Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Collaborating with multiple iPads using Reflector

Pages ($13.99 for iPhone/iPod Touch and $13.99 for iPad)
Wordprocessing Software

Reflection ($14 for Mac or Windows)
Mirroring software for you laptop

I was working with some Year 7 and 8 students at 'The Gardens' school and they were getting ready to storyboard their iMovie Trailers.
Their teacher 'Anna' had emailed them the iMovie Trailer Storyboard PDF which we had sourced from Timothy Jeffferson's blog. The students took screen captures of the PDF and then pasted into Pages. They then used the text boxes to add their information.
So in a group of four
  • One student was filling in the PDF storyboard
  • Another student was filling in the iMovie trailer headings
  • Two students were just sitting there
They were not really working together anymore as they were more involved in their own little projects.
I had Reflector on my laptop so I hooked my computer up to the projector, launched Reflector and then showed the girls how to use the Airplay on their iPads to mirror to the projector.
menubar.png Mirror your iPad by tapping on the Air Play button button.png and select the name of the laptop and turn Mirroring on.

The whole dynamics of the group changed with all four students able to see what each other was writing and their group became more collaborative.
Later they added another iPad where one of the girls typed up a list of what they needed to do next.

There was a great discussion buzz coming from them.
They said they preferred working like that as they could easily see what everybody was writing.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Starting younger children reflecting

Kids Journal ($1.29 for iPad)
Diary writing, reflective journal for young students.

This is a great app to start young children reflecting on their day. It can be used for  for individual iPad owners and you can set up class sets of journals on one iPad.

Tap on the empty Journal box to add a new journal.
Add a photo, type in your name and choose a colour for your book.

Choose a Mood Picture
Choose a location picture

Choose a weather picture
Choose the 'Photo of the day'
Type in your reflection/journal/diary entry

These pages can be exported by tapping on the Paper Dart icon. They can be exported to iBooks, Kindle, Notability, Evernote and several more.

So it takes 5 steps to make a Journal entry
  1. Choose a mood
  2. Chose a location
  3. Choose the weather
  4. Choose a photo
  5. Type in your entry
The next step could be Kidblog which is an Internet based student blogging platform and which is now available as an app
Kidblog (Free for iPhone/iPod Touch; Free for iPad)

And then there is Blogger, if your students have a Google account through Google Apps for Education then they have a 'Blogger' account. It is a great way for students to blog as there are no distractions on the app, all they can do is type a title, type a post, insert a photo and post!

5 year old Chloe, doing her favourite thing...blogging on Blogger

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Your photo jigsaws on iPad, iPod Touch, wikis and blogs

A great way to start off and introduce your wiki/blog at the beginning of the year is to add a jigsaw using photos of your students or places around the school. Jigzone allows you to upload your own photos and embed jigsaws into your wikis and blogs. (It will not embed into Google Sites).
The jigsaws will also work on your iPad or your iPod Touch.
  • set up an account at Jigzone
  • Click on 'New to Jigzone'
  • Click on Add Photo (Make sure that the photo is smaller than 1 megabyte)
  • Click Browse, find the photo and then click Upload 
  •  Click Embed/Link
 Choose how many pieces you want the jigsaw to end up as

Embed in Blogs
Select Fixed size for Blogs, click in the html box and copy the code.
Go back to your blogger page, click where you want the jigsaw to go, click on the HTML button next to compose, paste code, click back on Compose, add a label to the right, click Publish

Embed in Wiki
Scroll down to Stretch to Fit. Click in the html box and copy the code. Go back to your wiki page, click Edit, click where you want the jigsaw to go, click on Widget, click Other, paste in code, click Save and click save again to save the whole page.

How can I use this with an iPad or an iPod Touch?
Go to Safari and enter your blog or wiki address, tap on the Share button and select Add to Home Screen.

Now you have a direct link to your blog or wiki.

You might want to consider setting up a Jigsaw blog or a Page on a wiki.
Ideas for photo jigsaws
  • kids in the playground
  • class trips
  • favourite areas of the classroom
  • kids learning in the classroom
  • pose a question and have a photo of the answer
  • spelling words jigsaw

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Book Reviews with iPads and Google Docs

I was asked to work with some Year 2 and 3 children today on writing book reviews. They had read the story on the school Kindles or the Kindle app on the iPad.
e-Books can be purchased from Amazon

Geronimo Stilton 'Lost Treasure of the Emerald Eye'

They had discovered how they could write notes.
I saw this as a great opportunity for writing notes myself and leaving 'Think about' questions and comprehension questions on pages for students to look at while reading the book. Students can then add their answers to the note and all of the group can share their understandings through the note feature.

