Saturday, February 09, 2013

Blogging Tools for the iPad

If you like the idea of introducing your class to blogging but are not sure where to start or which tools to use then take a look at the following suggestions - all three blogging tools are FREE.

Traditionally Ive been a big fan of Blogger, which is what Im using right now. I was introduced to Wordpress on the iPad and found that to be equally useful, and tend to use one or the other when Im training KS3 and KS4 teachers and students.

However, Kidblog was drawn to my attention just the other day and this looks fantastic for primary pupils. What I particularly like is the ability to embed a host of multimedia resources such as video, images and audio - Wordpress is not so straightforward with handling video, but perhaps thats the way youd prefer it as a teacher?

Kidblog is designed for K-12 teachers who want to provide each student with an individual blog - but having looked at it Id be more than happy to use with College students too. 
Students publish posts and participate in academic discussions within a secure classroom blogging community. Teachers maintain complete control over student blogs and user accounts.

  • create classroom discussions
  • learn digital citizenship
  • practice writing skills
  • create an e-portfolio
  • reflect on learning
  • formatively assess writing
Kidblog makes it easy to publish rich multimedia content - embed slideshows, videos, podcasts, artwork, Google Docs etc. all in a single, secure e-portfolio that you’ll be proud to show parents and colleagues.
Teachers control all privacy settings, everything is moderated by you, so nothing gets published until you decide. 

If you feel youre ready to get those kids of yours writing for a real purpose and audience then maybe its time to download a FREE blogging app and get started.

Sunday, February 03, 2013

New Stylus for iPad

I had the pleasure of working on the TTS Group Stand at the acclaimed Education ICT Bett Show this year (Jan 30 - Feb 1 2013).

TTS have just released a new set of affordable resources for the iPad in schools.

Poppy drawn with iCrayon in Brushes app
Something I almost overlooked, but now Im convinced I could not work without in a classroom, are the new range of styluses. Check out the iCrayon at just £5.99 or the Paint brush stylus for something even more sophisticated with an interchangeable head.

Once you pick up the iCrayon you will be reluctant to put it down again. Not only do I use it for drawing and painting but also find myself using it across a whole range of apps including Explain Everything, Showbie and Bee-bot.

This is my first attempt at painting a flower using the Brushes App, so much easier to do with an iCrayon than your finger! - have to say Im quite pleased with the result......

Just one last thing I need to do - get my class set of iCrayons ordered!