iPads 4 Learning @ MLP12C

Encouraging Learning Through Mobile Technology Use

Tag: application (page 2 of 3)

Mt. Pleasant PS PL Visit


Yesterday we again had the pleasure of hosting another school to our college for a PL experience revolving around our 1:1 iPad program, Mt. Pleasant Primary School from Ballarat.

Their Principal Phillip Gladman and 3 of his dedicated staff came out for half a day to see our students in action and converse with several of our staff members about the trials and tribulations surrounding a 1:1 iPad program. As I say to all visitors that we have to our college I feel that there’s no better professional learning that can take place other than visiting other schools and seeing effective teaching and learning in action.

iPads and Science = hand in hand!

Filming their work for reflective and creative purpose!










Phillip and his staff were keen to see how our iPads were being integrated in to our classroom settings as well as finding out some of the particulars surrounding our 1:1 model.

It is always great to hear what other schools are up to and how they, themselves are integrating technology in to their own teaching practices and then to have the option to network and discuss professionally what each setting is doing.

One of the things Mt. Pleasant were interested in were how student/teacher correspondence is managed, especially in relation to teachers obtaining work, etc…

At MLC we use two main methods, Dropbox but also of Google App’s and Gmail.

Being a Google App’s for Primary and Secondary Education College, we have pretty much full range and use of Google’s Applications meaning that all students in our College can be issued with a Gmail account, 25GB of online storage, and full access to the suite of app’s available. At this stage we have all students from years 5-10 with their own MLC Gmail account. This makes the sharing of work via email with staff a very easy and efficient process. For more information of the whole Google App experience, head here: Google App’s for Education.

Collaboration at it's best!

Engagement. A wonderful thing!










Another excellent resource that we discussed was that of YouTube for Schools, which as a college are currently about to roll-out. Like most, if not all schools in that state of Victoria, Internet bandwidth can be a major issue for schools and colleges. This means that when there is heavy traffic on a schools network, the internet can become very slow causing for headaches, frustration and often mass confusion! If schools have sites like YouTube unblocked, this can obviously result in a LOT of downloads, and as a result the Internet at that school will become very slow.

YouTube for Schools allows for schools to set up their networks and back end so that when students access YouTube, they are instantly redirected to the YouTube for Schools section, giving them access to ONLY educational based material plus, any other mainstream videos that staff have added manually. I know here at MLC this will drastically cut down on bandwidth issues we occasionally have with students streaming video off YouTube to solely listen to music. For more information on this, click this lick: YouTube for Schools

Lastly, I showed several excellent resources and sites which can support iPad implementation and application finding for educational needs. These I will include, once I collate them all in to an organised manner, in to a new post!

Hopefully the fantastic people from Mt. Pleasant PS took something away from their visit that they can use, either positive or negative from their experience!, which will assist them in their tech integration! We look forward at hearing of the great things that I am sure are already coming out of such a focused and driven school!

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!

iPad Art Creation

Yesterday whilst walking through our Art Building i noticed the work below having being written up on the whiteboard for our students to complete…

iPads 'n' Art...

I thought this was a great task for students to show off their iPad creation skills through being involved in PBL (project Based Learning). I will certainly be keen to see what the final outcome is to this task and what the students come up with. The App’s that have been listed i have explained in a little more detail below!



A great Apple Built application that does exactly what it states, allows the user to take quick and easy notes about anything. Notes also allows the user, providing it’s set up, to sync the notes that they take directly to iCloud to ensure that notes are ever lost! You’d hate to lose that idea you jotted down which could potentially change the world!


strike Notes

Demibooks Composer

This is the First iPad based authoring software for creating interactive eBooks! Similar in idea to that of Apple’s iBooks Authoring software, Composer allows the students to create fully fledged eBooks. Students can create covers, index pages, etc and can embed pictures either taken via the camera or pictures that have been drawn. A little in depth to use from the start, however, once students have gotten the hang of it, they can begin creating excellent eBooks on topics of their choice!

Story Kit

Story Kit

This application is an iPhone app which works brilliantly on an iPad. Students can create eBooks from scratch and share these with friends. To create your story you can add text, add images, record sounds, and ass a host of elements such as text boxes, sound clips and the like. There are also a number of eBooks tht can be downloaded as public domain and then edited by the user, a great feature!

