Category Archives: iPad

Slides Carnival

Slides Carnival is a wonderful free template gallery for Google Slides users that scaffolds the process of creating an effective slide show for users. All Slides Carnival templates contain the same slides and options, but different formatting, colors, fonts and layout. They are also all customizable. Unfortunately, Slides Carnival shows advertisements and does not allow downloads when on the iPad.

So, I added all the templates into a Google Folder and am happy to share them with anyone in the district. Please just click “Add to Drive” and once you have selected a Slides template that you like, go to File, Make a Copy.


5 Links Monday (on Tuesday 3.15.2016)

Happy mid-March teachers!

Link 1: Blogging with 6 year olds…wait, what? Yes. Here’s a great podcast from Kathy Davis about the work Kathy Cassidy is doing to connect her 1st graders in Canada to the rest of the world through Skype and blogs. She addresses great questions regarding internet safety and why young children need digital portfolios . Check out her classroom blog which links to all her kids blogs.

Link 2: This is best thing I’ve read about in months (thank you presidential primary season for destroying my hope in humanity). Creating free 3D printed books for Visually Impaired. Genius. I’m already thinking about ways we can have our students create books and then print them for our VI students. Boom.

better 3d prints for books



Link 3: Fair Use in media is complicated – here is a short video on some ways to appropriately use and credit work. Also, see the article that has a few other great resources for teachers and students.

Link 4: Who doesn’t love dinosaurs? And who doesn’t love David Attenborough’s voice (who is also, dare I say a dinosaur)? Check out this amazing Virtual Reality of the heart of a titanosaur- one of the largest animals ever thought to walk the planet.

For more, go here.

Link 5: How do you get kinder writers to write about something interesting? Use your iPad to take a picture of them doing something either in or outside of the classroom. Then they can go back and look at it, write about it and add more details. A great tip from my professional crush and fellow ADE Kristi Meeuwse.

student work









Image from Kristi’s blog

5 Links Monday (on Wednesday 1.27.2015)

Link 1: In honor of the blizzards that occurred on the East Coast last weekend, I thought I’d share a Snowflake Safari from Science Friday. I had no idea that there were over 30 different kinds of snowflakes! And did you know that you can make your own??? WHAT??

Link 2: A great response to students using social media inappropriately by Patrick Larkin (former Principal and now Assistant Superintendent) from Burlington Public Schools. Burlington has really led the way in using iPads 1:1 for years now, and there are some pretty awesome resources provided by not only their Assistant Superintendent, but by views into teacher classrooms in how they are integrating technology effectively.

Link 3: Are you looking into getting a drone for your class? Or maybe just trying to justify getting a drone for yourself…for your class? My friend Leah Lacrosse has one for her 8th grade science students and shared in her blog a few ways she is using the drone as well as some safety rules and regulations. Below is a video uses for general guidelines.

Link 4: I love data but numbers are hard for me to process in my head- which is why I love infographics and data visualization. This is an awesome way to visualize data regarding the economic activity of states across the USA by Who knew that California has the largest economy? Not this former science teacher.


Link 5: Calling all music teachers! Have you heard about Music Memo? I am not musically inclined what-so-ever, but I have heard great things about this new free app released by Apple. It’s said to be in between the functionality of Voice Memos and Garage Band, and according to our ITC musical expert Ben Kalb, it’s amazing.

For information on how to get Voice Memos into Garage Band, see this article.

5 Links Monday (on Tuesday 12.1.2015)

Welcome back!! I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving Break with family and friends.

1. Next week is Computer Science Education Week and the Hour of Code. If you can, please dedicate an hour sometime next week to introduce coding to your students. The Hour of Code website is set up for kids of all ages with lots of great activities, including a new Star Wars themed galaxy builder!! For something more local, check out Computer Science Week at Trail Ridge Middle School.

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2. 2015 Apple Distinguished Educator colleague Jodie Deinhammer, Science Teacher from Coppell Independent School District in Texas was recently featured in the “Teacher Stories from Apple” section for her work teaching anatomy with iPads and probes. Check it out and find other stories from other ADEs in different disciplines!

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3. Tis the Season to spread germs…so how far do sneezes and vomit travel?? Please remember to cover your mouth and wash your hands frequently.

