Tag Archives: iPad

New Media Journalism Technology

Profile: Educators Leading the Path to the Digital Future

Connie D. Perkins is currently a first grade teacher in Fayette County Schools and has been teaching for over 26 years. Perkins has a Reading Specialist Degree that has allowed her to teach one-on-one reading with students who needed the help. She also taught Early Intervention Program (EIP) curriculum for reading two years, and Perkins mentioned that she “has worked a lot with children who struggle in reading.”

With the many years of teaching experience in early education, Perkins stated that she has seen a major difference in the way that children grasp reading and math skills over the years. She remembers when they would use flash cards to learn new concepts and how it would take weeks for them to master the concepts, and now those same skills when applied from the iPad or the computer are learned “just like that,” she continued. Perkins stated that the children “love iPads in their classroom!” She utilizes the iPad to introduce and reinforce the lessons they will be doing throughout the week. “The children now have access to the reading book and all the skills we do in class. They can go home and do it online,” says Perkins. “They think it’s a big deal to be able to go ahead of us or read extra books related to the class lessons while at home.”

Perkins finished by saying that she could see the schools “doing away with textbooks and going digital someday,” believing that students will think “outside the box when manipulating tools on digital technology.”

1st Grade Teacher Discusses Digital Technology from Amanda Golden on Vimeo.

 

Heather Cox has been a fourth grade teacher and leader of technology in Fulton County Schools for the past 10 years. Upon gaining employment with Fulton Schools, Cox said that she became a “leadership member and any other kind of committee member that had anything to do with technology.” This included the Inaugural Technology Leadership Forum for Fulton County Schools where she helped to launch the Bring Your Own Technology (BYOT) Pilot Program in her school. Though she initially met resistance, she eventually helped everyone to understand what the program was really about.

Cox stated that last year while on her professional Twitter page, she saw an article that was linked to the nomination form for the White House Champions of Change Program for ConnectEd Leaders. After she read over the description, she sent an email to her students’ parents to see if they would nominate her. To her surprise, Cox heard back from the White House a few months later saying that she had “like 20 nominations,” so they wanted to get a little more information about her. From there, Cox was chosen to be 1 of the 10 people who would be honored as a ConnectEd Leader in the White House Champions of Change Program. Cox said that it was incredible to go and get to meet other ConnectEd Educators and it happened “all through the power of Twitter.”

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New Media Journalism Technology Toddlers and Tablets

Discussing Tablets vs Textbooks in GA Schools

This article will serve as an introduction to my Capstone Project for the New Media Journalism Masters Program at Full Sail University.

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New Media Journalism Technology

Integrating Technology in the Classroom Past to Present

Student at Fayette Elementary School in Fayetteville, GA using the iPad for a math lesson. Photo Credit: Amanda Golden
Student at Fayette Elementary School in Fayetteville, GA using the iPad for a math lesson.
Photo Credit: Amanda Golden

Technology has vastly changed over the past 40 years, especially in the classroom.  Teachers no longer use typewriters, abacus’, pencil and paper as a main classroom tool. Instead we find tools like computers, tablets and styluses to complete assignments.

  

Scholastic Reading Test Module on a student computer at Fayette Elementary School in Fayetteville, GA. Photo Credit: Amanda Golden
Scholastic Reading Test Module on a student computer at Fayette Elementary School in Fayetteville, GA.
Photo Credit: Amanda Golden

“Educators can leverage new educational tools to personalize learning, encourage collaboration, and prepare students for the future,” according to author Susie Boss in an article at edutopia.org.

 

Mr. Carl Golden, Sr. a Fulton County Schools Technology Specialist in College Park, GA. Photo Credit: Amanda Golden
Mr. Carl Golden, Sr. a Fulton County Schools Technology Specialist in College Park, GA. Photo Credit: Amanda Golden

Mr. Carl Golden, Sr. a Fulton County Schools Technology Specialist (in College Park, GA) recalled memories from 1970, when he began in the school system, where they basically only had “typewriters, calculators, paper and pens” to be considered a form of technology.

