Top 10 Video Apps for your iPhone or other mobile device

I had a life changing experience this past January. No, not one that will live in infamy. And no, not one that is really a big deal anymore for many people. But for me, it’s been a game changer. I bought my first iPhone. Now while I love all the ways I can use it to call, text, email, tweet, research, play “Words with Friends”, etc. some of the most fun I’ve had with it is as a video creation tool. Taking video, snapping pictures, and finding fun video making apps to use has been not only personally fun, but educational too. The power of video is immense!

I often speak about ways to incorporate video into the classroom. And with my iPhone 4S, it’s never been easier. My thoughts and experiences here are far from unique, but I decided to list my top 10 video creation apps that I have been personally using or teaching to our staff, and I would highly recommend them all.

As an educator, there are thousands of ways to incorporate these apps into your lessons and curriculum. I challenge you to do so.

10. Splice- App costs $3.99. Use video, music, photos, text, visual effects, and much more to create and share your videos.

9. ReelDirector – App costs $1.99, but works great on all iOS devices. Offers more in-depth functionality.

8. Silent Film Director – App costs $1.99. Take a trip back in time with this app.

7. Super 8TM – App costs $0.99. Filters and effects on this video app add the “cool factor” to any video.

6. Viddy – App is free. Give your videos a terrific cinematic look.

5. Animoto – App is free. Take still images, add some animation and music, and voila! Video magic.

4. Magisto – App is free. Students and teachers find this app perfect to use for lessons or fun field trips.

3. iMovie – Although this app costs $4.99, it is super easy to create videos that look good. Upload time to YouTube is also very fast and convenient. Plus, if your students have already been using a version of iMovie in class or on a desktop computer, the transfer of knowledge is simple. This app allows you to use longer clips to make slightly longer videos.

2.  Vidify- A simple three-step process, much like our #1 app. But what I love about this app is that is mixes and edits your video clips for you! It doesn’t just string all of your video clips together in their raw form.

1. Videolicious- This app is free, and has been by far the easiest and most useful in the classroom for my students and me. We have documented field trips, class productions, recorded behind the scenes of lesson plans, and used it to introduce new units. In three simple steps, I am easily producing a video; even with some broadcast production principles built in, such as length of shots, or, script writing and more.

The great advantage to making videos on a mobile device is that more and more of our students, and frankly teachers, have them. Students LOVE making videos! Trust me. I see this firsthand everyday. And these apps are simple to learn, fun to use and then easy to share and publish online. I showed you some of my personal examples, but there are thousands more on YouTube and Vimeo…..check them out.

What other video apps am I missing? Please share in the comments. I would love to learn what you are working with, and how you are incorporating video in your class.

Apple On the Horizon

mountain lionIn the Apple world there have been and will be some fairly major announcements. Some like Mountain Lion were announced last week. Others like the iPad 3, will be forthcoming in the next few weeks or months. Some I am hoping for may not be coming at all. The next few months will tell.

So, what do we know? Last week Apple announced the next iteration of OS X which will be called Mountain Lion. The most common question I have answered about this in the last week is what other cat names are left. I am having a hard time coming up with anything besides Calico or Tabby. Anyway, back to Mountain Lion. For me the most notable change in this new OS is the dropping of Mac from the title of the OS. This can mean a lot of things, to me, it means the merging or the movement towards one OS is that much closer. I am probably wrong , but that is what this change signals to me.

So that is the takeaway from Mountain Lion, what is added? Basically what is being added is OS X versions of iOS apps to sync better with iCloud. Those apps include, Notes, Messages, Reminders, Sharesheets, Twitter integration and the big one, AIRPLAY.

Airplay on the Mac will be huge. A huge trend in the iOS world, as you can read about here at EdReach, is the use of the Apple TV and a HDMI-VGA converter (if needed) to mirror the iPad screen through a classroom projector. We have many instances of this running in our district right now. With Airplay on the Mac the same will be possible from a MacBook or iMac. The thing is, you won’t have to have a VGA cable and the appropriate dongle to display the contents of your computer. You will be able to mirror your content through the Apple TV to your projector. This could save the cost of running a VGA cable from the projector to a port on the wall. Of course this is somewhat network dependent, the better your wireless infrastructure, the better it will work.

The other apps are great too, don’t get me wrong. They will sync via iCloud with the same apps on your iOS devices. I look forward to these changes as well, but AIRPLAY is the selling point for me. Mountain Lion will be available sometime this Summer, I would plan on August, but possibly sooner.

So that’s what was announced; what about upcoming announcements? Signs, and by signs I mean internet rumors, are pointing to an iPad 3 announcement coming the first week of March, possibly the 7th. I am not going to indulge in guessing what the new iPad will bring as far as improvements, but it will be better, faster, stronger. Maybe is should be the $6,000,000 iPad. Other rumors point to the fact that supplies of the current Apple TV seem to be constrained. This could mean that there is a new Apple TV (and no not the TV, TV) coming with the iPad 3 or soon after. It could also mean that schools are buying them up faster than Apple can make them right now. If there is a new Apple TV coming, I have no idea what the improvements might be. Given the size reduction between the 1st and 2nd generation it may be the size of a matchbook though.

What else will be coming? I don’t know, but would certainly expect a new phone sometime this year. I would also expect updates to current computer hardware. So there will be things going on throughout the year.

Oh yeah… one more thing. A couple of weeks ago, we talked about the demise of the white MacBook for even the education channel. We wondered what Apple would consider the replacement for this machine to be. We have the answer now and it is the MacBook Air. Great machine, not sure how great for education. Certainly lightweight, good battery life, but storage for video, photos, etc. not so much. I know Apple will say that is what iCloud is for, but that isn’t enough for schools. Here’s hoping Apple has something else up their sleeve’s for education.

There will certainly be things coming that I haven’t mentioned, and maybe some that I have will not come to fruition, but this is the beginning of the Apple announcement season and that makes it one of my favorite times of the year.

One more thing… One more really big thing!

I offered my opinions on last week’s Apple Education announcement on the MacReach Podcast. Although I felt the things announced were okay, I saw a lot of holes that needed to be filled. The big thing that I missed was something that was not explicitly stated during the announcement. It was hinted at, but not a lot of detail was given.

That thing was the change in how content can be provided to and through iTunesU. The change in this process is the earth shaking thing to me. When iTunes U was first opened up to K-12 only state agencies could sign up. If a district or school wanted to publish through iTunesU they had to go through the state as LEA (Local Education Agency). Now with only 13 or so states participating, that left a lot of educators with no chance to publish on iTunesU.

That all changed last week with the announcements and this is the filler for many of the holes I saw. Now any district can set up their own iTunesU site to publish content and courses. It can serve as a learning management system (LMS) for districts.

I am very excited about this as we have been struggling to get content onto iTunesU for 3 years. This will make it much simpler to do, and give us more opportunities for serving content to and from our schools, making it available to a worldwide audience through iTunesU.

