Looking for Technology Professional Development?

by Aaron Hovel

I maintain a list of Professional Development opportunites via Diigo.  Just follow the link to find a continually updated list of both free and not free opportunites. The link stays the same but the list changes over time so be sure to bookmark the link and check back often. If you know of good source of technology professional development, let me know and I will add it to the list.

Unique Uses for Socrative

As part of a Socrative pilot that some Pike teachers are participating in, we were given a file of unique uses.  Follow the link to a google doc.  Add your unique uses to the bottom so we can add to the list.

One example, that I thought was interesting, is that Socrative can be use to gather information, sort of like a survey.  Since the results can be sent as an excel spread sheet, the resulting data or information can be organized, graphed, or calculated pretty quickly.   Rather than thinking of a quiz as a quiz, think of it as a survey for all kinds of information like questions students have about the material just covered, voting on various things that come up during class, and collecting birthdays or email addresss.

iPad is Disabled

If the iPad passcode is entered incorrectly too many times, you will see the “iPad is disabled” message on the screen.  When you see this message, your only option is to wipe the iPad and restore from backup.  This is a security feature designed to keep your data safe in case of theft.  We are finding that external keyboards left on in backpacks are accidentally typing the passcodes over and over until the iPad is disabled.  We reccomend that the keboard be turned off when not using the ipad to avoid this situation.Click here for directions on how to restore your disabled iPad.

The Possibilities of Mobile

Connected Learning is putting on a month long set of free webinars about learning and mobile devices.  The topics look very interesting.

1.  Mobile learning: turning place into a learning space.  – This workshop already occurred.  But you can watch the recorded version here.

2.  Oct. 9 Teachers and Students: real-libe mobile implementation with learners

3.  Oct 17 Mobiles and informal learning spaces:libraries and museums

4.  Oct 23 Mobile games, gamefulness, and place-based learning.

This site has more information and links to sign up.

Upper School Damaged iPad Procedures


If an iPad is damaged:

  1. Advisor notifies parents that they need to take the iPad in for repairs as soon as possible.
  2. Advisor notifies tech_help with students name and grade, as well as the nature of thedamage and the situation surrounding the damage.
  3. While the student’s iPad is out for repairs, the student will have to sign­out a laptop fromone of the US carts to use during the day. The laptops cannot be taken home.

Once the iPad is fixed the student can restore from their iCloud back up, which the tech department can assist them with.

Two iPad Security Recommendations

Passcode Lock and Erase Data
Settings > General > Passcode Lock  “Erase Data”.  If this setting is turned on and the passcode is entered incorrectly 10 times, all the data on the iPad will be erased.  I reccomend that this setting be turned off for student iPads.  Ultimately this is a decison that each family must make, but it is  easier than you think to type the passcode incorrectly 10 times, especially when it has been recently changed.

Find my iPhone
I highly reccomend using the “Find my iPad” feature in the iCloud settings on your iPad.  You can find the setting by going to Settings > iCloud.  If your iPad is lost you can log into your iCloud account on another computer and lock your screen, make the iPad play a noise, put the iPad in lost mode, display a message on the screen or remotely erase the iPad.  Click here for setup instructions.

Off to a Great Start

by Aaron Hovel

The iPad initiative has gotten off to a great start. Already students are able learn in ways that weren’t possible before.  In the first few weeks, students have been learning how to use and organize their iPads for learning.  In Mr. Lynch’s history classes, students are taking class and homework notes on their iPads, and supplementing the notes with images, maps, and editorial cartoons from the Internet. Students then draw on the maps and annotate the images to extend their grasp of the issues. In Mrs. Devries’s class, 6th grade students are learning active reading skills.  As Mrs. Devries models active reading, students can take a picture of what good active reading looks like to use as a rubric for future assignments.  In math class, students are doing their daily homework on the iPad and turning it in digitally.  This increases instructional time by eliminating the time taken to handout and collect assignments and  “There are no lost Papers”  says Mrs. Waters.

IMG_0109newThe iPad is also a great tool for training the ear in music.  In Mr. Desjardins’s music class, students are learning the chord progression for Pachelbel’s Canon using Garage Band.  Students work in groups listening to Pachelbel Canon then, using Garage Band, they match the chords they can play to what they hear in Pachelbel Canon. By the end of class each group has figured out the order of the chords for the piece.

In Mr. Waters’s Current Events elective class, students are using an App called Flipboard to curate their own magazines of current events. Mr. Waters has also created his own Virtual Magazine of relevant current events.  As Mr. Waters adds articles to his magazine, students have immediate access to them too, which has led to fascinating conversations.

In Mrs. Morris’s Green Scholar Elective students are creating digital books on a “Green” topic of choice like shark finning, water pollution, or endangered species .  These books can then be shared with other students at Pike as well as students around the world.

Audio and Video in the Modern Language eBook brings the learning alive allowing students more practice listening to and speaking the language.  Students are also learning to practice their pronunciation of words with the translator app Say Hi. Say Hi allows students to say words in French and see them translated into English.  The app does not translate the words correctly unless they are pronounced correctly.

While the iPad have made a big impact on learning and teaching it has also improved our green efforts.  Reams of paper have been saved since much of the work is done digitally.  Also, cubbies and notebooks are more tidy with less loose paper, and backpacks are lighter too.  I look forward to sharing great stories like these throughout the school year.

AirServer Tips

Airplay seems to work most of the time, but there are times when it doesn’t. Here are some tips to help if you find it isn’t working.

3 Helpful AirServer Tips
(Detailed directions can be found below)

  • Turn Airserver off when you are not using it. This will help Airserver work better for those who are using it.
  • Try Rebroadcasting Services from the Airserver menu item.
  • Always have a backup plan. The iPad video adapter (white dongle) can be used when AirPlay isn’t working. When your received your iPad, you also received an iPad video adapter (white dongle).

Directions for tips above

1. To turn AirServer off, click on the AirServer menu item and choose Quit AirServer.
The menu item will disappear.   To start Airserver when you need it again, go to the applications folder and double click the AirServer app.  The Menu item will appear again.

Recommendation:  Put the AirServer application on the dock for easy future start up.

2.  To rebroadcast the services – Click on the AirServer Menu item and choose “Rebroadcast Services”.  Wait 10 seconds and try to connect again.
3. iPad video adapter (white dongle) – You received an iPad video adapter when we you received your iPad.  One side should be connected to the black video cable coming from the wall.  The other side should be connected to your iPad.  This is a wired connection and does not rely on wireless.  This will be more reliable than AirPlay and AirServer but you will be need to be connected to the cable.


Side Note – If your receive an AirServer update notice, do not update AirServer at this time.