e7 news: Apple update the iTunes Course Manager

e7 news: Apple update the iTunes Course Manager

If you’re using iTunes U to build courses of learning materials, you’ll be happy to know that Apple have just updated the tool with a bit of extra functionality. Adding contributors, searching course materials and improved support for web links are just some of the new features on offer…

Invite course contributors

Now you can invite up to five course contributors to your course. Course Contributors can contribute to your course by adding posts, assignments, and materials. They can also manage the course enrollment and roster. To add Course Contributors to a course, click the Settings button in the Course Manager toolbar, and then click the Instructors tab.

Search course materials

Now it’s easier to search your materials to find the best content for a specific assignment. You can search through all your course materials like books, apps, videos, audio, and documents from a single query in the top left corner of the Materials tab in iTunes U Course Manager.

Enhanced support for web links

When you add iTunes or web link materials to your course, the image thumbnail, page title, description, and author information for the material will be automatically imported into your course, if it’s available. You can also edit web link information in the preview popover to ensure the most complete information is presented to your students.

Feed import

Automatically add supported audio and video materials from an RSS feed or lecture capture system to your courses. When you add and subscribe to a feed, iTunes U Course Manager will import the supported materials into your course. As new materials are added to the feed, iTunes U Course Manager will check for updates and add the new materials to your course.

Want to know more about Apple iPad for education? Call us on 03332 409 333 or email learning@Jigsaw24.com. To keep up to date with what our e7 team are up to, follow @Jigsaw24Edu on Twitter or ‘Like’ our Jigsaw24 Education Facebook page

Education app of the week: Showbie for iPad

Education app of the week: Showbie for iPad

Looking for a way to easily share work between staff and pupils? Our app of the week, Showbie for iPad, is probably your best bet. With cloud-based sharing, voice notes and integration with Pages, it’s becoming one of our favourite iPad apps for the classroom, and our e7 schools have been loving it too.

What is Showbie?

Showbie (Showbie Inc, free) is a sharing app that makes it easy to collect, review and distribute pupils’ work directly on iPad. You start off by sending an enrolment code to pupils, which lets them sign up to shared assignment folders for specific classes. Within these, you can load lesson resources such as activity sheets, videos, learning objectives and web links, then dole them out to everyone who’s enrolled in that class.

Once they’ve completed their work, they can send the finished document back directly to the teacher through the app for assessment, which is all done privately (there isn’t an edit/annotate function within the app just yet, but we reckon this might come in future updates). You can even add voice notes to the shared folders or to individuals, which is a pretty neat way to give critical feedback.

How can it benefit the classroom?

The simple fact that you can distribute resources and have pupils re-submit their work all through Showbie makes the app a great tool for teachers. Setup via the enrolment codes is incredibly easy, so you can start pushing work out to pupils in no time. We’ve had some really great feedback about Showbie from schools in the e7 1:1 iPad pilot scheme we’re running, and think it could definitely benefit just about any school.

What’s the most useful feature?

Showbie has a range of options for opening documents, with Adobe Reader, GoodReader and Dropbox being the ones we tend to use a lot, but by far the most interesting is the link-up with Apple Pages. Open up any Pages document within the Pages app, and you can then share it directly from Pages to Showbie. Pages will even show you the last Showbie shared folder you were in, or you can just browse for the right folder or user, so it’s brilliant for flitting between the two.

Where can I get it?

Showbie (Showbie Inc, free) is completely free and available from the App Store or via iTunes. It can also be set up as a whole school site deployment, for a fee, which allows unlimited assignment uploads, 100 students per class and student administration.

– Missed our last app of the week? Read our review of bossjock studio for iPad here.

Want to know more about our favourite apps and Apple iPad for the classroom? Get in touch with the team on 03332 409 333, email learning@Jigsaw24.com, follow @Jigsaw24Edu on Twitter or ‘Like’ our Jigsaw24 Education Facebook page for all the latest technology in education news, reviews and articles.

 

Our top 5 training courses for making the most of your Macs and iPad

Our top 5 training courses for making the most of your Macs and iPad

Our Apple curriculum training is continuing professional development that’s designed to help you make the most of any Apple devices you have in your school. As well as giving your teachers plenty of confidence with new tech before they have to get up in front of a class, it can help with planning how you’ll use, manage and develop your Mac or iPad deployment, and help get everyone pulling together before you launch a new initiative.

