With the 6th and 7th graders now entering in the 1:1 iPad journey,their teachers thought the best course of action was to designate one full "Tech Bootcamp" day during these early weeks --making sure everyone had their iPads setup correctly and taking time to introduce their new workflows and apps.
A side note: You might be thinking, well what does #HackersWednesday and #TechAttack really mean? One thing you'll notice about Blake MS is that we have caught #hashtag fever-- and decided to give these days a fun #hashtag name! The students love it. There was so much excitement before the day even began!
This is how it worked:
The students were in groupings by advisories and rotated through the different sessions/periods for the entire day. Some of the sessions were as follows:
1. Calendar/Agenda- 7th grade is using the Sunrise Calendar app to share a cluster calendar of special events, long-term projects & tests, and students can also record their homework assignments here.
2. Google Drive- Introducing the idea of using cloud-based storage tied to their school google accounts where it becomes a main workflow of receiving resources and assignments from their teachers and turning in their work through shared folders.
3. Explain Everything- Probably the best app in terms of versatility and creations with the ability to screencast, draw, record and explain everything! Students received a redemption code to be able to purchase the app.
4. iPad Setup/Nearpod- The iPad offers so many wonderful built-in features that were introduced during this session along with a scavenger hunt to test their skills. Then students experience an app that allows for teachers to take over their screens with Nearpod. Nearpod is basically a way to engage students through an interactive lesson.
5. Evernote-Evernote will be used as the student's notebooks. Each student setup an account using their School Google Account, created a notebook and shared it with that teacher. The teacher now has access to 'looking' into the students' notebooks to see if they have the correct notes or it may be a place where they complete an assignment. One nice feature of Evernote is that it is both an app and a website.
6. Gmail/ Google Keep: With Medfield becoming a Google Apps For Education district, all of the middle school and high school students have their own accounts for use of gmail too. In this session, students learned how to create a contact list of their teachers, search the directory and send an email. Then Google Keep was introduced to 6th Graders as their 'agenda book'. This will become the place where they record their homework through photos, lists, and text.
Below are a few of the session presentations. As a parent of a Blake 6th or 7th grader, you may find helpful.
Mrs. Ruminski's Fire it Up Animoto to start her session.
Before diving into Gmail and Google Keep.
Mrs. Donovan asked students to spill the beans and
explain everything! This screencasting app is one of the most
versatile apps in creating, recording, drawing.. and so on.
During this session, Mrs. Donovan gave a brief introduction to
the functions of the app.
Mr. Gavaghan is one of our ultimate Google Drive teachers. I would say the
English teachers in general are big fans of GD! In his session, he walks the
students through creating and organizing a folder system for getting
and turning in work.
While students are somewhat iPad-savvy, we did spend time in the settings
to take advantage of functions like text-to-speech or how to set up your
device so it functions like a champ and doesn't get in your way!
Overall, it was a hugely successful day. The students learned new things as well as the
teachers too. Any teacher or staff members that felt they could benefit from one or more of
the sessions were welcome to join in!
Listen in to a few student reflections about the Tech day.
I have a feeling that this will definitely become a new tradition at Blake!