Tag Archives: iPads

iPad in my classroom 2016 – 2017⤴

from @ wwwd – John's World Wide Wall Display

Although there is over a month left of my first year in the classroom for a while I though that I’d start writing this as if I leave it till the summer… 1

I am lucky enough to be teaching in a 1–2–1 classroom. 15 pupils spread across primaries five, six and seven.

I’ve probably not done as much with the iPads as I could have this session, stepping back into the classroom after a few years out has been ‘interesting’, teaching a multi-composite has had it challenges too.

The last time I was in school the classrooms had 2 desktop PCs, we shared a lab of desktops and a trolley of laptop. This was a great provision, but 1–2–1 is quite different.

The iPads are original Airs. They have individual ‘school’ iCloud accounts and the pupils use their glow accounts for emails, online storage (O365) etc.

Apps are distributed via a free meraki MDM account. The devices are not in DEP. I ask pupils to request app that they want. And not to install them themselves. Obviously they could if they wanted to. We have a few restrictions, movie age for example, set from meraki but the devices are pretty open.

App notes

Some brief notes on the main apps we have used this session.

  • Drawing, Brushes Redux & Tayasui Sketches
    • learning about layers, illustrating, art. Tracing images of all sorts is very popular with pupils in spare moments. 2
  • Whiteboard Some of the pupils prefer a real one though.
  • Camera
    • recording learning (photo & video)
    • illustrating work (poetry) 3
    • presenting work (markup)
    • photography, casual learning about craft
    • video, casual learning about craft
  • Notes
    • writing, as the year has gone on we have written more in notes and less in other apps.
    • drafting, especially useful for blogging as removes any distractions.
    • collaborative writing, it is easier to airdrop a few notes that setup online document.
  • Safari, having an always to hand reference book, media library etc. Brings a lovely set of problems with it, copyright, fact checking and distraction. Updating the school blog and e-portfolios should be easier when everyone has a browser to hand.
  • O365 through glow. I’d decided to use these office tools this session. At that point I could have used the Apple ones, but would, then, have had to pay for the apps. I could have used Google, but would have had to organise accounts.
    • Microsoft Word, used for writing, especially for presentation and if work needs printing. Now we often start in notes. Early on we tried a lot of handing in of work via sharing in O365. Had a lot of problems with work going missing, documents not fully syncing. Some of this might have been confusion round saving (locally, Onedrive,auto, manual) some due to poor bandwidth. Now I ask pupils to start in notes, moving to word for formatting and adding images.
    • Microsoft OneNote, after early problems with Onedrive & word I decided to use Onenote as a virtual, handout/worksheet/jotters solution. When it works it is great. Unfortunately, for us, it doesn’t work consistently. I have persisted, for months. One of the most frequently used apps, but am probably going to look at other solutions next session.
      • I’ve blogged about the problems and spent a fair amount of time trying out solutions suggested by other glow uses, twitter folk and the Microsoft team.
    • PowerPoint, we have used a little. Most often as a choice for personal projects. I think I’ll try Keynote next session as is now free.
    • Microsoft Sway, we have dipped into sway, I’ve not found the pupils as excited by the app as other glow users have reported. Might be the way I’ve explained it?
  • LEGO® Movie Maker, a nice free stop motion app. we used this for some maths shape work and a whole class Tam O’Shanter movie. 4 I think the app has been discontinued a great shame
  • iMovie, for editing videos, science reports, animations. Some of the pupils are very keen on trailers in any spare moments, golden time and personal projects. 5
  • 5SecondsApp – Animated GIF Create & Search – Animated GIF Create, occasional fun for the blog often in combination with MSQRD. 6
  • Padlet has great potential, but our bandwidth seems to be too poor for this.
  • MyScript Calculator – Handwriting calculator – Handwriting calculator, some of the class like this, others prefer the google one in the browser.

If I was limited to the number of apps I think we could have got by with stock software, Safari, Notes and Photos will get you a long way. I’d add iMovie next.

The app I’d like to find is the simplest audio recorder that would allow pupils to listen to, record and share audio. It is a pity that Apple voice memos is limited to the iPhone. We have used boss jock junior a bit this session, but I think I’ll try the free version of ferrite next, unless I find something simpler.


Attempts to distribute, gather and organise.