Here are links to the pertinent information. Get your district and school going on iTunesU.

The All New iTunesU

http://www.apple.com/education/itunes-u/

iTunesU Support

http://www.apple.com/support/itunes-u/

We’re All Products of Our Own Personal Learning Experience

We are products of our own personal learning experience. We are products of our environment. What happened to us in our past, what we were exposed to, how we felt about school growing up, all play an important role to how our current beliefs of education are perceived. I do believe perception is reality. Whether as a parent, pundit, educator, or by-standing observer, we all seem to have a strong opinion about how schools today in America should operate. Our own educational and personal experiences guide our outspoken thoughts about schools, teaching and learning.
Last week, Apple announced a revolutionary idea with the launch of iBook Author, iBook 2, and the iTunes U app. While I won’t rehash what each tool does, I do feel compelled to share some thoughts about what this announcement may mean on a broader scale.
A colleague of mine recently shared an article with me by Matt Burns, “iPads And Digital Textbooks Do Not Belong In Classrooms Yet.” Mr. Burns expresses some rather unfortunate points of view to me as an educator. Ideas such as “Make my kids do math drills on paper with a dull pencil. Digitalized learning scares me. I simply do not see the value in it.” These concepts are fraught with misguided information, personal bias, and a true lack of what needs to be happening in our classrooms.

 

While I also don’t need to remind anyone that our public schools are constantly dissected and branded in the national media as underachieving, and that pundits and observers alike, believe teachers in America are not doing a good job, I keep coming back to the thought that many of these individuals criticizing schools are NOT in our classrooms. These people don’t see the daily successes, the daily struggle to overcome failure, the daily effort to achieve, and the overall incredible passion of students and teachers in school districts across the country.

As an educator, I am appalled at anyone, pundit or not, who believes that attempts to improve the educational process, either through technology or otherwise, should not be researched or implemented, and that the status quo is acceptable. Do they not see the situation our country is in? Do they not realize many other countries have globally surpassed us when it comes to preparing our children for their future? If you are not in the classroom, or in an educational building, how can you be so certain what the best approach is?  If you are not in the classroom, or in an educational building, how do you know?

My answer is, you can’t be certain. And rather than dismiss innovative, creative and forward-thinking ideas, maybe take a step back and evaluate what it is you do know. And then maybe ask yourself, what should I know. And then, hold your breath for a moment; ask yourself, what should I learn.

I am a teacher in the classroom. I am also a video producer for my district, so I take advantage of all opportunities to visit the schools in our district on a regular basis. I travel the country speaking and meeting educators doing amazing things in their classrooms. I see what is happening firsthand, everyday.

But what you may not know is that I personally hated high school. That’s right. Despised it. High school was one of the worst experiences of my life. Some of my dislike towards high school came from my fractured home life. Some of my disapproval came from the school and the type of kids that attended my high school. I most definitely hated doing math with a dull pencil on a piece of paper. That was MY learning experience.

And yet here I am, a college graduate, who took part in two different business career paths following college, in my tenth year in education, advocating and screaming for educational change, innovation, and support for our current students in school. Much like the individual who is born with a health problem, who is inspired to become a doctor, I am a teacher, who has been inspired to advocate for support and positive change in our schools through technology and innovative teaching methods.

These are my opinions and only my opinions. I am filled with success upon success story, of how students excelled and facilitated their own learning through the use of technology. I believe the tools that Apple supports education with, and many other forms of technology, can create a stronger learner. And I’d be happy to bore you with these stories anytime (and sometimes I do.)

It is also my opinion and hope, that anyone who reads or believes in the words of Mr. Burns, takes a quiet step back, evaluates the world around them, and then properly forms an opinion to decide; should we support educational innovation or should we support “the way it’s always been done.”

I am not an expert on all of this new technology. I don’t have all the answers. And I am an advocate for free speech, so by all means say what you will about teachers, schools and education.

Ultimately what I know is this; it will be the passionate teachers, not the tools or technology, who will continue to help students prepare for their world. Yet, if there is available technology to leverage which would enhance the learning process and engage our kids, we would be absolutely careless to dismiss this innovation due to fear, ignorance, or old-fashioned beliefs. And while it is most important to challenge and question process, decisions, and new techniques, it is also paramount to offer constructive support to impact positive change in our public schools.

What will you do? What will you decide? What will you choose?

Postulating on Apple’s Education Announcement

Most of the education world understands the impact Apple’s hardware and software has had on learning. If speculation is correct, tomorrow’s Apple Education Announcement could redefine the future of student learning in a similar  fashion to Josiah Bumstead’s 1841 observation regarding the blackboard:

The inventor or introducer of the blackboard deserves to be ranked among the best contributors to learning and science, if not among the greatest benefactors of mankind.(1)

Speculation surrounding this event (as with any of Apple’s announcements) runs the gambit of purely logical – something to do with textbooks and publishing – to the simply outrageous – Apple giving textbooks away on free iPads to all students(2)… Like everything else, the truth will be somewhere in-between and in Apple fashion, very few will truly know until the words leave Tim Cook’s mouth on stage in the Guggenheim. In trying to find some balance in the hundreds of stories I have read about this event, here are the most common themes and my hopes and fears:

Digital Textbooks at the K-12 Level: While I strongly believe that this is very needed and that it will be one of the main tenets for Apple’s announcement, I am uncertain of how far the publishers will be willing to go to “mainstream” textbooks. Walter Issacson’s biography of Steve Jobs details that it was Steve’s intent to “disrupt” the textbook industry “to save the spines of spavined students”(2) and to correct what he saw as a corrupt textbook certification process by the states. But, benevolent donations of resources, time, and materials by the publishing industry just because they can be placed on the iPad seems to fall into the outrageous category. That is unless the publishers are going to be getting a cut of the iPad hardware margins in return. Additionally, some publishers like Pearson are already in the process of developing their own digital versions and distribution avenues and others are partnering with App-based companies like Kno and Inkling to bring digital interactive text to the university level. So, where does that set the potential or desires for K-12 digital textbooks?

Hopes: I believe that there will be a K-12 announcement that could include publishers like Pearson, McGraw-Hill and possibly others patterning with Apple to re-develop their material into fully interactive digital textbooks for students. I can even envision a “newsstand” like app to hold student textbooks allowing for digital app linkages, interactivity, notes, and lookup capabilities and more. However, to be successful for school districts, publishers will need to move to a “software-like” app subscription model where a district (or students) can pay a low time-based use subscription fee that would guarantee updates to content for free and on a regular basis. i.e. Districts can pay by quarter / semester / yearly models and publishers guarantee continuous updates where discoveries like arsenic-based life forms and the demotion of Pluto to a planetoid do not render the textbook out of date.  Additionally, it would be nice to see a reduced subscription fee based on school calendar where a District who had a student transfer in 3 months into the year would only incur 75% of the subscription fee that the necessary textbooks for the remainder of the year.

