Monday, October 29, 2012

Bringing videos into iPads

Now this is a tricky one - that is until you get the hang of the workflow and then it all makes sense!
So is there a fool-proof way to get videos into the Camera Roll on the iPad? or getting iPad Apps to recognize clips/pictures from a source other than the Camera Roll?

Photo Transfer
At some point most teachers will want their students to do a basic editing exercise on the iPad, but may end up running into a workflow problem.
For example a class may already be involved in movie editing projects involving re-editing a trailer in iMovie. This is a great activity, easily achieved on laptops, and many schools have successfully been delivering such an activity for a long time.
However, trying to do the same thing on the iPad is not as straightforward. The issue is getting the same footage to all the students in a classroom environment. Of course you can do it through iTunes and iPhoto by connecting an iPad to a laptop,  but its not viable to have every student plug into a computer to transfer the files.
Another way is to upload a video to YouTube and then download using iCab mobile, but this is not an option if the video has copyright restrictions on it - this would prevent you from uploading to YouTube altogether.

So how do you easily get the video footage into the Camera Roll?

Short trailer clips (.mov and .m4v) can be emailed to the iPad. Both file types work perfectly but the quality is really poor. To improve quality the clips could be emailed in small chunks, say four parts, but again this is not an efficient use of teacher time - I can hear you ask, "there must be an easier way?"

Enter the Photo Transfer App (£1.99), it works for me! I can wirelessly send video to a single iPad and it will show up in the Camera Roll, which means that students can edit it in iMovie. I've not yet tried this with multiple iPads although the app description does say it will work.
Photo Transfer is excellent for sending videos or photos back and forth from iPhone/iPad to the computer. 
I also like PhotoSync ($1.99) for wireless transfer of photos and videos between Computer and iOS devices.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

apps for Handwriting

The teachers I work with are always keen to find out how the iPad can contribute to developing aspects of English and Literacy. One particular area of interest is the development of children's handwriting. Teaching children to form their letters, numbers and words correctly can be really difficult, because for many children it is viewed as a boring task with little or no immediate reward for the hours of practice they put in. 
If you're lucky enough to have iPads in your classroom, this is one way to make handwriting practice fun and enjoyable. Introduce a stylus to the activity, and you're now mimicking the use of a pencil or pen, which gives children an additional opportunity to practice holding the pen too. Other children, especially younger ones, may benefit from using just their finger to write. The iPad then becomes a modern 'etch a sketch' or a virtual slate chalkboard!
The following apps have been recommended to me by various schools - let me know which app works best for your class.

Handwriting apps for kids:
ABC Cursive Writer - A fun app to learn the basics of cursive writing.
Alphabet Tracing - Practice letter, number and word formation with fun animations.
Hairy Letters - Practice letter formation and blend letter sounds into first words.
iCanWrite - Customise your own groups of letters for children to trace.
Intro to Letters by Montessorium -Trace, read & write letter sounds and phonograms. Also supports French, German and Spanish.
Kids Writing Pad - A note pad with a middle dotted line between two solid lines - practice writing as if on paper.
Touch and Write - Appealing  and fun, with 16 different food writing textures and a choice of writing papers.
Wet-Dry-Try Capital Letters and Numbers - A personal tutor to help you fix mistakes.
Handwriting apps for the older learner:
If you teach special needs students or older students you may be looking for handwriting apps for the adult learner.
This list of apps facilitate efficient, smooth note-taking, most with a text conversion facility that ensures a standard of handwriting that looks just the same as it would appear on paper. 

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Blippit - app creator tool

At last, with the launch of the new Blippit App Maker , schools are now in the position to start their own school’s web app community.

Blippit is for any school with creative aspirations. With Blippit students and teachers can quickly & safely create, publish & develop as many web apps to the real world as they want. 
Fully compatible with iPad, iPhone and Android phones.

Just in case youre wondering, you wont find Blippit on the app store - thats because it isn't an app store app.  These are web apps that require no submission to stores and carry no risk of store costs or rejection unless decided by the school.  
The apps publish to a school's own sub-domain, designed initially for internal use by the school site. They belong to the school, each having a unique URL. 
Students of all ages can use the QR code generated with the code to send to mobile users, or links can be shared for mobile users via their own mobile app library that may infact just be a web page. 

