Tablet Carts – Teacher Essentials Spring 2008 SPA has three tablet carts available for classroom use. Each cart has 20 Toshiba M700 tablets. The carts come to your classroom with a wireless access point so that students can use tablets to access Internet and network resources. What can the tablets do? The tablets can do anything you would normally have students do in the lab or on student laptops. The carts come to your classroom with a wireless access point so that students can use tablets to access Internet and network resources. In addition, you can utilize tablet features, such as inking or writing on the screen. (Styluses should be checked out separately as they will not be in computers when the cart is checked out.) The M700s also come with the added feature of a built-in camera for video, audio, or still image recording. The following software is installed on the tablets: Audacity (audio recording) Celestia & Stellarium (astronomy) GeoGebra (geometry/algebra) Gimp (photo editing) Google Earth (interactive mapping) Google Sketchup (3D drawing) Inspiration 8 (mind mapping, outlining, and organization) Internet Explorer (with updated plugins) iTunes (for viewing podcasts) MathTrax (data visualization) MathType 5 MS Office 2003 (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Publisher) MS OneNote (Note-taking and organization) Photo Story (slideshows with audio) Scratch (animation) Windows Journal (tablet writing tool) Windows Media Player (video/audio player) Windows Movie Maker I’ve also added shortcuts to the desktop for all of the courses 6th graders normally take so that we can make internet bookmarks easily accessible. To check out the carts: There is a signup sheet on the door of the Middle School lab with each cycle listed. Each of the three carts are available for three blocks (no half-blocks at this point) per day. Priority will be given to 6th grade first and then to other middle school teachers for use as tablets. Sign out the cart at least a day in advance as the cart will need to be moved to your room and plugged in for network access. If it’s already in your room from the previous day, please verify the cart is free (and sign it out) before using it. Let Tami know if you will need assistance or plan to use the styluses (these are kept separate from the carts as there is a significant replacement cost). Email any links you anticipate needing to Tami. She can add them to the del.icio.us accounts bookmarked on the tablets. You should also add the links to your SPA course webpage. Using the tablets in the classroom: PREPPING THE CART: KEYS: Make sure you get the keys to the cart from Tami. There are three keys per cart; each is labeled according to use. (In case of emergency, a spare set of keys is kept in with Jo in the tech dept.) PLUGGING IN: Verify that each of the units was properly plugged in/charged the last time it was used. You may wish to boot one unit to check the battery level. The cart needs to be plugged directly into a wall outlet. It can not be plugged into a power strip. The access point must be used on the 3rd floor. It is advised to use it on other floors when available. Plug the Ethernet port into the wall plug labeled wireless. CLIPBOARD: A clipboard should be on each cart. Complete the top portion. A separate sheet should be completed for each block. All sheets used should be turned in to Tami at the end of the day. If it’s more convenient, you can use the electronic version and paste your students’ names in so they get used to having the same number/machine. Just be sure to note any issues that occur and inform Tami as needed. WITH KIDS: 1. INTRODUCTION: Introduce the assignment and cart expectations to the class. Make sure all students understand how the technology will be used to support/enhance their learning. Remind students that they will be held accountable for the condition of the hardware they’re using. (You may wish to say, “Please let me know of any mars or damage to the computer as soon as you see it, or it may be assumed that you’re the one responsible.” ) Students should also be reminded that any information saved to the computer will be lost when the computer is shut down. Students are to save to the network or to a flash drive only, just as they would in the lab. Cleanliness and technology… Food/liquids should never be allowed near computers. Remind kids that clean hands are better on laptops than messy ones. Dry hands are more effective than wet or lotion-coated hands. Letting kids know in advance that they’ll be using the laptops usually prevents these issues. 2. DEMONSTRATION: For the first few times your classes use the tablets, please model appropriate handling explicitly. Demonstrate proper open and close of laptop. Demonstrate how to turn on laptop (and later shut down). Demonstrate proper, two-finger/single-hand use of trackpad (and stylus, when used) 3. DISTRIBUTION: Unlock the cart on the student side. Have students line up at the cart. Hand the first student the clipboard and pencil. While he is writing his name, you should tell him the computer number, unplug the unit, and hand it to him. After your class has done this a few times, you may wish to give a student this responsibility. LOGGING IN: 4. OPEN: Students should be directed to open the tablets carefully and not to turn the displays unless they are used as tablets. 5. BOOT: Students will boot the computer by pressing the power button in the lower left corner below the screen. 