Field trip adventures with ActionBound App

During a recent trip to Spain with the RED Project  I was introduced to Action Bound App. The idea is that you use your device to explore a new area. It guides you to various points in a location at which you need to then take a selfie or answer trivia questions. Basically like modern day orienteering. Bounds are easy to create for teachers and provide great interactive activities for students. There are bounds created already that you can use or you can create your own via ActionBound.com. The app works on all mobile device platforms. I am looking forward to using this more with my students in the future.

Creating your own tracks with GarageBand and MIDI files.

GarageBand is an app I used a lot on Mac in the early days but I never engaged much with the iPad version until a couple of months back when I found myself being asked to run workshops and CPD for teachers.

One thing that really helped was when I discovered MIDI tracks can be imported. Back in the day of learning to play a keyboard I used to do this and play along. The process of importing MIDI tracks into GarageBand is actually a whole lot easier but I don’t know how well known it is.

For a typical lesson I would suggest picking a song that students are familiar with then split them into groups. A good divide is to split them into instrument family groups. Then have each table group create the melodies for their instrument family then combine to see how all tracks sound together.

For me this discover of using MIDI tracks has opened up a whole pile of other ideas of what to do and ignited a new found interest in the app. I am looking forward to seeing what my students do with it.

Everyone Can Code 🇿🇦

A couple of weeks ago I was invited by South African reseller Think Ahead to present at their Coding Summit in Johannesburg. Surprised by the invite I was making all kinds of excuses not to go but in the end it was too good not go.

The support I received from Think Ahead in the lead up to the event was incredible. They were great at checking in throughout the process and offering advise and assistance. At the end I was lucky to present to about 100 educators from across 🇿🇦. I really enjoyed sharing my experiences and hearing their stories. My favourite part of the day was when I got to see them prototype some apps they would like to create. Some of the imaginations and ideas were amazing and I can’t wait to see if they create them one day.

I was lucky to be able to explore 🇿🇦 a bit after the event and I think I left a little bit of my ❤ behind in that beautiful country. The food was so fresh and tasty, the scenery breath taking and the people were so friendly. I didn’t have long there but am determined to make it back there one day. Until them I am grateful to Think Ahead for giving me the opportunity to share my stories with their educators.

You can find a recap of the event here.

Using Managed Apple IDs in the classroom

Managed Apple IDs were announced over a year ago and I never really had a need or want for them. I had been using my own Apple ID for close to 10 years so you can just imagine the history of purchases and downloads associated with it.

However, this quickly changed at the Apple Education event back in March when they announced that Managed IDs would now come with 200gb iCloud storage. Given that I had been paying for this it suddenly gave that incentive to give Managed IDs another consideration. Another motivation came when Schoolwork was released to only work with Managed IDs

Below is a quick overview of how you can make Managed IDs work for you. I would suggest that when transferring iCloud content you either download to the new Managed ID or Airdrop across. It is a time consuming process but works well.

<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet” data-lang=”en”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>There are more and more reasons to use Managed Apple IDs in the classroom. Here’s how I use them while retaining iTunes Store purchasing ability for staff (our student purchases are done via MDM)

Fieldtrips with Clips.

Clips is a free video-creation Apple app for iOS that devices that was launched early in 2017. Since it’s launch I have been using it both personally and in the classroom.

Going back a couple of years the video creation section of my digital media module used to take weeks or learning and content gathering. Often times it was not possible for students to capture their own content so they would use some royalty free video videos and a bit of imagination.

Now with Clips I can take students on a trip and they can capture as they go. Some students like to capture everything within Clips which means that they are pretty much finished their videos by the time they return others like to capture their content in the camera roll, make some edits and then import into Clips. My personal preference is the latter method but whatever works for the students.

Here are a few Clips that were created after a recent field trip to Elizabeth Fort.

Assemblr in Education

I first heard about Assemblr at BETT 2018. Having used both AR and Octagon apps in the past I was keen to give it a try.

Assemblr is a free app that allows students to build virtual worlds in a Minecraft like setting and then view them in a real-life setting using AR or VR.

Students enjoyed creating the worlds. In terms of education, I don’t think the app is quite there yet for standard classroom use. The big drawback is the fact that Assemblr has introduced in-app purchases for a lot of their characters and items. While students can obviously still build their worlds without these purchases they can still see them and this can and has led to some frustrations.

You can see some of my classroom AR Assemblr worlds created by students in the video below. Assemlbr definitely has potential to be an engaging learning app if the developers consider an education version.

