Tag Archives: iPad

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.

 

Reader View – easier to see, read or hear.⤴

from @ Alan Stewart's AT Blog

Webpages can be very messy places to read from: broken or wandering text – often split at odd paces to accommodate a picture or advert, font sizes that are too small and shapes not really considerate to those with reading difficulties.

The Safari browser for Mac/iPad/iPhone has had Reader View built in for quite some time allowing users to strip the extraneous stuff out of the page leaving clean, plain text which can also be sized and have its font and background settings changed.http://www.iphonefaq.org/archives/974045

There’s an extension for Google Chrome that does, virtually, the same thing – it’s called Reader View and you can download it/install it to your Chrome browser here.

The extension looks like this when your browser is on most front/home pages that are links rather than text-based articles.reader view index

The extension icon changes when Reader View is available (text-based articles). reader view text

When the icon is clicked the page will change from a standard page to a clear, stripped down Reader View with font size, shape, and background colour/themes available down the right-hand side of the page.

This is the type of extension that should be made available for all pupils who have dyslexia, visual impairments, or any difficulty with reading that might be helped by seeing cleaner, clearer, more appropriately sized text. Using text-to-speech support software is also often easier to utilise with text that is spaced out in this way.


Filed under: Accessibility, Assistive Technology Software, Chrome, Cross curricular, ICT Support, iPad, Literacy, Personal, Teaching & Learning

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/

Office Lens….through a lens!⤴

from @ The H-Blog

It’s been a while since I blogged (a freshly minted child and 2 house moves will do that kind of thing to you….) but I saw something this week that made me think “People need to know about that. I should stick it on my blog.” Given how inactive I’ve been on here for so long, there may be a fundamental flaw in my logic there, but we’re going to let that slide for the moment….

 

Office Lens – did I mention it was free?

 

The thing that I saw was down to Ian Stuart. I had been asking some questions about OneNote and Class Notebook, and obviously Ian is the Go-To-Guy for such queries. He came out to visit me at school (many thanks Ian!) and ran through a few things with me. One of them was the amazing set of ‘Learning Tools’ available as a plugin for OneNote, and given our iOS situation he showed me the free Office Lens app too, but gave the caveat that it was only available in an iPhone version – although this could be used on the iPad like many iPhone apps.

After I got home, I went to download Office Lens to my iPad and found out that the info Ian had given me was inaccurate. There was an iPad version of Office Lens available! Turns out that it had literally just been released that day. I must have been one of the very first people to download it
(and did I mention it was free?).

So what does it do?

Well, put simply, if you have a piece of text, you point Office Lens at it, take a photo of it and it will then read it to you and also covert it into an editable document. See the pics below for an idea of how it works.

 

First, frame your document in the camera, and capture an image using the onscreen red button.

A thumbnail will be displayed of the image you just captured. You can now take more pictures, if you have more pages to scan.

Choose where you want the image to be sent.

Let’s start with the Immersive Reader.

The conversion is reasonably quick, on a decent signal at least.

Immersive Reader provides a clean and pretty clutter free interface.

Press the play button, and the text will be read out to you. The speed of the reading can be varied to suit your individual needs.

          

The current word being spoken is highlighted as it is read, and you can make the speech faster or slower to suit.

Did I mention it was free? And we’re not finished yet…..

If you have a compatible OneDrive account – like I don’t know, a school account or through Glow – then you can upload the scanned document to Word through OneDrive….

…where it just happens to become fully editable text. As with any OCR technology, it’s not perfect – but it is pretty good.

As an easy to use app which is simple and user friendly, it’s mightily impressive. And did I mention it was free? Get it for iOS at http://tiny.cc/OfficeLens

It’s also available as an Android or Windows (naturally) app, but I haven’t seen them up and running. Definitely worth a look though.

So, that’s Lens. What about ‘through a lens’?

Well, an interesting thing happened when I was showing a colleague how Lens worked. This technology, which would have been jaw-dropping a couple of years ago say, is free to download and easy to use – and I’m listening to myself say “Yeah – it’s a shame you can’t change the colour of the background it’s reading from, or how the highlighting works. And I wish you could add a Scottish accent….”

And then I stopped and listened to myself. I smiled, and thought about what the app is capable of and what our reaction was to seeing. And it’s a telling glimpse of where we are. We are insatiable. It doesn’t matter how good a piece of software, or hardware or work is, we always want it to do more, be more, achieve more. Which is good, in a way, and where progress and improvement comes from. But sometimes you just need to stop for a minute and say good job, well done.

So Microsoft; good job, well done.

Chalking my First Slate⤴

from @ John's World Wide Wall Display

I had a bit of a play with Adobe Slate this morning. It is an iOS app for publishing words and pictures.

The Devil's Pulpit
The Devil’s Pulpit

It is quite a very process which allows you to get good looking results quickly. Macworld points out some limitations that struck me immediately.

It’s dead-simple, but also quite limited. You can choose from a handful of themes to change the whole look of the story, but can’t adjust individual fonts or formats, or even add a link within a larger block of text. (You can, however, place links as standalone buttons.) You can change image formats so they appear full screen, inline, or as a scrolling “window,” but you can’t add borders or freely move images around. Video isn’t supported at all.

What we gain

I guess slate is part of the same move to allowing producers to concentrate on the content while the ‘professionals’ provide the design.
Like Medium you cannot argue with the results from a clean readable point of view.
We can publish text and pictures easily on a blog. I am sure we can find a theme or two with typography that is as good, but I suspect it might be hard to find such elegant handling of images.

What we lose

I am not a professional writer or photographer, neither am I a designer or coder (obviously;-)).
I publish ‘stuff’, sometime approaching stories, because it is fun and I want to explore the potential of these activities for learning. I have different degrees of interest in all aspects of the process, I think I can learn from each.
I’ve been thinking about the tension between ease of use and creativity for a while. For learners we will sometimes want them to concentrate on one particular aspect of the work. I can’t be the only teacher who sometimes asked pupils to leave font and style changes till the story was finished. At other times we will want them to get fully involved in messy learning.
We also lose some control of the data when we publish to silo sites. I am pretty sure that Medium and Adobe will be around a lot longer than Posterous, but I still like backups.

Alternatives

Just as I am writing this I remember an earlier experiment A Walk to Loch Oss using Odyssey.js

The odyssey.js library is being developed to help journalists, bloggers, and other people on the web publish stories that combine narratives with maps and map interactions. The library is open source and freely available to use in your projects. It is initially being built to work with most modern browsers

from: odyssey.js README on GitHub. Odyssey.js adds maps to the mix but might be an interesting alternative to Slate that allows you more control and ownership. I am sure there are others out there.

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.


Using OneDrive on an iOS device⤴

from @ teachitgeek

Teaching staff and pupils in Scottish schools are able to add items from an iOS device to the OneDrive for business storage available in Glow. Currently this storage is sitting at 1Tb which is equivalent to approximately 64 16Gb devices.

The previous version of the OneDrive for business app was very limited in its functionality. To add an image you were required to use a third party app and adding/deleting folders was not possible. Microsoft has since updated the OneDrive app to support a OneDrive for business account. This means you can still access your Glow storage but with more functionality and an easier to use interface.

You can download it from the app store here

To log into OneDrive app you must use your Glow credentials as an email address as follows:

Teaching staff and pupils
glowusername@glow.sch.uk  (for example gw08applejohn@glow.sch.uk)

Non-teaching staff
glowusername@glowmail.org.uk (for example gw08applejohn@glowmail.org.uk)

The app redirects to the main Glow sign in page, sign in as normal and the app will allow you to access your OneDrive storage.

The video below details how to sign in, add to, and share from the app.


iOS Workflow⤴

from @ John's World Wide Wall Display

I quite enjoy scripts and things that make my computing life a we bit easier. I’ve blogged a few times about AppleScript which I find very handy on my mac. On my iPhone I’ve never really found a way of automating things that stuck with me. I’ve downloaded and played with a few apps, but mostly they have felt a bit too convoluted for me.

I do regularly combine application to get a result, the so called app smashing, although I prefer the less destructive sounding playflow (I think I am the only person who does).

Workflow Icon

I’ve now found an application which looks like making this sort of thing on iOS a bit simpler: Workflow.

Workflow is more like Automator than AppleScript as it uses the same sort of block steps. You can combine any of the actions to create workflows. These steps or rather actions can deal with images, text, maps in all sorts of ways.

The think that makes this application stand out is that it has arrived hot on the heels of the iOS 8 improvements to inter application communication. You can set the application to the a Action Extension, this means it can be run from the share sheet in other applications. As you can set the input for a workflow to accept different things you can control the sheets where it will show.

In the screenshot below I’ve selected 2 photos and then hit the share button. When I click the Run Workflow button I can choose a workflow from the next screen(shown on the right) . In this case one choice is a simple workflow I made to downsize image an save it to the camera roll.

Sharesheet

These workflows are made by dragging and dropping action blocks onto a workflow. Workflows can be set to be run from a icon added to your home screen, the Launch Center app or from share sheets in other apps. The latter can be set to accept different types of data and will then show up in the appropriate apps.

So far I’ve only made a few very simple workflows with two or three block, but there is potential to loop and have if-then type decision making.

Some Workflows

There are over 150 actions you can use to build a workflow:

Actions

I’ve only scratched the surface of workflow over the last week or so, but it looks like it could make iOS more fun and effective.

A few links:

How to enable greyscale for visual accessibility in iOS 8⤴

from @ teachitgeek

iPad greyscale

 

Greyscale is a new accessibility feature in iOS 8 that allows pupils with a visual impairment, such as colour blindness, to disable colours that make it harder for them to see the display. Since these pupils struggle to differentiate between certain colours, greyscale mode can make reading menus and images easier.

How to enable Greyscale in iOS 8

  1. Launch the Settings app
  2. Tap General
  3. Tap Accessibility
  4. Turn the Greyscale option to on

Greyscale iPad

 

Everything on the screen now changes to show varying shades of Grey rather than the multiple colours iOS users are familiar with.

NOTE: as with inverted colours, this option does not work if you are using iPad through the VGA cable or AirPlay to an Apple TV.