Education Review Article

A while ago NZ Education Review asked me to write an article for them sharing the path I took to change my practice over the last few years using ICT.

They published it in digital form today with Issuu which I quite like because it looks like a book to read and you can zoom in and turn the pages, just like the real thing.

The whole publication makes good reading- my article is on page 21/22. Click on the image to take you to the web book.

They even added a QR code to the article like I asked them too.


K12 On Line Conference

Last year I was asked to keynote the K12 On Line Conference with a presentation- ‘A Week in the Classroom’.

It was at last year’s K12 Conference that I first heard Dean Shareski’s Sharing- Moral Imperative which had a profound affect on my thinking about what we do in the classroom.

This year I am presenting a session on using QR codes in the classroom. The conference starts with a pre-conference Keynote on November 21 USA time and then there will be a series of presentations that you can view for free at any time from the comfort of your couch. Here are a list of the other presenters.

Tonight I made a teaser Animoto video to whet your appetite for what is to come.

Try our video maker at Animoto.

iPad Sharing #4 Apps to support children with very special needs

Yesterday I had the privilege to meet a group of people, mainly mothers of young children with neuro-developmental delays who were helping their children communicate with iPads. I was inspired by their interest and by the innovative ways they were using their iPads.

The session was lead by Bianca and her young son, Kaiden, made an appearance via video. This video shows the progress that Kaiden has made in three months since he got his iPad. Awesome.

Kaiden has had his iPad for 3 months. Here is how far he has come! I had been trying for nearly a year to teach him to use his pointing finger and it took about 6 weeks with the iPad – AMAZING! The apps he is using are…. Peekaboo Barn, Peekaboo Ocean, Baby Touch, Sparkabilities 2, Choiceboard Maker (now upgraded and called Choiceboard Creator).

For those new to my blog all of my posts that share my learning with iPads can be found under the iOS tab by clicking here.

Also take a moment to watch this inspirational video of how Bianca, Kaiden and his physiotherapist work together using the iPad as a motivator. Well done Kaiden.

Bianca listed the apps she uses with Kaiden on a piece of paper. To make it easier for people to find those apps I am basically re-creating them here with hyperlinks to make the accessing of them easier.

In most browsers when you click on the link it will ask you if want to open iTunes- you say yes and it takes you directly to iTunes where you can download the app.

There is a great Facebook page called Babies with iPads which has a thriving community of people sharing apps and posting videos of their progress using apps to support learning. And this one Apps for Children with Special Needs has lots of apps demos which are great to look at to see if an app is right for your child before deciding whether to spend money on buying it.

Apps for Communicating between Home and School

Each child has an iPad that is theirs. We can capitalise on the communication between parents, whanau, school, teacher aides, teachers but writing (and emailing) quick Notes from the Notes app telling of progress.

Use the camera for stills or video to capture those wonderful moments when breakthroughs are made- share with parents who aren’t able to be there.

Simple Touch- Cause and Effect Apps

To teach swiping, pointing, anticipating movement, press and hold.

Peekaboo Barn ($2.59) but there is a lite free version
Peekaboo Wild ($2.59) this is an iPhone version- it can be annoying if your child keeps accidentally making the app small size but you can cover the (x1) with a post it note
Peekabo Vehicles (free)
Alphababy- $1.29) add your own photos (there is a free version too)
Baby Touch- (4.19) this is the link to the paid version but there is a free lite version as well.
Look Baby- free- there is a paid version as well!/id325952583?mt=8
Baby Finger- free 
Talk Tom- free- there’s a whole series of these talking apps- good to pay for it so that the ads don’t keep on getting in the way

Here is a video of young Alexander meeting with The Talking Dinosaur

Peekaboo HD (free)
Baby Play Face (free)
Christmas Baby Rattle ($2.59) there is a free version too

Slightly more complex apps but not too tricky

Peekaboo Ocean- (2.59) there is a lite version 
Polly Poodle’s Noisy Book ($1.29)
Wheels on the bus
Sparkabilities ($6.49)

Telling Stories

These can be powerful to record stories around what you did together and to remember and play back and share special moments.

Storykit- is free. Delete their example stories and build your own
Sonic Pics ($4.19) I have linked to the paid version but there is a free lite version that only lets you record three photos. Record a voiceover over your photos and make a little movie. 
Book Creator for iPad ($9.99) In a future update they are going to add the ability to record your voice as well.
iBooks- like a digital bookshelf to put the books you have made in Book Creator

Communication Apps

Choosing the right one for your child may be a bit of a mission but looking at previews and demos on the app developer’s website and YouTube maybe useful.

TapSpeak Choice ($199.99) This one is expensive but it’s what Bianca chose that seemed to be the best choice for Kaiden

Choiceboard Creator (free) make your own menu of choices from photos downloaded off the internet or take your won photos
iComm (free)
Talkboard ($20.99)
Tap to Talk
My Choice Board ($13.99) May suit some people but not the one that Bianca chose for Kaiden
Yes No (free)

Thank you Bianca for sharing a snapshot of your journey with Kaiden with us. I hope this post will be useful for others with pre-schoolers and children with special needs using their iPad to play and learn.

I’ve Got Speed

“I’m the urban spaceman, baby; I’ve got speed. I’ve got everything I need.

I’m the urban spaceman, baby; I can fly. I’m a supersonic girl.” Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band

At school today I had issues with internet speed so I went to and did a speed test. I was on my Mac Book Air so the test was wireless….

 I then went to a class iMac that was wired with an ethernet cable and got….

 Because I know people, I then rang up people who knew people and they did clever Loop internet firewall things. I then tried again. Vast improvement. Cooking with gas- as my father used to say!

 When I went home I tried again – I’d be interested for you to do a test and see what you get at school.