We offer a huge range of courses from foundation iOS and OS X training, to curriculum-based sessions and even vision and planning for your Apple deployment. I’ve picked out my top five below, but take a look at our catalogue to get an idea of how Apple curriculum training could help you. As a fully-accredited Apple Distinguished Educator (ADE), as well as a former teacher, I can come and deliver training onsite at your school at a time that best suits you. There’s no need to go anywhere or call anyone else in – just get in touch with the team!

1. iPad in the classroom

This course helps staff get to grips with the core apps for the iPad and how they can introduce the technology effectively into their learning environment. They’ll be introduced to the basics, such as gestures and personalisation of the devices, along with use of the Camera, Notes, Safari, iTunes U and iBooks apps, as well as accessibility tools like text-to-speech and guided access. All of the training is hands-on and focuses on teaching and learning. The built-in apps that come with the iPad can be utilised to support students and teachers in the classroom, and it’s important that staff realise the potential of these before moving onto third party applications.

Fortunately, third party apps are also included in the course, and you’ll be introduced to incredibly powerful tools such as Educreations, which can help flip the classroom and create anytime, anywhere learning opportunities. Other apps such as Showbie are demonstrated, allowing staff to hand out, collect and mark work electronically (including verbal feedback through audio recording) directly on the iPad.

As an ex-teacher, I’ve found that attending CPD sessions is great but can sometimes be frustrating if you don’t get any time to practice and implement the skills gained in the session. This is why I’ve built in time for participants to plan an activity for their own curriculum during the day. I want all participants to leave the day feeling happy and knowing they have lesson ideas and activities they can implement within their classroom immediately.

Just want half a day training? If you only have the time or resource for half a day’s training, I would suggest iPad for Learning. This three hour introductory course is perfect for any staff new to iPad to get an insight into integrating devices into relevant curriculum activities in a classroom setting. It’s a great overview of app usage and using iPad as a learning tool, allowing staff to see skills in action and learn how to apply them to their own classroom practice.

2. Planning for iPad

Before any institution sets out on a journey, particularly one that could involve huge changes to infrastructure and mindset, it’s vital that they ask the question “why?” By asking that question, school leaders can begin to think about the logistics of a rollout, its impact, and policies that will need to be put in place to ensure the successful adoption of the technology across the school and its community.

To help understand why iOS devices are having a huge impact within schools, colleges and universities across the country, the session begins with case studies and hands-on demonstrations of the uses and features of the device. We examine areas of best practice and look at the SAMR model, which helps schools measure the effective use of technology within the classroom to create dynamic and transformational learning environments.

Within the session, we’ll discuss current plans and pedagogies and examine how we can use the iPad to support staff, students and parents within the school and beyond. It’s also important to think about the impact that this will have on existing plans. Finally, we ensure that at the end of the session a clear plan is formed. This includes how we can communicate all of our ideas, strategies and implementations to staff, pupils and parents clearly as the institution moves forward.

3. Creating documents on iPad

If you’re looking to create presentations for new starters, edit lesson plans/schemes of work and update assessment data on your iPad, then you’re going to need Keynote, Pages and Numbers for iOS. These apps have been created by Apple to be the most intuitive productivity tools on iOS devices, and knowing how to utilise them in the classroom will have a huge impact on your teaching and learning outcomes.

This course is the ultimate boot camp for teachers who want to squeeze the most out of the incredible functionality that comes with each app. Throughout the workshop, you’ll be getting hands-on with these apps to create documents, presentations and spreadsheets so that you can develop an in-depth understanding of what each app can do.

These apps are also incredible teaching and learning tools. We’ll look at lesson ideas to help you integrate them into your curriculum, such as the production of learning journals and digital exercise books. We will also explore the workflow linking them to other apps including the camera, web browser and cloud services. Cloud services are a vital part of this workflow, as they will ensure that all work is saved centrally, accessible by staff and ready to be marked and used for assessment or even peer review. To finish off, we’ll look at workflow and how to import existing Word documents, PowerPoint presentations and Excel spreadsheets straight on to your iPad so that you have all your existing resources right at your fingertips.

