Thursday, September 6, 2012

It is our belief that for the Engaged Learning Initiative to work at Hoover High School- collaboration is key. This collaboration has to take place at all levels, students, parents, teachers, staff, and administration. Celaboration has been evident over the past couple of weeks and below are some projects, emails, and tweets teacher have shared to highlight what is taking place in individual classrooms. We are all learning together!

Jill Westerlund demonstrates Making Robots at Hoover High School:

From the iPad of Janet Ort...

From the iPad of Kelley Self...

I was looking at some resources this afternoon for lessons with a colleague and we found some great activities, but they all required flash player which isn’t supported in the iPad browser.  I found a work-around.  There is an app called “iSwifter Games Browser” which will enable flash.  The free version limits you to 10 minutes of browsing a day, which might be enough time for some interactive activities that we want to use.  The downside is that if another teacher already had them use it, they might not have any time left available.  It is available for purchase for $4.99 for unlimited browsing and flash.  Just thought I’d throw this out there.  Don’t know if the school is planning on buying any apps for kids, and don’t know whether this would be the best expenditure for this application, but I was happy to see that there was an available workaround with flash as a possibility!

I have a few students who are getting iPads next week who I suspect don't have wifi at home. I have been trying to find ways for those students to get maximum benefit from these devices academically. I just found links this morning to two awesome sites. and  Both sites have a bookmarklet that will allow you to convert any website page to a format for offline reading.  The first one can convert to ePub format for opening in iBooks offline or to Mobi (in Kindle format). The second site will let you save a page as a PDF to open in any of the myriad of note apps available out there.  You have to follow instructions on the website for creating your bookmark on the iPad to make it work with a touch of a button, and you would want to show students how to do it too so it can work for them just as easily. They each require an edit to the bookmark so that it converts when you choose to bookmark a site. The clearest instructions on how to edit the bookmark are at joliprint. Once you know how to do it,it is easy to do it for the other site too.

Hope someone finds this's an exciting find for me!

Additional thoughts from Cindy Bond...

Carrie Busby and I used John Power's suggestion for this same issue today and it works with a free app download with no time limit. The app is rover education and the icon is a dog on a skateboard.  You simply go to your website and copy the link from the nav bar and then open the rover app and paste the link into rover's nav bar.  Of course it took us until the end of class to figure it out but it really works and it's free!

And from Jennifer McCollum...

Rover works well with some sites but not all.  It does not like our textbook website at all but works like a charm on other sites.

From the iPad of Todd Schaefer...

I wanted to share an app I have been told about.  I got this (and many other app suggestions) from my pastor’s wife.  She is a former HCS teacher and is currently a technology coach in the Mt. Brook system.  She is the one who told me about cloudon (if you attended any professional development day with me, I mentioned it.  If you don’t know cloudon, let me know and I will share.  It is AMAZING).

She is using an app with her teachers called Splashtop Whiteboard.  It allows them to control their computer via the ipad (much like our smart slates).  The difference is that it shows the desktop of your computer on your ipad, so you can manipulate it much easier. 

This is an expensive app (19.99).  I cannot vouch for the app, since I don’t use it and don’t plan to.  I can vouch for her, she has shared MANY amazing apps with me.  She knows what she is talking about.

Try it if you like.  Let me know how it works.

Tweets from today...

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