Book Creator to Seesaw Workflow

Lots of schools I have been learning with have started using Seesaw as a means of sharing what has been happening in their classrooms with whānau. As you know I am a big fan of Book Creator and the two go really well together with the Book Creator export as a video function.

To help cement this workflow I have made this short video to show you how the two great apps can work so well together.


Presentation Tools

I was asked recently what presentation tools can I recommend. We have moved away for felt tip pens posters thank goodness. Children would spend a lifetime colouring in borders and copying writing fonts from books.

I wanted tools that are easy to put on line in one step- that is apps or sites that give you an easy embed code without having to upload it to a third party site.

My first thought was of using Google Slides. Kathy Baker from Chisnallwood Intermediate used Google Slides with her students to make these static images and poems.

Screen Shot 2015-10-25 at 2.41.50 pm


You could also use Google Drawings in a similar way.

Screen Shot 2015-10-25 at 2.48.30 pm

I thought also of Haiku Deck, Canva on an iPad and Prezi on my laptop.

Canva and Haiku Deck are nice and simple but you only get an image or a PDF to download then you have to do something else with it to out it on line. I have never been a fan of Prezi because it took me a long time to work it out. It does however give you an easy to embed embed code like with this Prezi on using Twitter by Ray Burkhill.


But over the week I was looking at a rather slick resource which was Adobe Slate made on an iPad. I used my Adobe account to sign up and very easily put this together on the iPad as an example. Once put together you can easily share it via a link in an email or via the embed code.

Click on the image below or this link to see the cool presentation on all its glory!

The things that I do

And now you can make Adobe Slate designs on line as well.

What other presentation tools would you recommend?

Embedding You Tube Videos from an iPad

A friend who had got herself into a bit of a loop recently wanted to know how to embed an Explain Everything exported video into a Blogger blog and only use an iPad. I have found that if you just use Safari you can get caught in a loop of using the You Tube App and you can’t get to the embed code as you would be able to do easily on a laptop.

To make the original test video I used Explain Everything.

You will also need to have Chrome installed on your iPad.

To record the tutorial I mirrored my iPad onto my laptop using Reflector App.

To make the finger taps visible  on the iPad I used Mouseposé. Mouseposé is a Mac App so I tapped the Mac screen with one hand while tapping the iPad screen with the other hand at the same time to make it look like I was opening apps etc on the iPad. Any other ways of achieving the same affect would be much appreciated.

I also added this as a resource to Bling for Your Blog to make it easy to find. Hope people find it useful.

After making this tutorial and sharing Deon Scanlon from Australia suggested an even simpler way of embedding a You Tube video into Blogger that didn’t even need an embed code. It’s funny isn’t it. You always do what you’ve always done. I had used Deon’s method for photos but hadn’t noticed it for videos.

Let’s Booktrack

If you were anywhere near Twitter over the weekend you would have seen the tweets in a tsunami like wave pouring from the #edchatnz conference held at Hobsonville Point in Auckland. I kept an eye on the Twitter #edchatnz hashtag stream while I was working and the learning session that particularly interested me was that by Craig Wilson sharing the features of Booktrack.

I have had Booktrack Classroom Reader as an iPad app for ages after seeing an interview on the television some years ago when the app first got publicity!

In a nutshell Booktrack layers an ambient soundtrack over a text so that you listen to it as you read and the soundtrack keeps track with the pace of your reading. I remember back to the first book I read – the Selfish Giant. In the book a door opens and I heard that sound of a door opening in the text at exactly the right moment. I was impressed that the sound track matched the reading experience.

I Googled it and found this segment from Seven Sharp more recently in March 2014.

Seven Sharp

I asked participants at the conference via Twitter if someone could Skype me into Craig’s session but no one was able to. Craig, however, picked up on my tweet and offered to show me more via Skype in the following week. This was a perfect solution to finding out more about Booktrack and fill in the gaps of my knowledge of its uses and features- from the expert and just in time for an advanced Google Apps workshop I am leading in a couple of weeks.

The first point to be aware of is the difference between Booktrack Classroom and Book Track Studio and the Booktrack mobile apps.

Booktrack Classroom is for education with a school sign up and the books are for general consumption and safe for students to read and view. A teacher creates an account- adds students who can log in with a password which the teacher can change. This is a fabulous feature as you can make your own version of Single Sign On and have fewer passwords to remember. Craig also suggested making a parent account so parents can log in to read the works that children in the class have made. Books created in Booktrack Classroom cannot be linked to or generally shared without a log in- a walled garden. You don’t have to have made a Booktrack account to read the bookshelf books.

With Booktrack Studio books can be shared via a URL and the content could potentially contain more open content. There is the ability to flag inappropriate material which is a another great feature.

The Booktrack Android and iPad apps are both readers only. If you want to create your own soundtrack you need to do so on a laptop or Chromebook.

