Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year!

     ....and what a year it has been!  I continue to be amazed at the pace of change in respect to technological innovations.  What the future holds without Steve Jobs remains to be seen.  Sure there will be continue to be breakthroughs, faster processors, and smaller devices, but what about the cool factor?   As the owner of an IPod, IPhone 4S, IPad and MacBook Air, I can't imagine anything being developed in the near future that will be cooler than each in these devices in terms of the "jobs" they are designed to do.
     On this New Year's Eve, I felt compelled to post the Think Different commercial produced by Apple that captured Steve's vision.  I could watch it over and over.  Enjoy it and as you consider your New Year's Resolutions, remember to resolve to increase the technology experiences being provided to students in our schools.  Our kids deserve to have access to the same stuff we got this year for Christmas, no?
      Thanks to everyone for following my blog this year.  Since its launch in April, it has had over 9,600 page views, well over a 1,000 a month.  We should go over 10,000 page views in the next few weeks.   Please continue to pass along our link to folks interested in our work. Happy New Year to all and to all a good night.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

A Digital Christmas Story

You have to check out this video!

What would happen if Jesus were born in today's digital age?  While the story would remain the same, how the news is spread would definitely change.  Hats off to the creative folks who put this video together.  It truly captures how digitally connected we have become in almost everything we do.  Have fun with the video and have a Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Talk About Your Virtual Field Trip!

Going places you'll never be able to go to.  Seeing things you might never see.  Ah, the power of technology!  Although I agree with the TV commercial saying you "have to get out there", for some of our kids, and us for that matter, there are so many things we will never have the chance to experience and far away places we will never see, unless of course we hook up with Darren and Sandy Van Soye who are embarking on a 400-day around-the-world journey to raise geo-literacy in K-12 students.  They start their journey in January.  I think our kids would love to follow their travels, and heck they might even learn something along the way.  You can check them out at:

Monday, December 19, 2011

So What is a Digital Native?

I can't believe only 9,000+ people have viewed this video.  In You Tube terms, you might as well not even exist.  I think it captures the essence of today's learner and also challenges us to think differently.  The post is less than a year old, but check out the cell phones, or should I say cell phone-asaurus in one of the images.  Things are changing so darn fast.  Are you?

Check it out at:

Sunday, December 18, 2011

IPad 3 and/or Mini IPad Releases

Have you heard about the New IPad 3 scheduled for release early next year?  There is a lot of talk about the IPad 3, as well as possible release of a smaller IPad.  I'd be first in line for an IPad Mini.  As much as I like working with IPods in our classrooms, I hate having to pull out my glasses to read the screen or enlarge the text to the point I can't read a whole line of text.  Check out the latest rumors at:

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Goodnight IPad - A Modern Twist on Goodnight Moon

Once in a while I have to post something just because it's cute.  This video is not only cute, but speaks volumes to how tuned in, turned on, plugged in, connected, and logged on all of us have become, most notably, our children.  It's a remake of one of my favorite children's stories, Goodnight Moon.  Enjoy.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


Have you checked out YouTube for Educators yet?  You can choose from the hundreds of thousands of videos on YouTube EDU created by more than 600 partners like the Smithsonian, TED, Steve Spangler Science, and Numberphile without having to worry about your system's filters which is some cases block content that you and your kids would really like to get access to.  Check out the mindshift article here:

Monday, December 12, 2011

Leap Pad or IPod?

$200+ for a $99 plastic toy that you have to insert cartridges in to expand?   And people are paying it, left and right.  I really do love capitalism, don't get me wrong.  I'm just mad at myself for not buying a case of them on Black Friday.  To all of those parents willing to fork out over $200 dollars for $99 toy, consider an IPod.  Invest in a OtterBox to protect the screen and go wild at the App Store downloading dozens of free apps.  You'll even find 11 Dora Explorer Apps with the most expensive being $2.99, much cheaper than the $19.99 plastic cartridge variety.  Okay, Apple, I want 10% from every IPod you sell as result of this post.  Okay, I'll take one ITunes download.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Smartphones Lead to More Study Time

A recent study from online student assistance site StudyBlue, found students with access to smartphones studied material for classes approximately 40 minutes more per week than students without access to a smartphone. This figure was tabulated from the combined data of nearly one million StudyBlue users over the Fall 2011 semester.   Check it out at:

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

eKids - The Key to Transforming Education

Eureka! It was so simple and so right in my face that I completely missed it!  What a fool I've been!

For years now, we've been, as John Mayer sings, "waiting for the world to change."  One of the reasons technology integration continues to move at a snail's pace is folks charged with "driving the bus" aren't necessarily the sharpest tools in the shed when it comes to their own use of technology, and many lack the vision in terms of how technology could transform education.  Can we really expect folks who grew up with rabbit ears on their TV's and phones connected to the wall with a wire to envision what the 21st century world and classroom might look like?  Who really "gets it?" The kids, of course.  What if we trusted them drive the bus, even if they aren't old enough to get their license yet?  Surely you have asked a kid in your classroom, or maybe even your own kid, for tech advice.  Maybe it's time we felt comfortable asking even more of them?

Check out this article about a school system outside of Cincinnati piloting a program entitled, eKids (eLearning Kids in Demand):

Sunday, December 4, 2011

BYOT Comes to East Tennessee

Having attended college in Greeneville, Tennessee, (and I loved every minute of it!) I would hesitate to characterize the area as either forward thinking or innovative. That being said, check out the article in the Kingsport Times News about a number of BYOT taking place in their schools.  The BYOT wave continues to build momentum.  When is is coming to a neighborhood like mine?  I stopped holding my breath months ago....

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Evaluating the Effectiveness of Apps for Mobile Devices

Well, EmbedIt finally decided to cooperate last night.  The website allowed me to embed my article that was published in the most recent copy of the Journal of Special Education Technology (JSET).  The article is entitled, Evaluating the Effectiveness of Apps for Mobile Devices, and outlines the rationale I used to develop the IPod App Rubric being used by so many of you around the world. Reading the piece may help to improve inter-rater reliability when more than one person is rating the same app.   If you would like to read the article you can find it here:

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

21st Century ABC's

Well, with all the talk about 21st Century Skills, it was only a matter of time before someone updated the  ABC chart.  For you tradtionalists, "A" still stands for "Apple."  Check it out.  I'm not a big fan of "cute", but couldn't resist posting this."

