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 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)


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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


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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!


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Coffee and iPads 9/26/17

Coffee and iPads

September 26th, 2017


Good Tuesday morning to you and happy homecoming week! Today is twin day at the middle school so grab a cup of joe, one for your twin and lets talk iPads and the new operating system. You’ll want to try this on your iPad so if you haven’t updated to iOS 11 it’s time to be a rebel. Here we go.

The Dock

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 (Shhh! Stop with the nervous laughter, it’s okay.) so you can work with your iPad while you read. Estimated Time to Complete: 3:32 (Times may vary from individual to individual)
– [ ] Turn on your iPad and add your favorite most used apps to the dock (The little translucent bar on the bottom). Make certain one of them is the Apple notes app. Keep adding them. You can add up to 13 on the size of iPads we have. Be careful though because they get damn tiny; especially in portrait mode. You can also add folders of your apps; so technically you could put all your apps on your dock.
– [ ] Notice the vertical line on the right side of the dock and three apps to the right of it. This is where your recent or most used apps go. The apps in that part of the dock will change as Apple tries to learn your habits.
– [ ] Now, open safari to your favorite web page. Keep it school appropriate Ms. Mills!
– [ ] Flick up from the bottom of the screen. The dock is supposed to do that. It now comes up from the bottom whenever you want it to.
– [ ] Find the notes app from the dock. Tap on it and drag it to the right or left until the screen splits. Let go.
– [ ] Open a new note in notes.
– [ ] Tap on some text on the web page and hold until it is highlighted.

– [ ] Hold your finger down on the text until you see it pop up and kind of float. Drag your finger around and the text should float in connection with your finger.
– [ ] Drag the text from Safari to the notes app and drop it. Pretty cool. This works for large pieces of text, images, pdf files, etc.

6 Minutes of Videos


Video Courtesy of MacRumors Estimated Time to Complete: 1:15

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Video Courtesy of 9 to 5 Mac Estimated Time to Complete: 4:45

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Teacher Thought Bubble


  • New dock and drag and drop of apps makes switching apps faster and more efficient.
  • Easier for students to do a reading on one side and take notes on the other side of their iPads
  • Allows for instructions (text, audio or video format) on one side of the iPad and working on a project on the other side of the iPad.
  • Drag and drop of text, images, files makes it easier for students without wifi at home to transfer homework to an offline mode in notes or notability to be worked on at home.
  • Drag and drop of text, images, files makes it easier for students to plagiarize.

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

Upcoming Topics


  • More Major iOS Changes
  • 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

Last Chance


This is your last opportunity to sign up for the Coffee and iPads newsletter. If you have not done so already, reply yes to this email or add your preferred email to this form. If you are opting not to receive weekly emails, thank you for your time and consideration.


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Coffee and iPads

In an attempt to help teachers and support staff in my school district adjust to changes brought to the iPad with iOS 11, I have created a weekly newsletter titled Coffee and iPads.  I will cross post them to the blog to potentially  benefit others and to keep a digital record.  The following is the introductory email.


Coffee and iPads

September 19th, 2017


I LOVE coffee! Coffee and I are like Michael Jordan and Gatorade. We just belong together. So you can imagine my frustration this summer when my trusty coffee maker went caput. I was coffee-less and not ready for a change in my daily routine.

Apple

Like my coffee maker experience this summer, Apple has today changed your daily routine by releasing iOS11 for the iPad. This could be an inconvenience, to you and students, until you learn what it can do. It is a major upgrade that will change the way your iPad looks and functions. It has a learning curve. To help you navigate the changes to iOS and share some tips and tricks too, I would like to introduce you to a weekly email newsletter I am calling Coffee and iPads.

What it is

  • One email a week. It should arrive in your inbox early Tuesday morning, in time for your coffee.
  • Brief emails that focus on one topic related to the iPad operating system. Think bullet points and pictures rather than paragraphs.
  • Ideas to help you be efficient and effective with iPads.
  • One email sent to you to decide if you want to participate, opt in for further emails after that. I don’t want to fill anybody’s inbox without their consent. However, if you already know you want to receive this weekly email just reply yes to this email or go to this form and add your email.
  • Perhaps an opportunity to fulfill a P.P.G.
  • Periodic Coffee and iPad “tours” to answer questions and do face to face PD

What it is not

  • Lesson ideas
  • A focus on specific apps
  • Complicated

Topics

  • Major iOS Changes
  • 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

Below are a few explainer videos made by Apple to showcase some changes coming with iOS 11

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Improving Scaffolding Through Technolgy

When teaching a new skill, it is essential to construct the learning experience in such a way as to reduce the complexity of the skill to a simple task or tasks that cannot be misconstrued.  This may include very specific directions and questions that guide the student as they perform the activity.  As mastery is achieved, the supports are taken away.  This process is known as instructional scaffolding and is the essence of teaching. Continue reading


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2015 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 14,000 times in 2015. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 5 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.