About Jacob Luevano

Jacob is a Graduate from the University of Texas at El Paso with a degree in Elementary Education.Before becoming an Instructional Technology Specialist at Manor ISD, Jacob survived 10 years teaching Social Studies, Video Production, and Emerging Technology at a Middle School in Ysleta ISD. Jacob then worked 2 years at an Elementary School as a Campus Technologist where he helped pilot an iPad 1:1 program in several classrooms. He is now part of the iTeach Team in Manor initiating the iPad 1:1 program.

Digital Citizenship Comic Poster Campaign

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As with all districts, Digital Citizenship is a large part of the technology curriculum, but shouldn’t this just be a part of everyday curriculum?  In today’s classroom, we see technology that connects us used by teachers and students every day.  So shouldn’t good Digital Citizenship practices be more then just a mandatory unit at the beginning of the year?  Here in Manor, we are trying something different.  Instead of just having one Digital Citizenship campaign at the beginning of the year, we are going to run at least 3 campaigns in the 2013-2014 school year to keep the conversation going.

Our first campaign in September was distributed directly to teachers in our district. We borrowed from the best public resources about digital citizenship on the web and created a course on the Manor ISD iTunes U page.  We believed this was a good introduction to Digital Citizenship to our students in Manor.  The course was split into 5 days with each day focusing on a new important topic.  This was a district wide initiative but the course delivery was a campus decision. Many campuses chose to present this material or use other material through the campus computer labs.  This is what we usually see most campuses and districts do.

Our second and most recent campaign was a 5 day Digital Citizenship Comic Poster & Podcast series.  Very much like Common Sense Media’s campaign in October, Manor ISD chose to have it’s DC week in November.  iTeach wanted to make the campaign more relevant to our students because they are our target audience.  This campaign, the brain child of Lacy Bartlett, took on a new way to deliver proper DC practices to our students.  The adventures of Digital Citizenship Man & DC Girl were born.  In their fight against the Cybervillian and proper use of technology, DC girl and DC man were introduced to Manor.

DC Girl  DC Girl  Cybervillian  Cybervillain  DC Man  DC Man

Aligning the comic with popular Marvel and DC comic series, we tried making this a fun new way to get the information out to our students. (You can find the comic poster series on our Manor ISD iTunes U page) Using Hero Machine, Comic Life and Garageband, the campaign came together rather quickly.  The goal was not only to make it fun but have students be the ones to ask the questions about copyright and proper use of technology.  This time the campaign was district wide with the posters and visible to all students at the campus.

Our next campaign will have a student produced comic book poster series where the they get to design the characters and write the story.  We feel this will make the content even more relevant to our students. Let us know what you think?

 

Want to create a quick Podcast? Just Croak It!

bd5615d64314444d77ac9664f56d48bdPush. Speak. Share. It’s that simple. Croak it is an application that allows you to put voice stamps of your own voice in 30 second and share it with anyone on the whole of internet. Every “croak” generates a link that can be heard from any mobile device from anywhere on the internet.

Here in Manor, students at several campuses are using croak.it to create audio previews of library books and attach QR codes to them.  Attaching QR codes of book previews/reviews to library books is not something new but croak.it has simplified the process greatly.  Students can now record their “croak” and create a QR code for it on the same device in a matter of minutes.  In the past, multiple devices or applications had to be used to complete this process.  One other great benefit to Croak it is that this application does not require a log in.  Follow these simple steps to create your own Audio QR code: QR Podcasts with Croak.it.

Take a Field Trip…Virtually, That is!

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Virtual Field Trips are becoming quite the item across the district!Students are participating in a variety of video conference events such as: El Paso Symphony presentation with a Violinist and Cellist, Cowboy Close Up, a virtual field trip to the Fort Worth Zoo and learning how to spin yarn with an expert from the Institute of Texan Cultures.  Bringing these events to your classroom are available through a software called ClearSea. Renee is visiting campuses and sharing how to get started.  For more information about virtual field trips visit the iTeach Videoconference website or contact Renee Setser.