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Evaluation Rubric for IPod/IPad Apps

Given the popularity of the Evaluation Rubric for IPod & IPad Apps I created last year, I am putting a direct link to a PDF of the rubric on my site (not that you shouldn't visit Tony Vincent's Learning in Hand site - it's great!).  While originally designed for IPod apps, of course it works with IPad apps as well.  In fact any mobile technology apps, including android apps, can be evaluated using this rubric.  Thanks for all of the positive feedback on this tool.  It's pretty much gone viral."

Monday, November 28, 2011

MIssIssIppI - A state with so many I's was bound to adopt IPods and IPads

Here is a story about several school systems in Mississippi who have adopted IPods and IPads.  While several have gone all in in terms of adopting the use of mobile technologies, it's interesting to hear one school system's leader who is still "looking into piloting the implementation of IPods in areas that we feel will benefit the students." While some kids are using the latest technologies everyday in one district, another district right next door talks about the use of technology to reach and engage students as being part of "the future educational experience."  No, you're wrong!  It's part of their current educational experience, just not for the 7 1/2 hours they are in YOUR schools.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Top Mobile Devices (Besides Apple, of course)

Melissa Delaney sent me the following link for readers of our blog who might be interested in their mobile device reviews.  It looks like everyone is still trying to catch Apple.  No small task!  You can read their reviews here: 

On a side note, I'm thinking about purchasing some wireless low end tablets (less than $100) and having my kids test drive them.  Anyone with suggestions, please email me at  All I am looking for is an easy to use interface and surfability.  I'll keep you posted.

Happy Black Friday.  It's crazy out there!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

How Young is Too Young?

Here is an excerpt from a report entitled "Zero to Eight:  Children's Media Use in America"  The report is  complied by Common Sense Media. 

COMPUTERS. Computer use is pervasive among very young children, with half (53%) of all 2- to 4-year- olds having ever used a computer, and nine out of ten (90%) 5- to 8-year-olds having done so. For many of these children, computer use is a regular occurrence: 22% of 5- to 8-year-olds use a computer at least once a day, and another 46% use it at least once a week. Even among 2- to 4-year-olds, 12% use a computer every day, with another 24% doing so at least once a week. Among all children who have used a computer, the average age at first use was just 3 ½ years old.

MOBILE MEDIA. Half (52%) of all children now have access to one of the newer mobile devices at home: either a smartphone (41%), a video iPod (21%), or an iPad or other tablet device (8%).
More than a quarter (29%) of all parents have down- loaded "apps" (applications used on mobile devices) for their children to use. And more than a third (38%) of children have ever used one of these newer mobile devices, including 10% of 0- to 1-year-olds, 39% of 2- to 4-year-olds, and 52% of 5- to 8-year-olds.  In a typical day, 11% of all 0- to 8-year olds use a cell phone, iPod, iPad, or similar device for media consumption, and those who do spend an average of 43 minutes doing so.

Here is where you can find the full report:

It makes for some interesting reading and further supports the fact that we need to be doing a heck of a lot more with technology in our schools. 

Monday, November 21, 2011

Alternatives to IPads?

So as much as I am pretty much an AppleGuy, I'm starting to wonder, are there cheaper "tablets" out there that we could be using to supplement our IPods and IPads as we all have to deal with our incredible shrinking budgets?  I found this comparison online.  I'm thinking about test driving a few.

On a related note, Kobo just announced a $99 e reader.  The drawback - ads!  I put up with them to get Pandora (also because I'm cheap and refuse to pay for the ad free version).  I don't know, maybe the ads won't distract the kids too much?  They are pretty good at filtering out information given how overloaded their worlds are.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Results From a 4 year 1-to-1 Laptop Initiative

Here's some more ammo for innovative folks trying to convince those not so innovative decision making folks about the benefits of providing access to technology for every student, every day, all day.  Check out this interview of the Chief Technology Officer from the Mooresville Graded School District in North Carolina: 

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Steve Jobs Is In The House!

Okay, it's not really Steve Jobs, but you have to check out this sixth grader, Tom Suarez, from Los Angeles, who might just be Steve's clone.  What a remarkable kid. You absolutely have to check out this short video of a Ted presentation he recently did.  Tell me it doesn't give you the shivers.  Enjoy.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

I'm Famous, Well Sort Of...Journal of Special Education Technology Article

Not one to toot my own horn, (yeah right!), I just had a piece published in the most recent edition of the Journal of Special Education Technology (JSET) volume 26 #4.  It's entitled, Evaluating the Effectiveness of Apps for Mobile Devices.  If you are a TAM member, check out the article online.  If not, I will try to post it in the coming days.  EmBedit is not being very cooperative tonight!!!!

Monday, November 14, 2011

So Technology Can Even Make Latin Interesting?

Apparently it's true.  Check out this link to see how a role playing/alternative reality game is helping students learn how to speak Latin.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Looking for Funding? Got Ammo?

In these tight economic times, data that demonstrates the connection between technology use and student achievement is sorely needed.  I came across the following piece that contains a number of "studies" with varying degrees of empirical"ity".  All of the articles/papers address the use of technology in reading and writing. If you are in the process of trying to secure funding, one or more may provide you with some ammo.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Bring Your Own Technology (BYOT) - What are we waiting for?

Check out this recent article in edweek.  BYOT is gaining momentum and beginning to move beyond forward thinking schools and into larger districts.  I can't wait, or should I say my kids can't wait.....

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Middle Schoolers + IPods = Increased Engagement

A middle school in Conway, South Carolina is using Ipods to increase student engagement.  Guess what?  It works.  You can read the short piece below.  I think the notion of increasing student engagement is a given at this point.  To all of those folks our there using mobile one-to-one technology, we need to do a better job of providing data to support the impact these devices are having on student achievement.   While money is getting tighter, my hope is that when the Common Core finally gets rolled out, folks that make technology purchasing decisions will understand even more clearly how important it is to connect kids with the type of technologies they have access to everyday outside of school.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Never been to the Vatican? Well, step right up....

