple TV. It is limited but can provide additional zoom where pinching to zoom is not adequate or on screens or apps where you cannot pinch to zoom.

5. Other features - There are several others features available such as changing the text size, inverting colors (students like to do this - but you can fix it here),  adjust home button click speed, change the contrast, adjust sound, attach adaptive accessories and more. 
Some of the additional Accessibility features
It's important to remember that while these may be tools originally intended for adapting the iPad to various needs, these tools can be used by everyone and they can be beneficial in the mainstream classroom as well as with special education classrooms. I hope you will take a moment to try these features and explore how you might use them in class. I would love to hear of some ways you have used these or some that I may not have addressed. Let me know in the comments or on Twitter @ipadjeff. 
<![CDATA[SAMR - A quick look and application of Tech Integration]]>Mon, 14 Oct 2013 16:02:43 GMThttp://mrthornton.weebly.com/blog/samr-a-quick-look-and-application-of-tech-integrationPicture
At the beginning of the school year I had a few minutes to share some thoughts about technology with our staff. The time was filled with the usual procedural and logistical considerations. One of the most enjoyable parts of that meeting was getting an opportunity to share the SAMR model for technology integration with our staff. I first heard about SAMR at the EdTech Teacher iPad Summit and it quickly became a favorite way to evaluate and observe how teachers use technology in the classroom. 

The SAMR model created by Ruben Puentedura is more or less a continuum which starts at the most basic level of technology  integration (Substitution) moving to the most deeply integrated use of technology (Redefinition). S stands for Substitution, A for Augmentation, M for Modification, and R for Redefinition. The model defines each level this way:
Substitution: Technology is used as a direct substitute for what you might do already, with no functional change.
Augmentation: Technology is a direct substitute, but there is functional improvement over what you did without the technology.
Modification: Technology allows you to significantly redesign the task.
Redefinition: Technology allows you to do what was previously not possible.

The goal of using this model is to show us ways that we can use technology to help students learn more deeply. As you move deeper to the MR levels, students will come in contact with with content at a much deeper level. It is at the M and R levels where we see deeper learning and greater efficacy of technology in the classroom.

Below are three scenarios which are practical applications of how each level can be demonstrated in the classroom. These are obviously not a prescription for each level but a guide to get us thinking about how we can take an activity deeper. Some may actually disagree on where each activity falls, so this a great place to share your comments at the bottom. I have included app names and links where applicable.

Scenario I: Book Report
S - Students type a report with a word processor instead of writing it by hand.
A - Students are now using editing features like copy, paste, formatting, and adding images or links.
M - Students have taken their report to an online website portfolio of work (like Weebly) that is shared with teachers & others
R - Students create a book trailer video with iMovie explaining the main topic of the book. They use video, music, and quotes from the book in their video creation.

Scenario II: Learning the Alphabet
S - Students practice letters with a whiteboard app like Educreations or Screenchomp.
A - Students play a letter matching game where they match letters with sounds.
M - Student creates a video explaining how to draw each letter in the alphabet using Explain Everything, Doceri, or Teach by Knowmia.
R - Students create interactive books with letters of the alphabet using Book Creator. Each letter has an image and/or sounds of the letter. 

Scenario III: Interactive Whiteboards
S - A teacher uses an interactive whiteboard hand-drawing many different kinds of diagrams to explain a new concept.
A - A teacher uses some interactive elements in a flipchart for teaching a new concept.
M - A teacher creates interactive flipcahrts with multiple interactive elements and students come to the board to explore, explain, or teach a new concept.
R - Students create interactive interactive flipcharts to teach a new concept or idea. Students teacher their idea using their flipchart.

The question to ask is “Where do I start?” 

The best place to start is to conduct a quick self assessment. When I use technology in the classroom, am I at the S, A, M, or R level? Do I substitute paper work on the iPad (or other device)? Do I Augment a paper assignment by trying something I can’t do on paper? Am I using technology to modify an activity by doing a significantly redesigned task? Am I doing something with technology that can’t be accomplished without technology? 

The most important point to remember is that the best place to start is at the beginning. If you are just getting started, go to the substitution level and dip your toe in the deep end. Once you get comfortable, try to move that activity deeper. Don't feel like a failure if much of your first experiences are in the Substitution and Augmentation levels. Remember SAMR is a continuum to help us move deeper in the process of integrating technology. 

Another important aspect to remember is that not every activity should require technology use. Don't frustrate yourself trying to make everything into a tech activity at the redefinition level. There are times when a piece of paper, a whiteboard, or even a textbook may be the best tool. 

Take some time today to assess where your teaching falls in the spectrum. Think of some ways you can deepen those activities and grow in your technology use. 

