Parent Technology Resource: Common Sense Media

In the Pike School Tech Department we find that families are very interested in getting more information about media and technology for their kids related to using screens at home.  We often recommend the website Common Sense Media to Parents because we find it to be an excellent resource. With such a comprehensive website it can be hard to find the time to sift through to figure out exactly how it can be useful to your family.  To help with this, below are 3 easy ways that parents can get started using Common Sense Media immediately.

Apps, Movies and Television Reviews

Do you struggle to know which apps are right for your child and family? Common Sense Media’s App Reviews quickly show you the appropriate age, educational value, whether there is inappropriate content, reviews of what parents need to know and whether there are hidden in app purchases. My own kids know that I am going to check this before any app goes on our family iPad or if they want to watch a movie or new TV show and it has become a time saving resource for my family.  The same level of detail is provided for movie and television reviews.  In one place you can see information about the movie or TV show, with suggested talking points about your choice.

YouTube Reviews

YouTube Reviews on Common Sense Media provide a good way to get an idea of the quality and age appropriateness of some YouTube content.  It can be risky to just let your kids use YouTube without knowing exactly what they are watching since it is really easy to get sidetracked to inappropriate content and when the next video automatically plays parents can lose track of how long their kids have been using the app.   I have set up limits for how much time my children use YouTube with ScreenTime available in IOS 12 (<– Apple support page linked if you are looking for more information) and they use the YouTube Kids app (Ages 7 and up) which improves the likelihood that they will be watching kid-targeted videos.  YouTube’s curation process isn’t perfect so it is still recommended that you tune in to what your child is watching.  

Advice for Parents

Looking for general advice about certain topics to help you navigate issues related to parenting and technology? Common Sense Media has advice that is broken down by Age, Topic and more.  For example, this is where you might go if you are trying to decide what the right age is for a device in your family and you want to lay the groundwork for responsible use and manage the challenges and opportunities that come along with using a phone or iPad.  There are many more topics and guides that can be helpful to your family in the Advice for Parents section.

All of these suggestions allow you to take in the parenting information that you need, while encouraging conversations and connection within your family about difficult topics.  There is so much more available on Common Sense Media when you have more time to explore. If you are looking to stay connected with their timely blog posts you can subscribe to receive email updates on The Common Sense Media Blog or follow them on Facebook or Twitter.  If you have any questions or find any interesting discoveries that you want to share please let the Tech Department know.

Technology Spring Cleaning

(This post is intended for Faculty and Staff who have a Pike Issued iPad)

Understanding Apple ID

An Apple ID account is designed to provide a user with a single sign-in and password for all Apple Services such as iCloud, iMessage, FaceTime, iTunes, App Store and Apple devices like computers, iPads, and iPhones.

Here at Pike your Apple ID account plays a vital role in accessing Apple services, updating Apple devices, and safely backing up critical settings and data on an iPad.  

To learn more about Apple ID: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT203993

As part of your Technology Spring Cleaning, the month of April is a good time to check to be sure that your Pike iPad is backed up.  Please follow the 3 steps below to be sure everything is in order if you have a Pike issued iPad.  

  1. First login to iCloud.com by clicking the link below.  Knowing your specific login information is important for many reasons throughout the year.  By going to this site you are simply checking to be sure that you know your current Apple ID and password.  If you successfully login here you can skip to step 3.
    https://www.icloud.com/
  2. If you are unable to log in above you can visit the below Apple ID page to find forgotten Apple passwords and ID information.  Once you resolve your issue remember to take note of your password information. *If you don’t know this information it is likely that you will run into problems throughout the year.  
    https://support.apple.com/en-gb/explore/managing-apple-id
  3. Most Important Step: Successfully backup your Pike iPad or check that you have a recent backup.  Click the link below for instructions:
    https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT203977

If you need assistance with any of the above steps please contact the Tech Department.

 

Green Wall

As of today we now have a green wall for students to use for video projects!  It can be found in the hallway on the way up to the Tech Office and the paint hardly had time to dry before our students started using the wall for projects this morning.  This should be a great addition for Upper School students, but anyone at Pike should feel welcome to use it.

A green screen can be a great way for students (and teachers) to be creative with digital media.  If you are looking for ideas, the following article has a lot of good information about How to Integrate a Green Screen Wall into any classroom.  Please be in touch with the Tech Dept. if you would like help trying any of these ideas.

