Tag Archives: iPad

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.


Mirror, Mirror… For Android, Windows 8 and iPad.⤴

from @ Mimanifesto - Jaye's weblog

I’m writing this blog post on my Windows 8 Surface Pro tablet – but its appearing on my laptop screen.  I should explain; I love Apple TV. The ability to present whilst wandering around the room or even have students displaying their work by having their ipad screens projected onto the whiteboard is such a […]

Windows 8 Apps for Education⤴

from @ Mimanifesto - Jaye's weblog

I’ve written about the three ‘killer’ iPad apps before, and more recently, about my favourite Android apps, and so its time to do Windows 8. Now Windows 8 came late to the party; the Android and Apple offerings are much more mature and this is reflected in the choice of apps available. But Windows 8 […]

Tablet Pecking Orders…but it’s now a battle of the Ecosystems.⤴

from @ Mimanifesto - Jaye's weblog

We often make big assumptions in education, as we do in everyday life I guess. When it comes to Tablet devices for Education, the assumption has been that the iPad is the ‘Gold Standard’ and all the others are somehow ranked in descending order beneath it. Another one of the current biggies is all to […]

Windows Tablets now come with free training for schools…⤴

from @ Mimanifesto - Jaye's weblog

I wrote a recent blog post on the tablet procurement Framework here in Scotland towards the end of last year, mainly about how it has been a positive move but also how we might consider improving it, particularly now that the review date for the contract is approaching. One of the points I raised was the lack of choice of tablets  and how, despite a mechanism in the framework governance for responding to market developments, I felt that this had not been addressed by the current contract holder XMA. The pricing structure is not all that competitive either, with better prices available from other sources.  Indeed, are schools able to access good independent advice and needs analysis before investing large amounts of money in tablet device purchasing?  From individuals, colleagues or consultants who live and work in Scotland and know Scottish education well enough to help schools and LA’s make informed choices and are completely device agnostic as well as knowing where to go for the best prices on the chosen device? I don’t think this is happening enough.

windows 8 training

There is now a further incentive (apart from increased range) for schools to consider widening their horizons and using alternative routes to the Framework when making purchases and it is that Microsoft have just announced a fantastic free training deal –  that they will fund one days training for every twenty Windows devices purchased through their resellers, or three days for every fifty devices purchased. This training, delivered exclusively through Tablet Academy Scotland and Tablet Academy UK can be in the form of consultancy or from a selection of six courses tailored to Windows 8 devices in the classroom. For further information on contacting participating Windows Tablet suppliers across the UK, Contact Tablet Academy directly for information on this offer which is valid in all parts of the UK until March 31st 2014.

In Scotland, the hugely well-respected Pam Currie  (who runs Tablet Academy Scotland) and her team have the experience and local knowledge to be able to offer this advice – check out this free advice service here.

Of course Apple also offer free training with volume tablet purchases and the APD courses are excellent for schools wishing to use ‘off the shelf’ training for their staff, however it is what you see on the box and these courses (which Tablet Academy also deliver) can only be customised by a maximum of twenty-five percent and must never the less still focus on the ‘core curriculum’ set out in the APD course specification, whereas the Tablet Academy Windows 8 courses can be much more flexible and even bespoke depending upon your own needs or circumstances, including  using 3rd party Apps rather than Apple products, for example ‘Pinnacle Studio’ instead of iMovie and the new ‘Create Books’ Windows app (similar to the IOS ‘Book Creator’app) that is currently in beta testing, but was demonstrated in the BETT 2014  Interactive Classroom.

I think that more choice is a good thing. Windows and Android devices have come along way in a relatively short period of time and may now be ready to challenge Apple for market share. Whilst I love my iPad mini, I’ve grown to respect my Android and Windows devices too.

Samsung have just announced a ten year deal with Google. Windows 8 apps are getting better and more education-focussed as the months go by.  This year might well be a very significant one for tablet market share shift, with both Windows 8 and Android tablets gaining ground on market leader Apple in both the hardware and apps stakes.

(This blog post should be read with my usual disclaimer in mind, etc etc etc. You’ll find this in the page Tabs above)


Filed under: capacity-building, change, CPD, teaching and learning Tagged: ADE, APD, Apple, iPad, Microsoft, Pam Currie, procurrement Framework, Tablet Academy Scotland, Tablet AcademyUK, Training, Windows 8, XMA

The Tablet Procurement Framework – Time for some adjustment?⤴

from @ Mimanifesto - Jaye's weblog

I-5 Bridge CollapseA recent post  on All things D highlights how devices which have been somewhat off the radar in education have quietly gained kudos and market share. The Kindle Fire featured in this post is one such device. Interestingly,  Amazon’s own app store is also gaining some traction.

The Fire is not currently included in the Scottish Government Tablet Device Procurement Framework for Education  and neither is one of the other recent success stories in education, the Chromebook. I recently wrote about the Microsoft Surface tablet and how subsequent iterations (the Surface 2 is now out)  will find their place in   schools. The Surface is not in the framework either, and the new Toshiba Encore is a fantastic tablet running Windows 8.1 which certainly should be.  This platform is a great fit with the Microsoft Office 365 on which the current iteration of GLOW is based, when schools eventually get it.

