Friday, August 26, 2011

Exploring iPads in learning at St Josephs

Fun, Fun, Fun!

The community of St Joseph’s Schofields spent Thursday 18th August celebrating their Fun-a-thon. This fundraising event raised a terrific amount of money to use towards purchasing technology, in particular Ipads, for St Joseph’s.

One of the activities the students completed during the day, was an introduction to Ipads. Students from Kindergarten through to Year 6 loved being introduced to Ipads and a variety of Apps. They loved learning how to use “Puppet Pals”, which allowed the rookies right through to the experts to create and present a show.

Kindergarten laughed and laughed as “Talking Tom” kept interrupting them from the IWB as they created colourful characters for their puppet shows.

A HUGE St Joseph’s thank you goes to The Learning Exchange for loaning the school a set of 20 Ipads to help make the day a success.

Read more about the St Joseph’s Fun-a-thon here.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Editing with iMovie on the iPad

An excellent post from iPad Insight on how to get your videos from your iPhone to the iPad without having to sync your devices. Quite a few options here :

How To Get Videos from iPhone to iPad Without iTunes Sync.

It seems too that for iPad users of the iMovie App you are limited to editing movies created either on the iPad or iPhone. Hopefully that changes with future upgrades.
See the support sections of Apple:

iMovie for iPhone and iPod touch support page
excerpt :
Can I import an iMovie project on my Mac into iMovie for iPhone 4 and iPad touch (4th generation)?
No, the projects from iMovie on your Mac cannot be imported into iMovie for iPhone4 and iPod touch (4th generation)
(eds note - this seems to apply to the iPad too)
iMovie for iPad help

Friday, August 12, 2011

Assessment Apps for Education

With the increasing use of team teaching and agile classrooms, teachers are now looking for Apps that will assist them in assessing the learning of their students while mobile around the classroom.

Anecdotal Assessment
One App that is useful for gathering anecdotal evidence is Evernote.
Teachers can make notes, take photos and record audio of the work that students are doing. You can then tag each note for easy searching later. So if you are doing your half yearly reports and want to look back at all learning achieved by students in your Yr 3 literacy group you can if you have tagged it that way. A neat feature is Evernote's ability to read the text in any of your images and make the words searchable.

The other excellent feature of Evernote is the ability to share evernote notes, so if you are team teaching you can share your notes on particular students with your colleagues very easily. Also once you have set up an account on Evernote you can use it across all your device platforms: iPhone, Macs, PCs, Web.
The free version of Evernote is more than capable of meeting most peoples needs. But if you want more you can go to the priced version. See the Evernote website for more information.

Structured Assessment
If you would like an App that could give you a more structured way of assessing your students there is a very useful list of Assessment Apps at the Apps in Education blog - Assessment Apps by Vicki Windham.

Integrating mindmapping apps in learning

We have just been in a wonderful workshop with Marco Torres - a world leading educator leading a workshop with teachers and students about the Challenge Based Learning Framework.

Among the many useful teaching and learning ideas we were introduced to, was the power of Mindmapping for learning. Using mind mapping to ask under the surface and over the surface questions for solving challenging problems.

There is a variety of MindMap software available for laptops. This is also true of iPads.

Yesterday a number of us started using Popplet Lite (free) as an introductory mind mapping tool. For all student age groups it is a very intuitive app, easy to quickly map your thoughts and link them. A great feature is the ability to include photos and your own drawings in your mind map. You can then export the mind maps via email as a jpg, or save the mind map as an image to the Photos App on the iPad.

If you upgrade to the priced Popplet you can export mindmaps as a PDF, and also upload your mindmaps to an online space where you can collaborate with other students on the one mindmap by sharing an email link to your Popplet. Here you have more options to align your mind map, include video and other media.

A great example of integrating the use of Popplet in your curriculum is at iPads in the Classroom: Popplet App in the ELA classroom. Here 6th grade is using Popplet to gather/organize notes in their Research Essays unit. Yesterday we used it in a variety of ways, one example being for students to use it as a basis for outlining the structure of their essays. Another useful blog post about the use of Popplet in class and its features is at Mrs Huffs Edublog : Popplet Mindmapping.

Marco also referred to another good Mindmapping App - Maptini ($5.49) which is a truly collaborative app which allows you to work together to share you ideas, syncing your data in real time.

If you want to explore other Mindmapping Apps there is a very useful list and review of them at Hans de Zwart blog : Mind Mapping Apps for the iPad: A Comparison.

Here is an example of a beginning collaborative Popplet mindmap our team worked together on at this link:
Collaborative mindmap on Girls participation in soccer.