I have worked so hard on this internship portfolio!  However, I feel that this is only the tip of the professional development I will be conducting in the future.  I have found that I love doing the research and finding new things to do with my students in the classroom.  In addition, I enjoy sharing with other teachers, and troubleshooting those problems that come along.  I hope to continue to add to this portfolio over time, and fully expect to continue my work with the iPad in the classroom, and my Fossum Wiki.  Over time, I hope that others will contribute as well!  Off this goes!
 
 
Students began receiving their iPads on March 5.  In some ways this has gone more smoothly than I anticipated, and in other ways not so smoothly.  
Since spring break, the students seem to know their limits with using the iPad in class.  The use of Facebook has just about stopped in most classes.  Students know that in my class I will take it away for that period if they are playing games or using Facebook, or completing work for another class.  I have used the QR code to help them easily access a website, held an Edmodo discussion that went well, and in my 9th period class I try to show them a few tips on using their iPads when I can.  It is interesting how quickly the "good things" any teacher does spreads among the students and teachers, so we are all learning from each other as well.  
I have been helping the other teachers whenever I can.  Most of that help comes informally in discussions at lunch, in the hallway, or in team meetings.  I have been experimenting with several apps, such as testing apps, and have discussions and sharing sessions informally with other teachers about them.
This week was BIG excitement at Fossum Middle School.  Michael Fossum, home after 6 months on the Intenational Space Station, came to our school on Monday morning and asked to visit the science lab classes.  Three of us met to plan a lesson incorporating the iPads and our topic, the Endocrine System.  After searching endlessly for a free app for students, and failing, we came up with a plan for an Edmodo discussion.   When Michael Fossum came to class (with a video camera crew, 3 still cameramen, the superintendent, and other school board members!) I introduced the lesson and the online discussion we were having.  Both he and the superintendent seemed very interested and the students were able to explain the effects of adrenaline they had experienced.  After he left, one student added that she had an adrenaline rush when Michael Fossum walked into the room.  It's not everyday that a hometown hero comes to class!
 
 
It has been an incredibly busy time at school!  I have been busy each day helping students register their iPad onto the Air Watch.  This will enable the district to locate any iPad if it is lost or stolen, in addition to the coverage provided through Apple.  Slowly, slowly, most of my students' parents have enrolled in the iPad program and given permission.  Each day, a few more students receive their iPads, until now nearly all of them have one.  The downside- I am constantly needing to monitor what the students are doing on their iPad.  I take nearly one every class period, but now the students understand that I mean it when I say "Go no where other than where I ask you to go".  I have not found too many on games or Facebook; the word has spread among my students that I will not allow it in my classroom.
I gave my first Edmodo online quiz last Friday.  We got laptops for students without an iPad. The good news- it was easily graded by the computer and I quickly input it into my online gradebook.  The bad news- because the laptop screen is more of a "hidden" view for me as the teacher, I feel (but have no proof) that some students with laptops were searching online for answers.  Their scores were outside of the normal for most students, particularly those who used laptops.  Lesson learned- from now on when we have a quiz I will have paper copies for anyone without a working iPad.  In general, I feel that Edmodo has limited use for true assessment.  Students can refer back to the discussions we have online, all students get the same questions at the same time, or I must create new tests for each class (which I did).  I have a few apps to try that I think may randomize the questions within a class, thus making it more secure.

I have been helping teachers every day with troubleshooting, idea sharing, applications for classrooms, etc.  The conversations are useful for us all; we share what we know and everyone is freely offering tips on what they are doing in class.  My school is full of ideas and enthusiasm with the program.  We had an open house night last week; I showcased for parents a sampling of the Glogs, Edmodo discussions,and podcasts we have done in class.  I also helped some parents with resources for using their student's iPad for their own use as well, such as checking grades and  content.  I feel that my internship will continue long past the time I am "finished"!
 
 
The cadre teachers met after school today to create a set of rules that will become school-wide policy for the iPads at Fossum.  We came up with a list of 6-8 rules; we tried to come up with a theme (keep it covered) and to keep the rules positive.  Our list is going to go to a group of students tomorrow to get their input as well. I created a Google doc for us to use as we planned the list, so that everyone could view the changes that were made as they were made.  At the meeting other concerns were brought up and we brainstormed possible solutions.  I think we made a great start!
 
 
So we made it through one week of the iPad distribution.  The technology problems have been dealt with but not solved, and everyone seems to be adapting.  Students who do not even know me have come to me as a problem solver!  
The Internet limits have been the biggest problem.  It appears that our sever has 250 IP addresses at any one time.  There are about 500 iPads at school and growing.  So many students, and teachers, have not been able to get onto the Internet.  It has been a limited problem in classes since many teachers are not relying on the iPad yet.  The students are playing games constantly- in the hall, in class, at lunch, creating much of the problem.  In addition, the students are still able to access Facebook and are doing so in class.  I took my first iPad away for going on Facebook in class.  I took it to the office with a note of whose it was and what the situation was.  I hope the students catch on quick that Facebook will not be allowed in class.  Hopefully it will be filtered out again; certainly if the problem continues, I hope.
Tomorrow the cadre teachers are meeting after school to create a school list of rules.  It started with a few teachers and the idea grew- I think it is a great one.  I plan to create a Google Doc of the ones we have so far and invite these teachers to edit it; once we have a list we can open it up to all.  A few of these teachers have been wanting to try Google Docs so I thought this would be a great start on that too.  I can then follow up with them later.  That document can be viewed here.
 