Over the session I’ve used OneDrive, OneNote and latterly experimented with Apple Classroom. These all have their strengths and weaknesses.

Pupils creating documents in OneDrive and sharing with me was the way we started. The obvious problem is organisation. We tried both sharing documents through OneDrive and emailing back and forward. Emailing proved to be the most successful, we had a lot more failures with sharing, as noted above, it’s hard to tell if these are problems with the syncing, pilot error or due to lack of bandwidth. Emailing brings organisation problems.

The main app I’ve used this session for distributing and collecting information has been OneNote. Apart from a few dislikes of the way the software works, no grouping in particular, the concept of how OneNote should work is great. Unfortunately We’ve lost data, had slow syncing and a lot of errors thrown. Even when working with a small group of 10 pupils, getting work to review back from all of them in a timely fashion has been a struggle. We have quite often lost work completely.

The possibilities of the class notebook are wonderful. Pupils record and assess their own reading on the one page. I can use the classnote book tools to click through them all listing and adding my 2 pence worth easily. I can had out maths ‘worksheets’ with a video of myself working through the problem embedded. The pupils work can organised and accessed easily. Unfortunately it doesn’t always work for us.

Recently I took the iPads out of meraki management to allow us to test the Apple Classroom app. The best practise for doing this is to have the iPads in DEP, The Device Enrollment Program, and supervised in an MDM (e.g. meraki). Unfortunately our iPads are not in DEP and they would have to be wiped to do that. I am not doing that at this stage in the session.

Instead I got the pupils to remove the MDM management and join a manually created classroom. Compared to the onenote workflows described above the classroom is quite limited. There is no organisation of media, text etc. The killer feature, for me, is that sharing is done locally, via Airdrop, without needing to get data out to the internet. So far I’ve just used it to distribute and collect files, notes and media files of all sorts. This is lightning quick, and so far I’ve had no problems. Longer term I need to figure out how pupils work could be organised, both on their iPads and mine. Notes has a simple folder system, but it could get pretty messy over time. I wonder if iOS 11 out this autumn will help, either with improvements to the Notes app or the new Files app that integrates with OneDrive?

Next Session

There is a lot to think about. I avoided the Microsoft classroom this session, it felt a bit too complex for me and seemed to still be evolving. Quite glad as MS classroom is going to be replaced by Teams. I am wondering it if will be any more successful than OneNote in my situation.

Next session Glow will also give use access to the Google suite, I’ll be interested in seeing how that plays out. My personal use of google apps has lead me to feel that they are lighter weight and faster to sync than O365 but I’ve not used them in the classroom.

I am also, now they are all free, thinking that switching to the Apple ‘office’ apps would be a good idea. I certainly find pages and keynote easier to use on iOS than Word or PowerPoint. 7

I am tempted too by Apple classroom, the quick local transfer seems like a good idea.
From the distribution to pupils, just using the notes app with the classroom Airdrop, where you can send to the whole class or a group is a great improvement over OneNote. On iOS or mac the OneNote classroom lacks the ability to send to groups which Apple Classroom has. The success and speed of Airdrop beats O365 via the web hands down (not surprising). Tables I’ve missed a little and it would be nice to be able to record audio straight into notes. It is simple enough to record in another app and insert into notes.

Ideally I’d love the simplicity and speed of Notes and Airdrop to be extended to add some of the organisational features on OneNote classroom.

I am a bit disappointed that I’ll start next session still unsure about the best way forward. Google will not arrive in Glow until September. MS teams is not yet ready for use.

I am looking forward to trying all of this out, but mindful that swapping out workflows is not as easy for our digital natives 8 as it is for me.

  1. Yup, this post has taken at least 3 weeks to mature. It is a bit of a grab bag but has helped me think things through.
  2. Art Gallery – Banton Biggies a lot of this is made in Brushes.
  3. Kennings, we know about animals – Banton Biggies
  4. Scenes From Tam O’Shanter – Banton Biggies
  5. Video – Banton Biggies
  6. RedNoseDay Animated Gifs – Banton Biggies
  7. Personally I am not a frequent user of office apps. I would never open word, pages or google docs just to enter text. Drafts would be my iOS productivity tool of choice.
  8. I found the pupils are really quick in learning some digital things, but I don’t think that includes organisation.


