Pic Collage and Blogger

I have been thinking more about combining iPad apps to create content that can be shared on line.

To that end I am creating some tutorials around combining apps.

Today I am sharing creating a photo collage with Pic Collage and sharing it with Blogger.

Pic Collage http://itunes.apple.com/nz/app/pic-collage/id448639966?mt=8

Blogger http://itunes.apple.com/nz/app/blogger/id459407288?mt=8

With Pic Collage you can either take your own photos, get them from the Camera Roll or the web. You can also add text, stickers and a variety of different backgrounds.

Pic Collage

  • I had previously saved some photos to my iPad photos folder using Advanced Image Search and using free to use photos. To save a photo from the web just press and hold it.
  • You can multiple select photos for your collage. Move them to where you want them.

  •  To set a photo as a background double tap it. Tap on an empty space to select one of their backgrounds. 

  • To delete a photo drag or flick the photos into the bin that appears at the top right hand side of the screen.
  • Use the two finger pinch and spread and rotate to manipulate the photos to how and where you want them.
  • To trim a photo double tap it and trace around the outside with your finger. Press DONE when you’re done. 

  •  Tap anywhere in the background to add text.

  • Look at the top left of the text box to edit font etc.
  • Look to the bottom right hand corner arrow to export the finished collage to the Camera Roll.


Now you are ready to share your collages. Go to your Blogger app and log in.

  • Blogger will ask you permission to access your photos. It will need to do that to access your Camera Roll.

  •  Click on the pencil at the bottom left corner to write your post. Add a title and some text and close the keyboard by clicking on the orange keyboard.

  •  Select your image by clicking on the photo icon on the bottom left of your screen.

  •  If you have labels on your blog remember to add it. Then click Publish. Go to Safari to see how the blog post looks!

Here is a paper version of this tutorial to download if you find it easier to work from that.

Chromebook Trial

I was generously leant a Chromebook to trial for a week and wrote my thoughts around using it for the brief time I had it.


  • White and cool- roundy edges- solid number. Decent sized screen. Netbook screens and keyboards are just way too small for me to want to go anywhere near so this was good.
  • Built in camera audio record button
  • Used Aviary to record audio but it didn’t stick- could be my inexperience in Aviary.
  • Easy to connect to the web
  • Not sure how but all my bookmarks and bookmarks bar turned up in the right place- I synch between browsers using XMarks and have Google Bookmarks synching with that.
  • Could upload to Picassa/Flickr from flashdrive and presumably from camera card- you could run in to blocking issues using social photo sites like Flickr
  • Google would do the updates for you- no need to install updates
  • As long as students remember to log out it is a device that can easily be passed between multiple users. In my experience children remember the lesson to log out quickly as they don’t want their stuff mucked about with by others.
  • If you were a Google user or Google Apps for Education School it is quite cool.


  • If you don’t have internet you have nothing- no access to anything- no chance to record anything at all off line.
  • You have to have a Google account before you get started. Google is building more information about you.
  • You can upload photos to Picassa directly from a flash drive but when I went to look at them it said that Picassa isn’t available on this operating system- weird. Couldn’t download Picassa either.
  • You can’t upload a decent sized photo directly to a Google Doc- has to be re-sized first which adds lots of new layers for kids doing it.
  • It’s not very exciting. Unless you spend time personalising your themes and such it all looks pretty bland- not a lot of colour.
  • Chromebooks aren’t officially supported in New Zealand yet. You would have to source them from overseas.

Things you can’t do with a Chromebook.

  1. Skype– I am used to having Skype running in the background for instant collaboration
  2. Dropbox Desktop Drag and drop function but you can access the web version or Google Drive I suppose.
  3. Uploading larger sized photos to Google Docs
  4. AudioPal– can’t embed flash based audio tools for embedding in a blog

Things to Explore Further but ran out of time..

