Tag Archives: iPhone

Want your kids off their Smart Phones? Then put yours away!

When I was a child I lived in a two story home with my parents and three siblings. Around 7 o’clock, my mother or father would ask the available to child to “go get your siblings for dinner.” We then ran to the stairs and promptly yelled at the top of our lungs, “DINNER!!!” My parents then scolded “Don’t yell!

Walk up the stairs.” But here’s the real kicker, if all of us kiddos were upstairs mom and dad didn’t walk up to get us; no, they stood at the base of them and yelled up as well. No wonder we always ignored their instruction and screamed for one another instead of walking up the steps. We followed our parents’ lead.

I tell this story because as a Tech Director I am often asked by fellow teachers, administrators, and even parents how they can curb a child’s smartphone behavior. The best advice that I can give (and the hardest for adults to follow) is to model the behavior that you expect from a child.

If you want your child to have conversations during a meal, then all phones (not just theirs) should be put away. Pick a designated location that they are stored, preferably outside of the room so that a ding or a buzz won’t distract. If you are going to dinner, bring *one phone* for an emergency. All of the others stay home. The present phone doesn’t sit on the table, it should be put away. I like to zip mine up in a handbag so that it’s not readily available and I can’t pull it out if tempted. If you think that the distractify culture isn’t a problem at restaurants, check out this article written by a New York restaurateur that outlined the impact of cell phones on restaurant turn over.

In addition to meals, pay attention to where else you use your phone. A recent article in the Washington Post reported some disturbing trends in adult use of smart phones; nearly 1/3 used it during a child’s recital or production and more alarming more than 1/2 used it while driving! Likewise, how often in a long assembly have you snuck in a quick text or checked your email (I know I’m guilty of this)?

The reality is that children do learn what they see. Just as we teach children to be courteous (say please and thank you, wait your turn, etc), be sure that you demonstrate and model appropriate and respectful use of your smartphone: don’t read email/texts/social media at the table, don’t use your phone while you’re driving, and certainly do not ignore a child or student (at ballet recitals, school plays, or assemblies) in favor of the device. Not only does this demonstrate to them what courteous smartphone use it, it will provide you some weight when you correct their behavior.

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The 7 best places for finding iOS apps

Jennifer Carey:

Some great tips if you own iOS devices!

Originally posted on History Tech:

I get the chance to spend a lot of my time working with Apple products and how they can be integrated into instruction. This means, obviously, I also get the chance to work with lots of educators who are looking for just the right tool and just the right app. And we always memorize together the mantra – “it’s not about the app, it’s about what kids do with the app. It’s not about the app, it’s about what kids do with the app.”

But there is still a need to know what sorts of things are out there. So today, seven of my favorite places to go to find just the right tool for what you want kids to do.

View original 233 more words

5 iOS Movie Editing Apps to Explore this Summer

Summer is a great time to play with and explore new software and hardware. Most educators have a more flexible summer schedule and can devote time to bigger projects. Many of my colleagues have expressed a desire to have their students produce movie projects (see my post – “Student Documentaries in History Class“). Often, they are concerned about learning how to make a movie – that it will be complicated and they will 5918469469_71ccb96c6d_bbe expected to teach new software on top of their established curriculum. However, most movie editing tools are intuitive and the best way to learn is by doing! If you have some free time this summer, it can be a great opportunity for you to learn how to play with one of these great tools and plan how to incorporate it next school year.

If you have an iPhone or iPad, here are five great movie editing apps to help you become a star director. Special thanks to my friend, photographer Christian Santiago of Solar Highway Productions for his suggestions!

iMovie ($4.99, Free with New Devices) – Apple’s iMovie is the traditional video editor for iOS devices. It’s easy to use and designed for beginners yet with enough cool features to let you develop some mad editing skills!

Videograde ($4.99) – This app allows you to easily edit and enhance the colors of your videos and export them in beautiful HD.

Magistro (Free, in-app purchases and premium upgrade) – A photo editor combined with a video editor, Magistro lets you easily create impressive, professional looking video. The premium upgrade allows you cloud storage and online editing capabilities.

