Monday, February 16, 2015
Wednesday, November 12, 2014
Book Creator is a powerful app to use with students. They can easily create interactive books which include images, video, text, handwriting and sound. These books can then be exported as a PDF file, ePUB (interactive book) or as a playable movie.
Book Creator can also be combined with other apps which students have access to to make their books even more powerful:
- Students can use Pic Collage to create beautiful graphics which can be saved to the camera roll and imported into Book Creator.
- They can create beautiful presentations in Keynote or Pages which include tables, charts and graphs, etc and then save the book to the camera roll to add to Book Creator.
- Students can create explainer videos using apps like Tellagami or Explain Everything and save it as a video file to the Camera Roll to add into a book in Book Creator.
- Students could create mind maps using Popplet and save this to the Camera Roll to add to Book Creator.
- Students could create polished movies in iMovie which can include images, narration, music, sound effects, different speed, etc and then share this to Book Creator.
- Use a Stop Motion app like Lego Movie Maker to create stop motion videos for your book.
Tuesday, May 6, 2014
Pedagogy plays an important role in the successful implementation of any new programme. It helps to guide teachers in effective implementation and sets the foundation of what effective implementation actually looks like in the classroom. In developing our own model for the One to World Programme in grade 4 and choosing apps for teachers and students to use, we turned to research as well as to pedagogical models for learning and technology integration.
The key models that we looked at were Bloom's Taxonomy (using Bloom's 21), the Learning Pyramid, SAMR model for technology integration and the ISTE Standards. In addition, we are guided by the school's Mission (Engage, Enlighten, Empower), the IB framework and the Visible Thinking initiative. These models, as well as other popular models, all point to the same fundamental belief that students learn best when they are engaged in meaningful learning activities where they are given the opportunity to learn from each other and share their ideas and thinking with others. Inquiry Based Learning, Project Based Learning, Constructionism, Constructivism, and so forth, all advocate for student-driven learning.
This model was created as a Keynote presentation and recorded to explain it in more detail. A link to this presentation can also be found in iCloud. I would appreciate feedback from others on this model and how it could be improved.
Thursday, September 12, 2013
For schools that use Google Apps, Google Drive can prove to be a great solution to sharing content created on the iPads and even as a possible solution for creating Digital Portfolios. Drive provides a great place for storage and sharing and the app continues to improve in its ability for students to create content and to collaborate with one another.
In addition to Drive, some schools have turned to Blogger as a way to share content from iPads for student portfolios. The app, though limited on mobile devices, enables students and teachers to upload content. It is also possible to set up blogs so that posts can be sent directly through email.
I created the interactive image below using Thinglink, to illustrate some great apps that integrate well with both Drive and Blogger. These apps promote student creativity and provide teachers with a number of useful tools to capture student learning.
Before integrating technology in the classroom, I encourage all teachers to familiarize themselves with the ISTE NETS and with frameworks of technology integration such as the SAMR model. This will help guide them in better understanding what good technology integration looks like and the 21st century learning skills which they should be focusing on. It is important that they understand that the use of technology is not about the technology itself. Rather, they should see it as a tool go assist educators with enhancing student learning. Whenever using the iPad in the classroom, do not use an app as your starting point or the goal. Think about what you want your students to learn and then use the best tool for the job.
Wednesday, August 28, 2013
Today I came across a great website (and app) called Thinglink which lets you create interactive images. We are creating resources for teachers and students and I am beginning the process of developing a K-12 Scope and Sequence document for Technology Integration. Using the NETS from ISTE and the SAMR model, we aim to develop a curriculum focused on transforming teaching and learning.
A key component to educating students to be responsible users of technology, is a focus on Digital Citizenship. We have adopted the K-12 Scope and Sequence from CommonSense Media as our guide and I have created an interactive image which highlights the key areas of focus along with resources and videos.
Here are two other great resources which I came across for Digital Citizenship which were also created using Thinglink.
