Never Say “Never”!

Last year if you would have asked me how I was going to change my entire art program to include technology, I would have had a difficult time answering your question, let alone trying to achieve such a goal.  I’ve been teaching art for 18 years and doing a good job of infusing new lessons into the mix and trying new techniques.  But using technology, using iPads???  Never!  First of all, I didn’t have the knowledge of technology or iPads.  Secondly, where was I going to find the money to buy iPads for my art room?  Finally, where was I getting the confidence to take on this task!

 Well, as the old saying goes, “Never say never!” 

 After taking some graduate classes, most using technology, someone mentioned IPEVO and the new user friendly/ space saving technology that they have developed.  After pursing their web site I was happy to find the WISHPOOL.  Every month IPEVO offers a product to teachers for free.  All they need to do is express the need.  It is a short, very easy application process that took me less than 20 minutes to complete.  Within 24 hours I was happy to be the owner of the newest IPEVO document camera.

 Beginning to feel lucky and knowing the only way I was going to get iPads in my art room was to find a grant that would offer a substantial amount of money.  Our principal sends us the information about the Target Arts and Culture Grant.  In February, I decided to apply for the grant.  It took a substantial amount of time to research and develops a proposal.   By March I was ready to submit my application.  I didn’t hear from Target for months and when I received an email late in August.  I almost deleted the email thinking it was spam when I remembered my application. I was awarded the grant a few days before the iPad 5 was released.  So, with money, coupons, and 4th generation iPads the $2000 bought 5 iPads now making my art room a 1:6 iPad classroom. 

 I felt like I was on a roll, so I then decided to look into  Donors Choose is a charity organization designed for educators that are wishing for objects for their classroom that they cannot afford to pay for from their budget monies.  Corporations, foundations as well as individuals can donate to your cause. I was intrigued by the concept yet skeptical as to who would donate to a teacher in a fairly comfortable school district.  To my surprise a foundation as well as several parents and faculty members made my first project a reality in 3½ hours!  In a few weeks I will have 5 styluses to use with my students and their iPads as well as a classroom projector.

 I’ve never considered fund raising and/or grants for my classroom.  I didn’t think the process would be worth the effort.  Now, I am an advocate of the process and realize that the possibilities are endless. 

 It is rewarding to be teaching in the 21st century. 

Swimming in the Wishpool

In my classroom I am constantly showing works of art or demonstrating with the use of a document camera and projector. It is sometimes a tricky endeavor seeing that I teach in a building of 50+ teachers and there are only 2 document cameras. After receiving an iPad as a birthday gift, it wasn’t long until I started to brainstorm different apps and ways to implement this hand held device in my art room. I knew that a document camera and projector were a must in order for the iPad lessons to be successful.

Around the beginning of the school year our district informed us that we were permitted to purchase document cameras with our budget monies. The search began for the highest quality document camera at the most reasonable price. After some discussion with colleagues, I discovered the IPEVO Point 2 View Document Camera. This 2 megapixel document camera is lightweight and easy to use. There are two focus modes as well as snapshot. For a mere $69 I had a highly portable document camera of my very own.

Our district technology does not support Apple products so I knew I would not be able to purchase any type of device to link my iPad and camera with budgeted monies. So, the second search began for an inexpensive way to link the two. Returning to IPEVO I found the WS-01 Wireless Station for only $69. This as compared to the Apple TV for $99 proved to be a better value for my pocketbook.

But, while perusing the IPEVO website I discovered the Wishpool. Wishpool is a program sponsored by IPEVO that wants to get technology into schools. Every month the Wishpool Team chooses a product to give away. It is easy to apply for a wish. Simply register with your school’s email address and write a brief paragraph telling Wishpool your story. The Wishpool Team will read the emails and award free technology to deserving schools.

It just happens that the product being offered while exploring the IPEVO Wishpool was the Wireless Station I needed to purchase. I sent IPEVO a short paragraph stating my predicament of having to purchase my own wireless station. Within 24 hours my wish was granted, within 48 the wireless station was shipped to my school.

I now own the IPEVO document camera and IPEVO wireless router, downloaded the IPEVO Whiteboard app converting my iPad into a document camera /white board-all for a mere $69.

Thank you IPEVO!