4. Sharing lesson resources and courses

With so much information and digital content available through electronic devices, it can be incredibly difficult for a student to know which resources they can trust. As teachers, it is vital that we provide clear guidance and a framework in our lessons, not only to ensure that pupils have access to the right materials but to guarantee that they can continue their own learning journey at a suitable pace. There’s a danger that if we do not provide a clear scaffolding, some pupils may feel left behind while others could feel hindered.

Using iTunes U Course Manager you can avoid these issues, pulling all of your electronic lesson resources together into a single course to ensure every student has a clear understanding of what is expected of them and how they can progress further. By creating this central resource we can give students a logical structure and path, safe in the knowledge they can continue on their learning journey unhindered by distractions and – more importantly – inappropriate content.

In this session, you’ll use the iTunes Course Manager and your existing teaching resources to create an iTunes U course based around your curriculum area. We will explore best practices and view existing courses to gain ideas on implementation of courses within our own classrooms. We will look for other resources that already exist within iTunes U, a huge catalogue of educational content that is constantly being updated by educators around the globe. Resources can include lesson plans, activity documents, iBooks, ePublications, videos, podcasts and web links, all of which can be used within your own courses to support individual learners and their learning styles.

Once the course is ready, we’ll preview it in the iTunes U app and examine how students will access the materials and hand in completed work for assessment and feedback.

5. Creating digital textbooks on Mac

Since the introduction of iBooks on iOS devices, there has been an incredible change in how we interact with written text. As a teacher, I could never have imagined that one day I would have the ability to create a handout for a pupil that included text,  images, video, quizzes, interactive graphics and 3D models. With iBooks Author, this is exactly what we can now achieve, and it’s free for anyone using Mac OS X.

If you’re already thinking that the software to create something like this must be incredibly complex and convoluted, then I’m happy to disappoint you. If you’ve ever created a Word document or produced a presentation then you’ll already be familiar with some of the features of iBooks Author, and by the end of this course you’ll have explored all of the features mentioned, as well as addressing some other important considerations.

We will explore multimedia copyright so that you can be sure that you’re accessing the right resources and have the legal right to distribute (and even edit) them within your iBook. We will also explore the accessibility features in iBooks that will help you ensure any student can access the learning materials you present to them. We’ll create customised glossaries and study cards so that you can show students how to create a personalised learning experience, making notes within the iBook itself and them immediately accessing these and other resources embedded within the app. At the end of the session, you will create an iBook that supports your own curriculum to ensure you have the skills to continue producing materials for your own cohort of students.

Want to know more? Give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email learning@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @Jigsaw24Edu on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

e7 resources: The Pedagogy Wheel of iPad apps

e7 resources: The Pedagogy Wheel of iPad apps

If you’re looking for ways to apply Bloom’s Taxonomy with iPad, this neat diagram should be a great resource. The Pedagogy Wheel features 62 iPad apps split by how they could best serve certain pedagogies, all with associated activities and learning outcomes as well as, most usefully, direct links through to the app in iTunes.

Creator Alan Carrington, Designing Outcomes, explains: “These are not necessarily the best app for the job and many of the apps can be used in different realms but it is a good start. I hope it helps you rethink the iPad’s use in Learning and Teaching… it is not about the tool nor the app… it’s all about the students.”

Explore the Pedagogy Wheel v2.0 yourself here. The Pedagogy Wheel by Allan Carrington is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License. Based on a work at http://tinyurl.com/bloomsblog

Want to know more about 1:1 iPad deployments in schools? See our e7 Project here, call 03332 409 333 or email e7@Jigsaw24.com. You can also follow @Jigsaw24Edu on Twitter or ‘Like’ our Jigsaw24 Education Facebook page.

Education app of the week: Skitch for iPad

Education app of the week: Skitch for iPad

[UPDATE, 08/01/2015: Just a warning that Skitch has recently been re-rated 17+ in the App Store due to its integrated web browser. This may lead to it being ‘blocked’, especially in primary environments where it is often a core app.]

Evernote can seemingly do no wrong when making apps, consistently coming up with productivity tools that are great for the classroom. That goes for our education app of the week too: Skitch, Evernote’s image annotation app for iPad. 

What is Skitch?

