Tuesday, 1 January 2013


As of 1 December 2012 I commenced a new blog to complete all of the course modules. My iPad journey was quite dramatic in the last 6 months of the year, so I felt a new look was warranted. Today I realise that a redirect was in order - so here it is:

Monday, 25 June 2012

Digital Storytelling

Today my class were finishing the school term with independent creative writing tasks, using random ( and slightly ridiculous) book titles e.g. The Attack of the 50ft. Turnip!

I wanted to find options for publishing their completed stories in a digital format that could be readily shared by the whole class. We used StoryKit: add images; simple drawings; records sound; adds text; records the file for each image individually; and final product looks great on the iPad.

For brainstorming storywriting ideas Ideas Sketch let's you create simple mind maps, diagrams, concept maps and converts it to a text outline.

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Module 3: Working with Apps

Finding content on iTunes is one of the first features you become familiar with when starting on an iPad. It's interesting to note how much free content is available - and much of it is really useful - although a little useless. Best discovery is iTunesU which a fellow teacher recommended to me before I commenced this course. Catholic Network Australia has beneficial material e.g. Cybersafety 2011 contains downloadable resources to support the main points within the topic. Most of the apps have not been reviewed as yet but this location provides a keyhole into Catholic education and will obviously grow over time. I'd like to follow up by doing more research into TextEdit as there is an app recommending its use with students with disabilities.

iLe@rn app Framework provides a sound structure to the use and selection of apps. Below is an example of how it is important to ensure that the apps we choose to use must be authentic to the outcomes and purpose of the content or skill. With such a wealth of apps available, it is going to be the responsibility of teachers to choose wisely and teach our students to do the same.

Monday, 18 June 2012

Module 2 - Making Connections

Surfing the Internet using Safari has been straight forward but working through this module still brings light to many extra tips & features e.g. Touch (hold) and drag the .com key to see/select a hidden options. Particularly useful is the Tap ‘Add to Reading List’ to add a webpage to the list so that you can read it later. I find articles quickly accumulate but when I do have some quiet reading time it's handy to quickly locate articles previously saved. Exploring the built-ins apps as enlightening when I first opened my iPad and I quickly found those apps which would be the most useful. I use calendars as my daily reference for school & personal dates & information. I have set up separate calendars for each with both visible a the same time. So quick to add dates too.

I commenced using Newstand to store my newspaper & magazine subscriptions - a quick go-to when there's time for leisure reading.

One chapter of interest in the Apple User Guide is that dealing with Safari as the web browser. Teaching young students, it has always been an important lesson to teach them how to become more proficient and effective when searching the web. This used to involve the teaching of skills when Internet Explorer. Teaching them to use Safari will involve viewing webpages, links, creating reading lists, bookmarks & history and printing weaves & PDF. This helps to remind us as teachers how important it is for students to have the skills they need to work effectively and it is our responsibility that those skills are clearly shown and students given many opportunities to Practise and reinforce skills learnt.

Sunday, 17 June 2012

Module 1 - Checklist

All seems pretty straightforward as I've had an iPad for nearly 12 months, except for the 3 months between it being stolen and the insurance company replacing it. I am familiar with all the points in the basics checklist, so far so good.

Downloading Apple's iPad User Guide was a worthwhile endeavour as I'm always inclined to work things out as I go along. Reading the instructions first is a helpful tip! iBooks tools including how to change the appearance of pages including brightness - a great tip. Best tip though is highlighting text & adding notes to pages - old study habits can still be catered for.

As an aside - I have been using an iPad in my classroom with one of my students on learning support for a month or so. She enjoys using simple spelling app, however says she finds concentrating for more than 10 minutes to be too tiring for her. This is a reasonable response - just one I hadn't anticipated - hmmm... how to make adjustments for her. Even iPads aren't going to be the only answer in her personalised learning journey.

Saturday, 16 June 2012

Getting started

I've enrolled in the course and now I'm setting up my blog! I've had a few issues with my Google account which all have been successfully resolved overnight. So time to rewrite the posts I lost and hopefully come up with some insightful observations along the way. My starting point - I love iPad!