<![CDATA[Preparing to Use Technology in your Classroom - Avoiding "The Technology Fail"]]>Mon, 23 Sep 2013 18:29:10 GMThttp://mrthornton.weebly.com/blog/preparing-to-use-technology-in-your-classroom-avoiding-the-technology-failPicture
I think we have all been there at one time or another. I'm talking about that day when everything seems to go wrong with your exciting and innovative technology-driven lesson. As you prepare, you think to yourself, "If only I could be having my observation today, my principal would be wowed!" The lesson begins and starts off rocky and goes from bad to worse - yikes! Most of the time we hear other people, I mean ourselves, say, "You just can't count on technology! Technology is just not reliable! This never happened with paper!"

I think if we're honest with ourselves, we would admit that we could have done more preparation prior to the lesson to help ease the frustrations and failures that we experience. Below are some tips that I have assembled from experiences I have learned by getting burned a few times. I hope these ideas will be helpful to you as you begin to plan "exciting and innovative technology-driven lessons."

  1. Read all of the fine print when signing up for or trying a new tool. Sometimes the free version limits you when you try it out on a bigger scale. For example, services that limit you to 10 users and you try it with a class of 30.
  2. Provide students with login info prior to logging in. Depending on the age and ability of your students, they may need this info on a login card. This greatly reduces teacher stress if you they have something for them to look at as they login. If they have multiple logins, have them all on a card for future reference.
  3. Try out a couple of student logins to make sure they really work. Sometimes the first activity with a new website or tool is just logging in or getting there. Students can benefit from the practice, especially the younger ones. If you have login issues, this gives you time to figure out why they are not working. 
  4. When using online programs, create a fake student or two (if you can) to really try out a service to make sure it does what you expect. It's also good to help you know what students will experience when they start using a program. You can even login with this fake student account to demo the steps your students will take as they login.
  5. Start out students on paper to help them understand what they will do once they get online. I recently read about a teacher who had her students blog on large banners and other students added sticky notes to teach blogging and commenting. This teacher understood how to break down the concept of a technology skill in a way that was readily accessible to her kids. Did I just suggest starting a tech project on paper - oh yes I did!
  6. Start with the end in mind just as you do with any lesson planning. Decide where you want your students to go and go to the beginning and begin teaching. We know our are kids with smart with technology but sometimes they still need coaching and help getting started. After you know where you want to go, start at the beginning - Today we're logging into X, Tomorrow we're learning how to [fill in your objective] with X, Next we will begin . . . Break it down into manageable pieces and work to the end.
  7. Don't plan something big for your first time with a new tool or device. The first day should be devoted to logging in, logging off, and the basics of using the tool or device. It's not advisable to start with a real assessment or assignment at the beginning. In fact, I would probably give a 'fake' assessment or project a few days after they start to get familiar with a program.
  8. Try a program or tool on the actual student device you will be using in class. It can be tempting to just try something only on a teacher device but sometimes filtering differences, flash updates, system updates, etc. create chaos in your room. It's good to find out that a plug-in or update isn't installed before you launch into that lesson and get stuck in update city.
  9. Always be prepared for Plan B. In spite of all of the best preparation there are some situations you can never control. What happens if the power goes out? What if the internet goes down? What if the site you are using is overloaded when you want to use it? All of these situations are completely out of our control but are often times rare. It's good to have an idea for how you would do the work without technology, if something should happen.
  10. Be prepared to grow when using technology in lessons. Effectively using technology does not happen over night. For most of us it takes many lessons, a lot of trial and error, and some hard lessons learned along the way. This shouldn't come as too much of a surprise, we are in fact teachers. We know that as soon as we step in the classroom everyday, we have a whole new set of challenges from which we can learn and grow. 

I know this sounds like a lot but I believe it's worth it to make sure your lesson flows smoothly. The best compliment I think we can be given during a lesson, is that the technology took a back seat and learning was front and center. I hope these tips will help to put technology in back and bring learning to the front! Best of luck as you teach with technology!

