Friday Workshop: David’s Presentation

Bento!

No, we are not talking about a lovely little sushi lunch, but rather a quaint collection of easy to access data! I know. What could be more delicious?

David used Bento to make records for each of his students in his classes. He had it all prepared for parent-teacher night which means he had easy access to all his student’s file on his iPad.

Here are my notes of David’s presentation:

Price: $4.99
  • Createdentries for all of his students including allmarks accumulated as well as data that was on their report card.
  • Added a field to indicate whether he met with parents or not
Courtesy of David himself: in the À faire column, he has set it up so that he has several options he can access easily.
  • Made todo lists for each student- gives you the option to add deadline date.
  • Can set prioritylevels
  • Can alsoapply task to other students
  • Text,number etc.
  • Set acertain time for tasks 
  • URLfield: thought could add a link to edvance website but bento does not liketo link to secure website. 
  • Can link torelated databases ( If I’m not mistaken, it is called related data- in david’s case, he made another database for his tasks list and connected it to his student list- if I am mistaken David, please comment!)
  • Can movefields around
  • Tookquite a while to build it up: aday and a half to two days
  • Bento formac and bento for ipad is syncable however, Bento formac is fifty bucks
  • Lookinginto importing data- this came out of a question from Gail who asked if it was possible to take existing data from a spreadsheet and import it into Bento. David and Beth didn’t know, but they are looking into it.
I vandalized David’s screenshot so that we couldn’t actually see any students’ names, but I wanted to give you an idea of how it looked.

Thanks David!

Friday Workshop: Lena’s Presentation

For those of you who missed the iPad workshops on Friday,  I will be going over each of the presentations this week. The first one is from Lena ( our intrepid Science teacher). I have mentioned before that she has been experimenting with different whiteboard apps in lieu of the cumbersome and labour intensive acetates.
Here is what she has found:
Price: free
  • Likes itbecause not a static pdf it is dynamic
  • Problemis needed three presentations for one problem. ( you can only use one board at a time)
  • Canimport photo or take a photo then use it. Edit it, format it, then write on it.
  • Canchange colours
  • Can alsorecord your lecture over your slides.
  • Put the link on the portal and students can access it.
  • Option ofkeeping it personal or public
  • Share itas an email or watch it online
  • When youmake it public people can rate it.
  • Haveto have an account in showme
  • Uploadingvideo takes a minute.
  • Email isfaster
Here is an example of one of Lena’s presentations:

http://smr.showme.com/sma/embed/?s=90429

Price: .99$

  • Can have more than one page per presentation
  • Can type,use stylus, import photos
  • Can alsotake a photo
  • Can alsorecord
  • Onlydifference from showme is that it exports as a pdf instead of as a dynamic presentation.
  • Can alsoimport pdfs
  • Problemis they will only see the finished result not the steps taken to solve it.
  • Students will have tolisten to the recording to see how the teacher came to the result.
  • You canchoose to email it, dropbox, etc.
  • Send itas a pdf or pdf and recording
Lena’s conclusion is that though both of these whiteboard apps are handy, they still do not have all the functionality she needs all in one. To have a presentation with multiple pages, or in old school parlance, acetates, with the capacity to export it as a movie with the recorded lecture in sync with the whiteboard pages is, if my impression is correct, her holy grail. 

Lori mentioned she attended a presentation at Qpat where the speaker touted Screenchomp. Lena said she would try it- and get back to us? Yes?

Tomorrow- Mr. Pelletier’s presentation on Bento!

Parent-Teacher Meeting iPad Tip

via Ms. Jackson:

She emailed her student’s report cards to herself and had the option to open in iBook. Now she has all of her report cards  by class and will have them easily at her fingertips for this afternoon!

Don’t forget to visit the Book Fair between parent chats!

The Holy Grail of e-Textbooks

I am not a quick thinker. I never have a suitable comeback when the moment presents itself. It takes me a long time to process logistic questions. So when I was presented with the possibility of the school going iPad, I couldn’t quite understand why. Why an iPad? At the time, it seemed like a glorified e-reader.

But during these last couple of months when I have been exploring the capabilities, I have realised it is so much more. The ability to research, read, and create, as well as enhance learning with a myriad of apps is mind-blowing. However, I still  believe that its crowning achievement will be when the students will have all their textbooks on one device.  I envision the textbooks as interactive, allowing for linked content to more information, dictionaries at the tip of a finger, and note taking capabilities right beside the text.

It was this article that got me thinking about this again.

I am hoping to check out the availability of e-textbooks as well as the subscription information as soon as things calm down around here.

I was curious about whether any school in Canada had begun to purchase etextbooks and after some internet rummaging I came across this article about CDI College campuses using etextbooks (although I think it might be more of an online promotion for CDI College than an actual article.)

 I know in the States however, there are several districts looking in to the possibility of transitioning to etextbooks.

eTextbooks and Education Apps: iPads enter the Classroom by Whitney Ijem via the singularity hub.

Many U.S. School adding iPads, trimming textbooks by Stephanie Reitz, Associated Press.

Of course, these are just the results of a quick google search, just enough to whet your appetite for more information (see how I spun my lack of time as a design decision? I know. Totally had you fooled, didn’t I?).

To be continued…

How I used the iPad today

Today I gave a presentation on information literacy at McGill’s School for Information Studies and used the ipad to do it all. I didn’t need a USB key, didn’t have to worry about compatibility (except for bringing the all important VGA adapter (which I just looked up and discovered VGA stands for Video Graphics Array)- whoah- double parentheses- is that like a double rainbow?

I used Keynote for my slides (and was pleasantly surprised when the notes for each slide automatically popped up on my iPad while still nicely displaying my slide on the big screen):
 Safari to show them my blog, my website, my webliographies etc.:
 ibook to show them examples of other presentations and youtube for an example of a student project where they had to find the material then create something with it (the To Kill a Mockingbird documentary). 
To navigate between these apps seamlessly, I just had to brush up with four fingers and I got my apps bar. 
I felt so cool.
I really did.

Lesson Plan Idea: Express It with a Sock Puppet

I was meandering my techchef4u  RSS feed in order to find ideas for today’s post and came across this one entitled Government Vs. Puppets. It has been there for a while but I kept on ignoring it because, well, it sounded boring.

That’ll school me on judging a post by its title, because I loved the idea! Using an app, such as Sock Puppet (free) students can make a little play about whatever they are learning in your class. The examples on the techchef4u site are from a high school course on government from the U.S. The class used sock puppet to dramatize important court cases. However, it might be interesting for a history course an English course or even a fun way to introduce a math equation. I urge you to not make the same mistake I did and experience the familiar glazing of the eyes with the word government. Check out the post- there are many other ideas!

Sock Puppets itself is easy to use- they have a well-written and remarkably not boring help sheet!

Here is a quick sock puppet Hamlet I did:

You have a choice of 6 wacky characters. You can make their voices as high or as low as you want them. You have a choice of several backdrops and several props and when you are finished recording, you can upload it to your youtube channel.

Another option is Puppet Pals – also free but the mouths don’t move. If you get the director’s version, you can upload your own pictures and use them. However the free version has way less functionality. You can turn the characters to face one another and you have to resort to doing the voices differently to make sure your characters are being differentiated, as you will see in this other version of the

Hamlet/Ophelia scene:

I know. I am having way too much fun. Which means I must go now and do something boring like catalogue books to balance out my day…

Youtube channels and the iPad Lab

One of the difficulties of the documentary project I did with Ms. Allison’s grade 8 class was that the movies were too large to email to the teacher and there was no good way to sync them without wasting a colossal amount of our tech guru’s time.

Ms. Allison had to view the movies on the iPad themselves, which meant her marking was at the mercy of other people needing the machines as well as needing to keep them in the building.

Well, a solution has presented itself! The students can create their own youtube channels via their Traf email.

Once they are signed in, they will have to create a youtube channel. They will be asked for a username and a password and then whether they want to connect it to their traf email. The answer is yes to all of the above.

Easy as pie! (actually way easier-making pie is hard).

 They can directly upload their movie to their youtube channel, making sure they check the following option:

If they choose the private, the teacher will not be able to view their project.

This is how it looks on the iPad in imovie:

After uploading their movie, they need to go to the youtube app on the ipad. There they will sign in to their account and share their project with their teacher:

Make sure the students sign out before they hand back the iPad.

If you want to embed the video, the settings must be public. As I am such a good sport, I will make this one public just to show you.

 Hopefully, your students will be producing better quality video than this one..

rAPPido review: Poetry on the iPad

A little voice told me that the Grade 7s are starting a poetry unit in English class. Okay a big adult voice who needed books on poetry as well as a tiny voice smitten with the Roald Dahl poem about a man-eating crocodiles told me. Here it is, just to brighten your idea. But don’t get any ideas. I know November is hard, but any crocodile-related action against the students would be viewed quite harshly by the administration.

“No animal is half as vile
As Crocky–Wock, the crocodile.
On Saturdays he likes to crunch
Six juicy children for his lunch
And he especially enjoys
Just three of each, three girls, three boys.
He smears the boys (to make them hot)
With mustard from the mustard pot.
But mustard doesn’t go with girls,
It tastes all wrong with plaits and curls.
With them, what goes extremely well
Is butterscotch and caramel.
It’s such a super marvelous treat
When boys are hot and girls are sweet.
At least that’s Crocky’s point of view
He ought to know. He’s had a few.
That’s all for now. It’s time for bed.
Lie down and rest your sleepy head.
Ssh. Listen. What is that I hear,
Galumphing softly up the stair?

