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!!
Thinglink looks like an app and site worth exploring for its educational value. It is a different way of presenting content , based on image and then linking what you want into to it. It could be a good way to create an assignment. It could be a good way for students to present information in a different way. It’s a free app for iDevices. It means you can create an image , or use a ready made one and then embed any website you want. A teacher discusses how she set it up for classroom use here. It means that work can be prepared and done in a more visual way and your own creations can be embedded if you have them accessible from an online site. If you want to learn more about it , go to the Thinglink site and then download and play!
This is a professional review of iTunes 11. You can’t really use an iPad or iDevice and not know how to use iTunes. It is assumed knowledge and yet we are only just getting some sound reviews of the sorts of skills sets and software knowledge we should have in order to use these devices effectively. A teacher would have disseminated that information clearly and well as they introduced the devices into the arena! iTunes 11 is set out quite differently from the other iTunes and basically you need to know how to navigate iTunes and what it does and then know how to sync your iPad to it so you can manage content. Some things can be done through iCloud but if you are not sure how to use that, it is better to go through iTunes and a computer first and then at least you have an easy fall back position if cloud syncing drops out , the iPad plays up or you temporarily confuse yourself. You will work it out! Some teachers would have access to technicians/ school services officers to do all of this for them. If you want to set up your own iPad the way you want it then it is better to learn it yourself. I confess when I first used an iPod Touch I was baffled by this whole approach. It made no sense to me. I mastered it one bit at a time and this video at least points you in the right direction to get started quickly. You can run iTunes on any computer, though, and without an iDevice. I have always used it on my Windows PC and I now sync my iPad to my Windows PC, so you can still benefit from iTunes just on a computer. If you still want to use the sidebar – it’s Ctrl S, but the new layout is much tidier andt suits the tablet interface better. YouTube is now a really good place to start looking for help with new devices and software.
This is a great video. It wastes no time whatsoever. Every minute delivers a really helpful tip so that if you are new to iPads you can just get going with the best of them. The beauty of a video is you can rewind and fast forward as often as you need to absorb the information.
One of our Maths teachers was working on their laptop but had the text book open next to them on their iPad. I had to ask. Then I wondered if our French course would run on the iPad. Would be easy for the year 8s who have no laptops and a useful thing for me to be able to do. Sad face now. It doesn’t work with our text book. Our text book and work book need flash. Note to book publishers – please have a tablet friendly version of your text and workbooks. I don’t desperately need it because it works fine on my MacBook but it would be handy and if we could get the year 8 text and workbooks onto iPads. It would be great in terms of costs and then motivation. An iPad version always has appeal these days. I am , however, grateful I now know how to get my pdf files onto an iPad. With my little TELJ7 Telefunken tablet Ican just plug in my USB and can then read the files. It’s not as easy with an iPad, but it’s not that hard, either. Make sure you have a copy of the free iBooks app on your iPad.
1.Use the computer you have synced your iPad to.
2. Open iTunes and connect your iPad to your computer
3. Go to top left and select books
4. Select pdf on toolbar
5. Go to File and select add book
6. Go to iPad on right
7. Click on books in toolbar
8. Click sync all books at top
9. Select pdf picture
10. Click sync at the bottom right of screen
The pdf opens in the iBooks app and displays at full screen size so is easy to read.
Many teachers still like to write their information as they are teaching. I don’t do it very often because students cannot read cursive and I don’t like printing. These days I am grateful I can type and teach because I type better than I write on the board. That’s me , though. Other teachers like the writing option for their own cognitive flow and to facilitate cognitive flow in students and are impeded by having to type or use a computer/tablet and so then get up and write with a marker on the whiteboard. Some teachers see writing on the board as better. We are all different. The iPad offers a number of good note making apps which can be used with or without a stylus to create written text. The advantage of these apps is they can do so much more than just handwriting. Penultimate links up with Evernote to provide a good way to save and sort materials you create in class. I haven’t used it but it has some very good reviews. The Educreations whiteboard app is discussed well on their site and it is an app which doesn’t lose you in its cleverness. I could use and benefit from it straight away and the site has given me some more ideas to follow up. It’s just a fuss free approach to presenting with a clean slate.You can cloud save your information as well. The app I prefer is Notability. It is a paid app but I didn’t mind because it makes my writing clear. I can write with it better and it also has cloud options for storage. This review is good and the app does offer different ways of saving the material. That issue has been addressed. I like having the sticky notes option within the app too. Adds a bit of texture and interest to those kinds of class presentations. Like anything else , we’ll choose what suits us best and we’ll master the tools we adapt to most easily. Sometimes it’s worth taking the time to slow down and explore the software properly and this is where youtube and vimeo can come in handy. There are often tutorials on these sites which help you to learn faster and more efficiently.
AppyGeek is an app for all platforms and if you are interested in technology , its use and development, then this is the app for you. It has a really nice interface and you can pick and choose the technology categories you are interested in. The news is current and the information is relevant. There’s a review of it here on fanapic. You can get it from the iTunes store here or from Google play here. It’s a fantastic tech news aggregator which can be run offline and in several languages as well.