Final thoughts

I just turned in my Ipad at the end of the loaner period. I'm fairly happy with using it in my senior seminar as the main reader for various texts. I've gotten so used to it, in fact, that I have bought my own Ipad. However, I bought a Mini, since I found the regular Ipad a bit big and heavy for reading. The Mini is much lighter and easier to handle. Also a little easier to type on.

Final Feedback from K-12 Ed Practicum Users

I have the privilege of working with students in the Education Practicum.  Wtudents who take this course and complete the Education Studies minor are interested in and placed within settings and work that expands beyond teaching. 

This semester, Hamilton students led their own support groups under the supervision of social workers.

One Ed Studies minor also shadowed two different principals.

One worked with a 3rd grade teacher who is retiring at the end of the year.  Another worked with a middle school math teacher.

Yet another worked with a high school English teacher and at least two students worked with Resource Room teachers at the elementary and high school level and focused on reading and writing and language acquisition. 

Yet another student worked with refugees and others learning English and other languages.

With such a diversity of experiences, I still was unable to find that there are a range of uses for mobile technology.  I gave a survey at the end of the year and few of my students filled it out (no blame; they are mostly seniors finishing high stakes theses and other projects).  Most of my students see teachers give devices like ipads to students for educational game playing or to "individualize" their learning, meaning that the students might have Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) and identified challenges and the ipad is meant to be an assistive technology tool.  One other use was when principals assessed teachers using ipads to keep track of feedback on rubrics.

As our students are there to both observe and assist, they often do not have the power to integrate technology if the educators are not already doing so.

My hope is that I will be able to continue to find ways to see examples of how others use the technology in a project-based manner to assure students at the K-12 level can move at their own pace and take ownership of their learning.

The most inspirational ideas remain those presented by Tony Vincent at the Mobile Summit.  He asked students to write book reviews on Amazon and to create projects that were uniquely theirs.  At the foundation of such projects was a strong student voice and ownership of their own ideas.  That has to lead the way and technology can not just be an add-on, to play games to fill the time.

Facilitating App Download...with teenagers

I've heard interest expressed in how I might use the ipad loaner program to help our college students who are interested in K-12 school settings.

One of the first (possibly illogical) steps I took was to ask a few of my teenage nephews to help me find interesting and educational apps.  I asked what subjects my nephews were studying in middle and high school and one said Spanish and helped me find a useful app with exercises for learning Spanish vocabulary and verbs and such.

I left my other, younger nephews alone with the ipad and came back to find some Ninja math, some PopTrivia game, some sudoku, and even something that looked like a gambling app!  I probably should not have given my password out!

Searching for useful apps takes time and using lists of apps from credible online sources is key.  Without facilitation, most young folks will find apps that are games and that don't feel like exercises or work or anything school -like.

I am now lending out the ipad to some of our Hamilton Education Studies students, who are investigating the use of mobile devices for the following:

*Presenting their website portfolios during interviews (not necessarily linked to pedagogy but to getting a job!)

*Investigating vocabulary

*Assessing teachers

*More to come!


Mobile Learning Summit!

I just wanted to thank Maureen Scoones and Ted Fondak for including me in the activities related to the March 22nd Mobile Learning Summit at Hamilton College!

It was great to have some time to interact, present, and wonder out loud if you can MAKE people move forward in using the ipad or any form of technology.  Within the session we presented, we found diverse opinions with some having the attitude that one must "make" educators get on board.  Hearing about and sharing different contexts and dispositions was fascinating!

We attended the keynote presentation by Tony Vincent and wondered if it would be more flashy than substantial.  Thanks to Maureen for her thoughtful comments that Tony Vincent did use examples from his own teaching of young students not just to integrate varied forms of technology, but to lend ownership to elementary students in their own learning.  One neat example was that students wrote book reviews on Amazon.  What a great idea to ask students to not only read and evaluate a text but also to see themselves as reviewers and authors for a broad audience!

I am usually embarrassed to admit, as an instructor, that I sometimes have to see someone do something like integrate mobile technology into teaching and presentations in order to just know what to do first, next, and on (shouldn't I be able to just read about it and jump right in?).

