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 #17:Getting started with iPads?

One of the most frequently asked questions that I receive is “how do I get started using iPads in my classroom?”.
The next question I get asked is “I know the basics but what is the next step? How do I integrate this technology into my teaching to make a difference in learning outcomes?”<

 

In response to these questions I have prepared two preconference workshops that I will be offering at the ACEC conference in Perth on the 2 October. The morning workshop “Getting started with iPads” gives an overview of how to set up and begin using iPads effectively in classrooms.

 

In the afternoon workshop we will look at ways of “Integrating iPads into the curriculum”. We will discuss and create resources that teachers can use in their teaching. The designing of workflows to import and export materials from mobile devices will be one of the topics we will explore.

These workshops are also open to those who cannot attend the full conference. You can book on the conference website.

 

Thanks to all who attended the workshops we had two amazing groups of enthusiastic educators. Many thanks to the fabulous teachers Louise, Kym and Anna and Jamie and the crew from Winthrop who helped me facilitate the groups as the enrolments to these workshops kept increasing.

 

The spirit of sharing and collaboration made these workshops  a very worthwhile learning experience for  all. I am sharing the workshop resources through an edmodo site. To access the resources set up a personal edmodo account. This is free. Search for the group titled Jenny lane and join it. The code for the group is mom1q0. ( last letter is the digit 0). Please contribute by adding your comments thoughts and ideas.

Jenny

Tips2012: i-Kids make a difference:#1:Jude`s i-Story

 

Jude the “Living Statue”:  A boy who makes a difference…. 

      

This inspiring i-Story started with some emails in response to the TIPS2012 blog. Jude and his mum Tania asked questions about using iPads in schools in India and how to cope in settings with no WiFi network.

I directed them to the resources on the blog, and a while later received this email…

Dear Jenny, …

Thank you all so much for supporting Jude “The Living Statue” in raising money for an iPad for an Indian school. He raised a total £220 – which is quite amazing and inspiring, especially as it was all his own idea to do this.

The iPad caused huge amount of excitement and the children kept looking at their fingers  when they were drawing/writing on the iPad, as they couldn’t understand why there wasn’t ink on them!  

Here are some photos of Jude showing the kids at the school how an iPad works.

Jude showing the children in India how to use the iPad

We spent hours at a rather nice hotel in the local town, using their free wifi to download some educational apps.

Thanks to the wonders of the internet, and Australian Dr Jenny Lane of iPad project in schools, we found some fantastic apps that can be used without wifi.  Especially good were the animations and puppet shows with self recorded narration, which are great for story telling, imagination and those not confident in speaking English – plus they are lots of fun.

Thank you all again for your support…

Tania & Jude

Tania, Jude`s mother comments “I am amazed he had so much courage to stand on Ledbury Road, which is quite a busy street in Notting Hill.  I am very proud of him and very happy for you to include on your blog – which was so helpful for us.”

Living Statutes

“Living Statues” are people who dress up like a statue and stand motionless on the street, usually on a pedestal.  They are usually painted from head to toe – white, bronze or gold, etc. and will only move, or shake your hand etc when you give them some money.
Jude (Millais) is the great-great-great grandson of the painter John Everett Millais (http://www2.tate.org.uk/ophelia/)

 

Tips2012: Teachers’ Voices #2: Doug’s i-Story

A frequently asked question is “How do I transfer items created on my iPad to other devices?” This leads to the issue of workflows and document management on an iPad.

In this i-Story, Doug Lauder shares his thoughts on how to share content created on iPads. Doug works in education supporting teachers as they use technology.

He will be presenting on document sharing and workflows on iPads at the M-Learning in Education@ECU Twilight events on the 5th & 6th June at Edith Cowan University in Perth, Western Australia. These events are free for teachers and pre-service teachers. If you would like to join us use the booking link below:

Booking Form for the M-Learning in Education@ECU Twilight Events

 

iPad and sharing content in the classroom.

The most noteworthy aspect of the iPad is its’ simplicity. When providing Professional Development to teaching staff I normally ask that they forget everything they have learnt before about operating computers. I also ask that they leave behind any preconceptions of how the device works at the door. Don’t over complicate, just tap to get going.

But this is not easy, especially after many years of learning why file structure is important, how a “Home” folder works, and why “housekeeping” is not confined to just your house.

