Tux Paint is a very versatile app for creating your own images. There are computer and HD versions too. It has been designed with younger children in mind but if you want to get in touch with your inner child , or you want an easy, straight forward app to able to explore creating your own images , then Tux Paint is worth a look. Graphically it is very smooth and slick. It has a clean, well designed interface which gets you going quickly. You feel like exploring and experimenting. It doesn’t have the subtlety in brushes of other paint apps but it’s a good place to start and it produces very clear images which would show well on an IWB. The sounds which come with it make you laugh but you can turn the sound off if you don’t like it. Those who use it , love it. With the new, upsurge in colouring books for adults, Tux Paint is a good electronic version of that because it is very calming to create the images. As you can see , the free version comes with some unobtrusive advertising.
Do you know why we need teachers on the internet? They take nothing for granted in learning. If you are trying to update a device you need to know about the settings.
Image: Internet Safety Project.
People get devices and enjoy using them and then it all falls apart when they have to update or when they realise they could be doing other things with the device – like downloading apps. It’s not intuitive. It’s learned behaviour which you can either work out yourself or you can’t. Assuming people know how to connect their device to a computer and use iTunes as an alternative can be a big ask. Do they know where to put the cable? Do they know how to download iTunes? The video I have chosen to show how to update an iOS is of value since it does show some of the problems you might encounter. You do need to be connected to wifi. You to know what to do when the screen comes up with “Hello” when you had an iPad that was working fine until then. Settings, though , is critical. Everyone needs to know how to find and navigate the settings. You have to tap Settings then General , then Software Update to get started. The man who did the video about the app store might have thought he was funny writing on screen you need a finger/stylus , iPad and wifi to get started. It is that basic when someone doesn’t know what they are doing and is on totally unfamiliar ground. They need to be moved through a process one tiny step at a time with nothing taken for granted. No one should feel a failure because they cannot navigate a device. No one was made to feel a failure because they could not operate a TV or fridge. We need to make it that easy for everyone.
I had a phone call today from a senior friend who didn’t know about having an Apple ID so you could use the app store. I am posting this so if you, too, know people who don’t know how to get themselves started on their iPad or their iPhone you can quickly get them the information. Here is the link to the Apple ID site where you create the ID. The video is short, sweet and to the point. There are longer videos on YouTube about the app store, but most people just want to get going.
I am not complaining. Someone gave me a bookseat because they didn’t want it. My first thought was – oh, I can put my iPad on that. I did. It works brilliantly. It’s a stable surface where I can sit my iPad and it is better than having it flat on a surface. It also balances nicely on the arm of a big chair. All good, really. I had no idea there was such a thing as a bookseat. They are material full of polystyrene beads so they are beanbags for books and iPads. I find it very comfortable to work with and my iPad loves it.
VocApp is certainly different in its approach and new generation technology for mobile platforms. My holidays are next week and I shall explore it better because, already, I can see some advantages. I have explored the VocApp site and was surprised to find that one of the things it does is explain the unexplainable to students of a language and explain word functions so it is not just for learning vocab lists. It supports an understanding of how languages function. I also liked the notion I would be able to create vocab lists from texts and that my senior students would be able to do that as well. It is something we do on a regular basis using graphic organisers and lists. It would be a big step into the 21st century if we could make up our own multimedia flashcards from a text. One of the other advantages is shown in the video. You can make custom vocab lists by using voice recognition software. This is the way forward and I can see that as having both classroom and workplace value. There is school support for the app which I shall look into and I downloaded the app onto my iPad but have been using the free materials on my computer as well. You can get the Google Play version from the Play store. The app supports a number of languages and has been successful in its promotion of developing multilingual learners. If you go on YouTube you will see it has some credible endorsements of this aspect of the app.