The App market is quite saturated with Maths apps, particularly ones where pupils are just tapping on the right answer in an activity which is just a digital version of a worksheet with colour and sound. For me, the most useful feature of the iPad is the fact it has a camera which can be accessed from many apps.
This week I have been working with Year 5 pupils who have been learning about different types of angles. Once they understood the different types, they displayed their knowledge by finding angles in the classroom, taking a photo and importing into an apps such as Educreations or Explain Everything where it can be labelled and annotated. Simple idea I know but a good use of the iPad's features. Can anyone spot the mistake?
This term I have been using the iPads in school to develop the pupil's speaking and listening skills. Here are a few things we have done.
Gruffalo If you follow me on twitter, you may have noticed a few weeks ago that I shared a video of the animation Year 3 have produced. We focussed on the Gruffalo story and they retold it using the Puppet Pals app. The children chose a character from the story, drew it and on a separate piece of paper, drew the background for it. They then added the characters and backgrounds to the Puppet Pal's library before scripting out their scenes with other children. You can see a few examples at these links here. https://www.box.com/s/b5ercugrc8z5uuwbilm4 https://www.box.com/s/qll9bm05xqdjx61xor9l
We exported the videos to iMovie and even added the Gruffalo soundtrack. However, there is no wifi in Year 3 so I had to film the iPads in order to share. We are now using QR codes in school and I uploaded the videos above to the box cloud app (www.box.com) where you can share a link. I attached the link to a QR Code Creator app and we then put these QR codes in our weekly newsletter for parents to view the videos on their devices. With children creating so much video and audio on the iPads, QR codes are being used more and more to share pupil work.
Advertising Years 5 and 6 have been creating journeys through time using iMovie, Garageband and the Green Screen Studio FX app to impart historical information in an entertaining way. However, amongst that we worked on their advertising skills. We used the Titan Player app to download adverts from youtube to the iPad's camera roll where we put them into iMovie, removed the sound and the pupils added the voiceovers. They also created products in Foldify app, took a screen grab and added that into iMovie to advertise. The last step was to create some background music in Garageband.
Book creator has probably been the app I have used most, in my teaching, with pupils and in my training. The blank canvas aspect means it can be used across the whole curriculum and the addition of the pen tool in the last few weeks has added to that.
We use Showbie at school for pupils to share their work, including books made with Book Creator from the iPads and home to the teachers for assessment. Recently, we have used both the Pen Tool and Record feature to give feedback on the pupils' eBooks. The pupils send their books using Showbie and the teacher opens them up on his/her iPad. They can then annotate with their voice, pen and text. The book can then be sent back to the pupils using Showbie. The pupil can either change the original book and delete the annotated one or change the annotated book and delete the original.
The screenshot shows a book of a Science experiment. The teacher can annotate with arrows but also add audio feedback. All elements of Book Creator can be deleted so the pupil can restore any annotated book to the original.
This is obviously not a new idea but the pen tool has certainly made this quicker in a widely used app such as Book Creator.
Below are the notes and links for the 'Integrating iPads into the Primary Curriculum' training session: Session objectives * Compare and contrast the iPad as a learning tool with a laptop / desktop PC * Consider the challenges of...
One of the questions I am asked most is how do we as teachers quickly access pupils documents off the iPads? There are a few options for this but they mostly involve Cloud based services such as iCloud or DropBox or online environments such as Edmodo. What is the Kanex MeDrive?Basically the MeDrive is a little box that plugs into your wireless router. You can then plug a USB memory stick into it and access the content of that drive from an iOS device, PC or Mac wirelessly. On the iPad, you download the free app which allows you to browse that USB stick and download/upload content off/onto it. The app also appears in Pages, Numbers and Keynote App as an 'Open with another app' so documents can be saved directly to the USB stick. The Drive works with a number of file types, includes images, video and documents. The advantage over services such as DropBox is that its local (within school/classroom/home only) so data protection and security is less of an issue. Does it work?Yes, I was able to plug the MeDrive into my router at home, plug the attached USB lead into a USB charger to charge/power and insert a small USB stick. I opened the MeDrive app on my iPad and saw the MeDrive under devices. When I tapped on the MeDrive I saw the USB with all the files on it. I then opened the Pages app and moved one of my documents from my iPad to the USB stick with no problems. Will it work in Schools?I think so but there are a number of factors that will affect its success. Firstly, the device requires power so a plug will need to be close to the router. Also, many routers in schools are not easily accessible so plugging in a USB stick may not be as straitforward as it sounds. Finally, when saving files from apps such as Pages, the file goes into the download folder of the MeDrive and then needs to be moved from there onto the USB stick using the app. For younger pupils this may be a little technical but with a bit of training it should be possible. What I would like to see is the ability to save files directly from Pages to the USB stick without the download section in between. I am going to take this into school next week to try there but it looks promising. More details can be found at http://www.kanexlive.com/medrive
Update (March 2013) We tried the MeDrive at school but unfortunately it not work with all the iPads consistently. This obviously depends very much on your network configurations but we are looking at other options now. Next stop is www.showbie.com
I hope everyone who was on half-term last week had a relaxing break. I thought I would focus this month's blog post on an issue that faces every school using iPads: How to effectively gather the videos/documents that pupils are creating.
This is the one question I am always asked. With pupils using iPads to do everything from creating films, composing music and writing interactive ebooks, it is now no longer possible to always print off pupil work and staple it to a display board. With rumours that Apple will be announcing AirDrop for iPad next week at the WWDC conference, I thought it was a good time to round up the workflow solutions currently on offer for the iPad.