All of these children have Google app accounts so I made a Google Doc template for them to work from. They used computers for the Google Docs as the Drawing elements cannot be edited on an iPad.

We talked about the book and some of the features of the story  and then I showed them the template I had shared with them. I took a couple minutes explaining how they could access the different embedded draw items and then we discussed what 'Synopsis, Review and Character Descriptions were.
I had intended them to use the Google Draw tools for their book cover but as we had access to iPads we used the Free version of Crayola Paint and Create. They drew their pictures and emailed them to themselves and then we pasted them into the Draw box. They then used the Google Draw tools to add their Book titles and Author names.
Below is Charlotte's work.

A lot of today's session was about getting used to writing and editing in the Google Doc. There was a lot of sharing of ideas and 'how to do things' amongst the group. The next time we work on this template with a new book we will look more closely at the content the students write.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Artrage, Photo Apps and Art

Artrage in one of my most favourite art drawing programmes on both the iPad, iPhone/iPod Touch and the computer, and it was created by Kiwis!
Art Rage for the iPhone/iPod Touch (NZ $2.59)
Account: No account necessary for apps
Saving: Saves to the app
Sharing options: Send to Photos, iTunes, email, Facebook, Dropbox or Print

Artrage for the iPad (NZ $4.19)

Artrage has a variety of tools, different types of brushes.
The wide brush adds real thick paint effects and the thin brush paints like water colour.

As well as using Artrage for the obvious, painting and drawing, there is nice feature that is included in the Computer Artrage as well.

You can upload a photo so it appears transparent and draw over the top.
The example below shows the pencil with the photo in the background, to the right without the photo.

Drawn with pencil showing the transparent photo

To the right is an example of the other tools

How could you use this in the classroom?

Students can take photos with their camera and upload to Artrage.
  • Take portrait photos and use the pencil or pen tool to outline the shapes, remove the photo and print out and finish in pencil or pen
  • take scenery or object photos, use the pen tool to outline main lines of the photo, remove photo and print out, finish off in paint

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Formation of letters with Whiteboard Apps

I was talking to a junior teacher today about ShowMe and all the things she could do with it in Maths. She started thinking about how she could use it for letter formation practice. She lets the students practise on the Whiteboard but if she is not standing over them at the time, she doesn't see whether they are forming them correctly.
Some of the following 'Whiteboard' apps are ideal for students to practice their letter formation as they can record what they are doing and the teacher can view it later.

ShowMe (Free for the iPad)
Account: You need to set up an account to save recordings. Students can set up their own accounts if they are using their own iPad or you can set up a class accounts.
Preview before saving: No
Saving: Tap on the padlock to make a ShowMe private, otherwise it will get published to your public ShowMe account on
Example of ShowMe

Educreations Interactive Whiteboard (Free for iPad)
Account: You need to set up an account to save recordings. Students can set up their own accounts if they are using their own iPad or you can set up a class accounts.
Preview before saving: No
Saving: Tap Done, choose a category
Example of Educreations

Screen Chomp (Free for iPad)
Account: No account necessary but you can login with Facebook
Preview before saving: Yes
Saving: Tap on the screen chomp icon and it will save

In the classroom, I would probably find Screen Chomp at this particular time the best app to use if you do not want to save what the students have done. Students can record what they are doing and then playback to you without saving.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Bulk upload of Photos

There are plenty of apps that will send photos from the iPad to the computer, but not the other way round. I have been getting teachers to use Dropbox to transfer selected photos but it is time consuming. I asked the question on the VLN (Virtual Learning Network) 'Does anybody know of a way/app to  transfer lots of photos to iPad but not using iTunes sync?'
I got several responses and here is my summary below. This is what I tried and what worked well starting with the best

  •  emailing photos,  export from iPhoto or Photos library and compress if images are too big, email to email address on iPad, tap on the share button and tap on 'Save # images', the images go to Camera Roll

 Photosync app, costs $2.59 similar to Photo transfer but you need to download the Photosync app companion to your computer to send photos/videos from computer to iPad, photos transferred very quickly. Also transfers to Dropbox, Google Drive, Flickr etc. No limit on number. Buy once and use on all devices (iPods, iPhones)
Photo transfer app, costs $4.19 transfers photos and videos from computer to iPad and the reverse iPad to Computer, a little slower than emailing but still worked quite well. Limit of 200 photos at a time. Buy once and use on all devices (iPods, iPhones)

Photo Sort app, costs $2.59 found that one difficult to use with a lot to setup, some teachers would find this tricky to use.

