Julian Coultas AKA @digitalroadtrip – Apple Distinguished Educator 2007 Apple Mentor – Digital Creativity Pathfinder – working with Primary, Secondary and Post 16 Educators. Apple Based Professional Development for all Educators.
Classroom Photography – Switch the camera grid on. Do this by going to Settings > Camera > Grid. This will enable you and your students to take better photographs.Within the camera app, the grid splits (with very fine lines) the screen into nine spaces enabling learners to think about composition, the rule of thirds, positive and negative space and hot spots.
Classroom Video – plan a narrative structure even for a short 20 secs piece, an introduction, the core activity and the recap/resolution and vary the shot type appropriately.Use Keynote to storyboard. Often, taking still photographs of the sequence will help get a sense of how the final project will look.
3. Classroom Audio – is one of the most difficult things to manage. Using headphones will reduce the amount of noise in the room, cheap headphone splitters enable children to work in pairs.
Working with one headphonein place and the other not in/on the ear enables the class to collaborate and hear your instructions whilst still hearing their own recordings.For really polished and professional sound recordings in Garageband, you can use automation to fade up and down the levels.
Use Split screen to be more productive. If you are lucky enough to have a newish 2017/18 iPad, you can have two apps open side by side and drag and drop content from one to the other.
Here’s how to open two apps. In this instance we are using Safari and we want to open Keynote at the same time. So we swipe up from the bottom of the screen to bring up the Dock. Rather tapping on the app, we hold it and drag to the right or left of the screen. This keeps both apps open and active on screen.
Having two apps open and dragging and dropping content, eg. Text and images from Safari to a Pages or Keynote document is a how we used to work on computers!
If you really want to show off, you can add a third app in slide over mode, although personally I find this a bit clunky!
4. Manage text like a Pro.One of the biggest frustrations for teachers on iPads is handling text. Learning a couple of basic functions sets you up.
A long hold on a word brings up the loupe (magnifier) for fixing typos
double tap a word to highlight it (you can use the pins to highlight more words)
double tap the word with two fingers and this will highlight the whole sentence
triple tap the sentence with two fingers will highlight the whole paragraph
use a two finger long hold on the keyboard to switch to “trackpad mode” (see below).
Enable Trackpad mode by holding the keyboard with two fingers.
The iPad keyboard can be used like a track pad to navigate through sustained pieces of text that you are working on. Apply two fingers to the keyboard and it swap to trackpad mode. Now you can navigate the cursor through your text with both fingers a mouse through sustainedpieces of text.
5. Use the Notes app as a scanner – we all need to use less paper especially when the children are all using digital devices. In your Notes app you can now scan documents and save them as PDF’s. You can Airdrop them to the class, where they can hand them into Showbie or Seesaw.
I hope some of these tips and ways of working help you at the beginning of a new academic year.
Sure, Apple needs a cheaper product for schools. However a cheaper iPad is only part of the equation. Three things that I’m sure won’t be announced but could totally transform the state of play are,
1. Unlimited cloud storage for education Apple ID’s generated in Apple School Manager. This would put the platform on a even keel with Google. It would also benefit all those few lucky teachers syncing data between a MacBook and an iPad. It would make it more attractive to budget conscious schools, it would also cement work patterns and retain users.
2. Revert to factory settings! Or revert firmware! (Dream on!) Having had to recycle over 100 iPad minis recently, I think educators would appreciate the ability to keep the device as fresh as it was from day one. Those 100 iPad minis* were in good condition, they recorded sound, video and photos, but constant updates meant they slowed to the point of being a challenge to use. Sure we need updates/security patches on phones and other personal tech, but within reason a primary school set of devices within a secure network should be safe. Chromebooks bought three years ago still run effectively/efficiently.
3. Subsidised class eBooks. – if Education really is in the Apple DNA, then make it happen. Every parent and teacher wants their kids to love reading. This one bold move could be the real game changer. Classkit might be great for developers, but words, paragraphs, in the form of books will always outlast apps and widgets.
Of course none of the above is ever likely to happen!
* the recycle/trade in price on the iPad minis was £75 each with a reseller. If you check out the price of a three year old Chromebook, you’ll find it’s probably close to £0. Yet the irony being the Chromebooks will run as fast as the day they were bought.
Dash is a fully programmable robot that moves with centimetre precision. It moves in all directions with great accuracy. This is combined with coloured “ear” lights and an eye composed of mini LED lights that can be programmed to animate. The unique features here are the proximity sensors. Dash can be programmed to respond to either a hand or a wall that it detects. Year five children spent a lesson recently exploring driverless cars and programmed Dash’s sensors to detect moving and stationary objects.
The robots can also be loaded with voice recordings. These are recorded on the iPad and sent via bluetooth to the robot. The years 4,5,6 classes picked this process up very quickly. We couldn’t quite turn dash into a Siri or Alexa personal assistant, but it gave the class the key concepts and understanding of how these “personal assistant” technologies work.
It is worth pointing out that the Dot robot doesn’t move, but is still great for programming challenges. The fact that it remains stationary on the school desk means you can work in much smaller spaces than you need for both Dash and Sphero.
Just remembered about this nice piece of video produced after the Big Write in Y6 with @mrboothy6 at St Silas. The children were encouraged to retell the story from a different point of view. They used screen shots from a youtube version of the story. The sounds came from Garageband. The final pieces were recorded and edited in iMovie on the iPad.
So what happened to fidget spinners? This project enables the children to explore programming the iPad’s tilt function (the accelerometer) and build it into their own games. These notes are for the @yorkshireRTC that was launched today – Good luck!
Although my skills tend to be in creative media, video, animation, digital photography etc, I’m constantly asked for support with coding. Hopscotch is still my tool, (Swift Playgrounds is good too if Apple are reading!). The joy of Hopscotch, is how with just a few basic concepts, children can design completely unique and original projects and games.
So the above uses 3 simple concepts .
1. Control we program the “hero” parallelogram to move in response to user tilting the iPad.
2. Randomthe “villain” fidget spinner icon is programmed to move randomly in terms of speed, distance and direction.
3. Collide so here we program the objects so that when they collide, or in Hopscotch terms “bump” we hear a sound and illicit a “game over” message.
We’ve had some fun this term making Bloxels video games. Some of the children have become very adept at designing with this app, adding story/narrative elements and instructions. We were going to enter the Bloxel’s competition (the prize includes a trip to the USA), but the majority of children at school are Muslims, they were very worried that they wouldn’t be allowed into the country.
So we made our own little competition complete with winner’s T shirt!
We do love America, Americans and we love Bloxels. Shame some people can’t reciprocate the love.
Video made with Quik, iMovie and other Apple magic. Weird audio glitch in the middle is good though. Sorry about that!