<![CDATA[Thinking about iPads for your School?]]>Wed, 31 Jul 2013 17:31:00 GMThttp://mrthornton.weebly.com/blog/thinking-about-ipads-for-your-schoolPicture
As schools consider the purchase of iPads for the classroom I thought it would be good to share some tips and lessons learned. Many of these ideas come from our 2 years of learning and experiences with deploying over 500 iPads in our school.
  • Gather as many people as possible for the planning - include tech, non-tech, teachers, and administrators in the planning process
  • Understand all of the limitations of the iPads and share that with the planning team - remind everyone involved that this is not a computer and cannot be controlled like a computer
  • Talk about how you plan to use iPads - cart setup, take home, assigned to each teacher or rotating through grade levels, etc.
  • For a shared cart scenario, decide how those carts will be used - check outs, how will they be fairly used among staff members, etc.
  • Most of your staff members should have iPads to help them get comfortable with the device, plan that number in your purchasing
  • How many iPads do you plan to purchase? Build in 5-10 for replacements (smaller scale deployment), 10-20 for larger deployments
  • Be sure to think about cases to protect the investment - double check that the cases fit in your cart or storage unit
  • Which staff members should have iPads? Only certified? All instructional staff? Title staff? Long term subs? Decide before they go to too many - it's harder to take them back!
  • Create a plan for staff responsibility of devices - we include a clause where staff take responsibility to pay for repairs and be responsible for maintaining a working device
  • Will staff be allowed to take devices home for the summer?
  • If student devices leave the building, do you plan to purchase insurance? Apple Care+?
  • Plan for a budget of Volume Purchase Program apps. This is different than an iTunes card.
  • Decide on a workflow for when students have problems with iPads and need repair or resetting
  • Plan to have an iOS 101 PD at the beginning for teachers using and teaching with the devices

  • Decide how you want to setup devices - How many Apple IDs? Apple ID per grade/class/school? How do you want to sync - wirelessly is the best option for more than about 50.
  • For larger deployments a Mobile Device Management (MDM) system should be considered for managing, adding apps, and changing settings wirelessly
  • You will need to purchase a MacBook that should be set aside for set up and configuration of the iPads - no one else should use that device for any other reasons. This is especially important if you are using Apple Configurator for the initial setup.
  • We purchased a Mac Mini server for use with Filewave (the MDM we are using next year) but we are an all Apple environment - a Mac Mini server may not be necessary for Filewave or other MDM's (check with their product specs)
  • Before setting up multiple iPads, take one iPad and setup the features you would desire for it to have - Turn on Guided Access, turn on Speak Selection, or any accessibility features you think your teacher and students may use. You can add a wireless password too. Once this iPad is setup, you can use Apple Configurator program to make a backup and apply it to all the others.
  • Even if you don't use carts, it might be worth purchasing a Bretford Sync Tray or another syncing device so you can setup mutliple devices at a time and lock up devices not in circulation.
  • Decide on a naming scheme for iPads: Smith Grade 5 - Student 1 or 1st Grade #1, etc. Devices can be named sequentially with Apple Configurator. The name is important for using something like Filewave to determine one device from another.
  • Start with some basic, general apps like Google Earth, QR scanner, Google, Socrative and have them pre-installed on iPads. It's nice to have something on it ready to use for that first time in the classroom.
  • Consider doing a digital citizenship rollout process with the students as they begin using iPads. Ideally, it would be great to talk to each class and share some tips, safety/maintenance guidelines, and appropriate use.
  • Allow students to create their own unique lock screens which help identify the iPad owner - especially great for a true 1:1 scenario. Include name, photo, artwork, and/or number of iPad on the lockscreen.

If you or your school have some other ideas, feel free to share them below in the comments. It's great to learn from each other. I would be lying if I said I learned all of the above from trial and error. I have been able to learn from many other people working through a similar process and coming to new conclusions I had never considered. I wish you all the best as you investigate using iPads in the classroom!

<![CDATA[My iPad Challenge - Follow up]]>Mon, 13 May 2013 18:58:58 GMThttp://mrthornton.weebly.com/blog/my-ipad-challenge-follow-upI have now completed a whole week of using the iPad exclusively (see challenge post below). I have to say that it actually wasn't as challenging as I had thought it would be. This experiment definitely made me think of the iPad in a completely new way and see that the iPad is a productivity tool that I have underutilized. There were some things I thought I would miss but actually didn't and there were some things that I just could not do on the iPad. Here are some of my findings:

Word Processing:
This is one of those things that many say they can't live without on the iPad. The more I use technology and look for ways to use it in education though, the less I feel the need for a word processor. Typing things seems so flat compared to all of the great things that can be done with this technology. I did encounter a few moments where I did actually have to type something. Google Drive and Pages were my go-to apps.

Email Account:
This seems like the simplest part of the experiment but I have to say this was more challenging for me. Right or wrong, I function out of my email account for reminders and my "To Do" list of the day. Throughout the day notifications come up reminding me of appointments and my To Do list items on my Mac. I am also on several email lists. On my Mac, I have email rules to move many of those messages out of my inbox to deal with later but sadly there is no way to filter those messages in iOS Mail. It seemed like I was deleting email all day long! I also find it easier to miss appointments and To Do items since there is no way to 'Snooze' the notifications on iOS. There may be an app for this but I'm holding out for some improvements in a future iOS Mail update!