Check out this very cool website.  One of the issues we face with our students, many who come from poverty, is a shortcoming in their background knowledge.  It's not an achievement gap, it's a background knowledge gap. Technology has the potential to somewhat even the playing field in terms of taking kids to places they might not ever get to visit, or seeing things they might not otherwise see in their lifetime.  How can you grasp the vision and the magnificence of Michelangelo without visiting the Sistine Chapel?  I was fortunate enough to visit Rome last summer with my wife, but most of my kids will never see it.  Or maybe they might....  It's just a click away.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Got Travis? Transforming Education as We Know It

Have you had a chance to meet up with Travis Allen?  I've had a chance to meet and talk with him at several technology conferences in the past year and have been inspired by his message and his desire to truly transform education.  He is the President of "ISchool Initiative" based in Kennesaw, Georgia.  You can visit his website at  Check out a youtube he posted about his initiative at:

Monday, October 31, 2011

Middle School App Developers!

Check out the attached article.  Apparently the Girl Scouts may have to come up with the a new badge for "App Developer."  Grace, age 12, and Lindsey, age 13 developed an app to help their teachers grade tests more efficiently.  I wonder if they can come up with something to help with my golf game?

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Out With Textbooks, in With Laptops for an Indiana School District

Check out this article in the New York Times about the Munster School System in Indiana and their complete textbook/laptop transformation.  In the words of a seventh grader:

“With a textbook, you can only read what’s on the pages — here you can click on things and watch videos,” said Patrick Wu, a seventh grader. “It’s more fun to use a keyboard than a pencil. And my grades are better because I’m focusing more.”

Or how about the words of the District Director of Instruction and Assessment:

Ms. Stafford, 62, has long planned to retire in 2013, and noted in an interview that it would have been far easier for her, and many others in Munster, to stay with print textbooks for another few years. But when Indiana made multimedia an option, she felt she had no other. “This wasn’t a technology initiative — this was a curriculum initiative,” Ms. Stafford said. “The best programs out there needed the technology required to implement it. It was time.”

No offense Ms. Stafford, but I'm glad to see old dogs (like us) can learn new tricks.  You go girl.

You can read the whole piece at:

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The World According to Steve Jobs - 7 Core Principles

Talk about sage advice from a true visionary.  In, The Innovation Secrets of Steve Jobs, author Carmine Gallo outlines Steve Jobs' 7 core principles:
Principle 1: “Do What You Love” – Jobs followed his heart his entire life, and that, he says, has made all the difference.
Principle 2: “Put a Dent in the Universe” – Jobs attracted like-minded people who shared his vision and who helped turn his ideas into world-changing innovations.
Principle 3: “Kick-Start Your Brain” – Innovation does not exist without creativity, and for Jobs, creativity is the act of connecting things.
Principle 4: “Sell Dreams, Not Products” – [People who buy Apple products] have dreams, hopes, and ambitions. Jobs built products to help them fulfill their dreams.
Principle 5: “Say No to 1,000 Things” – Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. . . Innovation means eliminating the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak.
Principle 6: “Create Insanely Great Experiences” – Make deep, lasting emotional connections [between the innovation and customers]. 
Principle 7: “Master the Message” – You can have the most innovative idea in the world, but if you cannot get people excited about it, your innovation doesn’t matter.
 To read more go to:

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Steve Jobs' Vision for Teachers

I came across this article written by two educators, Patrick Ledesma and Laura Reasoner Jones.  Read their take on Steve Jobs' contributions to the field of education.  He was about so much more than IPod, IPad, and IPhone.  I don't know what to call it, I-Imagination, I-Innovation?  Who in the world is going to fill his shoes?  Or at the very least, who is going to keep the Apple rolling?  Look around your classrooms.  The next Steve Jobs is likely sitting right there in front of you.  What are you going to do today to foster his or her creativity, curiosity, inquisitiveness, and imagination?  No pressure....

Friday, October 21, 2011

Maryland GT Conference Presentations

As promised, here are the Power Points from our morning session at this year's Maryland Educators of Gifted Students (MEGS) Annual Conference in Baltimore.  Our next presentation will be at the Chicago Metro Association for the Education of Young Children annual conference in Chicago this January.  We'll also be presenting at the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD) Annual Conference in Philadelphia this coming March. Thanks for all of your positive feedback on our work, or should we say the work of our children.

Harry Walker's Opening Segment:"

Jen Pfeiffer's segment on Internet Searches:"

Kay Antley's Fifth Grade Inquiry Project:"

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Have You Met Siri Yet?

Naysayers, say what you will, but my newly hired Personal Assistant, Siri,  is pretty amazing.  She's not perfect, but neither is any assistant I've had in the past.  What a cool final chapter in the Book of Jobs. This is down right scary technology and I am so thrilled to have it in my pocket.  Did I mention the 4S is super fast?  Almost fast enough for me.  Still waiting in line at the Apple Store?  Hang in there.  It's well worth it.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Maryland Educators of Gifted Students Conference

Our IPod Team will be presenting this coming Friday, October 21st at the annual Maryland Educators of Gifted Students Conference (MEGS) Conference - Cultivating Creative Minds.  The link for the conference is -  This year's conference is being held at Catonsville High School in Baltimore.  If you are in attendance please stop by and check out our session entitled, "IPods and Inquiry-Real Questions in Real Time."  If you are interested in checking out our work, I will be posting our conference presentation on Friday afternoon or evening.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The One-To-One Institute - Who Knew?

I recently stumbled across the website, "One-To-One Institute."  In their own words:

"One-to-One Institute grew out of Michigan’s successful, statewide one-to-one initiative, Freedom to Learn.  One-to-One Institute is a national non-profit committed to igniting 21st century education through the implementation of one-to-one technology in K-12 settings.  Our mission is to transform education. We believe that by personalizing learning through universal, uninterrupted access to technology students will take ownership of their learning and maximize their potential."

That's what I want to be when I grow up....

Check them out at:

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Engage Me!

Who can we count on to make the best case for increasing the use of technology in our classrooms?  The students of course!  Check out this video with messages from the kids at The Robin Hood School in Birmingham, England.  Share this video with anyone who has any decision making powers in your school, district, state, or country.  If we don't listen to them, they won't be listening to us very much longer....

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Ready or not....

Are you ready for the kid in this video?  Are your teachers?  Lets hope so, because ready or not here they come....

