10,000 Free Windows RT Surfaces for Teachers

#edtech #iste13 Honestly, I didn't really believe it until it really happened...

Last month Microsoft announced that they would give away 10,000 of their Surface RT tablets to educators attending the ISTE Conference this year. If you do the math that is well over $5,000,000 of hardware they're giving away. There had to be a catch.

So I filled out the online form, got a simple piece of paperwork signed by my administrator and when I arrived in San Antonio, I stood in line for 10 minutes and was handed a brand-spankin' new Surface RT. Holy crud, it was true!

This give away is part of Microsoft's bold move to gain a beachhead into the classroom, something to give them a leg up on the iPad. The iPad is dominating the tablet world, but other tablets are gaining ground, and this could turn out to be a strong play for Microsoft.

So it will be very interesting to see how this plays out over this next year.




2nd Annual DPS iPad Symposium

#edtech #ipaded #mlearning I am giving two workshops at the upcoming Denver Public Schools iPad Symposium on February 23rd. http://dea.wikispaces.dpsk12.org/2013+iPad+Symposium

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.

PD: Using iPads for Special Education

#edtech #ipaded #mlearning #atomiclearning OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Using the iPod and iPad™ in special education is a growing trend. But how do you get started, what is the potential, and what strengths do students need in order to be successful users of this technology? This course will answer those questions and participants will walk away with an implementation plan for a student or classroom to ensure successful use of these technologies. Educators participating in this Atomic Catalyst course will specify the needs of students using iPads in their classroom; later classes will then focus on more specific disability areas (like autism) based on participant needs. If you are a special education teacher who wants to learn more about iPads in the classroom—this course is for you.

Centered around the timely topics of Common Core Standards or the use of mobile devices in the classroom, every six-week Atomic Catalyst PD course includes a weekly instructional webinar led by a highly-qualified facilitator, as well as online resources, collaborative discussions and facilitator feedback to help teachers build and apply new strategies and skills. Course participants may also pay an additional fee to receive graduate credit for their work in the course.

Courses entitled “Transforming Classroom Lessons to Teach Common Core Standards” and “Going Mobile” are also offered. To learn more or register for any of these courses, visit https://store.atomiclearning.com/.

Starting Your Own iPad iBand - Part 2

#ipaded #mlearning #edtech

August 27, 2012 - iBand Journal Entry No. 2

The lanyards arrived this week for the students, they loved them. Now they look like band members, but will they be able to sing?


I strongly believe that to get edtech success from our students you need to provide them with authentic experiences, these badges and lanyards help to make their little band more "real."

- Brad Flickinger, tech teacher, Bethke Elementary School


Starting Your Own iPad iBand - Part 1

#edtech #ipaded #mlearning


August 20, 2012 - iBand Journal Entry No. 1

I met with three fifth grade students this week to see if they could even play a few chords on the iPad. So I downloaded some lyrics that showed the chords for Boulevard of Broken Dreams by Green Day, I know nothing about music so I hoped this going in the right direction.

I started up my iPad and launched GarageBand and selected the smart guitar, I set it to the correct key (F minor) and showed the kids how to strum the guitar on the iPad.

I was surprised at how fast they picked it up, especially John, he had no music experience but played the chords well. After 15 minutes it actually started to sound like the real song. There might be something to this after all so I went to www.specialistID.com and ordered some lanyards for our Band, you can't have a band without some '"All Access" lanyards.

Brad Flickinger, tech teacher, Bethke Elementary.

Video: Student Web Show Made with iPads.

#ipaded #mlearning #edtech Here is a video of my students shooting their weekly web show. It starts off with a minute of the actual show, then you will see behind the scenes and how they shoot it with iPads, and use an iPad teleprompter...

KBOB Web Show from Brad Flickinger on Vimeo.

Fun With "Going Mobile" Online Course

#edtech #mlearning #ipaded #atomiclearning

Yesterday afternoon I had a blast filling in for my over-scheduled friend Susan Williams over at Atomic Learning as I facilitated a discussion as part of her blended learning course she is teaching called "Going Mobile." At about 4:30 I got home from teaching and logged into their Adobe Connect account and prepared things on my end as I waited for the educators to join our online discussion.

I got things started by reviewing what they had been learning this past week which turned out to be the SAMR Model, something I ramble on about all the time. Many of them were familiar with the logic behind this model for tech integration, but there needed to be some clarification on how to apply it to lesson planning. I had some in-the-trenches stories to help explain the levels. They then shared how the SAMR Model was applicable to their classroom situations.

Since this next week the participants would be reviewing my Atomic Learning course on authentic assessment using iPads, I took the remainder of the hour to tell them about some of the iPad projects I had been working on since I made the assessment course last June. It is fun to be connected virtually with other educators and share ideas about the exciting reformation of education - some of what is driving this is the use of mobile technologies like the iPad.

It is like all of us educational heretics are starting to unite and organize.

We are going forward, and there is no stopping us -- the status-quo of education is not enough for this type of educators. They are hungry for more and courses like Going Mobile is feeding their appetite for direction and information.

- Brad Flickinger, TechTeacher, Bethke Elementary


Educator Who Quits Over iPad Initiative Has a Change of Heart after Online Training

#edtech #mlearning #ipaded

I came across this post while cruising the usual edtech blogs...

Vacaville Christian Schools in Vacaville, CA recently embarked on a district-wide iPad initiative. While most of the educators grasped the transition to the tablets in their instruction, one teacher in particular struggled.“She was one of the best math teachers on the planet,” Middle School Principal Maylene Ripley said, “But she said she couldn’t do it and she resigned. ”Although the Middle School would miss the talented math teacher, Ripley didn’t want to force the transition on her.

