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

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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.

 

 

Release of Socrative iTunes U course.

Many of us use Socrative in our classrooms. I have been encouraging colleagues to try and use it too but they are often reluctant figuring it is complicated. I was recently encourages to create this course and iBook by teachers who did take my word for it being easy and ended up trying it and loving it.

It just goes through the very basics but it’s enough to get teachers interested enough to try more!

Course

https://itunes.apple.com/ie/course/assessing-with-socrative/id1017873854

iBook

https://itunes.apple.com/ie/book/assessing-with-socrative/id1017861480?mt=11

App Review – The File Converter

Today’s App Review is The File Converter by Ghost Mobile. There have been many times where I have landed myself in a situation where I have landed something in my Dropbox and left my Macbook at home without realising later that I will have to use a PC which many not be able to open a specific file created on my Mac. The most common issue I have is forgetting to export Pages documents to Word or PDF. My usual solution to this would be to open on my iOS device in Pages and export again. While this is a great and tried and tested solution I do need the Pages App. Another mistake would be forgetting to export something like a Photoshop .psd file which cannot be opened without the software itself.

The File Converter is great in situations like this and will takes files from your email or iOS device. Below are the options available.

  • Video Converter: Convert to 3GP, 3G2, AVI, FLV, MKV, MP4, MPEG-2, OGG, WEBM, and WMV
  • Document Converter: Convert to PDF, DOC, DOCX, TXT, ODT, FLASH and HTML
  • Audio Converter: Convert to MP3, OGG, WAV, WMA, AAC, FLAC, M4A, and MMF
  • E-book Converter: Convert to EPUB, MOBI, PDF, LRF, FB2, LIT, PDB, TCR
  • Archive Converter: Convert any file to ZIP, BZ2, 7Z, GZ

The App may not be one I would use all the time but definitely one that I can see saving me in emergency situations like the one described above. I can definitely see the e-book and documente conversion options being very useful.

The App costs €2.69 and can be downloaded  from HERE.

Fluency Finder

Today’s App Review is Fluency Finder by Lantz, Glass and Gaskins, LLC. As an ESOL (English as a Second Language) Teacher I never really know what stage my students are in their learning when they start. Students are usually varied between those that can read, write and speak English but not accurately. Some students can speak but not read and others can read and write but not speak. This App is a great help during the initial screening process and can be used after too.

Fluency finder tracks a students progress and means all records are right there on your device which cuts down on mass amounts of paper work.
To begin all you have to do is add students to the App and select an appropriate passage for them to read. This can be read from a device or you can print a copy. As the student begins to read the App times them and you can mark any mistakes they make on your device. By tapping + you indicate a student makes a mistake and – indicates that the student corrected their own mistake. After tapping finish you automatically see the results. There are different fluency levels and you can measure readings from 60-175 words per minute so it is easy to find a speed that would suit an individual student.

I have found this App to be a massive asset to my class and really enjoyed seeing the comparisons between the initial recorded results and the results in the classes final week.

The App does cost $6.99 but is great for what you get and it can be downloaded from HERE.