  • Upload video to Vimeo or YouTube- I should imagine creating and editing videos on a Chromebook would be a real mission- all the uploading, buffering and rendering wouldn’t make it a pleasant experience.
  • Printing- Cloud Printing option as you can’t download printer drivers
  • Does it play a Flash based web Digital Object?


  • Heavy- what’s in it to make it heavy. You would think it would be light.
  • Keeps my knees warm? Again- what’s in it so that it heats up!
  • No backlit keys- annoying in low light situations
  • Expensive- price similar to iPad so why not get an iPad.


  • I like the concept and it is way more useful than the recently fired Kindle Fire.
  • I don’t think I would like it to be my only device. I like to be able to have a choice of pencil, pen, dry erase marker, felt tip pen, crayon or brush. Each best for their own task.
  • In my perfect world I would have a COW of devices to chose from- MacBooks, iPads, iPod Touches, Chromebooks, pens etc. We would have a knowledge of all devices available to use and be able to choose the right tool for the job.
  • The Chromebook could well be part of that toolbox but at a price similar to an iPad I would prefer an iPad.

Thank you CORE for the opportunity to dabble my toes in the water.


This is a test post with a work in progress to see if my idea works.

It does! This is Chirp! Chirp! is like an audio QR Code. By having the free Chirp iPhone/iPad app open you can beam images, notes and URL’s by sound waves. I recorded the sound file produced when I made this note with Divshare so you can practice.

It is real easy to use to beam photos between iPads when you haven’t got email set up on them. Kids will love it!

Here is the sound file again as a link that can be played with out Flash. You will still need another device to receive the Chirp.

So what you have to do is download Chirp! Have it open and listen to the chirp. The first person to write what I chirped in the comments gets a surprise present.

The Chirp team have plans for an Android app but aren’t quite there yet!

2012 K-12 Horizon Report

Earlier this year I was asked to participate in the Advisory Board of the Horizon Report. The Horizon Report Advisory Board is a group of leading educators from around the world who pool their knowledge and expertise to try and predict what the trends will be in the educational landscape in the near future out to the next five years.

I was in awe of the other educators asked to participate and humbled that they would value my input.

To gain consensus we suggested trends and then voted on which ones we thought would come to fruition over the time frames suggested.

Key Trends that we identified

  • The abundance of resources and relationships made easily accessible via the Internet is increasingly challenging us to revisit our roles as educators.
  • As the cost of technology drops and schools revise and open up their access policies, it is becoming increasingly common for students to bring their own mobile devices.
  • Education paradigms are shifting to include online learning, hybrid learning and collaborative models.
  • One-to-one computing is spreading to a large number of countries and regions. Providing students constant access to computers and the Internet is an education game-changer.
  • People expect to be able to work, learn, and study whenever and wherever they want to.
  • Technology continues to profoundly affect the way we work, collaborate, communicate and succeed.
  • There is a new emphasis in the classroom on more challenge-based and active learning.

 So here is what we came up with……

 Time-to-Adoption Horizon: One Year or Less

  • Cloud Computing
  • Collaborative Environments
  • Mobiles and Apps
  • Tablet Computing

Time-to-Adoption Horizon: Two to Three Years

  • Digital Identity
  • Game-Based Learning
  • Learning Analytics
  • Personal Learning Environments

 Time-to-Adoption Horizon: Four to Five Years

  • Augmented Reality
  • Natural User Interfaces
  • Semantic Applications
  • Tools for Assessing 21st Century Learning Skills

Embedded below is four minute video that explains it further and a pdf to download that explains each of the terms.


So what do you think? Did we get it right?



CORE Breakfast- Social Media

Last week we hosted an exciting event here in Nelson- a CORE Education Breakfast. The Loop Regional Support programme NEN extension group sponsored the breakfast with DK as our invited guest speaker. To my knowledge this hadn’t happened before. As our regional cluster comes to an end the sense of urgency of getting our messages adopted seems even more acute and DK sharing his thoughts about using social media and developing a personal learning network fits well with our cluster goals.

