Tech Tool of The Week – New iOS 8 Camera features

Ok, sorry Android users, but I have been so happy with the updates iOS 8 has made to the camera on the iPhone that I have to share. (For a more comprehensive review of the iOS 8 Camera App update click here.)

First of all, I have an iPhone 6, so I have some features that older phones and iPads will not have. That being said, here are my favorites…

Time Lapse This will take a long video and shorten it up by taking out frames. So, if you shoot a 1 minute video, it will condense down to about 6 seconds. I used Time Lapse during our annual Blue/White Day (field day) to record students as they progressed across the field during an event, and it worked great.

Slo-Mo – This is a really cool way to capture students in action. Again, I experimented at Blue/White Day (see below) to capture a few events. I am super impressed with the video quality (240 frames per second).

Burst Mode – So, this has been the favorite of my favorites, although this feature doesn’t work on my iPad mini (1st Gen). You just hold down the button that takes pictures and you get 10 pictures in 1 second. The longer you hold your finger down, the more pictures you take. Seems simple. The reason this works so well is it groups the images into a set. You get to go into the set and decide which images are the best. So, think about how hard it is to capture someone jumping off a diving board. If you have any lag or you just don’t click at the right time, you will miss the picture. Instead, with Burst Mode, just click and hold. Then go and find the best images out of that burst. It works great!

Do you have any camera favorites or tips? Maybe a different camera app that you like better?

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Essential iPad skills in our Middle School iPad 1:1 (according to the 7th grade)

IMG_4640After a semester of co-teaching our middle school students in a new class, Digital Literacy, I decided to get some information from the 7th graders. The question: what are essential iPad skills that you need on a daily basis at school? Here is the list.

  • How to use more than app at a time
    • Shortcuts, multitasking gestures
  • Navigating homescreen
    • Organizing apps into folders
  • Typing on a touchscreen device

  • Copy/paste

  • Force shutdown or reset of iPad

  • How to use note taking apps

  • Shutting down iPad

  • iCloud backup/management

  • Taking pictures

  • Screen shots

  • Communication
    • Email
    • Contacts
    • Messages app
  • Settings App – manage settings
    • Set passcode
    • Brightness
    • Screen orientation lock
    • Do Not Disturb
  • Password management

  • Closing apps

  • Using GarageBand
    • Create original music
  • Using Pages
    • Word processing
  • Using Keynote
    • Create presentations
  • Using the Calendar

  • Navigate App store
    • Downloading apps, music & books
    • Update apps
  • Control Center in IOS 7 (slide up)

What other skills do you think are essential? How many of these skills have you mastetered?

How do you use your iPad?

Essential iPad Apps in our Middle School iPad 1:1 (according to the 7th grade)

After a semester of co-teaching our middle school students in a new class, Digital Literacy, I decided to get some information from the 7th graders. The question: what apps are essential to your life and education at school? Here is the list.

IMG_4648

Annonymous 7th graders in action, supervised by Ms. Van Alstyne.

Notability – digital note taking app. (price $2.99)*

Box – access to Box.net cloud storage. (free)

Pages – word processing/publishing software for iOS. (free with iOS 7)

iMovie – movie editing software. (free with iOS 7)

Gmail – access to student email accounts via Google app. (free)

Google Drive – access to Google Drive cloud storage for editing, collaborating and sharing work. (free)

Keynote – presentation creation software. (free with iOS 7)

Destiny Quest – our library catalog and book reservations. (free)

QR Reader – for scanning QR codes. (free)

Canvas – access to learning management system by Instructure.Canvas (we are currently piloting this LMS in middle school). (free)

Safari – web browsing and research. (free, built into iOS)

GarageBand – music creation and editing. (free with iOS 7)

Blio – book reading app. (free)

Meraki MDM – our mobile device management app, let’s manage the iPads and distribute apps. (free)

Educreations – a simple white board and screen recording presentation app. (free)

Adobe Ideas – for drawing, mind mapping, note taking, annotating pdfs and doodling. (free)

Free Graphing Calculator – self explanatory. (free)

Facetime – video conference and chatting service. (free, built into iOS)

iBooks – book reading app. (free)

Messages formerly iMessage – instant messaging service built into iOS. (free, built into iOS)

App Store – the place where all of the apps come from. 🙂 (free, built into iOS)

The next question I asked: what are essential iPad skills that you need on a daily basis at school? Check back for the answers.

