Friday, April 22, 2016

Now That SDW First Graders Know iMovie...

Over the last two weeks we have spent some time with some of the first grade friends at Hillcrest school.  The topic of the lessons: iMovie.

And no, we are NOT just talking about those cool iMovie trailers. As I learned, the first graders have already mastered iMovie trailers and were looking to have a little more control over their iMovie projects. They wanted to learn the full iMovie!

(In fact, my buddy Jackson was so good at iMovie trailers that he was able to rebuild an entire iMovie trailer that was accidentally deleted in under 10 minutes with zero assistance from me. It was amazing to watch!)

In about 35 - 40 minutes the teams we worked with were functional on iMovie and ready to start their first project. They did a great job! (If you need a guide to help you get started on iMovie for the iPad, check out this video from David Cox on YouTube.) 

I want to first thank our teachers for believing that our students can handle this level of work.  They certainly can, and in my time with these classes, the students proved it!

I also want to thank the students for learning to meaningfully put our learning tools to great use. The iPads in your hands can be used for so many things (some focused on learning, and some that can distract from learning). When you dig into tools like iMovie, you
share your unique voices with us, and you show us what you truly know and are able to do.

Finally, for all who are not working with the first graders at Hillcrest, I want to challenge us to consider just how capable our students truly are in sharing their ideas, demonstrating their creativity, collaborating and problem solving with their peers, and contributing to their voices to the larger conversations.

It can be easy to write off the tools in our students' hands as toys. When we do not feel comfortable using the tools, it can be easy to assume that our students are not going to be able to meaningfully utilize them.

The students in our classrooms across Waukesha are as bright, as creative, as hard working, and as capable as any student in the world.  They are also equipped with incredibly powerful tools that allow them to be creative, collaborative, inquisitive, and productive. Are we offering them continual opportunities to reach that potential?

I am certain that we are.

And remember, those Hillcrest first graders (and the thousands of Waukesha students like them) will be coming to your classroom sooner than you think. Just imagine what knowledge, experiences, and expectations they will bring with them when they get there. These are young people who will be ready to change the world!

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Shortcut on iPads for Long Email Addresses

Sometimes watching students type a full email address into a field on the iPad can be a lengthy process.  They do their best, but especially in cases where they have a long address that they do not type regularly, instructing a classroom of students to type the address can be painful.

Learn to use the Text Replacement feature on their iPad and you can speed up this process immensely.
Here's how:
  1. On the iPad, click on "Settings" and then "General" and scroll to the "Keyboard" menu.
  2. Click on "Text Replacement"
  3. In the upper right, click the "+" button
  4. Have the child enter their full email address into the "Phrase" field
  5. Have the child enter the secret shortcut text into the "Shortcut" field
See It In Action:  
Once this is set, it will save time in your classroom as you work with students..

*Teaching Tip: Be sure to check the student's spelling before finishing this process. While it can be changed later, if the goal is to "set it and forget it" you will want to be SURE to get it right the first time.

*Teaching Tip: Select a shortcut that the students won't be commonly typing to avoid their email address accidentally filling in when you don't want/need it. You may want to suggest a shortcut to the class that you know students won't commonly type.