iPads 4 Learning @ MLP12C

Encouraging Learning Through Mobile Technology Use

Tag: app’s (page 3 of 5)

Visit X 2

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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.

Thanks.

2012 iPad Purchasing Update

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Hi all,

The online purchasing portal for Manor Lakes College families is up and running and it’s been great to see that there have already been a number of orders placed so far. The link for current portal is HERE.

I do need to stress however that this portal is only open until the Wednesday 30th November, for those wanting their device BEFORE CHRISTMAS.

All other orders will be places this side of Christmas for delivery in January before the start of the school year.

In other matters, the current 2012 Application list for next years students has had some slight modifications in regards to pricing. Luminance, one of the great image editing app’s is now FREE! One that you might want to download asap. Also, Toontastic, an excellent animation application, is also free. This application usually costs a few dollars so be quick and grab it now!

If there are any parents/guardians that have any questions regarding the above please contact the College.

Thank You, Corrie.

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!

2012 iPads 4 Learning App List

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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!

App's App's App's…

My Page of App's...

My Page of App's...

Tomorrow i will have finalised our student Application list for 2012. This list will also be a working ‘document/list’ that we hope to add to as the year progresses, mainly with free applications to keep costs very low!

You may recall that i created a survey for our students to fill out regarding which app’s that they found best to suit and assist them with their learning. The results thus far of this list can be found in the image below. The full document is attached underneath! You can see from the survey results that there is quite a common theme among the app’s and the students have stuck to some degree to the DEECD selected app’s from the trial.

Student Recommended App's...

Student Recommended App's...

Student Recommended App’s

App's (Coming Soon) For Ed @ MLC

“Just when i though i was out… they pull me back in…” Michael Corleone – Godfather Part III

Lately i have been attempting to develop a set iPad application list for our year 6 and 7 students for 2012. Everytime i feel that the the list is nearing completion, i have a change of mind on a group of app’s and therefore change what i had listed originally. I am not overly concerned with the amount of applications at this stage, but more so the cost. I have included the ‘Big 4’ (Pages, Keynote, Garage Band and iMovie), and feel that these themselves are costly enough. Others, such as Toontastic, Halftone, MadPad HD and DoInk are also adding quite a lot of coin to the overall cost.

Recently I have asked our year 6 students to complete an iPad App survey to find out ‘from the horses mouth’, which applications they have found to be of most use. I know that applications such as Corkulous, Popplet Lite, Keynote, and Reel Director have been used extensively, however this has been due to the applications that the students have being locked down somewhat to the DEECD iPad Trial list. One app that was not on the list yet has been used to great effect, and is free, has been ‘Show Me’. An application that allows students to demonstrate their knowledge and or learning in a particular area. Two other excellent examples of this app are ‘Explain Everything’ and ‘Screen Chomp’.

As the iPad is a mobile device, i would like students to make the most of that and therefore have app’s which foster creativity and collaboration. Applications that allow students to be challenged yet also play to their strengths.  Last week i attended the second session of my Certificate of Emerging Technologies course where we investigated mobile learning and iPad applications for education. Below i have included one great video which was shared by Cecile…

So, what are the essential applications that you use with your students, or which app’s do you see students needing the most.

Lately i have been trawling through countless sites for reviews and what they are suggesting are essential. Below there is a link to a very simple Google Form (survey) which i have created for our current staff and students: App Survey

I am so very very much hoping to have this completed by tomorrow, and sent home to our ever patient parents by Friday.

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…

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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!

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!

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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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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