*Many paid apps are eligible for a discount through Apple’s Volume Purchase Program.

I wrote this post originally for the Allendale Columbia School blog – ACSRochester.org.

12 Days of App-mas Review

In the spirit of the holidays we will bring you 12 Days of App-mas. Each day we will offer an app for education. We will  offer suggestions for how the app can be used in a class. Comment with ways you have used these apps.

Here is a review of all the Apps presented during the 12 Days of App-mas.

Reflector

Notability

Baiboard

Google Drive

Duolingo

CK-12 Study Now

Padlet

Raising Modern Learners

Explain Everything

TeacherKit

12 Days of App-mas: Notability

In the spirit of the holidays we will bring you 12 Days of App-mas. Each day we will offer an app for education. We will  offer suggestions for how the app can be used in a class. Comment with ways you have used these apps.

App: Notability Download from the App Store
Cost: $2.99 *40% apple editor’s choice *
Description: Welcome to Notability, the best-selling note-taking app on iPad, iPhone and iPod touch. Notability is so powerful that it will transform how you work: sketch ideas, annotate documents, sign contracts, complete worksheets, keep a journal, jot travel notes, teach a class, make a presentation and much more. With iCloud support, your notes stay up to date on all your devices!

Write, illustrate and annotate using gorgeous retina ink. Notability’s zoom window helps you quickly and clearly draw every detail, while the palm rest protects your notes from unwanted marks. Choose the right pen and paper for any project. 

Import forms, contracts, worksheets, documents, presentations, and even books; then use the same tools that help you take beautiful notes in Notability to mark up PDFs. Do you have files in other formats such as doc or ppt? Notability can import these too thanks to Google Drive.

Type an essay, create an outline, fill out an application, or make a list with Notability’s advanced word processor. Choose a font, style, color, and size that enhances your work. Even place text exactly where you want using text boxes. 

Record lectures and meetings, your own voice practicing a speech, or help a child learn to read with a recording. Also, audio recordings are an excellent review tool as they are linked to your notes; during playback, tap a word or picture and hear what was said at that moment.

Finding information quickly is an important part of note-taking. Use search to quickly locate notes by title or content. On iPad, bookmark pages of a note, filter a PDF by annotated pages, or search your note for a keyword in the page navigator.

Organize your notes by subject in the library and automatically backup all of your work to Dropbox, Box, Google Drive, or webDAV. Also, use these services, plus email, Airdrop, and twitter, to share your Notability files with colleagues, classmates, students or teachers. iCloud will ensure that all of your notes are automatically up to date on your iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch.

Notability gives life to your ideas, stores your notes, and improves your memory and organization. We hope you enjoy using it as much as we do.

12 Days of App-mas: Baiboard

In the spirit of the holidays we will bring you 12 Days of App-mas. Each day we will offer an app for education. We will  offer suggestions for how the app can be used in a class. Comment with ways you have used these apps.

App: Baiboard Download from the App Store
Cost: Free
Description: Create, Share and Collaborate your education content.

Synchronous and Asynchronous collaboration – 
1. Zoomable multi-page whiteboard.
2. Collaborative annotation on PDF docs.
3. Screen Sharing from iPad to web browser.

12 Days of App-mas: Duolingo

In the spirit of the holidays we will bring you 12 Days of App-mas. Each day we will offer an app for education. We will  offer suggestions for how the app can be used in a class. Comment with ways you have used these apps.

App: Duolingo Download from the App Store
Cost: Free
Description: Learn Spanish, French, German, Portuguese, Italian, and English. Totally fun. Totally free.

I have used this at home with my daughters and they both enjoy playing the “games” while learning. We have introduced the app for students in both middle and lower school as a supplement to their classwork. Students can learn at their own pace and move ahead by testing out of the different sections. Duolingo also supports Google Apps For Education so our students can use their school email to create an account.