The Cloud If the iPads are all connected to one Apple ID then you can use iCloud to access pupil work. This only really works with Pages, Numbers and Keynote. When pupils create a document then with iCloud turned on, it will push the document to all the other iPads connected to that Apple ID. This works to limited degree. I like the fact that you can access the documents from the web using iCloud.com but the whole thing is designed for the personal user and it restricted by storage size etc for education use.
Personally I feel that services like DropBox and Box are also designed for the personal user and I am slightly concerned about putting photos/videos of children on there because their terms and conditions are not designed for education. At school we use DropBox to send resources to pupils, like maps for geography and old photos for history. Google Drive also is popular in secondary education.
iTunes When the iPad is plugged into iTunes, you can send documents from many apps, including GarageBand, Book Creator etc to iTunes using the sharing option. This works ok if you have a charge box that plugs all the iPads into the computer simultaneously but is quite time consuming compared to some of the other wireless options.
WebDav This works by setting up a Mac as a Server by using Mountain Lion Server. You then put the server settings into each iPad and it allows pupils to save their iWork documents to a folder on the mac server. It also works with Explain everything app. I like this method but it is limited to the iWork apps so all photos/video will have to be out into apps like Pages and Keynote. There is also the Kanex MeDrive which I reviewed in a previous blog post.
Showbie and Edmodo We began using Showbie in school in March and it works well. Teachers create an assignment name and and pupils use the Showbie app to drop documents/videos/photos etc to that assignment. Teachers can then use the app to view the file and give feedback to pupils. What I like about this is that firstly it works with the camera roll, iwork apps and apps such as Book Creator and Comic Life but it also works online too so pupils can add files from their computers at home to access at school or visa versa. Edmodo is similar but has a few more features designed for Secondary schools, such as quizzes.
QR Codes More and more apps are enabling the user to upload the file to the web, such as My Story which is an ebook creator app that creates a web link for each book. QR codes can then be made with that link attached. These can be placed in newsletters and on displays so that parents can view pupil work on their smartphones.
So there you go, there are many options for sending files from iPad to another, such as InstaShare. The key is that there is no one size fits all. It very much depends on the size of the school, iPad deployment and policies. Have a good term and look out for an update to my book in late June and iPad training mornings in early July. www.ipadteachers.co.uk
Augmented reality apps are a little hit and miss for me. Some allow for clear practical application in the classroom, whilst others can be gimmicky.
A teacher told me about Morfo https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/morfo/id418900007 back in summer term and I have been using it in my lessons and training ever since. The app allows you to add an image of a face and bring it to life with animation and a convincing voice-over tool. You can record your own voice into the app and the face will then speak it back. The finished animation can then be saved to the camera roll for use in other apps.
I first used it with Year 4 who were looking at History, Newspaper reporting and direct speech writing. We used the app to create the viewpoints of two historical figures: William of Normandy and Harold Godwinson. The pupils found images of both figures from the web (portrait style) and imported them into the app before adding their VoiceOver providing reasons why they should be King of England. I was really impressed with how this app improved the pupils' persuasive language skills. We then imported the finished videos into Book Creator as part of a historical research document.
A number of teachers have told me ways they are using the app, including using it to introduce a topic. For example, Queen Victoria introducing the Victorian topic to engage pupils from the beginning.
Let me know if you have used Morfo and if so, how? @iPadteachers.
iMovie on the iPad has been one of the must have apps in both Primary and Secondary Education. With so many teachers and pupils using the devices to take photos and videos, iMovie has been employed to stitch videos together and add voice overs, soundtracks, themes and text.
Apple have not only made iMovie free for all new devices but is has also added a number of new tools which will enhance and extend the use of iMovie. This includes Split Screen with the ability to add to clips into one movie, Picture in Picture where you can add a small video into the corner of another and finally Theatre where the videos can be saved to the iMovie theatre and seen on other devices connected to the same Apple ID and on an Apple TV.
I have begun to use the new features with my pupils in various subjects and below are few activities we have tried.
Split Screen in Science- We have already used iMovie a number of times his term in key Stage 2 Science. We have taken the videos of Science experiments such as friction tests and put two videos into one so the pupils can see the difference between the two surfaces in real-time. Next term we will also use it to see the differences in growth of two plants growing under different conditions.
Picture in Picture in Literacy- Year 5 have been doing instructional writing and we have had two shots: 1 video of the camera pointing at the pupil giving the instructions and 1 video showing what the pupil is making (e.g Cookery). The Picture in Picture tool is then used to put the one video in the corner of the other.
Picture in Picture or Split Screen in Geography- Year 4 have been looking at the local area of the school. Using Google Images and Maps the pupils made a video trail around the village with the place on the map in one part of the screen and a photo in the other. Note, we had to make the photos into a video first and then save to the camera roll because iMovie does not allow you to do Split screen with photos in the timeline.
Split Screen in History and Geography- I am also looking to use Split Screen as both a location study of two different places. E.g Town v Seaside etc. Also in History, looking at one street in two different periods of history, including an audio commentary. This also works good with transitions.
Have a look at some of the new tools in iMovie and I would love to hear how you are using them in school.
"Notes: Here is the final draft of materials for an app smashing session I facilitated earlier this month in one blog entry. What is so delightful are the products teachers created, of which only a small sample has been placed immediately below (the other products include multimedia ePubs created with Book Creator app, and comics created with Strip Designer). Kudos to them for their first time efforts!"
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