iPads 4 Learning @ MLP12C

Encouraging Learning Through Mobile Technology Use

Category: Uncategorized (page 2 of 4)

7 Great iPad Writing Apps


As the title suggests… here are seven great writing applications that are very worthwhile in a classroom setting! These app’s will promote reluctant writers and hopefully engage students and enable them with greater writing skills.

7 Great iPad Writing apps.

Professional Learning Visitations.

Lately we have hosted a number of schools and their educators and leaders for Professional Learning Visitations, all of which have been aimed at our 1:1 technology integration via either our iPad or MacBook Programs.

As i have said in the past, it is great to have these colleges and schools visit us as seeing good pedagogy in action, which we feel we have happening here at Manor Lakes, as witnessing this happening in real time can be the best type of professional learning.

It is always great to share our journey and yet as I often say to out visitors, we are by no means the be and all of BTOD and 1:1 teaching, we are certainly on our way.

So thank you to the schools and colleges lately that have ventured out our way, these being Chisholm College in W.A., Keilor Park PS, and Cambridge PS, as i feel that we can just as much from your own experiences as perhaps you can from us!

iPad PLT – Working Together!

Last night for the first time this year our college began the exciting journey of beginning their PLT’s (Professional Learning Teams). Staff at the college had the option to be part of a PLT that had a select focus on a particular learning area, such as ICT and iPads and hence, this blog post!

Within our PLT we have 6 very dedicated staff who are keen to see iPad and Technology Integration occur on a greater scale and it’s awesome to see that the staf within this select group are from year levels across the college.

Being the first meeting of the year it was important to establish protocols and a direction for the team, to ensure that we had shared understanding and common goals to achieve. To assist us with this process, we were asked to use the attached proforma titled: Translating Values & Purposes into Protocols: Professional Learning Teams


PLT Doc.

The discussions that came from this PLT last night happened thick and fast with many ideas flowing as to where we would like to head. The following things were discussed:

– Creating a resource for staff who would like to embed iPad Technology in to their teaching and how best to assist this.

– Creating an Application List which links in with the National Curriculum and what app’s can best support specific learning areas.

– Attending other schools who were running rich iPad 1:1 programs to witness best practice in action and how we could then adapt and implement that in to our own setting.

– Developing a website which support not only our staff but also other across the world in iPad implementation with lesson plans and application ideas. This could then also become a collaborative exercise with other educators from all over adding to the site.

One resource we focused on and discussed was the Contemporary Literacy Research Project that we were involved in throughout 2011. Here is the project explained;

“This Contemporary Literacy Practices of Preps e-book has been developed to showcase the range of learning opportunities possible when digital technologies become an integral part of children’s’ learning and development. The e-book is also a testament to the amazing capabilities of young learners to acquire the necessary digital literacy skills necessary for participation in life. The e-book highlights how technologies can help support sharing, collaboration and communication in and beyond the classroom.

The 63 learning activities featured in this e-book were derived from a 2011 DEECD research project, Contemporary Literacy Practices of Preps involving Prep classes from 20 Victorian Primary schools state-wide.” 

The 63 learning activities that were developed form the schools that were involved are excellent and to be a teacher and have access to this resource is great. Head to the following link and have a look at what was created by the schools involved! Contemporary (Digital) Literacy Practices of Preps e-Books (interactive) 



So on top of all of this please watch this space! I am sure that what lies ahead of us in relation to assisting not only staff at our college with iPad integration but also all other educators out there with the same thing!

Thank You!



As you may now well be aware, in 2012 after having re developed out ICT strategy for 2012-14, we are conducting 1:1 iPad program across 3 of of years levels next year. These being in Prep, 6 and 7.

In relation to our year 6 and 7 cohorts we have decided to go down the path of BYOD model, this being ‘Bring Your Own Device’. Whilst re-writing our ICT Strategy we decided to move towards iPad our main tool for students learning via the success that we have witnessed through being involved in the DEECD iPads for Learning Trial.

The idea and pedagogy behind mobile technology and anytime, anywhere learning, has certainly seen a very positive shift towards effective learning and teaching, especially at our college. The fact that students have a device that they can take anywhere to compliment their learning is exceptionally beneficial to the teaching that is taking place and the learning outcomes that are being met.

Now, as we are running a ‘BYOD’ model we have had many discussion about weather or not this is the correct path to go down. The fact that we are asking families to purchase their own device was originally not a path we wanted to go down however with increased investigation and  discussion with other schools doing that exact thing, it bagan to make a lot more sense.

