Tech Salad

With Crunchy Bits and Bytes

Month: December 2011

iPad Art

This week I spent a morning with Mrs. Rohrer’s students working on their watercolor project. We used the iPad cameras to photograph the students’ drawings. Then, we brought them into SketchBook Express and added color, simulating watercolor painting. The finished painting will be a model for students to follow after the break when we do the real watercolor painting on paper.


art (1)

iPads and WebDAV

When I was finalizing my presentations for VSTE a couple of weeks ago, John Hendron (blog) said, “If you were more adventurous, you’d enable WebDAV and use that instead of DropBox to share your documents.” I don’t like taking risks at conferences, so I just nodded my head and went about my day.

Last week I remembered the conversation and decided to look into it. My Google search returned two tutorials. One assumed I knew more than I did. The other one was detailed enough for me, so off I went into Terminal, facing my fear of anything starting with “sudo.”

Of course, it did not work. So, if you follow the tutorial, just know you have to add “<Directory” to the beginning of the third bit of STEP 3. In the image below, you see there is a </Directory> at the end, but there is no <Directory at the beginning. Computers don’t seem to like that much.

Screen Shot 2011-12-14 at 9.47.51 PM

That seemed to do the trick, and we moved several Pages documents back and forth between my iPad and my MacBook. Beautiful.

One more thing, I did not name the user “myipad” but “student” instead.

What am I doing with my WebDAV now? Students can connect to my laptop and turn in their iWork files from their iPads. Now that I know it works so beautifully, we’ll be following the tutorial, minus the hour spent on debugging, and get all teachers collecting and sharing documents with student iPads. One step closer to making this seamless.


This week the students in Ms. Holloway’s class have been creating campaign ads for fictitious candidates. Here are a couple I’ve found interesting.

The first group focused on the numbers. I love the music they selected. It paints a grim picture, no?

The second group went with humor. They are from the Bull Moose Progressive Party. They brought in props and went all out with the Old Spice idea.

Who would you vote for?

English Pronunciation

When I spoke about using audio to help students develop metacognitive skills this week at VSTE, I shared a personal experience with a few people who spoke to me after my session. I am not a native English speaker, and when I first came to the United States, I had to work very hard to make myself understood. I used a tape recorder and repeated what NPR reporters said exactly as they said it until I sounded just like them.

Of course, now that Sofia Vergara has made it so cool to have an accent, I’m sometimes sorry I worked so hard to get rid of one just like hers.

Still, accent or no accent, I run into words I can’t figure out. I know the rules, but the rules are not always that helpful in a language with so many exceptions.

Take a look at a portion of this funny poem made up of exceptions.

Dearest creature in creation,
Study English pronunciation.
I will teach you in my verse
Sounds like corpse, corps, horse, and worse.
I will keep you, Suzy, busy,
Make your head with heat grow dizzy.
Tear in eye, your dress will tear.
So shall I! Oh hear my prayer.
Just compare heart, beard, and heard,
Dies and diet, lord and word,
Sword and sward, retain and Britain.
(Mind the latter, how it’s written.)
Now I surely will not plague you
With such words as plaque and ague.

You can read the whole thing at the Spelling Blog. Try it aloud and giggle a bit.

Think about these exceptions when listening to children read. Teach them to use audio, whether it is created by them, or generated by accessibility tools.

iTunes U

Today I am speaking about using iTunes U for professional learning and for classroom instruction. The Keynote file is available for download.

Flat to Fabulous – Creating Media-Rich Documents

I have created an eBook that contains all the information I’ll be presenting at the 2011 VSTE conference in  Roanoke.

Flat to Fabulous (download the eBook) is a guide for creating eBooks as the final product of a classroom project. It includes information on the creation and distribution of eBooks, and a few ideas for teachers. I hope you like it.

UPDATE: Of course people found typos. I’ll be correcting those, and adding a section on using Pages on the iPad, and upload the new version by early next week. So, check back soon.

iHear Myself Read

This afternoon I will be speaking at VSTE about our early literacy program. We are using mobile devices to help students become independent learners.

The Keynote presentation is available for download.

Redistricting Game

Today the students in Ms. Yearout-Patton’s Government class played the Redistricting Game. They had lively conversations about gerrymandering, race, socioeconomic status, and other topics usually avoided by textbooks. What a great example of engaged learning.


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