 

A set of 6 student computer for use with students at Fayette Elementary School in Fayetteville, GA. Photo Credit: Amanda Golden
A set of 6 student computer for use with students at Fayette Elementary School in Fayetteville, GA.
Photo Credit: Amanda Golden

Golden went on to discuss how in the 1980’s the first computer he was exposed to in education was the “Apple One” and the “Apple Two” computers that had a floppy disk drive with drills to help students improve in the classroom.

Golden also shared his memories of being one of the “first teachers during that time” in 1995 to be trained in technology for the schools. Let’s listen:

Mrs. Gwendolyn Golden, Second Grade teacher at Fayette Elementary School in Fayetteville, GA doing a math lesson on the iPad.  Photo Credit: Amanda Golden
Mrs. Gwendolyn Golden, Second Grade teacher at Fayette Elementary School in Fayetteville, GA doing a math lesson on the iPad.
Photo Credit: Amanda Golden

Mrs. Gwendolyn Golden, a second grade teacher in Fayette County Schools, also noted that during her tenure in school she had to use a typewriter in class- not a computer. This is very different from today she continued saying, “today in my second grade classroom where I teach, we have 6 student computers, a mobile iPad lab, and we also have responders for the students to interact with answering question during lessons.”

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New Media Journalism Technology

Bring Your Own Technology (BYOT)

BYOT with 2nd Grade at Fayette Elementary School from Amanda Golden on Vimeo.

Bring Your Own Technology (BYOT) is a program that is taking education to the next level. This program allows students to bring their own devices to school to use as a part of their educational journey. Fayette Elementary School in Fayetteville, Georgia has just officially launched the BYOT Program this past Monday, November 11, 2013. So, the technology specialist Regina Yeargin has her hands full going around to all of the classrooms to ensure they have the understanding needed before bringing their device to school. For example, students must fill out a form with their parents for permission to use the devices at school. But the next step is crucial for those who will eventually bring their own device to school. They must have their parents go to the school website to "register"the device by serial number and type. The final step is on the teacher; teachers must give the students the final word on when they can bring the device into the classroom. This multimedia story shows a quick lesson in BYOT with a 2nd grade class on what to and not to do with their devices.

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New Media Journalism Toddlers and Tablets

Digital Learning to Improve Early Education

Love T. Nolan Elementary School is located in South Fulton County (College Park, GA). Majority of the students come from low-income families and have not had the same advantage to technology (pre-entering school) that other children may have had. Hatch Technology Services in their background research showed that “Compared to their middle-income peers, young low-income children display poorer language/literacy and mathematics skills, putting them at high risk for school failure.” So by putting programs that scaffold learning into these schools one can possibly help them to beat the odds.

students at LTN MARCH 2013
Infographic created by: Amanda Golden

Love T. Nolan has approximately 300 students in grade PK-2ND grade according to the March 2013 FTE numbers. Fulton County Schools Tech Specialist, Carl Golden, “feel[s] that introducing students to technology at an early age is very beneficial to their educational growth and development.”

In the school there are 42 classrooms, continues Golden, “including art, music, and P.E. use digital technology during instruction.” Of these 42 there are 6 that we will focus on. There are 6 teachers who are utilizing the Hatch Technology Tablets in their classroom at Love T. Nolan all in the Pre- Kindergarten arena. Golden stated that of these teachers “One class has 4 students; 1 class has 10 students; the remaining classes have at least 15 students but all students are exposed to the Hatch Tablet for learning.”  These tablets are said to have significant success in improving the readiness for the student to go to the next grade level according to Hatch: The Early Learning Experts.

Infographic Created by: Amanda Golden
Infographic Created by: Amanda Golden

Nolan Elementary School Pre-Kindergarten Teacher, Alicia Prather uses the Hatch tablet in her classroom for literacy.  Prather says, “Letter recognition and phonic recognition are the types of activities that are used most often” in her classroom. The students seem to enjoy the tablet use and she has seen “some growth” in many of her students though she cannot be “to positive that the growth is contributed to the use of the tablet or other techniques used in class.” This is true of many teachers using the product. Hatch: The Early Learning Experts founder, Ginny Norton explained that the tablets are “not talking about having technology replace the teacher” they (teachers) are to “consistently incorporate them into the daily routine to impact school readiness.” So it is together with the techniques used already in the classroom that technology is “appropriately used” to enhance school readiness in students.