4. This American Life reached its 500th episode! For those of you who enjoy the program as much as I do, I found this article to be interesting: Ira Glass, the host, was asked what his favorite episodes are (and they are listed here).  Now I know what I will be listening to on my commute all this week.

5. And this last one is really just for fun. Do you get out of bed/sleep on the left or right side? It turns out There Really Is A Wrong Side of the Bed. Time for an ole’ switcheroo for me!

Awesome App, Maybe, Maybe Not

With 1.5 million apps on the App Store we expect you’ll find one not on the LTP Provided and Recommended list that you may want your students to download. Before you start planning that amazing lesson plan that will require this new app you’ll need to make sure of a few things.1 To help you with that our team wrote a 1-pager to help guide teachers through the steps of what they need to do to meet the district guidelines for using 3rd party apps and web services.



Just the other week Westview Middle School initiated a process that provides a systematic way to ensure teachers meet these guidelines. This came out of a conversation about iPad expectations for students during their tech team meeting. Stemming from a desire to be clear with students and parents about what apps are allowed on devices they decided to have a “whitelist” document that includes all the apps students are approved to have on their device.

Patrick Mount, Cindy Thompson (Westview’s Teacher Librarian & BTC), and myself created a  Google Form that teachers will need to fill out in order to get the app approved. Once they do this both the principal and AP are alerted and will approve or disapprove the app. Here’s a copy of the form. 

Please reach out to the ITCs  if you’re interested in making one for your school.





  1. Especially when you consider what the company may be asking from the students and what some of them may do with their data. []

5 Links Monday (on Tuesday 9/29/2015)

What an epic week for astronomers and planetary scientists! Holy Mars and Holy Moon (not to be confused with the Holy Pope Francis who visited D.C., New York and Philly this past week-speaking of which, did you catch Pope Baby?).

1. Like many other people around the world, I tried to view the Super Blood Moon and was unable to see it due to cloud coverage. Friends sent me visually terrible photos from their phones making me feel better that I had missed it in real life, knowing there would be epic photos online the next day. And there were. I appreciate the New York Times in hosting not only the amazing photos…but also the less amazing photos. 

2. Mars has liquid water. WHAT? When I took Extraterrestrial Life class in graduate school, scientists thought of Mars as arid and hot, not sustainable for liquid water. Thanks to MRO, we now know that there is actual salty water flowing on Mars. Does this mean there is life on Mars? One issue in determining if there is life on Mars is how to we investigate without contaminating Mars with our own little life forms? Does this mean the book/movie The Martian with Matt Damon is no longer scientifically accurate? Oh the drama.

15-195_perspective_2You’re welcome…that was a three-fer (3 links in 1). Image from NASA.

3. This link is for those math teachers out there wanting fun and interesting ways to practice graphing. You can thank Kyle Addington for finding this one.

4. Crazy hair day at school? Don’t have time or money to get a costume for Halloween? Check out these hair “costumes.” 



5. We aren’t quite ready for you all to download iOS 9 for iPads – please do not do so until we send an all clear email. While anxiously awaiting to download, check out the new accessibility features! There are some new additions that are great for students who need more support when interacting with the iPad. Check out the video by Luis Perez and go to his site for many more upgrades to Accessibility.



End of Year iPad Backup

Prior to leaving for summer, we hope you’ve considered how you are saving your data, photos and videos that you may want to keep for the following school year.

Due to our district’s device management tools (MDM), if your district iPad is wiped clean of its data, you will not be able to restore from a backup.* It’s therefore essential that you have a plan for keeping data saved off your device.

Photos and Videos

There are several ways to get important media files off of your iPad and into a more permanent storage location.

Option 1

Screen Shot 2015-04-22 at 10.31.57 AMImport photos or videos directly from iPad into Google Drive while connected to wifi. This is best for a few files on a strong wireless network.

Option 2

Export your files to a computer, then upload from that computer to Google Drive. This is best if you have several photos and videos.

