iPad Weekly Bulletin – Issue 5 (apps focus – Science)

Here is this week’s iPad bulletin – the fifth so far. Amongst other things it explores the “Stage” app for use as a simple IWB / document camera and has a large number of suggested apps for the Sciences – Biology, Chemistry and Physics.

Click here to download the bulletin

iPad 5

Tellagami App – creating animated messages..


Tellagami is an app which allows you to create a short 30 second animated movie called a ‘gami’ (It is free for a limited time from the iTunes store). It is very similar to creating a Voki for those of you who may have used Voki and is very simple. You start by creating and customizing a character and then selecting an appropriate background (you can if you wish take a picture of your classroom or another area and use this as the background). Finally you decide how you want your character to talk. You can type in text (choice of male / female and a few accents) or you can record your voice (limited to 30 secs). Here is a quick video (not surprisingly a ‘gami’ explaining the Tellagami:


Great potential for creating little video clips of characters – these could be historical characters with extracts of speeches or characters putting across a point of view in a debate. These could also be little starters to lessons to set the scene. This could be useful in various areas of the curriculum. Students could also write 30 sec scripts and create their own Tellagami’s

A handful of useful ideas for using Tellagami in the classroomhttp://www.freetech4teachers.com/2013/09/a-handful-of-ideas-for-using-tellagami.html

Create narrated animations on your iPad http://ipadapps4school.com/2013/07/30/tellagami-create-narrated-animations-on-your-ipad/

iPad Weekly Bulletin – Issue 1

iPad bulletin banner
In my role in supporting the integration of iPads in the classroom I am currently trying to write a weekly bulletin to support colleagues. Each bulletin has an Apps section in which one or two key apps are featured and reviewed / discussed each week as well as suggestions for subject-specific apps. I have also started to have a ‘featured’ department each week with a collection of subject specific apps. I will try and upload them on here to share with others for those colleagues in other schools who are just starting out on the ‘iPad path’ and might find some of the information useful. I will post the four bulletins which have already been published now and then update the blog each week with the most recent bulletin. I hope they are useful to some of you.

Click Here for the First Edition iPad Bulletin 1

Stick Pick – App for supporting questioning in the classroom


This is an app that I am just start to play around with for my GCSE and VI form groups to help me look more at questioning. You can set up a class and each student has a named ‘virtual’ lollipop stick. When you create the students stick you can allocate this stick a question stem mode (Bloom’s, Bloom’s Revised or ELS) and level of difficulty (e.g. knowledge / comprehension/ analysis etc.). There is also an option to just create the stick with no question specifically attached if you just want to use it as a random way of selecting students. It is possible once a student has been selected once to set their stick as used so it wont be added back in the can and they wont be picked again that session.

If you have set the stick to have a question stem mode, each time the student’s stick is drawn you will be given over a dozen questions (e.g. related to Bloom’s Taxonomy) these will be tied to the learner’s individual ability level which you will have set when you allocated each student a stick.

This video gives a quick overview of some of the functionality.

As you can see on the video the app gives you the options to use Blooms or ESL (English as a second language), therefore Questions can be linked to cognitive / linguistic needs.  You can set up multiple cans (classes) filled with sticks (students).


If you want to take it further you can track formative assessment for each question. On asking a question, by clicking ‘assess’ by the students name, you can then select a corresponding correct, incorrect, or opinion button based on the student’s answer. On the basis of your selection you then also have option to rate the answer.

There are aspects of this you wouldn’t necessarily want to be showing on the board at all times – for example the assessment you make for a student wouldn’t necessarily be suitable to share with all students – but you don’t have to use the assessment part at all – indeed I think I am going to be able to make good use of just the ‘random’ selection tool and the question stems.ng a question by clicking ‘assess’ by the students name, you can then select a corresponding correct, incorrect, or opinion button based on the student’s answer. On the basis of your selection you then also have option to rate the answer.

There is another video here with a teacher review of the app.

Creating shortcuts on your iPad ‘home screen’

photo (1)

It is possible to create shortcuts on your iPad home screen, just like you would do on the desktop of a PC. This is particularly useful for sites that you will use frequently.

To create the shortcut simply navigate to the website that you want to create a direct link to. Then click on the ‘sharing’ button at the top – this will bring up a series of options – e.g. email, text etc.. select “Add to Home Screen” and a link will be created for you!

Pearltrees Social Library – Collate and Collaborate!

So this holiday I have developed a new addiction! Pearltrees! Pearltrees is a fantastic visual and collaborative social library PearlTreetool with great potential in education! The unique visual interface is part of this appeal as it allows you to create ‘pearls’ (‘favourited’ URL’ links) which can be organised within ‘pearltrees’, providing a logical and hierarchical structure for organising links. You can collaborate with others on pearltrees, pick ‘pearls’ from others to add to your trees or indeed link other ‘pearltrees’ of interest to your own. You can also team up so that you have a collaboration between people to create a pearltree related to a similar interest – perfect for establishing a bank of professional development links and collaborating with others interested in the same field!