Pre-K Student using tablet at Nolan Elementary School. Photo credit: Amanda Golden
Pre-K Student using tablet at Nolan Elementary School. Photo credit: Amanda Golden

As written in the School Systems Strategic Plan 2017  their community has “clearly demonstrated their demand and desire for more integration of technology through the renewal of  [their] sales tax for capital improvements, which will be heavily invested in technology.” These projections have been made true to reflect the Fulton County School System FY2014 Budget , there will be $100,000.00 in the budget to fund “computers and iPad’s for new staff for all Learning and Teaching Offices. There will be an additional $250,000.00 in the Instructional Media Technology Category of the budget to “To provide district level electronic books, available for use by all students, teachers and parents (K-12). These Electronic books will support Common Core Georgia Performance Standards (CCGPS).”

As a result of an increased budget for Integrating Technology into their school system they are ensuring that their teacher, parents and students will have “the tools and information necessary to accelerate learning.”

However, there are other programs that are not as lucky. In an article published by the Harvard International Review (B. PELHAM, 2009) “the assumption that wealthy countries tend to have better education systems than poorer countries is correct.” Not everyone has access to computers and tablet devices unless a sponsoring program steps in. The article shows “evidence indicates that the level of computer propagation in a country is strongly associated with its students’ scores” on standardized test a lot like the ones in the states.  There is a program called One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) that helped students in Abuja, Nigeria to advance educationally.  They also help other countries that are in lower wealth states to advance. Advocates of the OLPC Program suggest, “computers are powerf[ul] learning tools, bringing information to students’ fingertips and allowing them to interact with it and synthesize it in ways that would be impossible otherwise.”

According to Hatch: The Early Learning Experts Study on the iStartSmart Learning System, “Preliminary results of a scientific research study on the iStartSmart software showed children had significant gains on standardized tests in comparison to control group children who had not used iStartSmart software.”

 

Bibliography

B. PELHAM, S. C. (2009, July 01). Technology and Education: The Power of the Personal Computer. Harvard International Review , 74-76.

 

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New Media Journalism Toddlers and Tablets

How iStartSmart Tablets Help Child Development

iStartSmart Tablets 

According to Hatch: The Early Learning Experts, the “iStartSmart Mobile is the learning tablets that fascinates and engages” children as they learn throughout the day based on research proven applications and software that monitor the progress as they go. If a student is struggling with a concept, the program allows for the teacher to go in and “refocus” by using the Progress Monitoring Reports incorporated into the system for more efficient learning.

Research shows that the iStartSmart program was created to help aid the key components that “promote positive experiences and school readiness.” Among these components are:

  1. Child Development
  2. Effective Early Childhood Education Practices

  3. Critical Content for School Readiness
  4. Developmentally Appropriate Educational Technology

diagram-istartsmart-300

One of the most innovative things about the iStartSmart Learning System (app suite and the tablet) “is that teachers can monitor the progress of each student in real time!” The progress monitoring of the iStartSmart System allows for teachers to take “snapshots of a child’s progress throughout the year”, exclaimed Brent. Instead of teachers having to remember which child did what at the end of the day the “unbiased data” from the program is right there to show when needed.

Hatch: Early Learning Experts concluded that, “for technology to be meaningful in early education, it must provide opportunities for children to gain the essential skills that prepare them for school.”

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Toddlers and Tablets

How iPads Impact Child Development

In a world where technology is rapidly advancing many are beginning to “plug in” to the Smart Technology sooner than ever. “Technology’s impact on the 21st century family is fracturing its very foundation, and causing a disintegration of core values that long ago were the fabric that held families together”, stated Cris Rowan, contributing writer for Huffington Post.

LeapPad 2 Explorer by Leap Frog Tablet for ages 3-9. Photo Taken in Wal-Mart Shopping Center. Photo Credit: Amanda Golden
LeapPad 2 Explorer by Leap Frog Tablet for ages 3-9. Photo Taken in Wal-Mart Shopping Center. Photo Credit: Amanda Golden

According to pbs.org, “for school-age children, a smartphone or tablet can give them an additional learning layer, beyond the traditional classroom or book.” Fulton County Schools Kindergarten Teacher, Paula Gehring says she uses the iPad in conjunction with her normal lesson plans daily to “motivate the children.” Gehring continues by saying, “many parents park their children in front of TV, computer, Kindle/Nook/ iPad instead of interacting with the children and their social skills are suffering.” This makes it harder to get the children to “share” the devices when used for learning in the school.

