Tool #8: Taking a Look at the Tools

… Learning about the classroom devices

By the Fall of 2012, every classroom in Spring Branch will have classroom-based devices. The current devices include: iPod Touch, iPad, Dell 2120 netbook, MacBook, iMac, WACOM Intuos tablet, xBox 360 KINNECT and an HPTouchscreen. The configuration has been determined by feedback from teachers, content directors and what we know about the devices currently on the market and compatibility with our network. As new technologies are released, we will pilot these and will adjust the configurations based on feedback and system considerations. If you are not sure of what devices will be in your classroom, ask your principal or librarian! Learn about the device(s) coming below.

Dell 2120 Netbook
Netbooks are smaller, light weight,  and less expensive laptop computers. Teachers in Spring Branch are familiar with laptops and how to operate them. However, for many of you, the Windows 7 operating system on the Dell 2120 as well as some of its capabilities such as the webcam will be new to you!

Note: Since the SBS domain is not the district primary domain, students will need to enter SBS\username when logging on!

Let’s take a look at the Dell 2120.

Additionally, the Dell 2120 comes with a webcam and the Dell Webcam Central software. Watch this video to learn how to create videos and vodcasts using the Dell 2120!

iPod touch/iPad
The iPod touch and iPad are wifi enabled portable media players using the multi-touch graphical user interface. Both run on the iOS platform which does not have the same storage capabilities as a computer. Both require synchronization through iTunes with a Mac or Windows computer via a USB port.

The iPod touch and iPad are designed to be personal devices. However, educators have seen the power of these tools and educators around the country are setting up the devices up to be shared between students. As you will find out there is so much that these devices can do and such a variety of ways to use them for learning beyond apps.

Spring Branch has developed a model in which the classroom teacher is the manager of the Apple mobile devices that are in her/his classroom. Each teacher is expected to assume responsibility for the content (apps, music, videos, etc) on his/her classroom devices. That way, as each teacher develops materials and downloads apps as part of the instructional program, he/she can add content to the device without having to wait on someone else to do it for him/her.

With the release of the iOS5 operating system on the mobile devices, content from the iTunes store can be downloaded DIRECTLY to the devices without having to sync the devices to the teacher laptop. To download content directly to the device, login to the iTunes Store with your Apple ID to the store and follow the process.

To move content that you have created or added to your iTunes library on your teacher laptop, you will still need to sync the devices to your laptop. Watch the video below for information on how to do that. If you don't want to sync the devices, you can move content to the devices via cloud-based storage options like Dropbox or Box. You will need to create an account there.

No matter what the method, each teacher will still need his/her own iTunes account tied to his/her Spring Branch email account. It is easy to set up! This video will walk you through the initial setup and sync.

Watch this brief video to learn the basics of using (navigating around on) an iPod touch/iPad and how to set up the SBISD wireless network if it isn't already set up for you.

Atomic Learning has more training on the iPod touch and iPad!

Here are some great websites to support the introduction of iPads/iPod touches into the classroom:
iPads in the Classroom

Additionally, you are receiving screen protectors and cases for the iPod touch. Adhering the screen protector takes a little bit of time, but will be worth to protect the screen! Read and follow the directions for applying! The bubbles will work themselves out over time.

For additional training on the iPod touch or iPad, see course offerings for Teacher Summer U - Tech Integration Blitz or contact your campus librarian!

MacBook/iMac (fine arts & music only)
Macbook tutorials
For additional training on the Macbook, see course offerings for Teacher Summer U - Tech Integration Blitz or contact your campus librarian!

WACOM Intuos (high school art classrooms only)

Additional training on the WACOM tablets will be provided by the Fine Arts Dept.

Classroom Management Suggestions
Just as when you’re planning for any activity using any tool in your classroom, the use of technology tools for learning in your classroom does require some planning. While many of your students are very familiar with the devices and how they operate, it is important to have clear guidelines and procedures in place so students know and understand the expectations for classroom use.

First and foremost, students and parents must have read, signed and returned the SBISD AUP policy found in the SBISD Student Handbook. The campus is then responsible for entering the information into Skyward so that classroom teachers are aware of students who are cleared to use the devices.

Our goal in Spring Branch is to have the devices available whenever needed to facilitate learning. Consider assigning classroom technicians who are responsible for removing the devices from the storage/charging cabinets each morning and placing them in the designated area in the classroom for learning. Then each afternoon they are responsible for returning, connecting to power and locking the cabinet each afternoon. They could alert you to any technical or physical issues that need to be addressed by you.

Some possible suggestions for class procedures and routines would be:
  • create general technology guidelines for use and consequences for improper use/care together with students and hold them accountable
  • come up with rules and procedures for working with technology together (partnering/table teams)
  • make it part of your workstation directions as to who gets the equipment and how the technology is to be used during the station
  • create a group of experts that can help trouble shoot problems - then, have that group share their expertise with others so capacity is built
  • create an accountability piece for all stations (more about that in Tool 9)

Classroom Management Tips: http://www.netbooks.eun.org/web/acer/classroom-management

For Tool #8, in your post:
  1. After watching the videos/tutorials, list two to three things you learned about the device(s) that will be in your classroom this fall.
  2. How do you plan to manage the device(s) in your classroom? Do you have ideas/suggestions that others may find useful?


