May 16

Creative Book Builder

A really powerful app to use in any class both as a teacher and a student is creative book builder.
Students love being able to easily include videos and images into their assignments. You can also create exciting “text” or topic booklets for your classes.
This can range from simple to amazingly complex.
The books can be easily shared as well, simply choose the “Share to Device” option when you publish the book, it will create a QR code and the students can scan it, and open it in their iBooks shelf. If they email the book all of the cool interactive features are lost …
My Year 8s at Beaui were very excited when I showed them how simple it was for me to collect their awesome Textiles assignments.
$4.49 from the iTunes store is a worthwhile taxable expense.

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May 16

Creative Book Builder

A really powerful app to use in any class both as a teacher and a student is creative book builder.
Students love being able to easily include videos and images into their assignments. You can also create exciting “text” or topic booklets for your classes.
This can range from simple to amazingly complex.
The books can be easily shared as well, simply choose the “Share to Device” option when you publish the book, it will create a QR code and the students can scan it, and open it in their iBooks shelf. If they email the book all of the cool interactive features are lost …
My Year 8s at Beaui were very excited when I showed them how simple it was for me to collect their awesome Textiles assignments.
$4.49 from the iTunes store is a worthwhile taxable expense.

20130516-194512.jpg

November 5

Supporting your professional learning apps

There are many resources online which focus on education, developing leadership, and teaching and learning. I thought I would share 3 apps I came across which can definitely be linked to your own professional learning development.
I haven’t checked the android market, but I would be disappointed if developers only make mac versions.
For my followers in other states and countries, the apps I will be referring to here are focused on Victorian and Australian structures, curriculum and leadership development.

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I will start with Teaching and Learning. The development of the national curriculum is a huge thing to get a handle on. The National Curriculum App has been around for a while now, and is been updated regularly to reflect the current stage of development. It is a handy resource tool for those involved with the Leadership of teaching and Learning, as you have all of the requirements clearly at your fingertips.

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The set out is easy to follow, and you are able to access the information even when not connected to the Internet.
Very clear capability statements, and no doubt will continue to add each of the learning areas as they are developed. Great information on cross curricular focus. The best part is the price: free
Search for Australian Curriculum on the App Store.

E5 is an organisational model which has some powerful and reflective strategies for improving individuals and whole school approaches to teaching and learning. It dovetails neatly with developing engaging pedagogical practices to excite our students. A few years ago the DEECD gave each teacher a reflective journal for E5, but if you came into teaching after that you missed out… But miss out no more…

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For the paltry sum of $2 (less than a cup of coffee) you can have your own electronic version of the journal. Much more useful than the enormous book.

Finally we hear that the DEECD’s Sergiovanni leadership model is on the way out, to be replaced with the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL)’s national professional standards for principals.

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The app guides you through the standards, explaining and elaborating on a number of areas. Great resource for those in or aspiring to leadership positions.

Check them out and let me know what you think of them, were they helpful? Do you know of other apps which can help support your professional learning as an educator?

September 7

My iPad my classroom

I have had the the iPad2 for a few months now, and thought I would share how it is transforming my classes, and the way I reflect on my teaching, and my students achievements.
So….here are my top 10 iPad features or tools which make my life easier.

My Number 1 feature is the camera, which allows me to record assessment tasks, students working, video myself to create podcasts of processes or procedures they may like to refer back to. I do take into account student privacy, and most photos of them at work are just hands and garments, and I check with them to make sure I have their approval to post images to our shared group on Flickr, blog posts or YouTube, and our Facebook group.

My number 2 goes to Evernote: the must have app on all devices, android phone, iPad, tablet, pc, MacBook, or any computer connected to the Internet. I am able to take notes, and they are then stored in the “cloud”, allowing me to be able to access them from any computer. I can also publish my notes on a range of platforms. For example is notes I make while doing professional learning can immediately be tweeted to my followers on Twitter. You can search through Evernote to find a specific topic or discussion very easily.

Number 3 blogging and reflecting: I am writing this through the WordPress App, which allows me to have easy access to all of my WordPress based blogs (this includes the DEECD’s Global2 and Edublogs as well as WordPress itself). I have ready access to all of my blogs and am able to quickly and effortlessly reflect on learning, achievements, outcomes, ideas and share with my blogging community.
As a part of my VCE Unit 2 Product, Design and Technology course students are investigating the use of ICT in a team based approach to working, so my Textiles blog has regular guest bloggers from the class, reflecting on challenges and projects, sharing the development of their work to each other, as well as a broader community. They are able to take photos and add comments as to how their challenges are progressing. I have shared this blog with the college community, and parents, to have authentic and immediate understanding of what tasks the students are working on.

Number 4 Authentic Assessment: I have been using the Easy Portfolio App (developed by a Victorian teacher – Jarrod Robinson aka the PE Geek) to create my own portfolios of student achievement, which I use when writing reports. This allows me to have a voice recording, add images, documents and links to allow the student to demonstrate levels of understanding. At the end of the unit I will email the portfolios to them in PDF form, so they can add to their own portfolio. I used this for semester 1 reports, and found it was a great way to ensure relevant, authentic, achievement based comments.

Number 5 Sharing: Dropbox is a must have App for the easy sharing of documents or images created on the iPad. Like Evernote, you can put it on all devices and share your documents and files through your secure cloud. You can also create links to files which others can access, saving postage on emails…hehehe…or if you wanted to share a document with people who’s emails you don’t know.

Number 6 Internet: the fact the iPad is so quick to launch allows you to get on to Daymap really quickly to mark rolls, check bulletins etc. Moodle, the Ultranet and email are all ready to go at your fingertips.

Number 7 feedback: Socrative, excellent immediate feedback to students, create quizzes to determine starting points, or exit questions to see how well topics covered in class were understood.

Number 8 creativity: Augmented reality…I am creating a range of triggers and videos which will become a virtual tour of the school at work. I also am looking at using it for some of the mundane classroom tasks like “threading the sewing machine and bobbin”…
Explain everything and Show me are two apps I am exploring to create Support videos for students, and to get them demonstrating their understanding of a range of concepts covered in class. Some fantastic music apps like GarageBand, allow you to create your own music to accompany ideas or podcasts without having to worry about copyright infringement
Inspiration and Popplet lite are great mind mapping tools, allowing you to share your thoughts in an ordered way.

Number 9 lifelong learning: ITunesU is a most fabulous tool for those lifelong learners…allowing you to explore a wealth of inversion standard courses which are open and ready for you to participate in. SCOTutor is an App all about learning to use your iPad….great resource.

Number 10 curating information: Live binders is a an app and website which allows you to “collect” information and then store it in topic binders. I was participating in a MOOC and used this to collect all of my resources on the topic. You can have them open, so you could share yours with a class, or students could share with you. The app makes it very easy to collect and curate the information. DIIGO and ScoopIt are also great tools for curation.

My “to explore and try out more” list includes Nearpod, Wunderlist and others as I discover them on ScoopIt, blogs and Twitter.

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What are your favourite tools or features of the iPad? Do you have a top 10? I found it hard to limit it to so few… Always trying new ones out!