Fears: Textbook publishers move to embracing a digital interactive text format, but maintain the current pricing structure and model (minus Apple’s 30% cut) or worse look to move the cost of textbooks directly to the students. Even at a very low cost structure this could be detrimental to low-income families. The good part about these fears is that if they had any foundation, Apple would not be having this announcement at all.

But is a digital textbook disruptive to the industry?

ePub Publishing Tool: This is another very strong possibility to be announced tomorrow. The iPad, Kindle, Nook, and other tablets and eReaders all do one thing very well. They present information in an interactive, readable, and portable format that extends the usefulness of the text itself. Additionally, most if not all, can leverage the ePub format. While all of these things are extremely valuable to learning, the actual creation of ePub formatted books or documents is a challenge at best.  Through Pages Apple began to simplify this process by providing a template that allows for the easy creation of a ePub formatted ebook. Additionally, Pages can natively save any document in the ePub format. Like digital textbook apps, a number of 3rd party app developers have recently released apps for eBook creation like Book Creator for iPad, or iBookcreatoricon.

Hopes: Apple’s deep history of desktop publishing, leveraging their experience with iBooks, and NewsStand, positions Apple well for creating a truly disrupting textbook environment. An environment where districts, teachers, parents, students, and knowledge experts can create, build, and publish their own textbooks… There are already teachers and districts beginning (or are well underway) on this process using text files or PDF as a distribution avenue. Putting a powerful yet simple to use tool to aid in creating an INTERACTIVE, content / standards-based textbook in teachers and students hands effectively breaks the textbook publishers hold on school districts. At that point, viable school-created books become viable. Textbook publishers will need to change their business model to accommodate districts who could walk away from traditional textbooks because they potentially could have the option of simply creating their own textbooks. There is not a better source of learning materials and content experts than a group of teachers.

This would be disruptive to the textbook industry.

One thing is for sure Apple’s vision for the iPad is just starting to hit its stride. With approximately 32 million iPads sold throughout 2011(3), and projections anticipating close to 50 million being sold in 2012, Apple clearly has the potential to disrupt numerous industries and bend them to the greater good of education and learning.

Will Apple’s contributions to education be viewed in a similar fashion to the blackboard in 171 years?

Notes:
(1) excerpt from The Internet and Higher Education: Preparing for Change – May 2009
(2) Quote from Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson – Isaacson’s biography of Steve Jobs has provided the basis for much of the speculation regarding this education announcement – pages 1422/23, 1516, and 1544 specifically
(3) approximation based on Apple’s quarterly financial releases (Q4 upcoming Jan 24, 2012)

Image Credit: Apple – adapted by EdReach

 

 

iAm Video Project

Who are you? What do you care about? Who do you care about? What/who do love/like? What do you aspire to be? What does your digital footprint look like?

Each semester I ask my broadcast technology students to create a final video project that is unlike anything they have produced so far. Yet, I ask them to implement all the skills, techniques and processes that they have already learned to successfully complete the assignment.

I always wait to tell the students what their final project will be. The anticipation is fun (for me) to see them sweat a little bit, waiting to get their final assignment. Let’s face it, at professional television stations the reporters are assigned to complete a story in the same day. So I like to believe I am giving them a taste of the “real-world.”

For this project, I had the luxury of allowing students to complete these videos over four class periods. Yet they are always free to work in the lab after school or on their home computers if they have the necessary software and equipment. Bottom line, they have plenty of time to be successful.

We are a Final Cut Pro school, still using version 6. And while learning Final Cut Pro X, I had an idea. I kept hearing that FCP X was very similar to iMovie. I would concur, from the look and feel. And although the power in the two software designs is vastly different, an excellent educator, and very good friend of mine (@tjredbird on Twitter) said, “If you know iMovie, you can pick up Final Cut Pro X rather easily.”  I put him to the test and he spent almost two hours showing me the way through FCP X.  Sounded good. Looked like iMove ’11. “Ok,” I said, “we don’t have FCP X on the computers, but we do have iMovie ’11. Let’s give it a shot.”

Now, while I don’t believe we are going to do a full switch to FCP X anytime soon, and we won’t become an iMovie class, I am always trying to expose my students to new experiences in the broadcasting world. And, although I have not been a big fan of iMovie in the past, I do find the iMovie ‘11 film trailer templates to be quite fun and creative. So maybe there was a way I could accomplish my goal of familiarizing my students with something new and applicable.

So here it goes. I proudly share with you the final project I assigned my broadcast technology students this fall. Feel free to use this in your classes, or modify for your needs. Maybe even try to create a project yourself!

Lesson

In this final video project, you will tell the world, “iAm…”

Instructions

  • Using iMovie ’11, select a film trailer theme to illustrate who you are for this iAm project. You may use video clips from any project you have ever created, or you can shoot new footage.
  • iMovie ’11 film trailer templates do not allow you to import photos. However, you can change the preference. This PREFERENCE change will also allow you change the font for your text.  Watch this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4pwQw0TZD-Y

Directions

  1. Read & Watch the iMovie ‘11 tutorial videos and websites.
    1. http://www.apple.com/ilife/imovie/#movie-trailers-section
    2. http://www.apple.com/support/imovie/
    3. http://support.apple.com/kb/PH2228
    4. http://www.macprovideo.com/hub/imovie/using-animatics-to-create-a-storyboard-in-imovie
    5. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2gkxlgalgDY
  2. Select the film trailer theme in iMovie ‘11.
  3. Change each text area to create words or statements describing “iAm….”
  4. Use video clips that build or show the audience visual images of who you are, what you care about, what you aspire to be. Ultimately saying, “iAm.”

Once your video is complete, EXPORT your video:

  • Create a folder (your last name & FINAL) on your desktop to save your videos into the folder
  • Click Share
  • Export Movie
  • (Select 2 sizes to export) – Mobile, Medium, Large or HD

(I want you to identify & recognize the various sizes for the different types of devices.)

  • Click and drag the folder to our dedicated server space, clearly marked in GREEN for backup.

You have 4 class periods to successfully complete this assignment. Have fun!

____________________________________________________________________

Sample Videos to watch:

Broadcast Technology

Media Literacy: A 21st Century Skill

Scoring guide

Section 1: Does the video illustrate personal features of the student?

  1. Unique info  = 10 pts
  2. Interesting = 10 pts
  3. Creative = 10 pts
  4. Powerful = 10 pts
  5. Written Quality= 10 pts

Total = 50 points

________________________________________________________________

Section 2: Production Value

  1. Color = 10 pts
  2. Lighting = 10 pts
  3. CAM angles= 10 pts
  4. Steady shots = 10 pts
  5. Action = 10 pts

Total = 50 points

________________________________________________________________

Section 3: Does the student follow directions according to the film trailer template, and Mr. Goble’s instructions?

