Tagged with "#edtech Archives - Page 3 of 5 - Mark Anderson's Blog"
You won’t have failed to notice the big launch by Apple a few months ago with various links to education. They released 3 big education related items that have (if they hadn’t already) made educational establishments really sit up and notice the iPad as a serious learning tool.
iTunesU app was released which gives amazing access to hordes of online courses from universities from all over the globe. For free. This I will blog about later.
iBooks2 which included developments in interactivity within the books you can read within the app.
Finally and I think perhaps more importantly, they introduced the new iBooks Author app. An app which gives educators the power to create their own interactive learning experience for their students, the like of which we have haven’t really been able to put together before.
The following hits are reasons why iBooks Author tied with iBooks2 is a complete win for schools, particularly in 1:1 type scenarios.
- Teachers can easily (yes, easily!) create their own interactive books
- The books bring learning to life, right in front of the students eyes
- Students can interact with 3D images to enhance the learning experience
- Interactive images can bring learning to life
- Study cards based on notes or glossary items (which are created automatically!!) can reinforce learning
- Students can email notes to other applications for further write up, reflection and study
- Books come alive
- Presentations can be embedded within the books to give extra weight to the learning experience
- Students can review their learning with reflective learning multiple choice quizzes
- Drag and drop activities further reinforce the learning that can take place within the book
- Image galleries can make good use of space within the book and engage students further with the tactile interface
The possibilities for fantastic books to be created for all subject areas is immense. For MFL you could embed vocab on to the glossary for learning. You could embed audio to help with students practicing the pronunciation. You could have drag and drop activities to assist with sentence structure. You could include images of the native country where the language is spoken and have a drag and drop activity to drag the correct words to describe the scene on display. You could embed using HTML code a translation tool. You could…… The list goes on. And that’s just for MFL…
I could go on with some of the ‘win’ features that iBook Author can bring to the fore in the creation of books but suffice to say, it is superb. The interface in iBooks author is completely intuitive too. It took me as a non Mac native with my assets ready, under an hour to produce a book containing two weeks’ worth of learning content. If you are a Mac native, it is simply a cross between Pages & Keynote – you’ll take to it like a duck to water. Publishing your book is a breeze too. Simply save it as an iBook file and you can share it with your students. They simply need to just download it to their device and away they go.
As someone who has traditionally been a purely MS based user, I really can’t see any reason why I either shouldn’t be using both OS and devices now, or even, actually, just move completely over to Mac. To quote another big corporation – I’m lovin’ it!
Vote for me
So it would appear that it really is the season to be jolly – I was overwhelmed (and a little late it would seem) to find out yesterday that my blog has been nominated for the Best EdTech blog in the 2011 Edublog awards.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank, @ICTMagic (Martin Burnett), @Learningspy (David Didau), @SheliBB (Sheli Blackburn) and @MattFothergill (you can guess his name) for nominating me in the first place. Thank you!The only time I’ve ever won an award for things that I have done was back in yesteryear when I was a DJ and I won a DJ competition – that was great fun but this is a completely different proposition. I first started this blog as just a way of sharing all of the cool stuff I had found that I thought others might like to use in their classrooms too. It’s expanded from that place now, but essentially, my blog does that really. I certainly wasn’t looking for any recognition of any kind, just to pass on the things that I find inspire and engage young people in assisting with their learning journey.
When I look through the other people who have been shortlisted too, I’m just completely blown away by the class and quality of the other educators who are listed there. It’s a little bit daunting!
That said… here goes – if you think my blog is worthy, or if you’ve found something here which has helped you? I’d really appreciate it if you’d vote for me.
You can vote for me in the EdTech category here:
Popplet is a great tool which you can use for free online for a number of different reasons:
- A revision tool
- A presentation tool
- A mindmapping tool
- An idea collation tool
- A collaborative tool (you can connect with other Popplet users to collate ideas / work collaboratively)
There are lots of different reasons why you might want to use Popplet in your classroom. If you’ve got some great ideas, please drop me a comment below.
You can get to an iPad app version too. There’s a free ‘lite’ version and the full version (which is £2.99)
The short screencast below shows you how to set up a Popplet, arrange your Popples, link them up, turn it in to a presentation, view them offline and more.