It is this file handling that is missing from the iPad, and it seems that it is Apple who are standing firm here, and for good reason. After all why do you need a music folder when you have iTunes? Pictures and video can be organised very well in the Camera Roll. Word processing now starts and finishes with Pages. But of course, there are times when we need to leave the Apple walled garden, for example; to collect, mark and return two dozen essays, animations or videos.

Email in the classroom
There are many apps which allow for content creation, notably iMovie and Garageband but also Sonic Pics, Comic Life and Photoshop Touch. How can I gather all of this media for assessment? Email is the quick solution, but this method is of no use if the iPad is a shared iPad with no email account assigned to the Mail app. As the recipient of 15-25 emails with attachments, the process is not practical either. Below I will illustrate a workflow which will work for a class set of iPads or a student personal iPad:

1. The Share Icon – to Camera Roll
This little icon is the key and there is one share destination which appears more than most and that is the Camera Roll. If we can export media to the local Camera Roll it is easy to get that to a conventional folder.

2. Dropbox
Dropbox currently have more than 50 million users, they are the cloud storage experts. App developers acknowledge this, and many are happy to allow direct export to the Dropbox app (if installed) from within their app (eg, Explain Everything). If the export to Dropbox isn’t an option from the Share icon simply choose Camera Roll (sometimes called Photo Roll).

3. Upload from Camera Roll to Dropbox
Dropbox allows you to upload content from your Camera Roll to a Dropbox folder of your choice. A good place for students to upload their work may be to a folder which is shared with the teachers personal account. That way the teacher can asses the work from iPhone, PC or Mac at his/her own leisure.

Drawbacks
Unfortunately all students who drop final projects into a shared folder can view the contents of that folder too. (and as yet it is not possible to create write only permissions to Dropbox folders). This isn’t a problem if you are using a shared class set of iPads in any case. But if each student has their own iPad, I would recommend that they open their own Dropbox account. That way you will be able to keep private folders with each student, if privacy is a must.

Conclusion
It may sound like I am on commission from Dropbox! But at this intermediate stage (between Lion – Mountain Lion and the expansion of iCloud) I don’t see a plausible workflow which replaces the file structure Dropbox allows us. Looking closely at iPhoto (for iPad) reveals a sharing option called Beam. Could this become standard for iPad communication in the future?

The workflow diagram above illustrates my favourite apps and how I transfer files around. I’m sure that I may have overlooked some “share paths” but I hope that it helps.
http://isupport.com.au
Doug Loader

Tips2012: Teachers’ Voices #1: Richard’s iStory

An exciting new feature on the TPACK iPad Project is “Teachers’ Voices”, featuring teachers` stories and experiences with iPads in education.

Teachers` VoicesPlease send me your stories we can all learn from your experiences. If you would like to share your story and be featured on this blog, please email: Jenny Lane (j.lane@ecu.edu.au), and include “Tips2012: Teachers’ Voices” in the title.

Please indicate if I have permission to include your name, and the name of your school. If you would prefer to be anonymous, let me know. Your story will become part of the data collected in the research collection and will inform our work with teachers.

An iStory from Richard  (@rhp123)

We are a small, independent primary school in NSW. Our school has been pursuing the idea of  achieving 1:1 for several years. Our stance has been around the idea of making technology accessible to students and teachers as required. Our motivation for doing this was an evolving one, but at the core was the idea that Technology could enhance learning and create new learning opportunities.

In the dim past we had a computer room. Which consisted of fourteen Apple machines networked and connected precariously to a 28K modem. It was the late nineties and Apple was floundering so we transitioned to PC and escaped from the confines of a computer room moving into a network which threaded it’s way through the school. Small groups of PCs scattered conveniently in shared spaces. Over time the mobile banks of laptops (Windows based) have evolved into our main technological delivery system along with interactive Smartboard equipped classrooms. In 2010 we achieved 1:1 with our Year 6 classes and in 2011 we added 1:2 committed resources to our Year 5 students.

Reading and discussions with various educators had drawn us toward the idea of tablets. I had an Android phone so our first investigation was into Android tablets, which we trialled and tested. The iPad also seemed to be getting rave reviews and many educational institutions were adopting them in the US (not that that was really a compelling reason).

