The start of term has quickly come around and it has certainly been a busy one. I have been in 6 schools already and there is certainly a great deal of enthusiasm about using the iPad to support learning.
I blogged a few months ago about choosing the best apps for use in the classroom and finding ones that allow for wide use across the whole curriculum rather than closed content apps that have one specific purpose. In July I attended the ADE conference with Apple and there was lots of discussion about the SAMR model (pictured) which is a theory highlighting how technology can be used in education. It starts at the bottom with Substitution (my example of which would be a simple eBook with no interactive features or an app with a moveable clock face) and moves up to Redefinition. Redefinition is the goal for technology in education; to be able to create new tasks that are not possible without the use of technology. I have been discussing this with teachers on my training and thinking about it in terms of my own teaching.
When planning lessons and training I have been keeping in mind the SAMR model. What has struck me instantly in both cases is how streamlined everything becomes. The school iPads have been reduced to apps which cover just over one page with apps like Book Creator, Explain Everything and iMovie forming the core. Pupils creating a book that includes video, voice-overs and images is not possible without technology and the iPad has proved to be a master at this type of activity. It may be worth considering the SAMR model next time you are looking for education apps on the app store.
In line with the streamlined approach to using the iPad in Primary Education, my book: A Guide to the iPad in Primary Education has recently been updated to include less apps and more activity ideas. The September update will include over 40 minutes of video tutorials and will be updated for free every month from here on in. It is available for £3.99 on the iBook Store and the update will be available shortly. Please follow this link.
I have mentioned in previous blog posts that my favourite education app is the Camera app. Any app that then talks to the camera app makes it a more powerful and widely used app. One of my favourite examples of this is I Can Animate. It allows pupils or teachers to take a series of photos and then the app plays the photos as a video.
Firstly this can be used to inspire creativity as pupils can make inanimate objects move, such as Lego and plasticine by making subtle movements for each photo. What's nice about this app is it keeps an 'Onion skin' image each time so pupils can see where the previous photo was when lining the camera up.
At school we have used I Can Animate more for science than any other subject as we are able to capture processes. Here are a few ideas: Take a photo each day of a seed growing and then watch the seed grow as a video. Videos of seeds growing in different conditions can be played side by side using the Split screen feature in iMovie app. 2. Take a photo every 5 minutes of different materials absorbing water. I Can Animate also includes a time lapse feature where it will automatically take photos at intervals predetermined by the user. 3. Using the the time lapse feature, capture a shadow moving across the playground. 4. Put a bird feeder outside the classroom window and record animals visiting. This video can then be used for data handling. 5. Record the weather outside the window. I can animate include a speed tool so you can condense longer videos.
Most of the time we only have one iPad in the classroom so the teacher can share the videos with pupils as a shared resource in Dropbox or Showbie.
In my opinion, though others may disagree, the iPad has been crying out for a simple and effective Green Screen app since it's introduction. I won't mention any specific apps but the ones I had tried were far too complicated for Primary pupils and the activities became very teacher led. I have recently been using Green Screen by DoInk. https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/green-screen-by-do-ink/id730091131?mt=8 with upper Key Stage 2.
What I like most is how quickly the pupils can create their videos using the app. They find the background video/image and add that into the time line. The video of the pupils standing in front of a green screen can then been filmed in real-time over the top. Videos can then be shared to the camera roll. I particularly like using the app in conjunction with apps such as I Can Present (as a teleprompt) and iMovie (to stitch videos together and add soundtrack for GarageBand)
I am looking forward to trying more Green Screen work with other age groups next term to see how they handle the app. I am also keen to try the Touchcast app as it includes many of the features of iMovie, Explain Everything and Green Screen in one app.
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