Wednesday, June 26, 2013

iPad Apps for Teachers: Cloud Storage

As I said in my last post, I was asked to recommend some iPad apps for teachers. Here is part two of six: Cloud storage.

Cloud Storage

clouds by Extra Medium
clouds, a photo by Extra Medium on Flickr.
Dropbox is supported by many other iPad apps, so it is almost an essential way to move files between devices. Click on the share button on an app and Dropbox will probably be offered as one of the options.

Google Drive:
This app is a bit clunky but is useful if people already make use of Google Drive.

Allows you to connect to and synchronise with network drives. It worked well in my previous workplace and was the preferred way of storing documents because you could sync with network copies of documents thereby minimising the risk of ending up with multiple, slightly different, versions of the same thing. I could also use WebDAV to mount drives on my home computer, so this was an easy way to transfer stuff between my home computer and my iPad.

If your school doesn’t have WebDAV support (see above) this Remote Desktop client for the iPad  may provide a (slightly awkward) way to access school network drives.

What other storage and transfer tools would you recommend? And, what is the best way to share documents with pupils, parents or fellow teachers?

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

iPad Apps for Teachers: Note Taking

I was asked recently to recommend some iPad apps fpr teachers. It was suggested I aim for five or six apps but I git a bit carried away and suggested umpteen instead. I thought it was worth reproducing in this blog to see if anyone disagreed with my choices or if they had any to add that I missed.

Teacher's Desk by mortsan
Teacher's Desk, a photo by mortsan on Flickr.
The list was divided into six sections, so I'll do this over six blog posts. The first category was note taking.

Note Taking

Both for teachers presenting but also as a great tool for pupils to communicate their knowledge and understanding using text, graphics video etc.

Notes Plus:
I would go for this rather than Pages. You can word process on the iPad with Pages but I think that is not the iPad's main strength. The iPad is an ideal tool for note taking though and Notes Plus is a package that I’ve used and find impressive. There is an in-app upgrade to add handwriting recognition but I’ve never done this so don’t know if it is any good!

An alternative to Notes Plus. I have never used this app but I saw a friend use it to take notes at a conference and it looked impressive. Pulling in screen shots and webpages to annotate as well as adding handwritten notes to pdf documents.

PDF Expert:
Annotate on multi-page pdfs. Good synchronisation with a variety of cloud storage services means you don’t end up with one version on your iPad a a different version on your desktop.

PDF Printer:
Converts other documents to pdfs. Good companion program for PDF Expert and other similar note taking apps.

Syncs across multiple devices including desktops. Variety of note types supported. Limited Optical Character Recognition supported (e.g. photograph a business card and Evernote can extract the contact details so you can copy them into your contacts list).

So, what do you think? Is there anything obvious I've missed? Is there anything I've listed that doesn't deserve to be there?

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Fun On Friday #163: What's cooler than Spock in an advert?

...Two Spocks in an advert.

I would apologise for featuring two Star Trek related Fun on Friday's in a row but this advert was too good to put off for another week.

Sunday, June 09, 2013

Fun On Friday #162: You as a Star Trek figure

It's been a long time since my last Fun on Friday but I hope you agree this one has been worth the wait.

Send in a couple of photos of yourself and Cubify will print a 3D figure of you as a character from either Star Trek: The Next Generation; Voyager; or Deep Space 9. How cool is that?

For more details see the Star Trek website, which is where I stole this picture:

And it costs less than $70. Well, a bit out my justifiable price range at the moment... but I can dream!

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

TMTablet - Moving to 1:1

Mark Cunningham - Moving to 1:1 - what we did, we learned

Moved 1:1 with android tablets for all first years in 2012-13. Rolling out to new first year next session.

What has changed? Lots of little things that in themselves don't justify the cost but put together... For example, taking a photograph with the tablet then drawing from it, or building pyramids in World of Warcraft when learning about Egyptians.

There has been a growing sense of the positive impact that it has had. Staff are using the hashtag #fhs1to1 {I think!} to share what they are doing.

Introducing to S3 because they think it will be easier to integrate - in S1 there are too many single period classes and harder to really embed goo practice.

TMTablet - Games design on the iPad

Ross Gibson - Computer programming and games design on the iPad

Some great apps for introducing programming. {Missed the first couple and will add later}

Daisy The Dinosaur: Sequences and interaction.

Hopscotch: Like Scratch but for the iPad.

Sketch Nation: Computer game creator. Ross had primary 1 children creating games with this app! Create a game in three minutes. Good for talking and listening stuff too.
John Cochrane - iBooks, what's all the fuss about? 

Started by confessing he was a Science teacher and therefore, by definition, a "geek". But he also said that he was entirely self taught and that all he was going to show was easily achievable.

He started with a demonstration of iBooks and showed how easy it was to create interactive textbooks, how they can save a fortune on photocopying! But also how much the interactive elements (such as videos and quizzes) add.


TMTablet - Introduction to iTunes U

Fraser Speirs - Introduction to iTunes U 

Fraser says that last year, they moved all their secondary subjects onto using iTunesU; but just private courses, as yet, they are only sharing a few things.

Talked about how you can deliver materials, such as movies, but that the key to a course is the posts feature. Posts are used to collate assignments, materials etc.

TeachMeet Tablet - Using the iPad to support Learners with Additional Support Needs

Craig Mill - Using the iPad to support Learners with Additional Support Needs 
{Live capture but with later edits and additions.}

Craig Mill - CALL Centre Edinburgh
CC 2013 by-nc-sa
Photo by David Muir
Seven ideas in seven minutes. A whistle-stop tour through how the iPad supports learners with additional support needs.

Talked first about CALL Centre and some of the resources they make available, for example, iPads for Communication Access Literacy and Learning, a free downloadable eBook. A new eBook for supporting children with dyslexia on its way.

Safari browser on iPad has a Reader button to make the text of a page easier to access, as Craig said, “It unclutters it all”. When using Reader, you can change the font size as well as access all the built in iPad tools such as define, copy, speak etc.

Other built in tools make the iPad a great device for pupils with Additional Support Needs. Shortcut to accessibility functions is to triple click on the home button. He demonstrated VoiceOver with a screen curtain on. VoiceOver has transformed the lives of many visually impaired people. He also demonstrated the zoom feature. Assistive Touch makes the volume controls, screenshots, and gestures such as pinch can be made accessible. There are also a growing number of accessories, such as wheelchair mounts, keyboard guards, mouth sticks, switch access tools, etc.

As he ran out of time, he switched to demonstrating, and saying a brief word about, a range of apps. These included:
…And more that I probably missed!

Watch the unedited video of TeachMeet - Craig's section runs from about 12:00 to 22:00. (A ten minute mega presentation!)