So the free option of emailing worked the best but I think that I will also recommend using Photo sync and/or Photo transfer as well for the other choices they offer.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Storage Apps

Dropbox or Box are great storage options. Register, download and install Dropbox or Box onto your computer.

Download the app from the App Store
Dropbox (Free for iPad; Free for iPhone/iPod Touch)
3 Gig is free
Stores all types of files
Downloads an application to your computer that will appear as a main folder in your hardrive. You can save files from your computer directly to Dropbox.

Box (Free for iPad; Free for iPhone/iPod Touch)
5 Gig is free
Stores all types of files
You have to use an Internet browser to access/upload your files on the website. There is an offer  where you will get an email offering Boxsync which allows you to save files within your computer.

Some apps will allow you to save to either or both Dropbox or Box, which helps when saving files from the iPad.
Where Box and Dropbox are most useful for, is storing templates you might create in Word, Pages, PowerPoint or Keynote, templates such as Graphic Organisers that students may use frequently. Once stored in a class Dropbox or Box students can access them easily from their device.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Dropbox for importing files onto iPads

Some schools aren't able to save to or open files from their server on the iPad. One of my teachers takes a lot of photos and stores them on her laptop, she can't use Photostream as all her photos would end up on other classes iPads as they are all synced to one master computer.
Therefore Dropbox is a great option. Download and install Dropbox on your computer...

...and then download the app from the App Store
Dropbox (Free for iPad; Free for iPhone/iPod Touch)
3 Gig is free
Stores all types of files
Downloads an application to your computer that will appear as a main folder in your hardrive

It is good practice to look at the size of your photos before you upload to Dropbox or Box and compress them if they are larger than 500kbs. Ideal size is between 100-500kbs.
Open the app on your iPad or iPod Touch. Look for the photos, tap on them.
Click on the Share button and select Save Photo, the photo will appear in the Photo Library.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Saving/Synching to iTunes wirelessly

You can connect your iPad to a computer with a USB cable and find saved work under apps but this can be done wirelessly even with a classroom of iPads to the classroom computer, it does not have to be the master computer that the iPad is synced to.

Connect your iPad to the computer, click Cancel on any syncing it might ask you to do.

Select 'Sync with this iPad over Wifi'
'Manually manage music and videos'
Click Apply and disconnect iPad.

Some of the apps that save to iTunes are
Artrage, Book Creator,  Cartoonatic, Cartoon Studio, Comic Life, Docs to Go, eBook Creator, Explain Everything, Field Notes, Film Director, Garageband, Ghostwriter, Good Reader, Google Earth, GreenScreen, I can Animate, iDiary, iMovie, Ink, Inspiration, iPhoto, iThoughts, Kindle, Note Taker, Noteshelf, Numbers, Pages, Penultimate, Pirate Scribble, Popplet, Puppet Pals, Record, Reel Director, Scribble Press, Sketchbook, Skitch, Storyboards, StoryBuddy, Strip Design, Type Drawing, Vimeo

For any of the apps, click on the Share button.
Click on 'Send to iTunes'.

It might ask what format you would like to send it as i.e. PDF, Word, jpeg, Pages; choose a format.

Go to iTunes on your computer (remember you do not have to connect your iPad or iPod Touch).
 Down the side you will see the list of all your devices you  have wirelessly connected to.
Click on the Device.

  1. Click on Apps. 
  2. Click on the App you saved from 
  3. Click on the file when it appears
  4. Click on Save to
  5. Choose where you want to save to and click  Open
The file will appear in the folder you have saved to on your computer.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

A Research Tip using Safari and Inspiration

Become a smart researcher using

Safari: Preloaded on all Devices

 Inspiration: (Free or $9.99 for iPad)

1. Find your website on Safari by using at least 3 keywords. I am going to do a search on wading birds in New Zealand. So the key words are 'bird native wading' and I will add New Zealand to narrow down the search results.

2. Open an Inspiration Graphic Organiser
Create your mindmap
3. Go to the internet site you have chosen, type in one of the keywords in the Search Box from the question links in the mindmap like 'eats'. I have to use the synonym 'feeds' as eats did not appear under the 'On the Page' links

Tap on the Find 'feed' under 'On this Page' There are 6 matches for the word on this webpage

4. Click the next arrow button to see each instance of the word 'feed' until you see a sentence that will answer your question

5. Tap and highlight a word in the text that answers your question, tap and drag the handles until they highlight all of the sentence and tap Copy

6. Go back to your mindmap, tap and hold and tap Paste
7. Go between the Internet site and the mindmap adding information
 8. Don't forget to reference where the information and pictures came from by highlighting the internet address, tap copy and paste into your mindmap.