Cute Cut (Free) – Not only does this support traditional movie making, but it allows you to add some cool features like drawing and picture in picture capabilities!

Vizzywig ($29.99) – At nearly $30, Vizzywig has the highest price tag. However, it also has some of the greatest tools and features that are offered on high end video editing software like Adobe Premier. If you feel like you’ve gone as far as you can with a basic layman’s video editing tool, then Vizzywig is a great intermediate step!

iTunes U Courses for High School

d2_160Apples iTunes U allows individuals to access content from educational institutions around the world – for free. If you’re interested in incorporating iTunes U in your classes or even creating your own, check out this free course by Cheryl Davis, iTunes U Courses for High School.

This course introduces iTunes U courses to teachers and provides examples  of iTunes U courses that work well in the high school curriculum. The course also covers creating iTunes U courses.

Socrative 2.0 Launches!

The popular polling and quizzing software Socrative launches 2.0 today! The entirely free service has seen a full interface redesign with some robust upgrades to its teacher interface with expanses to its quizzing, space race, and quick poll features. Check out this short video on Socrative’s features:

Check out their blog announcement here. If you’re eager to get started, download the user guide in PDF format here.

Four Tips to Master Evernote on your iPhone

Four Tips to Use Evernote on your iPhoneI love Evernote.  I use it for just about everything and encourage my students to employ it in their studies to help them stay more organized. Today, Cult of Mac published a great “How To” for using Evernote on your iPhone. Be sure to check it out!

Evernote is a fantastically useful service, with clients for the web, Mac, PC, and iOS. The iOS version is as full featured as the desktop version, a rarity these days, and really makes Evernote my go-to app for keeping track of stuff of all kinds.

Here, then, are four fantastic tips and tricks to get the most out of the Evernote app on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch….

Read the complete article here at Cult of Mac.

Teaching With SmartPhones

This has been reblogged from my post at PLP Voices of the Learning Revolution.

Teaching with SmartPhones

Posted by  on Nov 21, 2012 in The How of 21st Century TeachingVoicesWeb Tools That Deepen Learning0 comments

If you ask educators about cellphones in their classrooms, they will all have a passionate response and a story (good or bad) about their presence.

Most will express frustration at their problematic nature: they’re a distraction; they make noise; they can be used for cyber-bullying or cheating. That said, I think that more and more educators are recognizing that cellphones, and especially smartphones,can be a useful learning tool. But how do teachers make that happen?

As an early adopter of smartphone technology, I immediately recognized the incredible computing power they possess. Many students now have pocket technology that’s much more powerful and innovative than the equipment used in early manned space flights.

Still, like my colleagues, I imagined cellphones as a huge classroom management struggle.

So I set out to test a theory, with this basic premise: If teachers actually direct how students will use their cellphones in class as learning tools, we can minimize their role as a distractive presence.

I am the first to acknowledge that my teaching situation is not the same as many other educators. I teach in a small, independent school. My students generally come from a financially stable background and I teach fairly small classes (15-22). All of my students have some type of smartphone device. I understand this is not the case for all teachers. But most classrooms will include some students who have internet-capable devices, and many of the activities I will discuss here can be done in groups with just one device per group.

Supporting lessons & activities

A good rule of thumb for any classroom use of cellphones: the lesson/activity must be engaging as well as productive. You don’t want technology for the sake of technology (and students aren’t going to be intrinsically fascinated with a device they use routinely when they’re outside of school). If the students don’t enjoy what they’re doing, they will be more tempted to use their phones inappropriately.

In Class Polling/Quizzing – One of my favorite tools to use in class is a program called Poll Everywhere. I wrote about this service in an article at my personal blog: “Poll Everywhere – A Free/Cheap Alternative to Polling Hardware.”

This is a great piece of software to use in the classroom (and it’s free for audiences up to 40). You can create quiz questions for which students text in their answers.  No expensive clicker systems to buy, set up, and maintain! If students register their cellphone numbers (a requirement in my class) you can even track their answers for impromptu quizzes or review!

In-class Backchanneling: Backchanneling refers to the use of networks & social media to maintain an online, real-time conversation alongside spoken remarks.

