Tag Archives: Apple

Developing your skills in using an iPad in the classroom with Apple Teacher⤴

from @ ICT for Teaching & Learning in Falkirk Primary Schools

If you are using iPads in a classroom setting then you may find the free online Apple Teacher professional learning programme provides you with support for making more effective use of more features of iPads for learning and teaching.

Just go to https://www.apple.com/uk/education/apple-teacher/ and sign up for the Apple Teacher programme – you can use any existing Apple ID you may have already, or you can create an Apple ID from the site to get onto the Apple Teacher programme.

Once you are signed in you then have access to all of the interactive Apple Teacher Starter Guides which aim to guide you through various features of using an iPad in an educational setting. So whether you are looking for support in using iMovie, GarageBand, Keynote, Pages and Numbers, or simply basic features of iPad settings, further productivity settings, tools and features or ways to develop creativity with an iPad, all of which which you may find helpful in the classroom, these materials support you to become more confident and productive to use an iPad to support learning and teaching.

Each module within the Apple Teacher programme includes an associated interactive assessment quiz – as you pass each quiz you earn a badge to chart your progress. When you have completed all 8 assessment quizzes your achievement is recognised with you being awarded the designation of Apple Teacher, conferring on you the right to use the official Apple Teacher logo that you can share with the world!

If you use Twitter, or other social media platforms, you can follow the hashtag #AppleTeacher to share in the uses of iPads by colleagues worldwide.

 

Apple Apps go free⤴

from @ wwwd – John's World Wide Wall Display

iMovie, Numbers, Keynote, Pages, and GarageBand for both Mac and iOS devices have been updated and are now listed in the App Store for free.

Apple Makes iMovie, GarageBand, and iWork Apps for Mac and iOS Free for All Users – Mac Rumors

Worth noting, although these are free already on new devices. This will help classes like mine whose iOS devices are on their second Apple ID.

Also good for distributing through MDM, which seems to be the idea.

Also Clips

Apple Teacher widens its reach⤴

from @ The H-Blog

Last year, when the iPhone 7 was launched I think, I had been reading about the new Apple Teacher program and got quite excited about signing up – only to find out that I couldn’t because it was for the United States only. It did give a page to keep checking back on that they promised to update as the program became available in other countries or regions – and I had even been remembering to check! The last time I checked it was after we came back from the Christmas holidays, and I was still faced with the single line of availability: United States

Anyway, last Thursday, I got an email notifying me that the Apple Distinguished Educator (ADE) programme was open to applications again. Remembering the heft of the application last time, I thought I would have a quick glance to see what was involved this time. Imagine my surprise to find that being an exisiting Apple Teacher was a prerequisite to applying to be an ADE !

 

When I dug deeper into things, I found that the list of countries had been updated (on January 24th, just in time for BETT?) and now included Australia, Denmark, Hong Kong, Ireland, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Singapore, Sweden and the United Kingdom as well as the United States.

So obviously I had to go and have a look.

An early stumbling block you might face is to do with your Apple ID. The Apple Teacher site states pretty specifically that it’s your own personal Apple ID you’ve to sign up with, and not an ID provided by your establishment. That’s fine for people like me – who surf the wave of our copious IDs with ease – but for some other teachers it may prove a bit more challenging.

Once you are through the sign-up hoop, you will find yourself logged into the Apple Teacher Learning Centre. Pick your device of choice – esentially iOS or Mac – and there are a set of tutorials and quizzes for you to complete to become an Apple Teacher. I can’t speak for Mac, but the iOS ones were:

  • iPad
  • Pages for iPad
  • Keynote for iPad
  • Numbers for iPad
  • iMovie for iPad
  • Garageband for iPad
  • Productivity with iPad
  • Creativity with iPad

Having completed the quizzes for iOS, I can confirm that they are not pitched at “Expert” level, the main plank of evidence being that I managed to pass them all. I got a very nice, shiny email for my trouble:

 

Interestingly, passing quizzes opens up more quizzes and the interface itself is pretty user friendly – as you’d expect from Apple. I’m looking forward to seeing how the site and the program develop, that’s for sure.

