Life is not a race to be first finished

This is an attempt to record some of my musings about learning and teaching.

iPad Sharing #1

Posted by Allanah King on February 20, 2011

IMG_1405Did I tell you I love my job? At the end of last year at a cluster governance meeting Charles Newton asked me, “Did I have an iPad yet?” I have an iPhone, iBook, iPod Touch, iPhone and some iPods but no iPad.

What was a girl to do but get herself an iPad. Or better still have work get me an iPad. Over the holidays I set about getting one and booking it up! I bought a robust cover for it from Trade Me cos it’s going to get a goodly amount of handing about over the year.

Over the holidays I put a decent amount of down time getting to know it and scouring my Personal Learning Network for excellent apps for teachers and children. Then we product tested it with family visitors over January.

Early in the new year two schools in my patch did a spot of heavy investing in iPads and I helped them deploy the iPads. I thought our learning may be of interest to others about to do a similar thing so here goes…

  • There is a discussion as to whether it is worthwhile buying screen protectors. One school is leasing the iPads and chose not to have screen protectors thus saving $400. The other school has bought theirs and put covers on. Only time will tell how the ‘naked’ iPads will fare. I will report back in three years time.
  • iPads are meant to be single user devices and you have to think carefully of how you might manage that in a classroom situation. We thought about how to individualise the iPads so that students could tell them apart by putting different stickers on them and making each homepage image different. Maybe next time I would suggest if you were going to buy skins or covers for them that you buy as many different colours of them as possible so students can remember which one they were using. They all look the same and a lot of the work or content you have created on them would be stored on each machine separately and different covers would help children tell which is which if they were going to come back to it at a later stage.
  • We physically had to take the iPads around the school to hook them up to the different wireless networks. A task done once to safe initial frustration of not being able to get on the internet.
  • Warren Hall wrote an interesting post on the CORE blog about the purchase of apps on multiple devices. It is problematic to buy apps legally for use in schools with multiple iPads. I hope a practical solution is sorted out soon.
  • At home with my iPad I made a new email address just for the iPad because I didn’t want it synching with my personal emails. That is something we will sort out a bit later. If you want to get a document or screengrab onto another device email is an easy way to do it. I wonder what other people do for this- will one email address cover all of the iPads? A question for Learning at School workshop presenters next week.
  • To take a screen grab- press the home button first and then the power together takes a screen grab and puts it in the photo library.
  • To save a photo from the internet press and hold. It saves it to your photo album where it can be accessed by other applications like Photogene and Sonic Pics.
  • To add a web-page on the home screen. Go to the page, tap arrow out icon and select where to add the bookmark.

So here are some of my all time favourite apps for the iPads… so far at least.

  • Sonic Pics- $4:19 Buy the paid version. It’s worth it. Digital storytelling at its easiest- exports as email, YouTube or direct transfer via URL
  • World Maths Day 2011- free- practice before and after the day and go live when the week is on.
  • Puppet Pals- free but you can buy extra scenes and characters. Last week we used the app to practise our mihi. You manipulate characters and record voiceovers. Kids love it. It doesn’t export unfortunately but its creators are working on that feature. To export I just videoed the scene.
  • Talking Tom Cat- free but you can buy extra characters. Tom is really cute and he repeats everything you say. Great for encouraging talking. You can save what he says as a movie for export.
  • Animalia- $5:29 Like the book except the pages don’t get all torn and ripped.
  • PopOut! The Story of Peter Rabbit- $5:29 faithful interactive recreation of Beatrix Potter’s story.
  • Running Records- $2:59 Save yourself hours of mucking about with a calculator- it does the running record calulations for you in seconds.
  • Photogene $4:19 iPhoto like photo editing app- my fav editor. I know the iPad hasn’t got a camera but you can get photos on to the iPad when you synch it with your computer or by buying a USB adapter dongle.
  • Toy Story- free great graphics- comes with a simple game.
  • iBooks- free You can save pdfs from your computer directly to iBooks. really handy feature as well as view books to read.
  • Crazy Copy- free. Just like the old game of Simon Says where you copy sound patterns
  • Draw Board- free Just the thing for it you are missing your old blackboard.

