Tag Archives: Applications

Declutter your Apps⤴

from @ APP Junkie

People rarely succeed unless they have fun in what they are doing – Dale Carnegie

The idea of having an uncluttered, simple life is something that sounds appealing to many people. With 2.2million apps available to Android and 2million apps on the Apple App Store it is easy to get yourself in a situation where you have more apps than you know what to do with. This writer has over 470 apps installed currently.

In researching some articles to write about, a good friend gave me the idea of doing a post that mimics the Wardrobe hanger experiment. While this isn’t an exclusive idea it could be a starting point to declutter your mind and more importantly your mobile device storage.


The idea of the hanger experiment goes something like this; to identify wardrobe pieces to throw out, hang all your clothes with the hangers in the reverse direction. After you wear an item, return it to the wardrobe with the hanger facing the right way. After a period of time, say six months, you will have a clear idea of which clothes you can easily get rid of. This could easily be applied to the number of apps you have installed on your device(s).

Now, dear reader, I am by no means suggesting that you only purge apps every six months, no but rather every month or so. You will no doubt have apps that you use every day (probably more than once) and apps that you have used once, or were addicted to for a while (Pokémon Go, we’re looking at you). Now might be a good time to look at what you want to keep and what you don’t really need anymore.fullsizerender Let’s take some inspiration from the hanger experiment above – organize your apps into a folder. You can name it something like declutter, spring clean etc. Now, anytime you use one of the apps in the folder – move it; any app that remains in the folder after a month gets deleted. Be strict, be ruthless. I recently deleted over half the apps on my own phone and my storage thanked me. I have 128Gb iPhone but I’m sure most of you will have a 16Gb or 32Gb device that will be close to being full or full already. We will cover how to free up space with photos in a further post.

Have a go and let us know what you think. How many apps do you have installed currently? How many do you use on a daily basis? Let us know in the comments or via social media.

Thanks for reading.


Welcome to App Junkie⤴

from @ APP Junkie

App Junkie A person who has been sucked into the consumerist network of the app store, and obsessively downloads. It’s fun, but you realize there’s no escape, soon after you’re sucked in. – Commander Clark on UrbanDictionary.com

That’s what this site is all about. We all have apps that we use daily, apps that are a guilty pleasure and apps that we have downloaded; never opened and still sit on our home screens or in a folder.

The aim of this site is to give you some insights into new and interesting apps as well as apps for getting things done, automating your daily life, having a quick 10min breather – well, you get the idea.

If you live by the motto; “There’s an app for that” – then this is the site for you.

We are also on Twitter, so please give us a follow.


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.

 


#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.


#ipaded – Explain Everything ideas⤴

from @ teachitgeek

On twitter the hashtag #ipaded, is a wonderful way to categorise articles and apps that can enhance the teaching and learning and process in the classroom.

At the heart of implementing the iPad in class, is the notion that it is a creativity device. Another tool that allows pupils to share their knowledge and experience in a new and exciting way. This can be daunting for teachers sometimes as the pupils often have more technological knowledge than they do. As teachers, it has always been important that we lead the learning in our classes. Without effective teaching the pupils will not pick up a concept or skill, using the iPad is no different. These articles will allow to use the iPad to facilitate an exciting concept or skill, the main difference will be the tool that the pupils use to share their knowledge and experience with.

Before proceeding further, have a look at this video on using AirDrop as a way to share files/images in class.

It can become easy to find yourself lost in a sea of applications. There are approximately 1.2 million currently available on the app store at present, each with their own advantages and disadvantages. We will hopefully show you how you can achieve success using a select number of applications; focussing on content.

The first is the app Explain Everything, an interactive whiteboard in the hands pf every pupil that does so much more. From creating a numeracy policy for parents to having pupils create animations that tell a story. For teachers it is ideal for feedback. Import a piece of pupil work into the app and record yourself giving feedback on areas that need improvement or showing where a piece of work has been done well.

The following example shows how early years pupils can practice their handwriting skills using the explain everything app and a stylus. The paper background can be found here.

This can be very useful as it allows you to see the way in which pupils are forming the letters allowing you to support their development a little more efficiently.

Numeracy on the iPad is another area that can be enhanced using Explain Everything. I have made a template file that can be shared with pupils via AirDrop, recorded over using Explain Everything and then submitted either via AirDrop or via Showbie. The template file can be found here. Please note that this file is only compatible with Explain everything.

Here is the file for reference:

Using Explain Everything in this manner can be a very useful learning tool. Pupils can hear their own thought process, share it with others and facilitate discussion in a key concept or skill. From a teachers perspective, hearing a pupil explain their thinking behind an answer can be a useful way of determine their understanding. If a pupil is struggling in an area you can pinpoint where they are going wrong and aid their development.


#ipaded Thinkrolls 2 by Avokiddo games⤴

from @ teachitgeek

Thinkrolls 2 by Avokiddo is a follow up to the popular first version of the game; released on March 26th. Both my children were fans of the original, with its various brightly coloured levels and logic problems and this new version adds to the challenge with an additional 235 levels and 28 characters.

The game is excellent for pupils in Early Years as it increases their ability to problem solve, analysis what is ahead and plan their next move.

Here is a video of my 5 year old son playing the game and solving some problems as he goes;

This game is excellent for teaching youngsters skills that can be transferred into other subjects such as Maths, Science and Physics.

Download using the link above and let me know what you think.

 


App smashing in the classroom now on iBooks⤴

from @ teachitgeek

My first ever iBook has been published. You can download it from here.

In it I have tried to give users some ideas of how to get started using the iPad. This isn’t a book for veteran users, but is targeted more at teaching staff who are starting out with iPads in their lessons.

As I am a Scottish Educator, there is reference to Glow. Glow is a National digital intranet solution for schools and local authorities across the country. It is currently in it’s 2nd iteration and integrates Microsoft Office 365. As a result, teaching staff and pupils have 1Tb of OneDrive storage and in some cases access to 5 copies of Office365 apps.

Other apps mentioned include:
iTunesU
Book Creator
Explain Everything
Showbie

All of these are excellent apps on their own, but together they really are a great way to unlock the potential of the work that pupils can create using the iPad.

If you download the book I would love to hear your thoughts. Positive and Negative. If you don’t hear the negative from time to time you don’t know where to improve. I hope to do more of these as time progresses so please keep coming back to the site for regular updates.