Summer Sale on iPad Boot Camp

#edtech #ipaded #mlearning

I have just posted three iBooks as e-courses for my after-school iPad Boot Camps that I give at my school. In these e-courses I show everything that I do to teach these fun and amazing courses.

  • E-course 1: iPad Rockstar Boot Camp
  • E-course 2: iPad Artist/Photographer Boot Camp
  • E-course 3: iPad Filmmaking Boot Camp


These iBooks are on sale for 50% off until July 7, just use the discount code summer13.

Have a great summer,

Brad Flickinger, tech teacher, Bethke Elementary



2nd Annual DPS iPad Symposium

#edtech #ipaded #mlearning I am giving two workshops at the upcoming Denver Public Schools iPad Symposium on February 23rd.

iPad Filmmaking Boot Camp where educators will learn how to shoot and edit movies on their iPads. (come with the iMovie app already installed)

Amazing iPad Projects that will Freak Your Students Out! In this fast-paced and very interactive workshop you will see how I use iPads in ways that most students have never dreamed  of. You will see how my students make movies, web-shows, podcasts, music, animations, and much more with their iPads. This workshop is part improv-comedy and part rock-concert as we learn how to do these projects together, so bring your iPad and come and have fun participating in iPad projects that will assess your student knowledge and skills in ways that will have them begging for more. You can't say that about a normal test! (come with GarageBand, Stop Motion Studio and ArtRage installed)

2nd Annual DPS iPad Symposium from Brad Flickinger on Vimeo.

iPad Rock Star Boot Camp pt 2

#ipaded #edtech #mlearning Last Wednesday I did my second class of my new iPad Rock Star Boot Camp with my students in fourth and fifth grade and I wanted to give you a brief update.

Last week I explained how we are teaching music on the iPad without knowing any music theory to try to prove it can be done -- kind of like flipping music instruction. Instead of years of music theory before learning to rock, we learn to rock and then the motivation is there to learn music theory. I am very happy to report that this is what I have been seeing.

The kids love rocking out on the iPads. Our song "Boulevard of Broken Dreams" is starting to sound like a real song, and today we plan on working on singing.

Here are some photos from last week...




Started iPad Rock Star Boot Camp Today

#edtech #ipaded #mlearning

Today was my first lesson in my new iPad Rock Star Boot Camp that I am doing with the 4th and 5th graders at my elementary school. The funny things is that I know nothing about music -- just to prove that anyone can really rock the iPad if they know a few tricks. So here are the things that we covered today.

Introduction: I explained to my students that they did not need to know music theory -- a collective smile grew across their faces. I then explained that they did not need to know how to play an instrument or even be able to sing, most of that we can fix with the iPad.

Step One: Find the right song. The right song is not necessarily your favorite song that you have been dying to record. I take the students to and then we start to search for sheet music of their favorite songs. The sheet music pops up and I tell them how I always look for a song with just a few chords per bar (or measure). Remember, I know nothing about music theory, but there are some things I had to learn about. The fewer chords the better, one chord per bar is great. So after I shoot down of few of their songs I show them the song that we are going to be playing for the boot camp; The Boulevard of Broken Dreams by Green Day, two chords per bar and most of the song uses the same four chords over and over again -- perfect for young rockers and their iPads. I paid the $5.75 for the sheet music and ran off a copy for each student.

Step Two: Find what key the song is in. Lucky for me shows on the sidebar the key that the original song was recorded in. I don't know what the heck a song key is, I just know that I can't play songs in GarageBand on the iPad without knowing it. Boulevard of Broken Dreams is in the key of F-minor.

Step Three: Break down the song into sections. I have a worksheet that allows us to break the song down from sheet music into individual sections and then we count how many bars are in each section. Sections are what GarageBand needs to make a song. For example Section A is the Intro and it is 4 bars, Section B is Verse 1 and is 14 bars. You will need this for the next step.