Students and teachers can make unlimited apps and publish using the Blippit portal for their school. Publishing is real and if you decide to go one step further it is possible to publish to the world. Learning about marketing is part of the process, so secondary schools in particular may see real value there.

If you decide to order then please use this code when purchasing the app - OYA-UK

If youre interested in finding out more then feel free to contact me :

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Film Street - resources

Film Street has been available to schools providing them with tools for film-making, analysing film, activities and animation resources for many years.  Im pleased to see that all of the resources are still available and that the actual site has now been archived.

The website describes the site as follows: 

"Film Street introduces young people to the world of films, highlighting filmmaking techniques in fun and exciting ways. Combining video, interactive games and workshops to inspire teachers, children and young people to create their own films."

However, it looks as though the original Film Street site has moved on, expanded and has been re-branded as Culture Street supported by London Grid for Learning. New art, film and books resources can be found here for schools and its definitely worth making this site a favourite.

Check out their latest animation competition for UK schools - Stop Frame Animation. 
Closing date is October 26th 2012. 
Enter and you could win a Flip HD digital camera for your school. Click here for more details.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Sharing Resources-iPad

As schools start using iPads more and more for teaching and learning the choice of method of saving content and transferring files created on iPads in schools is growing, and indeed evolving on a daily basis.
Ive previously touched upon this in an earlier blog entry - submitting work on an iPad, although things are changing fast out there, and now there are even more solutions......

Lets take the scenario where schools have introduced a single class set of iPads (16+). In this kind of set-up, usually the iPads are shared between different classes, and so it is essential that students are able to save their work and then be able to resume their coursework next time they are using the iPad - which for many schools may not necessarily be the same iPad. 

The problem is that all the apps don't share in the same way.  Some allow sharing to Dropbox, Box, WebDAV, Googledocs or emailing.  Currently these are the preferred options for saving and sharing for many classes and staff.

However, for many teachers this is confusing, they are unsure about which method of sharing they should be using for which app.  The inconsistency between apps is not helpful for the busy teacher and they would prefer a common and effective system for saving work with all apps when using iPads for learning.

Some of the more reliable methods for sharing and retrieving student work include this list of suggestions from colleagues: 

Showbie - see previous blog entry for details - now with teacher voice-recording facility to feedback on students work :-)

Three Ringssee previous blog entry for details.

You can add your school network drives to this app, allowing you to open and save from your school network to and from a variety of apps.  It works well with the iLife suite (Keynote, Pages), Book creator and strip designer.
This is a huge step forward in using shared devices in school, but schools need more apps to have the ability to export the actual project file and not just the final file, that is the book creator file and not just the final ebook.

Documents Pro - Store and view documents, transferring them easily from any Mac or PC.  Supports PDF viewing and full-resolution images. Play music; watch movies; access your cloud storage or download from the internet. The WebDAV file transfer works well on internal wireless networks.

iFiles is also a favourite amongst teachers but some users have reported that on occasions iFiles doesn't always show up in a web browser when trying to upload content into the file structure.

My final app for now is Edmodo, used by many teachers to set assignments and annotate responses. Many schools find that students are happy with this solution as it is cross platform and supports learning with library resources.

Let me know what you decide to use and how it goes!

Friday, September 14, 2012


Increasingly, as students start to use iPads more and more for learning, there is a need to be able to share the  work with the teacher and for the teacher to either mark it or provide feedback in some form. Showbie is a free app that does all of this and very effectively.  For help click here.

Watch the video tutorial to get you started - it couldnt be easier! And with the latest update, teachers can now provide voice-notes as feedback to student's individual Showbie folders :-)

The workflow for using Showbie is as follows:
Read more about Showbie and what it does below :

1. Go to -Teacher creates own account on computer- un and pswd

2. Teacher creates a class folder, an assignment and adds a file/s to this class folder.

3. Teacher shares a discrete code for a specific assignment to all students who need to access this homework.

4. If pupils are old enough they can create their own Showbie account, otherwise their teacher can create student accounts and passwords (nb. these can be changed by older students).
Its all free - just choose 'sign in as a student'. You will need the code mentioned in 3. from a teacher.
5. Student logs in and reads / listens to assignment
6.Student completes the task and resubmits to the teacher via Showbie assignment area.
7. Teacher has an overview of which students have submitted work to be marked. Teacher marks student work and feeds back to student - this may be through annotation of a pdf or a voice note.

What is Showbie?

Showbie is like a drop box for the classroom. Using Showbie, students can submit pictures, video, podcasts, presentations and other work from hundreds of apps into their Showbie online assignment folder. Teachers use the Showbie iPad app to easily review students’ work and provide rich feedback with document mark up annotations and voicenotes. Showbie unlocks the creative potential of the iPad to engage students in learning.

Here's a few resources to get you started with Showbie:

1. Get Started with Showbie [VIDEO]:

2. iPad apps that work with Showbie: - Showbie now works with the Explain Everything App too.

3. Install Showbie from the Apple App Store:

4. Still unsure? Ask a question here:

Thursday, September 06, 2012

UK Vol. App Purchase and Configurator

The long awaited announcement that VPP is now available in the UK has been communicated today.
The Volume Purchase Programme allows educational institutions to purchase iOS apps in volume and distribute them to students, teachers, administrators and employees.
Further details can be found at the following links:

Main page

FAQ page
Enrolment page
VPP store:
VPP T&C:  
(use a single code to sync a Product to multiple devices; audit rights)
Best Regards
ADE UK Team 
ADE Program: 

Using Apple Configurator MDM software to Manage Apps
As schools increase the number of mobile devices in schools the need to be able to manage the purchase of apps efficiently becomes increasingly more important. This is where Configurator software comes in - and its FREE! but you will need a Mac to be able to use it to sync your apps to iPads.

Follow this simple step by step process to successfully purchasing apps via the Education VPP store and syncing to iPad using Configurator.

1. Use your Mac/ Macbook Pro - download Configurator software free onto the Mac (mobile device management (MDM)) software. Configurator enables you to set profiles to install & remove apps from devices.

3. Create an Apple id or use an existing one to be able to use VPP

4. Place your iPads in the sync & charge unit & connect to the Mac using USB (not wifi)

5. Open Configurator on the Mac and start the purchase process. A Credit Card is required, itunes gift cards cannot be used.

Saturday, September 01, 2012

New Stat. Requirements for UK school websites

You may not be aware of a change to the Statutory Requirements for school websites.  
From 1st September 2012 all maintained* school websites must show the following information:
In brief, schools now have to supply the following information on their website:
  • Contact details
  • Admission arrangements or where they may be found (community and voluntary controlled schools only) 
  • Link to Ofsted Report
  • Most recent key stage 2 results
  • Most recent key stage 4 results
  • Link to school performance tables on
  • School curriculum information for each year group by subject, including phonics/reading schemes and key stage 4 courses/qualifications as appropriate
  • Behaviour policy
  • Pupil Premium allocation, use and impact on attainment
  • SEN policy
  • Charging and remissions policy
  • School’s ethos and values 
*(academies and free schools must already show this.)
The governing body is therefore responsible for:

  • Ensuring that  the information above is published on the school website – or arranging for the information to be displayed on a website, and the address/details made known to parents
  • Providing a paper copy of the information published on the website, without charge, to parents on request
  • Making sure that the information is updated as soon as is reasonably practicable following a change to that information and, in any event, at least annually

New draft UK English, maths and science curricula: 
Click on the side bar on the right hand side to find the documents in PDF form
The draft curricula are in consultation until March 2013 when the final documents will come out.
It’s optional from Sept 2013 for schools to teach, mandatory from Sep 2014.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

School iPad Deployment

School iPad Deployment - Were thinking about buying iPads for school but where do I start?
A teacher friend of mine asked me recently if I was able to advise them on producing a road-map document to assist their school who are looking to deploy c. 800 iPads/ iTouch to their students.

There is so much information online today to support exactly this, some of the best advice coming from teachers directly involved in the implementation process.
Things to think about:

Components to support the planning of a 1-to-1 iPad program

1. Mission/Vision 
Mission statement, goals, strategic plan or process for building.
2. Strategic Planning Team
Team composition, roles, decision-making process
3. Deployment Planning
Project timelines, calendars - for launch or expansion from cart, shared, or pilot to student-owned or 1-to-1
4. Financing, Funding
Lease vs buy comparison
Planning for sustained funding sources
Warranty or insurance agreements/policies
5. Community Engagement
Communications plans or templates, or sites sharing happenings, including to governors or parents
Press releases
Acceptable user policies, parental or student agreements
6. Content, Instruction
Curricular plans or school-level strategies leveraging iPad + content ecosystem in exciting ways
7. Measurement
Plans for assessing initiative, including what and how you are measuring

After a quick trawl online I would recommend reading the following blogs - all packed full of relevant issues and solutions.
If you want to get a good ROI its worth spending time exploring the issues and logistics. Make sure you do the research before you buy any mobile devices.  When you get the right infrastructure in place you can start as you mean to go on - happy bedtime reading!

10 things to consider before introducing iPads to your classroom

Friendly Guide to Deploying iPads

Creating Lifelong Learners

iPad Deployment

iPad Project

iPod User Group

iPad Academy

Longfield Academy Kent, UK - iPad implementation

5 Reasons why Tablet rollouts can fail

Top 10 tips for personalised learning

Friday, August 24, 2012

Orbit Early Years App

The Orbit Early Years App is new technology that makes life easier for early years practitioners and allows sharing of information for the benefit of children*.
Orbit Early Years makes it easy for practitioners to:
  • observations iconCollect observations of each child
  • assessments iconAssess learning in line with the 2012 EYFS Framework
  • album iconCreate a personalised album of each child's experiences
  • postcards iconConnect with each child's family
When used in conjunction with Orbit Family, Orbit Early Years makes communication with parents easier. It keeps families updated with their child's learning and achievements, whilst also giving practitioners the means to incorporate home learning activities into their own assessments.
Orbit software helps practitioners and providers protect children's information. The Orbit Safeguarding document provides you with information about the importance Orbit places on maintaining children's records securely, which you can share with colleagues, parents and other interested parties (such as OFSTED).
As well as this website, the Orbit Early Years App for iPhone®, iPod touch® and iPad® is now available on the App Store℠.  

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Make a list of your Apps -

This App is a little gem, especially for the ICT Coordinator or indeed anybody needing to manage an iPad roll-out in school. enables sharing of all your iPad Apps as a list, with colleagues, parents of your students, community, friends or family. is a free scanning tool, with no account or registration required.  
Simply download the scanner and set it running on your iTunes management computer, whether its mac or PC.  the scanner provides you with a link to your personal app list which you can then share with others, including via Facebook or Twitter.

Pretty nifty! I can see it being a really useful tool in schools..... Click here to get started now!

Apps for Teachers on iTunes

For teachers using the iPad in the classroom, one of the hardest things is knowing where to find the best Apps.

There are lots of excellent education blogs out there which are really useful, but you do need time to find them and then read them!

The iTunes App store has also begun the process of categorising Apps for various educational purposes, called Apps for Teachers and includes the following categories:
  • Classroom tasks
  • Curricula Support
  • Instructional Tools
  • Personal Organisation
  • Reference
Click here for Apps for Teachers

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Price Drop Apps for Kids

If youre a teacher or a parent reading this and you have just been given or bought an iPad for use over the Summer holidays then check this site out.

iHeartthis app have blogged a really useful article listing lots of Apps for kids that are currently on sale or FREE.
If you see something you like you have to act fast because this will be for a limited time only and tomorrow those Apps may well go back to normal price.

This is the perfect opportunity for teachers of Foundation, Key Stage 1 and parents of young children to access more relevant Apps to support children's learning.

The good news is the list is updated daily, so keep checking back to make sure the Apps you had favourited are still on offer.

For more information contact me:

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Archbishop Sentamu Summer School

Its been a hot few days here in the Hull area, indeed some of the hottest days of the year so far!  Ive got to hand it to the Year 6 transition students for attending the Archbishop Sentamu Summer School, when this kind of sunshine is very tempting to keep you outdoors....

Thanks to Jacqui Thompson for organising this action-packed activity week. I know the students attending it have had a great time and got lots out of the event. They've had a chance to make new friends, learned new things, including how to use an iPad for learning and not least how to find their way around the Academy.

My groups were asked to consider using the theme of 'Moving On' to create a short iMovie project on the iPad. Students shared their private thoughts about how they feel about moving from primary school to the Academy.

Most students had never used an iPad before and were introduced to the following apps:
Camera and video

All students very quicky got the hang of things and the creativity and ideas flowed easily - very little, if any support was needed.

Ive uploaded a couple of the projects here for you to view:

More of the projects can be viewed directly from my Vimeo account here.

