Monthly Archives: March 2014

Educreations Tutorials for iPad

itunes-app-store-logo1Educreations Interactive Whiteboard is a tool that students and teachers can use to create lessons using images, text, drawing, and voice. It is a free app that is easy to use, and allows you to record yourself writing and speaking. It may be most useful for teachers who want to make tutorials for subjects such as math that students can follow along at home. It is easy to use, however an account is needed to make tutorials, but a Google Account can be used. You are able to add photos to draw on as well as pause and play recording, allowing the user to make more complicated tutorials. Continue reading

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DropBox

 Have you ever wanted an easy way to share files between students and teachers? Well now there is an easy way;

      People that are familiar with ‘Dropbox’ know that it can be used to access photos or files anywhere with an internet connection. The way this works is that you create an account and upload to it, you can then logon to your account from any location with access to the internet. For example, I use dropbox to be able to quickly access photos that are on my phone, from my laptop. I do this by uploading a picture on my phone to my dropbox account (via my phone),  I am then able to go on to my laptop and access dropbox and view the picture that was on my phone!

 

box 

How could this be useful in an educational environment?

     In many ways actually. Teachers can use dropbox to receive assignments from students! Dropbox offers a ‘share’ feature which allows users to share files between one another. Dropbox is not limited to just photos. Users can upload anything. Photos, music, videos, powerpoints, word doccuments, excell spreadsheets, adt files, javascript files.. you name it! This allows teachers to be able to receive projects from students no matter what!

    Sharing is really simple. All you need to do is click on the icon that says ‘Sharing’ and create a new folder to share or use an existing folder that you wish to share. You will then be required to select the members of who you want to be able to view the content! You do this by entering in the members e-mail address associatied with their dropbox account.

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 It gets better! 

    On top of sharing files you can also share folders! This gives people that can view the shared folder the ability to add on to the folder at anytime and with any file! This gives teachers the ability to create a class folder and when students are assigned projects the students can access the folder and share their part of the project! This makes it easy for teachers to grade school work and it also gives teachers the ability to organize their classes online. This tool can be used for many things and teachers and students could definitely benefit from it!

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Google Drive for the iPhone

Using Google Drive on the iPhone:

Go to the App Store. Search for “google drive” and download. This application is free. However, keep in mind that if you don’t have a Google account already, you will not be able to use the drive.

After downloading, click on the app to open it. You’ll see something like this when you do.

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Doceri Interactive Whiteboard – The way to go

The  awesomeness of awesome

Do you know how when teachers are absent, sometimes student don’t ger their work done just because the teacher isn’t there? Ever wanted an app that has all three optios of combining screencastimg, desktop control, and an interactive whiteboard?  Well now that problem is solved with the Ipad app by the name of “Doceri Interactive Whiteboard”.

It has many important features, and options that a teacher would need like:

  • The ability to control your lesson or presentation live with Airplay, or through your Mac or PC.
  • Unlike other drawings and screencast apps, Doceri uses timline-based editing, so original lessons are always saved.
  • Gives your the ability to control your computer through it with full access.
  • Using the above ability, you can use it to show presentations just from your Ipad, as long as you are connected wirelessly.
  • Lets you share any images, PDFs, and videos in many easy ways.
  • Lets teachers take videos of kids for projects or of themselves if they want tod
    teach something while being absent.

With all of those helpful options, this app should be teachers’ most wanted resource out there.

 

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Explain Everything

explain everything 2The name is a little misleading. No, this app does not explain everything to you, but it does do the next best thing- it lets you explain everything to others Many people have referred to Explain Everything as the single most important app for the classroom.

Explain Everything is used to create audio-based screencasts using the users voice, white-board style drawing and writing, and movable media (pictures, videos, etc.). For example, a geography teacher can place a map on the screen and record their voice explaining migration while drawing multi-colored arrows to point out certain flows. What makes Explain Everything stand out among other similar video-annotation apps, is the fact that Explain Everything can be exported easily in other formats (to Google Drive, YouTube, etc.) to share with everyone. If desired, one can also import an already-made Powerpoint document into Explain Everything to annotate and record voice-over. Although it costs money per download, they offer a bulk discount. It is entirely, without a doubt worth every penny.

Explain Everything is a powerful tool for any subject. Teachers can create their lessons virtually, and post them for students to watch at home. Even better, students can create lessons to share with the class. This level of interactivity and powerful engagement gives the material a greater resonance.

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This app can also be used to “flip the classroom”, a new style of teaching in which the students learn the lesson at home and spend time in class working on problems. In a past article about Khan Academy, I discussed flipping the classroom in depth. You can find the article here.