About a month ago, I moved all of my documents from my Mac over to an online cloud service (like Dropbox, Box, Google Drive). Any documents that I needed were accesible in an app for that service. Thankfully, more and more apps give you the ability to "Open in . . ." another app. This definitely makes it easier to work with any documents that were already uploaded.

Maybe it was a strange week or maybe I'm really creating a paperless workspace but I did not have a need to print much this week. I had one district form to print out and submit and I used the Printer Pro app to do that. For the most part, I don't have a huge need to print much of anything let alone print from the iPad. I realize that may be different for other schools and work environments.

One thing I did not miss this week was continually updating Flash for my browsers! With that said, Flash is another common place where people say they cannot commit to full iPad usage. I was pleasantly surprised by how many sites have modernized to not require Flash to run their site. For sites that would not run Flash, most of the time they offered an app. I can definitely get by without Flash but I know there are still a number of educational games that are still running Java and Flash without an app substitute. For the rare moments when I absotultely needed to have Flash, I used the Photon App to provide a browser running Flash.

My Keyboard Setup:
I want to share my setup with you. I do have a Logitech Ultra Thin Keyboard but for the week I used a Dell USB keyboard connected with the iPad Camera Connection Kit. I found a cheap 2 in 1 connection kit on Amazon and it works great.
iPad Future Use:
Surprisingly, I'm ready to keep going the rest of the year with just my iPad. I will have my MacBook nearby and ready to filter out email and of course access those only available with Flash or Java sites! I cannot wait to see how much more I learn about using the iPad with continued serious use. Can you make it a week with only the iPad? I would especially love to hear from some classroom teachers if they think they could do it and how this could change the way you teach!
**EMAIL UPDATE (May 19, 2013):
Since publishing this entry I learned that our Outlook Web Access allows for rules to be created at the server level but only when using the full web version on Internet Explorer. I had missed this previously because I only use Chrome and Safari on the Mac. I now have my lists filtered out of my inbox and my iOS Mail is much happier!
<![CDATA[My iPad Challenge]]>Tue, 07 May 2013 02:56:01 GMThttp://mrthornton.weebly.com/blog/my-ipad-challengeCan you make it a week using only the iPad and not a dekstop computer? That is the question that I would like to attempt to answer this week as I take a challenge to work from an iPad for the whole week without using a desktop computer. I understand that this sounds like a first world problem or challenge but for someone who relies on a MacBook to do a lot different work throughout the day, this will definitely be a big challenge. My new found interest in this comes following a recent iPad conference with EdTech Teacher in Atlanta. After seeing some of the amazing things that teachers and students are doing with iPads, I thought I can do more with my iPad. I felt that the best way to do this would be to challenge myself to use my iPad more and using it exlusively will definitely be a challenge. So now I begin the iPad challenge. Here are a few ground rules I have established for the challenge:

  1. Starting Monday, May 6 I will use the iPad exlusively until Friday, May 10
  2. One exception to the challenge will be using the school Mac Server for iPad management and tech assistance for our building using traditional desktop Macs
  3. Should an emergency arise where I need to access a school resource that is only available on a desktop computer I will use a laptop logged in to to a generic student account that is not my personal MacBook (it is our last week of state testing so this could be feasible!)
  4. I have a keyboard setup that I will use at my desk with the iPad but much of the day I will have my iPad with me away from a keyboard
  5. At the end of the challenge I want to share my findings, struggles and successes with the iPad - look for something next Monday!
In case you're wondering, I am adding this blog entry with my iPad and the Weebly app for iPhone. Ironically my website is not easily edited with an iOS device!

I am excited to see what will come of this challenge and what new ways I will learn to use this device that I already enjoy and respect as a tool for productivity and fun!]]>
<![CDATA[New Look!]]>Thu, 11 Apr 2013 23:51:49 GMThttp://mrthornton.weebly.com/blog/new-lookI want to thank you for visiting my site. If you've been here before, you'll notice that some things have changed. The site has a new look and some new resources. Take a moment to check out the Resources for Teachers tab at the top. I am in the process of adding a number iPad and Web Tool resources to that tab. I hope you will take a moment to check out these resources.

<![CDATA[Twelve Tools Till Christmas - Week 12 (YouTube)]]>Fri, 14 Dec 2012 20:18:48 GMThttp://mrthornton.weebly.com/blog/twelve-tools-till-christmas-week-12-youtubeFor this last tool I thought I it would be good to focus on something that many of us are already familiar with using. YouTube is one of those tools that most every teacher uses throughout the day. Since next week is the last week, I thought I would share this one early and give you some time to turn in your participation sheets. If you participated in the challenge, turn in your sheet to my box by Tuesday, December 18th at the end of the school day. I hope you have learned some things along the way and have enjoyed these tools. I will keep these on my blog so you can refer back to them at any point. Thanks for participating!