You can synchronise your account with other social networking tools, namely Twitter and Facebook – broadcasting new pearls added (you have to enable this feature so you don’t have to do this) or collecting new pearls when a link is added. The tool is incredibly easy to use and it is this ease of use which is a major selling point! You can even download a pearler tool to your browser toolbar which enables you to add a site url at a click of a button! A list of your pearltrees and sub-branches appears so you determine where best to create the pearl – simple!

When you create an account and pearltrees, these are public, however there is a premium option for creating private pearltrees and private collaborations which enables you to control your privacy settings should you wish. You can find out more in this Frequently Asked Questions page. There is also information on updates on the Pearltrees blog and you can follow them on twitter at @pearltrees. You can create an account here and there is also a good Youtube video (below) which gives you a quick overview of how Pearltree works!

Here are links to 3 of my Pearltrees which may be of use:
1. iPads in Education
2. ICT Across the Curriculum
3. Teaching and Learning

I will developing these further during the academic year.

iPads for Teachers Trial – Evaluation Report


Yet again, quite a giant leap of time since my last post on our iPads for teachers trial back in February, when I first started thinking about the evaluation process. My intention of blogging about our experiences during the trial itself hasn’t happened due to issues of time, so instead I decided to put my efforts into writing up a detailed overview evaluation and report which is now finished. I will be picking some areas to explore in more detail and blog about hopefully over the forthcoming weeks. We benefitted greatly from drawing upon the experiences of other schools and so in return wanted to share our experiences with others. The finished report can be downloaded here – Finished iPads for Teachers Evaluation Report .

iPad Trial 2 – Starting to Evaluate

ipadimageIt might seem like a bit of a leap from my first post of introducing the trial to the second one being starting to evaluate, but it has been a hectic few months with so many things going on. I will still break down and share findings in future posts such as useful apps etc. but in the meantime we are meeting as a group this week and on the agenda is the initial stage of evaluation.

To try and draw together thoughts and ideas there are a number of questions we are going to discuss as a group and as we continue with the trial we need to think about potential next steps and how we could move things forward.

The questions we are going to be considering are:

EVALUATING THE iPAD TRIAL – The story so far….
(a) Teaching using the iPad

1. How has the iPad helped fulfil general admin tasks as a teacher, has it made everyday life easier?
2. How have iPads enhanced the learning experience of your students? Have they? Could they?
3. Is there anything that has held you back in getting the most out of using the iPad as a Teaching and Learning tool?
4. Is there anything that you can do with the iPad that is not possible or is more difficult to achieve without it?

(b) Potential for student use?
5. What further potential does the iPad have for transforming learning opportunities for students in the way we teach?
6. Do you feel students could make good use of iPads in your subject area? If so in what kinds of ways?
7. In what ways does the iPad have potential to support students? SEN? Gifted and Talented? A’level students etc..?

8. What technical issues / problems have arisen when using the iPad which need addressing?
9. Are there any particular concerns over e-safety and use of the iPads by students that need to be considered?
10. What would be the main goals of any future iPad implementation? Engagement, access to digital textbooks, access to digital environments, watching videos / listening to audio; media production (editing of photos / video), or a mixture?
11. What do would be the main challenges in increasing use of iPads / implementing use with students?
12. Will iPad use always require forward planning? Or have you found tools which you would be able to naturally integrate into lessons when needed (adding to the teachers everyday toolkit)?

… and so the next stage in the trial commences!

Embedding a Voki avatar in SMART notebook (Notebook 11)

Voki_widgetHaving tried the widget for embedding YouTube clips I have been investigating a few more of the widgets available on SMART Exchange. It is a few years since I have used Voki – but it has potential for use in the classroom. Here is a great little widget for embedding any Voki avatar you produce directly into SMART notebook so that they can be used as an integral part of a lesson resource. It is very simple to use.

Simply download the widget here. Go to the Gallery in SMART notebook and click on the arrow next to My Content. Select add new content and browse to where you have downloaded the widget. This should then add it to your Gallery ready to use. Then simply create your Voki and grab the embed code.

Embedding YouTube Clips straight in SMART notebook

Embedding Youtube

I have just been playing around with a very handy little widget for embedding YouTube clips straight into Notebook. It plays from the internet so still requires internet access but it is very handy having the video embedded straight into the page and although I have only tried a couple it seems to work very well. You can download the widget from Smart Exchange here and Danny Nicholson has given a quick and easy to follow tutorial of how to install the widget on his excellent Whiteboard Blog.


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