  1. Import photos onto a computer, then to Google Drive:
  1. Then upload photos and videos from computer to Google Drive.
Documents and Data

Each app has an unique process that allow for copies of data to be shared through Google Drive. Here is a list of LTP apps that will allow for data to be stored in Google Drive

Screen Shot 2015-04-22 at 10.39.01 AMIf you want to learn more about file management with these apps, there is a collection of how-to videos uploaded to the Google Drive iPad playlist for several of the LTP apps.

For more information on backing up devices look at this DTS Support Article.


iPad Camp Presenters Wanted!


We are actively seeking presenters (secondary) to help us plan for and build Camp iPad 2015, two multi-day professional learning experiences for St. Vrain secondary teachers to help them grow in their teaching and learning with digital tools. Please complete the Google Form to express interest and to share your ideas, and we will get back with you to build your idea into a piece of the Camp iPad experience. Selected presenters and facilitators will be compensated for their time, expected to attend a planning meeting (sub provided) and will help us to shape this event. Please complete this form to the best of your ability.

Presenter proposals are due by April 13th. Feel free to submit multiple sessions if you would like. For More information, go to

Camp iPad for Secondary Teachers offers either a 2 day or 4 day option for middle and high school educators interested in the iPad as a tool for teaching and learning. The two day conference model includes hands-on sessions to share best practices from fellow SVVSD teachers while giving participants time to explore and reflect on their own practice. The four day extended edition expands the time for participants to collaborate, build, create and prepare for the year ahead. Camp staff will be on hand to facilitate instructional planning with school-based and/or content-area teams. Bring your own team, or make one at camp. Camp iPad is open to ALL middle & high school teachers and is free for SVVSD teachers.

During Camp iPad for teachers, you will:

  • Learn from colleagues working in a 1:1 environment who are are integrating technology into instruction
  • Reflect on your own practice while planning for implementation in your classroom
  • Explore models of digital practice and citizenship

In addition, the 4 day edition will allow you:

  • Collaboration time to redesign units or lessons in your curriculum area

Learn more at

(Registration for the 4 day edition includes all events within the 2 day edition.)

Camp iPad: Frederick

May 27-28, 2 day conference edition

Register now HERE

May 26-29, 4 day extended edition

Register now HERE

Camp iPad: Longmont

June 2-3, 2 day conference edition

Register now HERE

June 1-4, 4 day extended edition

Register now HERE


Contact Instructional Technology Coordinator Stephanie Schroeder ( ) if you have any questions in the meantime.



Managing Student Distractions

All of us struggle with managing distractions from our phones or tablets.  When these distractions occur in the classroom it can negatively impact a student’s education. Fortunately there are several iPad settings to help students manage distractions.

Sunset Middle School teacher Ms. Mehsling manages distractions by instructing her students to turn off iMessage while in class.  She said it took two weeks for the class to establish the habit and since then she has not had an issue with iMessage distraction.

The method you choose to manage distractions is less important than consistent classroom expectations and helping students to establish a management habit.  Below are three ways you can help your students manage distractions and stay focused on learning.


This feature allows notifications or alerts from specific iOS Apps to run across either your lock screen or while you are working in a different application.  If you chose to use this management process with your students I would suggest having them turning off notifications for iMessage, any social media they use and any gaming app.

To do this go into your settings and tap on notifications.  Then toggle the “allow notifications” to the off position.  For more information about notifications please reference Apple’s information on notifications. 


To manage iMessage students have two choices, they can turn off  the notificaitons or turn off iMessage for a period of time.  To turn off iMessage go into settings and then click on messages.  You can then toggle iMessage to the off position



Do Not Disturb:

This feature allows users to silences calls, alerts and notifications you recieve.  You have several choices with this feature.

  1. Manual or Scheduled: Users can choose to manually set Do Not Disturb which means it will always be on or to schedule it for a certain time.
  2. Silence: Users can choose to have Do Not Disturb to work ‘always’ which means while the user is doing anything on their iPad or ‘only while the iPad is locked’


New Video – Advice From St. Vrain Teachers

Several middle school teachers from our district share their thoughts to help other teachers as they make the shift to a 1-1 learning environment. The topics range from practical applications, to general approaches that may offer insight to teachers as they  navigate this change in teaching and learning.

Reflections on Practice in a 1-1 Environment – Advice From St. Vrain Teachers