Bamboo Paper

Bamboo Paper

An excellent sketch book and note taking application. A great way to keep a virtual notebook. Students can use their writing skills to create these virtual notebooks which they can then share virtually with other students and staff.

What we’d really love to see if a mobile version of the iBooks Authoring software available for the iPad so that students could then create outstanding e and interactive books for various audiences.

Lastly, on the back of what we’ve already covered, I have included several examples of work that our students have created on their iPad devices within their Art classes. Work which i am sure you’ll agree, is outstanding! Having absolutely ZERO artistic ability i have no idea how, or what app they used to create these great pieces, however, they are stunning and from all reports the students were engaged, collaborating, and displaying outstanding creative talents!

















App’s for Multimedia

Below I have embedded a keynote presentation showing which iPod applications our older students have selected for use with their multimedia studies to assist their learning! The majority, if not all of these app’s, can certainly be used in  the iPad device also.Hopefully you find some of these useful!


1:1 Prep iPad Program – Day 1!

Today, we have a very very special guest ‘poster’, the prep poster boy himself, our Prep Team Leader Sam. Today marked thr first day of our prep iPad program and this is Sam’s account of how the day progressed! Thanks Sam!

Today marked the rolling out of iPads to our Prep cohort. We’ve given the kids a few weeks to settle into the routine of school and now was time to add iPads into the mix.

Behind the scenes there has been a lot of work. I spent a few quiet afternoons over summer on the prowl for the best available apps. This has been a challenge. Every app in the app store tells you it’s the best thing since sliced bread. Not every app has made by someone with an education background. A lot of literacy based apps contain accents not suited for Australian students.

The website www.appitic.com was a saviour. There aren’t a lot of other schools using iPads in this age bracket of students. A lot less share this information. We’ve gone into this year knowing that we are essentially writing the script for the use of iPads in a Prep classroom.

Appitic is an app review site run by Apple Distinguished Educators (ADEs). The apps are well categorized making it easy to search through and have been reviewed by educators, meaning they have classroom use in mind.

We loaded up with a raft of listening post apps (such as the Dr Seuss books) counting apps (such as tally tots) letter formation apps (letter school is a real favorite of the students) and even leveled texts (LAZ library series). These will all play a part in reinforcing and practicing concepts to do with literacy and numeracy during the year.


The app I’m most looking forward to using is Storyrobe. This is a simple film making app that I hope to immerse students in during the year. Stay tuned for that!

Before we become master film makers however, there are some simple routines to establish. This is what our iPad celebration today was. Students knew iPads were just around the corner, but not exactly when. They were so excited to see iPads at their tables when they arrived in the classroom this morning.

We used the morning session to establish some simple routines with students. iPads stay in their case all the time. iPads are to remain flat on tables or in laps when in use and, if they had to be carried, iPads were to be held against a students chest in two hands, much like cuddling a teddy bear!

Students then had some ‘explore’ time to practice their safe handling skills and check out the apps available on their iPads. Students were gunning for their ‘iPad license’. They were to receive this once they had demonstrated they could safely handle their iPads and also remember the routines used to safely handle them. They demonstrated this by writing and sketching about one of the rules they could remember.

Routines out of the way and we began to introduce some subject specific apps for our iPads. These were done in rotations. We laminated up the app icons and the apps students were to use was based upon the app icon on their table.

For our literacy session we introduced:

  • rED writing
  • Letter School
  • The Cat in the Hat
  • LAZ level A
  • ToonTastic

And in numeracy:

  • The Very Hungry Caterpillar
  • Counting Bear
  • Letter School
  • Candy Count
  • Tally Tots

In all, I was staggered by the attention my students gave to the whole day. The excitement of having a new iPad would surely be enough to put some off their game. Throw in a learning walk of around ten teachers, a public holiday the day prior, and a 30 degree day and were talking about some serious engagement.

I’ve always been prickly about using ICT solely for engagement, and the apps we use do offer more than that. But I’m left super impressed about what iPads might do for our learning. Spare minutes could be used in play-based app learning, while the arsenal apps we already have assembled surely will reinforce and practice concepts we seek to teach our kids.

If you have any questions for either myself or Sam, please feel free to send us an email or comment on this post! We’ll (Sam!!!), will be sure to keep you posted in the future weeks happening! Thanks! 

Great Free App’s 4 Learning!