Step Four: Record the Sections of the Song. So I have them start up GarageBand on their iPads, then we start a new song, we then set the key to F-Minor, and then we had to edit one of the chords with the Chord Editor, so that it matched the original song. We kept the tempo and the time signature set at the default. I had them set the section length for Section A to 4 bars. We were using the Smart Acoustic Guitar. So after practicing a few times, they each put on their headphones and recorded the chords for the intro, and then on to making Section B: Verse 1. After about an hour we had the beginnings of a rock song.

Next week we will continue our recordings and get ready to add vocals. Stay tuned...

- Brad Flickinger, Tech Teacher, Bethke Elementary School


Wrote my first iBook in 20 minutes!

#edchat #ipaded #mlearning #appleed

Like many of you I watched last week's Apple announcement about the changing of textbooks with somewhat cautious optimism. I think it is about time that the textbook publishers got on board -- so I was happy to see what Apple had put together. But when they showed iBook Author I about fell out of my chair. I have literally been wanting something like this for years.

As soon as the presentation was over I downloaded the free app to my MacBook Pro. Now all I needed was a book to write!

That was when I decided to publish the screenplay to my recent iPhone movie I did during the iPad Boot Camp, The Attack of Robokid. So I opened iBook Author, picked a template, drug my screenplay from Pages into it and Shazam! Instant iBook!

That took care of chapter one, so I then added a chapter with behind the scenes photos done as a slide show -- I had to write a caption for each of the 15 photos, so this took the bulk of the 20 minutes.

I then added a final chapter that had the video of the movie the screenplay is for so the reader could see how we chose to shoot it.

I have to admit it looks great. As it turns out, the next thing I needed was an iTunes Connect account so I can sell it in the iBook Store, so I applied for that, plus ordered an ISBN number and now I am just waiting for everything to go through.

Below is the PDF of the iBook (all the interactive parts are missing, but you will get an idea as to my layout).

- Brad Flickinger, Tech Teacher, Bethke Elementary.

iBook Screenplay The Attack of Robokid

Preparing to present at FETC.


Next week I'll be traveling to Orlando, Florida for the annual FETC conference to give my presentation on unbelievable elementary tech projects. I have been panicking trying to get the new projects from my recent iPad Boot Camp included my presentation.

Orange County Convention Center

My biggest frustration is that this presentation as it was, would take normally two and a half hours to show and now with the new stuff that I just got from the iPad Boot Camp, I don't know how I'm going to fit all of the projects into the one hour time limit that I have at FETC. So I guess the best thing I can do is to show little samples of each project to give a little taste of what is possible for young students to do with technology. Because if these conference attendees are anything like I am when I go to conferences, I go there for two reasons; I go there to be inspired and I go to there to steal ideas and that's really what I want to do, I want to give them lots of different ideas that will inspire them and also things that they can just take back to their own schools and take credit for themselves.

If you are planning on attending, my friends at Atomic Learning have a free Expo Pass: then enter this code: FREE016.

See you there!

-Brad Flickinger, tech teacher, Bethke Elementary


Teaching Kids with iPads - Part 3 of 5

#edtech #ipaded #mlearning

Every day we start with about 30 minutes of iPad training -- which is really the nuts and bolts of the Boot Camp. We felt is was important that the students know how to use their iPads like a pro. I don't want them to go home at the end of this week and know how to film and edit movies but don't know how to create folders.
Here is a breakdown of what we cover everyday...
- set up and get on our wireless
- app check (all needed apps)
- set up Gmail account
- set up PogoPlug account
- set up Cinch account
- set up 360 Panorama account
- make new note called Timmy S. Reflection Questions and email the note to me
- take photos (metering)
- photo booth self photo
- downloading photos from websites
- email photos to me
- create folders
- access all running apps
- orientation lock or mute
- quick volume mute
- airplay
- looking at PDFs
- iBooks (download samples from PogoPlug)
- Safari (zooming, quick to top, bookmarks)
- take an screenshot
- turning off your iPad (really turn it off)
- avoiding underpowered USB docks
- use multitasking gestures
- printing with your iPad
- set up Toontastic Toontube account
- keeping apps up to date
- copy and paste
- hidden apostrophe and quotes
- add a period with double-space
- how to split and move the keyboards
- street view on maps
- directions on maps
- forget our wireless
- remove Gmail account
- remove PogoPlug account
- remove Cinch account
- remove 360 Panorama account
- remove Toontastic Toontube account
As you can see, on Friday we will remove the new accounts that we set up on the student's iPads.
To see more about the Boot Camp go to our website:
Brad Flickinger, Tech Teacher, Bethke Elementary School