  1. 3 Things:
    How to set up an iTunes account
    How to take photos and video on Net books
    How to Sync my iPad to my lap top

    Management: Management is vital, yet teachers and students should not have reservations about using the devices. Basic safety and respect type rules should be practiced, expected, and monitored in a classroom.

    The more you learn, the better familiar you are with tools. Also familiarize yourself with Mac Apps...their are fabulous Mac Apps comprable to class projects and tools that can generare incredible learning in the classroom. Apps such as Garage Band...can help with research projects outside the music genre.

    One suggestion, once you have gotten the rules and safety foundation down on these devices...do not limit the devices on just learning. Allow students to explore and play on these devices. Many students are very savvy with the technology. My experience with my daughter...she loves to explore iTouch and iPad and shares much of her learning with me...students can teach us some things, if we allow them freedom to explore.

    Have fun and Explore.

  2. Can anyone help me with step by step of how to access KACE? Previous to iPod touch/iPad
    video I didn't know what KACE. I have a vague idea from what I gathered in the video but an explanation of it would be greatly appreciated!

    Thanks :)

  3. 1. I learned that there SBISD has a repository for apps. How to Sync my Itouch to my lap top.

    2. I have seen the devices put into centers. I think the students need to be coached on how to use the technology and how not to use it.

  4. How to set up an Itunes account.
    How to sync the Ipad to the computer.

  5. Karen,
    What is your experience with the iPad's VGA connector? I know it is limited with what is currently able to be projected, for instance NetFlix, etc. but I am thinking it would be great for apps such as GoSkyWatch or the NASA app.

  6. The first thing was:
    -setting up an itunes account because I didn't have one.
    - how to search and add apps that can enhance student learning.
    - the possibility of using webcams for various student projects.

    As I thought of management, setting the expectations on how to use and take care of the technology devices needs to be planned ahead of time so that can start seeing technology as a tool to show my learning. As students practice using the devices, I don't forsee a major problem, but at first a lot of modeling is also important.

    I definitely believe that if teachers allow students to be coteachers on how to use technology, both will benefit in many ways.

  7. I know how to set up an iTunes account without entering a credit card, how to sync an iPad (just like an iPhone and iTouch, pretty much), and how to video on NetBooks.

    The management ideas are interesting, but I've watched the kids in the library in the morning using the school iTouches. They're already very responsible with them, and that encourages me.

    There are a few apps that I think will work well in the classroom. I browse the free education apps when I can.

    Can't wait to try using a camera in the classroom -- hopefully with a Skype-based author interview!

  8. Video's are great, but can not find Kace. Not really clear on that.

  9. What I learned
    1. I learned how to create an iTunes account.
    2. I learned how to download apps.
    3. I learned how to sync apps to iPads.
    4. I learned how to operate the notebook.

    1) I need to familiarize myself with the devices when I recieve them.
    2) Set up area to pick up and return devices.
    3) Post basic rules concerning pickup, usage, and return of devices. Make sure students understand usage expectations.
    4) Introduce one device at a time.
    5) Have a trusted student help with distribution and pick up.

    The videos about downloading iTunes apps and syncing to ipads would have been alot more effective if we had actualy had an ipad to practice synching the downloaded apps to.
    Again, the video quality is abysma and the instruction is extremely difficult to follow.

  10. I have been working with my iPod Touch and I learned that I have periodically sinc. my devices to my computer for updates or app downloads.
    I learned that I need to create an account through I-tunes so that I can download apps.
    I plan to manage my new devices by setting up rules for use

  11. I learned how to use Safari and navigate the web.
    I learned how to change the color of the background.
    I learned that you can zoom it the screen.
    To Manage the devices in my classroom I will name the Network team and train them to help other with small problems on how to use the devices.Create a schedule to use it with time and number of students.

  12. This is one of the more glaring examples of why having the devices in hand BEFORE this tool is attempted should have been the case. Many folks who have been using iTunes with an iPod or iPhone, even a private iPad would be familiar with the iTunes universe and therefore most of these video tutorials's content will be an unnecessary review. That notwithstanding, the tutorials are of very high quality and I wish I had access to them several years ago when first starting with iTunes. In my opinion, this business of having folks go through this exercise sans the actual tools is not only off-putting and frustrating, but is a waste of precious time. The teacher new to this will necessarily have to review these tutorials AFTER they receive them and this fact coupled with the demands of the new semester will mean for too large a percentage of teachers, that it will be pushed back or ignored all together. I hope that in future roll-outs of technology, this situation will be re-visited and revised in recognition of the demands placed on the classroom teacher. I think this horse before the cart approach is a clear indication that such demands are not considered.

