Tag Archives: Apple

The Top 10 iPad Features That Schools Forget

Good to have some reminders! I haven’t used some of these in a while; time to dust them off!

Jonathan Wylie

top ten iPad features schools forget

With iPads, it’s all about the apps, and rightly so sometimes, but not everyone takes full advantage of the native features that Apple builds in to the iPad software for everyone to use. So, for this post I am rounding up ten of the most forgotten iPad features that are awesome for education. No additional apps are required to use any of these features because they work right out of the box.

1. Visual Timer – The Clock app often gets buried in a folder deep among some other apps that you don’t use very much, but if you are looking for a good visual timer, you should look for the Clock app. Just open the Clock app, and tap Timer. You can even choose from a variety of tones to mark the end of your timer. While you are here, take a look at the stopwatch with lap timers…

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Free Common Core Resources via iTunes U

ASCD iTunes U content screen capture.

ASCD iTunes U content screen capture.

If you are looking for professional development and content focused around the Common Core, then check out ASCD’s (Association for Supervision & Curriculum Development) courses and other resources via iTunes U. Courses cover a variety of content for Grades K-12 and are entirely free for teachers and other educators.

iPad Keynote Speaker – Greg Kulowiec

Day two of the iPad Summit starts with a Keynote talk by Greg Kulowiec (@gregkulowiec), entitled Plato, Paper & iPads… As someone who has read Plato in the original Greek, I’m curious where he’s going here. I have known Greg for years and seen him present some amazing workshops and talks, so I am excited to see him present.

Greg tells us that this morning, he is going to tell us his story. Greg started teaching in 2005 at Plymouth South High School. When he started, he was wholly on the analogue side and not interested in implementing technology. One day while talking to a peer about a problem he was having, she suggested he check out some “web 2.0 tools.” He didnt’ even know what “web 2.0” was so he went home and googled it. That was his introduction to integrating technology.

Interactive whiteboard, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Interactive whiteboard, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

With smartboards, the technology is still teacher directed. Greg tells us that he got a group of old computers at one point where students could access a Wiki and send emails. He had zero compass and zero path. Many of us have been in the spot where we are using technology because the technology is available. We don’t know why we’re doing it. It doesn’t help students at all.

In Plato’s Allegory of the Cave, prisoners see only shadows and believe it is reality. Finally, a prisoner breaks free, sees the fire, and sees the objects creating fire. His reality is shattered. So, as a teacher, where are we in the story? What is the world? Greg argues that if we don’t have a direction or a purpose, then we are living in shadows. We need to shift our focus to the meaning behind our purpose. What skills do we want our students to have? What do we want them to be able to do? So now that he is more meaningful in integration, he begins to use the tool that will work for his objectives, not just to use the technology. Students begin to make real world connections, interaction with the world, creation of ideas, connection to experts, collaboration, etc. The emphasis is completely different. He then asks us to share our stories; when did our perspective on using technology shift?

Greg then tells us about his experience with iPads. When they integrated the iPad into his classroom, he was back in the cave. He starts using the iPad because… it’s there. He starts focusing on apps, not on what you want students to do! If you want a great list, check out EdTechTeacher’s Tech Tools by subject and skill. The first iPads were very limited, you couldn’t even collaborate because Google Drive didn’t even exist! So initially, everything was focused on “the apps.” You got articles like, “Top 10 apps for History teachers!” We’re back in the cave, isolated.

Greg tells us that with the iPad 2, he realized that the iPad could let him be more creative. It was able to let him create content using the video camera, iMovie, and then publish it to the web! However, you’re still in

danger of the tool driving the creation. Greg highlights that language is important in this process. If you tell your students “Today we’re doing Keynotes!” or “Today we’re doing iMovies!” Be conscious of your language so that you do not get locked into the tool. We need to make a conscious decision about how we are using tools, including analogue. We need to look at all of the tools we use around us, including notebooks and paper, to look at our tasks and objectives. Sometimes, paper is more effective than digital tools. Sketchnoting has taken off as a means to capture information. So we should rethink what role an iPad should play in the classroom. Perhaps most of it should take place off line in a notebook. However, the iPad will allow you to create and share in a way that paper will not.

Greg shares with us his experiences with vinyl. He was a DJ, so feeling and manipulating records gave him a unique connection with the music that doesn’t happen with an iPod or an iPhone. So think about this, are we losing anything when we go digital? Greg next shares the ideal iPad Backpack, Blending Digital & Analog. You can use your iPad to organize digital content, use a paper notebook to capture ideas and sketch notes (even taking pics and dropping them into Google Drive or Evernote), and even a dry erase board with markers. Keep your classroom hybrid. Merge online and offline work. Find tools that are flexible and thoughtful, not using tools to drive your work. He demonstrates this with some sticky notes. He asked several participants to write ideas on a sticky note. He then collected them, used the Post-it App to collect them, shared the post it board, and opened it in Explain Everything!

What an energizing way to start the day!