Sunday, March 17, 2013
During the almost thirty minute interview with Steve Wozniak, students at the Techlife conference in Singapore were given the opportunity to ask questions to the co-founder of Apple. He explains how Steve Jobs and him started the company and where they got their inspiration for their early products. He tells them that they set out to create a social revolution in communication by making it possible for anyone to be creators. Wozniak explains what makes a good software engineer and his favourite Apple products. He predicts the important technologies of the future and where he sees Apple in this future. In closing, he gives advice to students on how they can be successful.
The Skype call with Wozniak started with a few technical glitches and Wozniak getting laughter from the eager audience by pointing out that even he sometimes has problems with technology and how computers can fail.
How Apple got started:
He went on the answer the first question on how Apple got started. Wozniak tells the audience that he had always wanted a computer and was determined to make one himself once he could afford to do so. Computers at the time were largely being made by hobbyists and really could not do anything that was practical or solve problems.
The computer that he created was different in that it was an affordable device which could actually perform functions and drew a lot of attention from local computer enthusiasts. When Steve Jobs came to visit him, he noticed this and suggested that the two of them start a company together. Wozniak was working for Hewlett Packard (HP) at the time and tried to pitch his idea to them first. After being turned down five times, he decided to give it a try without the expectation that they would actually make much money from what they were doing. They got to work on the Apple 1 in their garage, where they packed things together on a bench, tested them and then boxed them up to sell.
Wozniak points out that is was not until they started working on the Apple 2 that Apple really became a company with it being the computer that could help Apple become a big, rich successful company because there was nothing else like it. It was a full functioning computer built from the ground up. With the help of an angel investor, they were able to get the company up and running.
"You need a technology revolution to make the social revolution happen".Inspiration for the Apple 1 and Apple 2:
The second question asked how Wozniak got the inspiration for the Apple 1 and Apple 2 computers and and the thought processes he went through considering how advanced this technology was at the time.
Wozniak explains how these computers were created at a time when people could study the inside of computers and how registers (little bits of 1's and 0's) were used to make operation codes to tell the computer what to do. Out of this, he explains, came microprocessors and the ability to create programs. The real inspiration was the power of these computers to to provide a technology revolution to create a social revolution in areas such as communication, education and the workplace.
The Business Plan:
Wozniak explains that they really did not start with a great business plan. They began with the goal to create PC boards to make some money where they could build one for $20 and sell it for $40.
They got a $50,000 order without any money so they bought the parts they needed on a 30 day credit. After ten days of work, they were able to bring the computers to the store to get cash. With the Apple 2, there were able to secure an investment of a few hundred thousand dollars from an angel investor.
Social Revolution in Communication:
Wozniak went on to tell the students that Steve Jobs and him believed that computers could bring about a communication revolution by giving individuals access to the technologies only afforded to large companies in the past.
The characteristics of a good software engineer:
When asked about what makes a good software engineer, Wozniak gave a passionate answer, describing such individuals as artists who are on a personal rather than financial endeavour to put the user experience first. They simplify the code and the interface to make this happen. A good engineer, he explains, cares about the size of the program and the user always comes first.
The best Apple product
When asked what he thought the best Apple product was, Apple pointed to the iPhone 4 and the iPhone in general for its ability to put the power of a computer in a mobile device. He went on to say that his favorite device is the Macbook Pro because he likes to multitask when using a computer.
The next big technology
When asked about the next big technology to benefit people, Wozniak pointed out that often the most disruptive technologies are those we can't see coming. He suggested that big breakthroughs may come with flexible displays, wearable technologies and improvements with voice recognition technologies.
When discussing voice recognition, Wozniak hints at the superiority of Google's technology for its ability to better contextualize results through its awareness of the world around you. He believes that the true ability for voice recognition to pick up the subtleties of human speech is still far from perfect and may not be so for another forty years or so.
Will Apple still be a powerhouse in ten years?