As well as the web app I like that it is also a Chrome app linked to your Google Account. Here are the links to all the different ways you can access Booktrack. You can’t say they are limiting access!!

When you first open the app you can read books that others have written as exemplars and just plain engaging books to read. But the creative side of me loves that I can write my own text and create my own soundtrack and publish it to the bookshelf for others to read.

Here is a sample book, The Farmer, the Rooster and the Jewel, that I put together. The workflow that I used was to have a student write a narrative in Google Docs- proof read, get feedback and improve it. I then copied the text into Booktrack and highlighted the text where I want the sounds to be placed. I can then layer from a zillion music, ambient or sound affects to add to the text. When done I publish.

Booktrack Example

I like this process for students as you have to read, re-read and make knowledgeable choices about which sound track or effect best fits with the text. I like also that readers can rate the book and see how many reads they have had.

Booktrack were also able to supply some research that shows how reading with Booktrack promotes reading and improves readability of texts.

Here are few video tutorials of the creation process

Very motivating.

I extend a big thank you to Booktrack and Craig who so willingly and passionately shared the process with me so I can on share it with others.

Here is an example recorded in class.

You can embed your Booktracks into a blog as well. How cool is that.

Book Creator to Web

Today I was facilitating a couple of iPad workshops and I was asked  about the workflow I would use to have books made with Book Creator on the iPad available on the web for adding to a blog or other online space.

Here are a couple of ways of doing it.

1. The first was is to use  that you download onto your laptop to mirror your iPad onto your laptop screen. Reflector costs about $25NZ or $12.99US. Then I would use Quicktime on my Apple or Jing on a PC to record the screen as the book was playing.

And then I would upload that video that I had made to Vimeo to embed on my blog.

Here is a little video of that happening. I apologise that these tutorial videos are not fabulous but hopefully you will get the idea of what is happening in each one.

Book Creator to Quicktime from Allanah King on Vimeo.

2. The second way costs no money at all. You send the book to your laptop via email if it is small or via something like Dropbox if it is larger. Then you move to your laptop and open up Chrome web browser. You use the Chrome extension Readium with your Chrome web browser. Open the Book Creator ePub in Readium and the audio and video will play.

This is great for adding another way to read/play your favourite books created with Book Creator.

I am told on good authority that the new Mavericks OS for Apple will be able to read ePub without needed the Chrome web extension. This will make it one step easier.

Then you can record the screen using Quicktime or Jing as before.

Here is a little video of that happening.

Book Creator to Readium from Allanah King on Vimeo.

How I see the SAMR Model

Everyone is talking about the SAMR model for eLearning.

A principal emailed me this week wanting to know more about the concept so I emailed her with a reply but thought it may be useful to add my thoughts more publicly too.

The SAMR model is based on the thinkings of Ruben Puentedura.

In a nutshell here is how I see what the SAMR letters stand for.

SSubstitution– would be you just used an iPad as a flash sort of text book for the kids to read and copy from.

AAugmentation– you might have the text book read to you via Speech Selection so that is moving things up a notch.

MModification– You might make your own book using Book Creator that includes graphics, audio, video and hyperlinks etc

RRedefinition– You might have students all collaborating making pages for a Book Creator including graphics, audio, video and hyperlinks etc and combining them in one book which you then publish it on iTunes.

I made this graphic using Explain Everything app to show the levels of SAMR.

SAMR Model

I think that the iPad can be an excellent vehicle to raise our game around learning but I am concerned that some teachers think that if they had enough iPads, or Chromebooks, or laptops or whatever, then they would be better teachers and the children better learners. Unfortunately it doesn’t happen like that.

I have seen some people place different iPad apps on a dimension of the SAMR model as though there they sit, fixed, but I would beg to differ.

Take for example the free app Tellagami for iPad, iPod Touch and iPhone. At its most basic level it is an avatar maker- you can change the look and features of a male or female avatar and take a screen grab! Easy enough but let’s put it on the SAMR model.

SSubstitution– You make an avatar, take a screen grab to use as a prompt for writing in writing time.

Tellagami Avatar

AAugmentation- You could create an avatar, upload a background image then write or record a script for it to describe a classroom happening, a visual mihi, or whatever as in this intro I made for an upcoming iPad workshop. Or a learner could take a photo of their artwork and their avatar could talk about how it was made and a self reflection on the process.

Launching Learning with an iPad from Allanah King on Vimeo.

MModification– You could combine the learners’ short projects into one segmented movie using iMovie. This example by Greg Swanson, ADE from Australia, shows this idea really well. His students each produced a segment for the instructional video to show evidence of learning.


RRedefinition– You might invite others, not from your school, or region or country to each make their own segment, then collaborate to make and share their Tellagami projects. The end result being a collaborative video like Paul Hamilton, another Australian ADE has done with this project.