Check out "You can't be my teacher."

Friday, October 14, 2011

Implementing a One-to-One or BYOD Program

I ran across this article in School CIO and thought I would share with folks who are in the process of planning (or thinking about, or hoping to or praying for funding in order to) a one-to-one mobile computing program or a "BYOD" program.  Check it out.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

A New Kind of Textbook Experience? IPads in Vegas

The Clark County school system in Las Vegas is rolling out an IPad project to enrich and individualize the Algebra I experience for 1150 high school students.  While I am not familiar with the Algebra application they have purchased, it does sound intriguing.  I can't believe more publishers haven't jumped in yet to get a piece of the IPie.  Hopefully what happens in Vegas spreads across the country.  Stay tuned...

Ode to Steve Jobs

While credited with changing the world, and rightfully so, these words shared by Steve at a commencement speech at Stanford capture what I choose to remember most about his amazing spirit.  What if we could all live our lives in this manner?  Most people don;t know that there are angles who's job is to make sure you don't fall asleep and miss your life.  What's holding you back? 

Steve Jobs - "Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life.  Don't be trapped by dogma - which is living with the results of other people's thinking.  Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your inner voice.  And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition,  They somehow already know what you truly want to become.  Everything else is secondary."  

To view his entire address click here:

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Teachers Evaluate IPads

So how do early adopter teachers feel about IPads in the classroom?  I wasn't surprised to hear the range of opinions about how teachers viewed the integration of IPads into their classrooms.  It's a shift in thinking and in practice, unfortunately for some a quantum shift.  Three things really bothered me.  Te article is listed under the heading "Gadgets and Games" - Really, gadgets?  Second, the author talks about a "fad factor" - Really, you mean this might all go away? Third, to the teacher in Arlington who is quoted, "The community we have here, you have reading levels that are very low."  I hope you are able to hang on to your job.  Your community (including your principal) should be up in arms.  Lots of folks have commented on the piece.  What you are you thinking?

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Am I Old or What?

So the other day, one of my third graders had misplaced her jacket and came up to me inquiring where she could find the "Lost and Found." We had recently moved our Lost and Found to a small booth in the hallway that used to house a pay telephone, years since removed.  I told her to look in the room down the hall where the pay phone used to be.  She look up at me with a confused look and said, "Mr. Walker, what's a pay phone?"  Were the days before mobile technology really that long ago?  Uh, yes.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

IPods in 5th Grade Science

The following post comes from Kay Antley, one of our 5th grade IPod teachers.  You can contact her directly at

My students have been using the IPods this year a lot during science class.  Our unit of study this quarter is geology.  Many of our lessons have been completed on the IPods. We are using interactive games to reinforce the core skills for the unit.  For example I found a website that has an interactive rock cycle where the kids can actually see the rock cycle occurring.
Students can click on each of the rock examples to identify the type and what kind of rock it is.  We also have used the IPods for inquiry during science.  The students have seen through the NASA APP our Earth in action.  Using this app, they can identify the layers, as well as the composition of each layer.  We are still learning all the important concepts our school system wants us to know but doing it in a much more interactive and fun way!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Cell Phones in the Classroom - That's What I'm Talking About!

So let's stop just talking about it and do something about it.  I take my hat off to Liz Kolb and ISTE before even having a chance to read this book, Cell Phones in the Classroom.  I just ordered it and can’t wait for it to arrive.  In these lean economic times, why not put the power of kid’s personal devices to work for us and more importantly them!  Check it out:

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

6,000 Page Views!!!

A big thank you goes out to everyone who has followed our blog over the past 6 months.  I never thought when I did the first post this blog would average 1,000 page views a month.  I know many of my recent posts have been the soapbox variety, rants and raves about how we need to increase the use of technology in our schools.  Obviously I have been preaching to the choir. In the coming months you will see more posts from our teachers highlighting some of the exciting stuff happening in our classrooms.  We are in our second year of our IPod project and have much to share.  Stay tuned.  If you are in the Maryland area, our next conference presentation will be at the Maryland State Conference on Gifted and Talented Education to be held on October 21st in Greenbelt Maryland.  If you attend, please plan to come to our session. 

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Hello World! I’m Reconnected!!!!

After a week of living in the dark, literally, now I know how my students must feel.   Losing power, like many of you along the Eastern Seaboard of the US, I found my connection to the outside world disabled.  My ability to get online and get information I needed in real time was being determined by others not by me.  I can’t tell you how many times I wanted to log on only to realize I had no power to my desktop and my laptop was useless as my wireless was also without power.  Now think about our students with their burning questions or need to find information right at that moment.  Those same kids that when they are out of school are able to connect 17/7 (that’s minus the 7 hours they are in school).  In a one or two computer classroom, their fate is much the same as mine last week, forced to get their information from a single source or during those rare opportunities to log on to the internet.  Talk about a curiosity, inquiry, and innovation killer.  No wonder the first thing they do when they exit the school building each day is fire up their mobile devices.  If you have not experienced a week without power and connectivity and think I am being a little overdramatic, try it for yourself.   I doubt you will be able to go a day or two.  As if I wasn’t a big fan of 24/7 mobile connectivity for our kids already, last week sealed the deal for me. 

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Got Power???

Wow! Fourth day without power, hanging out in a Panera in order to reconnect with the outside world.  Thanks so much Irene for reminding me how "digitally dependent" we have all become.  Not having Internet at home or at work has cut my productivity in half.  I hope my boss isn't following my blog!  First an earthquake on the East Coast with no phone and an overloaded Internet and now a hurricane!  At least we do not have any active volcanoes in Maryland, for now.  At any rate, I'll be posting updates to our IPod project in the coming weeks assuming schools are able to open later this week.  Stay tuned and hopefully connected.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Need PD - Ask Tammy Worcester!

Education Technology Consultant, Tammy Worcester, worked with our teachers in series of workshops today.  It was amazing.  If you have attended a conference related to technology, you have likely had an opportunity to attend one of Tammy’s sessions.  If you have not, you really need to.  If you are looking for an excellent presenter who can address the needs of a diverse group of teachers, you need to consider having Tammy come out to your school or district.  Here is the link to her website, chock full of good stuff to promote technology use in our schools:

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Coming Soon - JSET Article

I have been asked to be a guest editor for the next edition of the Journal of Special Education Technology.  The piece I am writing will address the App Evaluation Rubric I developed last year.  Included will be discussion of the criterion used in the rubric, as well as suggestions for using the rubric to evaluate the quality of apps.  I will post a link once the article is published.  Look for it sometime next month.  Pretty cool....