Special Thanks to Maintenance who literally 
turned this wall     —–>    to this overnight!

  

Thank you so much to Rick, Mark, Watson and Will for making this happen!!!

Periodic Table of VR and AR Apps

The New Periodic Table Of iPad Apps for Augmented and Virtual Reality was created by Mark Anderson @ICTEvangelist and curated by Steve Bambury @VIRTUALITEACH 

There is a new periodic table of apps devoted entirely to augmented and virtual reality iOS apps that can be used in the classroom.  Click here to read the entire post about this amazing new tool created by Mark Anderson and Steve Bambury. The periodic table is broken down into 8 categories (STEM, Creativity, Geography, Story Telling, Art, Teaching, Science and History) so you can look at it by color according to the subject you are interested in. There is also an interactive version of the Periodic Table of VR and AR apps on Thinglink so you that can easily located all the apps mentioned on the chart.

So far, I had fun exploring the Renwick Gallery Wonder 360 app in the Art category and was able to virtually travel to Washington, DC and experience some contemporary large scale installations made with unexpected materials from the comfort of my chair at Pike.


If you are looking for new tools that could help you integrate AR or VR into your classroom this could be what you were looking for to spark some ideas and get you started. If you need further help please be in touch with the Tech Department.

Winter Break Tech Message

Winter Break Tech Tip
As you prepare to check out for winter break, remember to collect all of your adapters, remotes, usb chargers, power cables etc. and put them in a safe place so you can easily find them when you return.  We hope that everyone has an awesome winter break, and that you can find time to unplug and recharge for the new year 🙂

iOS 11!
While you are off over the next few weeks you may find that you have time to explore many of the cool new features of  iOS 11 on your iPad.  This blog post by Tony Vincent of Learning in Hand highlights some of the many impressive iPad and iPhone tips and tricks.  From Tony Vincent:

Learn stunts like annotating photos without an app, compelling Siri to flip a coin, conjuring up keywords on a page, hearing highlighted text, making clutter on web pages vanish, closing all Safari tabs in the blink of an eye…the magic at your fingertips seems limitless. So many secrets are unleashed!

We look forward to working with you all next year!

– The ​Tech Department

New Features of iOS 11


Pike Upper School student Karen G. created the below presentation and showed it to students at Assembly yesterday to highlighting some of the exciting new features of iOS 11.  It is about 3 minutes long and covers some improvements that will be available for our classrooms.  Thanks for leading our student community with the change to this new iOS Karen!  If anyone has questions about the update please contact the Tech Department.

Tech Tip – Google Calendar App

Want to access your Google calendar on your phone or iPad?  Try the Google Calendar App.  In the past, I’ve recommended Calendars by Readle but Google now has a free iPhone and iPad app.  I’ve been using it for the last few weeks and Google’s app works just as well if not better.  Just download the app and log in with your Google credentials and you’re ready to start using your personal/work calendar from your device.

How to listen to Podcasts


Have you been wanting to start listening to the latest cool podcasts, but don’t know where to start?  Watch the above video or 
click here to see a brief introduction (under 2 minutes!) on how to listen to podcasts.  This can be a great time saving way to squeeze in some learning while you are driving, exercising or whenever.  For more detailed information about the Podcasts app that I speak about in the video this apple support page has all the info that you would need.  If you have questions or need help after watching this very short video please contact the Tech Department.  

Seesaw and Google Drive Integration

Seesaw has added integration with Google Drive. You can now add Google Drive Docs, Spreadsheets, Slides, videos, and pictures directly to Seesaw. This allows you to create documents in Google drive with text, drawings, and pictures and then insert them into your Seesaw feed. Write a monthy letter to parents and share it with them in Seesaw.  Add multiple pictures to a document and then share the doc via Seesaw. Find out the details here.

 

 

Shake to Undo Typos

Did you know that you can shake your iPhone or iPad to undo typing mistakes?  Give your phone or iPad a shake the next time you have the urge to undo and if it doesn’t work see the instructions below.  

How to turn on Shake to Undo on iPhone and iPad

Launch Settings
Tap on General
Tap on Accessibility
Tap on Shake to Undo
Tap the switch so that it appears green
The next time you shake when typing you should see this: