05/12/2015

Blog 36: Video with TouchCast

By far the most versatile and useful video app I have come across for quite some time. TouchCast has a range of exciting and intuitive features that have endless possibilities for application within the classroom. The Adobe Slate presentation below gives a visual overview of the features. It's up to you and you're students how you utilise it!

Creative Video

02/12/2015

Blog 35: Apps Apps Apps

Having used iPads in education for nearly 5 years now, I am constantly looking for apps to enhance teaching and learning.  Every now and then I conclude that I must know them all, or at least heard of them.  That was until I was lucky enough to attend Apple's Regional Training Centre Winter Conference at the Belfry.

Held over two days, we were bombarded with apps, ideas and fully immersed in learning experiences that we could use with our pupils to enhance their learning experiences.

Here are a few of the 'highlight' apps.


  • LEGO MOVIE- This stop motion app can be used to create short videos and concept animations (blog coming soon).  It's free! 
  • TOUCH CAST- Narrate files and webpages, create green screen videos and much, much more.  It's free!
  • PADLET- Collaborative whiteboards/ sticky notes etc.  All of your class' ideas in one place. It's free!
  • PICPLAYPOST- Create video collages. (It's like PicCollage for video!) It's free!
  • CREATURE SHOW 123D- Create images with virtual creatures in your pictures. Free!
  • OFFICE LENS- Capture your whiteboards electronically. Simply photograph before rubbing off to keep. Free!
  • ZAPTION- Use video content as talking points.  Insert questions into videos for collaborative and interactive discussion.
  • TYPORAMA- Put gorgeous text on your images.  Check out the 3D rotate tool.
  • POST IT PLUS- Got a load of sticky notes?  Photograph them and this app converts them into digital notes that can be saved either together or individually.  Clever app!
  • KEEZY and KEEZY DRUMMER- Create soundboards and sound loops.
There were so many other ideas: using music in programming, digital photography the proper way, disruptive media.

If you are in the North West and want to learn more, your can sign up to any of our Apple RTC courses for free by visiting www.seftonrtc.weebly.com

19/09/2015

Blog 34: collaborative whiteboards using STOODLE

Www.stoodle.ck12.org is a free collaborative tool that allows you to work on the same 'whiteboard' as others from any platform, be it tablet or PC. You can connect with the entire class, or set pupils off working on a collaborative whiteboard.

It's really quite simple to get going! 

Firstly go to the web address above, then tap 'launch a classroom'
You can then share the URL of your whiteboard with the users. I usually email this out to the pupil iPads or associate it with a QR code that can be scanned by pupils.

Once connected all users can draw, add to and edit the whiteboard presentation.

There's an in built chat function and many basic tools, such as pens, text and image insertion.

You can screen capture or email the end results.

Really easy to use and very effective. Great for group work and project planning. Well worth a look!

14/09/2015

Blog 33: Engaging Stimuli Using Adobe Slate

For ages, it seems, I have had Adobe Slate installed on my iPad, tucked away in a folder titled 'Productivity'- a place where I tend to stick apps that I fully intend on checking out later.  As is the nature of teaching 'later' seldom comes and when it does it is either filled with helping others, paperwork, marking and, dare I say, family time!

The Adobe Slate website gives little description except 'Make a beautiful visual story in minutes.'  The app replaces boring slide show presentations, making engaging and stunning looking visual slideshows.

I had a play and came up with this one.  Took about 2 minutes.

So tomorrow I am using it in a starter activity in my English lesson recapping personification with my Year 6 pupils.  Instead of a worksheet based task, I have taken stills from the video we are focusing on this week (Rocketeer- good WW2 links) and the pupils are using them as stimuli for their own descriptive sentences.

Each child will have a QR code in their books tomorrow, linking to the appropriately differentiated 'Slate'.  Scroll through the presentation below.




Saved paper. Saved time. Hopefully will increase engagement and focus.

A lovely looking, easy to use app.

08/09/2015

Blog 32: numbers to 100,000,000 with QR codes

This week I wanted to assess my Year 6 pupils saying and writing numbers to 100,000,000.  Rather than go around individually, I created a sheet with QR codes that linked to audio recordings of large numbers. The pupils then had to write the numbers, using commas as separators. This worked really well and allowed me to assess something in 15 minutes that would've taken much longer.