Assemblr can be downloaded for free here 

Course 2 – Creating a Class Blog.

Below is the second of a set of 8 courses that feature both on this blog and also over on The EDtech Portal.

These screencasts will talk you through how to create a class blog.

For a full list of available courses check out our list here

Note: If you want certification for this course you can take it over on The EDtech Portal. Upon completing the course activities you will receive a certificate and there are also lots of opportunities to engage with other course takers. If not you can just watch the screencasts in the playlist below.

Course 1 – Create an iBook in iBooks Author course.

Below is the first of a set of 8 courses that feature both on this blog and also over on The EDtech Portal.

These screencasts will talk you through how to create a simple iBook for use in a classroom.

Note: If you want certification for this course you can take it over on The EDtech Portal. Upon completing the course activities you will receive a certificate and there are also lots of opportunities to engage with other course takers. If not you can just watch the screencasts in the playlist below.

For a full list of available courses check out our list here

Creating multi-touch books with students.

Teaching a digital media course has been an endless exciting journey of app exploration. The module is so vague you can make most apps work and change the content around depending on an individual class group.
As part of the module descriptor there is an option for students to create iBooks/eBooks. For the first couple of years I avoided this simply because the tech wasn’t available for us to easily create this. However, this past year students have created iBooks using Book Creator and/or iBooks Author and they really enjoyed it. They even suggested that I run a course that is solely based on iBooks creation. Hopefully their requests can become a reality this year.

For their assignments, I allow them to create books on literally anything they want to. This has resulted in a wide range of books being created from a student who created a wonderful tribute book to his grandfather which included a poem and song and short story, a student who created a vegan cookbook and then to a student who created a kids book about a dinosaur his imaginary character encountered on his travels.

Creating books gives students to opportunity to explore their creativity. Students who before would have never written a story and many who came in with the attitude of ‘I hate creative writing’ simply because it was never fun before.

This coming year there will be more of a focus on Book authoring. Into this we will encorporate Six Word Stories and Nanowrimo

The apps and sites we will use are listed below.

book-creator-logo-on-white

logo-black-mini-dcf95563

IBooks_Author_LogobAeowp4fiad-producer

Using iTunes U for eportfolios

I have had a lot of messages about this recently and I’m sure those going to the Netherlands will hear more but I want to just explain how I used iTunes U for portfolios this year.

Previously i had problems that some might remember where an external examiner did not like receiving work digitally (via dropbox) because he couldn’t figure out how to view / download the work. Well this solved all those problems. This was how I got around this.

When students sign up for classes the first thing we always do is get them an email address (if they don’t have one already) sign them up to the relevant iTunes U course and set them up some form of cloud storage (in the past this was iCloud or Dropbox). We did all that this year but we also set them up an iTunes U course each. This course was created using their own Apple IDs and I was added as a contributor to each course.

I used the exact same outline for their portfolio course as the associated iTunes U course had so they were able to become familiar with both.

In the case of one class there were 8 sections in the outline

1. Research Project – this contained a researched project students completed on the evolution of digital media. It was a pages document.

2. Websites – studens had to create a wordpress and/or wix website so this had a link to this website.

3. Facebook – this contained a link to the students business page.

4. QR codes & digital marketing – this contained student made QR codes, and an ezine.

5. iBook – this contained books that students had made using iBooks Author

6. Movies – this section contained movies they had created using Animoto, Powtoon and FCPX

7. Photo-editing – this section contained photos they had edited using Fotor

8. Assessment – this section contained their end of year exam which was taken and graded using Socrative. I just downloaded it as a PDF for them to insert.

Students had no problems at all doing this. What I liked most was that I could keep an eye on their progress because I was a collaborator on the course. My students are all adults but in a k-12 environment this would mean that you could also allow parents access.

What I also liked is because the student work was added as assessments they had the post section to give more info. For example on their movies they were able to explain more about the movie if they wanted to. Something which isn’t readily possible in iCloud / Dropbox.

The way the assignments appear like a checklist is also great because it meant that I could check them off to make sure they were all there.

This has given me the power to go totally paperless. The examiner at the end of the year just needs an iPad. It means no unnecessary downloading of student work and it means everything is accessible. iTunes U also accepts all file formats that we use so it’s great.

Edited to add. A massive benefit some of my students have had is that when they were going for interviews for jobs or other courses they were able to send links to the potential employer or bring the course along to interview.