If you’re interested, you can sign yourself up for Apple Teacher at:

http://www.apple.com/uk/education/apple-teacher/

Why I use a macintosh⤴

from @ John's World Wide Wall Display

IMG_0815.jpeg

Basically because they were the first computers I use. In addition I’ve years worth of shortcuts, kludge and scripts that help my workflow.

But I’ve often discussed this with other educators and often suggested that macs are cheaper. This is usually scoffed at, not too surprising given the shelf price. They do last a long time though.

I was pretty disappointed when North Lanarkshire decided to mostly switch away from macs a couple of years ago.

I saw this in my feed reader today:

IBM found that not only do PCs drive twice the amount of support calls, they’re also three times more expensive. That’s right, depending on the model, IBM is saving anywhere from $273 – $543 per Mac compared to a PC, over a four-year lifespan
Debate over: IBM confirms that Macs are $535 less expensive than PCs | Jamf

The range is a little less impressive than the headline but enough to keep me on the mac track for my next purchase.

featured image: my own. Color Classic, run through some filtering app long enough ago so that I’ve forgotten. 

iTunes U – what do schools need to know?⤴

from @ teachitgeek

iTunes U 3.0 was released as an update to the existing app – and it is packed with features that iPad teachers have been crying out for. Those of you using iTunes U will be familiar with the interface and features available in the last version – so this post will focus on what you need to know about the new features and how they effect your use.

Briefly the new features include:

  • Students can hand in homework to specific assignments

  • Students and instructors can mark up PDFs within iTunes U

  • Instructors can grade and track student progress in an integrated grade book

  • Instructors can have private, one-on-one discussions with students

  • Instructors can include multiple attachments per assignment

Dan Edwards has put together a great post which you can find here. I was lucky to be able to chat with him and some fellow ADEs at the launch and they have put together some useful thoughts around this. (shout out to  Mat Pullen, Gav Smart and Tom Riley as well). If you are not already doing so, I suggest you give them a follow on social media as well as Fraser Speirs; whose thoughts on the update can be found here.

This update to iTunesU seems to mark a shift away from a content delivery platform to a feature packed teaching and learning platform. This puts it on a par with apps like Showbie; the goto paperless classroom for many iPad educators and the newcomer Google Classroom; which is available for any teacher or pupil with a Google Apps for Education account. Showbie has had PDF and document annotation for a while now and both apps offer cross platform support if you have a variety of devices in use in your school or have implemented a BYOD policy. The downside with this you have to select products and services which are supported across each platform/device.

Submit assignments

One of the main disadvantages of the previous version of iTunes U was the inability to deal with the submission side of workflow. While it was a great teacher-to-student content delivery tool it lacked that ability for pupils (and teachers if they were simply enrolled in a course) to submit work. This made it very one sided and required the use of a third party option. Now, pupils can choose to submit work via the app or by using ‘open in’ option found across iOS. One of the additional options here is the ability to select a file from a cloud storage solution such as Google Drive or Dropbox. This is great for schools using Google Apps for Education. Unfortunately for staff/pupils in Scotland using Glow, OneDrive for business is not supported.

Files can be submitted as attachments and students have the opportunity to enter a comment to their teacher and start a 1to1 conversation. This is not unique to iTunes U as Showbie and Google Classroom have these features for some time – but the integration into iTunesU makes it an even more compelling option to use in schools.

One-to-one conversations

One of the advantages of services such as Showbie, is the ability to have a conversation with a pupil in the same way you would have if you were in class. This is a big factor in making education an anytime anywhere experience. This does however, start the conversation over whether teachers should be required to answer questions at evenings and weekends. Teachers are some of the most overworked individuals out there and adding to this could be met with a level of negativity. That being said, with it being increasingly difficult to increase motivation and engagement in pupils; if they are actively taking part in a task, should teachers not continue to encourage that? I leave it up to you.

Annotate PDFs

This is a great stand out feature. Annotate over PDFs that students have submitted and give instant feedback. The power of this feature is not one to be overlooked. There are a number of downsides – no option to add audio feedback and the images are ‘flattened’ after you have finished annotating them. This means that the pupil has to edit and resubmit their original file. Always retaining a copy of the original file is a good practice to instil in pupils.

