Its been a crazy year, but I recently got some great news. I have been invited to attend the Discovery Education Summer Institute in Burlington, Vermont this July. Its going to be a great week of professional development in a state I haven’t been to before. It will also give me an opportunity to visit Cooperstown and some other scenic locations along the way. This is looking to be a fantastic summer. Is anyone else going?
Foldify by Pixie Foldify App is a great tool for creation on the iPad. A student can use the app to create and decorate a 3 dimensional papercraft. When they are done they can then print it out, cut it out, fold and assemble.
The interface is a split screen. On the left is a rotatable image of the final product. It is updated as the user makes changes. The right side of the screen is the flattened template of the papercraft. There the user can paint and draw with unlimited colors. In addition there are a wide variety of stickers to use to decorate their design.
I have been using my iPad a little differently lately in my classroom. I have a document camera in my classroom but due to its location, it’s not the easiest to use. It’s also very difficult to allow the students to use. Instead of using my document camera for activities such as Daily Oral Language or Math Word Problem of the Day, I have been using my iPad.
To do this you need an iPad 2 or later, an art app that allows the use of layers, some way of mirroring your iPad display to your computer or projector (I use Reflection) and a stylus.
It works like this…Take a picture of the document you wish to use with the class using the camera on the iPad. Import it into your favorite art app that allows layers. Create a new layer on top. This will be the layer you use to make your notes. Set up mirroring on your computer and iPad. Use your stylus to make your notes or better yet hand the iPad to students and allow them to make the notes.
Curiosity has just checked in on Mars and is soon to be the Mayor of Mars. Although I am sure Marvin would like to say something about that. “That makes me very, very angry, puny earthling…” Check out the article here: http://thenextweb.com/shareables/2012/10/03/mars-curiosity-on-foursquare/
This made me think what would other historical check ins look like….
Seal Team Six checked in at Osama Bin Laden’s Hideout and ousted Osama as the Mayor.
Mr. and Mrs. Lincoln checked in at Ford’s Theater
Neal Armstrong checked in at The Sea of Tranquility on the Moon
This idea might make for an interesting history activity for students familiar with FourSquare. It could also be used by students studying a novel. Students could write FourSquare check ins for historical events or characters actions within a novel.
Silent Film Director, one of my favorite video creator apps, is free until tomorrow August 19. Check out this easy to use movie creating tool for the iPhone and iPad here.
These are some additional notes from Screencast Camp that I attended in August of 2012.
The Quest for the iPad screencasting app…
By Anton Bollen
Currently there is not a real good solution for using screencasting to capture how to use an iPad or it’s application. This presentation will explore some possibilities…
To Visualize Gestures
Gestures are important as they show how to use an app, much like a mouse on a traditional keyboard
Create graphics to show touch and animate within Camtasia, such as a circle animated in different ways.
Use a green screen to record various actions using your hand, then use the resulting video in Camtasia to layer over captured screen cast.
GestureWorks software with fonts showing icons for gestures
Screencasting looks like it can be a good tool for providing simple to complex tech support for teachers. Students can also use it to create mini videos commenting on a picture in a foreign language or explaining a concept in a subject. Here are my notes from this morning’s session at Screencast Camp 2012 at TechSmith in Okemos
By Anton Bollen
Teams- feedback, sharing across time zones and places
Who is the audience? What is the expected quality level expectations for the product? As quality increases- time required increases..
Two types of Screencasts
Basic- audio and video is recorded at same time, no post production, less professional looking, less flexibility for output formatting.Quick easy way to show a skill, providing tech support
Prof- video and audio recorded separately, editing necessary, scripted, huge time commitment, can add annotations/drawings
Tools for Screencasts
SnagIt, Jing (free download) use Jing to record foreign language report using a picture
Screencast.com (can create a table of contents)
Remove icons from desktop prior to recording screencasting, right click…
Short lengths work best 2-3 times,
Break them up into short sections, to make it easy for user to find what they need.
Two column chart for organization… One column indicates on screen action, paired with script
Prep ahead of time
Use a plain background, grey will make the application stand out
Bigger cursor makes it easier to follow
Possible create a screencasting account on your computer
Pay attention to size of viewers video, optimize what you need to show, advanced programs will allow you to zoom in.
Recommended dimensions 1280 x 720 (16×9 ratio) in SnagIt it will show the size. Good for YouTube videos.
Sizer …PC only
Audio matters, use a good quality microphone. Snowball microphone is pretty good quality around 100$
Watch your surroundings, background noises should be limited, for separate audio use Audacity
Applications and ideas for schools
Install Jing as part of image for teacher and student computers.
Use screencast for directions and tech support.
Need to create dummy classes to use for tech support
I am starting a series of posts about using the iPhone and taking good photos. I have an iPhone 4 and seem to get pretty good results. This first post will be just a simple list of the apps that I use most often for creating good photos. Later in the series I will explore each of them in more detail.
Tile Shift Gen
Just for Fun Photography
How about you? What apps do you use with your iPhone for photography?
I got this idea from Ewan Mcintosh (@mcintosh, http://edu.blogs.com/edublogs/2012/06/five-things-ive-learned.html?%2BEducation%29) who was one of the first educators to contribute to the site Five Things I’ve Learned sponsored by the Pearson Initiative.
Here are my five things…
1. My students are not digital natives.
Just because some students have been around computers since they were born doesn’t magically make them better. If this was the case then I should have been an automotive native, since I’ve been around cars all my life. In fact I would argue that those of us my age and a little bit older (I’m 43) would be the true natives as we’ve seen much of the development of personal computers within our lifetimes. This assumes that we’ve used computers all of our lives and many of my peers thought computers were geeky when they were first available to us.
2. Classroom management systems don’t work for me and my students.
The key words being “for me and my students”. They may work for some students and teachers but I find that they are to restrictive. What works for me is my expectations and the understanding that I will treat each individual with respect and care.
3. It’s not acceptable to be non- proficient with technology as a teacher.
I’m still surprised by teachers who aren’t proficient with basic tools of technology. Worse yet some don’t seem to think that their students need to be proficient. Technology is not going away, parents (often) aren’t teaching the skills, so it’s up to teachers to make it happen. Can you imagine a teacher saying they don’t know how to read or write?
4. Teachers need to make connections beyond their classroom and school walls.
Professional development at the school and district level is not enough to keep one up to date with new ideas in education. Today it is too easy to make connections around the world. These connections can bring new ideas, insight and perspective.
5. I think the key for improving education is individualization.
All students are different. Why do we insist on grading and evaluating them by their date of birth? This doesn’t happen anywhere else in their lives. I haven’t got my grade 38 report card yet, have you gotten yours? I’m not sure how to make the change to more individualization of school, but the current drive towards standardization of all students is just going to turn off more students to learning.
So there’s my five. What are yours?
I think this is going to make it easier for me to be more consistent with my writing here. Although to be fair, I think this has been my most productive year ever on this site. What is it that will make this possible? The new EduBlogs App for the iPad. I use my iPad far more than I use my laptop now, so this will be an easier way to write on my blog. The set up was quite easy, just log in with your user name and password, then select your blogs to be added. That’s it! Creating and editing a new post was also super easy.