Skitch (Evernote, free) is an incredibly simple app that allows you to take any image (whether that’s a screenshot, a photo taken from your iPad’s Camera Roll, an image sourced from the web, a map or anything else) and annotate it with text, drawings and shapes. There’s now even the possibility of annotating PDFs within Skitch. Once you’ve made your markups, you can then share the image or document with staff and students to make it much easier to give feedback and explain processes.

How could it benefit the classroom?

Because it’s so easy to give instant feedback, Skitch is perfect for annotating written work, giving detailed explanations of diagrams or brainstorming ideas with a group. While that makes the whole process of providing feedback to students much quicker and easier, it also means you cut down on the cost (and environmental impact) of passing reams of paper back and forth, as you can send annotated images and documents directly from iPad to iPad.

What’s the best feature?

One major new update has made Skitch able to annotate PDFs (as long as you have a subscription to the Evernote app too), which is something of a breakthrough. This means students can access PDFs of anything from activity sheets and quizzes to creative writing and poems on any device or computer, then sketch their ideas and answers directly onto the PDF to hand in. You’re now able to add cool stamps to images and documents too, letting you give instant custom word responses or preset reactions like ‘Yes’ and ‘No’, as well as ticks, crosses and even love hearts!

Where can I get it?

The basic version of Skitch (Evernote, free), but if you’re after some of the more advanced features like PDF annotation, you’ll need to sign up for a subscription to Evernote. You can download Skitch directly from the App Store on your iPad, or from iTunes here.

– Missed last week’s app? Catch up on our ClaroSpeak for iPad review.

Want to know more about our favourite apps and Apple iPad for the classroom? Get in touch with the team on 03332 409 333 or email learning@Jigsaw24.com. You can also keep up with all our latest education news and reviews by following @Jigsaw24Edu on Twitter or ‘Like’-ing our Jigsaw24 Education Facebook page.

 

Education app of the week: Snapguide for iPad

Education app of the week: Snapguide for iPad

Snapguide is a remarkably simple app that lets you create and share step-by-step guides with pupils. It’s that easy to use, you can even send them off to create their own. Here’s a bit more about the app…

What is Snapguide?

Snapguide (Heavy Bits Inc, free) is an app for iPad – or iPhone – for making your own how-tos. If you and your pupils are familiar with photo and image gathering apps like Pinterest and Instagram, using Snapguide should come pretty naturally. You start off by taking photos using your iPad’s camera, or researching and editing appropriate images from the web. Then, you can upload these into your Snapguide template and add captions to make a unique step-by-step guide to be shared on the Snapguide community.

How can it benefit the classroom?

Snapguide is useful as both a teaching tool and as a way for pupils to put together short projects for assessment. The visual nature of the guides – images with short text captions – makes them an easy way for you to explain everything from a science experiment to a cookery recipe to your pupils. Because of the simplicity, it also means pupils can start putting their own guides together. Get them to explain their way through a chemistry experiment by making a Snapguide, and you can assess what level their comprehension of the topic is. There are already thousands of user-created Snapguides to browse through by category in the Snapguide community too, so it can be pretty handy as a research tool.

What’s the best feature?

There’s a big emphasis on sharing within Snapguide, which is incredibly handy for when you want to get your step-by-step materials out to pupils’ devices, and vice-versa. Unlike some apps, which can be a pain to share projects between, Snapguide lets you email, Tweet and post to Facebook from directly within the app, as well as share your guide with the world, tagging it by category to make it easy for people who might be interested to find.

Where can I get it?

If Snapguide (Heavy Bits Inc, free) sounds like something you’d like to try, you can simply search for the app from within the App Store on your iPad, or download it from iTunes. It’s fantastically easy to use, and free too!

– Missed last week’s app? See our review of Socrative for iPad here.

For more information about our top apps and Apple iPad for the classroom, get in touch with the team on 03332 409 333 or email learning@Jigsaw24.com. You can also keep up with all our latest education news and reviews by following @Jigsaw24Edu on Twitter or ‘Like’-ing our Jigsaw24 Education Facebook page.

Education app of the week: Socrative for iPad

Education app of the week: Socrative for iPad

A great way of getting pupils engaged in lessons, as well as assessing their progress, Socrative is a simple quiz app for iPad that lets teachers set questions for the class to answer on their devices. We’ve picked out Socrative’s best bits below…

What is Socrative?

