Archive for September, 2012

Pic Collage

Posted: September 29, 2012 in Uncategorized

This is a really easy to use app that my class of year 2 and 3’s love. It is a simple collage creator with a great instructional video attached. Children can take their own photos or use the screen capture grab pics from the net and then arrange them on their board. Double tapping allows you to cut the picture from within the picture creating a great effect.
Where I have used this so far is in DT for collecting designs (in this case kites) where I can see it. Literacy ( collect thing beginning ,phonic sounds etc) history and recording school visits in an interesting way.
Love this app and so do the children. Any other ideas on how to use it leave a post.

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Toontastic App

Posted: September 21, 2012 in Uncategorized

This app gives Puppet Pals a run for its money in a number of ways. This app shows the children a story arc laying out story structure and explaining all the key aspects of a good story. Pick each section such as the set- up, conflict, resolution etc and you get a brief description of what should be included. Pick a scene or draw your own and choose your characters. Your then ready to animate and add your voice over and effects. Here is where the next cool feature comes in. You can pick the soundtrack such as happy, sad and choose the level of drama.

When you finish you name your movie on the clapperboard and let the movie roll. When finished you can upload your film to the site if you wish.

For me this app blows Puppet Pals away with its easy description of story structure. I can’t wait to get this into my classroom !

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Colour effects apps

Posted: September 17, 2012 in Uncategorized

The. Children really loved this app and it was really simple to use. Each group collected 5 photos on the iPad from different areas of the school grounds. By opening the app and starting the new project the chosen picture comes up black and white. The children can then paint back in any colour they wish making great colour wash pictures.

The app is free but I did find that not all of the pictures emailed to our gmail account came through which was a real shame. You get great effects though and the children loved it.

The flower below was done by Floss age 7 and I think it’s rather brilliant.

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Using the Google Earth App

Posted: September 17, 2012 in Uncategorized

This is a great App for getting the children use to using the iPad interface. The class interviewed a visitor from Austria and then used an Atlas to locate the country. The IPads were then introduced allowing the children to pinch and zoom to the nearest city to where our visitor lived. From there they explored different features and the similarity /differences between the two countries flowed. The session ended with us zooming right in on our guests house. The gets was enthused also moving from group to group pointing out features of interest.

The app does not quite have all the features of the pc version such as street view but it brought a whole new dimension to Geography. It was nice to see the children using the IPad alongside textbooks. The hands on style to manipulating the world is a real winner for the children. Great App.

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I always start my history topics by getting the children to make a visual timeline of key events. First they discuss each picture then sort way they think is the correct timeline. I normally print big colour pictures for them to look at but decided to try using Dropbox and the IPads. I collected a series of key pictures and saved them into the class Dropbox. My iPads are distributed one between three so each group.

Each group opened the Dropbox app and accessed the pictures. They then were able to slide through them, pinch and pull them at their leisure and discuss what they could see before moving onto the sorting task.

I found that the pictures took time to come through on all the IPads and am not sure if this was down to the school network.

When the pictures were open the children really engaged with the pads focusing in on the areas that interested them and looking for clues. Each child wanted their moment with iPad so they were really willing to share their ideas more freely in a bid to get hands on.

In the end it stimulated great self-initiated discussion and high levels of thinking and observation. It also saved time and money as I didn’t have to print and laminate large pictures. The loading was a bit of a problem but I will try pre-loading them next time.

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Setting up the class iPads

Posted: September 15, 2012 in Uncategorized

First I took a photo of the website homepage and using pages I edited each one to show a identity number. I then downloaded Dropbox and set a class account. I set up my own class gmail account so that I now ad two places to send and distribute work.

Using a £15 iiTunes card I set up a school account so that the teachers can buy their own apps and this will avoid arguments. I installed pages ,keynote , iMovie, GarageBand, iPhoto and a few free apps I will talk about later in the blog as I use them.

The problem of sending work once completed is still a bit of a problem and I have been experimenting with this so any ideas will be gratefully received.

Te lack of a printer to send the work to is also a problem to consider as the iPads do not connect with the school server.

I have assigned specific iPads to specific groups in order to have an idea where to find certain work if I am still having problems.

This has been my basic set up to give the children tools for top quality lessons.

All I need to do now is give them to the class.

Protecting the IPads

Posted: September 15, 2012 in Uncategorized

Did a good deal with PC World for my IPads and was really happy with their service. One thing that was worrying me was protecting the kit. 10 IPads for the whole school from Reception to Year 6 they were going to need some protection.

I went for the TabToob http://tabtoob.com/ protective cover as it seemed like the ideal product. It was affordable, robust and squabble proof. It takes away some of the aesthetics of the IPad but I am now a lot happier about them leaving my class. The protective foam cover can also be used as a sturdy stand to prop the IPad up.

I really like this product and would recommend you look at it if you are looking to protect your tech in school.

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