iPad Presentation on Transforming Learning

I am presenting a workshop for teachers in my area on how an iPad can transform learning. I made a good chunk of the presentation on the iPad using Keynote. I decided to activate iCloud for Keynote so I have it on my phone and Mac Book Air as well.

I put it here as I spent a lot of time making it and its good to share 🙂

My featured apps are hyperlinked so you can delve more deeply should you wish.

My inquiry around this topic can be found on my iPad Google site.

Interesting to note that my presentation has had 540 views in the two days since I posted it!

Transforming proof reading with an iPad

As you may know the Link Learning ICT Cluster has loaned me an iPad to use with my teaching, to download apps that may be useful for learning and to recommend to teachers the apps that prove themselves to be powerful learning tools.

There is only the one iPad in the school and it is only there on the one day a week that I teach so, as you can imagine, it’s a pretty scarce commodity that’s much used when it is at school. I try to have it in children’s hands as much as possible by pairing children up, allowing the children to use my iPhone and iPod Touch and trying to make sure each child gets some iPad time each day when I am teaching.

Yesterday children were finishing off and proof reading a ‘beginning of the school year’ story.

Here’s a little original idea I had – I don’t get many of those so I thought I had better share it pretty quick.

I will call the child in this story Smilie cos he didn’t want to be named! Smilie told me that he written his story and that he had finished proof reading it. I loved the story- it made me laugh out loud and with Smilie’s permission I read it to the class. I took a photo of a Smilie’s draft writing with the iPad 2 camera and put it up on the ordinary whiteboard with the data projector. I called the class together and together we looked at what we might do to edit the text.

Then I switched the data projector off, leaving just the editing. We then looked at patterns with the things we edited and saw that Smilie need to work on identifying spelling errors in words that he really does know, to make sure the full stops are in the right place and put capitals after all the full stops.

I could have probably done this activity without the iPad just using a digital camera and a heap of cords but the joy of using the iPad is that it can happen in the wink of an eye, as the need arises.

As a corollary to this activity I am preparing an after school workshop tomorrow on creative iPad apps so set to work turning Smilie’s story into a book with the Scribblepress app on the iPad.

As Kevin Honeycutt did at Learning at School I decided to buy a hard cover copy of the illustrated test run of the app. The Scribblepress people were very helpful via Twitter when I got stuck at one stage and to clarify things they sent me a pdf of the story. Here it is with the story by Smilie and the drawings and photos by me!

The hardcover book should arrive in 5-7 days- I can’t wait! Click on the book cover  or this link to see how it looks a real book!

My New Teacher

Digital Literacy and Employment

This morning via Twitter Kevin Honeycutt shared a video excerpt from his soon to be published eBook. The excerpt is titled Digital Literacy and Employment. I spent some time watching it and it held my interest right to the end which is good cos I often can’t concentrate for that length of time.

I think his audience is young adults, teachers and parents. He talks conversationally to young people about the implications of being digital and addresses issues around developing a network that can enhance your career or sink it!

A must watch for anyone learning with young people. To view the video click on the graphic and wait for it to load- I watched it on my iPhone.

Kevin’s keynote at Learning at School was brilliant and I can’t wait for it to be published on EdTalks so I can share it with you. Happy also to update my trophy photo set on Flickr. Hehehe!

Lighting the Kindle Fire

CC licence Brian Sawyer

While at Learning at School CORE Education generously gave me a Kindle Fire to play with for a bit and see what I thought of it for school use. I managed to convince them that I needed to take it home with me to give it a decent run.