  1. Outline = 10 pts
  2. Storyboard = 10pts
  3. Shot List = 10 pts
  4. Export correctly = 10 pts
  5. Submitted to server space correctly = 10 pts

Total = 50 points

________________________________________________________________

Section 4: Post-production

  1. Upload to SchoolTube = 10 pts
  2. Embed video in your Weebly blog = 10 pts
  3. Post a blog about final video = 10 pts

Total = 30 points

________________________________________________________________

Section 5: Deadline

  1. Met the deadline = 20 pts
  2. Missed the deadline = 0 pts

Final Project = 200 points

Care to see some of the projects my students created? Click any of these links to watch. I’m quite proud of their efforts, and the students told me it was a fun project to do.

Good luck!


iAm Don Goble. iAm a Broadcast Technology & Film Instructor at Ladue Horton Watkins High School. iAM also an advocate for technology and digital media in the classroom. 

Image Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/90373251@N00/12638218

Top Apps for Professional Development

Apps for Professional DevelopmentI was recently asked to lead a professional development session for a school that is starting to roll out iOS devices for teachers and students. Over the course of the year, staff at this school will be receiving a significant amount of professional development to help them better utilize the technology that is available to them. The focus of my session was iOS Apps for professional development. I scrolled through my iPad and made a list of the Apps that I use on a regular basis to help me learn and develop as an educator. Here’s what I came up with:
*Note: if you would like a printable copy of this list, click here
Communication Apps

Twitter App (free)

Twitter is one of the most active and beneficial social networks on the web. All educators would be wise to join the conversation. If you haven’t used Twitter yet, I would recommend that you read these excellent blog posts: http://primarytech.global2.vic.edu.au/2011/04/04/top-10-twitter-tips/

Google Voice (free)

Text and call for free! Also allows you to read transcribed voicemail messages or listen to them.

Skype (free)

A beautiful app that allows you to make and receive VOIP calls on your iOS device.

HeyTell (free)

A fun “walkie-talkie” app for quick voice communication. Works over WiFi. Our IT team uses it to communicate with each other because they are always holed up in some random IT closet throughout the building.

Consumption Apps

FlipBoard (free)

A beautiful app that turns your RSS reader (such as Google Reader) into a magazine. Quickly and simply browse through blog posts and news articles as if you were flipping the pages of a magazine.

Zite (free)

Similar to FlipBoard, however instead of just providing a beautiful interface to view content you select, Zite tries to introduce you to new content sources based off of sources you currently read.

QR Code Readers

Quick-Response codes are the strange black and white boxes that have begun appearing everywhere. This little box is a coded website URL. Scanning the code with a QR code reader will take you to the associated web page. QR codes are a great way to quickly lead people to a specific website without having to type in the URL.

  • RedLaser: free native iPhone app, simple and lightweight
  • Qrafter: free, the most robust of all of the QR scanners. Saves scans and includes sharing options
  • Scan: free, simplest to use. Scans automatically load in integrated web-browser

Diigo (free)

Diigo is a social bookmarking tool that allows you to save, categorize, and share your favorite websites. Use Diigo to bookmark a site you found using your computer so that you can pull it up later on your iPad.

Research Apps:

Google Search App (free)

Provides access to Google search (text, voice, and image), Calendar, Docs, Google+ and much more. A must have.

WolframAlpha ($2.99)

WolframAlpha is an amazing “computational knowledge engine” that provides answers to mathematical questions. This is a great tool for mining data or running large-scale comparisons or calculations.

Document and File Management Apps:

QuickOffice HD ($14.99)

Document management and editing app that integrates with Google Docs, Dropbox, Evernote, MobileMe and several other services. Enables you to quickly and easily move documents between services or save them locally to edit when you don’t have a web connection. One of the few apps that supports the creation and editing of PowerPoint presentations.

Genius Scan (free)

Take a photo of your receipts and easily organize and email via PDF. This is a great app for anyone who travels or submits a lot of expenses for reimbursement.

DropBox (free)

Cloud-based storage that you can access from most web-enabled devices. Dropbox is the go-to solution to move files onto and off of iOS devices.

Utility Apps

iTalk (free)

Simple and basic voice recorder. Records interviews or voice memos simply and effectively.

App Discovery: Discovr Apps (free) | AppMiner (free)

Sometimes finding the right app for a specific need can be challenging. These two apps attempt to help by suggesting relevent apps based on those you currently have or on suggestions that you submit.

Dragon Dictation (free)

This is a very useful speech-text app. I know individuals who use it to write email messages instead of typing them on their iPad.

GoTasks (Free)

Simple, no-frills to-do-list that integrates well with Gmail Tasks feature.

Education Apps

Attendance ($4.99)

A highly rated gradebook app for iPod/iPad. Integrates with Dropbox. Allows users to take pictures of students to help with attendance taking. Can integrate with popular LMS such as BlackBoard.

Socrative (Free) Teacher App | Student App

A new, and very popular tool that allows teachers to create dynamic assessments. Students use the Student App to turn their iOS device into a “clicker” device. Socrative is a web-based service that works on virtually any device with an Internet connection.

CommonCore (Free)

This well designed app makes browsing common core standards simple and intuitive. Look for significant updates as the standards for additional disciplines are released.

Discovery Streaming (“Web App”, requires subscription)

Browse through the Discovery Ed video library on your iPad. Videos can be streamed directly from the device. App does not install through the App Store. Click here to visit the mobile optimized DE site.

Screen Sharing Apps

Remote Desktop Solutions

Splashtop Remote Desktop ($2.99) | Doceri Remote (free)

Allows you to control and view your desktop on your iOS device. Great for teachers who like to roam around the room while they teach.

ScreenChomp (free)

Simple whiteboard app that allows the quick authoring of white-board videos. Records audio as well as the screen. Utilities include multiple pen colors and clip art. Easily upload videos to Facebook or Screenchomp.com.

iBrainstorm (Free)

Drawing tool (does not record video or audio). Supports live screen sharing so that someone multiple people can view the same screen. Finished drawings can be sent via email or exported to the camera roll.

iPad EdResources

As 2011 winds down, I have spent a good deal of time thinking about all of the online resources and tools that have helped make this past year a successful ‘Year of the iPad’ in my school district. And with an upcoming winter vacation ahead for many educators next week, I thought it might be nice to share out some of my favorite resources for using iPads, iPods, and iPhones in the classroom. Although there are many, many fantastic resources available online, the list below are the ones I have come to rely on… I hope you find them as useful as I have!