You may remember me saying some time ago that the tedious task of developing an application list for our year 6 and 7 students was somewhat… tedious indeed! The app’s which we had selected have been used to great effect so far, especially the free applications as the paid app’s have not begun to be downloaded until this week… as the iTunes cards arrived!

In saying this, we have, and are, always on the lookout for more great and wonderful free app’s to utilise in class and, what do you know, we’ve, or i should be saying our yr 6 team leader and iPad guru Michelle, have come across some great app’s for our students.

And so here they are!


Rover is an app that allows the user to access certain flash based content on the web, content that is normally inaccessible by viewing net based content through Safari. Mathletics is a great example of this. Rover is powered by the iSwifter platform, iSwifter also being a great free app with similar capabilities (the world’s first cloud-based Flash streaming platform for mobile devices).

World Maths Day 2012

World Maths Day 2012 is here. Today! This year World Maths Day is part of the World Education Games, where students from around the world can not only unite the world in numbers, but also unite the world in spelling! The competitions are independent, and this iPad App is for users participating in World Maths Day.

Math Dragon

Math Dragon needs help solving the sums the teacher put on the blackboard while he’s away! This app has the user controlling a 3D dragon and hunting down turtles who have the answer to the questions of a sum backed on a board stuck on their back. From their, find the answer, and blast that turtle! Once blasted the turtle will drop a ball, collect it, and pop it in the answer bin. If you get sick of waddling around, you can even fly!

Aaah! Math Zombies HD Free Lite

Do you have what it takes to kills the rampaging, well, slowly walking, zombie coming to eat you? Yes? Then this the math game for you. Answer the flash card questions quickly to put a cannon ball through those zombies or die! There are 150 levels to unlock so there is no shortage of zombie killing to be had!

Math Terms

Math Terms is a numeracy based glossary app that includes images and holds over 1000 terms from middle primary to middle secondary.

Number Battle

Number Battle allows the students to practice their mental math skills through answering short, quick, questions based on 2, 3, or 4 digit numbers covering the four operations. Students play this via a blue-tooth connection and take a photo of their friends face. On answering questions correctly, they get to add certain images to that face such as bigger ears, a hat, sunglasses, a funny looking nose, etc… A bit of harmless fun, at your friends expense! There are over 100 item to stick to faces and sound effects can also be added!

Penguin Maths

As this game states, ‘Math should be fun!’. Students can set their parameters for this game by making simple math questions asked to them simple or quite difficult, yet all based around the four operations. Students get asked questions and their penguin jumps from one ice berg to another, all the way to the finish line! If questions are answered incorrect, the poor little penguin drops in to the water. A simple yet rewarding app.

Shuttle Mission Math

Shuttle Mission Math is a math puzzle game that makes algebra, a topic we ALL LOVE, interactive. The goal of playing this game is to find the weight of each alien and assemble a team for the next shuttle mission. Well explained and good fun!

Speedo Math

Like most math app’s, and this is no different, students math skills are challenged through practicing all facets of numeracy such as addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division, in a fun and pressure free way. The game has multiple levels and an instant results graph for students to view their progress.

Time Tables Warp

An app to assist students with learning their times tables whilst having fun as they blast asteroids and fly on cyberboard’s, gliding through a virtual 3D environment which is very well done. This app can also be downloaded for Mac’s through the Mac app store for students with laptops. A great app for its reinforcement of times table sums and probably the most engaging of the free math apps! Beats singing the times tables songs!

Dr. Suess Band

This is a great app obviously based on the Dr. Seuss experience of chaos and mayhem, all in the form of Big Band! This app changes your iPad in to a, as the app itself describes, ‘a vibrant, energetic musical instrument that all ages will enjoy!’ Users can play strange and wonderful instruments and there are over 120 combinations of sounds so users, hopefully, will always have a new sound to discover!

Fotopedia Heritage

‘Celebrate the beauty of our world!’ This app was recently placed in Apples Hall of Fame. It contains over 30K inspiring photos and is often referred to as the worlds largest photo book! Fotopedia Heritage gives users access to a virtual passport to the hundreds of sites that demonstrate the world’s ‘collective cultural and natural human legacy.’

Fotopedia Wild Friends

Fotopedia Wild Friends is a photo sharing app that is full of weird and wonderful photos of some of the planets most amazing animals, all of which have been taken by some of Europe’s best nature photographers. A great app for discussion about all things animals through the outstanding photos available.

