Mr. Kamrowski

"Let us put our minds together and see what life we can make for our children." –Sitting Bull


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Coffee & iPads 10-31-17

Coffee and iPads

October 31st, 2017


Good morning and happy Halloween! Haven’t quite nailed down that amazing costume idea for the Halloween party tonight? Try this, hold the home button on your iPad and ask Siri “What should I be for Halloween?” If you don’t like the answer, try it a few times and she’ll give you new ideas. Also, ask her “Trick or Treat” and see what happens. Today, I want to look at the powers of Siri; and not just to entertain. There are some real important things that Siri can help you and your students do.

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Turn Siri On

  • Go to settings—>General—>Accessibility—>Siri and make certain “Always On” is selected. You can also select to type to Siri (This is new to iOS 11).
  • Then go to Siri & Search—>turn on press home for Siri and allow Siri When Locked. I’ll let you decide if you want Siri to respond when you say the command words “Hey Siri.”
  • When these settings are turned on you can access Siri by holding the home button. You can also say “Hey Siri” if you turned this feature on.

What Can Siri Do?

Most I Use

  • Siri can open apps for you. I turn “Hey Siri” on so all I need to do is say “Hey Siri, open…” and then say whatever app I want open and it will open it for me. You can do the same by holding the home button down and then telling Siri what app to open. It, however, seems pointless to me as it no longer is a hands free option.
  • Siri can turn your volume up or down. While listening to music or watching something on your iPad, you can say “Hey Siri, turn the volume up/down.”

Other Things

  • Siri can turn your wifi off and on. Just say the magic words, “Hey Siri, turn my wifi off/on.
  • Siri can do math for you. Try “Hey Siri, what is the square root of 346.”
  • Siri can set an alarm, add a reminder, post to your calendar.
  • Siri can flip a coin, do a web search, change your settings, and be part of a snarky conversation. It is an interesting tool. Look at this article for more interesting things Siri can do.
  • By the way, Siri works amazingly well in a noisy environment. Have students face the wall to do there Siri work and you will have no problem with 20 to 30 students talking to Siri at the same time.

    The Big One

    Perhaps one of the more interesting features is Siri allows the ability to transcribe. In other words, you can speak and Siri will write for you. On your keyboard is an icon of a microphone. Tap it and talk. Simply say the punctuation when you want it placed in the text and Siri does it for you. Watch the video below to help generate some possible uses for this function.

Kaitlin’s Siri Story (1:40)

Teacher Thought Bubble


  • Siri can save you time by allowing you to open apps and adjust settings hands free.
  • Siri can be used in engaging ways with your students. Perhaps you can use it to see who is faster about knowing information on a specific topic; Siri or student—human vs machine.
  • The transcribe feature could be transformative for some students like it was for Kaitlin. Consider having students use it to brainstorm or do a prewriting activity.
  • Use the transcribe feature to make comments on students work. Speaking comments is faster than typing them.

If you have your own thoughts on this topic and these suggestions, feel free to send them to me.

Upcoming Topics


  • More Accessibility
  • All about the Keyboard, Keyboard, Keyboard
  • Helping Parents Parent with the iPad
  • Tools You Don’t Know You Have

Your Feedback


This newsletter is an experiment. It is also flexible to your needs. Please feel free to provide your feedback on the usefulness of the information I have been sending you by replying to any of the newsletter emails. Are there other topics you would like me to cover? Is something not clear and needs further explaining? I value your feedback and will use it to make this newsletter better for you. Thank you!

 

 

 

 

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Coffee & iPads 10-24-17

Coffee and iPads

October 24th, 2017


What a wonderful brisk morning! Grab a cup of coffee and ponder the following question. Did you wake up this morning with a roof over your head, in a heated home, with all your appendages and senses? If yes, you are blessed. Not all are able to make it through life without overcoming major obstacles to achieve daily goals. Some have struggles we cannot imagine. No technology can rid the daily struggles these individuals face. However, technology can ease struggles for some and allow a path to success. The iPad has powerful accessibility features that can make learning accessible to many whom it may not have been before. Today, I want to show you how to make text speak to you on the iPad.