  1. IEAR: The IEAR community is a solid resource for locating and discovering appropriate educational apps for the classroom. I really appreciate that the IEAR community is made up of educators who are using these apps in the classroom already, and are sharing reviews and information about specific apps. There is a wealth of information available on the website, and many more resources are shared daily on Twitter using the #IEAR hash tag.
  2. Appitic: Appitic is a newer resource that has become a great go-to website for educators looking to use iOS devices in the classroom. I like that the website is hosted by a wealth of Apple Distinguished Educators from around the world who make a point to include information about multiple intelligences, Bloom’s taxonomy, special education, and other iOS tools available.
  3. iPad Academy: The iPad Academy is an awesome website to discover all kinds of training, tips, and tutorials from an expert: the Portable Professor, Dr. Brovey. From iPad and app tutorials to accessories and resources, this website has something for any educator looking to learn about using iOS devices in the classroom.
  4. iPad in Education: If you are just starting a 1:1 iPad program, the iPad in Education wiki from the School District of Palm Beach County is sharing some excellent information. The wiki includes lesson plans, recommended apps, tutorials, and technical resources. It is a great starting place for educators new to iPads!
  5. Learning in Hand: For years, I have relied on Tony Vincent‘s website Learning in Hand to stay up to date on all things related to mobile learning. It is a great resource for schools looking to use iPods and iPads. You can watch video podcasts, get information on using iPads for project based learning, and even helpful hints about classroom dos and don’ts.
  6. iTunesU: This free resource, hosted by Apple, is often overlooked. Available through iTunes on either your computer or iOS device, educators and students can find a wealth of resources to support learning. There are podcasts, videos, PDFs, and ePubs on a variety of topics are available for K-12, colleges, and professional development. Some content is teacher created, some is student created, and some is even published by big name organizations and foundations like PBS and the Library of Congress. If you are looking to learn more about using iPads in the educational setting, a fantastic component of iTunesU is theApple Distinguished Educators section. iTunesU allows users to learn just about anything from just about anywhere! And did I mention that it is all free?
  7. Mobile Learning for Special Needs: The Mobile Learning for Special Needs wiki is constantly being updated by Luis Perez, a leader in teaching educators about using iOS devices as assistive technology. His video tutorials on iPad accessibility features are a must see if you work with students who have disabilities. He also provides a wealth of resources and information that is applicable for students of ALL abilities.
  8. Canby School District: The Canby School District continues to lead the way with providing down to earth advice and resources being used by a district who has been working with iPod touches since they were first released. Both their wiki and blog are focused on supporting iPods and iPads in education. They publish excellent articles  deployment and management, as well as action research projects and classroom activities.
  9. Appcessories: The Appcessory website from Jonathan Nalder is another new addition to my collection of fabulous resources because it looks at all the accessories for iPads and iPods, and it does it through the lens of education. This is a great website for educators who want to look at how the growing list of iOS accessories can be used for learning.
  10. App Advice: Whether you are using their mobile app or website, this is an awesome place to get app advice! I really like that they are continuously compiling lists of apps, which makes it super easy if you are looking for a variety of apps that focus on the same topic (i.e. “Apps for Artist” or “Apps for Poets”). From app reviews to app sales, they are always up to date on what’s going on with iOS devices!

There’s an App… and an Accessory for That!

What happens when you combine an iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch with apps and accessories? You get APPcessories!

Everyday, it seems like more and more companies are coming up with innovative accessories to make iOS devices more fun and educational at the same time. With so many available, it is difficult to know what is good or not so good. Luckily, Jonathan Nalder has started to review some of these iOS apps and accessories from an educator’s standpoint. His website APPcessories.info is a fantastic resource for educators interested in learning more about APPcessories.

As a special educator, I am a big believer that play is a crucial part of the learning process, regardless of age or ability. And since I personally love to use iOS devices both inside and outside of my classroom walls (they are mobile learning devices after all!), I thought it would be fun to highlight some of the more interesting and innovative APPcessories I have discovered on the market. Here are a few of my favorites:

1. Cars 2 AppMATes!

Website for more info

Companion App in App Store

 

2. BoardGameChanger

Website for more info

Companion App in App Store

 

3. Crayola ColorStudio HD + iMarker

Website for more info

Companion App in App Store

 

4. ION Piano Apprentice

Website for more info

Companion App in App Store

 

5. Duo Plink and Duo Pop

Website for more info

Companion Apps in App Store

 

6. Disney Spotlight Digital Wireless Mic + Karaoke

Website for more info

Companion App in App Store

 

7. Discovery Bay Atari Arcade

Website for more info

Companion App in App Store

 

8. AR.Drone

Website for more info

Companion Apps in App Store

 

9. UP by Jawbone

Website for more info

Companion App in App Store

 

10. Beary Happi: Lovable Friend

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=wH5glEPUXW4

Website for more info

Companion App in App Store

 

 

 

 

 

 

Top 10 Educational Videos of 2011

Another year is coming to a close. And with the New Year approaching, it’s a great time to reflect on topics and issues that impacted our learning in 2011.

I traveled all over the country again in 2011 speaking to K-12 educators on the power that video can have on student learning. I have personally witnessed the amazing influence video has had on my own students’ learning during my past nine years in education. 2011 was no exception in the diverse and powerful videos that some of our world leaders, or future world leaders, created. Therefore, I have decided to list the top 10 educational videos I watched this past year.

Now, I will concede that there may be better videos in our global stratosphere. But, I have to admit I was blown away in one way or another by the following list. Most of these videos came through my Professional Learning Network via Twitter, or through my own personal research. So here it goes.

10. To make a video, age simply doesn’t matter. 1st and 2nd grade students from Ancaster Meadow School, created fun and educational field trip videos using iPod Touch devices and flip cams.  (Bonus 10 videos in this selection. Couldn’t help it!)

Grades 1 And 2 At Ancaster Meadow School

9. My list wouldn’t be complete if I didn’t offer at least one video created by my own students. Just this past November, my class was “hired” by the Association for Career & Technical Education (ACTE), to be the onsite media journalists for their national convention. The opening keynote speaker? Sir Ken Robinson….and a few of my students produced this piece.

Sir Ken Robinson on SchoolTube

8. Media literacy is a repertoire of competences that enable people to analyze, evaluate, and create messages in a wide variety of media modes, genres, and forms.  (From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia) It is a topic that is very important to me and I believe, is a skill that is necessary for all 21st century learners. Cultural Anthropologist Mimi Ito, discusses Connected Learning, Children, and Digital Media.

Cultural Anthropologist Mimi Ito on Connected Learning, Children, and Digital Media

7. iPads in the classroom are becoming increasingly more popular. This video from iTunes U illustrates just how students are using iPads to facilitate their own learning, and benefiting from its power. The following collection is filled with great videos. I personally was struck by #3 on the list.

iPad in High School English

6. Remember I mentioned ease and accessibility when it comes now to video production? How about a free App?!

Meet Videolicious

5. The “Flipped Classroom” model has been discussed quite a bit in 2011. And much of the discussion began with Salman Khan on Ted Talks in March.

Salman Khan: Let’s use video to reinvent education

4. This AT&T documentary is beyond powerful. Our school screened this film to the entire student body, and it was the talk of the halls for weeks.

AT&T Don’t Text While Driving Documentary

3. Thomas Suarez is a 6th grade student at a middle school in the South Bay of Los Angeles. Oh, and he may be the next Steve Jobs. Really?! 6th grade?!!! Kids are amazing.