Gradebook

Teachers can track and monitor the progress of individual pupils within a course/assignment. This information can be exported as a .csv file and upload to an MIS system. SEEMiS is the choice for all authorities across Scotland and can be used where appropriate. At the moment only numerical grades are supported so teachers can make decisions as to when/where this information is used. National and Higher assessments may not be appropriate here, but it may lend itself well to BGE courses.

 

Final thoughtsScreen Shot 2015-06-30 at 14.32.18

Those are some of the standout features for me in terms of the new update. It is certainly encouraging to see the shift to a learning and teaching platform and for schools that have embraced the 1:1 iPad route, the use of iTunes U is def a no brainer. For schools that have a shared deployment or mixed with other devices, using a service that works across a range of devices and platforms may be a better choice at the moment.

 


iTunes U – what do schools need to know?⤴

from @ teachitgeek

iTunes U 3.0 was released as an update to the existing app – and it is packed with features that iPad teachers have been crying out for. Those of you using iTunes U will be familiar with the interface and features available in the last version – so this post will focus on what you need to know about the new features and how they effect your use.

Briefly the new features include:

  • Students can hand in homework to specific assignments

  • Students and instructors can mark up PDFs within iTunes U

  • Instructors can grade and track student progress in an integrated grade book

  • Instructors can have private, one-on-one discussions with students

  • Instructors can include multiple attachments per assignment

Dan Edwards has put together a great post which you can find here. I was lucky to be able to chat with him and some fellow ADEs at the launch and they have put together some useful thoughts around this. (shout out to  Mat Pullen, Gav Smart and Tom Riley as well). If you are not already doing so, I suggest you give them a follow on social media as well as Fraser Speirs; whose thoughts on the update can be found here.

This update to iTunesU seems to mark a shift away from a content delivery platform to a feature packed teaching and learning platform. This puts it on a par with apps like Showbie; the goto paperless classroom for many iPad educators and the newcomer Google Classroom; which is available for any teacher or pupil with a Google Apps for Education account. Showbie has had PDF and document annotation for a while now and both apps offer cross platform support if you have a variety of devices in use in your school or have implemented a BYOD policy. The downside with this you have to select products and services which are supported across each platform/device.

Submit assignments

One of the main disadvantages of the previous version of iTunes U was the inability to deal with the submission side of workflow. While it was a great teacher-to-student content delivery tool it lacked that ability for pupils (and teachers if they were simply enrolled in a course) to submit work. This made it very one sided and required the use of a third party option. Now, pupils can choose to submit work via the app or by using ‘open in’ option found across iOS. One of the additional options here is the ability to select a file from a cloud storage solution such as Google Drive or Dropbox. This is great for schools using Google Apps for Education. Unfortunately for staff/pupils in Scotland using Glow, OneDrive for business is not supported.

Files can be submitted as attachments and students have the opportunity to enter a comment to their teacher and start a 1to1 conversation. This is not unique to iTunes U as Showbie and Google Classroom have these features for some time – but the integration into iTunesU makes it an even more compelling option to use in schools.

One-to-one conversations

One of the advantages of services such as Showbie, is the ability to have a conversation with a pupil in the same way you would have if you were in class. This is a big factor in making education an anytime anywhere experience. This does however, start the conversation over whether teachers should be required to answer questions at evenings and weekends. Teachers are some of the most overworked individuals out there and adding to this could be met with a level of negativity. That being said, with it being increasingly difficult to increase motivation and engagement in pupils; if they are actively taking part in a task, should teachers not continue to encourage that? I leave it up to you.

Annotate PDFs

This is a great stand out feature. Annotate over PDFs that students have submitted and give instant feedback. The power of this feature is not one to be overlooked. There are a number of downsides – no option to add audio feedback and the images are ‘flattened’ after you have finished annotating them. This means that the pupil has to edit and resubmit their original file. Always retaining a copy of the original file is a good practice to instil in pupils.

Gradebook

Teachers can track and monitor the progress of individual pupils within a course/assignment. This information can be exported as a .csv file and upload to an MIS system. SEEMiS is the choice for all authorities across Scotland and can be used where appropriate. At the moment only numerical grades are supported so teachers can make decisions as to when/where this information is used. National and Higher assessments may not be appropriate here, but it may lend itself well to BGE courses.