For Those Who Learn by Watching (3 Minutes & 30 Seconds)

Note: These are my first Coffee & iPad videos. Be nice as I did not have a lot of time to make them pretty. By the way, they were made on the iPad.

IMAGE ALT TEXT HEREIMAGE ALT TEXT HERE

For Those Who Learn by Reading


You can check them off as you go. This works best if you have this email open on your computer or you print this off so you can work with your iPad while you read. Estimated Time to Complete: 3:24 (Times may vary from individual to individual)

Speak Screen Instructions

  • Go to Settings—-> General—->Accessibility—->Speech Turn on Speak Screen. Also, turn on Highlight Content. Select what content you want highlighted while the iPad is reading to you (Words, Sentences, Words & Sentences). I like just words so students can see the word being spoken. Select the color you would like when the iPad highlights the word.
  • Open an article on Safari. For a cleaner read, use reader view.
  • With two fingers, swipe down from the top frame of the iPad.. This may take a few tries. If only one finger is registered, your notification screen will slide down. Refrain from cursing or throwing your iPad if you do not achieve success the first time. Let’s remember growth mindset here people! What should appear is a media control panel that allows you to pause, play, skip as well as speed,up or slow down the reading of text. Of course, you should also hear the iPad reading to you. If not, try turning the volume up.

Speak Selection Instructions

  • Go to Settings—-> General—->Accessibility—->Speech. Turn on Speak selection.
  • Go back to Safari and select a piece of text by long pressing the text until it is highlighted. Drag the bars on either side of the highlight until it covers all that you want selected.
  • Lift your finger from the textand you should see a black bar above the text with an option to speak.
  • Tap Speak and it will Speak the text to you. You can pause it at anytime by taping pause. _Note: Back in the Speech settings you can adjust speaking speed and select different voices. I have been told that Alex’s voice is the most realistic. However, I think the British Kate is kind of fun too. _

Teacher Thought Bubble


  • Clearly, teach this to your students so they can opt to have text read to them when they choose.
  • Students with I.E.P.’s can use this feature to have tests read to them without taking them out of the room. They can put ear buds in and nobody needs to know they have an accommodation.
  • Writers can use this feature to have their writing read back to them so they can listen for the flow and fluency of the paper.
  • Early readers could use this feature to help them learn sight words and read a text. -Turn the volume off,leave the highlight words feature on, slow the speed of the reading for early readers to read using a bookmark like visual.

If you have your own thoughts on this topic and these suggestions, feel free to send them to me.

Upcoming Topics


  • More iPad Time Savers
  • More Accessibility
  • All about the Keyboard, Keyboard, Keyboard
  • Helping Parents Parent with the iPad
  • Tools You Don’t Know You Have

Your Feedback


This newsletter is an experiment. It is also flexible to your needs. Please feel free to provide your feedback on the usefulness of the information I have been sending you by replying to any of the newsletter emails. Are there other topics you would like me to cover? Is something not clear and needs further explaining? I value your feedback and will use it to make this newsletter better for you. Thank you!


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Coffee and iPads

October 17th, 2017


Good Tuesday morning and happy birthday to Jill Amoth! My breakfast has been eaten, teeth brushed and coffee brewed. I like to be efficient. I like to save time. Today’s newsletter is focused on tips and tricks to be efficient with Safari on your iPad.

5 Quick Tips for Safari


You can check them off as you go. This works best if you have this email open on your computer or you print this off so you can work with your iPad while you read. Estimated Time to Complete: 1:07 (Times may vary from individual to individual)

All images courtesy of Learning in Hand and 9 to 5 Mac.

Open a webpage on Safari. Scroll down on the page. Tap the clock on the top of your iPad. It brings you to the top automatically.

Open several tabs in Safari on your iPad. Now, long press the open windows icon. You have the option to close one tab, all open tabs, create a new private tab, open split view, etc.

Long press on a link in a webpage. The following are options you have for the link.