Cris Rowan, Pediatric Occupational Therapist, contributing writer for Huffington Post, and Author of “Virtual Child – The terrifying truth about what technology is doing to children”, says that she “unplugged” her “son Matt when he was 12…threw out his TV, cancelled cable, tossed the Commodore 64 and Atari.” Rowan also tells other “parents that ANY exposure to technology is detrimental to cognitive, physical, mental and social development.”

InnoTab 2 Display at Wal-Mart in Fayetteville. They are marketing tablet learning to children at an early age. Photo Credit: Amanda Golden
InnoTab 2 Display at Wal-Mart in Fayetteville. They are marketing tablet learning to help with child development. Photo Credit: Amanda Golden

Movement, touch, human connection and exposure to nature are four very critical components that are “necessary to achieve healthy child development” Rowan mentions in her article. And by choosing to “unplug” her children at an early age, as adults, they both feel “technology is largely a waste of time”. When technology is involved the skills needed for a child to develop are “grossly limited”.

However, South Carolina Parent, Keenya Glover, says that her 7-year-old son’s “iPad is considered his voice.” He began using it 2 years ago and she has seen a “tremendous boost in his level of communication.” Glover goes on to say that because her son is special needs, he is not able to communicate so the program he was able to use at school at an early age “enables him to communicate at school and home.” She continues by saying that if her son had not been introduced to the iPad at an early age; he would not be as far as he is now with his communication skills.

Nyjel Glover outside in South Carolina. Photo Credit Amanda Golden
Nyjel Glover a special needs child who uses the iPad to communicate with his friends, outside in South Carolina. Photo Credit Amanda Golden

According to the Autism Spectrum Disorder Foundation, “The world for an autistic child is full of imagery, rather than words. On an iPad, an autistic child can create a sentence or even story using a series of images. By doing so, the child can communicate with parents, caretakers, and instructors without frustration. Since the iPad is mobile, children with autism can take this communication tool wherever they go.” Since the iPad is a portable device that they can take wherever they go; the autistic child will constantly “have ways to calm, focus, and learn while on-the-go.

 

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Fame-Magazine Articles Technology

Elegantly Simple: iOS 7

Photo Credit: Google.com

iOS7 is a new operating system unveiled by Apple on September 18 at 1pm. It takes the old operating system a step above the rest by simply simplifying the usability of it.

Taking away the elements that were; “in the way” and brightening the retina display to make it more appealing was just the beginning.

Apple has added several more built in applications and even changed the look of the old apps! Some of the new updates brought about new features like Control Center, AirDrop for iOS, and smarter multitasking.

“It  makes the things you do every day even easier, faster, and more enjoyable,” says Apple. The typography has gotten slimmer and the design has gotten more awesome!

The new security features in iOS 7 make it harder for anyone who’s not you to use or sell your device. Once my device powered back on last night to have me finish the set up, I was asked to create a passcode. This passcode is supposed to make it harder for someone to get a hold of your device without permission.The best security feature by far would be the Find My iPhone, iPad, and/or iPod application. If someone were to steal your device you can remotely track it, lock it and “delete” files from it. The good part about deleting the files is that with your Apple ID you can get them right back when you log in with your ID and passcode on your brand new device.

I played around with it a little last night on my iPad; at first it took some getting used to for me. When first turning on after the initial update I noticed the main screen had a few additional applications than before and even the ones that were there before had a more elegant appearance. Brightly colored yet simple at the same time. The notepad that used to resemble the normal yellow legal pad is now a clear, crisp white pad with no lines. The calendar looked “simpler” as well. There was much more space to see what event was on which day.

iOS-7-App-Store-Apps-Near-Me-002
Photo Courtesy: Google.com

The App Store was also a bit more sleek this go around. There was an additional category at the bottom of the screen called “apps near me.” Naturally I was curious so I clicked it. Basically it’s the Genius category times two, it’s a mix of apps based on your previous apps with a twist. Apple now asks your location to see what apps people in your area are using!