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Go Ahead, Just Try to Make Me Use Technology!

Which is more effective?
Tech integration driven by innovation or by legislation?
Keep an eye on Florida….
Recent Florida state legislation requires districts to use half of all state-issued textbook-allocation money for digital content by 2015.  What impact will this have on how kids are educated in Florida?  Does this indicate legislator's impatience with the pace of change in their schools?  What lessons are there to be learned by folks in other states? Check out this article just posted in Education Week Digital Directions.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Let’s hear it for the Common Core!

Looking for support to increase the integration of technology in today’s elementary schools?  Look no further than the Common Core Standards, recently adopted by most of the states in our nation.  Technology is woven into the standards in ways that we have not seen in past state or local curricula.  The next few years have the “potential” to bring us closer to the 21st century.  I think the powers that be have finally come to recognize that we are already in the 21st century.  Better late than never….
Here are a few examples of the “potential” I see in the Common Core:
The Writing Standards K-5 document has a number of explicit connections with technology:
The continuum moves from Kindergarten – “With guidance and support from adults, explore a variety of digital tools to produce and publish writing, including in collaboration with peers.”  By grade 5 – “With some guidance and support from adults, use technology, including the internet, to produce and publish writing as well as interact and collaborate with others; demonstrate sufficient command of keyboarding skills to type a minimum of two pages in a single sitting.”
Other grade 5 standards include:
“Conduct short research projects that use several sources to build knowledge through investigation of different aspects of a topic.” and “Recall relevant information from experiences or gather relevant information from print and digital sources.”
In the Speaking and Listening Standards the following is listed as a grade 5 indicator – “Include multimedia components (e.g., graphics, sound) and visual displays in presentations when appropriate to enhance the development of main ideas or themes.”
In terms of Math standards, the integration is sometime explicit, sometimes more implied.  With the advances in technology and the wealth of apps available on today’s smart phones, I would expect additional fundamental changes to how we approach math instruction in the coming years.
All of this without even mentioning STEM education?  Wow! 
Several things jump out at me about technology and the Common Core.  First, in order to our fifth graders to reach the expectations in the Common Core, technology integration needs to start very early.  Kids in PreK and Kindergarten need rich technology experiences to build the foundation skills they will need in order to meet the standards in later grades.  Second, the standards will be unattainable given the current computer configurations found in most elementary classroom settings.  One or two shared classroom computers simply will come up short.  I believe the Common Core Standards make a very strong case for the expansion of one-to-one mobile computing programs.  Not only does it make sound financial sense, today’s learners need to be connected when THEY need access to information, not when the teacher grants them access to information. 
I used the term “potential” earlier in today’s post.  At this point, that’s all the standards represent.  It’s up to folks like you to advocate to greater integration of technology to truly prepare our students for that amazing future that lies ahead of us.  No pressure.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

South Korea moves "All In!"

South Korea is prepared to spend over 2 billion dollars on tablets for ALL (that’s right, all!) of their students, replacing textbooks in favor of digital content.  If you thought we were behind in terms of technology integration in our schools already, get a load of this story.  South Korean students, as well as students from other Asian and European countries are already way ahead in terms of their ability to access and use digital information.  If we in the United States are to compete on a global scale, we need to ramp up our efforts to provide our children with the same technological advantages being provided to kids in countries like South Korea.  The digital divide is growing every day.
Some good news for the US – The Common Core Standards addresses technology and will start to move us in the right direction.  Enough, and perhaps as importantly, fast enough?  We’ll see…  In the coming days, I’ll be sharing my thoughts about the Common Core and the “promise” they potentially have for our students. 
Make sure you check out this article from Education Week about the initiative in South Korea:

Friday, July 29, 2011

ANYWHERE, anyone?

I just received an email from Anthony Foxen, Director of Business Development for BASCOM, a company that has developed a filtering app called Anywhere Filter, developed specifically for K-12 school deployments of mobile devices.  Is anyone currently using this app that can compare it to Mobicip?  I am meeting with Tony next month to check out the app for myself.  You can get more information about Anywhere Filter at:

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Personal Mobile Devices - Enhancement or Distraction?

So here is the $50,000 question - Are kids responsible enough to use their own mobile devices while in school?  Will changing current policies to allow for the use of personal mobile devices enhance instruction or distract kids from learning. Here are two different viewpoints.  The first is from the St. Charles Parish School System in Louisiana.  They are piloting the idea of letting kids use the own devices in school.  The second is from New York City where the mayor insists the policy of banning student cell phone use will stay in place.  Who is right? Your thoughts?

My thoughts?  Glad you asked.  Why not give kids the benefit of the doubt about how responsible they can be?  The first year of our pilot taught us many things, one of the most important lessons was related to the level of responsibility our students demonstrated.  We were most impressed with how responsible kids were for the appropriate use of their devices, as well as how responsible they became for their own learning.  The latter observation is truly transformational.  When folks talk about "distractions from learning", are they assuming the only person a student can learn from is the teacher?  If so, they have really missed the boat.

What if you had to turn your mobile device off for 7 and 1/2 hours a day?  What if you wanted to look something up on the Internet you had to wait in line to use one of of the two classroom computers?  Think about it.  We're old.  Being connected is something relatively new to many of us. Imagine if you can what its like to be nine, or fourteen, or seventeen and having grown up connected everywhere except while at school.  What a drag.  Not just because you can't check your Facebook, but because you no longer have control.  Although we say we want kids to take responsibility for their own learning and become independent life long learners, aren't we inadvertently fostering dependency? Is the issue of control what it all really boils down to?  Hmmmmm.