 
The students have begun to get their iPads at school.  It has been a slow process to get them all out and with only a few glitches to slow the process down.  All in all, I am very impressed with the organization of the distribution.
One disappointing note- on Friday the IT guy announced that Facebook and Twitter would no longer be blocked on the VPN- allowing students to access them both at home- and school.  I was so against this that I actually sat down and wrote a quick email with all the reasons why I thought it should be blocked- at least during the school hours. I felt that as a student of technology I had learned so many times that change happens slowly, and the process takes time for all, so I felt that this was too much too soon.  My email can be viewed here.
By the end of the day, students were telling me how they had been on Facebook all day long, whenever they had access to a computer.  I found this disappointing but not surprising.  My email has since been forwarded on from the principal to the higher-ups- hopefully they will take notice and block it - at least while we are in school.  
Students were originally told that they would not be allowed to take home their iPads until the VPN apps were installed and working.  However, when the time came, students were given a handout and told to install the process at home.  Many students have not yet done this.  No surprise there.  I have offered to work with students during ATL and after school in order to get it done.  At some point they should be checked and the students without it should lose the privilege.  
Today was the first day most kids had their iPads.  Today's glitch- the wireless system seems to be topping out and won't let new users onto the internet.  This means that many students can't set up their iPads at all, while others are able to get on Facebook and Twitter, or download apps.  Hopefully that problem will be solved in the next few weeks.  In the meantime, I will assign downloading apps as homework and not counting on the internet.  The kids are very excited about their new iPads, but not realizing the educational possibilities of having one.  It will be interesting to show them new things they can do to help them learn.  In the meantime, we will all be suffering "growing pains" as we learn to function in the new technology world.
 
 
They have announced that students will begin getting their iPads on Monday.  However, they have announced this before...given dates that come and go.  The students are getting frustrated but I am glad that they are taking the time to make sure it is all done properly. They have figured out a VPN that will filter internet access for both students and staff that will keep the device from accessing inappropriate sites.  The good news- students will not be able to access Facebook with their iPad at school...or at home.  The bad news- neither can staff!  As I have told the students, they can still access it however they do now- just not with their school iPad.  
I tried to turn the VPN off, but it turns itself back on within a minute.  I tried to access Pandora radio at home, but that didn't work either.  The filters are required; they won't watch what we do but they do get a message if we turn it off.  It will be interesting to see how long it takes a student to over ride it, and get their iPad taken away.  I can't get over how many of the students are just threatening to jailbreak the system.  In the end, I think they will take care of it and value the opportunity.

I am disappointed that only about 1/3 to 1/2 of my students have been given permission to receive an iPad.  The parents either don't know how to access Skyward to give permission or don't want their student to have the added responsibility of the iPad.  I have tried to explain to my students ways we will change the class through the use of technology- such as creating a podcast or ShowMe rather than writing a paragraph to show knowledge- but I don't know how much of that information gets home.  The thinking is that once we get them distributed and using them, the rest of the parents will come on board. I hope so.  We already have ideas for our first project- and a paper and pencil alternative for those who don't have an iPad.
The students need to be able to open their school email account, and then create an iTunes account using that email.  So many of them changed the password and don't remember it; many of them have been changed back to password,  and many can't open it anyway.  The students who have technology class will be working on it tomorrow; I am not sure that the students will actually be able to get the iPads on Monday.  it is just one more hold-up for the students.....but still exciting for us all.
 
 
It has been an incredibly busy month.  I have been working with individuals trying to help them navigate the iPad and Edmodo as well as trying to plan engaging lessons for my own students.  Many of the 8th grade teachers are now using Edmodo regularly in their classes; they have created several quizzes each and used them in class.  I had a particularly successful lesson with an Edmodo discussion which I have shared with many staff members. 
This past week I held a PD session on the accessibility features that come on the iPad and within Pages.  Many of our students can use the extra assistance of Speak Selection and Speak Auto-Text.  I myself use Speak Auto-Text.  In attendance were teachers of both core class and Special Educators.  We all played with VoiceOver for a while and talked about how it could be very helpful with longer text such as books, but leaving it on constantly could become very frustrating for the student.
This session was particularly engaging for the participants and myself because although the special education students have had an iPad since October, I was able to share with their teachers tools that they can use with their students.  Unfortunately, the students were given the iPad but the teachers were not given adequate training.  I did not realize that until just recently, or I would have been able to help them earlier 
 
 
On Wednesday I held a session on simple iPad apps that can be used in classes where thte teacher does not have to have an iPad.  Interestingly, I had 4 teachers that had not attended one of my sessions before.  They were very excited to learn; each had used an iPad before but only limited apps.  They were all as impressed as I had been with how easy QR readers are to use and to create a code.  Then we tried Doodle Buddy, Idea Sketch and Flash Cards Plus.  All are so easy to use with students and students can use them at home without internet (if the flash cards are downloaded at school).  We talked at length about making sure that the students download what they need at school, but what a great opportunity for homework assignments that might actually get completed at home- use flash cards, create a graphic organizer.....the possibilities are endless.  
At the end, we discussed what direction I should continue my internship in.  There is quite a bit of interest in the accessibility features of the iPad itself and Pages- apparently the special ed teachers have not received any training in this even though the students have had their iPads since October.  I think that I will spend the next couple of weeks working with these 2 groups of teachers to raise their comfort levels with what we have done so far.  Target date for iPads for students is Feb. 9!
 
 
On Monday I held a session for very basic skills- how to turn it on, manage the settings, and check the recently used apps to check on what the students have been doing.  There were only 3 teachers in attendance- several cancelled at the last minute- but they were so appreciative of the help.  We used the iPad cart so that they could have a hands-on experience.  None of them have used an iPad but would like to become familiar with it and use it in their classes.  I think that this is the group where I can make a big difference- they want to learn.