As an experienced teacher, I feel I am once again anxious and overwhelmed by my day to day lesson plans. How this all came about has a little bit to do with being a risk taker and early adopter, as well as a teacher who loves creativity, values problem solving and can’t say no when a good opportunity comes along. After struggling with our desktop computers and realizing the limitations that stationary devices had, I eagerly invited new handheld technology into my classroom. The only problem was that I had no plan.
So, after deciding that grant writing was my only option for funding, I sat down with my keyboard and began to write out my vision for my thirty, fourth grade students. This vision was multidimensional and included uses of the technology across the curriculum and across classroom walls.
We would be using these devices to capture artwork, to create music, to research, to record problem solving and to share and communicate with students within our school and throughout the world. This sounds lofty, but so was the dollar amount I was asking for.
The deadline arrived and the grant was submitted. It was mid summer when the phone call came. “Would you accept if only part of the grant was funded?” My thought was that something is always better than nothing. So, now I am in a classroom with ten iPads, nine iPods, ten charging plugs and even fewer electrical sockets. My hope is that in sharing the five strategic steps below, you will be insured a smoother iPad/iPod integration than what happened in my own classroom.
1) Before writing and submitting your grant, speak with your IT personnel and inquire about bandwidth and network situations. Will you have enough to support the amount of devices you will be bringing on board? Also, while you have him/her, ask if your school or district already has a multi-device management system in place, or if you will need to include the cost of this service in your grant.
2.) Don’t accept the grant without the charging station included!!! Though expensive, these charging docks for multiple devices not only provide protective storage when the devices are not in use, they also are lockable and can charge many devices at once. Some stations also provide the ability to synch multiple devices as well, but for a cost. I had written the grant to include the iPad learning lab from Apple http://education.apple.com/ipad_learning_lab/
3.) Stick to the plan…the technology plan that is. Be sure you have an up to date technology plan that you are working off of. Ours was extremely outdated and made it difficult to write for exactly what we wanted. The more in line they are, the better your chances.
4.) One grant, many opportunities. Once you have written your grant, seek out other grants similar in nature and see how you may be able to tweak what you already have to meet the needs of another possible donor. Websites like DonorsChoose are always accepting grants for anything you may need in your classrooms. I was able to get nine iPods this way!
5.) Visit websites of other teachers who have and use their devices regularly. I am addicted to Jennie Magiera’s amazing website, http://teachinglikeits2999.blogspot.com/ , as well as the videos posted by classes using iPod touches on Apples education website http://www.apple.com/education/. The more resources you find for yourself, the more pitfalls you will be able to avoid. Borrow their great ideas and make them your own. (I have included a copy of a grant I wrote with some of my colleagues for iPads at the end of this post in case you may need a starting point)
So, two months into having hand held, mobile technology (still without a charging station), how has my approach to teaching changed? Well, I can share with you some things we have been able to do thus far that would not have happened without these portable devices.
We have used iPods to photograph our art and projects to post on Artsonia, the world’s largest on line art museum for kids (http://www.artsonia.com/). Streaming videos from Discovery Education has individualized learning for a variety of students at all levels and allowed for a “flipped classroom” model, at least to some extent. Videos were made using the camera feature on the iPods as students recorded building model Indian houses and narrated the difficulties they were experiencing. Research has been conducted on San Nicholas Island, as students were reading Scott O’Dell’s Island of the Blue Dolphins and inquired as to what was going on now on the island where Karana once lived. Who knew it was used for nuclear testing? One student even went so far as to create an amazing stop motion animation using Legos and 147 images to show what it would have looked like had Karana sent a message in a bottle from her island over the blue Pacific Ocean and posted it on youtube to share with his classmates.
In short, my class has become a dynamic environment that fosters creativity and affords the students the tools they need in order to be able to express their knowledge and understanding of the world around them. Students are teaching students (and their teacher) how to do amazing things with these devices and I wouldn’t want it any other way.
iPad grant 2012 T e a c h e r G r a n t A p p l i c a t i o n
Grant must support the HBEF mission: to develop and expand the partnership among the business, parent, and educational communities to promote excellence in our students’ behavior, attitudes, and achievements. Fill out the application using Arial 12 pt.