Scribble Press

Scribble Press is essentially a book creation tool that lets kids create and share their own stories with various drawing and writing tools. Books created can go straight in to your iBook store! An excellent  and outstanding app, one that i have seen used in a few schools already, especially in the junior areas.


Ballarat Schools Cluster Visit

Yesterday we had the pleasure of once again hosting not just one school, but a number of schools from in and around the Ballarat region including Invermay PS and Halls Gap PS.

This visit was on the back of the curriculum day that I had the pleasure of speaking at, which I spoke about in the previous post, where a number of smaller schools got together to collaborate on iPad integration and differentiated learning.

It was great showing these staff members around our college and taking them though the iPad areas in years 6 and 7. Once again the students were outstanding in accommodating our visitors and took a little time out of their day to share some of the great things they were doing in class. Our staff also in these areas were also outstanding in speaking to visiting educators and sharing a number of key processes and app’s which they use. The notion and pedagogy which we keep regurgitating, that the technology is just a tool to assist teaching and learning and that we want our students to CREATE RATHER THAN CONSUME, is a key focus for us.

As per usual it was great to sit down and talk about iPads in education and implementation issues and queries that schools had. As in the past a number of these schools were going down the path of a shared device and therefore had issues around students working off multiple devices and how to then keep work either separate or shared amongst the staff. Issues also of wireless and bandwidth were discussed as well as what do schools do financially in relation to mobile technology integration. Do they lease, buy outright, or move towards a BYOD framework?

In relation to the shared options, usually the first response is to use either Dropbox or Box.net, for online cloud services and file sharing. I have recently however come across eLockers (which has been developed in conjunction with StudyWhiz, an LMS), that not only allows students to save to the ‘cloud’, but also collaborate on documents with other students and staff. Well worth a look. More info can be found HERE.

Also discussed were the issues around apple legalities in terms of iTunes and app purchasing, as Apple’s official stance is one device, one apple ID, something that is ridiculously difficult for schools to manage. We spoke about gifting app’s and using app’s which we only free and syncing those on to a number of devices off one account. As we do not have app volume licensing here in Aus, and, understanding that it’s not working all that great in the US, other alternatives may need to be looked at.

Printing in schools is always a hot topic and towards the middle to late last year we made the decision to NOT allow any student in the college to print. We felt that this was a mindless activity, putting it bluntly, as the money that we as a college can save is quite substantial. Paper does not grow on trees.. or does it… as well as printers being made for a disposable market and needing to be replaced every 12-18mths, not to mention ink costs. The greatest reason however for not printing is to have students create outstanding pieces of work and then share that via the web, to give it a greater GLOBAL audience. No matter if it is a movie, a PDF or ‘another’ PowerPoint/keynote’. The use of blogs and wiki’s have certainly allowed for this!

One of the last things that we discussed and spoke about was using the iPad as teaching tool, and the greatest way of sharing and demonstrating work via an iPad device. I know of a number of schools using iPad VGA adaptors to connect to an interactive whiteboard and modelling iPad use that way. One way that we as a college are going is to use flat screen TV’s and Apple TV devices and use the Apple TV’s mirroring capabilities to demonstrate student work and to modelling effective app use as well as many other things. We/I feel that the mirroring capability of the Apple TV devices is excellent as a teaching tool as we found that most of our IWB’s were being used solely as projectors. For under 1K, a relatively large LCD TV can be purchased, along with an Apple TV Device and a Nintendo Wii (just so we can play Mario Kart!)… For more info about the Apple TV devices you can visit the following LINK.

Thank you to all the schools who visited. We as a college look forward to seeing what journey your schools take in tech integration and it’d be great to be in contact along the way, even also setting up some collaborative resources that we can work on together to assist us all in iPad implementation.

Dripstone Middle School Visit.

This morning we had the pleasure of hosting Toni and Kim from Dripstone Middle School from Darwin in the NT.

View Larger Map


Both Toni and Kim were in Victoria as part of a pilot school development currently beginning their own iPad journey, and also in the early stages of developing an ICT for Learning Strategic Plan.


Toni discovered our details from the Victorian DEECD’s website iPads for Education and made contacting asking if a visit to our college could be organised, as always, we were happy to accommodate.


Toni and Kim both had a solid IT background’s and despite having taught various areas and subjects, had a distinct passion for embedding ICT in a greater capacity at their school. They have just purchased 30+ iPads and were keen to witness our iPad kids in action as well as get down with the students and question them about their use.



