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 10-24-17

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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How To: Spice Up Your Syllabus with Google–Part 2

This is part two in a two-part post.  Part one, where I explain how to make a syllabus using Google Slides, can be found at the following link.  Note:  There will be no post next week in celebration of Labor Day.

So I have my syllabus; I’ve made it visually appealing, embeddable and even included some multimedia elements.  So what?  There is little to nothing engaging about my new tech-savvy syllabus.  It may prove to be more efficient for me in the future as I can edit one document and impact all my courses; parents can see it posted on the internet, and it has some links and videos that students can simply click to learn about aspects of the class.  However, I need to do more to engage students in getting to know basic procedures and expectations in the class and then to check for understanding:  Enter Google Forms. Continue reading


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How To: Spice Up Your Syllabus with Google–Part 1

The start of school is right around the corner and I’ve been spending time preparing for the first few days.  They are crucial days as the tone is established; relationships develop or don’t and procedures are put in place.  Within the first few days, I have several objectives:  make my class unique, build relationships, establish an expectation of self-directed learning and communicate basic class procedures and expectations.  While I have consulted many resources (Check out this resource built around Alan November’s first five days project.) and planned some great activities, the presentation of the syllabus remains a challenge.

Continue reading


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How To:  Gamify Your Classroom

This past week, MJ Linane, founder of www.guildway.com, Shawn Young, founder and CEO of ClassCraft, and myself conducted a webinar about gamification of the classroom.  Our purpose was to inform interested teachers of the why, what and how of gamification.  The full webinar is posted below and I encourage you to view it and post any comments or questions you may have.  I, being the interested, but the non-experienced teacher pertaing this topic, will not answer them but will ask MJ and Shawn, the “Game-Masters,” for their feedback.  Watch the webinar and view the outline below. Continue reading


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How To: Create an Interactive E-Book with Google Slides

Working in a one-to-one school district, where every student is provided with a device such as an iPad or Chromebook, can be a great opportunity of freedom for teachers and students.  The device serves as an efficient tool to create and curate information, as well as, a flexible environment to share content.  No longer does an individual need to negotiate with textbook publishers and be locked into the confines of the perception of the authors of a company when it comes to the content and methods that should be used to teach a specific skill or understanding.  The digital world allows for educators to create e-books, or electronic versions of a book that may contain interactive elements, that can be produced, shared, and modified quickly and with little expense to a school district. Continue reading


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How To:  Use Schoology So Students Become Masters

When I turned 16, like most kids in the United States of America, I took my driver’s test–and, I failed.  I went right through an uncontrolled intersection without blinking an eye–let alone slowing down to check for oncoming traffic (Luckily there was none).  It was a miserable day for me.  I tried making excuses but none justified the tragedy of failing.  I simply did not perform well on that test, and I was devastated.  I am quite thankful, however, that the man working for the Department of Motor Vehicles did not say “no second chances are allowed.”  Rather, he said “When would you like to try again?”  I am happy to announce that I am a fantastic driver today.  I have never been in an accident nor have I incurred a traffic citation.

I tell every one of my students that story as I explain my policy on second chance tests/projects in my class.  I let them know that I want them to learn the concept or improve the skill that I felt was important  to teach and assess.  That they can take a second chance test or rework the project (Not to be mistaken with a retake that is the same test or just blindly turning in multiple revisions of a project.) if they come to me and look at what went wrong the first time around and we discuss how they can improve.   Continue reading