from @ Pedagoo.org

As one of our digital leaders at school, responsible for raising our digital prowess and use of technology to enhance learning (rather than just a bolt on), I am often asked what are my most recommended apps/tools to use in the classroom. I am by no means an expert – in fact, quite late to […]

Developing Student Independence Through The Use of iPads⤴

from @ Pedagoo.org

I find myself in an unusual and yet a privileged position.  I currently work in 2 schools – 3 days in my own school and 2 days on supply in another.  This has allowed me to have a new perspective on my own practice and it has highlighted some surprising things.18 months ago our department […]

Apps For All⤴

from @ Mimanifesto - Jaye's weblog

Whatever your platform there’s a list of great apps f or you. The helpful folks at Tablet Academy UK and Tablet Academy Scotland have compiled three lists of favourite apps for education. They are a completely independent consultancy and provide good advice which is completely platform agnostic, and utilises good local knowledge (unlike some businesses […]

Nottingham Conference – A Reflection⤴

from @ ICT & Education

I was privileged to be asked to attend an Apple event in Nottingham, focussing on how the iPad is being used (or could be used) an innovative ways in medicine.

Now, I must admit that aside from the fact my mother is a nurse and midwife, my medical knowledge is limited to what I’ve gleaned from St Elsewhere, ER and Scrubs. Take from that what you will. So you can probably appreciate my concern that I might end up being ‘outed’ as a fraud. It was too good an opportunity to miss, though, so off I went.

… and loved it.

There are two particular issues which stick in my head from the conference, beyond putting a face to some names and meeting some very nice people! First, a lot of the apps which were discussed (which didn’t focus specifically on medicine) are ones I’ve already experimented with. That was quite encouraging and I was able to make some (hopefully useful) comments during the session from a learning/teaching perspective. I sometimes forget that my interest in learning/teacing and the use of iPads puts me, to some extent, near the forefront. It was interesting to see others’ journeys and to support them by discussing my own understanding and experience using apps such as Nearpod and Join.Me and to be involved in helping them to move forward in their own learning journey.

The other aspect which interested me was listening to two medical students. Well, one just about to graduate and one who graduated last year. They talked about how they used iPads on many levels to support their own learning. It amused me somewhat that it was a bit of a revelation to them to use them with the patients. What interested me, though, was their attitude towards their own training. They were annoyed that there were attitudes amongst their trainers (uni staff/placement staff) which was very anti-technology/anti-tablet. What came across very clearly was this:

The question isn’t WHY should we use tablets; the question should be HOW should we use tablets (for training).

So, overall, a very good day in Nottingham. A big thank you to Colin (and Lawrence) for the invite and also to Oscar who was an excellent tutorial presenter. :-)

Where are the killer apps?⤴

from @ Mimanifesto - Jaye's weblog

If, like me, you are an Apple fan who works with both Android and Windows 8 platforms as well, you often find yourself in the comparison game. Its not a good place to be. I’m a firm believer in making EdTech choices based on need (see my last blog post for more on this) and so I have no problem working across all three major mobile operating systems. I’ve worked with both Apple and Microsoft and I’m really impressed with what they both have to offer and with their commitment to education, be it through the Apple Professional Development programme or Microsoft’s Partners in learning and Excellent Educators.  I’ve also done a bit or work with a fantastic Android device supplier and know that Android is catching up fast.

If I’m honest though, my iPad mini is the best piece of tech I’ve ever actually owned. For me personally, it does everything I need a mobile device to do. Thats not to say that other devices don’t have their own places or niches. There are some great Android functions and apps and Windows 8 devices have this interoperability with desktop machines that is a real advantage for those who are a bit less tech savvy than others – its the simplicity and familiarity factors coming into play.

But in education, the Apple IOS offering is still ahead of the game when it comes to apps. The killer three really set the iPad apart from the competition. BookCreator, iMovie and GarageBand are the killer three when it comes to schools. The creativity goes through the roof when kids are set free to work on these apps and its a wonderful thing to see. My good friends at Apple in the UK have introduced me to some incredible individuals and schools who are making fantastic use of these three apps.