6. LOG IN: Students log in just as they would in the Middle School lab. First, they enter their user name and password in the Novell Login. Next, they type the password briggs1900 at the Windows login prompt. (The user name “students” will be completed for them.”) WRAPPING UP: 7. TIME WARNING: About 10 minutes before the end of class, warn the students of the time and direct them to wrap up their work and save accordingly. 8. SHUT DOWN: 5-7 minutes before the end of class, tell students to shut down the computers and not close the screen until it is completely blank. (This takes about 2 minutes if done immediately.) 9. HAND IN: Go to the laptop cart and direct students to close computers, pick them up, and bring them to you. Students are to tell you their computer number and note any issues with the computer on the signout sheet as you plug the computer in on the appropriate tray. Hold each student accountable for his assigned tablet; do not allow any student to leave until you have his assigned computer. If you’re using styluses, students should return their stylus to you (you should place them in the stylus bag as they’re received) with the tablet. 10. LOCK UP: Once all tablets are plugged in, lock the door. CHARGING On the teacher side of the laptop cart, you will notice a charging system. You can charge one side of the cart at a time (SIDE A or SIDE B) or set a timer to CYCLE between both sides for the amount of time you set (from 15 minutes per side to 4 hours). Make sure you select a choice to charge the computers sufficiently for your next use. If you have a full block of time, you can select 45 minutes and CYCLE and CHRG; this should charge the computers sufficiently for the following block after a single block’s use. (NOTE: Aux is for the power strip on the student side of the cart. You would use this to use an external device and plug it into the power strip.) RETURNING THE CART When you’ve finished using the cart, verify that all of the computers are plugged in and return the cart to the MS computer lab. Make sure the cart is plugged in directly to a wall outlet and that the charging is set to 240 minutes and CYCLE and CHRG. This will ready the cart for the next day and/or class. Keys, styluses (if used) and clipboard sheet should be given to Tami or left in her mailbox on the first floor. In case of emergency, a spare set of keys is kept in with Jo in the tech dept. Troubleshooting Tips An individual machine can’t log in. o Verify that the wireless (front left of machine is turned on). o Verify the access point is functional (probably blue or green). o Verify the user name and password. Check to make sure the caps lock key isn’t down. o Ask if they’re logged in elsewhere (such as in the lab). o If all else fails, try restarting. o Contact Tami or the tech team for assistance. A group of students can’t log in. o Verify the access point is functional (probably blue or green). o Verify that the wireless (front left of machine is turned on). If it was off, follow up with the last student using the computer (or have Tami follow up, if appropriate). o If all else fails, try restarting. o Contact Tami or the tech team for assistance. A computer won’t turn on. o Plug into a live power adapter for 60 seconds. Attempt to turn on while plugged in. The computer may not be charged. If this works, issue another machine and make sure the charger attached to this one is functional. o Verify the battery isn’t loose or missing. o Close the lid and wait a few minutes. Try again. o If available, issue another laptop. o Make a note on the sign-out sheet and notify Tami. Laptop won’t wake up. o Try pushing the space bar. If the laptop remains asleep (the power light is on, but the screen is dark), try sliding the slider switch located on the top right of the keyboard. o Press the power button and the laptop should shut down. Restart. Numbers are typed in place of letters. o Press the Function key (Fn) and NumLock (F11) key. This should unlock the function keys and you should be able to type normal characters. The trackpad won’t work. o Log in (using the tab key to move from field to field). o Once the computer has booted, click the Fn and F9 keys simultaneously. o If this doesn’t clear up the problem, issue another computer and notify Tami. Classroom Management Tips Arrange your classroom so that you can easily see all student machines. Experiment with table arrangements, such as all facing the same direction or sitting inside a large circle. Circulate around the room to make sure you know what kids are working on and can monitor trouble spots. Teach kids to “Ask three before me” when appropriate. Most issues can be quickly resolved by asking a neighbor for suggestions. If a problem can’t be resolved this way, students should ask for your assistance. If the problem still can’t be resolved, they should seek Mrs. Brass or see Ms. Martinson. Make sure kids know that hiding their screen from you or minimizing websites/applications is not appropriate. If a student does this, feel free to pull the machine and replace it with a pencil or book. It’s a logical consequence. You can’t see everything and be everywhere at once, but you can hold kids accountable for off-task behavior. Set tight, realistic timelines for in-class use of technology and stick to them. Teach kids commands like “lids down” when you or someone else should have their attention.
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