The iPad was by far the best device we tried.

  • It offered a wealth of apps for education (which catered for various needs)
  • A number of State Education Departments /sectors had committed to trials e.g. Victorian Dept of Education http://ipad.ipadsforeducation.vic.edu.au/
  • A large number of schools internationally were adopting iPads e.g. http://ow.ly/1KTzfO (New York Times article)
  • iPads were robust and well supported (this was particularly compelling in our small school setting as we don’t have substantial technical support services)
  • iPads had no boot time issues (this had always been an annoyance with laptops) and their battery life meant they could be used continuously all day without charging
  • iPads were easy to navigate and were slick in operation
  • They offered versatility for both students and teachers
  • iPads were competitive in price (especially against our traditional laptop delivery system)

So we committed to the idea of the iPad as a technological vehicle to help drive change and improve the learning opportunities of our students. This involved changing from a Windows environment to an Apple environment. It involved exploring management issues. It involved investigating iTunes and trialling apps. It involved the idea of moving into the cloud and away from traditional networks. It involved raising funds to achieve implementation. It involved upgrading aspects of our network. It involved extensive discussion, collaboration and research.

We launched our iPad initiative with 45 iPads which we distributed both for staff and students. A key part of our launch was to engage staff and familiarize them with the iPads. One of the greatest challenges faced is to involve teachers in change. Especially change which isn’t in the traditional repertoire.

Providing many teachers with iPads certainly moved the swing of the pendulum towards technology. The other positive about iPads from the teacher perspective was that it wasn’t too alien as many teachers were already using iPhones. At any rate teachers found the operating system easy to use and in no way daunting. This provided impetuous to our effort. We had been unable to equip all teachers with individual iPads and they all wanted them.

Students were equally eager and familiar with the iPads as many had iPod Touch, iPhones, or iPads already. They are also the most desired device in the “Must Have” category at the moment.

Our initial roll out was primitive because we didn’t commit to a management system as we were waiting to see what iOS 5 had to offer. A single profile was created and this proved to be satisfactory for our trial. Our lack of a management system created problems in terms of updating our operating system. We had to update all 45 individually. It also meant that we couldn’t manage individual devices or individualize devices to any extent.

We realized fairly early that iPads particularly for older students (upper primary) and for teachers needed to be set up as individual devices. We have now invested in a management system “Casper” which provides a reasonable degree of control at a reasonable cost.

The engagement of students and of teachers with the iPads and the possibilities that the iPad offers for the integration of technology into programs across the school provided a compelling argument for the expansion of the iPad initiative. As already observed we recognized that the needs of some students and their use of iPads would be different.

Our next faze (which is currently underway) will see the implementation of a 1:1 iPad roll out for Year 5 & 6 students. This will enable individualization of iPads for this group and this will particularly enable the integration of devices with “The Cloud”. Services such as Dropbox, Otixo, Evernote, Google Docs, and email require individualization and need to be set up for each student in order to be really effective on the iPad. We will also accommodate all full time teaching staff and provide a versatile supply for various other student user groups from Preschool to Year 4.

One of the negatives of the iPads has been that there isn’t volume licensing available to schools in Australia yet. This means that under the current Apple Licensing Agreement each device needs to purchase its own apps. We will provide the essential Apple apps to our students Pages, Keynote, Numbers, GarageBand and iMovie. The cost of these alone per device is around $40.00AUD.

We consider that if we are investing in an Apple product we should provide an understanding of the Apple platform to our students as we have done with Microsoft. Clearly we are grateful that many excellent apps are free or relatively cheap.

iPads are great, but they are just a new tool in our technological arsenal. We remain committed to providing access to a robust Windows network of laptops and peripherals for use across the school. To this end we are considering options around our mobile Windows devices. We have a good supply of Dell Netbooks which we have been using for the last two years, however new possibilities in terms of hardware are appearing. One of the great appeals of the iPad is its portability and interactivity. We are taking a look at some Windows based tablets.

I must stress that our school isn’t fixated on technology. We are fixated on our students. We are evaluating our learning environments, exploring best practice and implementing change where we perceive benefit. iPads are just an element in our journey towards achieving “success” for our students.

 Thanks to Richard Prowse for sharing his inspiring i-Story.

