Everything’s Up in the Air…

AirServerAirPlay, and AirDrop– three different things with similar sounding names.

Let’s take a quick look at each one and what it does.


According to Apple, AirPlay lets you wirelessly stream what’s on your iOS device to your HDTV and speakers via Apple TV. Or mirror exactly what’s on your display to the big screen. Vacation photos, blockbusters, the latest games — AirPlay and Apple TV put it all on your TV.

What does that mean? If you have Apple TV- you can use AirPlay to mirror (show, display) what is on your iPhone, iPad, MacBook or iPod Touch to your television.

How? Click on the AirPlay icon, find the name of your Apple TV, it may or may not ask you to type in a code displayed on the screen or to enter a password (depending on your Apple TV settings) and that’s it! Easy Peasy.

Click here to see compatibility.


What if you don’t have Apple TV? What if you don’t even have a television in your classroom? What if you just have a projector? That’s okay! Here’s why:


If you have a MacBook or a PC as well as a projector in your classroom, then chances are you are already able to project your computer screen.

– What if you want to show your students something on your iPad?
– What if your students have iPads and you would like to project a student’s screen?

AirServer allows you to do this- without the use of Apple TV or any extra cords.

Note: AirServer is not free and you will need to have 1 license for each computer that you plan to use it on, but it opens up so many possibilities in the classroom.

With AirServer You Can:

– move around the classroom with your iPad in hand while allowing your students to see your iPad screen up on the projector.
– mirror a students screen to allow them to share their work (and their thinking) with others.
– mirror more than one screen simultaneously (side-by-side).
– record your screen with audio. (screencast)

AirServer turns your computer into a receiver. Using AirPlay, on the iPad you would find your computer’s name, connect to it and then mirror onto your computer, which in turn mirrors it onto the projector.

A couple of things:

– Your computer has to be connected to a projector or this process won’t work.
– Your computer and the iPad that you would like to display must be on the same wireless network.
Why? I know that some schools have a separate wireless network for students and for faculty, be sure that both devices are on the same network. If they are not, the iPad will not be able to find your computer through AirPlay.

Click here to see compatible devices.


AirDrop allows you to wirelessly send files (photos, documents, videos, etc.) to other nearby users.

Note: At this time, iOS devices can only AirDrop to other iOS devices and Macs can only AirDrop to other Macs.

The process (how you AirDrop files) is different for Macs and iOS devices.

I hope this helps a bit with the confusion. Tutorials for each are coming soon.

Twitter in the Elementary Classroom

I’ve been talking a lot about how great Twitter is for growing your PLN (Personal Learning Network) and I’ve even spoken with some high school teachers on how they can use Twitter in the classroom with their students.

It may not seem like it, but Twitter can also be a great addition to primary grade classrooms as well.

I want to share some ways that you can use Twitter with your elementary school students.

First, check out the Twitter feed of Kathy Cassidy (@mscassidysclass), a first grade teacher in Canada who actively uses Twitter in her classroom with her students.

Mrs. Cassidy tweets the daily ins and outs of her classroom and her students tweet as well! Giving parents a very interesting peek into their classroom. I LOVE following her kids on Twitter.

Check out this tweet by little Dawson:

Her children tweet pictures of arts and crafts, the pheasant eggs that they were hatching and even their lunch!

Don’t think it’s all just pictures. They tweet math riddles for others to guess and lines from stories like “Little Red Riding Hood” and “Goldilocks and the Three Bears.” My favorite, though, are the math riddles. They played “Guess My Number” using the hashtag: #GuessMyNumber and played with a school in Italy! Read more about this here.

Looking to connect with other classrooms that Tweet? Check out this huge list of classrooms (ranging from Pre-K all the way up through high school).


** Disclosure: This post originally appeared on KCS Tech Coach, a blog written by Dawana for Kettering City School District.**

Tackk.com- Perfect for Content Creation in Class

Tackk is a great, free tool that allows both students and teachers to create content online quickly and easily.

You don’t need an account to get started, simply go to Tackk.com and start adding text and photos to build your own, one page website!


Tackk offers a lot of perks for teachers:

  • Embed your Tackk easily onto your district website or classroom blog
  • Add videos, photos, text, audio, maps, contact forms and more to a Tackk
  • Students can go to the Tackk website and start creating a Tackk right away no sign in, nothing!
  • Once completed, your Tackk ready to publish on the web right away
  • Use Edmodo? Tackk integrates seamlessly with Edmodo allowing teachers and students to log-in to the Tackk website using their Edmodo credentials

Looking for inspiration? Check out the Tackk blog or better yet, check out the Tackk education page. There are some great examples of how teachers are using Tackk in the classroom, including: lesson planning, project planning, posting student assignments, displaying student work, collaboration (both in and out of the classroom), and more.

This teacher is asking her students to create a digital graduation announcement in the form of a webpage using Tackk.

Here’s a Gettysburg Address lesson plan. Students have to use Tackk to create their own version o fthe Gettysburg Address.

The possibilities are great with Tackk. Also, check out the Tackk edu blog for more ideas.

** Disclosure: This post originally appeared on KCS Tech Coach, a blog written by Dawana for Kettering City School District.**

Creating (and printing) a QR Code

QR (quick response) codes are great, interactive tools that you can incorporate into your classroom in many ways.

Before I get into how you can use them, I want to answer questions regarding how to create them. It’s easy- seriously.

QR codes can link back to a website, an email message, a You Tube video, audio, plain text and more. There are LOTS of websites available to help you create your own QR codes. Simply Google “QR Code Generator” or click here to see our running list of available QR Code Generators.

Check out the video below on how to create and print a QR Code:


Most QR Codes are static, this means that you cannot change what they link to once they have been created.

With a Dynamic QR Code, you can change where it links to without having to reprint the QR code. There are quite a few QR Code generator sites that allow you to do this. In your account (on the QR Code generator website) you can usually change the content that the QR code is linked to. Many sites even give you stats for the QR code such as: how many people have scanned it & viewed your content.

Here’s a long and fancy write-up on the difference between QR Codes & Static Codes.

** Disclosure: This post originally appeared on KCS Tech Coach, a blog written by Dawana for Kettering City School District.**

Using Graphic Organizers Digitally with Google Drawing

How many trees do you think you kill sheets of paper do you think you use each year just printing graphic organizers?

I know when I taught first and second grade, graphic organizers were used weekly during reading for comprehension purposes.

What if you could stop copying graphic organizers, and instead, have your children completing them in the Drive and turning them in to you- digitally?

Step-by-Step Directions: 
**Before you get started: Upload the graphic organizers that you would like to use into Google Drive. Be sure to save them as an image file (not a .pdf)***
  1. Go to your Drive
  2. Select Create (a red, rectangular button on the left-hand side of your screen)
    – Then choose Drawing
  3. Be sure to click on “Untitled Drawing” in the top left corner of your screen.
    – A box will pop-up on your screen prompting you to rename your drawing. Renaming your document helps you to easily identify it in your Drive later on.
  4. To insert your graphic organizer into the drawing, click on:
    – Insert, then
    – Image
  5. Add your text by clicking on the ‘T’ (for text box)
    – Place your mouse where you would like the new text box to go
    – Draw in your text box by simply dragging with your mouse
  6. Type in the text box
  7. Continue to do this until your graphic organizer is completely filled in.

Your children can then share the graphic organizers with you in the Drive (either directly or via a turn-in folder). 

And that is it!