The simple answer to this question is yes. He believes that Apple's financial reserves secures it a successful future and that the ups and downs of its stock price are not a good indicator of the company's real value.
The App Store Revolution
Wozniak believes that the great revolution that Apple has brought is the App Store. It made it possible for anyone with technical ability to start a business and be successful. It makes it possible for youth to create something for the world and points to the fact that the big tech companies (Apple, Google, Facebook) were started by young people with a passion.
Advice to students
In offering advice to students, Wozniak reminds them that every step is important to the process of becoming successful and that repetition is important for innovation. In his closing words, he tells them to not merely rely on manuals and textbooks but to "think of how it should be written, and write the book yourself from scratch".
Saturday, March 9, 2013
|Steve Wozniak Skypes in to answer |
Friday, January 25, 2013
I recently had the opportunity to join our PE team at a PD hosted by Jarrod Robinson - also known as the PE Geek - on integrating technology into PE. Jarrod introduced us to a number of great tools and resources to help PE teachers make better use of technology in their lessons. As he pointed out, professional coaches have long been using cutting edge technology to train athletes and mobile devices now make it possible for anyone to access these kinds of tools at a fraction of the cost and with much greater ease. Our PE teachers enjoyed the practical, hands-on focus of the PD and have already started implementing what they have learned into their classes.
With the rise of mobile devices and app based learning, there is now an enormous selection of affordable tools for PE teachers to choose from such as apps for video analysis, replay, tagging, communication, assessment, health tracking and so forth. The ability to have all of these tools in one device that fits in your hand has transformed the ability to use technology on the fly.
According to Jarrod, there has been a thousand fold increase between 2011-2012 on Google searches for apps related to PE. This shows that the demand for technology integration is not limited to the traditional classroom and is expanding to various other subject areas. PE teachers have often been overlooked in the push to use more technology in the classroom and it is great to see that more resources and PD opportunities are opening up to them.
Here is a list of some of the apps that teachers learned during the PD:
Coach's Eye ($4.99)
This is an essential app for any PE teacher or coach who wants to capture what students are doing and guide them to improve. The app enables you to record a video and then do a voiceover together with screen annotations. Video analyses can easily be saved and shared, making them ideal for providing students and parents with feedback on how the child can improve. This app, although designed primarily for coaching, would also prove useful in any classroom.
- Our PE team has been testing out devices over the past few months and were given an iPad, iPod Touch and iPad Mini. They determined that the iPad Mini is the best device for a PE teacher since it is large enough to do some editing and small enough to hold in one hand.
- Be sure to get a good case for any devices used in PE. We decided on the the Griffin Survivor Case which provides great shock and water protection.
- Consider wireless solutions for projecting to screens in a gym or other space. Our school is currently testing out the Apple TV as a way to wirelessly project any Apple device. This works great but can be tricky for your IT department to set up since it is designed for a home network and not an enterprise one. It requires turning on multicasting and may involve licensing fees through companies like Cisco. Other options include apps like Reflector which allow you to connect your computer to the projector and project your iPad through the computer. This works pretty much the same as the Apple TV but requires the addition of a computer.
- Consider the purchase of a pico projector, tripod or iPad stand and and a portable screen. This would make it possible for PE teachers to project anywhere, which could be very useful when playing outside or when there is a bit of time before a game to allow for some last minute coaching. In fact, we are thinking about putting together a PE teacher kit which could fit into a gym bag that PE teachers could carry with them which would include an iPad Mini, mini projector and screen, tripod and possibly a device called a Swivl.
Sunday, January 20, 2013
When students need information, it is easy to tell them to just Google it, but there is no guarantee that popular search engines are going to provide students with safe, reliable results.
Sweet Search is a search engine dedicated to education and includes sources which have been approved by educational experts. Teachers can be more confident that students will find more relevant information without stumbling on inappropriate websites.
Students and teachers can either search the website directly or embed the widget into another website such as a class blog or school website.