Go lock the door and fetch my gun!
Go on child, hurry! Quickly run!
No stop! Stand back! He’s coming in!
Oh, look, that greasy greenish skin!
The shining teeth, the greedy smile!
It’s Crocky–Wock, the Crocodile!”

But I digress. I thought it would be cool to see what juicy literary morsels the iPad had to offer. Of course, I ignored all paying apps and went only to the FREE Apps. Of which exactly two were relevant.

Poetry

The first is an excellent collection (given copyright constraints) put together by Poetry magazine.
It’s most original and wonderful feature, especially for students, is their spin function. Just tap the spin button and you can get poems matching random subjects with moods:

But if you are looking for something more specific, you can browse by mood, by subject, by poet or browse their audio collection:

You can also star poems in your favorites as well as email or share it on Facebook or Twitter. A very good introduction to poetry.
This is an online version of the poetry magnetic sets. It took me a while to figure out, but once I did it was as addictive as those fridge sets. 
Here is a screenshot with the default settings.
Although the interface is not the most intuitive, you can decide how many words you want to play with. Just open the mix-tionary and choose how many Thes, Ifs, Ands, Buts, as well as old school and new school words. What is an old and new school word? I don’t know and they don’t elaborate. 
Umm, don’t slide the options to max- you won’t have any place to actually make a poem.

You can also upload it to facebook, save to your photo album or email your poem!

They will also be coming soon to the iPad lab near you! Thanks Beth!

iOS5: Three New Fantabulous Features!

If you have updated your iPad to iOS5 (and I know Beth is doing the rest of the iPad lab as we speak) here are a three new features to beguile, bedazzle and befriend you. Meaning they will make your life easier, but with alliteration.

1.  New Moves! Add a couple of fingers and you have a whole lot more functionality. The folks on the iOS5 information site have explained it better than I could ever do so here is a nice screen shot:

Just make sure you use four fingers are you’ll wind up swiping at the screen like one of those overzealous housewives in a Mr. Clean commercial. Also, the left/right swipe to navigate between Apps works in the vertical and horizontal viewing mode. I especially love the swiping up to see the toolbar- very handy!

2. Notifications: With just a quick scroll you can get all your notifications in one place! This is a one-fingered activity. (No one-finger jokes intended)

Just tap the screen to make your notifications disappear.

3. Photos: You can now edit your photos on your iPad! This, I must admit, is so FREAKIN’ awesome!!!! I would love to crop some of my unwieldy screenshots taken from the ipad.
Just tap the edit button, and you can rotate, enhance, fix red-eye as well as crop. Crop!!!!

Beautiful, I tell you. Just beautiful (I have tears in my eyes. Seriously).

rAPPido reviews: three word games

You will find three word games in the English section on the google doc that acts as our bible of Apps. This means they are all on our mobile iLab.

As I am feeling particularly playful today, I thought I would give them a whirl. Okay fine. I didn’t know what else to do with the brief amount of time I had. So sue me.

Price for all of them: FREE

The game is to put the different parts of the word together. eg. PIA and NO
 Although the lite version is not very challenging, the full version might hold some juicy challenges. However I doubt it. It seems to be a game designed for the wee folk (meaning smaller children, not leprechauns and dwarves).
This came almost made the rest of my day a write-off. At first, I had no idea what to do. A grid with letters showed up but it wasn’t a word scramble in the traditional sense, where you can see the words hidden in a linear fashion in the grid. In this game, you have to find words going every which way. It is important to keep your finger on the letters you want to include to make a word or it won’t work.
In the lite version, your only option is for two minute games.  You always have to play against the clock. So far this is the best i’ve done:
                                    
I know. Not exactly a genius, am I? Addictive and fun. Maybe a little too addictive and fun. Watch out.., this one could be a time waster.
Your traditional game of Hangman. You can choose from several categories, including SAT, Video games, Sports, TV Shows, Vegetables, Basic Words, and Studies.
Be warned though- some thinking required- the hangman gets drawn very quickly and before you know it, you’ve lost. (When I play hangman with my kids, the hangman drawing is a long withdrawn affair- the hangedman not only has all limbs, torso and head, but all facial features, hair and clothing before someone has lost).
Here, you have to think about your subject and think about the spaces to fill carefully. 
I was thinking about not putting a screenshot of the actual word, but thought I would throw you a bone- anybody guessed it?

That’s it. I’m now going to play word genius now.  I obviously need the practice…