1. Project Title :_iPads for All Learners: Integrating iPads into Math, Writing, and the Visual and Performing Arts
2. Funding Amount Requested: $_10,185.61___
3. Grade level(s) of students to be served: 4th grade (Including Special Education Resource Students)
4. Number of students to be served ___120-140_____
5. What are your instructional objectives? (50 word limit)
Our objectives are: 1.) to engage all students in a creative and collaborative environment by increasing access to technology 2.) to deliver differentiated instruction based on the Common Core Standards through technology use in math and writing 3.) to develop and enrich technology skills, as defined by the National Educational Technology Standards for Students (NETSs) 4.) to infuse music and art throughout the curriculum by using mobile technology.
6. Project Strategies (300 word limit). Describe your proposal, including project activities, student involvement, innovative aspects, integration of subject areas, long-term applicability, etc. Please include specific examples unique to your classroom! Do not include your school’s name.
The innovative nature of mobile technology leaves the door open for endless student centered applications. Here are just a few we have planned: Math- Students use the ZigZag application to transform the iPad into slates. A web based subscription of IXL math can easily be accessed by students at their seats for review and remediation of concepts. CGI (Cognitively Guided Instruction) challenges will be posted to a blog where students can respond, critique each other’s answers and foster their critical thinking skills. Students may also access NCTM’s Library of Virtual Manipulatives as well as Geometer’s Sketchpad in order to visualize abstract concepts such as rotational symmetry and 3-D nets. Writing- Mental Note, an iPad application, will be used to record students reading their own writing. Students will then play back and listen to their stories for editing purposes, and teachers will use these recordings with students to provide feedback. Students will use iBooks Author to publish their final writing works after having used Pages to work through the editing process. A copy of their published works will be added to their electronic portfolios as part of the project assessment. VAPA- During our fourth grade arts rotations, students will be able to use the iPad to learn basic music theory through the apps, Music Man and Recorder-Lite. Students will meet 4th grade music standards by composing music on the app Maestro. During art, students will learn how to upload their art using Artsonia, “the world’s largest student online museum”. Students will use the iPad’s camera to photograph their art, post it to our classroom museums and then add their comments. Students will also use the video camera to rehearse and perform skits and plays based on literature read throughout the year. Images and video clips will be added to their electronic portfolios for assessment.
7. If the project includes technology, what training classes or support are available? Please describe support already received or you plan to receive. (50 word limit)
Training for the use of iPads in the classroom is available at the Orange County Department of Education on a variety of topics, applications and levels. Apple stores also offer classes on how to use iPads in the educational setting, as well as on-line video tutorials. Apple Care, purchased through this grant, will provide technology assistance and a minimal protection plan. Although HBCSD is a personal computer district, all three of the applicants of this grant are avid Apple users at home.
8. Evaluation/Institutionalization (50 word limit) How do you plan to evaluate the success of your project? How will you assess results? What plan is there to transfer costs of this project to other funding sources?
The project’s success will be evaluated through surveys, electronic portfolios, as well as student’s performances on the district writing test, end of year math test, and standardized tests. Students will be assessed on technology standards using pre and post self evaluations based on the Nets. Ongoing costs will be transferred to Donors Choose and other available technology grants.
9. Proposed budget (List equipment, materials, supplies etc.) Please itemize each expenditure. Name of item Amount consumable (Y/N)
Apple iPad Learning Lab with 10 iPad2 16GB wi-fi devices and Apple Care $7,059.00 N 10 pack iPad2 16GB wi-fi devices $3,790.00 N Sales Tax $732.61 Total: $ 10,185.61 10.
Short summary of your project. (30 word limit) (This summary is required and will be used for publication)
Integrating technology, the Comon Core Standards, and the arts will prepare students for the challenging jobs of the future. The iPads for All Learners Project is aimed at providing students will the tools and skills they need for success in a global environment.
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