Twitter for developing a PLN
What is a PLN? Many people describe it as their Personal or Professional Learning Network – certainly for me, joining Twitter has been the single best thing I have ever done in terms of developing myself professionally. My colleagues often comment about how they can’t believe how I know all these amazing Web 2.0 sites that students can use, or how I know so much about what is going on in education today, not just locally, but nationally and internationally too. This is all down to Twitter and my amazing PLN. Without it, I believe I wouldn’t have gained the personal and professional developments and contacts I now have – and I love it.
As someone who is clearly an advocate of Twitter and its use for educators, I recently ran a training session at the school I work in, the amazing Clevedon School.
Below is the resource I used as the framework for that session. Feel free to read it, re-use it, so long as you re-credit it back to me.
Spread the word – Twitter’s a bird and bird is the word!
Google Forms as a tool has probably been one of the single most important web based developments to support how I work in the classroom over the last few years. Whilst pretty simple to use, the power of the Google Form is in its flexibility in the many different ways it can be used.
I was recently asked how I go about making my Google Forms and to that end, I’ve made the screencast below to support anyone wanting to learn how to make a Google Form.
Now that you’ve seen how you can make a Google Form, why not try it yourself!
Don’t forget if you’re surveying people / students – check out the ‘Summary of responses‘ option on the Forms menu!
If you’d like to see how you can create a Google Form as a multiple choice quiz and then have it assess itself for you automatically, then watch another of my screencasts here:
I’ve seen Google Forms used in practice in many different ways:
- Student surveys
- Feedback on class work
- Peer assessment
- School council voting
- Learning Outcomes
- Project logs / diaries
- Student tests
For more inspiration, can I urge you to check @TomBarett ‘s collaborative Interesting Ways presentation on the topic, “71 Interesting Ways to use Google Forms”
In keeping with the ideas of Google Forms too, I’d love it if you could fill in this short survey below!
I’ve been asked to make a case for the use of iPads in English by a member of my PLN, @learningspy (David Didau) or more specifically, how they could be used.
This could turn in to a very lengthy post if I was to write my entire case for the iPad, but I’ll break it down by making this statement: All choices to do with technology in the classroom should be directly linked to the benefits that it will bring to the students and how it will improve learning.
In the following seven examples of how iPads can be used in the classroom, I hope to make a case for how using these devices, learning can be made interesting, fun, relevant and powerful for the students in the classroom.
I cannot take credit for all of the ideas that I’m giving here either – and where due, credit will be given.
iPads in the English classroom
1. Kindle app
Ok, so you could go out and buy yourself a Kindle device – they’re great things, but with an iPad and the Kindle app, not only do you have your books that you can read anywhere and take anywhere but the built in dictionary feature is fantastic. Imagine being able to automatically look up a word that you don’t know the meaning of. Rather than the student having to (perhaps) embarrass themselves asking the meaning for the word, they can simply press on the word they want to learn about and a definition automatically appears at the bottom of the page. Also, words and passages can be highlighted. Specific segments of books can also be shared via Twitter and Facebook. Not to mention the plethora of free classic novels that an English department would normally have to pay for copies of. No longer will students have to have the battered hand-me-down copies of Pride & Prejudice, but they can get their own electronic copies, for free, on their device. A saving that over time will reap benefits in itself too. (Formulated from ideas by @MrsThorne)
2. Puppet Pals
This app can be used in many different ways. The premise behind it is that you can control characters on your iPad whilst providing voiceovers over the top of the action, with different backgrounds etc that can be added easily. This app has proven to be of great use in different examples:
a) In plenaries – students recount their learning from the lesson or in a project using the characters
b) Students re-enact scenes from plays / novels / poems, that further enhance their knowledge of the text
c) Students creatively create their own scenes which can then be turned in to pieces of creative writing
d) Students can use the app to act as a minimal storyboard of a plan for a script or a movie they might create as an English/Media piece of work
3. Garageband & iPad
This post leans heavily to the example given by @JamesMichie on his blog here: http://jamesmichie.com/blog/2011/07/ipad-garageband-ftw/
In his example, James uses the iPad with Garageband to help improve the quality of writing of students in his Year 8 classes. I quote him verbatim below:
“I’ve been using iPads with my Year 8 class to record narrative writing that they have created. I had the students draft a piece of writing based on Down the Rabbit Hole by Lewis Caroll, which they recorded using the iPads. I wanted the students to see how punctuation effected the way they read because after reading the first drafts, I was none too pleased with the standard of their writing.