Android and Windows 8 are pushing Apple all the way for market share in education tablet device use. To me,what they really need to work on are the killer apps. Where are the Android and Windows ‘killer’ three to take on the Apple triumvirate? get this one cracked and we could see the battle for market share really hotting up

Filed under: capacity-building, change, future of education, ICT, Leadership, teaching and learning Tagged: android, Apple, apps, edtech, iPad, iPad Air, iPad Mini, iPads, Microsoft, Samsung, Toshiba, Windows, Windows 8

Tablet Academy comes to Scotland….and the world!⤴

from @ Mimanifesto - Jaye's weblog

Logo tablet academy Formed by the highly respected and influential educational technologist Professor  Steve Molyneux, Tablet Academy has established itself as one of the UK’s leading  training providers for mobile device use. Steve is a well known and respected  independent consultant in the use of learning technologies to support education  and training both across the UK and internationally. I’ve been doing some initial  groundwork with Steve in Scotland and I’m pleased to say that Tablet Academy  Scotland is now up and running, headed up by new CEO,  the wonderful and equally  well respected Pam Currie.

It is certainly an interesting and busy time for Tablet Academy as the business grows around the world. Tablet Academy UK is growing in Europe, and also Tablet Academy Africa is already up and running across Africa and the Middle East. This growth is in no small part due to the product on offer; tablet training and consultancy across all the three main operating systems. Apart from a well established portfolio of completely flexible and client-centred iPad training courses (ideal for organisations wishing to have their training completely personalised to suit their own specific needs) Tablet Academy has Apple Distinguished Educators who can deliver the full catalogue of Apple professional Development courses. This is significant for those taking advantage of the training on offer through the Scottish Government Tablet procurement Framework  after purchasing  iPads.

You can contact Tablet Academy here for some great deals on all of these course portfolios not available elsewhere.

Tablet Academy was also the first training consultancy to design courses for those education organisations choosing devices running Windows 8.  Full details of these courses can be found here. Included is an introduction to using Office 365 which might be of particular interest in Scotland where the national schools intranet has started moving across to its new home based in office 365 and SharePoint. I’ve spent a lot of time recently writing training guides for Office 365 in Education and with huge growth worldwide in its use in schools, colleges and universities, I can certainly see Windows 8 tablets challenging the iPad for market sector dominance in many countries around the world. The new Microsoft Surface 2 is a lovely machine..

Android courses are already up and running through Tablet Academy Africa and will also be offered to the UK and Europe very soon. With Google introducing the new Play Store for Education and working with tablet manufacturers (including Asus and HP) to pre-install Google Apps for Education, there is more significant investment into the Android platform. The devices are usually less expensive than iPads and so appeal to those with tighter or more limited budgets. In most cases, this in no way diminishes their value in the classroom and for learning.

So if you are a school, college, or university, browse the new website, and get in touch with Tablet Academy to discuss your training needs. Local Education Authorities, districts and provinces can take advantage of even better pricing by becoming Tablet Academy regional training centres and accessing a whole range of benefits including software and cloud service discounts and free training places on all courses they run,  MediaCore being just one of these. All the trainers are teachers with expertise in using mobile devices in learning and teaching. They are usually all local and so in Scotland for example, they will have direct experience of working with A Curriculum for Excellence across all sectors and subjects. It is this local capacity which perhaps sets them apart from other training businesses offering their services to education establishments.

And if you’re interested in working for Tablet Academy anywhere in the world, they are always on the look out for experienced educators with classroom experience of using mobile devices to enhance learning and teaching  so have a look at the website and get in touch…

(as with all the posts on this blog, readers are advised to note the contents of my standard disclaimer)

Filed under: capacity-building, change, CPD, GLOW, GlowPlus, ICT, teaching and learning Tagged: ADE, android, APD, Apple, Google, Google Apps for Education, Google Play Store, iPads, Microsoft, mobile devices, Office 365, Pam Currie, Sharepoint., Steve Molyneux, Surface 2, Surface Pro 2, Tablet Academy Africa, Tablet Academy Scotland, Tablet AcademyUK, Tablets, Windows 8, XMA

7 Time-Saving iPad Tips For Teachers⤴

from @ Mimanifesto - Jaye's weblog

A great post on iPad use. I’m a huge fan of the power of the iPad to transform classroom practice and learning. When you add this to their fantastic education support package, I think  the Apple tablet is pretty much  unbeatable at the moment. We often talk about how it’s not the device that matters, but the teaching.  Well, that’s a pretty glib statement to trot out without thinking a little bit about just what a device will do or can achieve and what  is in place to support the transformative practice.