The audio recordings were made using www.vocaroo.com, which allows you to upload sound files linked to QR codes. (See below)

As you can see above, you cannot use the audio recording function on ipad, so I used the good old TTS Easimic and uploaded the sound file.
Once uploaded/ recorded you are taken to a page on which you can listen to the clip and download a QR code. I pasted this onto the word document for the pupils to scan.

The pupils used Kaywa reader app to scan the codes, listen to the audio and them wrote the number.

Initially the pupils used the place value grid suggested by Michael Tidd (https://michaelt1979.wordpress.com/2015/07/25/stop-teaching-thousands/), but soon moved away.

The combination of QR codes and Vocaroo is definitely worth further exploring. Post your ideas below!

29/05/2015

Blog 31: Primary Blog Map

A while back I got into blogging with my class, mainly inspired by the words of @deputymitchell at Teach Meet Bolton.

I wanted my class to connect with other classrooms across the world, so we started commenting on 100 Word Challenges at 100wc.net

I then started bookmarking blogs, making hyperlinks available to my class to view.  One of the children said "I wonder what their school looks like?"  So we looked it up.  Same child said "Can we pin it on a map?" referring to a map we had on the wall.  This got me thinking about Google Maps, and blog map was born.

Use this link to access the map and add your class.  There's also an embeddable code available for you to add it to you class page.



View Primary Blog Map in a larger map

01/10/2014

Blog 30: My favourite free teacher tools

Here are some of the free tools that I have found most useful throughout my time as a teacher. 

Lino app/ www.linoit.com

My class love this.  It's basically a pin board on which you can add notes, reminders, documents and photos.  You can set your boards to private, or share them with certain users.  Use it on browsers or tablets (app).  We have one account logged into all devices, so boards are easily shared and sync across all users.  There's also an option to allow people to add pins via email. A good way of collecting homework!

Popplet

Again, this is either browser or app based. Pupils can create mind maps, adding text and images. The paid version allows collaborative mind maps that sync across devices.

ClassTools.net

This site is crammed full of useful webtools. A few of my most used ones include:


Random Name Selector

Use these tools to randomly select pupils from your class. Get rid of the lolly sticks and try this!

Countdown Timer


Choose from a range of well known soundtracks, or upload your own MP3s and turn them into timers.  The range of songs available makes it versatile and applicable to a range of tasks.

Alternatively you can use the other countdown timer to link You Tube songs to the timer. 

Fakebook

A great tool for creating biographies and presenting them in an interesting way. Create fake Facebook style profiles and print.

Twister

A fake Twitter generator. Useful for summarising key events. For exampe, Tweet as Winston Churchill the day war ended. Kids love the challenge of writing in just 140 characters.

QwikSlides

A simple multimedia presentation maker. Good for younger pupils.

www.bit.ly

A site that shortens URLs. Ideal if you use Google Forms or collaborative documents. Peraonalise the address. e.g. a long url will become www.bit.ly/mypage

KidBlog

A free blogging service. Either blog on browser or via the app. 100MB free storage and you can add pupil users.

Edmodo

Edmodo is a free, social network style learning and sharing platform.  Share out work, recieve work, set polls, tasks and reminders.  Pupils can engage in safe and secure discussions, connecting with users from the class only.  Again, browser and app.

Google Apps for Education/ Google Classroom

A fantastic suite of tools allowing you to create staff and pupil emails, create collaborative office documents online, create survey forms (great for quick and easy assessment), create websites and much more.
Google Classroom allows you, as teacher, to send out work and receive work to your online 'classroom'.  No need for paper. No need to print. You can mark it online and send feedback back to the pupils.  For more information click here.

BlogMap

Blogmap is a world map with pins on. The pins link to over 240 class blogs world wide.  You can explore the physical enviroment surrounding a school before looking at and commenting on their blog.  I included this site as a shameless plug! (My own site)

Other really useful tools include:
  • Nearpod
  • Socrative
  • Doceri
  • Symbaloo
  • and many more