Currently, our school has 10 iPads. We have also ordered another 28 (which I am kind of kicking myself now about since the iPad3 will be out in a matter of days). When these arrive, we will have a full 30-iPad-syncing cart and 8 additional iPads for non-enrolling teachers and support staff. Each of our Learning Support Teachers, our Integration Teacher, and our 2 Child Care Workers will all have access to an iPad each day to use with their students. Considering how many diverse learners we have, the use of these iPads will be very helpful.
As we move into 21st Century Learning and technology use, we had a wonderful opportunity to join another school in an iPad bootcamp tonight. Considering the change in the current job action situation in our province, we were unsure if our staff would want to attend an evening iPad session for 4 hours. Even though they were given the option to postpone the session, they wanted the session to go ahead. They were excited about learning about the iPad together.
As we started the evening, you could hear the excitement in the room. The buzz was exhilarating. The teachers were engaged, excited, and enthusiastic about coming together in this beautiful facility. We all learned a great deal and were exciting to be there together – as a team – dedicated to a common goal. This is just one demonstration of our teacher’s commitment and dedication to their profession.
Listen to this audioboo and you will hear some of the excitement that was evident throughout the night. The ending of the audioboo is reflective of all the Oooooo’s and Ahhhhhh’s happening throughout the night.
A number of fellow educators read my tweets during our iPad Bootcamp session and inquired about what we learned. I thought I would use this opportunity to talk about some of the great apps we learned about tonight.
I would also like to share with you a little about how to save student files/projects when working on the iPad. This has been a challenge for us to figure out, so I am very excited that we now have some direction in this area. I hope that this information will help you as well.
Genius Scan – This app turns your ipad into a document scanner!
ComicLife - Just as it sounds, this is an app for making comics. Very popular among students.
NFB – This National Film Board app allows you to search for videos in all different topics.
NFB Pixstop – If you or your students are interested in creating stop-motion videos, you may want to check out this easy to use app.
Wikipanion – This app gives you access to Wikipedia.
Qwiki – If you have a topic to study, this app pulls all the information, pictures and text, together for you. The text is then read to the viewer by the iPad! All you need to do is download this app, then type in the topic of study. Super easy!
Videolicious – This app allows the students to create very easy, yet polished, videos. They are short, 50-second, videos. Students use up to 10 photos. They can add music. The app does all the transitions for the students. Super easy!
AppsGonefree – If you are looking for somewhere to get free apps (and who doesn’t like free?), take a look at this app! Each day, this app will tell you which apps are free to be downloaded on that day. Once you download it, it is yours to keep!
DropBox - This app is going to prove to be a real life-saver for us at our school. We have been looking for a way for students to save their creations. We bought an external hard drive to help with this. We learned that Dropbox will likely be our saving grace in this process.
Here are the steps I need to take to make this a reality in our school:
1. Open a school Dropbox Account
2. Put the Dropbox password into each iPad (You can use an “iPhone Configuration Utility” to make installation on each iPad a little less painful. You would download this from the mac store – just google it to find it, if you are interested).
3. It will be important to put a folder for each teacher/division in our Dropbox account. This is where teachers can put documents for the students to download and work on and it is also where students can “save” their work.
Many iPad apps work together and allow you to send directly to Dropbox.
To get an overview of Dropbox, take a look at this video.
CloudOn – You must have a Dropbox account to use this app. Once you have that in place, you would open Cloud on using your dropbox account. You would type in your school’s dropbox account information when you first open CloudOn.
If you have CloudOn, you do not need to download the expensive Pages or Numbers. You can create and open documents that look exactly like Word in CloudOn.
Flipboard - This is a wonderful app that turns webpages, blogs, interests, facebook, twitter, etc… into nice glossy magazines on your iPad. It is great and worth checking out. If you are unsure about Twitter, exploring it through Flipboard is a very user-friendly way to start.
SnapSeed - this is a great Photo Editing App! It is very easy to use. You can get it free this week by getting the promo code for the “Pick of the Week” from Starbucks!
Skitch – Stitch is a fun (and very useful) app in which you can crop, add drawings to, add text, and add shapes.
Explain Everything – This is an app with a great deal of potential! Using this app, students are able to draw, write, add photos and add their voice at the same time to explain their actions/thinking, etc… This is a very powerful way for students to demonstrate their learning.
PuppetPals – Be sure to spend the extra couple of dollars to upgrade PuppetPals with the Director’s Pass. Students can create wonderful stories with this app. With the upgrade, students can insert themselves or their friends into their stories as well.
Bryan also told us about an app called, Reflection, which is a Mac App that allows you to AirPlay mirror and iPad 2 or iPhone 4S to your computer wirelessly. It works just like AppleTV! Take a look at this video.
Thank you so much to our presenter, Bryan Hughes (@bryanhughes) for such an engaging presentation full of wonderful information and inspiration! We all learned so much from this evening AND we had fun!
I hope you all find something useful you can use from this post and our visit at Apple Headquarters.