TEDxManhattanBeach – Thomas Suarez – iPhone Application Developer… and 6th Grader

2. Filmed at the Stanford University graduation ceremony in 2005, this video went viral once again after the death of Apple’s Steve Jobs on October 5, 2011.

Steve Jobs: How to live before you die

1. What does challenged based learning look like? Just watch this video, and read the accompanying website, to learn how a group of Australian students accomplished amazing tasks to help others around the world.

What Does Challenged Based Learning Look Like

applesforkids.org

There ya have it. My top 10 educational videos of the year.  If there is a video on your list that wasn’t on mine, please share! I would love to watch what you are watching. Thanks for reading……Happy Holidays!

Don Goble is a Broadcast Technology & Film Instructor at Ladue Horton Watkins High School. Don is also an advocate for technology and digital media in the classroom. To contact Don, email: dgoble@ladueschools.net,  follow on Twitter at dgoble2001, or visit http://about.me/dongoble.

 

 

 

Giving Thanks for Apps that Assist

A colleague of mine recently asked me to share my top ten favorite apps for “Special Education in the Inclusive Classroom”, which is actually something that I am asked to do quite often. Unfortunately, that list does not exist. In the realm of using technology as assistive technology for individuals with special needs, it is extremely important that it be about the individual. What are the student’s strengths, weaknesses, and specific needs? What environment is he/she working in? What task does he/she need to accomplish? And then finally, is there an appropriate technology tool/app to meet these needs?

Over the last few years of working with iPods touches, iPhones and iPads, I have found an extraordinary amount of apps in the App Store that are excellent assistive technology apps for a variety of students with disabilities. But I have also discovered that many of those apps are wonderful for students without disabilities as well. While I certainly can not offer a list of my top ten “favorite” Special Education apps, I can definitely share a few apps that I have found tremendously useful for a variety of students. These are ten apps that I am truly thankful to have available for ALL of my students!

  1. Dragon Dictation: This app is a voice-to-text application that allows students to easily speak and almost instantly see the text. Dragon Dictation allows you to dictate text that can be sent as an email, SMS message, or pasted into any other application on the device. You can even use it to update your Twitter and Facebook accounts!
  2. AudioNote: This note taking app lets students record notes (handwritten or typed) that syncs with audio. Each note corresponds directly to what was being said at the time the note was taken. When students play back the audio, text and drawings are highlighted to help them remember the context in which they were taken. Students can also choose to just record while they are listening, and then go back and take notes later.
  3. Read2Go: This reading app allows students to browse, search, download, and read books from Bookshare.org and DAISY books from other sources. Read2Go has synchronized word-by-word highlighting and text-to-speech, which allows students to see and hear text at the same time. While this app is best used with individuals who have a Bookshare.org account, anyone can download books in the open domain.
  4. Typ-O HD: Typ-O is a typing app with a word prediction engine and an advanced spelling error model that makes use of text-to-speech. Not only does the app predict words, students can listen to the word before it is selected. Students can also have words and sentences read back to them before emailing or SMS messaging them. Typ-O also suggests words for the most common spelling mistakes using flexible spelling.
  5. PhatPad:  This note taking app allows students to write, type, and draw all kinds of notes and ideas before sharing them via email, WiFi sync, Dropbox, or presentation mode. PhatPad uses handwriting recognition engine to convert handwritten notes to text, and scribble objects into nicely formed shapes. It is a great app for note taking and brainstorming!
  6. iBooks: Apple’s free e-reader is a great tool for teaching and learning. Students can download books, search text, highlight in multiple colors, takes notes, and discover more about what they are reading through Google or Wikipedia. iBooks will also help them organize PDFs by collections.
  7. MathBoard: Students can use this app to improve math fluency and practice problems about addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, squares, cubes, and square roots. Quizzes are generated randomly, and teachers can control the number range, the problem set-up, answering options, select multiple types of operations, and whether the student is timed or not. It records data and can even generate a quiz from just the wrong answers.
  8. iMindMap HD: This mind map app gives students the opportunity to visually spread out and organize their thoughts using color coded options. The Speed Mind Map option allows them to quickly capture their thoughts and ideas. Students can use this app to take notes, brainstorm writing, plan and  organize ideas, and even present with this tool.
  9. Dictionary.com: An easy to use app that allows to students to look up definitions on the go. Students can also use the built-in thesaurus from Thesuarus.com. The app includes phonetic and audio pronunciation, example sentences, and has a voice-to-text search. Students can even learn new words by shaking their device to get a randomly selected word!
  10. Side by Side: This Internet browser app lets students view multiple windows at the same time, and includes offline reading and note taking options. Students can browse webpages, take screenshots, add bookmarks, extract pictures, download files, and record notes. They can even share and sync files through Dropbox, email, and other selected apps.

5 Opportunities to Get iPods & iPads Into Your Classroom

Educators often question how they can acquire iPods and iPads to use in their own classrooms, especially when so many districts are experiencing serious budget crunches. Many feel that that it just isn’t possible because their districts don’t have the money or don’t believe mobile technology is worth investing in. I know how you feel; I have been there. And here’s my advice: stop waiting for the district, and start taking your own steps to make the change in your classroom on your own.

When I first began using iPods and iPads in the classroom, it was long before the touch-screen era. I started with a second generation click-wheel iPod with a gray screen and rather limited functions (audio, contacts, and calendars). My initial reason for using the iPod was because I needed  a portable audio player. It just so happened that the best solution was the iPod I was carrying around in my pocket. Unfortunately at the time, iPods were banned in my school district. So how did I go from using a single iPod in a district that didn’t allow the device to designing a 1:1 iPad district initiative? I’m a believer that if opportunity doesn’t knock, you should just start opening doors.

Here are five opportunities I took advantage of in order to start opening the doors to mobile learning in my classroom, and eventually in my district:

1. Use Your Own Device and Let Students Bring Their Own!  The first iPod in my classroom was my personal iPod (that I bought off eBay). The second iPod in my classroom was a student’s personal iPod. By using my personal device, and allowing students’ to use theirs, I was able to gather enough data to demonstrate to my district that we needed to re-evaluate the ban on mobile devices and begin to look at these as learning tools. Today, the BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) model is becoming more and more popular with districts because it allows for student individualization and can alleviate some of districts’ financial obligations for having to purchase large quantities of mobile devices. While I understand that many districts still ban student-owned technology, it is a topic that educators need to start thinking about, as discussed in this EdReach article.

2. The DonorsChoose.org Website!  DonorsChoose’s slogan is “Teachers ask. You choose. Students learn.” It is as simple as that. DonorsChoose.org is a non-profit organization that connects public school teachers with people who want to support learning in the classroom. Teachers request materials for their students. Donors choose to help fund a project. Once a teacher’s project is funded and purchased, students and the teacher send thank you notes to the donors. This was the first way that I was able to acquire iPods specifically for classroom use. You can view my first proposal on DonorsChoose to get an idea of the process. A good tip is to advertise your proposal so more people know about it!