Cost was a major factor. Current leased programs are quite expensive, for all involved. Of course insurance is a bonus, especially for damages not covered under warranty and that are not willful! With leasing however also come the possibility that there will be no buyout option at the end of the lease period, meaning, parents pay ‘x’ amount for a device that they do not get to keep. With a BYOD model however, it os more cost effective, and families actually get to keep the device!

Tech support was another factor. This is more so from a device point of view. The iPad we have found is a very robust device. In the 18mths of our iPad trial we have sent away 3 for repair, all accidental. Our laptops involved in our 1:1 program on the other hand, hundreds, in a 12mth period. Turn around times for fixing the laptops has been an issue with students not having access to a device which makes of course affects their learning. It also affects the quality of teaching. With a BYOD model, families will be responsible for moderating the iPad, this being primarily the syncing of the device. As a college we will connect the iPad to our wireless infrastructure and away they go. No imaging. No software updates. No software issues. No missing keys. Much (if not NO cracked screens). And so on…

There is of course a focus on trust with a BYOD model. A focus that students will treat their device in a way that compliments their learning and not hinder it. As i have mentioned to a number of visitors to our college regarding beginning a 1:1 iPad programs, it is about educating students, families and teachers about modelling proper use of technology. By ensuring that all parties involved are shown to be using technology in a way which is beneficial to learning, and teaching.

In saying this we are heading in to uncharted waters regarding to running a BYOD iPad program. And with venturing in to these waters we know that we may come across a rough patch of sea, or two, but, like always, we will get through it and learn from the experience.

Here is a link to an article I came across about setting up a BYOD program and some things to consider when doing so…

2012 iPads 4 Learning App List


Finally… FINALLY, i have finished!

The 2012 iPads for Learning 1:1 Program at Manor Lakes P-12 College finally has an application list! All app’s have been chosen to assist in the excellent teaching and learning that take place at our college.

I have attached the list below as a PDF. I do plan on adding to the descriptions by explaining just HOW these app’s can be used for learning! These lesson ideas will also be added to our iPad in Education Google Site currently under construction. I will ALSO create a slide show and upload this containing all the information i have just stated and that is also currently in the app list.

One thing i do need to mention is that the total cost of Applications included is $48.39. I did aim to keep this down to an absolute bare minimum however with 2 applications costing above $10 and 2 others above $5… i think i have done as well as i could have seeing we wanted those particular app’s and… in most cases you get what you pay for!

If anyone has any questions about the app’s listed please feel free to contact me.

Here you go: 1-1 iPad App List 2012

We’d also love any comments or thoughts people had as well!

2012 iPad Purchasing Update

To all parents of year 6 and 7 students in 2012,

below i have attached the lastest parent update letter relating to the purchasing of ‘iPad2 Packages’ through our college. All details are located on the letter are are self explanatory. If you have any questions or queries please call or emil me and i will get back to you ASAP.

For those parents wishing to access the portal, either requiring assistance with the portal or due to not having no access to the internet, we will have a Laptop located in the Eyre Building (Library/Resource Centre), where you can come in and access the purchasing portal.

Thank you,


2011 Purchase iPad Letter #2

iPad Parent Information Evening 2012


Last night we held two parent information evenings for parents whose students in years 6 and 7 for 2012 will be involved in our 1:1 iPad Trial.

Overall the sessions were a success with parents asking some great questions which was great to see. It was also terrific to see the interest in implementing such a program, which of course is building on the successes that our our current iPad trial has had.

From here we will ensure that parents are kept up to date with relevant information including newly developed App lists, purchase options, as our 1:1 program is based upon a parent funded model, and times and dates for future parent workshops that we will be running.

I have placed our 1:1 iPad Booklet for 2012 below, as a PDF version for download, as well as the Prezi presentation that parents were ran through.

If anyone has any questions that they would like to ask about lasts nights informations sessions, please leave a comment and i’ll get back to you asap.

Lastly, thank you to my IT Team for staying back last night and also thank you to all those parents who attended. Your support in MLC and its programs are greatly appreciated.

1-1 iPad Booklet 2012

2012 iPad Parent Information Letter

We're back, and moving forward!

It’s been a while however we back in to the thick of things and extremely keen and excited about what in the ‘Land of iPads’ that lies ahead! As you may already be aware, as a college we have made the decision to move forward with the DEECD 1:1 iPad Trial that we are involved in are increasing the 1:1 iPad program to 3 cohorts in 2012.

