iPads 4 Learning @ MLP12C

Encouraging Learning Through Mobile Technology Use

Category: creation (page 2 of 2)

Preps 'n' 'Pads

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Yesterday along with one of our Prep Teachers I had the opportunity to visit Mitcham Primary School, in Melbourne’s Eastern suburbs.

Mitcham PS is a mid sized primary school with approximately 400 students. They run a 1:1 iPad program in Prep and are currently looking to expand that to Prep-2 in 2012. In addition to this Mitcham will also be running a 1:1 Netbook in their 3-6 areas, meaning that essentially the entire school will be 1:1. They also have a great deal of IWB’s located around the school as well as touch screens tv’s.

The focus for our visit was to witness first hand the outstanding things that they are doing in relation to integrating mobile technology, in this case iPads, in to their cohort of prep classes. As we will be running a Prep 1:1 iPad program ourselves in 2012, we wanted to see the preps at Mitcham in action, and that is exactly what we did!

Whilst there we spent the morning talking with their leading teacher, Andrew, about their process of integrating iPads in to teaching and learning practices. Bev, one of the schools innovative prep teachers, allowed us in to het room whilst her little ones were busily working away. It was outstanding to witness the prep students using their iPads in class and to see first hand just how the devices were being used.

To see the preps being able to navigate through the device, to select app’s, and to utilise the features of the app’s to create a piece of work was outstanding. In a nutshell, the preps were investigating particular letter sounds and blends. They were sequencing shorts stories that contained these sounds, for example everyones favourite, Jack and Jill, and then were utilising the iPad device to illustrate the story, in order or what occurred, and then then retell what was happening in each picture via recording their voices.

Obviously, the focus and learning intention for this lesson was the letter sound and blend formations. However it was the process that was the interesting part for us. To see the students, aged 4 and 5, manipulating a piece of mobile technology and using several app’s (Doodle Buddy and Story Robe just to name two), all to create a narrated story, that they had illustrated themselves, was fantastic.

It’s always interesting to hear people mention that the iPad are a ‘consuption’ device. Yesterday was a pure example of how that is/was not the case!

A huge thanks to Andrew and Bev for their hospitality and time. It was greatly appreciated and extremely helpful! Keep up the outstanding work!

Slowly but Surely…

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Slowly but surely we are continuing on our journey to create an iPad rich curriculum for our iPad students next year. I have so far created a basic ’shell’ via Google sites that we will soon be adding all of our created content to. The link to this site is below!

https://sites.google.com/site/iplayicreateilearn/

This site as i have previously mentioned will assist our staff next year in embedding the iPad as a learning device in to our teaching practices here at our College, and hopefully assist other setting around the Globe with their iPad implementation as well.

One of the biggest challenges we are encountering, is trying to narrow down a rich and relevant list of applications students will need to assist their learning for next year. Having been involved in the current DEECD iPads for Learning Trial has really given our staff and our students a good indication of which app’s work, and which app’s do not!

So, we have been in the process of developing an App list that we will ask student’s to ensure they have on the iPad devices in 2012 and with new Applications being released rapidly, it’s been an ever changing document. We are wanting to keep the overall price of the applications to a bare minimum if possible and are looking at a lot of applications which are free and or lite versions. One of the issues we knew we would face was selecting App’s that would be beneficial, and seeing that there are roughly 800,000 applications to select from, it has been proving to be a mammoth task.

I have added the Google Doc that we have been using so please feel free to add to it if you know of any app’s that have great relevance in assisting teaching and learning within a classroom setting!

http://goo.gl/ZM2md

Several of the great new applications that we’ve come across lately have been:

Mindjet – A great free mind mapping app. Maps created can be emailed and shared and there are some great little tricks and the like that makes this app better than some others out there. Maps can also be automatically sent to Dropbox, which is another great feature!

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DoInk – A fantastic animation app which has excellent props and reusable templates. Users can draw and create their own animations and backgrounds or use the built in templates and props available to them. For a great example of DoInk and its features, check this link out: http://www.ipadcreative.com/blog/2011/8/3/ipad-animation-tutorial-using-doink-and-bamboo-stylus.html

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MadPad HD – A recent addition to both the student list and my own. MadPad is brought to us my Smule, who are well know for the music applications and this is no exception. Basically, you record 12 sounds via the video function on your iPad, if you have an iPad2, and then once those sounds have been collected, users can tap away creating excellent musical tunes! Here’s an excellent example:http://www.ipadcreative.com/blog/2011/9/12/madpad-hd-capture-and-remix-the-sights-and-sounds-of-everyda.html

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Luminance – There are heaps of these image editing app’s out there and i suppose this one in not all that different, however, it’s interface and usability are extremely easy to use which makes it a great choice over other similar apps.