Tips2012:Embedplus manage video clips

This post is an answer to Jamie’s question today about working with video footage. This is not an app but I hope this does what you need Jamie. You may have to do this on a computer and then upload to the iPad. I am still searching for an app to do this.
Embed plus lets you crop, loop, annotate and embed video footage. Let us know how you use it in your class.

Tips2012:The New iPad -New features for education

The new iPad is being released in 11 more countries today Click here to watch the video of the “New iPad” launch.

There are some pretty exciting features – the quality of the video you can create is close to professional level standard. My research uses video diaries and live classroom videos as part of data analysis. So I can use the iPad to shoot my high resolution videos needed for the project. Plus there is an updated iMovie app for quick editing.

Another favourite new feature is that you can use the “New iPad” (iPad3) to create your own wireless hot spot in your classroom and connect five WiFi devices, which is very useful for teachers who don’t have a robust wifi network at school.

There is no Siri (voice activation), but according to the launch video the new iPad has voice dictation. This will be great for students with special needs. In other news, the iPad 2 prices have dropped, making then more affordable for schools.

We are using iPad2s in the Tips2012 research, and the teachers and students are doing so many fabulous things to engage students and promote deep learning and creativity. we are currently encouraging teachers to contribute to our iPad research survey, where you can also enter our draw to win a $50 iTunes voucher!

 

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 Have iPad trolleys can travel!!

I have just unpacked the long awaited IQ Traveller Light trolley cases. These are perfect for our iPad rollout of 70 iPads for my new module “Teaching and learning with touch technologies” at the university. Each case takes 16 iPads and all accessories.

The cases have foam padding with slots for each iPad, and a hard shell to protect the iPads from knocks. You can charge and sync all the iPads in the case at the same time. Each case has two wheels and a long handle for easy travelling. These cases will be great for schools that have shared sets of iPads that need to move easily between classes. You can padlock the case to keep the contents secure. We have set up an online booking system so staff can book the equipment they need for their classes.

Tips2012 iPad research in beautiful Cape Town

 

I am in beautiful Cape Town meeting amazing educators from not-for-profit organizations, schools, and universities discussing my research project TPACK iPads in Schools – “tips” and opportunities for further learning and research in this area.

I had great discussions with Karen aka @ICT_Integrator on the importance of professional learning and support for teachers.

This is the core of the “tips” project to empower teachers to use technology effectively for teaching and learning. I am looking forward to doing some exciting work in schools this week, discussing iPads and learning opportunities for further study for teachers at Edith Cowan University in Perth, Australia.

I welcome South African educators to participate in my research and share their learning with us on this blog.

Jenny’s iPad Tip: User Guide #4 iPad = document camera+

A while ago I bought a document camera costing about $700, a really useful device to replace the overhead projector. A document camera can be used to capture an image and project the image onto a large screen.

Then I bought a VGA connector to connect my iPad to a data projector or any other screen or monitor, and for just $30 my iPad became a portable document camera with a heap of extra functions.

How To:

Secure the iPad to a small tripod / retort stand to keep it stable. Then select the camera icon to use the the camera function to project and share any image.

There are fantastic ways to use this in education, for example if you are doing a dissection, you can capture the image and project it for the class to view. You can capture images of objects and plants for science experiments. You can even demonstrate mathematical concepts using concrete manipulative.

I would love to hear how you are using this function in your teaching.

 

Jenny`s iPad Tip – Create your own Digital Texts

Digital textbooks are becoming a highly discussed and contentious issue. I am not a huge fan of textbooks, but where we do use them, they need to be interesting and engaging.

My flight today was delayed due to a cyclone, so I took the time to catch up on my reading. A report on the plans for wide scale introduction of digital textbooks in the USA was very interesting: “Playbook:Digital Textbook direction in the US“. It follows the plans in the USA to use digital textbooks across different states, and describes the huge financial investment by the government in textbook creation, high speed Internet provision, computers and tablets for students.

The launch of iBooks 2 showcases Apple’s new venture in digital textbook publishing. I have reviewed some of the digital textbooks and have found them very disappointing – they are just glorified PDF’s.

The challenge for textbook writers is to exploit the interactivity and engaging nature of ePubs in textbook production. They can be rich multi-modal documents with the embedded multimedia.