So what I am saying here is try to think of and use apps that allow learners to create, engage,connect and collaborate. Aim for the Redefinition end of the SAMR model- don’t limit yourself to the mere Substitution dimension.

I would love to hear your thoughts and examples and thoughts on using the SAMR model in your classroom with your students.

Enhancing Workflow on an iPad

At the end of last term I was asked to lead a couple of presentations for the Learning at School Conference Roadshow run by CORE Education here in Nelson. It was the first time such an event had been held in the provinces and was really well supported by locals and from those further afield as well.

The presentation that I had not done before was Enhancing Workflow with an iPad- combining apps to share the learning. Here it is below.


I didn’t want to just spend the time just talking to the teachers at the workshop I wanted them to talk to each other- to share the learning that they already knew and become teachers themselves. And to have a base level of knowing how to work their iPad to do basic things before we went on to more advanced learning.

I went down to the local supermarket beforehand and bought a package of the now famous iPad cleaners as prizes and made up a bingo board for each person.

The deal was that people had to walk around the room and find someone who could show them how to do the tasks on the bingo board, that person showed them, then they had to do the task themselves. Then they could initial the bingo board. When they had five squares initialled in a row they yelled ‘Allanah’ and got a prize!

I was surprised the number of people who carried on just as eagerly after they had got a prize because they wanted to learn more. Eventually I felt I had to stop people so we could move on to the more advanced learning but I felt the whole session went really well because it was an energiser as well as a great learning opportunity.

iPad Bingo Chart- click on it to go to the Google Doc

To make it easy for you to personalise and make the resource your own I have made the bingo form into a Google Doc that you can copy and make your own with your own email address and the like.

The activity with all the links to the pdf tutorials and activities can be viewed and downloaded from the presentation above. It is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution, Non-Commercial, Share Alike which means you are welcome to mash-up and repurpose the presentation but please acknowledge the source.

The activity was very well received with participants coming to me later saying how much they enjoyed the opportunity to move and talk and share rather than being talked to for the entire presentation.

You may like to try the same sort of thing when you next share your learning with others.

I later repeated the presentation at the BYOD Conference run by Learning NetworkNZ at Albany Senior High School in the holidays.

iPad Bingo at BYOD Conference at Albany Senior High School

What’s On Your Horizon?

I have been asked to share some elearning trends that I see happening over the next couple of years. I took my ideas from the Horizon Reports of 2011 and 2012 which I have had the privilege of supporting. I have some video and audio to support my thinking around this but you sort of need to be there to see it so I have hyperlinked the resources in this Slideshare so the learning can be rewindable and available to everyone, not just for those in the room! @kevinhoneycutt


Making and Posting Video from your iPad

This post was totally conceived, constructed, edited and posted entirely without the aid of a laptop or desktop computer in any way.

For me it has been a bit of a learning curve with its inspiration coming from my attendance at the Slide2Learn conference and the acquisition of my very own white 64GB iPad that I shouted my self because I had been a good little worker!

One of the workshops at the conference presented by Jenny Jongste was on using iMovie on the iPad. I had never really gone in to making movies on the iPad before and now think I have enough skills to share my learning with others.

On the plane on the way home I started a movie trailer but, although fun, was a bit limiting in the way of timing so I decided to make a longer 2 minute movie instead.


Once you have uploaded the video to Vimeo scroll down a little to get the menu bar pretend to email the video to yourself to get the URL then copy it to your web browser.

From there you can easily see the embed code to put into your blog.

Note the clever things I used in this post…..

* Edublogs app for blogging
* The Vimeo app for uploading the finished video to the web.
* The Skitch app for making the screen grab of how to get the Vimeo URL.
* Inserting hyperlinks
* Uploading an image to Edublogs and inserting it where it needed to go.
* Grabbing the URL from the App Store on an iPad- you have to go to the app page, click on Tell a Friend and email the link to yourself using your iPad email account. When it arrives click and hold on View Item and you will be able to copy the URL. I bet you didn’t know that trick before. Hat tip to Rick Connors.


Daniel Edwards suggested that you search for the app using the Chrome browser for iPad and copying the URL that way but sometimes just searching on the web for an app can be time consuming.

Of course I have never done this before so we will have to see what happens when I click publish.

Continue reading

Best Dozen iPad Apps

Next week I have been asked to share some of my iPad learning with teachers from the Greater Christchurch School Network.

They wanted an interesting concept. Say I could only get a dozen apps for my iPad apart from the ones they came with out of the box.

What would they be?

A hard decision. I am not a big fan of teachers buying ten different apps that do the same thing so am trying to rise to the challenge to pick my dozen must haves.

I teach Year Four a lot so am looking at it from a Year Four teacher’s perspective but these apps go well across a whole primary school.