Kid's iPad Band Cover Katy Perry's "Firework"

#edtech #edchat #ipaded #mlearning This was recorded as part of our final show and tell with parents to show everything that was done during the iPad Boot Camp (students in grades 3, 4 and 5).


For more video and photos from the Boot Camp go to

- Brad Flickinger, Tech Teacher, Bethke Elementary School

Teaching Kids with iPads - Part 2 of 5

#edtech #edchat #ipaded  #mlearning

I came home from teaching day 2 of my iPad Boot Camp to find over 70 emails from teachers wanting to know more about how to teach kids with iPads. Many of the emails were full of questions that I hope to answer over the next few posts, and many of you wanted to see the projects that the kids have been working on, so here is a link to the students project (which is being constantly updated)...

Week-long projects:

iPad Filmmaking - every morning we work for an hour on our movie project. On Monday we outlined and planned our movie and today we were able to shoot the first couple of scenes. We shoot the footage on an iPhone (we did have a tripod mount for an iPad) and then we edit the footage in iMovie on an iPad. Here are some photos of the kids working on their movie:

iBand - Every afternoon we spend about 45 minutes practicing our song (we are doing a cover of Katy Perry's Firework song), yesterday we learned the cords and today we started to play different instruments in GarageBand on their iPads. Here are some photos:

Kid Tech News - The last thing we do everyday is a news show that is our wrap up of everything we have done today. This gives the students a chance to reflect on what they have learned to do with their iPads. They enter their ideas into our teleprompter (iPad) and then we record it with the iPhone and edit in iMovie on the iPad. We are having problems with our mic, which we hope to fix soon. Here are some photos:

As you can see, we had another great day at the iPad Boot Camp. I'll have a report tomorrow that will explain more of the daily projects that we do.

- Brad Flickinger, Tech Teacher, Bethke Elementary School

Teaching Kids with iPads - Part 1 of 5

#edtech #edchat

A few months ago I took a survey of my elementary kids to see what kind of mobile technology they had at home and it turned out that 53% of my students in 3rd, 4th, and 5th grades had iPads and 82% had iPods! With over half of my students having iPads, there is no doubt that soon they will be bringing these devices to school -- so it go me thinking...

How do I teach students with iPads?

So I called my friends over at Atomic Learning to brainstorm some ideas and we both agreed that this was a question worth answering. They explained that they are working with classrooms that have iPads and they have been gathering some interesting ideas on how iPad classrooms are a lot different than conventional ones. So with some pointers from them, I decided to do an iPad Boot Camp.

Planning iPad Projects:

The first thing I did to get ready for my iPad Boot Camp was to start designing iPad projects, projects that were designed with a focus on Bloom's Digital Taxonomy and the principles of UbD. Every project was focused on the new Common Core Standards and not iPad apps. The apps were to be used as tools and not the center of the project.

Day One of iPad Boot Camp:

So after two months of project planning, I started the iPad Boot Camp this past Monday with 10 students in the 3rd, 4th, and 5th grades to see how to teach students with iPads. So one of the first things I did was to replace the conventional whiteboard with a 32" HD LCD TV. I attached an Apple TV to the TV and this allowed me to use my iPad to teach students through AirPlay. AirPlay allows me to connect wirelessly to the TV, which allows me to walk around the room untethered. Student can also use their iPads to connect to the same TV and show the entire class their iPad and what they have been working on. This is a great new way to teach.

Sense of Purpose using Puppet Pals: our first project gave the students this challenge...

How can your team make a short puppet show with Puppet Pals that teaches people how to find their sense of purpose?