3. Ask for Donations!   Let’s face it, iPods and iPads have become incredibly popular consumer devices over the last few years. And with each new release of an iPod or iPad, thousands of individuals are upgrading. I know because I happen to be one of them. Each time I upgrade, I add my older device to my classroom collection. This led me to start asking for donations. Every year, at our first faculty meeting I ask my fellow educators and administrators to consider donating their old devices if they upgrade, and to help spread the word to anyone they know. I send out letters and emails to parents in the district, and also to my own family and friends. I put postings in the local libraries on the community bulletin boards. I ask for the district to include the request every now and then in the district’s weekly list serve. Even I’m surprised by the amount of devices that have been donated over the years. People have been more than happy to donate older devices when they know that they are learning tools for the classroom. Also, it can be a nice tax write off. Sometimes people give me their older broken iPods or iPhones. That’s fine with me because I just hand them off to a few tech-savvy students with access to YouTube and often they are able to fix them. And if the device can’t be easily fixed (or affordably fixed), you can give the device back to Apple and take advantage of their recycling program, which gives you a 10% discount on a new device… or possibly an Apple gift card if the device still has monetary value!

4. Write a Grant!  While it may not be your first choice due to the time and effort involved, grants are a fabulous way to get funding for technology in your classroom. There are numerous grants available for educators, but they can often be hard to find. Each school year, Tech & Learning attempts to make the process easier for educators by providing a calendar of grant opportunities for technology. They even include links to the grants, due dates for the grants, and great grant writing tips! You can download it in calendar form on their website.

5. Budget for Devices!  Plan ahead and start looking at working with your district to budget for devices in your classroom. Are there materials and equipment you can stop purchasing so that there is more money available for mobile devices? For example, since there are free apps available for calculators, notebooks, maps, and music/video players… can you stop purchasing these items? Often districts have money to spend, but they choose to spend it on items they have been purchasing for years. When educators start looking at these items as tools and not materials, they may realize that mobile devices offer many of the same tools with no additional cost to the device. You can read about how Wilmette School District 39 was able to purchase iPads by analyzing their budget and choosing to spend less on certain items.

 

While I know that not every opportunity listed above may be right for you and your classroom, I do think that it is important to know that there are indeed options out there to start the process. And while many of these options may take extra time and effort on your part, the pay off for your students can be quite significant. I am reminded of a commercial from the people at Becel, where a few individuals get ‘stuck’ on a broken escalator. Instead of choosing to walk up the escalator, they hang out and wait for someone to come and fix the escalator for them. While it is a humorous commercial, it is also a reminder to me that sometimes you don’t have to sit around waiting… you can just get up and do it yourself.

Why Social Media Is Not Embraced

I recently read a blog entry on the frustration that more teachers don’t use social media in their classrooms. The writer, a recent college graduate, wondered why? Why is this technology not embraced? It is after all our students’ language. Why do so many schools say “power down” or “lids down?” Or some will say, “using social media has no place in schools. That’s playtime.”
I believe educating our educators is the only way to change the culture of teaching. Many educators fear the unknown or fear they need to be experts before they can implement something new. Or maybe they just feel that traditional methods are still the best solutions to learning. I know many feel so overwhelmed already with their work load, there just simply isn’t any time to implement new techniques. These are all very real and valid concerns.
However, the reality is that the impacts of technology and social media will only continue to develop and grow, and it behooves us as educators to find the time, or encourage administrators to help teachers create some time, to become more knowledgeable about the benefits in using this technology for learning.One interesting rebuttal I heard from a teacher who has “tried” to use social media, said they read a student’s blog, and the blog referenced some YouTube links. “That’s a problem you see,” this teacher mentioned. “YouTube is blocked in schools,” Therefore, they’re “not trying THAT again. What a waste of time. I don’t want to have to constantly work around the schools firewall!” How sad. Giving up after only one try. Imagine if we accepted that from our students.
My social media solution for using videos in the classroom? Use SchoolTube.com, which is not blocked. All content published to SchoolTube must be approved by an educator, who is known as the moderator. SchoolTube is endorsed by every national school administrator organization out there; NASSP, NAESP, and so on. SchoolTube revolutionized the way I implement curriculum to publish student work. It has also influenced certain ways in which our district communicates with the world. And the best yet? Using SchoolTube has transformed some of my students collegeand career paths.

My solution for using other social media tools in the classroom? We use Facebook, Twitter and student blogs in my classroom, all with the tremendous support of our school administrators and parents. The #1 reason? Trust. They trust that my students and I are making the right choices. But trust is a tough trait to come by in public education these days. Tune into MSNBC.com’s Education Nation for those thrilling reports (he says with sarcasm.)

There is another fabulous resource which supports technology in the classroom as well. In fact, its been around for awhile, yet it is receiving a face-lift. iTunes U.  A slew of new resources for K-12 learning will include; Designing and Creating Digital Content, Using Technology and Devices in the Classroom, Applying Digital Content in Disciplines, Administration and Leadership, Assessment and Evaluation and much more. Visit the iTunes U site now for incredible resources.

Still need real, tangible, authentic ways to use social media? Okay, here’s 100 inspiring ways to use social media in the classroom.
The push to have educators use social media is on, and I am happy to help any teacher who would like to join in. Although I don’t consider myself a traditional teacher, I still do believe in one popular traditional saying, which is very relevant today. The train is leaving the station. Either hop aboard, or be left behind.
Do you allow students to create videos in your class? If not, why not? Do you need support to incorporate video in the classroom? I can help with that. Follow me on Twitter @dgoble2001http://about.me/dongoble or email me at dgoble2001@yahoo.com.

The iPad 2 and Apple TV … Ed Tech Industry Killer?

What would you rather get for your classroom, an iPad 2 and Apple TV or an Interactive Whiteboard? Are your teachers asking for Interactive Whiteboards? Hold on to that discussion and don’t answer until you know all of the possibilities!

I think we now have the ability to put together a very highly effective digital classroom with the combination of iPad 2’s, a digital projector, and an Apple TV. All of this can be done at a fraction of the cost of most 21st century classrooms that have combined the use of Interactive Whiteboards. I just don’t know why you would ever want to purchase them anymore.

Maybe we can get rid of the need for document cameras, scanners, clicker hubs, and still or digital video cameras as well?

Perhaps you don’t know about the new possibilities of this fantastic little black box called Apple TV. Check out this post on IEAR.org that explains how you can setup an Apple TV to allow your iPad 2 to become truly wireless.

Now, if you are looking for the rationale on why you might want to go with this new setup, here is mine!

1. You are not locked into a finite space for interactivity with a “computer” and the ability to share with a large audience. One-way to look at it in my opinion is that you are providing your students with a portable Interactive Whiteboard anywhere you want them to interact with the device.