Observing and interacting with Tony Vincent as he presented was a great prompt to know where to start in just visualizing how to get a group of students to interact in a whole group setting through mobile devices.  Tony Vincent had us download i-nigma, then hold up our devices to read the bar code/symbol, which took us to  We sent our answers to questions about mobile learning and then, VOILA, got to observe every single audience member's responses as they were sent to the website.  We individually sent our responses and got a collective sense of how people were defining mobile learning.

I am inspired!  Check out the link to Tony Vincent's Learning in Hand website and, specifically, his blog that he used to do his presentation:


Initial Post: ipad for Education Studies

Greetings!  I teach just one class at Hamilton - EDUC 370 Education Practicum - and am glad to get the chance to borrow an ipad to try to keep up...with the average 1st grader in many K-6 schools!

Getting Started

The first thing I did, after getting great help from ICT for set-up, was to research educational apps.  I looked up things like "Best apps in education" and found many lists, and many different apps in the "best" category.  Truthfully, the apps I found were most often focused on K-6 education, teaching literacy and math skills.  I'll work on providing more detailed reviews of those apps, as I've tried to adjust that list to my current roster of education studies students who are out in the field in placements as diverse as the Refugee Center in Utica, the New Hartford High School, Clinton Middle School, and the elementary school in Sauquoit. 

The second thing I did was survey my Education Practicum students (AND the student teachers from my full-time job at Cazenovia College) to get a sense of how mobile technology was being used in schools and various other education settings.

The student observers see their teachers using Smartboards as projectors and whiteboards, using portable laptops for students in Resource Rooms to play games aimed at building reading/phonics and math skills, and using ipads to do teacher evaluations (one student is observing administrators).  Student teachers from my full time job are placed in the Syracuse City School District and have seen ipads used for assistive/augmentative communication, phonics skill-building, and game playing.  I have seen just one student teacher in a city school work with a teacher who had ipads fully integrated into the implementation of the curriculum.  This teacher said she aimed to avoid advertising how well this was working, as her 4th grade team had written a grant and they were the only team to use the set of ipads.  If the "word got out," they would have to share and have less access.

There ARE some student teachers who have witnessed a greater integration of mobile technology like ipods and ipads, and more interactive uses of the Smartboard functions, and they have witnessed this integration in suburban and some small-town schools in this region. 

To summarize, what our student teachers have observed is inconsistent.

What have I done so far....?

I have read one e-book, have used my ipad for communication, and have imagined much greater use!  Honestly, working among different schools, I have a hard time just keeping up with email....  Yet, I DO have dreams of doing the following before this semester is out....

*Finding out more about WHEN the ipad (and iphones/smartphones) will be portable projectors (I heard a story that this is indeed on the horizon).

*Using the ipad as an interactive charting/visual presentation device - where the class is charting its use of media, for example, and passes the one ipad I have around the class and each person enters some data in relation to a prompt, and that gets immediately charted and can be presented to help the class visualize the group's input.

*Lending the ipad to Education Practicum students to get them to each try one new, portable approach within their placements.  So, one student is working on Healthy Choices and is running a support group to follow that theme.  She could use the ipad to enter foods and find out instant nutritional value with her students.  I have other students working in Resource Rooms where students are playing games.  It would be great for these Hamilton students to use apps that allow students to feel confident about their literacy skills, for example.  Other students are working with language learners and being able to enter words and hear clear pronunciations or enter verbs and see the verbs conjugated would be great!


*The ipad is portable and pretty, and I am the only thing that is not working at the pace I had hoped to implement the above goals.  This is my key struggle, to take time to play.

*What has been helpful is that people are willing to share favorite apps or new lists of well-regarded apps and uses of technology.  This is no surprise....thanks especially to Carl R. for sharing his ideas and interests.

I hope to post something more promising about apps that I and my Education Practicum students have tried next time.  I am also eager to see people present at the Mobile Technology conference coming to campus on March 22nd!

Ipad as Ereader

I've been using the Ipad in one of my classes as the primary means of accessing and reading texts. It's a small class, and most of the students have one kind of ereader or another (most have Kindles or Nooks--2 have Ipads, 3 bring in laptops, and one insists on getting the books from the library). This is a very useful experiment, because whether or not I use an Ipad or ereader, it's very clear that more and more students will, regardless of whether I order texts through the bookstore for the course. So I get to see, at least, how this affects them and the class in general.

Some advantages to using Ipad or ereader:

--Lots of access to free texts, since much of the literature I teach is out of copyright.

