Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Photo and Text apps #1

There are many different types of photo apps available.
This is a first of a series of posts I will make on photo apps.
In this post I will be looking at apps that allow students to quickly present their photos with writing.

Halftone: (iPad and iPod Touch)
Add Effects: Yes
Text:  Speech bubbles, narrative boxes
Share: as a photo to library, send in an email

  1. Take a photo or use a photo from the Library
  2. Choose a paper style and layout
  3. Add balloons and stamps
  4. Select a font
 How could you use this in the classroom?
  • Great for students who only write a few sentences

 Comic Life (iPad only)
Add Effects: No but great variety of templates to choose from
Text: Speech bubbles, narrative boxes
Share: Dropbox, WebDAV, email, Photo Library

  1. Create drawings in apps such as...
  2. Choose a template in Comic Life
  3. Insert graphics or photos
  4. Add text to speech bubbles and text boxes
  5. Add more pages, add templates that are different in the number of slides that they display
How could you use this in the classroom?
  • break up narratives and tell the story in different shapes and parts of the page
  • use a mixture of photos and drawings
  • choose templates that complement the telling of the story
  • use one photo templates for students who cannot write a great amount
  • create timelines
  • character or plot analysis
  • Procedural writing
  • posters
  • digital story writing

 Comic Touch: Free version has a watermark, has all other features of the Full version (iPhone version, no full iPad version)
Add Effects: Limited effects of Smudge, Bulge, Dent,  Stretch or light
Text: Speech, Thought, Whisper, Exclaim and Caption bubbles
Share: Photo Library, email

  1. Choose a photo from the photo library or take a photo with the camera
  2. Add Speech, Thought, Whisper, Exclaim and Caption bubbles
  3. Tap on the Share button and save to Photo Library or email

How could you use this in the classroom?
  • Use the photos as motivation for the writing, what are the students saying to each other
  • record what people could be thinking
  • great publishing tool for limited writing

Monday, June 11, 2012

Photo apps and effects #1

Some photo apps can be purely gimmicky, but they can also have their uses in education. This is the first post in a series of Photo apps and effects.

My Sketch (iPad and iPod Touch)
Add Effects: Smudge, Contrast, Photocopy, Colour, Sepia, Smooth, Canvas, Classic, Fine Pencil, Sketchbook, Pastel and many others
Share: Saves to Photo Library, or share to email

  1. Take a photo or use one from the library
  2. Choose an effect from below, if you don't like it, tap the back button
  3. Play with the brightness and contrast and any other editing tools that might appear
  4. Tap Save, choose image size
  5. Tap on Save to photo library or send in an email
How could you use this in education?

This app will provide you with lots of different ways to sketch. Children can take photos of the subject and apply the sketching filters to it. Then they can look closely it at and observe the form, shape, shadows and how the strokes have been applied. This will help them for when they attempt their own sketching on paper.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Music and Devices in the Classroom

In one of my first classroom teaching experiences using iPods with students, I found a way to use them that I did not expect. I was not prepared for students overwhelming interest in the music side of the iPod.

external image Copy+of+013+%282%29.JPGBy the second day students were asking me if they could play music before school using the battery operated (or power) speaker system. So every morning they would set up the iPod touch on the speaker system and play music until the bell went, and then they would switch off the music and start their day's work.

On the third day I noticed one of the students had a particularly great singing voice, so I showed her the iKaraoke (US$19.95). We hooked it up to the speaker system and iPod, and she was away, so every morning as well as the music we were being serenaded with other students making 'requests' for songs that she would sing.

But one particular use I noticed that sneaked in was students listening to music while they worked. In this photo, the student has just removed the head set to talk to me but he had been working away quietly listening to music.

external image Copy+of+056.JPG
What was interesting was that I noticed that the children who voluntarily used the iPods for music were the mostly 'rambunctious' lot who had the loudest voices, and were the 'ones' that you noticed the most in the class. But when they were listening to the iPods, there was a noticeable silence.
These students were on task, doing their work and not bothering anybody else. I had no problem with them listening to music as they worked as that is something I like to do.
So think about using your iPods playing music when students are working in their books, particularly for those students who are easily distracted.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012


The Notes app comes pre-installed on your iPad or iPod Touch.
The first line of your note becomes the title.

It has very basic capabilities but still very useful.

So how can it be used in an educational context?

If you don't have a Word Processor on your iPad or iPod Touch then you can use 'Notes' for drafting a story. I have had students use the iPod touch very successfully for drafting their writing.
It can then be sent as an email for printing out to be edited or opened in the Word Processing programme on your computer. (Tip: before printing out, set the Line Spacing to at least 2.0 in your WordProcessor so there is space for editing.)
It can also be used as a basic publishing tool. If students have drafted, edited and conferenced their writing in their book, then they can type it up onto the Notes app and then email it for printing out. It can then be decorated or illustrated by hand.

This app is great on field trips as well. Use it for writing notes.

I have had students practise their spelling words on it, much more fun then writing them out in their spelling books.

The notes app has a great search function on it. Type in a word and it will show all notes with that word in it. Great for finding notes on a common theme.

 No Distractions
What is great about using Notes in these different ways is that students can't get distracted with other tools like changing fonts and styles and adding graphics and backgrounds.

All they can do is 'write'!