Free ePub – Making Learning Mobile

Last year, I was asked to present at the BEAQ conference in Brisbane. The BEAQ is the Business Educators Association of Queensland, who generally have a member base of, as the name would suggest, Business Studies educators who predominantly work in secondary colleges across the state of Queensland.

My workshop focused on the following areas:
1. Benefits of using mobile technology within and outside of the classroom
2. SAMR model and how it relates to planning and delivering lessons using mobile technology
3. Edmodo – How Edmodo can be used in your classroom with detailed explanations and tutorials about the Edmodo Workflow
4. Showbie – The future of assessment and feedback for students and teachers including detailed explanations and tutorials about the Showbie Workflow

As part of the workshop, I created a multitouch book with all of the content that I presented on the day. The ePub file can be downloaded by clicking on the link below. Please note the due to the video content within this book, the current file size is roughly 215mb but well worth the wait I assure you. I am in the process of applying for the relevant accreditation to publish this book via iTunes so get it while it’s free 😉

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iPads in Physical Education

Recently, I have been asked to assist my PE teacher with the integration of iPads into the PE curriculum. I am fortunate that the PE teacher at my school is quite forward thinking and keen to involve mobile technology into his lessons as we share the belief that the iPad and the available sport apps have huge potential for

improving student outcomes. In it’s simplest form, we wanted to see if using the iPad as a skills development tool would translate into students analysing and critiquing their technique and therefore improve their performance. Needless to say that the natives were very excited about the prospect of using their iPads during lessons.

After a brief discussion, we choose to trial 3 free apps into our PE curriculum.

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The first app we asked the students to download was Slo Pro. Slo Pro is a great app that allows you to record up to 1000 fps and play back your video at super slow motion. This app also allows you to slow down a recording at variable rates, which means that you can play sections of your video back and changing speeds. The student were able to use this app with minimal support, the interface is simple and intuitive and the app works as described. The only thing that caused some difficulty was sharing the videos recorded. Even though the free version allows users to upload their videos to YouTube, doing so was very clunky and unreliable. Out of a whole class, 3 students were able to do so successfully. The free version of Slo Pro does not allow the user to save their video to their camera roll on their own device, to be able to do this, you need to purchase the full version, which costs $4.49. Buying the full version also unlocks some other useful features like altering the frame rates of your recording.

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The second app that we asked the students to download was Coach My Video. This app also allowed the students to record and play back their videosn slow motion and with frame by frame accuracy. It also allows the user to draw lines, shapes and calculate angles on top of the  video recording. This made analysing skills much easier as students were able to highlight areas of their technique that require practise. Another great feature of this app is that you can place two videos side by side and play them together. This feature, I believe, is what this app does best. When it came to sharing their work, the students were able to save their images with drawn overlays as jpgs which can then be emailed.

2099711763-iOS-StyledThe third app we experimented with was Ubersense and is my personal favourite of the three apps discussed in this post for a few reasons. Firstly, Ubersense allows you to record your videos in slow motion just like Slo Pro, you can playback at frame by frame rate, and it also allows you to draw and annotate your videos as Coach My Video does. So in other words, it can does what the other two apps do. Secondly, when it comes to sharing your video, Ubersense just works! Users sign up for a free account, this then allows them to not only email their videos, but it also allows them to record audio on top of their video with their annotations. So what they can produce is a video, that not only highlights areas for improvements, it allows them to record audio reflection or commentary of their videos.

We are yet to see if using these apps and iPads within PE classes will result in improved student performance but what is evident, is that our students are already becoming more aware of their technique and are able to describe where they need to improve when watching their recordings. Watch this space for further developments.

Starting points for use of an iPad in the Classroom

There are lots of great resources out there for teachers who are embarking on introducing iPads into their classrooms. It can be a little overwhelming as you may not know where to start. This is a great little resource shared by  Tom Barrett so you don’t need to worry about coming up with innovative ways to use iPads in your classroom right away.

rED Writing – Australian made handwriting app and so much more

As an Australian teacher, I am often faced with a small issue when looking for Spelling and Phonic apps. While there are some excellent handwriting apps out there that are great teaching tools, they don’t actually teach Australian cursive font and each Australian State seems to have a different preferred font style. Furthermore, nearly all spelling and phonic apps use American accents making things slightly confusing for some students as some letters or words are pronounced differently.

That is until now…
rED Writing is a relatively new app that is available through the iTunes app store. It is the only app currently available on iTunes that teaches children how to write letters and numbers using Australian education approved font. rED Writing contains 8 x education approved handwriting fonts used throughout Australian schools (QLD, NSW, ACT, VIC, TAS, SA, WA and NT) to trace and learn.It is jam packed with fun activities, while the sticker album and trophy cabinet will keep the students engaged. I particularly like the Shake-A-Letter and the Letter of the Day features, there is also a really great button that allows you to add or remove the writing guide lines to provide a challenge. The hilarious Australian words of encouragement like “Super Terrific” and “Grooovy”

Check it out.

OnLive Desktop – turn your iPad into a PC :-(


Since the iPad was released in April 2010, there has been an increase in the number of apps available to consumers. There are currently over 500,000 apps, and that number is increasing at a constant rate.

What annoys me as an iPad user are comments like “the iPad won’t open word docs” or “I can’t make a PowerPoint with my iPad” Arghhhh! No you can’t do these two things, that’s correct, but you can create a Keynote that is way better than a lousy and often boring PowerPoint or a Pages document in a matter of minutes. Keynote has a beautifully simple interface on the iPad and the final products are great. I guess the thing that annoys me the most is that people often complain that the iPad won’t work like my PC… My question is “Why would you want it to?” You have a beautifully designed product that allows you to effortlessly connect to the internet, have access to all of your music/videos etc at your finger tips, make quality movies in a matter of minutes with iMovie, play a range of apps with amazing graphics, create stunning visual documents with hundreds of thousands of apps (many of which are free or only cost a few dollars, compared to $15.99 in the Android market) and yet despite being able to do these wonderful things people complain that it won’t behave like a crappy, unreliable, slow and frustrating PC.

Well, not anymore. If you want your iPad to act like a PC, then this is the app that will answer all of your prayers and hopefully stop you from complaining 😉
It’s called OnLive Desktop. The app works by offering users a free 2GB cloud storage for Office documents such as Word, PowerPoint and Excel. The app then pretty much turns the iPad into a PC interface using Windows and allows for full-featured document viewing and editing.

This apps highlights two things for me.
1) The amazing processing power of the iPad to effortlessly turn itself into a PC – how many other tablets can turn themselves into an Apple OSX device? 😉
2) Users simply don’t understand that you can do all of the things you do on your PC with an iPad with Apps like Pages, Keynote and Numbers

This app is not yet available is Australia, you people who are interested will have to wait. While you’re waiting, do yourself a favour. Download either Pages, Keynote or Numbers from the app store and have a little play with them. You will be blown away with the simplicity of the App and how great they are to create amazing looking documents.

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