Many students don`t approach text in the way we have traditionally, reading pages from top to bottom and left to right. They tend to scan pages with their attention moving to the embedded hyperlinks and multi-media. It is also important that digital texts allow the reader to engage with the text through annotation and highlighting functions.

Digital textbooks can encourage student collaboration through the sharing functions. The e-book “Our Choice” by Al Gore uses some of the engaging, interactive features of digital publications that can be used in textbooks.

There are a number of apps and traditional software that allow you to create your own e-books. You can create an e-Pub in Pages, but you need the full computer version not the iPad app. Book Creator is the best ePub creator for the iPad.

Let your fingers do the talking on your iPad

The iPad touch screen allows you to use your fingers to interact in multiple ways.You can single tap, double tap, flick, swipe, drag, press and hold. I will give a brief description of the basic finger movements on the touch screen.

TAP: This is a simple soft touch with the tip of your finger.

DRAG: Keep your fingertip pressed on the screen and slide it to move to different sections of the screen. A two finger drag allows you to scroll down in a smaller window within the main window, for example in any floating pop up screens.

SLIDE: The slide action is similar to the drag except that it is usually a horizontal movement from left to right used to unlock the iPad or to wake it from a sleep state.

FLICK: Lightly move your finger across the screen to scroll a page in that direction. The faster you flick your finger the faster the page will move. When you are reading an e- book you can flick you finger across the page to turn the pages.

SPREAD AND PINCH: To zoom in on a picture place three fingers on the item and spread the fingers to expand the item. To reduce an item pull the fingers close together.

DOUBLE TAP: This is a quick way to enlarge or reduce a picture or a piece of text.

SINGLE TAP ON THE ON/ OFF BUTTON: This takes you back to the home screen.
Have fun experiment and experience the power of touch.
Four- or Five-Finger Vertical Swipe Like a double-press on the Home button, a four- or five-finger upward swipe will pull up the multitasking bar along the bottom of the screen. To return it, swipe downward to hide the bar (or single-tap anywhere above it).

FOUR OR FIVE FINGER HORIZONTAL SWIPE:

With a four- or five-finger horizontal swipe, you can quickly move between your most recently used apps. For example, if you’re in Safari and want to switch to another open app, you can perform a four- or five-finger horizontal swipe to move from one app to another; like the the one-finger swipe you use to move between home screens. You can pull up the multitasking bar by double-pressing the Home button or by performing the four- or five-finger vertical swipe.

Tips2012 iPad App Guide #6: iMovie

iMovie is an easy to use, touch based, video editing app for iPad. It enables students and teachers to create professional looking movies, incorporating video, photos, music, and sound effects. It was recently updated to enable users to create incredibly realistic movie trailers!

To get started, we highly recommend iMovie Basics, which gives teachers a great starting point for learning how to use iMovie in class.

For: Teachers and Students

Price: $4.99    Download Link

Requires WiFi?: No

Educational Applications

  • Digital Storytelling (Scriptwriting, storyboarding)
  • Recording special educational events
  • Greenscreen presentations (advanced users)
  • Create short documentaries / tutorials (e.g. in Science)
  • The possibilities are endless!

Classroom Examples

Further Reading

How do YOU use iMovie in the classroom?

We’d love to hear your thoughts! 

Tips2012: Say Hello to your new iPad

If you are a new iPad user, this post will guide you through the basics and help you to get started.

You initially need to use the USB cable (provided) to connect your iPad to a computer, it can be a Mac or a PC. iTunes will automatically load and prompt you to set up and register the iPad and create a unique Apple ID. The Apple ID has a user name and a password, which you will use to access the iTunes Store.

The iTunes Store has a range of books, applications, and music which you can download onto your iPad. Some of the applications, commonly known as “apps” are free, while others are paid. You pay for these apps using a credit card, or a purchased iTunes voucher.

When you set up your iPad for the first time, you will be prompted to set up iCloud. This is an online data storage facility which enables you to back up your iPad data (contacts, apps, photos, songs), and sync them across a number of devices (e.g. your iPhone, iPod Touch), providing they all use the same Apple ID.

On this blog we will be discussing teaching and learning strategies to maximise the effective use of iPads as teaching and learning tools.

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