Digital Conferring NotebookPresentation Transcript
Setting up a Digital Conferring Notebook for the iPad
PDF Expert and “fillable” forms This digital conferring notebook uses the app PDF Expert and the pdf forms from the CD that comes with The CAFE Book. It’s important to note that these are “fillable” pdf forms. This means they can be edited, and you can type text directly into the fields within the pdf. Much of this tutorial is dependent on that, so you will need the forms that come with the CAFE CD.
PDF Expert is one of the best pdf readers, and it is the only app that allows you to enter text into fillable forms.
Syncing Files and Folders One of the first things you’ll want to do is go into “Network” and sync the app to your cloud networks of choice – Dropbox, Google-docs, iDisk, etc. This, along with everything else, is fully explained in the “PDF Expert Guide” in the Help folder.
Import Files from Network Once you have your networks set up, open or import the fillablepdf files from The CAFE Book’s CD.
I set these up in folders in Dropbox before adding them to PDF Expert. You can create folders within the app and move files between them, but I found it easier to do using Dropbox on my laptop.
How you set up the folders and documents is entirely up to you, but you could make a digital replica of the conferring notebook that is laid out in The CAFE Book. Also, you can put all kinds of files into the folders, not just pdf’s.
I have a folder for conferences, one for strategy groups, one of CAFE ready reference forms, one with resources for launching CAFE and one for general Daily 5 resources.
I also thought it would helpful to have several files directly in my “Documents” menu for quick reference. These are ones that I expect to refer to often, so I want them handy.
Conference Folders I set up a folder to house all of the students’ individual conference folders. The folder has a green “check” icon showing that it is synced to Dropbox. Tap a folder to show it’s contents
Within the Reading Conferences folder I decided to give each student a folder so I can keep all of their conference sheets in one place, as well as add other documents that might be helpful for individual students. This is the same as having a section for each student in the traditional paper pensieve. I’ll open up Matthew’s folder.
Editing Files To edit a file and enter notes, simply tap the file you want to work with. Let’s look at the Matthew’s Reading Conference form
To enter information during a conference, simply tap on the field you would like to edit and the keyboard pops right up. Then you can type your notes directly into the form. Tap in another field to move between sections on the form.
It gives you neat, organized notes. And, if you wish, you can continue to add to the notes at home through your Dropbox folder on a laptop or desktop.
By tapping in the margin of the form you get additional options on the top toolbar. The export icon allows you to email the file, save a copy of it, open in other apps, etc. When you are finished, tap the “back” icon.
Syncing Files and Folders After you have finished your notes in a conference form, the student’s folder will have an orange icon next to it, telling you the changes need to be synced to Dropbox.
Syncing Files and Folders You sync the changes by simply tapping “Sync” in the lower left and “Push Changes”. The files will immediately be up to date and can be accessed anywhere using Dropbox.
Strategy Groups The process is pretty much the same for strategy group forms. I’ve set up a folder for different groups. Within each file I can just add my notes by tapping the appropriate field.
Making new files Making variations and copies is quite easy. Let’s say you want to create a new conference form for another student. Open up the reading conference form, which I keep a template of in my documents, type the student’s name in and tap on the export icon. Then tap “Save a Copy”.
Making new files (cont.) Rename the new form and tap done. In the next window you’ll want to save it as a “document”, which will allow you to continue editing it and filling the fields. That’s it, you’ll have a new conference form in your documents menu.
Creating a Folder To create a new folder, go back to documents and tap “edit.” This will open up a toolbar with several options. We want to create a new folder so tap the folder icon.
Creating a Folder (cont.) Enter the name of the folder, tap “Done” and the new folder will appear in your documents.
Moving Files and Folders To move a file into a folder, or move folders within other folders, first tap the “Edit” button Then select the file or folder to move by tapping on the circle to the left of it.
Moving Files and Folders (cont.) Next, tap the “Move” icon. Select the folder you would like to move to and tap “Done”.
Annotating “non-fillable” forms For pdf forms that are not fillable, you can still make notes and annotations through sketching tools and overlaying typing, but it is not as smooth as entering text in fillable forms. You can view other file types (doc, jpg, etc.) in PDF Expert, but can’t edit them.
So, that is how I’m planning on using PDF Expert and my iPad to conduct and record reading conferences and strategy groups using the Daily 5 / CAFE model. The steps I covered, and many other functions, are addressed in the “PDF Expert Guide” document in the “Help” folder that comes with the app.