Using Twitter to Expand your Learning Community

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As teachers, we get several holidays during our school year.  Because of this, many other professions tease us about not working as hard as they do.  What many of those critics don’t know is that planning and learning in our profession never takes a holiday.  Educators are always planning or at least thinking about creative ways to get through to their students.  Planning great interactive lessons, a wonderful PBL project, or even just trying a new resource. Learning never takes a break in our profession.  During this “Holiday”, when you find yourself relaxing on the sofa with your iPad or other tablet, download Twitter. Create an account and expand your Digital Professional Learning Community. Twitter has quickly become one of the most valuable resources educators have in planning lessons.  These are not just technology integrated lessons but any type of lessons from teachers all over the country and even the world. Follow teachers from all levels of education, K-12 and beyond.  These are educators ready to share ideas and best practices with anyone willing to listen.

Caution: Beware of App Overload!

Taking on the challenge of making the iPad integration in Manor ISD successful is the job of the iTeach Team.  We are excited about the possibilities.  Our different perspectives and experiences will translate well when we begin assisting teachers with the integration of iPads into everyday instruction at Manor ISD.

As you all read in our introductions in the last post, I am a firm believer in limited amount of Apps on the iPad.  When considering iPads for everyday use in the classroom, many people often make the mistake of downloading far too many free or paid applications.  I know this, because I was that person.  At my previous campus, when we received iPods and  iPads, I kept up with the free app of the day posted by TCEA on Twitter (@tcea) and I downloaded to my hearts content.  I expected all these apps to be revolutionary when it came to teaching our students.  Unfortunately, many of the apps I downloaded quickly lost the interest of our students, took up space on the iPad and became a distraction.  Having too many apps can also lead to the iPad becoming an entertainment device rather than an educational tool.  Because of this experience and other similar stories, we are distributing the iPad with a limited number of apps pre-installed.  A mixture of paid and free apps that can easily be integrated into traditional classroom activities will be provided.

Students and teachers will have Pages for word processing, Keynote for presentations and animation,  iMovie for video creation,  Safari and Chrome for web research, and a few other powerful applications.

With the limited number of apps, teachers can concentrate on getting the students accustomed to using iPads on a daily basis.  This will also be a great way to get our teachers, some of which have never used iPads with their students, comfortable in using these powerful devices in class.  Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of wonderful apps that can be used by teachers in the classroom. I just believe that introducing targeted apps over time will make them more effective. What do you think?

Let us know @iTeachManor.

Back to School with iTeach

Manor Independent School District is excited to begin the first year of one-to-one iPad use in classrooms.  For our initial year, all high school students, Decker Middle sixth graders, and Decker Elementary third, fourth and fifth graders will have individual iPads.  As the district begins this roll out, two Instructional Technology Specialists will support teachers with the implementation of iPads in their classrooms.

Let’s start with introductions.

Jodi Hawkins has been a Manor ISD staff member for the previous three years.  Last year, as a co-creator of the elementary Project Based Learning training modules, she worked with Ruth Burrell to train the entire staff of Decker Elementary.  Chances are, if you have been through GTAL training with Lisa Barrett-Johnson in the past two years, you met Jodi.  She is no stranger to the use of iPads in the classroom and will help integrate them into PBL projects.

Jacob Luevano comes to us from Ysleta ISD in El Paso, TX.  He brings to Manor ISD over thirteen years of teaching experience, but more importantly two years implementation of iPod and iPad integration at Dolphin Terrace Elementary. Jacob is a firm believer in using iPads as tools to supplement instruction, without making them the complete focus in the classroom.

Randy Mathisen will also be assisting with the launch of iPads.  He was the trendsetter for one-to-one iPad use at Manor High School.  Last year, he worked with the technology team to incorporate iPads into his classroom.  This year, his title has changed. He will be the Instructional Coach over technology at Manor High School and a contributor to the iTeach blog.

These three will be your teammates in navigating this exciting year, as well as coaches, that will help lead you to great success with technology in your classroom.  Turn to them with questions that you may have or wonderful ideas that should be passed on to others.

When the iTeach team and teachers in MISD work together, we will be more powerful educators and lead our Manor students to reach their full potential.  

Jacob and Jodi will be on campuses 95% of their time and would love to pair with you to incorporate iPads into your daily teaching. They will provide ongoing support and ideas via the iTeach blog, their Twitter handle and Edmodo group.

Follow them on Twitter @iTeachManor and join their Edmodo group with the code mcbpta.

Welcome back to school, Manor!