bContext presentations with iPad

bContext

Create and share

BContext is quite a versatile app where you can create screen images for the IWB or just your iPad and use recording, image placement, web searches , text and shapes to create presentations. If you were adept at it , you’d be able to teach and talk but you could also make premade materials for students or they could use the app to make presentations themselves.You can share your presentations from within the app. Screenshots of what you do come out high resolution and high definition and so would easily lend themselves to being imported into a movie making programme for an even more creative, high impact presentation. Some parts of the app are paid but you are not required to pay in order to make good use of the app which you put on your iPad. bContext itself comes with a number of short, competent , video tutorials which help you to get oriented and productive. There are quite a few apps like this but bContext had a number of elements you could use for the presentations, the tutorials and then I found the hand writing part of the app was very responsive. I think students and teachers would find it a useful tool in their kit.

Focus on your classroom space

Mr. Jai Gun transforms his classroom for younger students into a colourful and vibrant learning space. He has also put some good thought into how he made this video for us all to see. You can’t help thinking that this man is thinking about his lessons and performance standards as he is renovating his classroom space. It’s based on a creative use of paper and colour but the technology he has available can be seen. In a technology based classroom the whiteboard is usually the centre of attention at least for a good part of the lesson and then the students are using their own technology. You have to make that classroom real estate go to work and use the IWB in different ways for different purposes. There is a good post here from an IWB trainer to show you some basic concepts in rethinking how you use the space on your screen. We could do with more sharing of information as to how teachers use their technology and real spaces. The ways we interact with students using space is an interesting one to explore and would have better pedagogical benefits if we could share and grow ideas about productive uses of screens and rooms.

Google Tour Builder

David Lee explains simply and clearly how to use Google Tour Builder. My year 9s are doing presentations on Quebec and I asked them to try and use Tour Builder to create their assignment and then to talk us through the tour. They had to do it mainly in English but with some French. Tour Builder worked really well on the IWB and this is something which really kept the attention of those watching. Well worth trying out when you have an assignment which Tour Builder can facilitate. It has the sorts of visuals students like and is animated in a way they are used to.

Compare two countries

France

Australia is 14 times bigger than France.

This site, comparea.org, allows you to compare the sizes of two countries and then gives you a little bit of information about both countries. Very handy for clearing up perceptions. A lot of people do not realise how huge Australia is and then many Australians don’t understand how small and densely populated other countries are. I got the link from the Teaching Ideas Facebook page, a site well worth subscribing to. It always has some really practical and relevant ideas for the classroom.

Got my Hallowe’en show on the road

Hallowe'en desktop I set up my desktop with suitable Hallowe’en images with text. It became a teaching resource today. Bottom right is the vocabulary image of the words we learnt. When I enlarged it there were two blank sections where I could write with the electronic pen. On one side I had details of the little task I wanted them to accomplish on their iPad. On the other side I had some other Hallowe’en vocabulary like how to say trick or treat in French (farce ou friandises). It meant the whole screen real estate was being used to good purpose. We looked and listened to a couple of little Hallowe’en French songs which had captions and a lot of vocabulary my Year 8s now know. They could follow along. We talked about Hallowe’en traditions in France and other countries and so , as we went along, they were becoming more interested and more absorbed. They just started learning and knowing the words. I shall be able to put these vocabulary words on our language learning site which will increase their anytime, anywhere learning based on what we have done in class. We are now making and labelling a little Hallowe’en montage which was helping them learn  to spell the words but which interested them because they liked all the Hallowe’en things we were doing. I structure a lesson to include images, my teaching from the front, videos, vocabulary and then some written work. With technology you can cover a lot of ground that way and supply extra learning which students can follow up out of class.

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