Louisiana -

New York -

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Una lezione imparata in Italia (subtitled-A lesson learned in Italy)

After a week in Italy, a lesson learned- Not everyone here is tethered to their wireless device. Not sure if it's the expense of international roaming or what, but it's rare to see people on their cell phones. Maybe there is a lesson to be learned here. It's ironic that my last post before leaving for Europe addressed independence from mobile devices. Maybe we should each pledge to spend a period of time each day unplugged. Instead, lets connect to the people, places and moments around us. At the very least, we'll be a lot less annoying to the folks around us! As much as I have enjoyed being off the grid during the days, I still find myself connecting to the wireless at the hotel after returning from the night out. Checking email, checking out the news in a language I understand, making sure the Orioles lost, and seeing if any of my retirement savings have made it through another day in the market. Maybe next year I need to find a locale that does not have Internet hot spots. Does such a place exist? At any rate, by this time next year there will be 5G service that you'll be able to access from the North Pole. Oh, va bene! Arrivederchi from Firenze!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Ciao from Roma!

My apologies for not posting since last week. I've been in Rome this week. I know, I know, it's rough, but someone has to do it. Off to Florence and then Venice. New posts coming next week. Stay tuned. Arrivederchi!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Independence Day 2011

It’s the Fourth of July, Independence Day here in the USA! (Sorry to remind our followers in the UK)  While we celebrate the birth of the greatest nation in the world (again my apologies, this time to our followers across the globe), let’s continue to work together to “free” ourselves and our students and declare our “independence” from wires, hubs, data drops, and the like.  Let’s hear it for mobile computing, cloud computing, 3G & 4G and all the G’s to follow.  Go ahead, throw that old desktop out the window and declare “I’m tired of being chained to the wall and I’m not going to take it anymore!”  Oh, and don’t forget to pick up all the pieces when you are done and take them to the local recycling center. 
On second thought, how about on this Independence Day you declare your independence from technology?  Turn off your smart phone and computers (after reading this post of course!)  Go to that family picnic or fireworks display and focus on family and friends without the distractions of email, the internet, the weather channel app, Twitter, Facebook, ESPN sports, Angry Birds, The New York Times,  Words with Friends, CBS Sports, etc., etc. etc.  
On third thought, never mind.   See you in the cloud!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Geek is the New Cool

Smart isn't something you are.  Smart is something you get. (Steph Harvey and Smokey Daniels)  We need to teach our kids that being smart is being cool. (Freeman Hrabowski) We only get one chance to prepare our students for a future that none of us can possibly predict.  What are we going to do with that one chance?  (Stephen Covey). 
Geek is the new cool.  Geek is Chic.  If you got a chance to stop by at ISTE you might of seen this guy taking Geek to the next level.  Walking around at a tech conference dressed like this was kind of funny because people weren’t sure if I was for real.  Some folks likely thought this was how I dressed everyday.  We need to let our kids know that it is not only okay to be a little geeky, nerdy, techie, or whatever.  Each of these terms typically goes hand in hand with another – smart.  As Bill Gates has been quoted, “Be nice to nerds, chances are you will wind up working for one.”  And in a larger sense, “If your culture doesn’t like geeks, you are in trouble.”    Be proud.  Celebrate your geekiness.  After all, it is the new cool.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Great Seeing Everyone at ISTE!

We just returned from our trip to the ISTE conference in Philadelphia.  It was great having the opportunity to talk with so many fellow mobile enthusiasts at our poster session this morning.  To those who are just launching their mobile projects, we are here to help support you in any way we can.  To those who are on the same page, let’s stay in touch and continue to learn together.   To those that are ahead of the curve, keep pushing the edge of that envelope to help us truly transform education.  We will continue posting over the summer, so consider following us, or at least check in periodically to see what we are up to.  We are on to something really important.  It’s just the tip of the iceberg……  By the way, we just passed the 4,000 page view milestone.  Again, just the tip of the iceberg…..

Monday, June 27, 2011

Thinking Teachers - A Classic Robin Hood Story

If you are in Philly this week at ISTE, you have to stop by the Teachers First Booth 2809.  These folks do website reviews and provide resources for teachers, free of ads and free of charge.  Run by teachers for teachers, imagine that!  They are funded through the leasing of frequencies to cell phone companies they bought like a million years ago. Taking from the rich and giving to the poor....

Walking through the exhibit hall is a little overwhelming.  Over 3,000 vendors!  One thing for certain.  There are tons of money to be made.

Friday, June 24, 2011

See You In Philly?

We hope to catch up with as many people as possible this week at ISTE in Philadelphia.  If you are attending the conference, please stop by and see us.  We will be presenting a poster session sharing our experiences with our IPod Touch Pilot Program.  Our poster session is scheduled for Wednesday morning (June 29th) from 8:00-10:00 a.m. at Table 14 in the PACC Broad St Atrium.  See you in Philly!

Monday, June 20, 2011

A" Pod of IPods" or is it an "IPod Pod?"

How about we continue building on this mobile one-to-one computing wave by rethinking the mobile laptop cart?  You know those big clunky carts that get wheeled from room to room, inevitably showing up with only 7 or 8 of the 10 laptops actually working, and of those, only 4 or 5 able to get an internet connection.  Well, what if we saved a boatload of money and instead purchased “IPod Pods” or “Pods of IPods.”  I envision 6 to 8 IPod Touches in a traveling case, complete with power strip for charging and a laptop for syncing.  Teachers would be able to check out a “Pod” and use them for authentic student inquiry (or curriculum-based inquiry if you’re still a little cautious of trusting your kids on the internet) or for small group instruction or remediation using the plethora of free Apps out there on the market.  Pods get passed from teacher to teacher until funding permits a set for each classroom.  I’m going to pitch the idea to the folks at Apple and see if they would be interested in designing a scaled down, passable version of the Bretford Syncing Cart. I’d like to see if they could develop a package that is a little more ergonomic than my IPod Pod bag with a bunch of USB wires and extension cords.    I think I might be on to something….  

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Are Smart Boards "Old School?"

I just finished reading the attached article on Smart Boards in the latest edition of Digital Directions.  We purchased Promethean Boards for each of our classrooms several years ago.  While some teachers have made effective use of the boards, I’m starting to question our judgment.  In our defense, the purchase made sense at the time.  Having those same funds available today, we would likely look to purchase additional IPods and IPads to increase the scope of our one-to-one mobile initiatives.  My biggest issue with the Smart Board is the fact only one person can be “driving” at a time.  Not surprisingly, the teacher is usually in the driver’s seat.  Even when a student is at the board, all of his or her peers are pretty much in the back seat.  We need to provide our children with numerous opportunities to “drive”.  The most logical way to do this is through one-to-one mobile computing.  More and more folks are coming to the same realization.  We need to continue to focus on providing our students the same technology experiences we have every day.  Access is everything.  I encourage you to go back to my last post and read the two pages of my kid’s comments about their mobile computing experiences.  Let’s stop moving so cautiously and focus on where we need to be going, especially if we truly want to prepare our kids for the future.