The Socrative app (Socrative, free) effectively turns your class’s iPads, iPhones or iPhone touches into handheld buzzers for custom quizzes. You can add your own questions within the app, or even import tables of questions using Socrative’s Excel template to create questionnaires for pretty much any area of the curriculum in just a couple of minutes! Options include Quick Quizzes and Space Races – a fast-paced game in which pupils have to propel rockets across the screen by answering questions.

How can it benefit the classroom?

As well as being a fun way to get pupils taking part in class, and getting excited about different subjects, Socrative is also really useful in feeding back on their understanding. Having multiple choice questions makes it possible to instantly mark pupils’ quizzes digitally, with feedback getting sent directly to teachers’ devices as a bar chart for assessment. That also means you can report on which parts of your quizzes pupils are finding too easy or too difficult, and tailor them to prepare for future classes.

What’s the most useful feature?

One of the coolest options available in Socrative is the ‘Exit Ticket’. This aggregates all the pupils’ answers into a report at the end of the class, and also lets them write down what they’ve actually learnt in the lesson. It’s a great tool for feedback that helps teachers support learners and understand their needs.

[UPDATE 25/03/13]: Socrative have now added a couple of significant updates to the app which we think teachers will really love. Firstly, there’s now the ability to add images to multiple choice and short answer questions, making them even more engaging. They’ve also made it possible for Socrative to automatically grade short answers for you.

Where can I get it?

Both the Student Clicker and Teacher Clicker versions of Socrative are available from the App Store on your device, or by heading to iTunes.

– Did you see our app of the week last week? Check out our ShowMe for iPad review here.

Want to know more about our favourite apps and Apple iPad for the classroom? Get in touch with the team on 03332 409 333, email learning@Jigsaw24.com, follow @Jigsaw24Edu on Twitter or ‘Like’ our Jigsaw24 Education Facebook page for all the latest technology in education news, reviews and articles.

Education app of the week: ShowMe for iPad

Education app of the week: ShowMe for iPad

If you fancy trying a flipped classroom model, there are a handful of decent whiteboard apps out there that let you record tutorials to share with pupils – many of them for free too – but we think the extensive features of ShowMe Interactive Whiteboard put it top of the pile…

What is ShowMe?

ShowMe Interactive Whiteboard (Learnbat Inc, free) is an app that lets you quickly knock up a video tutorial out of screen grabs and voiceover to share with pupils. In the same way as you would present to a class from a whiteboard, you can scribble and erase on the iPad as you progress through ideas, and drop in images to back up your explanation, all while the app records everything you’re saying. It’s then really simple to export the tutorial to share with pupils, and save for future use.

How can it benefit the classroom?

The obvious benefit of ShowMe is in creating tutorial resources and revision materials that pupils can watch in their own time at home. This is a really easy way to start implementing the ‘flipped classroom’ concept, as you can provide pupils with what they need to take part in the ‘lesson’ at home, then  interact with them, discuss topics further and do more practical work during your actual teaching time.

What’s the best bit?

Because ShowMe is so simple to use, it also means pupils can create their own tutorials on any topic. For example, get them to research and explain how the water cycle works, or create a breakdown of mathematical expressions, then upload the tutorial for assessment. It’s a great way to see how their understanding of the subject is developing, and fun too!

Where can I get it?

If this sounds like something you’d like to implement, you can download the app for free by searching in the App Store on your iPad, or downloading ShowMe Interactive Whiteboard (Learnbat Inc, free) from iTunes.

– Didn’t catch last week’s app? Read our review of Book Creator for iPad here.

To find out more about our favourite apps and Apple iPad for the classroom, get in touch with the team on 03332 409 333 or email learning@Jigsaw24.com. You can also keep up with all our latest education news and reviews by following @Jigsaw24Edu on Twitter or ‘Like’-ing our Jigsaw24 Education Facebook page.


 

Education app of the week: Book Creator for iPad

Education app of the week: Book Creator for iPad

iBooks are a great way of getting pupils to put multimedia projects together, as well as creating and sharing your own teaching materials, and with our latest app of the week, you can actually start publishing them directly on iPad, rather than having to use iBooks Author on your Mac. Here are a few other reasons why we think Book Creator for iPad deserves a download…

What is Book Creator for iPad?