Here are some photos from that project:

Principled using Storyrobe: student were given this challenge...

How can you use your iPad or iPod to make a narrated slideshow to show people what your goals are to show better responsibility?

Here are some photos from that project:

What have I learned from day one? A ton! I have three pages of notes of ideas that shocked me when it came to teaching kids with iPads. I will organize my notes and include these ideas in an upcoming post.

I've got to get back to work, day two starts in a few minutes.

- Brad Flickinger, Tech Teacher, Bethke Elementary School

Getting students to be more than just iPad Neanderthals.

#edtech #edchat #elemchat

Many educators believe that students already know how to use their iPads, but the truth is that most students only know what I call "The Neanderthal Basics."

The Neanderthal Basics when it comes to students on iPads are:

Game Play: there is no doubt about it students love to play games on these devices -- so much so in fact, that they don't see the potential for all the things that their iPads can do. If they would just close Angry Birds down for a few minutes they could discover all of the great things their iPad can create.

Music and Videos: Every now and then they turn off a game and then they take a step down and just sit back and watch videos or listen to music.

It is time for our students to evolve and start to see what that thin little device in their hands can do.

As you know from my previous posts, I am working hard on my new iPad Boot Camp. I am designing some of the most amazing projects that will push my students to do more with their iPads. Every time I try a new app, and then I adjust it so that it makes an incredible digital artifact I am blown away at what these little tablets can do.

We are also going to cover the basics operations of their iPads -- turn them into iPads pros. For this I turned to my friends at Atomic Learning. They have a new series on the iPad (updated for iOS 5) that covers it all.

Many of the parents of the students that I have in the boot camp tell me that they are excited for the kids to come, so that they can learn from their kids how to use iPads themselves.

Today I am breaking down each lesson using the UbD lesson planning method so that I know that my student will get the most out of each project.

Stayed tuned,

-Brad Flickinger, Tech Teacher, Bethke Elementary School

iPad Boot Camp for Elementary Kids

#edtech #edchat #elemchat

Since I feel strongly that the future direction of technology in elementary schools is really going in the direction of tablet computers, and more importantly for now at least, the iPad, I decided it was time to do something about this so I have put together the iPad boot camp for my students to go to during the winter break. We sort of have a long winter break this year, even after New Year's Day we still have another week of winter break so I'm going to do this boot camp at the observatory near my house We are going to meet for six hours a day for five days and really get to the bottom of what students can do on an iPad.

The first thing I am going to cover is moviemaking using these devices. We are going to film with an iPod using a special tripod with an iPod mount on it and a microphone plugged in the bottom movies shoot a legit movie over the five days. It is so cool that kids really can edit video using iMovie on the iPad complete with sound and video effects. I really think that this is the type of things that is a great direction for kids to go with being able to express themselves by making their own videos on these devices.

The next thing I am going to cover is making little animations on their iPods using these funny little apps that allow students a simple way to animate stories and ideas. I'm also going to bring in stop motion animation were we to put the iPad on a tripod and do actual stop motion animation, again these are creative outlets for students to use to express their education in a way that that works for them. Students want to create digital artifacts with their iPads, and with the movie that I've mentioned previously and making these short little animations on their iPads, this is going to give them a creative outlet that will amaze you.

Another thing I am going to cover is iPad photography. With an iPad, I am going to show my students how to take great photos and then how to edit these photos by adding the appropriate filters and effects to them to make a powerful image, that they can use to tell a story. In addition to just plain photography the students are going to learn how to take 360° photos. These are immersive type photographs that students can use to show what is going on all around them.

This is just a sampling of what we are going to be doing during this iPad Boot Camp. There are many more apps and projects that the students will be doing.

After talking with my friends at Atomic Learning, it turns out they are very interested in this boot camp and they have offered to help in any way. Together we have decided that every lesson should be standards-based and linked to the new Common Core Standards. So stay-tuned to updates from this boot camp.

- Brad Flickinger, Tech Teacher, Bethke Elementary School