I wasn’t always an apple fan  but things change, and it’s always worth reappraising your views from time to time.  After lots of work, conversations and school visits,  I know that it’s now a situation of..iPads and the rest.  The ‘rest’ is the Android and windows tablets which are not gaining much traction with teachers and students at the moment.  This might change if the manufacturers start to match the complete Apple package and Samsung look to be heading in this direction with their Smart School product and plans to develop apps and resources in the pipeline. Until then,  it’s going to be a difficult road for other tablets in education,  particularly in Scotland and the rest of the UK

7 Time-Saving iPad Tips For Teachers | Edudemic.

Filed under: Uncategorized Tagged: android, Apple, Classroom, iPads, Learning and teaching, mobile devices, School, Tablets, Windows

iPads and Lecturing⤴

from @ ICT & Education

Last year I tried to use the iPad for a presentation using Keynote. It was marginally successful but I had to use a connector wire in order to connect the iPad to the VGA projector. This means the iPad had to be kept at the podium (where the VGA cable was). I had to return to the podium to swipe to the next slide. Hardly the best use of a wireless iPad, in my opinion.

This year I intend to use the iPad in a manner which will allow me to have the iPad in my hand(s), freeing me up to move around the lecture hall and be able to mirror my iPad to the projector.

Test One: Using Apple Remote

This test connected a VGA adapter to iPad and VGA cable and use Apple Remote to forward slides of presentation. It worked very well but very limited as only presentations could be viewed. Couldn’t mirror what’s on my iPad.

Test Two: Using Apple TV and Kanex Adapter

The theory was that the Apple TV would connect to the wifi network as would the iPad. I could then mirror to the Apple TV. The Kanex adapter was connected to the Apple TV (HDMI) and to the VGA cable connected to the projector. This should have worked. It didn’t. Apple TV does not support Enterprise networks.

The solution was to use my MiFi. After some fiddling, it did work and this is the solution I intend to use during the upcoming academic year to lecture.

Evaluation and Potential Issues

Apple TV does not support Enterprise networks.
This is a major issue if an alternative WiFi system isn’t available. Apple TV won’t be able to connect. It was necessary for me to use my own MiFI to ensure the iPad and Apple TV were connected to the same network.

Apple TV tries to set date and time. Difficult to get off this ‘page’.
As the Apple TV is being reconnected to a power source, it tries to set the date and time by connecting to a WiFi network. In my scenario, although I had a MiFi turned on, there was no 3G signal and, therefore, no internet signal. An Apple Remote was used to force the Apple TV to go to the main menu and to connect it to the Mifi. Another method was to use Remote, an app for the iPad to force the Apple TV to go to the main menu.

An Apple TV costs approximately £100. The Kanex ATV Pro costs approximately £50. If there is an intention to link to the internet to view webpages, YouTube videos, etc., there may be an additional cost involved, particularly if a MiFi is being used with a download limit.

I now have a method by which I can mirror my iPad onto a VGA projector without having to tie the iPad down via a connected cable. It does work.

It would be interesting to see if a 3G-enabled iPad would overcome the need for the MiFi. Is it possible to create a network base from a 3G-enabled iPad? From what I have researched online, the answer is ‘no’.

Using the iPad to Record Observed Students on Placement⤴

from @ ICT & Education

One of my interests is how to use iPads more effectively with my students. My plan is to keep a blog/diary of how I am using the iPad and its impact on my teaching and the students’ learning.

Some areas I intend to use iPads are:
- recording observations of students on placement in primary schools;
- administration at University (including attendance);
- lectures/presentations.

Today, I tried using the iPad during an student observation for the first time.


      To determine the feasibility of using iPads during school visits as an alternative method of recording and assessment;

To identify potential difficulties and issues of using iPads instead of the traditional paper report form;

Setting It Up
Usually, a specific paper form is used during tutor visits. This form is A3 size in triplicate – one copy for the tutor, one for the student and one for the school. I have the original PDF document used to create this paper form and Adobe Acrobat was used to add fields to each section of the form in order to create an electronic version which could be used for this trial.

An app for the iPad called PDF Expert was also used to enable me to type into the fields on the PDF form.