For example, if you attend a keynote presentation at a conference these days, you’ll often find that some listeners in the audience are using their mobile devices to comment to other audience members about things the speaker is saying, while the speaker is saying them.

Backchanneling  can be a great way to give quiet students a voice, to introduce additional facts and insights during a lesson, or simply to encourage “conversation” during lecture or group readings when you don’t want to actually interrupt the presentation.

While Twitter is probably the most popular medium for backchanneling news and entertainment events (using #hashtags to create an instant network), teachers will probably want a more controllable platform than Twitter provides.
Educators can readily set up a private backchannel using free webtools. One popular program is Today’s Meet, which allows individuals to create temporary rooms to host backchannel discussions.

Poll Everywhere can also be used for this purpose. Plus, it allows you to moderate comments and prohibits any anonymous contributions.

In-class Readings & Handouts: Smartphones can also be used productively in the classroom as eReaders for books and handouts. I place all student handouts into DropBox folders (see my previous Voices article: “DropBox – a Superb Classroom Tool”). If we are reading or doing work in class, they can access our Dropbox space via the internet and open reference material without printing it up or asking for a new copy. It’s literally right in the palm of their hand.

Of course, for traditional reading materials (textbooks and paperbacks), you can use mobile apps like Kindle eReaderNook AppiBooks, or Google’s Play Books (just to name a few). Many of them host free content and some allow you to load content of your own. This is a great way to save money on book purchases and photocopies. Using these apps, students can even highlight and annotate.

Doing research

One of the greatest active uses I have found for smartphones is in the area of research. I remember the days when I made photocopies, took meticulous notes, and tried to employ a series of notecards in a vain attempt at some semblance of a coherent organized system. Smartphones do a much better job. In this case, the power is in the apps!

My favorite research tools on the smartphone are “camera scanners” (which capture information using the phone’s built-in camera). One of the best apps I have found is a program called Genius Scan+  – available for iOS, Android, and Windows based phones. This app allows you to take pictures of documents (even books with those bendy pages), crop them, and then enhance them for ready viewing. You can create notebooks of documents (if you are copying sections of a book or article) and then store them on the device or export them (as a photo image or PDF) toGoogle DocsDropBoxEvernote, and more. It’s a great tool for you or your students to organize research materials.

Evernote is another great application that students can use to organize their notes and images, take voice notes, write notes by hand, gather web clippings, sort emails, and more. You can put them into pre-categorized folders (class, project, theme, etc) as well as give them “tags” which makes them easy to search and sort later.

Google Search on the Go!

Most people can grasp the power of having Google in their pocket, but few recognize that the mobile version of Google is much more than a web browser. The Google Search App can be used not only for traditional searches, but has a voice search feature as well. You talk — it searches.

My favorite feature of the Google Search is its ability to perform searches using images! This feature, called Google Goggles, is a creative way to search the internet for image based content (watch the video). I employed it last year in a creative field trip experiment at the local museum.

These mobile Google capabilities offer a great way for students to explore material on the fly, using a variety of media. Any content, images, etc. that they find can be sent to a Google Drive account.

Stepping out with smartphones

I hope these ideas will be enough to stir the interest of fellow educators and encourage you to begin experiments of your own. And if you’re already using smartphones in your classroom and you’re doing something you don’t see here, please share in the comments!

When we combine the modern smartphone with wireless internet access and the remarkable number of cheap and free mobile apps now available, we find that they are truly amazing pocket-sized learning devices. Whether educators like them or hate them, the reality is that cellphones are going to become pervasive in our classrooms, if they aren’t already.

We can choose to be proactive — to employ and direct the use of these powerful tools — or we can continue to exert our energy in combating them.

If we are truly preparing our students for the future, then I believe it is our obligation to incorporate these ever-present devices into our daily teaching practice.

Image of smartphone: BigStock

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About the author

I teach at Trinity Valley School in Ft. Worth, Texas. I’m a student of the human condition: history, philosophy, art, and culture. I am a passionate educator. I am a lover of new technologies and their ability to share knowledge. I blog at Indiana Jenand you can find me on Twitter @teacherjencarey Meet the rest of our Voices.