5 Ways Teachers Can Use Their iPads Professionally

This post is reblogged from iPad Apps 4 Schools

This is a guest post from Jennifer Carey (@TeacherJenCarey) andEdTechTeacher, an advertiser on this site.

iPads are powerful tools for teachers in the classroom. In addition to being robust, mobile creation devices for students, they help you to stay organized, be on top of your classes, create content and lessons, focus on continued learning, and build your PLN. Here are five ways to turn your iPad into a robust, education machine!

Organize Yourself

You can easily sync your Outlook or Google Calendar to your iPad by going to iPad Settings → Mail, Contacts, & Calendar → Add Account. This allows you to add multiple work, personal, and/or shared calendars to the calendar on your iPad, giving you mobile access to all of your appointments (personal and professional) on a single calendar. You will also be able to make changes on the go, and with cloud based platforms, you won’t have to remember to sync your device to your computer as all changes are updated automatically.

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By using the Reminder app, you can schedule notifications weeks, months, even years in advance! One of my favorite features of Reminder is that in addition to alarms based on date/time, you can set a reminder notification based on location (don’t forget to buy milk at the grocery store or to take your gym shoes as you leave your house in the morning). If you want to conquer more robust tasks, look at investing in one of the popular To-Do List apps such as Wunderlist, Things, or Trello.

Organize your Class

Even if your school does not have a formal LMS, there are numerous free tools that allow you to organize a class calendar, have students check and submit homework assignments, share content and materials, keep attendance, track students, and even send robust reports to advisors, administrators, and/or parents. Some of the most popular and comprehensive LMS’s available include Schoology, Teacherkit, andEdmodo. While Google Classroom does not yet…

You can read the complete article here.

Google + iPad = Learning

This is reblogged from my post on iPadApps4School.

Screen-Shot-2014-09-22-at-8.28.40-AMiPads can be powerful devices in education – they are mobile, they are personalized, and they are intuitive. At the same time, sharing content between apps or devices can be a challenge. Fortunately, iPads in conjunction with Google Apps can create a powerful medium by which to input, edit, share, and publish multimedia content.

Google Drive for Privacy and Security

There are many different types of cloud computing solutions. However, the power of Google Drive with Google Apps for Education allows educators to protect the privacy of their students and comply with Federal statutes and mandates. Additionally, its price point (zero dollars) helps those working in a world of tight budgets and limited funds.

Google as a Repository of Content

Because Google Drive exists in the cloud, you can access and add content from anywhere. Students can easily take photos, record video, and import content from a variety of sources to their Google Drive accounts. In fact, students can even collaborate with a shared Google Drive folder; using it as joint storage for group projects. Because Google Drive provides a ton of storage (5GB for single users, 30GB for GAFE), space is never a concern. Using the Google Drive App on iPad, students have access to their material anywhere. Additionally…

read the remaining post here.

Free Copies of iAnnotate (Normally $9.99)

iAnnotate by Branchfire has given me 30 codes to distribute to educators. It’s an amazing PDF editing and annotation tools for the iPad. Send me a tweet or leave me a comment about how you would use it for education and score one of these codes!

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Reflections on ISTE 2014 Atlanta

Last night I came back from ISTE 2014 in Atlanta. As ISTE always is, it’s empowering, inspiring, overwhelming, and exhausting. This year, I had the privilege of becoming a board member of the ISTE Independent School Educators Network  (new twitter hashtag #isteisen) and Co-Chair of Professional Development with Kelsey Vrooman. If you want to join us for our first Professional Development event, we will be discussing Danah Boyd’s book “It’s Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens” (available at book retailers in print and eBook form and as a free download here) with the author on October 7 at 3:30 EST. This event is free and open for all via this link.

It would be impossible for me to discuss everything I took away from this conference – there was just too much! However, I can highlight a few things. Google, as we have seen at ISTE’s past, has really raised the bar with free professional development and resources for educators and schools. You can learn more about Google Apps for Education (GAFE) here. Google expanded on its release of Classroom, that will hopefully be available this fall. The Google Playground also presented several cool features. One of my favorites is fusion tables, Moss Pike of Harvard Westlake School demonstrated how you can use this in conjunction with Google Forms to delve deeper into your data (e.g. using a school survey and then analyzing collected data by age, grade level, department, etc).

Courtesy of Deviant Art

Courtesy of Deviant Art

Gamification was a big theme at the conference as well. Numerous educators and students held poster sessions and talks demonstrating the power of Minecraft in their classrooms. Douglas Kiang of Punahou discussed the power of games in his presentation “From Minecraft to Angry Birds: What Games Teach us about Learning.”

Vinnie Vrotny, the new Director of Technology at the Kinkaid School, organized and hosted the Maker Playground. The Maker Movement has become a key theme in education and the role it can play in children being innovative, inventive, and invested in their own education.

Overall my take away from ISTE is that technology is quickly revolutionizing education and encouraging discussions and change.