So here are my thoughts on the Kindle Fire…


  • On first look- it feels nice. It has a nice to the touch back on it and it’s a good size to hold in one hand. I am not so sure though that, for me that size is right. It was a stretch for me to get my delicate lady hands around it- I’m not sure.
  • As soon as you register the device the books you have already bought on Amazon miraculously appear. I don’t have a Kindle but use the Kindle app on the iPad. I like the sepia type background rather than the black/white background of the ordinary Kindle.
  • When you highlight text in a document it allows you to go straight to Google- I just noticed that the iPad will do the same thing as well as give you a dictionary meaning.
  • I haven’t needed to recharge it yet so I presume the battery lasts a decent amount of time.
  • Once I loaded some music the audio was good and strong and there is a headphone jack.
  • YouTube videos fill the whole screen and play smoothly.
  • As you bring up different books, music, apps or documents they nestle themselves into the OSX ‘cover flow’ look alike menu which is handy if you want to go back to something quickly.
  • It multi-tasks- you can listen to music while you read your book.
  • Once the photos load they look good and will rotate to fill the screen.
  • It’s heavy- in comparison to an ordinary Kindle it is much heavier.
  • Some of the downloaded icons are downright fuzzy- so low resolution that they make my eyes sore.
  • It doesn’t have a camera- even a not so great one like an iPad.
  • It’s not very intuitive- maybe I have been so well trained to the ways of Apple but I found navigating it annoying.
  • As you register the device it gives you a month’s free Premium membership which is useless cos you can’t stream the movies in New Zealand any way. You can watch the trailers which looked to be a good.
  • I wanted to see how it would cope with emailing a pdf to it that I had made. I thought I could just email it to the Kindle that had assigned me an email address but I had to go to the web and authorise the sender (myself) first. I suppose this is good in that you would only get emails from address you pre-approve but in a school setting that could be downright annoying as you would have to individually allow all senders on by one.
  • Once I had the pdf on the Kindle Fire I was disappointed with the reading of it- an ordinary A4 font was too small to read and I had to keep sliding back and forwards across the page to be able to read the text.
  • I tried to play Adobe Flash type games from my class blog and it wouldn’t. It didn’t offer to download a flash player so came to a bit of a dead end on that score.
  • The keyboard is slow to the the touch- I kept waiting for it to catch up.
  • I thought that it might have a USB hole for a camera but as far as I can work out you have to transfer the photos from the camera to your computer with one USB cord and then transfer them to the Kindle with another USB cord. I could soon get sick of that. To get the photos on to the Kindle you drag them into the pictures folder, like you would do onto a USB flash drive.
  • I like to view my photos but to find them you have to work out which of the icons in the cover flow is the Gallery as the Home Menu Bar only has – Newstand, Books, Music, Video, Docs, Apps and Web.
  • I could see there was already a movie in the video folder in a .mov format so I added another- I couldn’t find either of them again- I wonder if the video folder only holds downloaded movies which we can’t get in New Zealand.
  • You can’t buy it in the shops yet but you can buy one on Trade Me for $380NZ.
  • I couldn’t find an airplane mode for reading in flight but I assume there must be one- somewhere. I couldn’t find a way to switch the internet off.
  • I couldn’t see any way to lock the screen – it kept on changing aspect on me which I found irritating.
  • From the look of it you can, with one click, deauthorise everything on it which would be handy when passing it on to someone else.
  • Can you download some kind of Flash player so you can play Flash games?
  • I wonder if you can record audio onto it in some way?
  • I wondering about the Terms of Service for books bought from Amazon for educational use. With Apple you are supposed to buy one copy of an app per device. Is it legal to buy one book and have it readable on multiple devices should a school buy a pod of Kindles?

Thanks CORE for the opportunity to test drive the Kindle but I am happy enough to hand it back.

I wonder what other people think of it but in my opinion I would save up and buy something that did more or stick with an ordinary lightweight Kindle that you can read books on and leave it at that.

BTW I made the movie below with Action Movie on the iPad.

How I made the Google Slide Show

People have wondered how I made the Google Presentation ‘Five Things My Teacher Needs to Know About Me‘ for my class. So I thought I would share how I did it here.

I just made a Google presentation under my own account- then I made a slide for each student.

I made sure it was open for everyone to edit without a log in.

Then put a link to that presentation on the blog so the children would know where to find it.

Children then went to the blog, clicked on the link, found their slide and filled it in. I believe that twenty people can edit a Google presentation at one time so as many children as there are computers can work on editing.

When everyone has done editing I then close it off by making it so no one can edit it so no cherub could wreck it and write stuff in the holidays that I didn’t know of.

I then put the html embed code on the blog so it would play there.

If all that seems a bit tricky then I have made a three minute tutorial on how to do it.

At Learning at School Kevin Honeycutt suggested that we make learning rewindable- here I have done just that.

If you get stuck you can rewind, pause or stop the video while you practice.

Make it full screen by clicking on the bottom right hand corner of the video if you want a better view.