 

Final thoughtsScreen Shot 2015-06-30 at 14.32.18

Those are some of the standout features for me in terms of the new update. It is certainly encouraging to see the shift to a learning and teaching platform and for schools that have embraced the 1:1 iPad route, the use of iTunes U is def a no brainer. For schools that have a shared deployment or mixed with other devices, using a service that works across a range of devices and platforms may be a better choice at the moment.

 


iTunes U – what do schools need to know?⤴

from @ teachitgeek

iTunes U 3.0 was released as an update to the existing app – and it is packed with features that iPad teachers have been crying out for. Those of you using iTunes U will be familiar with the interface and features available in the last version – so this post will focus on what you need to know about the new features and how they effect your use.

Briefly the new features include:

  • Students can hand in homework to specific assignments

  • Students and instructors can mark up PDFs within iTunes U

  • Instructors can grade and track student progress in an integrated grade book

  • Instructors can have private, one-on-one discussions with students

  • Instructors can include multiple attachments per assignment

Dan Edwards has put together a great post which you can find here. I was lucky to be able to chat with him and some fellow ADEs at the launch and they have put together some useful thoughts around this. (shout out to  Mat Pullen, Gav Smart and Tom Riley as well). If you are not already doing so, I suggest you give them a follow on social media as well as Fraser Speirs; whose thoughts on the update can be found here.

This update to iTunesU seems to mark a shift away from a content delivery platform to a feature packed teaching and learning platform. This puts it on a par with apps like Showbie; the goto paperless classroom for many iPad educators and the newcomer Google Classroom; which is available for any teacher or pupil with a Google Apps for Education account. Showbie has had PDF and document annotation for a while now and both apps offer cross platform support if you have a variety of devices in use in your school or have implemented a BYOD policy. The downside with this you have to select products and services which are supported across each platform/device.

Submit assignments

One of the main disadvantages of the previous version of iTunes U was the inability to deal with the submission side of workflow. While it was a great teacher-to-student content delivery tool it lacked that ability for pupils (and teachers if they were simply enrolled in a course) to submit work. This made it very one sided and required the use of a third party option. Now, pupils can choose to submit work via the app or by using ‘open in’ option found across iOS. One of the additional options here is the ability to select a file from a cloud storage solution such as Google Drive or Dropbox. This is great for schools using Google Apps for Education. Unfortunately for staff/pupils in Scotland using Glow, OneDrive for business is not supported.

Files can be submitted as attachments and students have the opportunity to enter a comment to their teacher and start a 1to1 conversation. This is not unique to iTunes U as Showbie and Google Classroom have these features for some time – but the integration into iTunesU makes it an even more compelling option to use in schools.

One-to-one conversations

One of the advantages of services such as Showbie, is the ability to have a conversation with a pupil in the same way you would have if you were in class. This is a big factor in making education an anytime anywhere experience. This does however, start the conversation over whether teachers should be required to answer questions at evenings and weekends. Teachers are some of the most overworked individuals out there and adding to this could be met with a level of negativity. That being said, with it being increasingly difficult to increase motivation and engagement in pupils; if they are actively taking part in a task, should teachers not continue to encourage that? I leave it up to you.

Annotate PDFs

This is a great stand out feature. Annotate over PDFs that students have submitted and give instant feedback. The power of this feature is not one to be overlooked. There are a number of downsides – no option to add audio feedback and the images are ‘flattened’ after you have finished annotating them. This means that the pupil has to edit and resubmit their original file. Always retaining a copy of the original file is a good practice to instil in pupils.

Gradebook

Teachers can track and monitor the progress of individual pupils within a course/assignment. This information can be exported as a .csv file and upload to an MIS system. SEEMiS is the choice for all authorities across Scotland and can be used where appropriate. At the moment only numerical grades are supported so teachers can make decisions as to when/where this information is used. National and Higher assessments may not be appropriate here, but it may lend itself well to BGE courses.

 

Final thoughtsScreen Shot 2015-06-30 at 14.32.18

Those are some of the standout features for me in terms of the new update. It is certainly encouraging to see the shift to a learning and teaching platform and for schools that have embraced the 1:1 iPad route, the use of iTunes U is def a no brainer. For schools that have a shared deployment or mixed with other devices, using a service that works across a range of devices and platforms may be a better choice at the moment.