--Some of the books we are reading are big, and we are reading stories from longer collections. The convenience of the Ipad is impressive. We can change readings, add readings, etc., very quickly and easily, making the syllabus more flexible. This works well in a small class.

--It's very easy to highlight and make short notes on the Ipad as I read. It's then fairly easy to find highlighted passages, things I want to talk about.


Some disadvantages:

We don't all have the same editions of texts, and we don't have similar page numbers. This can make it difficult to find the same passage when I want us all to talk about one. Also, some editions (free or not) available for the Ipad are of poor quality, badly edited, or not at all. One text several people used was actually missing a crucial part of the text. So quality control is an issue. This can be fixed--that is, I could do more research ahead of time on available texts, and tell people which ones to use and/or avoid.

There is something ephemeral about the reading experience on an electronic reader that makes taking it seriously as an object, studying it carefully, a little more difficult. These texts have less of an 'aura' of importance than texts properly edited, bound, anthologized, introduced, etc.


Feb. update

If you scroll down to my last update, you'll see I was using the iPad frequently for Greek Archaeology slide show presentations in January. I'm doing this less now: it is nice to be able to annotate the slides occasionally (using Doceri), but since I don't put a lot of annotation on each slide, it becomes cumbersome to wait for Doceri to pop in and out of "drawing mode." Additionally, I had a problem a few weeks back where Doceri suddenly told me that my password was incorrect, which threw me through a loop because I don't remember ever entering a password, and I certainly haven't changed it, but now suddenly it is "incorrect" so I can't use Doceri and I haven't had the time to fix it yet.


I have started using the iPad more often in my smaller class particularly because that room does not have a computer, only a large monitor. I hook the ipad up to the monitor via cable. It doesn't do anything more or less than hooking up a laptop would, but I much prefer the ipad simply because it is smaller and more portable, and because it runs on flash memory, which means that it starts up  faster than a laptop (or at least my laptop, which is not a Macbook Air). I use SlideShark in this class, and it works well for my purposes - all I need in this class is a slide advancer and a laser pointer. Also, the "presenter mode" of SlideShark is helpful (you are not able to do presenter mode in Doceri).


Anne Feltovich

iPad for Seminar Classes

Posted by Gary Wyckoff

In the fall, I used the iPad and Doceri to display and annotate Powerpoint slides for large classes.  It worked well, allowing me to move around the room and face the students rather than the whiteboard.  This spring, I am teaching small seminar classes in which we all sit around a big table, so movement isn't an issue.  I still use the iPad, but with small classes I am more likely to add text to the slides during class, or ask the students to do so.  I used to use a wireless keyboard and mouse for this, which controls the desktop computer in the room.  Since the iPad's on-screen keyboard is so bad, I now have to make a decision for each class: do I want to add text to the slides (in which case I ought to take the keyboard and mouse) or do I want to annotate them (in which case I ought to take the iPad)?  I've got to get an external keyboard for the iPad -- that would give me the best of both worlds!



iPad for teaching archaeology

Posted by Anne Feltovich

I've been using the iPad to annotate images when I teach material culture. For classrooms with a computer/projector, I use Doceri with a padlette and stylus. It works well when I want to draw on a slide (e.g., I used it to draw attention to stylistic features on Cycladic figurines), but is very cumbersome for the times when I don't want to draw on slides, so it is a trade off. When not drawing on slides, I use a slide advancer and make more eye contact with my students as I walk around the room. The ipad keeps my focus downward, not at the students, so that is a drawback.

For a different class, where I have a largescreen monitor but no computer, I use SlideShark because I have to be physically hooked in to the monitor via HDMI cable. SlideShark doesn't have an annotator, but it does have a handy built-in laser pointer (which Doceri does not have). This is fine, because I don't need to annotate for this class, but I do like the laser pointer. I wish Doceri had one.

Anne Feltovich - January update.

Annotating ereader texts

Posted by Onno Oerlemans

I've put this question in a comment earlier, but it perhaps deserves its own entry. Is there a way to annotate ereader (Ibooks, Kindle, etc.) texts? I know about highlight, and adding notes. But ideally, I'd like to be able to "write" on my ereader text, just as I do in my real texts (fear not--I never do this in library books!), using a tablet stylus.


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