For more information contact me:

Friday, July 20, 2012

New Face Blurring tool on YouTube

Most teachers I speak to can see the real potential and value in the use of YouTube, and that's not just for curriculum enhancement, but also to support Class Blogs or e-portfolios.
YouTube Blur Tool Hates Your Face
However, the same old concerns are raised again and again, such as - 'its not-safe for children to be seen on', 'its unprotected', 'open to violation' and so on.... I must add that all of these concerns are genuine and should never be taken lightly or ignored, but before you know it, the teachers' enthusiasm for using YouTube at all has gone in an instant.
For the busy teacher, the battle against security issues is just too hard to fight.
Im pleased to be able to announce that if you are keen on exploring the idea of embedding student 'learning videos or diaries' in a school blog, there is some good news enabling you to tighten -up security issues. YouTube has recently made available a new-editing tool specifically designed to enable blurring of faces, which can be accessed from the YouTube video editor. Watch a YouTube video about it here.

On his blog Mr Byrne has provided detailed instructions on how to use the tool which Ive summarised below. This is complete with screenshots to help you 'switch-on' the various options, and I'd recommend any serious teacher blogger, who is considering adding footage of pupils onto their school blog visits this article for more information.

How to use the Face Blurring tool:
1. Upload your video to YouTube.
2. Open the enhancements option for your video.
3. Select blur all faces from the quick fixes tab. NB. Blurring is irreversible so make sure you have a back-up of the original video - just in case!

For more information contact me:

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Printing Solutions for iPad & iOS devices

Im pleased to be able to say that the iPad is bringing the paper-less classroom revolution closer to the classroom day by day - at long last!

However, as much as schools can see the benefits of moving towards a paper-less classroom and indeed the benefits including no more broken printers to fix, having to log errors in the ICT book, needing to call in ICT technical support to fix printers, going over budget on printer cartridges and being reprimanded by the Headteacher :-(
..... the reality is, there will be times when we still need to use a  printer!
For some schools teachers may request that students email themselves documents to print either in the print centre or at home. These schools are reporting that paper consumption has reduced considerably.

Once schools get underway in using their iPads effectively within and across the curriculum, inevitably one of the next questions will be, "Can I print some of the children's work?". 
And the answer is "Yes you can!"

There is a great article on various printing solutions here from Educational Technology and Mobile Learning and I need say no more - just read it!

The Printing Apps mentioned in the article include the following, there is plenty to go at here if this is something you are keen to get sorted now:
Epson iPrint - free - for iPhone & iPad
Print Magic - for iPhone & iTouch
ACT Printer - for iPhone & iPad
Doc Printer - for any ios device
Air Sharing - for iPad

This article from is also useful and may help you further in making your mind up.

Other Apps to consider include the following but Ive not been able to test all of them myself!
AirPrint Activator it's FREE and works really well.   

AirPrint allows you to print from the new generation of Apple iPhones, iPad and iPod Touch to a printer shared over your personal WiFi network. You only need to run AirPrint Activator once.  Once it's been turned on it will remain on even after a reboot.

Printopia - for iPad - allows you to 'print' digital pdf files to designated folders on the computer that it is installed on. Students can submit their coursework and assignments as PDF's.
However, be aware of some of the quirks, for example if you print a Pages or Keynote document (from iPad) with an embedded video in it, the printed doc will only display a video poster frame for the video part.
A great tip I came across was to install Printopia onto any old Macbooks which you may have lying around, too old to be of any real use for anything else.  It costs about £13 and it makes use of a redundant laptop.  Simply add the printers you want to print to into the printer list on the Macbook running Printopia and that makes them available to an iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch on the same subnet as the machine with Printopia.

Printer pro - for iPad

For more information contact me:

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Aldbrough 2012 - Animation

Year 6 pupils at Aldbrough Primary School created 4 short animations during an animation workshop.  The theme was tenuously linked to 'Sporting Activities'...... watch them and you'll see what I mean by tenuous!
Thanks to Mrs Last and Mrs Clayton for arranging the day.
Good luck and farewell to Year 6.