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Explain Everything – Lately we’ve seen a few app’s come on board that are excellent at allowing the user to explain, show, or demonstrate how to do specific things. ScreenChomp and Show Me are the two most notable examples however Explain Everything is an excellent adaptation of these! Great for students to showcase learning and reflect on tasks and articulate their learning! Well worth a look!

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And in my haste, yes, i did spell empty with two ‘t’’s!

Lastly, a huge thumbs up to the year 6 staff at my college, James, Michelle, Cat and Mel for their assistance with this via our PLT (Professional Learning Team). Your assistance and knowledge has been outstanding!

iPads 'n' Art.

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Here is another classic example of a mobile device being used in a curriculum area other than your traditional classroom setting!

Recently our Art department has jumped on board and started to assist students to use their devices to create art, rather than look at it and study it via the web. This was a introductory task where the students where learning about perception and 3D and had to created a picture via one of the many drawing programs on their devices. These works were then printed, cut out, and as you can see, the finished results look fantastic!

The only problem now is that I am thinking i’ll have to purchase iPads for the Art staff, and wont that open up a can of worms!

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A Great Day Out!

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This Tuesday our 6 students ventured off to Serendip Sanctuary, which is located in Lara, south west of Melbourne. The map is below!
View Larger Map

The sanctuary provides safe habitat for local and international wildlife, this being mainly migratory birds, however a number of other fascinating animals can also be witnessed such as kangaroos and reptiles.

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The students have recently been investigating an inquiry unit around deforestation and the effects that this can have on the environment and visiting the kids in class yesterday it was great to see them utilising their iPad’s to reflect and share their learning.

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Students had been asked upon return, to create a presentation of their excursion demonstrating what they had learnt, using an App and or medium of their choice. It was also fantastic to witness several students opting to NOT use the devices and take a more hands on approach! The student’s presentation types were mixed across the class and ranged from Keynote presentations, animations, created songs and raps as well as using a combination of App’s to create what it was that they wanted. Several of the more popular app’s were Reed Director, Strip Designer, Show Me, Screen Chomp, Popplet, and Corkulous.

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One issue, quickly resolved by some very quick thinking, was how to share the photo’s that were taken by teachers and get these on to the iPad’s. The photos unfortunately were too large for a file-sharing site such as Dropbox and yes, they could have been sized, yet, this was another step in a process that I am sure everyone wanted to see eliminated from the process. Anyway… the answer, Flickr! One staff member created a Flickr account, which had all photos uploaded to it. The account login details were then shared amongst the students so that they could access the account via their iPad’s and… access and save the photos to their devices!

Once the students have completed their presentations i’ll aim to get several up here for you all to see!

Student Collaboration w/ Lino It: Online Stickies!

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One of the big issues that we’ve found with the iPad as a teaching and learning device is it’s ability, or inability as i should say, is to access Flash Based Web Content. As an Educator there is no secret that some of the greatest Web 2.0 tools are Flash Based and not being able to access these on an iPad is quite frustrating at times!

One Great Web2.0 tool that teachers at MLC use on a regular basis at our College is Wallwisher, an online Notice Board Maker. With this tool students can access a particular notice board, or ‘space’ and all add sticky notes to it at the same time. This has been a great tool for online collaborative learning as students can post comments and the like about a particular issue or questions that been posted to them. Until this morning, we had struggled a little to find something equivalent to use on the iPads!

Here’s a glimpse of creating a Wallwisher Wall:

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Linoit is another site that is very very similar to Wallwisher that is used throughout our College however with a few more features and options. This morning we’d discovered the iPad App for this great online tool which proved to be a great addition to the Student’s devices!

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One of our Teachers in our iPad area, James, asked all students to download the free Linoit App, where he then proceeded to create a wall, or canvas, for his students to access via their iPads! James had created a Linoit account to create his Canvas, in which he then gave the students the same login details so they all had access to that canvas and could add to it freely!

The end result… a Linoit canvas in which all of his students had accessed and collaborated to!

For us, this was another teaching moment in which the iPad had created a teaching and learning situation that was perhaps not possible (not to us yet anyway… i am sure there MUST be another way, but…) that then allowed us to complete the task that we required!

I’ll be sure to post an example or two of the student’s Linoit Wall and showing just how they use this great resource with it’s iPad App to create and share in one learning space online!

Creating on the 'Pad!

