Category Archives: Apple Products

Information and updates on Apple products such as the iPhone, iOS, and Mac OS X.

Google Classroom vs Apple Classroom

The use of Google products and Apple products has grown significantly in the educational environment both in school and out of school. Whether it’s iPads or the Google Drive app, these devices have become common for learning due to the connections and education that they bring between the teachers and students. Although both companies have lots to offer, deciding which one to work with is mainly based on preference and choosing the one that will be most beneficial for you.

Both technological companies have created multiple apps and resources to better educate students and a familiar app that has been around for a while is Google Classroom which focuses on making it easier for teachers to assign work and help students stay organized in terms of submitting assignments as well as getting updates of new work. But recently Apple created their own app, also called Classroom, to assist teachers and students in their academics.

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A student’s point of view of an assignment

 

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The Google Classroom App

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After a student completes the assignment, they can directly turn it in their work, such as a Google Doc, link or file and mark is as done. In a Classroom’s homepage, students are also offered a whole list of assignments  (done and not done) that are sorted by date to help them stay organized of what needs to be finished. And even students have more than one class that uses Google Classroom, the application helps them see all the work that needs to be done all at once. There is also a comment section under each assignment where students can ask questions they may have for the teacher.

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A student’s point of view of a classroom homepage

What teachers may enjoy about Google Classroom is the organized and easy system of assigning work and turning in work and also the fact that it is 100% paperless,  so they don’t have to worry about having large piles of work cluttering their desks. Teachers who are most likely to get the most out of Google Classroom are those teaching English or even Science since students can easily attach essays and research papers from Google Drive.

But while some may find Google Classroom to be more beneficial, others could prefer Classroom which is offered by Apple. The use of iPads in school have become more common throughout the world. So it seems logical that these iPads should include an app that can help “teachers focus on teaching so students can focus on learning,” which is the main goal of Classroom. Unlike Google Classroom, the Classroom app is focused on making a lesson more interacting between the teacher and student. First students are offered a Shared iPad they will use throughout the class when working on an assignment. And as they work, teachers are able to use an iPad to view what app each students are using at that moment as well the ones that were most recently used by that student. There is even a Screen View option where teachers can see the same screen that is opened on a students iPad (the student will be notified if their teacher is viewing their screen). This app can be very helpful for teachers to make sure that students aren’t getting sidetracked.

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Quick Tip for Smartphones: Taking Screenshots

Sometimes you want to show pictures of your screen for various purposes, such as showing a screen from a website or making a how-to. It’s not too hard to do from a computer using a tool like Snagit for Google Chrome, but what if you’re using a smartphone or tablet? Fortunately, that’s even easier. On an Android device, press and hold down the volume down and power buttons, and on Apple devices press and hold the sleep/wake button and press the home key. That’s all it takes. On Android you can find your screenshots in the Screenshots folder in your Gallery, and on Apple in your Camera Roll. You can share, email, or upload your screenshots just like any other picture. What will you use mobile screenshots for? Continue reading

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Using iPads in the Classroom

Teachers can utilize iPads in the classroom to greatly enhance the learning experience of their students by keeping them engaged and by teaching material in new ways. iPads have several useful features as well as a plethora of educational apps and uses, one of which is airdrop. Using airdrop, teachers can project wirelessly from their iPad what is showing on their screen. Teachers could open a note-taking app (like the free one Notability) and write notes or math problems on their iPad screen for students to see. What they write is projected in real time onto their projector screen. Thus, they can teach and write things “on the board” while walking around the classroom, checking on everyone and gauging their understanding. Also, when students are using the iPads in the classroom, the teacher can require them to turn on airdrop so that all their screens appears on the projector screen, deterring students from surfing the internet or going on apps that they are not supposed to.

Students could also load a powerpoint presentation onto the Google Drive app on an iPad (also free) and more readily present, changing the slides when they want to. The teacher is free to grade and enjoy their presentation, as are all other students (who no longer have to sit and change the screens). 

Furthermore, students can use iPads or even their own phones to play games like Kahoot or participate in e-classrooms like through the Socrative app. Kahoot enables the teacher to make a fun, competitive game online, which students can then access through any mobile device and play together. This provides a fast-paced, engaging way for students to review material and for teachers to gauge their understanding. Socrative is similar in that you can see the realtime student responses and engage the entire class. However, Socrative is probably better for topics that require more thinking; as the upbeat game-showy atmosphere of Kahoot, while exhilarating at first,  could quickly become stressful if you are trying to solve math problems.