Long press on an image to save it to your camera roll or do the following…

Long press the reader view button to automatically turn reader view on for a website or all sites. This cleans an article of all ads and distractions. 

Teacher Thought Bubble


  • Use these tips to save you time.
  • Teach your students these tips to make them more efficient.
  • Use reader view to keep students from the distractions of advertisements.

If you have your own thoughts on this topic and these suggestions, feel free to send them to me.

Upcoming Topics


  • More iPad Time Savers
  • Accessibility
  • All about the Keyboard, Keyboard, Keyboard
  • Helping Parents Parent with the iPad
  • Tools You Don’t Know You Have

Your Feedback


This newsletter is an experiment. It is also flexible to your needs. Please feel free to provide your feedback on the usefulness of the information I have been sending you by replying to any of the newsletter emails. Are there other topics you would like me to cover? Is something not clear and needs further explaining? I value your feedback and will use it to make this newsletter better for you. Thank you!


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Coffee & iPads 10-10-17

October 10th, 2017


Top of the morning to you. The Irish have a saying; “May you have the hindsight to know where you’ve been, the foresight to know where you are going, and the insight to know when you have gone too far.” This is applicable to our use of technology. Technology is a tool and should only be used when it proves to make education more effective and efficient. We need to be purposeful in how we are using these devices in our classrooms and our lives. Nonetheless, we sometimes go too far with technology, using it all the time for nothing productive. We’ve all witnessed the parent who is too busy reading her email to play with her child or the star struck couple who lovingly stare at their screens during their romantic dinner. In today’s newsletter, we willl look at simple ways to control our technology use rather than our technology controlling us.

Control the iPad; Don’t Let the iPad Control You!

Research has proven that technology can be addictive and software developers use strategies, knowingly or unknowingly, that can develop tech-junkies. A chemical in the area of the brain that causes pleasure, called dopamine, can be triggered through very simple interactions such as causing our device to chime every time we receive a message from someone or show the number of unread emails you have in your inbox. Notifications are ruining our lives (A great article on the subject).

9 Minutes of Video (Well Worth Your Time)


IMAGE ALT TEXT HERE

Video courtesy of PBS Newshour.
A similar piece done by 60 Minutes.

Lets Tame The Beast: Do This in Any Order


You can check them off as you go. This works best if you have this email open on your computer or you print this off so you can work with your iPad while you read. Estimated Time to Complete: 4:17 (Times may vary from individual to individual)
– [ ] Go to Settings—-> Do Not Disturb. Toggle the Do Not Disturb feature so it is on. This silences your device. Decide if you want to set a schedule for this feature to be on or if you should always have it on. I have mine set to always.
– [ ] Go to Settings—> Notifications. Tap on each app and turn off allow notifications. This will stop the pop down banners when a message comes to you and turn off the badge counts that appear on your apps.
– [ ] Swipe up until you have accessed control center (Reference last weeks newsletter if you are not sure how to do this). Tapping the bell will allow you to quickly turn silence on and off. Note, this silences noises made by notifications and does not mute your audio. Tapping the crescent moon will allow you to turn Do Not Disturb off and on quickly.
– [ ] Tap on an app and drag it over another app until a folder is created.Now, drag all your apps into that folder. This forces you to know exactly what app you want to use when go into your iPad. You can pull down on the home screen of the iPad and search for that app rather than browsing through all of your apps. You can also place commonly used apps on the dock (See the newsletter from two weeks ago if you forgot how to do this).
– [ ] Set a time of the day that you check and respond to messages. Stick to it and honor your non technology times.

Teacher Thought Bubble


  • Being role models with our use of technology is just as important as knowing how to effectively use it. Be cognizant of your use and set good examples by putting the device away when you should be focused on students, co-workers, and other humans in general.
  • Talk with students and parents about the powers at work to make us all addicted to our devices. Teach them how they can control the devices and not be controlled by it. There will be more in future newsletters about parents parenting with the iPad.
  • Have technology free days in your classroom.
  • When not using the iPads. require students to have their iPads closed. Confiscate the device if they cannot follow your expectations.
  • Require students to turn on do not disturb and to turn off notifications when in class. There is no need for those features to be on at all with our students’ devices.
  • Using the Apple Classroom App, lock students into an app they are to use for class so they are not easily distracted by other apps.