Over the few months after her resignation, her colleagues kept in touch with her and encouraged her that the training and support they were getting through the school’s Atomic Learning subscription would help her through. She decided to return to the school and used the school’s online training solution to become proficient enough in using the tablet that she now teaches other educators how to use their mobile device effectively in their classrooms.

Being a great support system to the teachers as they transitioned was one of Ripley’s claims to a successful mobile implementation. “They needed to know we were there for them when they struggled,” Ripley said.Ripley also credits their mobile device implementation success to their online training partner, Atomic Learning. “One of the best things we did was partner with Atomic Learning,” Ripley stated. “With the on-demand, anytime, anywhere training, our staff could train when they wanted to, on what they needed."

Ripley is thrilled with how the story of her staff ends. “She (teacher who resigned) could barely turn the iPad on and now she’s training others with it,” Ripley said.To learn more about how Atomic Learning’s Atomic Mobilize solution can help your school or district plan an effective mobile implementation, download a free mobile planning worksheet at http://al.atomiclearning.com/mobileplanning.


500th Episode of Student Podcast Tomorrow

20121030-063418.jpg #edtech #ipaded #mlearning

Tomorrow my student will reach a milestone in podcasting -- their 500th episode!

To celebrate this big day, I have invited our superintendent and the assistant superintendent of elementary schools, as well as the local press. The students have decided to take it up a notch and add living singing to the intro instead of just playing music from the iPad. This added more complexity to the situation, but I think it will be worth it.

Stay tuned, and tomorrow I will post a link to our 500th episode.

- Brad Flickinger, tech teacher, Bethke Elementary

The iPad mini and the Common Core Standards

#edtech #mlearning #ipaded

So unless you have been living under a rock (cue old GEICO ad), if you're an educator then you've been hearing a lot of fuss over the adoption of the Common Core Standards, and if you're connected to technology like myself, then you have been waiting for today for the launch of the yet un-named iPad Mini.

But what on earth do the two have in common?

This morning I started my daily churn of the edtech news by reading about Atomic Learning's new program for addressing tech components of the Common Core standards. Which comes on the heals of an article I read in Edudemic magazine on the same subject. Now you combine this with the news that Apple's introduction of the much-rumored iPad Mini press event today will focus on this new iPad and education then you might have some connections.

Although I believe that much of the iPad Mini and education connection today will focus on iBooks and pricing, I am holding on to the hope that the iPad Mini will be a great publishing tool, much like it's bigger brother.

You see, much to do to with Common Core standards and technology centers around students being able to publish their writings, through blogs, wikis, podcasts and such. But I also hope that today we see some changes with the iBooks Author. For example, I hope that students can publish directly from their iPads and not need to use a computer like with the current iBooks Author. Come on Apple let's publish iBooks from our iPads, computers are so pre-iPads.

So with fingers crossed and my breath held, I wait for today's Apple event.




How to make a student iPad podcasting studio.

#edtech #ipaded #mlearning

This past summer I converted our conventional podcasting studio with PCs over to iPads in hopes of improving the workflow. To be honest, I amazed at how easy podcasting is now for my elementary students. Here are the basics:

iPad number 1: Sound Effects. The host of each episode has this iPad his/her desk in the studio, this iPad used the Soundboard app from Ambrosia for all of the different sound effects that we use to make a show; laughter, applause, ohh-ahhh, etc. Before converting to iPads, the sound effect were handled by a different students, which often led to some mis-timed sound effects, now that the host Han control his/her own sound effects, the show is much better.

iPad number 2: Music. Before each show we play about 10 minutes of music while students come into their classrooms, this allows teachers to adjust the volume of the show. We mostly play Kidz Bop songs from the Music app since the lyrics have been scrubbed clean for our young audience.

iPad number 3: AudioBoo. We connect our sound mixer's USB cable into the bottom of this iPad through the Camera Connection Kit. Each show is recorded into the AudioBoo app and then we add album art and upload to our AudioBoo account which is then picked up by iTunes within an hour. AudioBoo also sends out a Tweet using our school's Twitter account.

That's it. What used to take us about 13 steps to get each episode from our studio to iTunes, now happens in three. Here is a link to our show on iTunes. http://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/bethke-elementarys-boos/id556878539

- Brad Flickinger, Tech Teacher, Bethke Elementary


Atomic Learning iPad App Review

20121002-202625.jpg #edtech #ipaded #atomiclearning

After coming down from the high of upgrading from my old iPhone 4 to the new iPhone 5, I had to get back down to the business of tech teaching.

Since I have given up on the idea of lugging around my MacBook Pro in lieu of just my iPhone and iPad I was happy to see that the Atomic Learning app is now available in the App Store.

Next week I need to teach my fourth graders the art of video game design using Scratch. So that was the first thing I searched for and look at all of the great tutorials I found...


The videos played beautifully on my 3rd gen iPad, and the best part of all is having the "second screen" which means, while the tutorial played on my iPad I followed along on my school's desktop Windows XP machine. No more having to click between two computer windows.

- Brad Flickinger, Tech Teacher, Bathke Elementary

Atomic Learning iPad Apps Coming Soon

#edtech #atomiclearning #ipaded


This morning while going to the Atomic Learning website on my iPad, a window popped up as soon the page loaded informing me that they had just detected that I was accessing their website on my iPad and then informed me they will soon have an iPad app.


Having access to the Atomic Learning workshops and tutorials on my iPad through an app is a dream come true. I can't wait to see it.

I'll let you know when it comes out.

- Brad Flickinger, Tech Teacher, Bethke Elementary School

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 www.musicnotes.com 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 www.musicnotes.com 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