Tips 2012 Professional Learning #23:iPads as a productive tool

Investigate, Communicate, Create: Using an iPad as a productive tool in the classroom. Presenter: Dr Jenny Lane

We have a great group of over 250 teachers attending our session tonight. I do apologise to all those teachers who were disappointed because they did not manage to secure a seat to this presentation. I will be repeating this session next term. Thanks to all the teachers for attending this session and a special thank you to those who volunteered to share the amazing productive work happening in their classes and in their schools.

Tips 2012 Professional Learning #20:Which app is right for you?

When selecting apps my rule is “less is more”…In my experience it is better to have a few carefully selected apps that you can use in multiple ways than an app for every topic.

For many teachers at the start of a semester or the beginning of  a new school year you will be deciding which apps you will be using in your teaching. Selecting the right apps can be a challenge when there are so many applications on the app store. Always keep your educational objective clearly in focus, it is easy to be seduced by bright colours and cute animations. Think carefully about what the student will do… will this app allow the students to create, engage in higher order thinking and connect in new ways? There is some value in apps that allow students to consolidate their skills in an engaging manner. Apps that support the teaching  and can be used across the curriculum are good value per use as opposed to apps that will be used once or twice in a specific area.

A colleague Jan Clarke from AISWA has shared an extensive list of apps that she has complied. Classroom apps  Thanks for sharing all your hard work Jan. I look forward to hearing from you about the apps you find most useful in your teaching.

Tips 2012 Professional Learning #19: Gopro cameras and mobile learning

The simulation surfboard with wheels

I have been exploring different ways of making learning more mobiIe. We want to take learning to exciting authentic places in the real world. The gopro video cameras capture high resultion video footage of high speed activities. I recently presented at the fabulous Createworld Conference in Brisbane. At this conference the focus is on sharing how you are using  technology to stimulate creativity. A interesting use of mobile technologies was an inspirational performance by Beau entitled “Sliver surfer”. Beau set up a simulation with a silver tarp and a surfboard on wheels. The surfboard was fitted with a “Gopro”
and a small projector connected to an iPhone. On the iPhone were video Images of waves which were projected on to a silver tarp. The tarp was used to form the tube of a wave. The “surfer” then surfed through the tube on the surf board with wheels.

The Gopro captured the experience  of the surfing simulation. The video could be uploaded to an iPad for on the spot editing in iMovie and shared on Vimeo. This raises the possibility of capturing high quality video of simulation and authentic experiences an exciting combination of science, technology and visual arts.

Tips 2012 Professional Learning #9: Apple TV+ iPad = IWB

Project and share the learning on a big screen

iPads are essentially designed for individual use, yet in classrooms we often need to show and share the learning processes.

Traditionally we use interactive whiteboards where a computer is linked via a cable to a large touch screen attached to the classroom wall. This allows the computer technology with digital content to be projected and shared. This can create a didactic situation where the teacher has to be in a position close to the front of the classroom to operate the Interactive whiteboard, and not circulating in the classroom engaging with the students and monitoring their work.

Apple TV is a small device costing approximately $100 that allows the teacher and the students to connect their iPad, iPhone or iPod touch wirelessly to a TV screen or a  data projector to show their screen and share their work with the class.

Tips2012:iPad App Guide #37: Pinnion

Check the students’ understanding before, during and after a lesson.

Pinnion is an online polling and an audience response app. There are versions for iPads, iPhones and Andriod devices. You can create surveys and quizzes, and share a link via email or Twitter. There is even a WordPress plug-in for your blog.

For: Teachers, Students (Primary to Secondary)

Cost: free for launch

Requires WiFi?: Yes

Management Tip
How to use Pinnion

Educational Applications

  • Develop quizzes and surveys
  • Allow all students to respond to questions and see how others have responded
  • Quiz students on a topic then present an argument, or explanation then repoll them see if their understanding of the topic shifts or develops
  • Enable all students,even the shy ones, who do not usually respond to questions in class to demonstrate their learning, comprehension skills, and understanding of topics across a wide range of learning areas.