We will be undertaking 1:1 in our Prep cohort with college funded devices and in years 6 and 7 with parent owned devices. The whole notion of increasing our iPad stocks for teaching and learning purposes is quite exciting and from what we have witnessed in our current iPad Trial, we are very motivated to continue this model of learning through utilising mobile technology.

Recently i was lucky enough to have had an article published in the lastest ICTEV Journal stating the case for not just iPad use in schools, but the value of mobile technology as a whole. Next year will see an iPad in the hands of over 400+ students, not to also mention our 1:1 MacBook Program in years 8, 9 and 10, will see our college continue its journey towards continuing to become a leader in the use of technology integration.

Myself along with our year 6 staff are continuing to develop a resource database for all iPad users in an educational setting and although there are a great deal of the websites out there, we are hoping to have a lesson plan focus. A resource that teachers and educators can draw upon to assist them in using iPads for Learning.

I am sure that term 4 will be ridiculously crazy with all things iPad related and i promise to make a conscious effort to update this blog ALOT more often!

Slowly but Surely…


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!


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!


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!


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


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


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.


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!


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!

File Sharing on the iPad.

This morning we had the privilege of hosting Corey and Robin from Skipton Primary School, who ventured our to our College to see our iPads in action.

Skipton PS is a small rural school located in… Skipton, which is approximately 2 hours west of Melbourne, and houses 74 very Tech savvy students. Both Corey and Robin were keen to hear how we managed the devices here at our College as well as how we managed to get around the issue that some schools have had with removing, or sharing work that has been created on an iPad, with other people, such as staff and students.

I took Corey and Robin through our year 6 iPad area to witness what our students were using their iPads for at that particular time and here a few things that we witnessed…

Investigating the London Riots via the iPad!

Investigating the London Riots via the iPad!

iPads, Decimals, Fractions and Percentages!

iPads, Decimals, Fractions and Percentages!

The main difference between Skipton and ourselves, is that our devices are being used as a 1:1 device, where as Skipton were using theirs as a shared device. I have heard of several schools using the iPad device as a shared tool and piece of mobile technology, and all of them, having the same concerns that Skipton shared today.

When i think back to the beginning of our own iPad Trial, we too had the very same issues. How to get work off the devices in a quick and purposeful way?

We, as had Skipton, had attempted several various ways to combat this, as we couldn’t have staff carrying 25 iPads home to correct work!

This got me thinking… So here are several options and methods that we, and others have used in attempting to solve that tricky situation above…

1. Dropbox


Dropbox is simply an online ‘cloud; storage solution. People can create an account and save important files, these being most file types, to an online space, 2 GB in size. Via your iPad Application of the same name, you can access that account and files and folders that have been created to read and write to. You can also ’share’ created folders with other people who have a Dropbox account so that they too can access whatever it is that is placed in to that particular folder. A great App/Online tool which is free, easy to use, and not all that complicated.

2. eMail


Simple, fast, effective. Through allocating and setting up an email account on the iPad, students have the ability to send and receive files from and to fellow students and teachers. This is the primary method we use, with all of our students having included a Gmail eMail Account on to their iPad’s to ensure that created pieces of work can be emailed to their teacher.

3. GoodReader


A wonderful App which allows users to access files from a range of net storages services, including Dropbox. There a lot of features to this great App, utmost being the ability for this App to connect to a School or College Server, which would then allow students to access their own files and folders whilst at their school setting! It does take a bit of setting up, and, apparently, a lot easier to do if your school is running a Mac Server. Well worth a look!

4. Air Share HD


Air Share HD allows users to transfer files to and from the iPad in several ways, mainly via mounting your device as an external hardrive  to a Mac, or PC, whilst connected to the same network. Like GoodReader, Air Share also allows the user to access Dropbox and a number of other file sharing protocols.

5. Bump

Screen shot 2011-08-10 at 8.11.36 PM

Bump is an iPhone App which works just as well on the iPad device. How this works is you simply ‘bump’, literally, the two devices together that are running the Bump App, and the chosen file move from one device to the other! It’s a very interesting way to exchange files from music, photos and other file types.

6. Box.net

Screen shot 2011-08-10 at 7.59.05 PM

Box.net is very similar to Dropbox, as it allows you to share files on the Internet. You can share files easily with a link, save them to your iPad, open files in other Apps installed on your iPad, (like GoodReader). You can also use this App, with an iPad VGA Cable, to share and project videos in your account. With Box.net you’re allocated 5GB of storage online.

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