With the easy video-making apps available (mostly for free) on iPads, students can make videos in under 30 minutes and send them to the teacher so that the teacher can play them for the class. Our iPads have iMovie and Animoto, which can both be used for entertaining yet educational review or case study. For instance, a teacher could assign small groups topics to explain to the class in short, often memorable videos. No doubt this alternative method of introducing material would stick in students’ brains very readily.

Teachers could also use an automatically graded survey platform such as Google Forms or Survey Monkey to assess or probe pupils, who could use either their phones or iPads to answer the surveys. Since these grade and report their responses automatically, it saves teachers time and is a personal way for students and teachers to explore their understanding.

Another way teachers have used iPads in the classroom is by using them to talk about sensitive subjects like sexting that students might not feel comfortable speaking out about for fear of being judged by their classmates. One teacher used an app like Notability to conduct a class discussion. While she asked questions to direct the conversation, students wrote their responses on the app and held it up for her to see, and even the shyer students could contribute. 

With two iPad carts in AHS and so many interesting and engaging ways to use them in the classroom, the variety of methods which teachers can use to edify their students is expanded vastly. The only thing left to do is to explore all of the tantalizingly easy-to-use approaches to using them in the classroom.

Sources:
Burns, Monica. “Resources for Using IPads in Grades 9-12.” Edutopia. Edutopia, 13 May
2014. 
Web. 29 Mar. 2016.

 

 

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Explanation of iMovie

There are many times in a class in which you may want to have students create a video. IMovie is a useful tool for this. It allows students to pull in videos, sound, and photos from the internet (as long as they have a way to download the video) along with videos taken on the iPad or computer. Videos can be cut and shortened to wanted lengths, and audio can be adjusted, deleted, or added. Finished videos can be exported by email or to youtube in order to share them. They can also be saved in the iMovie theater.

When working on a video, a student can drag around different pieces of a video to different places in the finished ‘movie.’ Clips taken on the iPad or downloaded can be cropped and shortened. Audio can be detached and removed, which can be very useful. For example, if you want to hear music instead of someone’s voice, you can take out the voice and add in the music. A student can also add text over a video, whether it is for a title or a label in the corner of the video. Video clips can also be sped up and slowed down as needed.

If students need to compile interviews, or make a reenactment to a project, iMovie is the perfect tool. Using iPads with iMovie, you could have a class project for students to make videos in small groups in order to reinforce taught topics.

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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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iOS 7 – “The next gen” for Apple products.

As of September 18th, 2013, Apple Inc. has released their next version of iOS software for all of their mobile Apple devices (iPod, iPhone and iPad). The immensely popular brand has warranted a high demand for innovative, new and refreshing experiences every time their products are used which is multiple times every day. After analyzing Apple’s dilemma and reviewing their work in the recent iOS 7 update, let us see if this software will make or brake the populous’ demand for the esteemed iPhone.

New Look

The first experience one has upon updating is the new look. For every previous iOS version, the look has not changed and has bored myself and, I am confident to say, most consumers. This has been an obvious necessity and has revitalized the way people see their phones. A cool addition to the new look is also an optical effect regarding a three dimensional atmosphere between the background homepage and the app icons. But looks do not last long. After long, people will renew their boredom and search for something that will ease the dull, repetitious cycle of using the same features of their device daily.

iOS 7 New Look

Siri Continue reading

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iPad Air review

The new iPad that came out this year looks better than ever. The main points laid out by Apple are that it is thinner and lighter. It is only.05 mm thinner than the older iPad 2 with a difference in weight of .3 pounds (135 g) which also isn’t a big leap, regarding it being call an iPad air, but that is just a matter of opinion.

Since the iPad Air has retina display, it has a massive 2048-by-1536 resolution, doubling the iPad 2, which only has a 1024-by-768. Other than these details, all the specs and features are very similar, if not the same as the iPad Mini, which has an A7 chip, the iSight camera, 1080p resolution and more. The iPad Mini goes for $100 less on all versions compared to the iPad air, despite the smaller size. So in conclusion, it is a smarter choice to spend your money on the iPad Mini, unless you want bigger screen.

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