Monday, June 13, 2011

IPod Touch Pilot - Year End Report

Last week of school - woo-hoo!  The link below will take you to the Sandy Plains Elementary IPod Touch Pilot Year End Summary Report.   As expected, our results were very positive for kids, teachers, and parents.  You really must check out the kid’s comments on slides 8 and 9.  Out of the mouths of babes.....
Please contact us if you have any questions about our report.  Even as the year winds down, don't let up in your efforts to expand mobile one-to-one computing in your districts.  It's been a great year and we are just scratching the surface of what is possible.  I will continue to post over the summer.  Check back frequently....

Saturday, June 11, 2011

IPod Pilot - Year One Attendance Data

We just completed an analysis of student attendance data for the first year of our IPod Touch Pilot Program.  As expected, we saw improved year-to-year attendance in our IPod classrooms compared to our control classrooms.  In fourth grade, 52% of students in the IPod classroom posted improvements in attendance compared to 33% of students in the control classroom.  In fifth grade, 65% of the IPod students posted improved attendance compared to 37% in the control classroom.  We fully expect these increases in attendance will translate into increases in achievement as well.  Stay tuned for additional data in the coming weeks.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Clayton County, Georgia visits Sandy Plains

Clayton County Public Schools Superintendent, Deputy Superintendent, and two Area Superintendents visited the IPod Classrooms at Sandy Plains on Thursday.  The children amazed our visitors with their “tech-abilities.”  While we lobby and advocate for funding to increase the use of mobile one-to-one computing in schools through blogs, wikis, letter writing, and presentations at budget hearings, it suddenly occurred to me that our efforts should be focused on inviting the powers that be to simply spend some time in our classrooms.  In as little as half an hour of watching and talking to kids about how they are using technology, even the most fiscally conservative politician, school board member, or high level administrator would be swayed to somehow find the funding to support programs such as ours.  Watching the kids working together trumps any other “research based, empirically validated, yada yada” data out there.  To Dr. Heatley, Superintendent in Clayton County:  Thanks for being a visionary and HOORAH!   

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Coming soon to a blog near you...

After a relatively short period of time, this morning we passed 2,800 page views from 40 different countries, with our most recent view coming from Macedonia.  How cool is that?  Reaching out on a global scale to share ideas and experiences is what this venture has been all about.  This, my first blogging experience, has served to reinforce my belief that we need to be doing more of this sort of thing with our students.

Our pilot teachers have started using Kidblog ( with their kids.  While being used internally with our teachers and fourth and fifth graders, we are moving in the right direction.  They will be sharing some their experiences in upcoming posts.  The website is easy to set up, as well as to manage.  I encourage you to check it out.

I am still trying to post James’s 10 second Kakooma video, but I’m running into formatting issues.  I hope to have it posted soon.

As our school year winds down, we are pulling together our first year data from our IPod Touch Pilot.  Look for that to be posted in the coming weeks.

Finally, we will be hosting a poster session at the ISTE conference in Philadelphia later this month.  We will be sharing our pilot experiences and hope to make even more connections with folks doing similar work.  If you are planning to attend, please stop by and hang out with us for a while.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Another School System Sees the "I" Light

Let's hear it for the Hillsborough County School Board in Florida.  It's not a system-wide initiative, but definitely a step in the right direction:

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

James Scores a 10!

If you know the game Kakooma, you know what a challenge it is for those folks like me who consider themselves math casualties of our past and current approaches to teaching math.  If you don’t know the game, you really need to check it out.  See earlier post, “Looking for a Great Math App.”   One of my fifth grade students finished the game this morning in 10 seconds!  I’ve got the video to prove it and will post it tomorrow.  It’s amazing how we can improve children’s mathematical thinking and number sense when we provide them with meaningful practice.  Check back tomorrow to see the video.  It’s pretty amazing.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

I've Been Shattered!

Well the inevitable has happened….  As much as my kids have treated their neoprene encased IPods like gold all school year, we experienced our first screen shatter the other day.  As much as I am a fan of Apple Care, as you know, it does not cover screen breakage.  After shopping around online, I found a company in Texas ( that replaced the screen for $59 (plus $7.68 for shipping).  I mailed it on Thursday and got it back today (Tuesday).  It looks great and works perfectly.  All of the student’s settings and data were saved.  Does anyone know of a better and cheaper way to get screens replaced?  I am fairly certain this won’t be the last one that’s gets shattered. 

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Got Ammo?

I know I am preaching to the choir when I extol the benefits of using IPods and IPads with kids in today’s classrooms.  Unfortunately, there remains a disturbingly large number of naysayers who view this influx of technology as another fad or simply a distraction from tried and true methods of education, like that’s really working for all of today’s learners.   While there are a number of trailblazing school systems out there, we as a group of forward thinking educators have to mobilize to move this new wave of connecting, engaging and creating with kids past the “pilot” stage and into more systemic approaches.  How?  Ammo!  That’s right.  We have to empirically prove technology has an impact on student achievement.  The problem?  The disconnect between what we are currently measuring on high stakes tests and the 21st century skills.  Until the powers that be align assessments with what we know kids are going to need to be successful throughout their lives, we need to pull together any data we can to support the use of technology to increase student achievement.   In the latest edition of ESchool News, I came across this article about middle schoolers using IPads in San Joaquin, California:
When you come across other articles or studies containing empirical data to support the use of IPads, IPods or one-to-one mobile computing, send the links my way and I will start posting them on my blog.  Please share this link, my blog, and your thinking with other like-minded educators and let’s move past pilots, trials, and begging for funding and make this an integral part of every American classroom.  Pass the ammo….

Friday, May 27, 2011

IPads and "IArt"

Painting on the IPad?  Who knew?  Rob Miller, Multimedia Instructor at the Carver Center for Arts & Technology right here in Baltimore sure does.  Rob uses the IPad and an App called “Brushes” to create some amazing still life and portraits.  You’ve got to check these videos demonstrating his technique. 