You could think of Book Creator for iPad (Red Jumper Studio, £2.99) as a digital exercise book, allowing pupils to collate bits and pieces of information into iBooks. They can write text, insert images, video and narration to create engaging science journals, digital stories and much more, which can then be published as an iBook. It’s the no #1 Book app for the iPad in 54 countries, is in the Guardian’s Top 50 Apps for the iPad, has won a Parents’ Choice Gold Award, and we’re big fans too!

How can it benefit the classroom?

iBooks can be used pretty much across the whole curriculum – anywhere that pupils need to put together projects which take in multiple different types of content. For example, they could easily create a science experiment that includes a text analysis, images and diagrams, and even video of the experiment itself taken with the iPad’s camera. Being able to record and add audio narration is also great for improving speaking, listening and presentation skills.

As an iBook, it’s then easy to share the project with staff and other pupils for assessment and peer review through iTunes, Dropbox, WebDAV etc, exported as a PDF or even printed out as a paper version.

What’s the best feature?

What I think really makes Book Creator for iPad stand out is the chapter merging feature. This lets pupils collaborate on projects by working separately on their own sections, then allow the teacher to merge chapters into a single iBook for assessment and publishing. Merging chapters makes it really easy for teachers to mark up the project and provide feedback to pupils, something which I’ve gone into a bit more detail about here.

Where do I get it?

Head to the App Store on your iPad to download Book Creator for iPad, or get it from iTunes here. It’s normally £2.99, but is available under Apple’s Volume Purchase Programme, so will only set you back £1.49 per app if you purchase in bulk of more than 20 instances.

– Missed our app last week? Read our review of Brushes for iPad here.

To find out more about our favourite apps and Apple iPad for the classroom, get in touch with the team on 03332 409 333 or email learning@Jigsaw24.com. You can also keep up with all our latest education news and reviews by following @Jigsaw24Edu on Twitter or ‘Like’-ing our Jigsaw24 Education Facebook page.


 

Education app of the week: Talk Maths for iPad

Education app of the week: Talk Maths for iPad

Getting pupils to really engage with maths can sometimes be tricky, but our latest app of the week for iPad is a great solution. Talk Maths presents quite difficult mathematical functions in a fun, accessible way, and is suitable for a number of different levels.

What is Talk Maths?

Talk Maths (Pearson Education, £3.99) is an app for iPad that aims to “get children talking about maths and working together to solve problems”. It does this through four different fun games – Number Sums, where pupils have to balance sides of a triangle; the capacity-matching Dominoes; Marble Run, in which pupils must adjust a function machine to make the target number, and Mystery Number – a game where pupils need to find a missing number by using clues to eliminate digits. The app comes in three different education level versions (Year 4, Year 5 and Year 6), and each game also has difficulty ratings, from 1-dot to 4-dot.

How can it benefit the classroom?

Because Talk Maths is developed in the UK, it actually addresses the UK maths curriculum (as opposed to some American apps you might come across in the App Store). This makes it a great tool to use alongside your regular teaching, and also a valuable resource for revision in the lead-up to those all important Year 6 SATs, as you can set independent revision and know your pupils are hitting the curriculum objectives.

Having different difficulty settings means Talk Maths is also perfect for differentiation, as you can tailor the app to both pupils who are looking for an extra challenge, or those who may need a little more support.

What’s the best feature?

Maths wasn’t exactly my favourite subject at school, so I was impressed to see how the games in Talk Maths could present quite ‘dull’ subjects in a fun way. You can see this most strongly in Marble Run. The objective here is to solve calculations and give the correct formula to send a marble round a pipe. It’s a much more colourful and accessible way of learning about equations than just working through an old text book.

Where can I get it?

You can log on to the App Store on your iPad to purchase Talk Maths (Pearson Education, £3.99) Year 4, 5 or 6, or see more over on iTunes.

– Missed last week’s top education app? Find out more about basic programming and coding skills with Cargo-Bot for iPad here.

To find out more about our favourite apps and Apple iPad for the classroom, get in touch with the team on 03332 409 333 or email learning@Jigsaw24.com. You can also keep up with all our latest education news and reviews by following @Jigsaw24Edu on Twitter or ‘Like’-ing our Jigsaw24 Education Facebook page.