For more information contact me:

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Create short quizzes - Socrative

Socrative is a FREE student response system designed for teachers to engage their students through quizzes and games for a range of IT devices.... and it works really well on iPad!
For teachers that like to create short quizzes to check on learning, for a plenary or a lesson starter then check out Socrative now.
Its easy to use and a quiz can be created within minutes or simply ask questions orally and use it as a voting system.  Feedback from students is instant and results are easy to view by all.
Quiz answer options are multiple choice, True/ False or short answers and choose options to run the quiz as a teacher or student paced activity.

Im currently using Socrative with pupils in UK KS2 for Comprehension and Inference activities - Literacy. Take your class book, prepare a set of questions about the book, then have fun checking pupils' understanding and comprehension using a quiz.
The quiz can of course be prepared by groups of pupils for use on their class-mates which makes it a great tools-based app.
Socrative is brilliant for plenary activities too - a quick check at the end of a lesson to see what level of learning and understanding has taken place.

You can of course just use Socrative Web in a browser. This means you dont need to download the teacher App onto your iPad at all.
Go to, click registration, create a distinct virtual room number and you are ready to go in 60 seconds.
The teacher site is supported on on any web browser on a laptop, desktop, or mobile device.
For student access they simply go to, enter the virtual room number given by their teacher and click “Join room” - ready to go in seconds.

Socrative is currently in Beta which means you get the software for free.
The team just want your feedback on how they can improve the product. Please let them know by emailing:

For more information contact me:

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Submitting work via iTunes

If you're using an iPad you may have noticed that some of the Apps, such as Keynote, iMovie, Garageband, Pages and some book-creator apps give you an option to export work to iTunes.  This is really simple to do and offers the teacher a simple, convenient way to access student work and mark it.
1. From the App choose the Export icon and select iTunes.
2. Now open iTunes on your Mac.
3. Make sure sync via wifi is enabled so that you can access student iPads discreetly.
4. In iTunes, on the left select the student device you want to view work on.
5. Next, scroll down the main window until you can view 'File Sharing' and click on the App that did the sharing in the list (you may need to scroll within the list itself). Your document should appear, with options to 'Add' or 'Save To'.
6. Choose 'Save To' - view the work and annotate/ mark as appropriate.

For more about this visit Digital Roadtrip's blog.

Sharing work on an iPad is evolving on a daily basis.  Its far from consistent or ideal at the moment but im sure that a standard will emerge over time.
Ideally, students need to be able to publish everything directly.
The best method would be for all students to have their own personal, reflective-learning blog which would be accessible by other students, teachers and parents. It's focus would be on 'How I learn and what I have been learning' or as UK primary teachers like to refer to it - WALT and WILF - 'We are learning today' and 'What Im looking for.'
Essentially this system will replace the  existing networks running in school and all work will be saved to the Cloud or similar.

For more information contact me:

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Creating iTunes U Courses

Once you've mastered the basics of your iPad it wont be long before you can see the potential for creating lesson resources which can be accessed by your students at home for revision or reinforcement. This resource is fantastic for schools and colleges, from The Cedars School of Excellence, Scotland.  
All of your courses or primary lesson themes complete with a lesson summary, objectives and learning outcomes could be shared via an iTunes Course and accessed anywhere, anytime by your students - all FREE to use!
Learn how to set up a course, create posts, share and manage a course with your class.  More here from Apple.

You can now follow @iTunesU on Twitter for updates, including featured courses from leading institutions and noteworthy instructors.

For more information contact me:

How to use iBooks and iTunes U

Using iBooks and iTunes U is something I always touch upon during iPad workshops and its guaranteed to generate lots of interest.
The Cedars School of Excellence, Scotland have created an iTunes U course which covers how to use iBooks and iTunesU.
It will help you to uncover the mysteries behind buying, downloading, navigating iBooks as well as highlighting, making notes, searching and organising books into collections.
The iTunes U content covers subscribing to courses, downloading and using resources.

For more information contact me:

Thursday, June 21, 2012

1-1 roll-outs and student safety?

For those schools going down the 1:1 iPad route there are specific concerns about student safety.  One concerned teacher writes "As our school embarks on a 1-1 iPad roll-out for September we have had a number of parents expressing concerns about their children being mugged for their iPads once it becomes public knowledge.
My question is, what are people's experiences of such issues in 1-1 schools?  Has there been an increase in such incidents?  What have schools done to minimise this?
Any pointers gratefully received."