That will do for the time being but there are lots more to share and more to come I am sure.

10 Responses to “iPad Sharing #1”

  1.   Cherryl Says:

    Thanks for all the hints and ideas Allanah. They will be very useful.

  2.   Teacher Trainee Says:

    Excuse me while I wipe the slobber off my old Dell which is currently held together with gaffer tape. I read on another person’s blog (I wish I remember who) that one of the bonuses to the ipad for one learner was that the keypad was built into the screen so he didn’t have to keep looking between the keyboard and the screen when typing.

  3.   Allanahk Says:

    One touch typer in the crew didn’t like the keyboard as it didn’t have little bumps on the f and j to out your fingers on and she kept on getting extra spaces when she typed as she was rest her thumbs on the space bar. It didn’t take her long to re-train herself.

    Me I don’t have such problems as I can’t touch type anyway. I still have to look at the keys- even on the iPad.

  4.   Innes Says:

    Stolen December 2010 – I have been padless and bereft. One plus is that i have everything on iTunes – plus some new ones I haven’t tried yet. I have huge hopes that there will be a new iPad available in the next couple of weeks – I hope they don’t have to sell 5 million iPad2s in the US before we get ours. Interesting apps Allanah – I will add some when I load all the new stuff.
    Cheers
    I

  5.   Allanahk Says:

    Hey Innes

    I feel for you. My next iToy I iWant is a new iPod Touch- the one that makes some sound and has a camera. Anyone want to make an offer on a first generation iPod touch lovingly bought in San Franciso in a real Apple Store. I was so proud of it at the time.

    I have http://itunes.apple.com/nz/app/find-my-iphone/id376101648?mt=8 on the iPad as well so theoretically I can tell within 20 metres where it is as long as it’s connected to the network. And I can remotely kill it if I think it has come to harm.

  6.   Tessa Gray Says:

    Hi Allanah, hope you don’t mind I added this post to the latest ICT PD Online newsletter. http://centre4.core-ed.net/382/85397 I think you’ll be able to play with the iPads at L@S Innes :)

  7.   Allanahk Says:

    Hey Tessa

    Of course I don’t mind. I am flattered that you want to link to my blog :-)

    Thank you

  8.   Warren Hall Says:

    Hi Allanah,

    Funny how it is the little things often (like your bit about how to tell them all apart) which often cause problems.

    I think that getting school iPads etc engraved is probably also a good idea, especially since it always seems to be a free option at the Apple Store. I am not just thinking about telling them apart, the untrusting part of me also wonders what happens if someone brings a lesser specced one, or a dead one, from home and swaps it for one of the school ones. At least if they are engraved you would have a way to tell if it was a school one that gets returned at the end of the period/day.

    I look forward to reading more posts as the schools begin using them more.

  9.   Belinda Says:

    I would keep hold of that 1st generation iPod Allanah – it will soon be worth more money than you originally paid for it. Poor Innes – I can’t believe we ran from one Apple Store to the next all over California to get that iPad only for it to be stolen????? We have leased a bunch of the new iPod Touches at my school which means we can’t engrave them so not sure what this will mean security wise – only time will tell I guess. When I purchase through the Apple store for my personal devices I always take up the free engraving option.

  10.   Allanahk Says:

    Belinda- too late- I sold my old iPod Touch to a keen teacher at Learning at School. All ready to get my new one at the Apple Mother Ship in Sydney.

    Warren- one of the schools is leasing the iPads so the engraving isn’t an option. I will keep it in mind when advising on other purchases.

    I found out about Epic Citadel at L@S. Stunning graphics. Almost like you’re there. If this is the future of gaming I might actually try it.

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