For further explanation on Explain Everything’s basic use in the classroom see the articles below:

http://www.newschooltechnology.org/2013/02/explain-everything/

http://it.berkeleylawblogs.org/2012/02/06/ipad-app-review-explain-everything/

http://schoolipads.com/2014/01/17/apps-in-the-classroom-explain-everything/ (This article includes a diagram that explains key buttons in the app)

 

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iPad as ticket assistant

Ever since the iPads have arrived in our school I wondered how it can be useful to this class. I thought it would be a good idea if the iPads can be as a little assistant while doing tickets submitted by teachers. If we bring it with us we access schooldude and close the ticket right when it is fixed. Or if we still need help we ask the S.T.A.T. captain (Mr. McGowan) via iPad and see if he can be of help with our problem while we are down there. Such as iMessaging each other when in the process of working on a ticket. This gives us and the S.T.A.T. captain new ways to pursue and solve tickets while staying in communication on the spot. Having iPads is also helpful when it comes to choosingtickets.There can be days where the students can spend the whole period hunting down tickets. Instead of going back and forth from classrooms to help desks to report back, we would be wasting precious time in the number of tickets we can do. We can close the tickets in the iPad and go right to the next problem. And research with help from the S.T.A.T. captain in one device the efficiency of taking down problems can be quicker than ever.

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Adobe Creative Cloud – Endless Possibilities

For those of you wondering why your old Adobe Creative Suite is no longer supported, it’s because Adobe has switched to a MONTHLY service. Yes, now you have to pay up each month. As depressing as it sounds, by only having a monthly service, Adobe is able to add new features whenever and can avoid any future legal implications. When a boxed version came out, Adobe couldn’t legally add a new feature because of a Pre – Existing contract made when the first boxed versions were released. Typically, a boxed suite would cost ~$6,000. Upgrades would cost ~$600. I’m in no way advertising for Adobe but the Creative Cloud is AWESOME. I am able to get every single Adobe application and get free updates and new features for a flat fee of $20 a month. I’m also a student. Most adults will pay around $40 – $50 a month. Still free updates and new features!

Currently, Adobe isn’t offering many solutions for schools/large institutions. If a room has 25 computers, that’s 25*$20 a month. Most schools can’t afford this. The only way they could is if the student purchased the cloud service for themselves and then logged in on the school computer.

The Creative Cloud isn’t actually in the cloud. You don’t edit video in you internet browser. Basically Adobe just changed the name of the suite and bills you monthly. The applications are still stored on the computer. EVERYTHING IS STORED ON THE COMPUTER. Other than how cool, “the cloud” sounds, it can be quite confusing to potential customers. Because of this payment plan, it makes it much harder to pirate Adobe’s software. Not only does this increase profits for Adobe, it increases the quality of the software.

-Adam Halperin

Pixel Trail

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Schoology app for iPad

Schoology is a popular tool that is gaining much popularity in school systems. Now that there is an app for Schoology available on the iPad and other mobile devices, there are even more advantages to using Schoology in the classroom.

Now that our schools are getting access to new equipment for the classroom like iPads, this is a great time to start getting teachers and students on Schoology. Just like the desktop version, the app has all of the same features except it is in mobile form. If you are unfamiliar with Schoology in general, check out this video.

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Apple Maps

Overview

Apple maps is an innovative experience to locate areas, route trips and grasp a lay of the land. The application, which comes pre-installed on all mobile Apple products, allows the user to use a wide range of settings to perform specific tasks. The completely free product is highly useful and provides an atlas of information all in a small screen.

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How to Use it

Upon launching the app, it may appear very confusing and highly advance. Don’t worry! The maps feature is easily accessible to new users and those not familiar with technology.

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Along the top and bottom borders of the screen are the main settings. The top left shows a button that say “Directions,” which is probably the most useful aspect of the app. It allows the user to input a start and end point for a trip. In fact, the settings are so diverse that a trip can be mapped out by car, public transportation or even on foot. The start point can also be set to the user’s current location provided location services are enabled for the mobile device. When done, simply click “Route” and the map will show a few different routes that have varying traffic, distance and time variables. Tap on any one of these routes and click “Start” in the top right of the screen to enter into the step by step navigation. You can even leave the app running in the background while you access other apps on your device and the computer generated voice will inform you when to turn and will keep you on course.

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The bottom task bar has a few useful settings regarding how the map appears to the user. The arrow icon toward the bottom left shows the user their current location when tapped. The 3D feature tilts the screen to give the illusion that the map is three dimensional. The box with an arrow coming out of it allows the user to send information from the Maps app the social media, the device itself and any third party devices such as a printer. Finally, the “i” with  a circle around it provides some more useful map displays. “Standard” is the standard flat, routing map more useful for locating specific locations. The “Hybrid” setting shows a more developed layout of the land as to trees, dirt and grass as well as geographical locations. This setting allows the user to grasp a more realistic lay of the land. The third and final setting, “Satellite,” shows the world view of the Earth. This setting shows specific time zones of the world allowing the user to grasp a concept of time changes if travel is at a great distance.

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