 


#WWDC15 – what does it mean for the classroom?⤴

from @ teachitgeek

Apple kicked off it’s World Wide Developers Conference on June 8th in usual fashion. The keynote is available for streaming and can be found here. Be warned it is 2.5h long so bring snacks.

There had a been a lot of speculation as to what they would announce at this years WWDC. Rumours of a new Apple TV, which is an essential for iPads and iOS devices in class but hasn’t seen a hardware update in almost 3 years. It is still a great device for wirelessly mirroring and the fact that a device that is running 3 year old hardware is still an essential item for classes is a testament to its versatility.

iOS and OS X are always mentioned during this keynote with a focus on features rather than hardware; that’s later in the year, and this year was no exception. OS X EL Capitan will be released later in the year and focuses on performance and experience. As I said, this was a mammoth keynote which covered a lot of new features for both platforms as well as the newly released watchOS. This post will focus on the features of iOS that will have a direct impact on classrooms and learning and teaching using iPads.

iOS 9 will be the latest version of Apple’s mobile operating system with support for all devices that currently run iOS 8. This means that schools which still use iPad 2 (still a great device) will be able to get a little more mileage out of them before having to look at upgrading. It still remains to be seen if they will include the AirPlay option for these devices which is noticeably absent from iPad 2 but not iPad mini. However, apps like instahsare give these devices the same functionality as AirDrop and can be just as reliable in class at times. The amount of space needed on a device to upgrade has also been reduced. For iOS 8 the space required to update sat at 4.3Gb. This was a massive requirement for schools which only had 16Gb devices. As you know these devices can become full rather quickly with photos and applications plus their data. The space required to install iOS 9 is only 1.3Gb which is a little more manageable for schools.

All of these are under the hood performance stabilisers. Yes, they will have some impact on the day to day usability of the iPad in school but how about the features that will have an impact on the way pupils use the device in effective learning  and teaching.

Keyboard

iOs 9 has seen an update to the stock keyboard, focussing on getting things done quicker and easier. While there is still no native support for gesture typing; (Apple introduced third party keyboards in iOS 8 which led to success for keyboards like lower case with support for the OpenDyslexic font) there are shortcuts to format options at the top of the keyboard as well as options for cut, copy and paste included also. There is an additional button for quick access to app switching and the keyboard can be used as a trackpad when two fingers are placed on the keyboard. If you have ever tried to select a specific piece of text or highlight a passage or paragraph then this option will be of huge benefit when it is available. If pupils use a paired bluetooth keyboard, for e.g. some Vision support pupils require the use of a physical keyboard in order to benefit from the full display of the iPad; physical keyboards will have more commands added to them in iOS 9. By using the press and hold option on a key such as command, option or control users will be able to see the list of custom shortcuts available in any app.

Another useful addition is that the keyboard will finally display lower case characters when the caps lock function on the shift key is switched off. I am often asked in training sessions if this is possible and often direct users to the lower case or similar  third party keyboards available. Lower Case will still have a purpose in iOS education as it is very useful for pupils who require use of the OpenDyslexic font but for others the lower case characters on the iOS 9 keyboard will be a welcome if not needed inclusion.

Screen Shot 2015-06-09 at 12.19.33

Notes

I am a massive fan of the popular app Notability. It is my default option for note taking in meetings or at seminars. With support for images, text, sound, handwriting and custom looks it is hard to beat but at £2.29 it can be one of the more expensive apps to include on a pupil iPad. The notes app on iOS has been in need of an update for some time. It’s great for quick notes on the go and the syncing to iCloud is useful but in terms of practical use it never really had a stand out place in the classroom. Apple mentioned that currently half of iPhone users were using the notes app, if we were to survey schools I wonder what the answer would be?  The updated notes app is now a nice lightweight replacement for notability. It contains the ability to add images, turn lists into checklists and supports sketches using the finger or stylus. Notes will also appear in the share sheet, letting pupils quickly add content from another app such as Safari. This will be hugely useful for pupils making notes for research topics or when brainstorming ideas in class. AirDrop will of course be supported and pupils can share simple notes with each other or their teacher.