The procurement framework was one of the key planks of the Scottish Government ICT in education programme. It coincided with our work on the ICT Excellence group where access was one of our key concerns in the report accepted by the Cabinet Secretary back in February this year. I know the introduction of the framework was applauded at the time as a way of increasing access, or at least helping schools with purchasing tablets, even if the pricing structure was not incredibly competitive! The Framework document states…

The national framework has secured the following benefits:
 Provides access to devices for the purposes of education in Scotland, enhancing learning and teaching, supporting digital inclusion across Scotland’s schools.
 Provides a range of tablet devices with various operating systems, at market leading prices.
 Provides a range of competitively priced upgraded devices and accessories.
 Provides consistent national pricing, regardless of size or geographical location.
 Provides an easy route to market for contracting organisations.
 Provides organisations with one central point for ordering and contract management covering warranty, insurance and general supply enquiries
It is anticipated that the majority of requirements for tablet devices will be met through the National Framework.

The last sentence is very telling for me because I don’t think this is now true.  Are schools blindly purchasing iPads without a thought for what their needs actually are? Are schools accessing good advice and help with needs evaluation before making tablet purchasing decisions? That any investment in tablet devices is based upon needs and not simply driven by ‘Magpie decision making’ (lets collect shiny things) or a herd mentality is crucial to a successful tablet roll out and schools cannot afford not to factor in Office 365 and GLOW, and therefore the full (rather than the somewhat restricted range of devices offered through the current framework) range of current devices into their decision making process. The current Framework covers purchases but not the advice and training which is a vital component of any tablet device deployment.

Some local authorities are geared up for this, particularly Edinburgh with its superb Digital learning Team and experienced practitioners like Mark Cunningham. Other sources of advice are available, including the Learning with Devices blog which is from Education Scotland,  and truly independent consultants and organisations not tied to any one particular platform or reseller  such as Tablet Academy Scotland which can provide specialist evaluation services covering all operating systems and devices. This can help schools weigh up the pro’s and con’s of all the different devices and platforms and assist them to arrive at the choice which meets their own particular needs.

If you are considering purchasing Tablets, first ask this; Has your Local Authority or Learning Community held a Tablet Evaluation Workshop day yet?  Have you researched the web for information on different tablets? Do you need to use the procurement Framework or is your chosen device not featured, and can you get a better deal elsewhere?

Taking good advice and doing the research before making significant purchases is something which needs to be encouraged so that LA’s and schools don’t end up with yet more ‘White Elephant’ technologies on their storeroom shelves.  Good advice taken directly from locally-based trainers who have worked with Curriculum for Excellence and appreciate how tablet devices enhance it’s delivery and practice is also crucial because its not just about the devices, its also about how you manage them within your current and future ICT Tech support set up. This is where good advice from the experts in actually using tablet devices in schools (and not just selling to education experience) is crucial to the success of your roll-out.  Apple have certainly recognised the importance of this last point.

Another part of the Framework agreement is even more interesting…

“There is an on-going obligation on the successful supplier to identify new or potential improvements with a view to reducing costs and/or improving the quality and efficiency of the products and services”.

Has this happened with the current Framework arrangements? And is this something which needs to be examined more closely when the first year comes to an end and is reviewed in May 2014? There have been developments during the lifespan of the current framework which have been significant enough to have merited examination, yet I’m not aware of any changes made to the existing framework detail during its life to date. One example would be the Chromebook, which is even featured on the Learning with Devices blog yet remains absent from the framework and also the more recent Kindle offerings from Amazon and the previously mentioned Windows 8 devices.

That the Windows 8 platform does not feature prominently in the framework is one of many reasons why schools and LA’s  might give serious consideration to bypassing it and making direct purchases. The up to date versions of the Office applications which come with Windows 8.1 are a great fit with the corresponding web apps within Office 365 and therefore, GLOW.

It seems to me that whilst the Framework has been a very good vehicle for making bulk purchases, it has also been a great opportunity lost (this is how a few disappointed LA IT folks have described it to me) and in particular is unadventurous when it comes to price and device range. In fact, when it can be said that the major benefit is not having to go down to Argos or PC World with a back pocket stuffed full of enough £50 notes to cover your purchase, then there needs to be a full review and evaluation of the Tablet procurement Framework at the Scottish Government  before any extension or renewal takes place.

I wonder when review time rolls around might it be time for the Government to start talking to the manufacturers directly?  Might this approach offer education the opportunity for some much more adventurous and innovative technology use with each manufacturer that wished to engage with Education offering special purchase schemes for schools and other institutions? This might also encourage targeted support for specific platforms.

The Tablet Device Framework was a first step in the right direction to widen access and manage the mobile device revolution in education but there now needs to be a serious conversation about widening access and this means re evaluating the current framework and perhaps changing tack.  My own view is that schools considering tablet device purchases should examine all their available options both from inside and outside the current Framework…and get good independent advice before making decisions and then purchases.

(Please see the usual disclaimer which applies to all of my blog posts. Image from vancouversun.com ccl)


Filed under: capacity-building, change, future of education, GLOW, GlowPlus, ICT, teaching and learning Tagged: android, edtech, Framework, GLOW, GlowPlus, ICTEx, iPad, Kindle, Microsoft, mobile devices, Office 365, procurement, Scottish Government, Surface 2, Surface Pro, Tablets, Toshiba Encore, Windows 8, XMA