It was excellent to see all of our students on task as we walked around the college seeing what learning was taking place and seeing the great things that were happening in class as part of their daily learning and teaching programs. The iPads were being used to great effect and although students were only using the free app’s from our app list, as we’re still waiting on our iTunes vouchers, excellent work was being produced.


As always i was very impressed with our students willingness to take time out of their learning to discuss with our visitors what it was that they were doing and how the iPad as a device could assist their learning.



The discussions we as teachers had, primarily focused upon pedagogical use of the devices as well as why, we as a college had decided to move towards BYOD. We also spoke at length about what was needed to ensure technology integration in a college or school setting was successful and discussed that both technical support, leadership backing, and, of course $$$!! I certainly hope that both Toni and Kim got something out of their visit. It was pleasure to have them out and we look forward to setting up some kind of collaborative project in the near future!


2012 Prep iPad App Listing


As has been mentioned in our previous posts, we will be as a college trialling a 1:1 iPad program with our prep cohort of students. Recently, our prep team leader for 2012, Sam (@sirwin2pt0), finalised an application list which he felt would benefit our prep students in relation to utilising mobile technology in class. The applications that have been chosen are to reflect the work that we do at the college with the iPad devices. This being focusing on creation rather than consumption and working collaboratively.

I have attached the App List Booklet for your good selves to look through and please, if you have any comments, feel free to leave a comment. This will be a working document as great app’s for teaching come out all of the time and we as a college want to ensure we are up to speed with what great apps are out there to use. The App Booklet will also shortly be converted to an eBook to be downloaded. We’d also love any suggestions from others who may know of some excellent applications that could be used with prep children to assist them with their learning.

Thanks, and happy viewing.

1-1 iPad App List Prep 2012

Visit X 2

Screen Shot 2011-12-09 at 7.45.53 AM Screen Shot 2011-12-09 at 7.49.03 AM

This week we had the pleasure of hosting two great schools, both from quite different backgrounds, yet both sharing a common teaching understanding. That being using the power of mobile technology to empower student learning.

Woolsthorpe Primary School and Ballarat Secondary College are both going through the process of  integrating, and already have to an extent, Mobile Technology as a tool to assist student learning. The power that mobile technology brings to the hands of students is extremely rich and relevant in todays world of students who are rely very heavily on technology use.

From what we ourselves have witnessed from being involved in the DEECD iPads for Learning Trial, it was great to share our story and journey with two schools, which as i have said, are very different yet also share that love of technology integration.

When we host visiting schools one thing that is always discussed are the issues that arise from moving away from either traditional technology and towards devices that foster a more personal approach. Issues such as;

– Poor wireless set ups and infrastructure that cannot handle a large amount of wireless devices.

– Either a lack of technical support or not enough.

– iPads being used as a shared device rather than a personal one, hence multiple user issues.

– iPads being seen as a consumption device only and not a powerful creative tool, as they are!

– Hesitation form staff in schools to utilse and learn new technology and embrace what it can do.

– And… as always… costs associated with embedding new the technology.

I am sure that many other schools have similar if not completely different issues that have arisen from implementing iPads in to their settings. Another issue that springs to mind is no volume licensing for applications in Australia, meaning that paid app’s for the ipad need to be purchased once per every device being used. And, if a lot of schools are, looking at managing the devices themselves, then this can be a real, and costly, issue. Another argument as to why i, and my college, support a BYOD model, but that’s a whole another story! 😉

From the many mini discussions had from this weeks visits it was pleasing to hear that both Woolsthorpe, a school of 90 odd (not ‘odd’ as in… different… 😉 kids to Ballarat SC with a little more over 1000, if my dodgy memory serves me correctly, that both were well on the way, with very supportive staff, to implementing iPads as a teaching and learning tool.

Whilst typing this post out the front of the Victorian Arts Centre, wondering where i have to go to attend the iPads for Learning Evaluation day hosted by DEECD, i am greatly looking forward to seeing and hearing the stories from those other schools involved in the trial. Also, to hear the what the independent evaluators have to say about the trial and what they found!

Anyway. I will be sure to keep all posted about the findings of todays meeting/professional learning session. And… I am also very keen to see the continuation of mobile technology integration at Woolsthorpe PS and Ballarat SC and to hear how their journey pans out.


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