Friday, April 29, 2011

Report findings from 2010 iPad trial

Report findings from the Catholic Education Diocese of Parramatta iPad trial held in 2010.

iPads in Schools: Use Testing
iPads in Schools: Use Testing - Executive Summary

An extract from p2 of the executive summary:
".......the pilot found that the iPad is a significant tool to support and enhance student learning. The iPad showed extensive affordances as a learning tool (due in part to its portability and fit-for-task suitability) especially in relation to the development of Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, Decision-Making, Research and Information Fluency."

Thursday, April 28, 2011

App review lists

There are a number of Apps lists available to help you decide on the best Apps for use in teaching and learning. Many of them are being created in Google Docs or on Wikis as ongoing live documents that will be regularly updated.

Learning Exchange has started a list of Apps in a Google Docs as reviewed by educators across the Catholic Education Parramatta diocese. Access the list " Learning Exchange iPad App review"

Another really interesting take on the App list is this from Classroom Instruction that works (CITW), a list of educational apps categorized by instructional strategies: Apps for CITW

For Special Education:
iPod/iPad Apps for Special Education and Remediation-Feedback Google Doc list.
(C, $)

A well categorised website IEAR - I Education Apps Review has very detailed reviews of a range of Apps, searchable by subject and other tags (R,C,A,$)

A wiki TeachwithyouriPad has an extensive range of Apps categorised in a variety of ways with their page iPad Apps.

Or try this site iPad curriculum, where you can use a search form to search by a range of categories, even by Blooms Taxonomy.

Legend (R=Review, C=Categorised, A=Age Group, $=Cost)

Monday, April 11, 2011

Handwriting and Stylus with the iPad

The iPad's responsiveness to our finger touch also makes it less sensitive to fine-tipped styluses. As a result, explains David Anh in this review, "the iPad currently only supports blunt-tipped styles"

iPad stylus reviews
This review tests the best handwriting stylus for touch screen devices.

Handwriting apps reviews
This review looks at the best note taking apps for writing with a stylus, evaluating how effective the app was able to re-create traditional paper and pen produced notes using an iPad stylus pen.

Do you need an iPad stylus?

This online articles considers the various uses of the iPad such as note taking, navigation, typing, writing and sketching and the benefits of using a stylus. Results : for handwriting and sketching the stylus gave you more precision.

Reading, Writing and Creating with the iPad

There are lots of good free apps out there for teachers to start exploring with students the learning potential of the iPad. If you have already done that you might want to look at some paid apps to extend your students reading, creation, imagination and thinking.

Toontastic $1.19 (Yrs 2-6)

If you have used Puppet Pals with your students you will find Toontastic a step up for your students in creating their own stories. The strong point of this app is that it teaches the writing process. It story boards and discusses the steps of Setup, Conflict, Challenge, Climax and Resolution. Students can creaet stories from included backgrounds or characters or they can draw their own backgrounds and characters. They then record their own narration and move their characters around the screen to record the actions. Once their story is complete they have a complete animated story with narration and background music., which they can shrea

The one area of the App that needs more development is the drawing feature. It would also be good if you could upload your won photos from the iPad photolibary to use as backgrounds or the characters.

Launch Pad the developer provides a Parent Teacher guide and more information on their website.

Wonkey Donkey $9.99 (Yrs K-6)

The popular Wonky Donkey book and song by Craig Smith and Katz Cowley is available as an ipad app. This is a really fun book, each page telling us something new about the spunky, hanky-panky cranky stinky dinky lanky honky-tonky winky wonky donkey.

This read along audio book allows the child to listen to the story as it is sung or read to them or to record their own version of the story/song, and play it back. By touching the text the child can have the book read to them word by word.

It also has a painting function and interactive sound effects on each page. With the painting and recording options a child could create their own personalized version of the book. The sound effects are very amusing and great for keeping a child’s interest. Try touching the donkey or other parts of the picture to get the amusing sound effects.