In this world-wide world we operate in these days, I continue to be amazed at how small it can be at times.  As it turns out, Rob's daughter was a former student of mine, like a hundred years ago, and Rob attended the elementary school where I am currently the principal.  Six degrees of separation... If you would like to contact Rob, here is his email:

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Looking For A Great Math App?

Unfortunately, the current approach used to teach math is producing way too many "math casualties."  A national curriculum that is a mile wide and an inch deep is preventing some children from developing a solid foundation in number sense.  Without this foundation in place, algebraic thinking is not possible.  Too many children (and us for that matter), focus on getting the correct answer rather than understanding the process.  We need to teach children to think flexibly about numbers.  Being huge fans of Greg Tang ( ), we are also fans of an App he created for a math game called Kakooma ( )  This App requires one to look at nine boxes, each of which contains nine numbers.  The task is to find two numbers that add to a third in each of the squares.  In order to complete the task, the process needs to be completed 10 times.  My fifth graders, being the competitive bunch they are (and that’s not a bad thing) choose Kakooma over any other App.  I have had four students complete the puzzles in less than 13 seconds.  The lowest score was 9 seconds.  One of my kids commented, “I think I play too much.”  Imagine that, practicing their number concepts too much!  You have got to try it for yourself.  Check it out, you’ll be hooked. See if you can beat 9 seconds, or two minutes for that matter.  

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

IPod Pilot Project in the News

Two video segments produced by the Baltimore County Public Schools were posted today on the Education Channel Website.

The first piece is the classroom view of the impact IPod Touches are having in our fourth and fifth grade classrooms.  The second segment is an in studio interview conducted by local news person, Mary Beth Marsden.  Chris O'Neal, consultant from the University of Virgina, and I participated in the interview.  Check out both segments when you have a moment.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Got Mobicip?

As promised, here is the link to the filtering browser I mentioned yesterday.  Mobicip is a web-based filtering program that you can load on to each mobile device from the App Store for only $4.99 (and no, I'm not getting any royalties for the recommendation).  Mobicip is a Safe Browser for the iPhone based on a dynamic cloud content filtering engine, designed to provide safe Internet access.  It might be the answer for schools like ours who are struggling with the idea of letting our kids take their IPods home at night.  I'm not as worried about devices being damaged as I am about kids being exposed to inappropriate content.  Until we address how to help kids self-filter on the Internet, this might be the next best thing.  Check it out:

Sunday, May 15, 2011

To Filter on Not to Filter- That is the Question

I regard information literacy as one of the most important 21st century skills we can develop in our students.  A huge part of information literacy is the ability to sift through all of the chaff out there on the internet to get to the wheat.  Unfortunately, some of this chaff is extremely dangerous to our children, and for us for that matter.  What if we filter everything and don't teach our kids how to deal with the dangers?  Shouldn't that be a part of our work?  Can we assume that parents are doing this job and that this is not really our role?  Judging by all of the kids out there getting in trouble on the internet, I'm not so sure.  This issue is one that needs to be discussed opening and honestly by everyone involved with children, especially the parents of our students.  Until we are ready,wiling, and able to have these discussions, there are a number of ways to protect our students from some of the dangers out there on the internet.  I found an inexpensive web-based filtering system at the Mobile Learning 2011 Conference in Phoenix.  Check back tomorrow for details.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Just for Fun - Show Your Age

So the other day I'm in one of my fifth grade classrooms, and some of my kids are playing The Oregon Trail on their IPod Touches.  What a flashback!  Most people who read this will likely remember playing this "computer game" while they were in school.   As a teacher who started his career prior to the use of computers in schools (yes I'm that old), Oregon Trail was one of the first games I can recall that went beyond the drill and practice format of early computer applications.  Maybe it was the interactivity of the game that attracted kids to want to play it (or the fact you could shoot buffalo?).  Maybe this game was a "pioneer" on the "trail "to the level of interactivity that we have come to expect in all aspects of computer use today?  At any rate, go ahead and download it from the ITunes Store.  You know you want to.  Bonus - There is a free version.  Have fun and remember not to go too fast or you'll lose an oxen or break an axle.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Sandy Plains IPod Pilot News Feature

Check out this piece posted on the Baltimore County Public Schools Website this morning.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Sandy Plains IPod Touch Pilot - Year Two

Planning and purchasing for our second year of IPod Touching is well under way as we wind down this school year.  The scope of our pilot will double during the 2011-2012 school year.  We will bring onboard, or should I say online, one additional fourth and one fifth grade classroom resulting in half of our fourth and fifth graders having their own IPod Touches during the school day. 

The overall cost of the Year Two Expansion is $21,206.  This amount is $5,200 less than the cost incurred during the initial year of the IPod Touch Pilot.  While the new generation of IPods went up $39 per unit, we purchased two fewer laptops, as well as 5 fewer IPod Touches.   This year, Apple bundled the Bretford carts with 20 IPods into an IPod Learning Lab.  Professional Development is not included in our Year Two Plan as we expect most of the new learning and sharing to be conducted by our returning Pilot Teachers and students.  This year’s fourth grade pilot students will be split between two fifth grade classrooms in order to have “experts” in each of the two IPod Classrooms.

With any purchase made through Apple. I strongly recommend the Apple Care Program.  The customer service is exemplary and it is easy get replacements or repairs right on the spot at your local Apple Store. 

Here is the breakdown of expenses for the Year Two Expansion:

2          Apple IPod Learning Labs with Applecare      $  13,798
10        IPod Touch 8GB                                             $   2,290
10        AppleCare for IPod Touch                              $      590
4          MacBook Air, 1.4 GHz, 64 GB  Hard Drive      $   3,796
4          AppleCare for MacBook Air                            $      732

                                                                   Total        $ 21,206

During the summer, we will be putting together a summary report of our first year's expereinces including student data, lessons learned, and more detailed plans for 2011-2012 school year.  In addition to increasing the scope of the project, we are looking to make our work more transformational.  Pretty exciting stuff.  Stay tuned.  Please contact me if you have any questions about our IPod Touch Pilot Program and remember to stop by and see our poster session this summer at ISTE in Phiadelphia.