There were some issues with the iPad auto-correcting my text causing me to then correct it. I found it easier to turn the auto-correct feature off although there was still a need for meticulous proof-reading.

There was no bold/italic feature (possibly due to not having set the presets on the form properly) nor was there a bullet point feature, something I prefer to use during my reporting. Instead, I had to use paragraphing to separate my key points. This is probably more of an aesthetic issue but I found that not doing so gave the form a “text-dense” feel which old have looked visually overwhelming for some students.

The ability to scroll text allowed for comments to extend beyond the confines of the text box. However, if the form were to be printed, the text below the text box would not be visible.

During the observation, it was easier to hold and type on the iPad as it was significantly smaller in size than the paper version. Comments were able to be edited as the observation progressed without having to cross/score out, as is necessary on a handwritten, paper copy.

During the discussion with the student after the observation, it was equally as easy to refer to the iPad as it was to refer to the paper duplicates.

PDF Expert allows for the tutor’s own signature to be saved and brought up by pressing and holding down on the iPad. It also allows for another signature (which doesn’t get saved) which works well for the student’s signature. It was a bit awkward for the student to sign her name with her finger on the iPad and it was clear it was not her regular signature. There is a question whether a signature is needed on an electronic version of the form. However, it was decided that obtaining a signature was in keeping with the other students’ hand-written reports and also provided clear evidence that the report had been shared with the student at the time of the tutor visit.

One small issue was that the student needed to review the form which meant explaining how to scroll using the iPad. The student was a bit hesitant but was willing to try. She was given the iPad and an explained was given about how to scroll each section. She read through the form without difficulty.

The form was emailed to both the student and the school mentor. This was achieved through the use of a MiFi (portable 3G device) and connecting the iPad to the 3G network. However, it would have been just as simple to have emailed the form once in a WiFi area (possibly upon the return to the office/home at the end of the day).


It was not difficult to use the iPad and the pre-created form for the tutor visit. By not needing the large A3 form, it was less awkward to sit, observe and record the student. The fact that I can type quickly and I’m comfortable with the use of the iPad probably made for a more effective and productive experience.

The number of words used in the word-processed form was slightly higher than recent handwritten reports. This is probably due to my ability to type faster than I can write. A wireless network was connected to the iPad via Bluetooth. The ability to touch type was then particularly helpful as it was not necessary to look at the keyboard while typing. More attention could be paid to observing the learning experience. This resulted in the higher word count as more commentary was recorded.

Although I word-processed the form, another method could have been to use Notability (an app for iPad) and to use the hand writing facility. This would be challenging using a finger. However, using an iPad stylus would simulate (to some extend) writing on a paper form. It would be of interest to compare using PDF Expert and word-processing with using Notability and hand-writing.

The student experience is not impacted negatively in a significant way except, perhaps, the lack of an immediate copy of the report (unless the student has a way of checking emails immediately with a smartphone or suchlike). There is also the issue of the student being comfortable navigating a form on the iPad and being able to write a signature. These are issues which are insurmountable.

Confidence in using PDF Expert (such as knowing how to access signatures) and the iPad in general is certainly necessary to ensure the focus can remain on observation (and recording) of the student. Training would certainly be necessary for other tutors unfamiliar with PDF Expert. It is also helpful to be able to touch type (I.e., less need to look at the keyboard whilst typing).

One particular issue is regarding sending the form to the student as an attachment to an email. Firstly, it is important for the tutor to ensure the emails is being sent from a work account. More importantly, the form needs to be sent as a flattened file; this allows the student to read the file but not edit it. However, this removes the ability to scroll text. In this particular scenario, the student was in contact to state she couldn’t read all the text.

Having reviewed the PDF document and researched methods about how to send a copy of the form electronically without allowing editing but with scrolling, the conclusion drawn was that it was significantly easier to reduce the font size to make the text fit the area as the student was able to zoom in on the text, making it easier to read. Indeed, there is no easy way to create a non-editing form with scrolling on a PDF document unless JavaScript is used and/or Adobe Acrobat Pro is used on a desktop/laptop computer. Having to use a computer/laptop to send a report defeats the purpose of this study.

Next Steps

      Use the iPad to observe another student, using


      and using hand-writing instead of word-processing in order to compare both experiences;

Get feedback from involved students and school mentors;

Review PDF form to identify if attributes such as bold, italics, etc. can be added.