If you have your own thoughts on this topic and these suggestions, feel free to send them to me.

Upcoming Topics


  • iPad Time Savers
  • Accessibility
  • All about the Keyboard, Keyboard, Keyboard
  • Helping Parents Parent with the iPad
  • Tools You Don’t Know You Have

Your Feedback


This newsletter is an experiment. It is also flexible to your needs. Please feel free to provide your feedback on the usefulness of the information I have been sending you by replying to any of the newsletter emails. Are there other topics you would like me to cover? Is something not clear and needs further explaining? I value your feedback and will use it to make this newsletter better for you. Thank you!


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Coffee and iPads 10-3-17

Coffee and iPads

October 3rd, 2017


Good morning and thank you for subscribing to the newsletter. I believe I can speak on behalf of the entire school district when I say that your commitment to improve your knowledge and use of technology in the classroom is appreciated. For this reason, the district will be providing you with free coffee and a beautiful styrofoam cup at your next inservice. Here we go.

3,2,1…….Control Center

Try This in This Order


You can check them off as you go. This works best if you have this email open on your computer or you print this off so you can work with your iPad while you read. Estimated Time to Complete: 2:42 (Times may vary from individual to individual)
– [ ] Take your finger and swipe up from the bottom as if you were bringing the dock up. Instead of stopping when the dock pops up, keep swiping up. This area is called the control center. You can get here by double taping the home button too. What you see are open windows/apps on the left (Called the app switcher) and quick action buttons on the right.
– [ ] With control center open, swipe from the left of your screen to the right. You can see all windows/apps you have had open in the app switcher. Any split screen windows you have open will remain open. For example, if you always surf the web with safari and have the notes app open, that window will keep those two apps open.
– [ ] Place your finger on one of the windows in the app switcher and swipe up. This is how you get rid of open windows/apps. As we have been told many times, you really don’t need to do this unless you want to force quit an app. Open windows/apps do not waste your battery or slow down your iPad.
– [ ] Go to settings —> select Control Center—>Customize Controls. That’s right, you can control what quick action buttons appear on the right of your control center. Add Screen Recording. I would also suggest adding the clock and Apple TV remote.
– [ ] Long press any of the quick actions in the control center and you get more options.

Screen Recording Tool

The screen recording tool is perhaps the most powerful feature in iOS 11 for teachers. It can only be turned on through the control center settings and accessed in control center.

Picture courtesy of Tony Vincent at Learning in Hand. Also a great resource for lesson ideas and effective use of technology.

2 Minutes of Videos


IMAGE ALT TEXT HERE

Video courtesy of AppleInsider.

Teacher Thought Bubble


  • New Control Center makes accessing open apps and quick actions a breeze.
  • Access split screen apps you use often through control center.
  • Screen record tutorials for students.
  • Give feedback using screen recording.
  • Have students “show their work” on a number of things using screen record (Math, reading reflections, taking notes, etc.).
  • Have peer editors for writing use screen record to provide peers feedback.
  • Students could log their reading fluency using screen record.
  • “Read a test” to students using screen record.
  • Screen record has endless possibilities.

If you have your own thoughts on this feature, feel free to send them to me.

Upcoming Topics


  • Do Not Disturb and Other Handy Control Center Tricks
  • iPad Time Savers
  • Accessibility
  • All about the Keyboard, Keyboard, Keyboard
  • Helping Parents Parent with the iPad
  • Tools You Don’t Know You Have

Your Feedback


This newsletter is an experiment. It is also flexible to your needs. Please feel free to provide your feedback on the usefulness of the information I have been sending you by replying to any of the newsletter emails. Are there other topics you would like me to cover? Is something not clear and needs further explaining? I value your feedback and will use it to make this newsletter better for you. Thank you!