## Sunday, January 01, 2012

### Tech in My Classroom

As I mentioned earlier, I am one of two teachers in my building (and 7 in my district) who received an iPad for classroom use. I have spent most of break downloading apps, some for school and some for fun (especially since I also got an iPod Touch for Christmas - double yay me!), playing said apps, and fighting off  trying to regulate my children's use of the iPad, especially my 8 year old daughter.

As I was talking with my friend who is using a class set of iPads in her classroom, she suggested that I should have a usage policy for the iPad in my class. That way, if a student strays from the designated activity, I could take the privilege away from them and it would state that I would do that. Hopefully that will keep students from straying while using the iPad. I added the iPod Touch because I already have an activity in mind that uses an app that works on both. That way I could allow students to use my iPod Touch and I could get twice as many students using it over the course of the period.  We do already have an Internet Usage agreement that students signed at the beginning of the year. Here is what I came up with:

Also, I want to have an idea of what my students have access to technology wise. My district now has just over 50% of our students on free or reduced lunch. Given that, we do have some students who have access to quite a bit of things. Since I don't have an honest idea of what they do have, I am giving them a survey on our first day back as a bellringer so I can get a better idea of what they do have. Here's the survey:

Both are on box.net in both pdf form (as shown above) and docx form and you are welcome to download them and adjust as needed.

When we get to factoring binomials, the app I am planning on using with my students is DiaMath. Thanks to @crstn85 for the suggestion. By setting it on hard and the minimum number as -10 (or -12) and the maximum as 10 (or 12), it should help students with the skills they need to be able to factor successfully. When we get to the ax^2 + bx + c forms, I use the x-form that DiaMath has as the beginning of the problem, similar to what MissCalcul8 does in her post here.

Next up for me is some screencasting. I haven't totally decided whether I am going to work with ShowMe (app and internet) or Educreations (app and internet). ShowMe has been around for a while. Educreations just came out before Christmas. I will probably try both and see what I am more comfortable with. I would love to hear from people who have used both and to hear opinions as to which one is better.

2012 will be another year of changes and improvements (I hope!) to my teaching. Watch this space as I continue to learn new tricks.