For instance, the color popping bubbles of the new Game Center used to be green and look cluttered. Now,  the colored bubbles resemble conversations and keep track of who is where and on what game. So I can keep up with my friends playing games like Candy Crush and Temple Run!

Overall, I think the iOS 7 was one of the best updates Apple has created since the creation of the IOS. For a full list of the newly added features and how iOS 7 can benefit you visit Apple’s webpage.

 

 

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New Media Journalism Technology Toddlers and Tablets

iPad Training 101

Getting to know your iPad made easy; an hour long hands-on teaching experiences with your new Apple devices found at PeachMac- Peachtree City for Free.

Peachtree City, Georgia- Getting to know your iPad event was held Saturday, August 31, 2013 at 10:00 am in The Avenue of Peachtree City. The event was hosted at the PeachMac store by trainers, Emily Anderson and Andrew Gruner.

Anderson states this is an introductory course that goes over the “basic navigation of the device” as well as the “terminology” used with the device. She explains what each term means in normal terms. She goes on to say that “equating it to something familiar is the one thing I know our customers love about our store.” To ensure everyone gets adequate training, there is only a limited amount of people in each training class. This class had eight attendees; which is the maximum for the workshop.

PeachMac hosts several other trainings throughout the week. These free workshops may be found on their webpage.

Andrew Gruner going through the basic steps of how to use your iPad in the Getting to know your iPad Training. Saturday, August 31, 2013 at PeachMac in Peachtree City, GA Photo by: Amanda Golden/Full Sail University
Andrew Gruner going through the basic steps of how to use your iPad in the Getting to know your iPad Training.
Saturday, August 31, 2013 at PeachMac in Peachtree City, GA
Photo by: Amanda Golden/Full Sail University

Gruner prefaced the class by saying, “this workshop never takes the full hour because it is a lot more straightforward than using a Mac.” The iPad is more “user-friendly” stated Gruner this is why it usually only takes about thirty minutes to complete the training. The class ranged from ages 14-73 this Saturday so trainer, Andrew Gruner continuously reassured the attendees that no one would be left behind with his explanations. This course differed from the previous Introduction to iPad classes by lasting the full hour allotted for the course.

Tom and Sylvia Morrison recently brought an iPad for their 73-year-old mother, Victoria, so that she may be able to stay in contact with them when they aren’t around. Also, “the iPad will let her watch the videos her granddaughter is producing as well”, added Tom. Throughout the course several basic questions were answered on how to use the iPad, including the definition of an “app”. The Apple App Store is where customers would purchase applications according to their liking so Gruner was sure to show step-by-step how to access it to get the most from the store. Sylvia noted that since they had just introduced the iPad to her mother, to be able to communicate with them mostly, “we still need to teach her the definition of free vs. paid in the app store.” Tom went on to joke that their daughter, a 7th grader in Fulton County Schools, was going to teach her everything there was to know about texting and using her new iPad later this evening since they were using them in her school she was now almost an expert.

Andrew Gruner going through each step of how to use your iPad with Ms. Victoria in the Getting to know your iPad training. Saturday, August 31, 2013 at PeachMac in Peachtree City, GA Photo by: Amanda Golden/Full Sail University
Andrew Gruner going through each step of how to use your iPad with Ms. Victoria in the Getting to know your iPad training.
Saturday, August 31, 2013 at PeachMac in Peachtree City, GA
Photo by: Amanda Golden/Full Sail University

The B.Y.O.T Initiatives have begun to spread throughout the country. According to the article written in the PeachMac blog, “the program has proven to engage students and encourage them to participate more in class.” Anderson says, “very few have come to a workshop for their child. Those that do, generally want to have the knowledge to help their children navigate the device should the need arise.” She recommends one of the most used apps available in store for parents who do bring children to be called “Lunchbox”. This app uses a monkey character to teach shapes to the younger children. Though there are many other educational apps such as MathBoard and her personal favorites NASA and iTunes U she explains. Several more awesome apps can be found for new parents on the PeachMac Blog.

PeachMac offers a variety of resources and product trainings that are open for anyone who would like to attend, from the free workshops to the PeachPlus Memberships and One-on-One support. For more information on PeachMac and what it has to offer contact your local PeachMac Store.

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New Media Journalism Technology Toddlers and Tablets

Children are Obsessed with Technology at an early age Worldwide

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