2. As we all know, there are many apps that provide a robust learning experience that are completely interactive and much better than teacher created Notebook files. We just need everyone to understand and learn the benefits of the workflow provided w/ an iPad. For example: Lets give you an example with “Cells”. Students start with iCell App, take a screenshot, mark it up with Doodle Buddy, go back to the iCell App, take a screenshot, mark it up with Doodle Buddy, etc. Perhaps you are using the iPad camera to add images or videos from materials in your classroom as well. Once you have a collection of marked up screenshots, add Replay Note to the mix and you have fantastic possibilities. This is just an example on the fly! This can all be displayed now in real time, at intermittent times of the project, or at the final display of the project.

3. The iPad w/ Apple TV allows your iPad to function as a document camera, still camera, video camera, scanner, e-clicker hub, and Interactive Whiteboard. I argue that you can replace all of that equipment now! How much money is that in savings, $1400 at least? We can add several more of the other devices to that total as well; I haven’t worn a watch in years!

4. The iPad continues to be functional for classroom experiences when you turn off the projector. I have yet to figure out how to do that with a Interactive Whiteboard effectively. I am seeing very little impact from the Interactive Whiteboard software beyond classroom use other than screencasting. The ability to screencast and or record as a document camera through the iPad is so much easier with an easier workflow anyway.

5. The quality of the Interactive Whiteboard software and the lessons provided are over rated. However, with the use of Splashtop on the iPad, you are can still effectively function with the Interactive Whiteboard software.

6. The vast amount of other uses an iPad provides including an e-reader, executive functioning with email, calendar, tasks, reminders, etc.

7. The iPad / Apple TV set up is completely portable. I have yet to see a Interactive Whiteboard get carried under someone’s arm comfortably.

8. Apple TV allows you to use a computer as a media server. When you combine Apple TV’s, you can now pull content from one shared space effectively without a complicated setup for teachers to navigate. Teachers can navigate the Apple TV menu with little to no training. Loading content into photos, video and music is ridiculously easy compared to most media server setups. Additionally, this still allows that computer to be used. For example, we have set our Library Checkout Computer as the Shared Media Resource. You just keep iTunes open and I can pull content to multiple destinations via Apple TV. Previously, our schools had a laptop dedicated to a front “TV” to show slideshows. There is a savings of $900 for my district!

9. Professional Development on an iPad / Apple TV set up in comparison to an Interactive Whiteboard is drastically different. I would love to debate this one with anyone at any time. I have so many examples of very elderly to my 2 1/2 year old who are effectively learning with an iPad. It is painstaking to watch teachers sometimes as they struggle with learning how to use Smart Notebook. You have to remember, teachers are not taking home their IWB and in general, the majority of them do not practice using the software without it attached to the board. However, provide them with an iPad that can mirror and they are using it all the time for the myriad other uses it provides! They are providing their own professional development with the device as a result.

10. We want to see students at the center of the learning. IWB’s continue to be teacher-dominated devices. Teachers appear to be much more comfortable handing over an iPad than they seem to be with bringing the kids. You have to remember, their classmates cannot see what is happening because the students are in the way, etc. Two fantastic colleagues from Illinois, David Sladkey and Scott Miller are two of the best IWB professional development people I know. One of their main lessons is to help teachers to come up with a schema for bringing students to the board. It doesn’t appear to be difficult for teachers to do that with handing over the device to the students.

11. I simply laugh at the savings that you can get from simply using an iPad 2 as a video conferencing tool in comparison to the unbelievable amount of money that has been spent on this technology in other forms. Simply turn on Skype on the iPad 2 and away you go …

There are so many other facets and reasons that I have missed … Can you add to this list? I think you can … I just can’t see the benefits of any other setup for a classroom that even compare at this point! For me, this is all a no-brainer.

EdReach Show #36: Education Gets Siri-ous


This week on EdReach: We begin to uncover the true educational potential with Siri in IOS5, as well as reflect on Steve Jobs death, now that we are much more removed from the date of his passing. Also, we debate how he will and should be remembered. Finally, Vlingo, Splashtop.com/whiteboard, and some fantastic picture book apps as well in our One Thing to Share this Week.


Show Host: Daniel Rezac

Show contributors: James O’Hagan, Scott Weidig, and Greg Garner

The complete show notes are now on the EdReach Wiki.


 


Call us on our comment line!

If you’d like to leave some feedback you can call us on our very own EdReach Comment line: That’s: (443) 93REACH.

MacReach Show #25: Thank You Steve for Thinking Different

Thank you Steve for Thinking Different.

Tonight’s show was focused on remembering a true visionary: Steve Jobs. This special edition of the MacReach Show looks to honor a creative genius who changed the world as we know it. A very special thanks to Kelly Dumont,  Scott Meech, Kim Zimmer, Dan Rezac, Andy Losik, Mark Hammons, Greg Garner, and Scott Weidig for joining in to share how Steve impacted their lives.

“Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The trouble-makers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status-quo. You can quote them. Disagree with them. Glorify, or vilify them. But the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.” – Apple Ad Campaign

Show Host: Meg Wilson (@iPodsibiities)

Co-Hosts: Kelly Dumont (@KDumont), Scott Meech (@SMeech), Dan Rezac (@DRezac), Kim Zimmer (@MacTeacher), Mark Hammons (@MHammons), Greg Garner (@classroom_tech), Andy Losik (@MrLosik), and Scott Weidig (@VanishingPoint)

Subscribe to the MacReach Podcast on iTunes

Subscribe to the EdReach Podcast Feed

View the complete show notes here on the EdReach MacReach Wiki to see all the links discussed in the show.

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary. Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.” – Steve Jobs

You will not be forgotten Steve Jobs. With a heavy heart, I say goodbye to the best friend I never met.

 

MacReach Show #24: Don’t Forget About the Mac App Store!

Don’t Forget About the Mac App Store!

In this episode, we discuss this Tuesday’s big Apple Event, the Mac App Store, and how you can use the App of the Week, Creative Book Builder, on your iPad to make your own iBooks!

Show Host: Meg Wilson (@iPodsibiities)

Co-Hosts: Kelly Dumont (@KDumont) and Mark Hammons (@MHammons)

Subscribe to the MacReach Podcast on iTunes

Subscribe to the EdReach Podcast Feed

View the complete show notes here on the EdReach MacReach Wiki

MacReach Show #23: Back with the Mac!

Back with the Mac!

Finally back in action with the start of a new school year, we take some time to talk about some of the top news, commentary, apps, gadgets, and integration offered for educators by the Mac platform.

Show Host: Meg Wilson (@iPodsibiities)

Co-Hosts: Kelly Dumont (@kdumont) and Scott Meech (@SMeech)

Subscribe to the MacReach Podcast on iTunes

Subscribe to the EdReach Podcast Feed

Complete show notes are on the EdReach Wiki