I uploaded the recordings to the VLE and asked the class to peer assess each other’s work. Using those comments and some live assessment in Google Docs” (which can also be accessed on the iPad) “from me, they created improved narratives with more accurate punctuation and improved vocabulary.
They then recorded their final drafts which we burned to discs. While the drafting/redrafting process is not unusual in the English classroom, recording and evaluating their written work in this way added a new dimension to the learning process. It ensured that every single student’s work was shared without the embarrassment that some students feel standing in front of the class. By putting the audio on the VLE, every student received feedback, which due to time constraints would not happen in a traditional classroom setting. What’s more, I could further differentiate my support by listening and focussing feedback where it was most needed.
To complete the unit I wanted them to present their work effectively. They created a CD cover using drawn or found images, with their narrative writing printed up on the reverse. Giving them a physical artefact to take away that represented their effort and progress was highly motivational and also contributed to the quality of the finished work.
It was a great project to end the year with and the use of the iPads and GarageBand made a huge difference to the quality of the students’ work.”
To hear examples of some student’s podcasts, visit the link above.
4. Comic Life
An app with a comic book feel to it, this app has oodles of inspirational appeal when asking students to create comic strips and look at the genre of the comic. Using Comic Life, students can easily and creatively, create their own comics that not only look amazing, but will inspire them to create the best that they possibly can. Comic Life comes with lots of templates too so students don’t spend their time ‘playing’ with the look of the comic, but can concentrate their time on the writing, which of course is the main purpose behind the activity.
iBooks is Apple’s very similar version of the e-reader, Kindle. Offering similar features, it will too of course really enhance the English classroom. Again too, lots of classic texts can be gained for free – hundreds of free titles, which are often on the English syllabus, can be added to the iBook catalogue for free, e.g. Wuthering Heights. An added bonus of iBooks is that it has a built in PDF reader – therefore, any notes, handouts, worksheets etc that students might previously have been given on paper, can be added to iBooks for reading at any time. Many resources online are in PDF format too, by downloading them using the iPad – these are then easily viewable.
This part isn’t really about a particular app, but about how the iPad can revolutionise and inspire learners to read more and more from different types of audiences. Here are just a few of the many apps that can promote reading: BBC News, Zite, Flipboard, Feedly, Taptu, Mashable, Sky News, SpringPad, Guardian, Times, Telegraph, Economist, Engadget, eduTecher, British Library, IMDB.
With so many free ways to read what you want, when you want – the iPad is a brilliant way of getting students to read and engage more with the world around them through words.
If you’re really looking to get students to communicate then creating a blog using an iPad (although there are other ways of doing this to be fair) is a fantastic way to engage students. What makes blogging with the iPad so powerful however, particularly for students, is that with the built in features of the iPad – the two way camera, photos, clipping of online resources, etc. Blogging can be done quickly and powerfully. The power of having students writing something which can be commented upon, not just by the other members of the class, but by anyone else in the world, is a true motivator of students, to ensure that their best work gets put in to the public forum. Initiatives such as those set up by @DeputyMitchell with his Quad Blogging where teams of schools comment on each other’s blogs, provides a real audience that will definitely communicate and comment, with these comments guaranteed to come from peers. Apps for the iPad such as Posterous and WordPress, enable students to quickly set up their own blogs and then get cracking at putting their creative and reflective works online.
I would love to hear your thoughts on all of this – please do so!
Via: Online Colleges Guide
How easy is it to create music on the iPad using GarageBand? Pretty darn easy I reckon!
This took me 30 mins. Ok, it’s not the finished article, but certainly, there’s enough there to pad out to form a complete song. I’m impressed!!
Short screencast made using a screenshot from GarageBand, a ScreenChomp screencast a song I made in GarageBand and iMovie.
Here’s the original version of the screencast sans music before I put it through the rinse to add the music in iMovie for quality comparison.