Recommended Reading

Please help us to build these resources for teachers by supporting the research. Click on the link to complete a short survey and enter the draw to win an I-tunes voucher.

Tips2012 iPad App Guide: Aurasma – Augmented Reality App

AurasmaMake the pages come alive by using augmented reality.
Augmented reality combines computer graphics and  images of natural objects to make a 3D image or simulation. This is used in advertisements and texts indicated by a large A icon.

To use this app in class, the students can create their own video footage to link to an icon. This is good for learning journeys to showcase project work.

It can also be used outside in treasure hunts and discovery trails, where icons are posted around the school. When students scan the icons using the Aurasma App or the iPad the Auras they have created will spring into life giving the audio and video commentary.

For: Students (Secondary) & Teachers

Cost: Free for lite version (Download Link)

Requires WiFi?: Yes

Educational Applications

  • Create augmented reality learning objects for lessons for your class / school wiki / website
  • Students create auras to demonstrate three dimensional properties of objects
  • Present videos, images and sounds in response to visual cues
  • Enable students to demonstrate their learning,skills, and understanding of topics across a wide range of learning areas.
Please post how you use this app in your classroom

Tips2012: Will the iPad 3 be a game changer?

I am eagerly waiting for the new product launch in San Francisco. There have been many whispers on the networks about the nature of the new machine. The key question for educators is how will this device make learning more engaging and effective.Will this device be a game changer? send us your thoughts.

Tips2012 iPad App Guide #12: GarageBand

GarageBand turns your iPad (iPhone, iPod) into a full-featured (touch-screen) recording studio, where you can play instruments, record music, and share songs / podcasts via iTunes or email. It includes a music library (including sound effects, instrumental loops); and was recently updated to allow up to four players play or jam together.

With the iPad Camera Connection Kit (around $10 on eBay) you can even connect and play your own instruments (guitar, keyboard) through USB in GarageBand, or record audio using a USB microphone headset. Garageband is suitable for beginning to advanced users, although it takes time to learn its full potential.

GarageBand for iPad is ideal for music, songwriting, podcasting, or simply jamming with your own (virtual) band! It truly is a must-have app!

For: Teachers, Students

Cost: $4.99 (Download Link)

Requires WiFi?: No

 Educational Applications

  • Create alternative movie soundtracks
  • Broadcast radio “news reports”
  • Create educational raps & play music
  • Click here for more great ideas & lessons
BHS iPad Band

Further Reading

Excellent GarageBand Video Tutorial (40 mins)

Jenny’s Most Useful App Today- A Document-Scanner

Today high in the Japanese Alps, my partner had a skiing injury. The medical insurance wanted copies of airline tickets, passports, receipts and contracts sent through immediately. Fortunately I have a portable document scanner on my iPad. Making it my most useful app of the day!

This is a really useful tool in the classroom, office or when you are traveling. There are a number of scanning applications. Some use OCR optical character recognition, that turn the text or image into digital characters. You can edit these, adjust shades and contrasts to create the text or image that you need. These images can be saved as pdf’s or jpg’s and can be used creatively to create artworks.

My current favorites are Doc Scan HD and Perfect OCR. Doc Scan Hd claims to be able to scan curled or folded documents. You can scan diagrams on the white board,receipts and business cards and pictures from your photo collection. What I like is that you can edit and annotate the scanned images. This is very useful as a teaching tool.

You can save the image as a PDF and email it or place it in ibooks, drop box, evernote or google docs and send the link to share it with a colleague or your students. The free version of Doc Scan Hd allows you to scan a three page document for longer documents upgrade to the paid pro version for $4.49

Perfect OCR works well with high quality script recognition for text in different languages and typefaces.I would like to hear your comments on how you are using these scanning apps in your teaching.