JRESHOW goes pretty fast on this video but the good news is you can stop and backtrack. This is where video clips can be really helpful. He shows 16 tips for the iPad and you probably know most of them but a lot of people don’t know or can’t use the Emoji keyboard which is a bit of fun and adds a light hearted visual element to any text. If you want a video to specifically show you how to use the emoji keyboard on iPhone or iPad 5 then use this one by PhoneBuff. JRESHOW’s video is a good way to check whether you have mastered the key competences of your iPad!
I now have to work with iPad/iPod 2 and iPad 5 cables. It can get a bit confusing when you are in a hurry. In the car I connect my iPad 5 and my iPod 2. I don’t want to confuse them. Nor do I want to confuse school cables and home cables. My lovely lolly pink cable is the very thing. They come in other colours, too . I got this one from a department store. There is no doubt this is my cable nor any doubt it is actually the cable I keep in the car. It is longer than the standard Apple cable so it can be a bit more convenient. I always find the Apple cables are too short for what I want to do. I wasn’t sure if a non-Apple cable would work – but it does!
I got Grungeastic free from the AppoftheDay and there should still be some time left to get it free if you are really quick. It is not an expensive app, though. Creating interesting images is a must because we are churning through our visual world very rapidly. Good images are appealing and set off the other content you want people to pay attention to. In a class of 30 you need to be able to offer options so that students can produce original work and you are all not looking at the same things all of the time. Grungetastic has a range of filters, borders and other customisations. It is easy to use, but it is also very comprehensive. I really enjoyed turning my iPad picture into a grungePad picture!
I didn’t know you could use the volume control on the Apple ear buds to take a front facing photo but I did know a lot of the other tricks. There are so many things to learn and know. It simply is not possible to know everything with technology. The main thing is, to keep the information banks up to date, you need to read through helpful posts like the one 19 Mind-Blowing Tricks Every iPhone And iPad User Should Know.
We are all on the lookout for good apps. Apps which are good for our daily lives, good for school, just good. You can have too many apps, but the thing is, you can store them in the cloud and as newer and better versions of favourite app types come along, you can delete the older apps. I’ll share five of my must have apps of the moment.
iTuner Radio comes as a free app but you can upgrade for very little and avoid the adverts. It means you can tune into radio stations and podcasts from all over the world and it has some other nice features too. It is very easy to use and tunes in to any station almost immediately. AUS Weather is a beautiful app just for Australian conditions and data. Graphically it is impressive but it brings so much information. In times of extreme weather it is invaluable. The free version works just as well as the modestly priced paid one. It has adverts. AppOfTheDay is a must have. You can get a free app everyday. Some of these are the 10 dollar or more apps and others are the cheaper ones. There is a wide variety offerred across the week and I have picked up some excellent apps for free this way. Briefcase Pro is a paid app I got free from AppOfTheDay. You can manage all your files from cloud storage ,iPad and iTunes. Very handy if you save your files all over the place like I do! Story Kit Story Kit looks rather old fashioned but don’t be deceived. Go straight to the creating of your own story and it is very easy. You can add images, text sound and then create the new pages for an electronic story. To teach literacy and languages it will be invaluable. Not sure why it has the old fashioned approach, but still…a very handy classroom app and free.
Explain Everything is not free but it comes at a very modest price. It is a cut above the free Educreations which is an app I really like for its flexibility. Explain Everything is iDevice compatible and works best with Apple devices. I have the app on my Macbook and my iPad. It is something which can be used for presentations, for teaching and recording that as you go along. You can use a stylus/finger or typed next. I made a montage in Fotor, imported it and then added what I wanted. you can save the work as video, image and to various places like Dropbox (my preference) or you can email the work to yourself or someone else. It really is very flexible and worth investigating for you and your students. Excuse my appalling drawing skills.
This app is fun and free. You can select your own background and decorate your tree. I am not certain there is great educational value in the Christmas Tree app but it is about being creative, using resources, finding good purposes for devices, concentrating and manipulating a touch screen. I need to see it in a classroom. As a language teacher I could get students to build their tree and we could learn the vocabulary and then it would be an oral exercise to describe their tree. I also like to find things which will give students something useful and productive to do while I have to set something up or to make good use of any dead time. My theory is if we give them good activities on their devices they are less likely to use them for non educational purposes and will be less limited in their capacity to use a device. Have fun with the app!
Generation Touch is already here. We already have students who have grown up on touch screens and we have parents whose children are using touch devices at the age of one and two. You do not have to do much investigating to discover generation touch will engage easily with these devices at a very young age and find them very shiny. If you look further it is at the cognitive interaction level. They are touching and swiping and using gestures to fill in gaps, hear sounds , perform tasks at the automatic level of cognitive interaction as you would to turn on a switch , brush your teeth or run through a series of exercises. It means as teachers we need to get them onto the explicit interaction level to truly engage with these devices and use them as real learning and thought development tools. They may also be a step on the way to real technological interaction and engagement in much the same way many children’s and educational toys are. Just because it is a device doesn’t necessarily mean it is better than Lego , Meccano ,board games or computers in terms of child and brain development. We need to ensure these students are being as well educated as any generation before them and encouraged to think and develop their skills. Both the video and this article from Tech Cruch – Generation Touch will Redraw Consumer Technology give food for thought. As teachers we need to put our educational theories together with our new approaches and then look at what the outcomes are. We need to do that now or we shall have classrooms run by consumer tech and not educational tech and we shall have the marketing done by companies and media rather than educationally driven companies and educators. It is important for us to know the strengths and limitations of devices and then to know which devices fit into which areas of learning and thinking development.
We have just been generously given new iPad 4s to use in class as part of our revamped technology offerings for 2014. I have brought mine home to set up and it is taking a while. I found out the new iPad 4 is concurrently loading my apps from my iTunes account AND updating the iOS. That is service, but I have a lot of apps and the iOS takes a while to upgrade. There was a difference in the purchases screen about 5 minutes after I had connected the iPad to my MacBook. Much better. It sets itself up as pages and that makes it easier to manage. I am so glad I had my apps backed up to the cloud from my own iPad 2. Made the whole process painless. The iPad 4 has a micro connection to the iPad so I will be using the Apple TV to connect to my whiteboard. I have a wired vga connector for my iPad 2. That’s okay. Keep moving. I have Siri turned off until I check out the issues which appear to be with it at the moment and I am not quite sure what they are for iOS7 because I haven’t had it before. I couldn’t set the time until I put the location on. Location is under Privacy. I do not automatically allow my devices to broadcast my location. Once I turned the location on it set the time and then I turned location off again. Now curious to see if the time will stay in place after I turn the iPad off and back on again. I have a minute for the iOS 7 update to complete and quite a while to go to get my apps installed. Our technicians had thoughtfully put in a “how to sheet” with the new iPads. I just had to check I was running iTunes 11, which I was , and it has been very straight forward. Now I have to wait to see what the new iOS looks like!!
My goal with this blog is to offend everyone in the world at least once with my words… so no one has a reason to have a heightened sense of themselves. We are all ignorant, we are all found wanting, we are all bad people sometimes.