Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Tool # 8: Taking a Look at the Tools

I really appreciated the advice about naming each of the devices with a different name and also WRITING it onto the device. 

Since I have had itouches in my room for three years now, I was most interested in learning about the I Pad.  I am interested in how I am to keep my kids “safe” on the internet—I know that many teachers use them as a center while they work with small groups, so how does one monitor the activities they are doing?  I found a couple of tips that can help.  Under the settings button, the search engine can be changed from google to Yahoo or bing, and you can also change the general settings to restrictions.  You can also set a password for things like YouTube and your Itunes account so the students have a bit more barriers to getting to places they shouldn’t be. 

Another helpful trick I have found is that you can add websites as links onto the home page.  Go to the site that you want to have easy access to, choose the + sign and pick “add to home screen”.  Now it shows up as an icon like your other apps.  Instead of loading your home pages full of links though, open a Diigo account, and then just link the Diigo site to your home page.  (Or, my other thought is to add t a new site as a home page icon, and after the students have used it a time or two, add it to Diigo and take the icon off your home screen). 

Here is a website with lots of suggestions for apps that I am slowly making my way through, checking to see what apps I might want to use in the classroom.  

As far as managing the devices, I have always had a student helper be the “tech guy/gal” and one of their responsibilities is to make sure all of the devices are accounted for at the end of the day.  Last year I had one for the netbooks and another for the itouches.  Guess I’ll have to have 3 helpers this coming year!  These were very computer saavy kiddos that could also help troubleshoot problems if I were busy with a group.  If they couldn’t solve the problem, then they would drop a “trouble ticket” on the table where I was working, then I could help out when I had a free moment.

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