Tagged with "iOS Archives - Mark Anderson's Blog"
It’s not often that I write a specific post on a specific app but I am today. I’ve been using the app ‘Grafio’ for some time now. I found it because I was looking for an app that I could use to create my own infographics (a diagram that plots information in an often stylish way as a graphical object – if you’re looking for some classy examples, check the amazing site www.informationisbeautiful.net – it’s amazing!) and this was the best recommendation I received.
So why am I writing about it? What is so good about it? Well for me, the first thing really that makes it so powerful is that everything you create within it, is vector. This means that the quality of the items put on to the page are lossless. You can scale up a vector image to whatever size you want without it pixelating. This means that you can make really classy pieces of work which can be also saved in to a vector format (in this case PDF) which can then be printed A4, A3, A2 etc. In fact, the app even gives you a canvas up to A2 in size to work with. It is an exceedingly powerful tool.
So what could you use it for? Well, it allows you to:
- Draw and sketch freely
- Communicate ideas
- Make flowcharts (great for Computing & Maths & DT), graphs etc
- Great for organisation charts (Business Studies / Economics)
- Mindmaps, brainstorming ideas – learning tool
- Taking notes
- Record audio on each shape added to the graphic
- Make a presentation
- Create a design
- Play with typography
- Autoshape / smoothing from freehand shapes
- Insert images from Camera roll (bear in mind these would not be vector)
- Export as PDF, PNG or JPG or even export as a video showing the different stages of the process
- Connectivity with dropbox and box.net
Want some examples of what you can do? Here’s some I made earlier, which, while small now will if you click on them grow quite large. In the vein of sharing too, I have embedded the classroom rules poster at the end of this blog post as a PDF so you can print that A2 should you so desire.
So, you might not believe me that Grafio is any good. That’s fine, but I’d urge you to give it a go. The proper full version is normally circa £5.99 (I paid £2.99 for it one weekend when they’d reduced the price) but to have a go with it, why not just get the Grafio Lite version and have a play around. It’s free, so the only thing that’s going to take a hit is your pleasure and unleashing some of your creativity. Grab the lite version here: https://itunes.apple.com/tr/app/grafio-lite-diagrams-ideas/id393111242?mt=8
The developers have also created some video tutorials to support your use of the app here: http://bit.ly/grafiovideo
It just leaves me to say, I hope you have some cracking fun using it I’d just ask if you do like it, use it already, that you share some of your creations with me? After all, information is beautiful!
Original image at top of post taken from Deviant Art.
Here is the downloadable PDF version of the Classroom rules poster:
I haven’t blogged in a little while, but shared some apps with tweep @kevbartle (check him out and his brilliant blog) recently and thought I’d share them with you too.
There are lots of great new features in the new iOS6 which can support teaching and learning but sometimes it's the small things which are great. I love the fact that they have now included a clock. A simple resource with a stopwatch and timer that you can put on your whiteboard to use as a resource in your lessons. Time activities, have countdowns for activities, there are lots of uses you can make from this simple addition to your iPad.
Avid Studio (which cost £4.99) has been one of my secret weapon apps for some time as an alternative to the also fab iMovie.
Imagine my surprise when I saw this notification in my updates in the app store.
Avid Studio is now Pinnacle Studio and whilst essentially the same app, it is FREE for a limited period.
Grab yourself a copy while you can!
I recently blogged about the power of iBook Author and the new iBooks2, now I turn to iTunes U or the iTunes University app and how it also supports learning.
The iTunes U app gives anyone with an iPad the opportunity to follow courses from hundreds of different institutions. From big universities such as Harvard and MIT to smaller schools and state districts – Education Scotland for example have courses you can follow in Gaelic, Literacy and English even down to resources for Early Years education.
The courses you can download come with lectures, lecture notes, quizzes, tests, texts, all manner of different learning opportunities, which work in a very similar vein to the books in iBook 2 albeit they are set out a little differently.
I recently was covering the introduction of algorithms as part of the AQA AS Computing A Level course and my students’ learning was further enriched by the opportunities given by iTunes U and MIT’s course ‘Introduction to Algorithms’.
I was able to use my iPad in lessons following my delivery in the course to give students the opportunity to see and learn what further learning in this area would be like at a University level. Not only did this give the students the opportunity to see this, but it raised their aspirations considerably. They were excited by the prospects that furthering their studies in this particular area could bring. Inspired by seeing the iTunes U app, some of the students currently have their own iOS device and were able to download the iTunes U app and then download the course for themselves and since then have been working through various parts of it. Another student who was interested in learning about creating apps in iOS too, so they also downloaded a course from Stanford and they have been working through that too and have begun working on creating their own app.
I just can’t help thinking…
what if these opportunities weren’t there? What if students couldn’t access this?
The opportunities for engaging students here are brilliant and as a result I’m seeing the students now extending their learning further, far further than they would have been able to previously. I just hope that our 1:1 scheme goes ahead. The case for this is increasingly compelling and the opportunities for learning keep being extended further and further.
The future’s bright…
I’ve been searching for some time for an app which will allow me to create my own content and be able to publish it as an ePub. The benefits of being able to publish my own documents in to iBooks as resources for students that a media rich is something which I’ve wanted to be able to do. The problem I had was that whilst I’m an avid user of my iPad, I don’t own a Mac (yet) and so without access to Pages on a Mac I was unable to complete this task, until now….
The competitively priced “Creative Book Builder app gives me oodles of options which can then be blended together to make my own ePub.
The app allows you to break down the different parts of your publication. It has links to Dropbox, so you can pull the different assets for your publication from different areas too.
So far I am very impressed. It would seem the only limitation now is my ability to find the time to write as much as I want to. I can see this though as a key player for me in getting rich resources out to my students with their iPads. Once I’ve made a decent publication I don’t mind sharing I will post it up here.
Simple, effective, cheap and it works. Exactly what I was after (and certainly cheaper than buying a MacBook in the short term!)