Bartleby's Book of Buttons Vol. 1: The Far Away Island $3.99 (Yrs 2-6)

This interactive book is highly engaging with colourful graphics and interactve options on every page. Reading the information on each page children interact with the book to make choices for Bartelby so that he can get to his destination. Flip switches, press buttons, slide sliders, rotate the ipad, turn in a circle, and carefully read along in this "digital pop-up book" adventure. Reinforces reading and understanding, sequencing and logic.

Help Bartleby in his journey to find new buttons for his collection! Flip switches, press buttons, slide sliders, rotate the ipad, turn in a circle, and carefully read along in this "digital pop-up book" adventure. For example Turn an onscreen compass (connected to the iPad's compass feature) to make various objects appear in the portal -- a ship in one direction and finally an island in another. Once the island was lined up and the weather was clear, the next page then opened up, and pressing another button moved the story forward. There is no voiceover so for younger children a parent must read along.

Audio via the new Digital AV adaptor with iPad2

We just got our hands on an iPad 2 and immediately tested it with the Digital AV Adaptor we had bought. We connected the adaptor to a HDMI cable and then plugged the HDMI cable into the console we have for our data projection system.
We were very pleased to see that the iPad2 was recognised immediately and mirrored to the projection screen. This will be really useful for teachers in schools who want to project from the iPad. A selection of Apps we tried all mirrored successfully.
The only problem we encountered was with audio from one of our book apps. Supposedly the AV digital adaptor will ouptut the audio with no need for an audio cable. However it seems that there is a caveat. This below from the apple support page:

When mirroring*via HDMI with the Apple Digital AV Adapter, apps cannot simultaneously record and transmit audio. Since both iMovie and*GarageBand feature audio recording capabilities, audio transmission over HDMI is disabled. Audio*can continue to be monitored through the*stereo headphone jack or iPad built-in speaker.

So what this means is that if you are projecting from any any book app or other app like Garage Band that has the capability to record you may need to plug in an audio cable into the headphone jack of the iPad to hear the sound. See previous post for more details about the adaptor.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Full mirroring with the iPad

The Apple Digital AV Adapter (HDMI support for iPad, iPhone and iPod touch) will work on the iPad 1 to output video and audio from apps like Videos, Youtube, Keynote etc... but will not work for full mirroring.

Full mirroring is only available on an iPad2 with a Digital AV Adapter. The outputting of both the audio and video through the HDMI cable is good though, one less cable required. Another advantage is that with the second built-in 30-pin connector on the Digital AV Adaptor both the iPad and iPad 2 can be charged while it’s mirroring. The Digital AV adaptor is available at most stores that stock apple accessories for about $A45.

Using the Digital AV adapter

If content does not scale correctly (for example, if content appears stretched or squished), check the Widescreen setting in Settings > iPod or in Settings > Video and the settings of your TV or display.

Note: You may need to toggle the Widescreen setting off and on after connecting if it was initially set to Off when you connected the device to the display.

For optimal performance, you may need to adjust the video resolution or settings for your display. If your display offers an "auto detect" or "factory default" setting, you may be able to use these options to optimize video resolution and display. (from apple support).

Watch this Youtube video which explains how the Digital Av adaptor works with the iPad, iPad2, iPhone and iPod touch.

Storage cases for multiple iPads

There are a number of storage cart options available for laptops/netbooks. However so far we haven't been able to locate any Australian companies doing carts for iPads. Elizabeth Richards is one supplier who provides laptop storage carts, but they don't have a specific iPad trolley cart yet.

However what if you just want a small case to move 6-10 ipads around school. Again there is nothing specially designed for iPads in Australia that we have been able to locate. In the UK Paratec has one on wheels with an extendable handle.
Alternatively maybe a storage case that is for netbooks or laptops where you could customise the foam to fit iPads instead would do. A few Australian sites that have a multiple laptop/netbook portable case who may be able to customise it for you are:

If anyone has suppliers or ideas for storage cases for iPads please add a comment to this post.