DK shared his insights with graphical examples and plenty of good humour. A couple of things resonated with me in particular.

  •  The first being that of ‘desire paths’. I hadn’t heard of that concept before. But I like the notion. We get where we need to be in the best way we can. That desire path takes us where we want to go rather than where others might like us to. We do what we need to to get the job done and sometimes designers who think they know best for us- don’t.
Desire path and desire cycle path

Photo by Kate Pugh

  •  Aim for goals not instructions. I tend to hand hold when I am helping people with their ICT. People are generally grateful for that and maybe it is time as the cluster draws to a close to pull back a little and let people work it out for themselves more (resilience). I still have some problem with that though cos I think back to my own experiences when I started blogging. I didn’t know anyone else who was doing it, had no idea where to go to find out really apart from Yahoo! And I didn’t know what questions to ask a web search engine any way. I spent hours, days, weeks trying to get it sorted. If I hadn’t been so determined I would have given up as the whole thing was so new to me. If I can help cut out some of the struggle then maybe that’s a good thing. What do you think?
  • DK also suggested that it was the metacognition around blogging that was the best thing about doing it. The thinking about it was the most important thing. I know that for me there are many posts that never see the light of day. I craft them in my head, write them up and the moment passes and I don’t actually publish them. The reflection involved in blogging helps me sort stuff out in my head.
  • Your blog will be successful if it is an intersection not a destination. My class blog has now over 94,000 views over time. How did we get there? We got there because people go to the blog to be taken to other places like other web services that we need like our maths wiki, or our Google Apps Log in  or whatever. I hadn’t thought of it like that but DK is right. The hyperlinks on this blog and my class blog will take you to other interesting places and hopefully encourage you to return to find more interesting links with new posts or looking through the categories.
Would you say your blog is an intersection or a destination?
Moturoa_s Blog
Uploaded with Skitch!

ADE Camp

Over the weekend I had the privilege of attending the Apple Distinguished Educators first ever New Zealand official get together in Auckland. Apart from getting to know one another better the main thrust for the event was to make a video potentially for iTunes U. We were put in to three groups of five with a Final Cut Pro expert on hand for when we got stuck and got on with it. It was a little like Masterchef with a final countdown for 4pm on Saturday afternoon. Almost two solid days of work for a 90 second video! The end result was pretty good though.

I am happy to say I have a couple of things in iTunes U already owing to my involvement in the K12 OnLine Conference over the last couple of years.

While we were there we were privileged to also hear from Rhonda Kite, the CEO of Kiwa Media. I was impressed, very impressed with her vision, passion and skills. We have such talented New Zealanders here.

It is Kiwa Media that have developed the Hairy Maclary and Wonky Donkey apps that I already had. Previously I had just had the apps auto play but now realise there is more to it than that. On my return to school on Monday we had a look at the Hairy Maclary book being signed as it was read. My class were impressed as they could sort of see what was being read at the same time as listening and reading. Then we had a go at adding our own narration. Fortunately the I had a parent willing to help and an empty classroom next door because I left my iRig noise cancelling microphone at home.

When I got home I used Reflectionapp to mirror my iPad onto my laptop and used Quicktime to record the screen and Vimeo to post to the web.

I put it on the Moturoa class blog via the iPad Blogger app. Take a look and have a go yourself.

Leadership Google Presentation

Today I was so proud of the team as we worked collaboratively across the 36 schools in the cluster to research and add our notes to a shared Google Doc, record our learnings and share publicly what we had done.

I had pre-made the Google presentation with a hyperlink to a leadership resource on each slide. I had also randomly placed people’s names on each slide so people had to move to work together with one another.

Our internet zinged along as we were at Salisbury School which is on the Loop UFB.

I loved it how people just knew what to do and got on and did it. Some taking screen grabs and uploading them, some writing notes, some making an iMovie and uploading it to YouTube and embedding it in the presentation.

All in a thirty five minute time span. Impressive.

We have come a long way since we started this venture.