So here is the  link to what I think are the apps that I consider to be indispensable.

I couldn’t decide on the twelfth app so made it a link to a Google Doc for you to write what YOU think should be included.

Draw Something and

Over the last few weeks I have been playing multiple games of Draw Something with people in Hamilton, Sydney, London and Norway. I think the free app has some possibilities for classroom use as well.

The idea is that you get a choice of three words to draw for your playing buddy. You pick one to draw and your buddy has to guess what it is that you were trying to draw. They will have twelve letter tiles to construct the word from.

You can then make a comment to encourage your playing buddy.

Then they get to draw something and you have to guess what it was. In a classroom I can see it as a language, collaborative opportunity to come up with ideas for how to represent words and then draw them.

I wanted to show you how it works so I used the ten minute free trial of to mirror my iPad onto my MacBook Air running Lion. I then used Quicktime to do a screen recording of it in full screen. I trimmed the ends of the screen-recording and added a track from Freeplay Music.

I then uploaded it to Vimeo to share and embed on my blog. Play it full screen to see how clever we are. Thank you Barbara Reid for being my unwitting guinea pig.

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

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.

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.

Sharing and Synching files on the iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad

When I try to export from some applications on the iPad I have been emailing them to my laptop but it gives me share as WebDav (WEB based Distributed Authoring and Versioning) as an option. I didn’t know what WebDav was and how to get it.

This morning I sorted it.

Firstly I downloaded the app Box.Net which automatically gives me 50GB of on line storage if you sign up before the end of October- plenty of storage to be going on with.

I then logged in the on my laptop and created a folder to put my iOS files into. I called that folder iPadDocs.

Going back to my Pages document on my iPhone I clicked on the Spanner which took me to Share and Print.

Then I clicked on Copy to WebDav. I had to put in the Server address which was .  The iPadDocs part of the Server Address is the folder that I had made.

You can also put in the server address and it will let you chose which folder to put your files in which would make it easier to file things but maybe make it trickier for little folk to decide where to put their files!!!

I entered my username and password. It then asked me which format I want the upload to be, I clicked COPY  and away it went.

Once it uploaded you can download the files on other iOS devices and share folders with other users.

I hope you find this post useful in sorting a simple way to share docs between devices in your class.

I like that you don’t have to rely on aging school servers to share files and continue working on them.

Let me know how you get on.

The Mission!

People have been asking me recently, “What can’t an iPad do?” Today I found out. Or at least I found out how I would try it next time to make it work.

I decided I wanted to make this whole project on the iPad and not touch the laptop.

On Thursday I recorded the class I was working with choral speaking a poem. I didn’t have my iRig mike with me so quickly grabbed the audio with the free app QuickVoice Recoder cos there wasn’t a lot of time before PMP.

I wanted to basically create an enhanced podcast like I do on my laptop with Garageband. Easy I thought. No great timing or editing involved. Piece of cake.

Not so much!

The big hiccup was that Quickvoice only has email out of the .caf file. For all the apps that my Twitter network suggested might work, like Keynote, iMovie and Reel Director, all needed the audio to already be in iTunes.

I tried emailing the .caf file to myself on the iPad from Quickvoice hoping that it would give me options like when you email and ePub- it asks, “Would you like to open this in iBooks.” I was hoping I would get a, “Would you like to open this in iTunes.” No such luck.

The iRig mike app has an iTunes File Sharing export function but I set myself to try and do the project without the laptop. I tried recording the Quickvoice recording with the iRig mike but of course as soon as I put the mike in the iPad jack it muted the sound out so it wouldn’t go through the speakers.

I had taken the photos of the kids’ monsters with my iPhone and used the Photo Transfer App to get the photos on to the laptop so at least I didn’t have to use any cords.

I would hope that there would be a great app for doing this but I couldn’t work it out. Not at least with a pre-recorded audio track. So I gave up and went back to the laptop and had the job done in five minutes. I uploaded it to Vimeo at least which gave me easy playback on the iPad without having to use Puffin that plays Blogger flash based videos.

The finished thing is here on the class blog.

Any advice on how I could have done this better would be greatly appreciated.


Editing the Settings on Your iPad

I have two different schools ask me for advice this week about what needs to be done to limit people from downloading apps on their iPads so that children and parents can’t add rubbish games on them. So here comes a blog post to show you how I have advised them.

First of all go to your settings

Then click on GENERAL and then RESTRICTIONS.

You will be prompted to put in a security code. WRITE THIS NUMBER DOWN because you may want to change it and you will need the code to change it at a later date.


While you are there it would be good to change Music and Podcasts to CLEAN. Then push the HOME button and you are done. Children will no longer be able to accidentally delete app and time wasting apps can’t be added.

I can highly recommend Adam Brice’s presentation on further settings that you may like to explore.