A DIY iPad Sync/Charge Station

Gotta love Pinterest. Saw this idea and knew that it would be awesome for my 10 iPad minis that I received from writing a grant through the Golden Apple Foundation of New Mexico. All it is a dish rack from Target with some zip ties  to hold the power strip. It holds 10 iPads perfectly. An awesome solution for those who don’t have money to buy a Bretford cart! Just remember to always lock them up!


My DIY iPad Sync/Charging Station


Teachers from NM receiving Golden Apple Foundation grant awards! (I’m 2nd left from the center!)

App Showcase: Drawing Pad and Wordfoto

I love when you can use one or more apps together (app smash) to create an awesome project. An amazing colleague of mine and fellow Apple Distinguished Educator, Sue Gorman, asked me if I’d showcase an app for her to use at one of her presentations. It was hard to decide, but came up with this one. Drawing Pad is a great drawing app with so many options for creating and sharing. Wordfoto is one of my favorite apps and the possibilities are truly endless for creating word clouds on top of photos. In this case, kids were studying parts of speech and synonyms and antonyms. For this particular project, they were given a common word and had to come up with at least 5 synonyms for the word. They wrote the word in Drawing Pad and made the word come to life. Saving it to the camera roll, they could then import that photo into Wordfoto. In Wordfoto, they can enter the text for the synonyms and insert into picture. Wordfoto has a variety of preset styles or you can customize your own style. Here is the video I put together, which includes some student examples.



Drawing Pad



My Favorite File Transfer Apps

One of the big issues I have in working with 650 students is getting their creative work from the iPad and onto my computer or their computer so that it can be shared with others. One of the things I love to do is to take their work and create a video to share their work with their teacher, parents, and the world. I’ve found this to be challenging, therefore, I’ve spent a lot of time trying to find the right app for the task. Here are my top 4 (in no particular order).

1. Chirp:

mzl.anasgvewI love this app for little ones because they don’t have to type anything, which can delay the process when time is scarce. Both teacher and student must have chirp opened, and they add a photo and through sound waves, the photo is transferred to your device! How cool is that! Chirp is an iPhone app, but can be used on the iPad as well. Chirp is a free app.



2. Desk Connect:


I really like this app for a couple of reasons. You can not only transfer photos, but you can also have students open to a particular website and it opens right to the URL that you sent. I also like how you can transfer from a computer to your device as well as from your device to a computer. Desk Connect is a free app.



3. Good Reader:

GoodReader_LogoI like Good Reader for file transfer because unlike the first two mentioned, it transfers images and video. There is some workaround, which makes it harder (actually very hard) for K-2 but is a nice solution for file transfer. This works well in transferring images and video from iPad to computer. Good Reader is $4.99 (but is very useful for MANY other things other than file transfer).



4. Photo and Video Transfer Over Wifi:

591923366x356This one is hands down my favorite! And, it is FREE today 1/30/14! This app allows for photo and video transfer and it is so easy, but youngest students can handle it. If transferring from iPad to computer, you just select the photo or video from the camera roll and on the computer type in an IP address and viola! You can then download it to that computer. Photo and Video Transfer Over Wifi is $2.99.

What Do My Students Do? They CREATE!

I saw this quote somewhere online…I wish it had an author so I could give the author credit, but I LOVED the message because it’s exactly how I feel! I teach in a computer lab where we use the iMac and iPad to creatively show our learning. So, when I came across this message, I knew I needed to create my own poster and hang it on my door. “We don’t just browse, click, chat, and game…we INVENT, we DESIGN, we CREATE, we BUILD, we SHARE! Create is in bold because that is what my students do best. If you’re interested, visit my technology lab website to see what my students are up to! www.nscomputerlab.com


Digital Learning Day 2014


Digital Learning Day

A look at what we’re doing from 9:30-11:00 as our school is visited by members of our community and school district.

My school has multiple classrooms participating in digital learning day this year. Various classrooms are participating in this event. Face timing with another class in the country to complete a collaborative project, 5th grade collaborative writing on laptops, participating in an iPad “App Smash” project, exploring Augmented Reality, and Kindergarten math centers with the iPad.

More info to come!

Creating a Student Technology Leadership Team

This year I started an after school club called the SWAT Team (Students Working to Advance Technology)

Our website: http://nstechteam.weebly.com

I have 18 fourth and fifth graders who are part of the first S.W.A.T team (Students Working to Advance Technology). This group of kiddos work with me after school and we complete app reviews to decide which apps should stay and which apps should go, as well as determine appropriate grade levels for each app. We also create blog posts about apps and different technology related writing prompts, and finally, we have “Genius Bar Hours” where students can help classroom teachers with their technology needs. Our first big event is going to be in two weeks. It is our first ever “App Speed Share Event.” Similar to speed dating, this is going to be a fun, fast paced learning event for teachers to discover 10 new apps on their iPad. Each student on the team will spend 3.5 minutes discussing the features of each app and the implications in the classroom. My students are so excited for this event. It’s really a great leadership opportunity for the kiddos and they surprise me with their dedication, creativity, and leadership skills.


App Speed Sharing Event from April Requard on Vimeo.

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The poster to promote our event

A Literacy App Smash!

One of my favorite stories is A Bad Case of Stripes by David Shannon. My second grade students read the story as a group on the Promethean Board using Storyline Online. As a fun activity integrating technology and literacy, I had the kids give themselves a Bad Case of Stripes! Below is a workflow for doing this project on the iPad. This project can easily be completed on a desktop computer with a program like Kid Pix or other drawing program where you can annotate or draw on an imported photo.

Video: A Bad Case of Stipes (This is from a few years ago, but just to give you another idea)



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