  13. With one Ipod Touch, I can record one lesson for anyone who was absent to see on his/her own. I also found out that I can get a splitter so several students at one time can listen to what is on the Ipod Touch.

  14. Karen, can you now change your paragraph about the iPad to delete the synchronization info? Are all classes getting iPad 2? Gotta love iOS5!!

  15. On my blog I posted what I learned about MacBook and how I will use it.

  16. On my blog I posted what I learned about Mac Book and how I will use it.

  17. Tool #8

    1. I have learned that Itunes is a valuable device to have at your fingertips. The students enjoy adding their own music to produce all kinds of productions, animotos, power points etc. I actually have been using it in my classroom for several years. Every year I find more things to tag it onto. I also love using the Ipads, netbooks and Itouches for our Stock Market Game. It has really made accessing the market previews, tracking stocks throughout the day and making trades, an easy way for us to particiapte in a short amount of time!

    2. I plan to use a checkout system in my room for the devices as students are also bring their own devices from home to access the markets in our Stock Market Game. We have downloaded several apps, including Bloomberg and some other financial networks to review stocks and graphs during the day.

  18. I have learned what to expect from and how to use the Dell 2120. The video on iTunes showed me how to download the iTunes software or update it and how to set up an iTunes account. I also watched the iPad video which showed me how to use this. I'm not sure if I will get any or how many of these devices in my classroom.
    If I did it would it much easier for me to incorporate web-based projects and lessons into the French classes that I teach.

  19. The notebooks take a while to boot up, but overall they have been a wonderful resource to have in the classroom. Especially when students are typing essays. The IPads ROCK!!! I have downloaded several word games for the students to play as an incentive to finish daily assignments.

  20. 3 things that I learned: how to upload videos, take pictures and use the apps to access what we need directly.

    How to manage devices: I plan on having the itouches in my technology center. The netbooks in the writing center using blogs and to navigate through Google to gather information about an assigned topic.

    Suggestions: I would advise whoever decides to do any of the above to 1st, provide the students with a list of rules prior to using any computer. Ex: always search approved sites, and in case of using Google always tell students to search by keyword to avoid unapproved sites. (if you type a keyword, make sure to put the word in " marks. That way it filters the unnecessary sites and narrows the search). :)

    regarding the itouches, provide the students with a time frame to allow fair use of these devices.

  21. I did not know about the repository for apps!

    I plan on using them in work stations and having strict guidelines/expectations for use, which will be established early on in the school year.

  22. We will use, alot, the tuning and metronome apps on the ipods along with professional sample recordings. As said before we will be using the Ibooks for smartmusic individual and small group practice and use it's assesment capabilities

  23. I can use the ipad to record lessons for absent students and download educational apps for them to use.

    Students enjoy the technology.

    i also learned how to manage a classroom full of such technology.

    i will have rules and procedures and the students will know that while they have the technology out they are responsible for its wellbeing

  24. I learned how to set up an iTunes account, how to sync the iTouch to the computer, and how to take a picture of the screen on the the iTouch. I also appreciated the overview of the Netbook. I think introducing the devices one at a time is a wise plan in bringing them into the classroom. Once the standards are set with one device then the those same standards will be more easily transferred to the next set of devices.

  25. We use our devices during centers, my students know how to work with tumble books, and some apps for writing, reading and counting.

  26. One thing I have learned while teaching technology classes about managing the laptops is that you can never take enough inventory. Not just counting the computers. While taking inventory I boot up each laptop check to see if the main programs are running and accessing the internet. In addition I look to see if there are any new scratches or missing keys. One problem I have is students taking of the asset tags. I replace and give a warning to the 7 students that are assigned this computer.
    About student learning and using Macs. Apple has so many fun programs preloaded. Many students finish their assignments early and will help other students that are running slow. I can have the faster students tutor everyday so I allow them to have fun on the software that is on the laptop. Garage Band, iMovie and Photo Booth are the most popular. These programs are fun and they are learning in the process.
    New online programs have helped also with the down time or catch-up days. Typing practice games, Edmodo, and Scratch are just a few that we use to help fill in the time for the advanced students.

  27. Watching the tutorial videos, I learned more about how netbooks work and also about some of the resources I can download for free onto my classroom iPod touches. This will take some time for me to really sort out, but I am sure eventually I'll get the hang of it.

    In terms of management, I love the idea of having class jobs and I think that I will have a "Tech Guru" that will be responsible for getting out the technology and then making sure it's back and charging at the end of the day. I think it will be very important to assign different people in groups to be the technology handlers (and switch daily) for the beginning of the year so that everyone is getting a chance to interact with it. It's important to make sure the students know how EXPENSIVE and delicate these devices are; they are not toys and it's my job to make sure each responsible student has an opportunity to be "in charge" but that the consequence of not using the equipment properly is to lose the privilege of management.