Breaking Down the Walls, Little by Little

Nicki Ruthai presented on our second day of professional learning here at SIS. She has been using Kidblog in her classroom for several years and has found it to be a powerful tool for her students. Here is what she as to say about it.

“I use Kidblog to show case learning in my classroom and as an ePortfolio. What is special about Kidblog is how I am able to connect with other classrooms around the world. It so happens a lot of the schools that I have connected my class with are actually executing some of same exact units and concepts.

“This didn’t happen over night, I used Twitter as well as the hashtag #comments4kids to have students from other schools comment on my learners’ work. My students are actively engaged in their blogs and are always excited to read and view the number of comments they have on their posts. It’s a process, whatever platform you are using, Macbook Pro, PC, or mobile device it is important to set precedents when blogging. I also taught my students how to comment on other students work, whether in my class or another school around the world. I really feel it can be used at all grade levels, it really has made each of my students work personal and authentic. ”

If you have any questions about, feel free to connect with Nicki Ruthai or just visit her Kidblog or class twitter account to view the powers at hand.


Where is my Device

What happens if my iPad is lost or stolen?

Who to inform:

Student: Teacher, administrator, and parent.

Teacher: eSupport staff or eLearning staff.

Our own system may also be able to track your lost device, otherwise follow the instruction below.

Immediately go to iCloud dot com

1. Sign-in to your iCloud using your Apple ID & password.

a. Select “Find My iPhone.”

12. Map of your bound Apple ID devices will appear.


3. Select on the button that indicates device.

Select the device that is lost from the list below if you have more than one bound device.


4. Three options are given to choose from.

Depending on the severity of the missed placed device, you have three options to choose.


5. For recovery select lost device.

a. If your device has a passcode, enter the code and proceed on to the following. Then cross your finger and hope for the best.

b. If you know where your device may be select play sound.

c. If you know for sure that it will not be recovered, select erase device.




Biome Projects on the iPad

Kristin Mikulka has been facilitating a biome project in her 6th grade science classes for several years. This year, the project was enhanced by the integration of iPads at SIS. The students were both creative and resourceful!

Here is Ms. Mikulka talking about the project:

In this video, Jamie Fraser talks about her experience with her project which was planned using Popplet (Jamie’s Popplet) and created in Educreations (Jamie’s final project).

One of the more challenging projects was undertaken by Jennie Guo who wanted to create a virtual museum that was sharable on the iPad. Here is Jennie explaining her Biome project which used Google Sketch-up and then the app Sight Space:

Other submission examples:

Moritz Friebe got creative with his project by incorporating drama and rap into an iMovie for his Biome project.

Terry Pi’s biome project on the wetland also used iMovie  and succeeded in informing while entertaining.

~ Katie Kruse



Sharing via Instashare

When students in the HS/MS Spring Musical needed to quickly access the songs they would be performing this weekend (April 12th and 13th) and all they had were iPads, Instashare to the rescue!

Instashare allows for easy sharing between iOS devices, and between OSX and iOS devices.  It works much like AirDrop on your MacBook pro.


Get Instashare for iOS


Get Instashare for Mac OSX


Below is a video tutorial of how to use Instashare to transfer files between devices. Note that the Instashare app must be open on each device to transfer files.

 Screen Shot 2013-04-08 at 10.12.20 AM

  *Remember that some files with copyrighted material must be licensed before being used on different devices.

Student eCoaches?

With so much technology at SIS, staff members can’t do it all.

Apple Distinguished Learners Bamboo Program, better known as ADL at SIS is a program for students who want to have a leadership role through technology and learning. Students who applied and got accepted into the program will be taught a number of valuable skills besides using technology in their classroom. This extracurricular program has just begun at the elementary school with grades four and five students,  but has already been up and running at the high school. The current members of the high school ADL program are working towards becoming SIS Apple Genius.

The power of the program is endless in the fact students are pushed to make the program their own. Students will be going through a number of assessments of technology and learning as well. At the elementary level and soon to be in the near future at the middle school, ADL participants will be learning the ins and out of the iPad and Macbook Pro and the powers of iOS/OSX ecosystem. Participants will use the SAMR model to redefine their education. They will use these skills to help teachers and peers troubleshoot devices issues, along with offering sound pedagogical app suggestions.

What sets this program apart from other technology programs at other schools around the world is that we are putting student eCoaches into the classroom. For more details about the program click on the image image below.



Twitter in Kindergarten

One of our Kindergarten teachers, Carlene Hamley, is leveraging Twitter in her classroom in a variety of ways.  Not only is she improving classroom transparency and augmenting writers workshop but also exposing her students to collaboration on a global scale.  Brilliant, practical stuff.  Get into the nitty gritty of some great teaching and learning here.

Creating Posters on the iPad

Students in the 6th grade Tech for Learning class developed posters to reflect their learning about topics related to media use. A variety of apps were used: Vizualize, KeynoteScrap Pad and Pages. The students also made short videos in iMovie demonstrating the main point of the poster. These movies will be attached to the posters via Aurasma. Come check them out!

Other apps for designing posters: PosterMakerPhosterQuark Design Pad.

~ Katie Kruse




Blogging for Transparency

It’s amazing how our lower elementary grade levels here at SIS are making their literacy come to life. Really, it’s such a simple tool, but its effectiveness is beyond anything else and to some extent it has redefined the readers & writers workshop model. By clicking on the image below, a short clip will reveal how many families and friends are contributing to our student’s literacy units here at SIS.

Screen Shot 2013-03-04 at 1.36.34 PM