Screen Shot 2015-06-09 at 12.18.54

 

Multitasking on iPad

In iOS 9 the iPad finally gets true split screen multitasking. Apple refers to it as ‘Do this. While you do that.’ Split view is only available on iPad Air 2 due to the requirements on the processor, but schools/pupils using this device will have access to powerful functionality that will allow them to do multiple things at the same time. There was a recent BBC report that indicates that pupils ‘cannot multi-task with mobiles and study’. While I won’t go into the particulars of the report or the research behind it, the main gauge was how well pupils achieved when it came to standardised tests and assessments. One of the main advantages of mobile devices in education is how they relate to the pupil experience while in school. The increased motivation and engagement that comes from pupils taking charge of their own learning, looking at ways that work for them. We all learn and work in different ways and being able to personalise your approach provides pupils with the rich learning experiences they deserve. Multitasking in this way on the iPad Air 2 means that pupils will be able to research effectively while working in notes, safari, iBooks or iTunesU. iTunes U will be a big winner from this as it will allow pupils to look at given examples while making their notes or skimming an iBook. There is a lot of potential for creativity on the iPad as well. Pupils could use 53 to sketch an image that they are referencing from the photos app or safari. The possibilities are endless, all built directly into the software and adding to the experience of both pupils and teachers.

While older iPads will not support split view, they will support picture in picture, PiP. While watching a video, press the Home button and your video screen scales down to a corner of your display. Tap to open a second app, and your video continues to play even while using the other app. Services like Zaption have been around for a while and allow teachers to create interactive videos curated from YouTube, Vimeo, BBC bitesize as well as user uploaded entries. You can set questions to appear at certain times that relate to the content that is being shown. This is where PiP will come into use in the class, in a manner similar to Zaption. Set pupils a task in Showbie or iTunes U, have them watch the video, then answer questions in another app while continuing to watch the video. It could be very useful for media studies style courses where pupils have to research clips of movies and determine visual aspects, sound, lighting and so on. Being able to make notes while watching it all on the one device will be a useful step forward.

Screen Shot 2015-06-09 at 12.41.47

 

There were also some improvements to Maps and Siri and I will look at them on more detail when i install the beta. I will look to make some user guides that relate to the use of stock iOS features in the classroom and how they can help shape our pupils experiences to increase their engagement and motivation.

For more info on iOS 9 have a look at the support pages on Apple.com and if you have any questions or comments please feel free to ask.


#ipaded – App Smashing in the classroom⤴

from @ teachitgeek

App smashing is the process of using more than one app to create a project or product. It is highly engaging, asks students to be creative in their approach to their learning and use of technology and challenges them to take their learning to a higher level.

– Mark Anderson @ictevangelist

appsmashing
Image courtesy of @ipadwells

Appsmashing is a term first coined by Greg Kulowiec of edtechteacher.org. Greg has written a lot on the subject and can be found on Twitter @gregkulowiec

Appsmashing lends itself beautifully to the iPad in Education. Often, the questions ‘What is the best app to use in the classroom?’ or ‘Is there a good app for literacy/numeracy?’ are asked during CPD sessions. There is not one killer app or feature that makes the iPad a compelling choice of device, but rather the combination of apps and features that allow the pupils to express their understanding of a key concept or skill that makes it a go to for so many of our schools.

The purpose of technology in class is to enhance learning. Appsmashing is an activity that can be lots of fun, but can also focus too much on the technology if being particularly complicated. We do know, as teachers, that pupils are motivated and purposively engaged in the learning process when concepts and skills are underpinned with technology and sound pedagogy. This post will highlight a simple appsmashing activity that will motivate pupils and allow them to take ownership of their learning by giving them a realistic expectation and allowing them to be particularly creative.

For this task we will only need to use one app; Tellagami. This is a free app (the best kind) that allows pupils to create short animated videos. You can add your own background and record your voice to an animated character.tellagami

Stock iOS apps and features can sometimes be overlooked in terms of classroom benefit. Siri; while great for telling you a joke or the current weather conditions; can also be used to give you definitions of words, solving equations or showing you maps of famous landmarks. By using the command, ‘Show me the Eiffel Tower’ , pupils are able to view the famous landmark in 3D glory, screenshot the image and use it in another app. Spelling does not have to a barrier and allows pupils to focus on the clarity of their speech. This can be a huge plus for pupils who are not confident in their spelling and/or developing their language skills.

appsmash

Once we have the image in our photos app, we can launch Tellagami and start to record ourselves. The video below details the process.