iPad Pro Challenge

The issue is this: While we are a 1:1 iPad district for students, educators currently receive two devices, an iPad and either a laptop or Chromebook.   From a device management and financial perspective, two devices per education may quickly become an unsustainable arrangement.  Pedagogically, the vision is to have teachers teaching and students learning on the same platform.  Practically, most teachers struggle with doing a number of teaching and administrative tasks on the smaller iPad screen.  Inputting grades and report card comments are two tasks that come to mind as being borderline torturous using Safari or Chrome on the iPad.

Unsurprisingly, as an unrepentant early adopter, I have lusted after the iPad Pro since the day it arrived in the EdTech Department. Borrowing the iPad Pro for a weekend, I was impressed by the ability to split-screen multitask, the clarity and size of the screen, and the feel and accuracy of the “Pencil.” I was practically in tears when I had to return the Pro to factory settings so others could test it out and have nudged Director of Technology Integration, Dennis Villano, for the chance to explore the Pro’s potential further ever since.

Finally, Dennis issued a challenge – give up all of my other devices and see if an iPad Pro could serve as the one and only device for educators at BPS.  I actually have to hand them over to be locked up for the duration.  Usually, as a device hoarder, I would have been hesitant.  This time, however, I’m ready to jump in and go for broke with nothing but an iPad Pro.

Check back here over the next few months to see how I make out.

On my list of abilities to test out:

  • Accessing and using our learning/student management systems;
  • Creating and teaching lessons, including accompanying materials;
  • Managing workflow (student assignments, feedback);
  • Blogging;
  • Screencasting and other “flipped classroom” techniques;
  • Collaborative work across different applications;
  • Professional Development (providing and partaking) within different applications/settings;
  • Document annotation;
  • Specialized needs for math and science (notations, simulations, etc.);
  • Living without/finding alternatives for some of my “go-to” Mac and Chrome apps;
  • Keeping just about everything in the cloud without the availability of major hard-disk space.

What am I missing?

iPad Pro Challenge


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Check your Keyboard Settings

Recently, a teacher reported that the Google Docs app on student iPads was not conforming to the expected iOS typing conventions such as automatically capitalizing the first letter of a sentence and inserting a period when the spacebar is pressed twice.

If you are experiencing similar issues, start by checking the keyboard settings on the students’ iPads.  To make sure these options are turned on, go to Settings > General > Keyboard and turn on the relevant options.

keyboard settings

I am available to work with you to integrate technology resources into any project, lesson, or unit.  Email me at marcus@bpsk12.org or use the Book Now link in the sidebar to the right to set up an appointment.

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Add to My Drive and Move To

Keeping your files organized in Google Drive can be a challenge.  Now, there are two new icons popping up in your menu bar to help you add files to your Drive and to send them to folders without having to use the More menu.

The Add to My Drive button makes it easier to add shared files to your drive quickly, including when in Search or Preview mode.

Add to My Drive icon

Files that are already added to your Drive are now easily moved to folders with the Move To button.

Move To icon

I am happy to help with Google Drive or any of the Google for Education Apps.  Simply email me at marcus@bpsk12.org or book an appointment using the Book Now button in the right sidebar.

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Vacation Responders

The only thing worse than returning to school to find an bursting-at-the-seams inbox is finding it filled with emails from angry people wondering why you haven’t responded.  The solution?  Set up a vacation responder which will auto-reply with your customized “out of the office” message to incoming emails.  Then, step away from your email account and spend some time with family and friends.

The first graphic demonstrates the process when accessing GMail on the web.  See further down this post for the process when using the GMail app.

FinalVacation Responder

Using the GMail app

Vacation Responder iOs

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Email Digests

If your email inbox is getting out of control, a simple way to reduce the volume is to receive email lists in digest form.  Google groups, such as the BPS Want Ads, can be set to send you a single email each day with the day’s activity.  Digests also eliminate graphics, a bonus if you are reading your emails on a mobile device.  To see the original emails with all of the graphics, simply click on the email subject to be directed to the original format.

  1. Sign in to Google Chrome under your BPS account.
  2. Navigate to groups.google.com
  3. Click on My Groups
  4. If you don’t see the BPS Public Groups, click on bpsk12.org to toggle between your personal groups and the district groups.
  5. Use the drop-down menu to select Digest Email. Your changes will be saved automatically.

Remember that since you receive only one email daily, you should not use digest mode for any group where timely receipt and response to emails is required.

A quick video tutorial is included below.

For help with managing digital workflow, Google Apps, iPad Foundational Apps, or other technology integration, please email me at marcus@bpsk12.org or set up an appointment through the Book Now link in the right sidebar.

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Uploading iPad Photos, Videos, and More to Google Drive

About a year ago, I posted on uploading photos to Google Drive on the iPad.  Although the process remains pretty much the same, recent updates have added buttons and icons look a little different since the recent updates.

For a quick step-by-step tutorial or refresher using the new look, see below.

In the Google Drive app, tap the + button in the lower right corner.

Enlarged Plus Button GDriveFrom the pop-up menu, select Upload.  (You can also select Use Camera to take a picture and upload from within the app.)

Select UploadSelect “Photos and Videos.”  You can also upload from iCloud and Dropbox using this menu.

Select Phots and VideosTap the photo album to open it and select the pictures you want to move to Google Drive.

Select Source for PhotosOnce you’ve selected the pictures and videos you wish to upload, tap the check mark in the upper right corner.  You should soon see the files loading at the top of your folder list.  Click and drag the files into folders to keep things organized.

Select Photos for Uploading

Burlington educators are welcome to set up a time to meet and discuss how we can work together to integrate technology resources into classroom teaching and learning.  Use the booking link in the sidebar at the right or email me at marcus@bpsk12.org.

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YouTube and Evernote Web Clipper

Everywhere I go, I find inspiration for lessons and blog posts. Evernote helps keep it manageable.

Someone gives me a business card, I scan it into my contacts with Evernote’s iPhone app.  I read an article or find a website I might want to cite later, I clip it to Evernote using the WebClipper Chrome extension.  I see something at the Museum of National History that I could use in a lesson plan, I take a picture and tag it in Evernote so I can find all my ideas for “colonial America” later.

The latest update includes clipping YouTube videos to your Evernote account – the perfect addition to my curriculum materials collection!  Now, when I find a video that I want to work into a future lesson or blog post, I can save it to Evernote and tag it with the related topic(s) to make it easy to find later.  And the best part is that the workflow is quick and easy.

First, make sure that you have the WebClipper for Chrome or Safari.  Once installed, you’ll see a small elephant head in your browser’s tool bar. Now, when you find a video you want to save, click on the Evernote/elephant icon.

Options include selecting the notebook within Evernote where you want your note to reside, tagging, and  adding your own comments.

Screenshot 2015-10-14 12.59.02

Click Save and Evernote generates a new entry in your notebook complete with a screenshot of the video, link, and description.  A quick search of my account for “book creator,” “foundation app,” or “digital storytelling” will bring up my saved YouTube entry as well as other resources I’ve curated on those topics, all stored together in Evernote.

Screenshot 2015-10-14 13.14.59

Happy clipping!

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