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!


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