LBS - Melbourne's International Film Festival for Kids

Today several Colleagues and I took a group of Secondary students the the ‘Little Big Shots’ Film Festival at Federation Square in Melbourne. The purpose for the outing was to reward the students for their great work throughout the Semester re: their Digital Creation classwork but to also open their eyes a little wider and see the great films out their that are being created for their age group.

The ‘Little Big Shots’ Film Festival is the, as the Website explains… “The festival now stands as Australia’s only major stand-alone kids’ film festival – a niche Australian event. With its focus on short films for kids plus plenty of competitions and opportunities for involvement, Little Big Shots is one of the year’s most exciting experiences for kids.”

We were fortunate enough also that we even met one of the Actors in one of the short films we viewed, Harvey, who’d flown all the was from L.A. in the U.S. to be at the festival itself! Autographs-a-plenty!

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Ok… the real reason for this post. It is to share what I managed to create on my iPad2 on the bus on the way back to the school, all in 7 1/2 minutes! Now i am not saying that what you’re about to view is a sensational masterpiece or something that comes even close! However, it does certainly highlight just what can be created on such a mobile device in such a short amount of time.

The ‘iPad’ critics out there who see the iPad, and i suppose other forms as mobile technology as not being equivalent to a NetBook or NoteBook/Laptop, are kidding themselves (personal thought!). For me, who rushed this in the time i had left on the bus, to create a minute long HD video, about what i had viewed that day with my students, is a great example of what students can achieve with these devices. The difference being, their’s would have been 10X better. Give me another 7 1/2 minutes and it would begin to resemble something near what i know our iPad kids could’ve, actually would’ve, created!

I used the camera to take the shots (now the Camera’s not great, but it works!), I used a variety of paint/drawing programs for the text, these being Penultimate, iDraft and neu.Notes. And then, to tie it altogether, iMovie! Simple, fast, EFFECTIVE! I also forgot to mention Rich, Relevant and Engaging!

Tomorrow our Yr 6 iPad students are heading to the Melbourne Zoo with their ipads tucked firmly under arm and i know that the teachers in that area will be driving and pushing for amazing and exciting digital creative work to shine from what the students see and investigate! So… watch this space!

My short and sharp film!

ePub Creation!

It’s official! The Yr 6 / Prep iPad combination is moving along at rapid speed!

Today saw the 3rd installment of the iBuddy program and it was full steam ahead. The prep students have drastically taken on board the working of the iPads at rapid pace and are starting to catch up to their older counter parts without a doubt. The language that was overheard today by the prep students was phenomenal. Hearing the them discuss the ‘backgrounds’ of the iPads, and the ‘Applications’ that THEY were wanting to use was great. Several youngsters were overheard teaching the Yr 6 students how to ‘swoosh‘ (swipe) across the iPad screen and were then reffering to it as ‘swooshing‘ for the entire session!

The prep students were also demonstrating their ability to distinguish App’s via the icons on the iPad screen rather than the actual name or word of the Application. For instance they would see the images of App’s such as Corkulous, Draw Free and iDraft and know what the functions of these applications were, without knowing the actual name of them. The younger students were also able to distinguish the differences between iDraw and iDraft as App’s for drawing which was interesting and great to see.

Seeing the Prep students discuss with the Yr 6 students about the choices of App’s to be used created a lot of discussion in the room. The ability of a younger student to hold a conversation with their older counterpart about the use of Applications is quite an advanced progression and to hear the students, both old and young, be able to articulate their App choices to the teachers provided for great learning to occur.

OK… Moving on. ePub Files! The real reason behind this post. After experimenting with the creation of iPod Touch and iPhone Applications, we have now moved on to the creation of ePub files for teaching, but more so learning, purposes. We have been looking at creating ePub Files for quite some time which can be placed on to the iPads for students to interact with. The whole purpose of an ePub is the interactivity that readers can obtain from it as opposed to regular texts, both electronic and their paper equivalent! ePubs can house images, audio and video which can all be viewed simply by the touch of a… screen. For example images can be enlarged, zoomed in and out of, and if 3D, spun around. A great example of ePub files is Inkling and it’s iPad Application, titled… Inkling! You can download an Interactive Chapter of a Secondary School Textbook for free and try out the features to see just what I am waffling on about.

After several unsuccessful atttempts last year at ePub creation, a great website has now been discovered, ePub Bud, that creates your ePub files for you once you have embedded what it is that you want to embed, and then it is as simple as exporting your newly created ePub file! And… it this that the Preps and Yr 6 students were working on together today! The creation of Alphabet books for the Prep students!

I will be sure to keep you all posted, and with the creators permission of the ePub files, i’ll aim to get a few up here for download!

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