David Kirtlan, independent trainer suggests the following:
"This is a question that has been raised in various schools I've worked with and I think the best approach to tackle the issue I've come across revolved around awareness. 

They had every iPad engraved with the school details and had a huge involvement with the local press to raise awareness in the community about what they were doing in the school, focusing on the educational outcomes, but at the same time, pointing out that everything was engraved making it very difficult for any potential muggers and thieves to sell the devices on. This awareness project also involved the local police and shops so that if they did happen to come across an engraved iPad, they could contact the school and follow up. 

That said, I've not come across any instance of muggings or thefts with perhaps 100 schools I've worked with this year, but parents often raise the question." 

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Digitise and track all student work

The Three Ring App is FREE and allows teachers to take pictures of non-digital student work and keep track of them online.

It's a fast, flexible and simple way to organize and present your students' real world-work, from handwritten assignments to classroom presentations.
And if you're not buying into a learning platform this App enables all teachers to have access to their students work (non-digital format) available anytime, anywhere. Its easy to use too! - a great tool for teaching and learning.

For more information contact me:

Friday, May 04, 2012

Microphones for iPad & iPhone

If you are serious about making videos on your  iPad or iTouch then you will need to look carefully at the recording options. You may end up with a great video but inevitably the sound quality will not be so good and your audience may not be able to hear what's being said....
You can overcome this problem by investing in a decent microphone - plenty available at great prices too.

The iPhone Boom Mic is a clip-on style shotgun microphone that gives your iPhone videos big, professional style sound. Any background noise is automatically dulled giving you the best quality sound from your subject.
Lightweight and pocket-sized, the microphone attaches to the headphone jack even over a case.

Shooting your friend's show? Use the directional setting or the super-directional setting for more precisely focused recording.

The KVConnection type microphones are of a professional standard (XLR). Some have a headphone jack so you can also monitor your recording.  However, you will need a free hand to hold the microphone though - shucks!

Amazon have the full range of microphones available at great prices as you'd expect - read the reviews before you buy!

For more information contact me:

Sunday, April 29, 2012

iPads in Special Education

For all the Special Schools out there using iPads Ive been looking around for suitable Apps, and its good to see that there are an increasing number of sites beginning to emerge listing Apps for this purpose.

Take a look at the following and let me know which Apps you like and trust - any suggestions for new sites and Apps appreciated :-)

Gayle Berthiaume's website 'iPad in the Primary School - from the drop-down Apps menu select Special Education.

iPad User - which has a section on Special Needs with links to some interesting articles and at the bottom of the page a link to a useful App list.

'Special Education' Apps are also available as a category from the iTunes App Store, but the selection is surprisingly limited. 

Switch4 App FREE - enables you to control, programme and switch a range of Mike Ayres design multi-sensory equipment. Connects by wifi to bubble tubes, fibre optics, LED lighting systems and more .... read Sean O Sullivan's (Headteacher - Frank Wise School, Banbury) blog for more information.

For more information contact me:

More short films to support writing

Short films and animations are great to use in class to support various types of writing, including fictional storytelling, non-fiction, biography, poetry and instruction writing.
There are loads of great short films and animations available on YouTube, its just a case of looking and that takes time.
Check out Teacher Rob Smith's () great blog which focuses on the use of film and some great teaching
 ideas to support the teacher in developing literacy writing activities.  All of the films can be accessed directly from his blog too, saving you time looking; so giving you more time to plan and deliver!

Some of my favourites over the years include the following:

Epic Citadel by Epic - not exactly a book, but infact a demonstration of the 'Unreal Engine'- ideal as a storytelling tool for use within school and available as a free app.
Read how Porchester Primary School in Nottingham have used it for literacy development.

The Silent Book by Maia Walczak
The Piano by Aidan Gibbons - famously used by Year 5 teachers in the literacy strategy
The Plot Device by Seth Worley

Alma by Rodrigo Blaas
War Horse The Trailer
Monsterbox by Bellecour 3D

If using an iPad you can download videos from YouTube, some of the older videos such as The Piano may be incompatible, but you can still view online in YouTube via your iPad (if not blocked in school) or via Posterous (need an account, but free to use).
Unsure how to download YouTube videos?
Click here to find out how.

If you have any ideas for how short films might be used for teaching purposes and how they can support the curriculum let me know and I will add it to the suggestions.

For more information contact me: