Welcome to Jennie Magiera's Technology in Education Blog:

Redefining the (digital) Classroom

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Many people have asked me how I ended up with 32 iPads in my classroom. Simple Answer: I wrote a grant (with the help of my good friend Amy Jarrett-Clancy!). So then you may ask - where can I get a grant to purchase iPads or other technology for my classroom? Hopefully this post will aid you in your quest to tech-nify your classrooms.

First, try contacting your district's technology education department. In my travels and work, I have heard that many school districts are allocating funding for technology - some specifically for iPads. If your district is not doing this, then consider these fundraising and grant opportunities:

Once you have chosen a grant source, begin to consider how you can integrate the technology into your daily instruction. Grant readers often want to know that the technology being provided will be used long-term - not simply for a one-quarter or even one-year unit. Take a step outside of the box and consider how the specific technology can support each subject in an effective way. Understand that this may mean a complete change in the way you teach - and it will be quite an adjustment for you and your colleagues. Expect a period of long nights, trial and error, more error, more trial, interspersed with moments of "Oh wow! That makes so much more sense!"

Some details that could be helpful to include in your technology grant:
  • Daily schedule including activities- How will the technology be used throughout your daily instruction? Be as detailed as possible - even including a rough lesson plan. Focus on sustainability of the activities - is this an activity that is a one-time deal, or can it be repeated throughout the year as a routine or an avenue to assess/learn/teach etc.?
    • Activities' alignment to standards - Both State/Common Core content standards as well as ISTE technology standards 
    • Assessment of activity - How will you assess student progress in content objectives? Can you use the technology to assess? (Google Forms, Schoology etc.)
    •  Apps / Programs you will use - Why are you using these apps / programs? How will they improve student progress?
  • Technology Assessments - How will you assess student progress in technology standards?
  • Collaboration - How will you share / disseminate your experience using iPads in your classroom with colleagues? (blog, school-wide PD, etc.)
  • Project evaluation - How will you evaluate the effectiveness of your grant? How will you track growth in student achievement with and without the iPads?
Here is a link to the iPad grant we wrote at my school: http://www.msmagiera.com/ipad-grant
Note that what we wrote and what has actually happened vary greatly. Since we were one of the first schools to try using iPads in the classroom, we didn't have a lot of resources from which to draw when researching how we would use this technology. As we learn from trial and error, and our colleagues at other iPad schools, we are evolving our practice and trying new and exciting teaching techniques, apps and technology applications.

After the original grant, we wrote an expansion grant to acquire additional carts of iPads. This grant was even more detailed than the first (including then-called NETS standards) and chronicled our progress thus far (much of which I've described on this blog). Happily, our expansion grant was approved and in the next month myself, our music teacher and middle school special education teacher will be receiving iPad carts - loaded with iPad2! Hopefully I can convince them to write a blog post here about their progress :)....

Finally, consider what it means to truly redefine and innovate in your classroom.
Here are two posts about my journey in figuring this out for myself...