Into Film Launches Innovate Free App Storymaker – The Gruffalo Edtiion

Education charity Into Film puts film at the heart of young people’s learning and have just announced the launch of new teaching aid Storymaker: The Gruffalo Edition. The innovative new, literacy focused iPad app and teaching resource has been developed in partnership with Magic Light Pictures and is available for free, along with a free film club membership. The charity’s UK-wide programme provides 5-19 year olds with unparalleled opportunities to see, think, make and imagine, contributing to their educational, cultural, creative and personal development and is supported by the BFI through Lottery funding.

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App store preview image 4Using the app, pupils can record their own dialogue, music, and sound effects for a number of selected clips, and create their own unique version of the award-winning film, for the very first time.  This new platform will allow students to apply their creative skills to an actual film and is currently also the only app to be supported by an extensive teaching resource. Designed for Key Stage 1 (and useful also for older pupils who have SEN or English as a second language), the app enables students to develop their reading, writing, speaking, listening and technical skills by interacting with popular fictional character The Gruffalo, in many different languages.

App store preview image 3Highlights from Storymaker: The Gruffalo Edition include the ability to watch key moments from The Gruffalo film and for users to record voices over the top of the clip using subtitles from the original script, or creating a new narrative completely. Users can add depth to the scenes by choosing suitable soundtracks to enhance the mood, or record their own sound effects.  Each creation can be saved to the device and shared in class.

Russell Hardy, a teacher at Bookwell Primary School in Cumbria who tested the app said: “There is lots in there education wise – speaking and listening. Play is such an important part of learning at this age. Some students find it hard to articulate themselves so giving them the chance to have several goes at reading or saying something in their own time like this was valuable to them.

This new platform for learning can be downloaded from the Apple app store and accessed by any school, college or youth organisation which runs a free film club with Into Film. To start a film club and access the app click here.

For more information visit www.intofilm.org.

Blippar for education

blipparThanks to a tweet from @ThatEdTechGuy from https://thatedtechguy.wordpress.com/ I was introduced to blippar for education (@blippar) this morning. As well as operating in business, the education section of this company  seeks to transform education settings such as schools into digitally interactive learning environments using Augmented Reality. I am still new to exploring augmented reality in the classroom but I know it has great potential for generating student interest and engagement which can only be a great thing! The idea is that it can be used to bring textbooks and other learning materials to life using smartphones or tablets.

For me one of the most exciting things about this mornings discovery of blippar was not just the volcano that came to life on my actual (not virtual) desktop (see photos!) but the fact that blippar are taking augmented reality one step further to ensure it is not just a novelty but an integral part of the learning process. They have done this by introducing a series of education posts (described here in their blog post). These make the AR integral to the classroom experience by enabling the teacher to lead the lesson by using the blipp (AR component) in explaining to the students what happens.

Volc003The volcano blipp (See photos below) involves students connecting to the teachers device by a special code – the teacher then gradually initiates the different parts of the blip, from the eruption through to opening the volcano up as a cross section. Taking this a step further, students then have a labelling activity which they undertake and the results go to the teachers device as a way of monitoring progress. Unfortunately we are not a 1:1 tablet school at the moment but I am really interested to try this with students that do have their own devices and I’m particularly keen to see where blippar take this next. For me this is the first step to really making the most of AR and one which I can see being of great use in the classroom. To have these embedded in textbooks and revision guides would also take experiential learning to the next level.

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Imvoto – student response system – using mobile devices to assess learning

ImvotoImvoto is another very useful system enabling immediate assessment of learning to enable teachers to quickly intervene where required to help students progress, tackle misconceptions and move learning on.

This is definitely one to have a look at – you can easily write your own questions to assess your class and students can use a variety of devices to take the assessments, mobiles, tablets or desktops. Questions can also be differentiated depending on student responses.  A particularly useful aspect of this tool is that as well as writing your own questions you can share your questions and also discover and use other teachers questions. Another benefit is the ability to include a range of media in your questions, including audio, video, images or LaTex.

Here is a quick introduction video:

There is also an excellent dedicated Imvoto Youtube channel with an excellent collection of videos providing a guide to creating assessments, interrogating data etc.

PingPong – free app for Question and Answer – great for AFL

PingPongI’ve just come across PingPong, a great little free app which looks like it has lots of potential! I haven’t had chance to try this yet but I think with the revision season to begin in full flow on our return to school this could be really useful. Questions can be created on the spot and students access the ‘ROOM’ through use of a simple room code. Questions are set and realtime responses given. Questions can be multiple choice, true or false or up to 40 character responses or annotated diagrams can be sent by students. The app can be linked to Evernote to export responses. It has a very simple interface and seems to do ‘as it says on the tin’ rather than having lots of extras but the beauty of the app is likely to be the simplicity of use. For schools with 1:1 ipads or where all students have access to some form of electronic device this looks like it could be a useful additional app for the response system toolkit!

There is quick introduction video which gives an overview here:

Stick Pick – App for supporting questioning in the classroom

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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).

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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.

Using your iPad as a Digital Visualiser / Document Camera

Picture1Stage: Interactive Whiteboard and Document Camera is a fantastic app from Belkin International Education with great potential for extending the way you present and prepare material in the classroom, enhancing teaching and learning. You can sketch over live videos, students work, photographs etc. in realtime and record or take snapshots. You can also wirelessly stream content (using Airplay / Airserver) to the whiteboard – so combines the benefits of a document camera with the flexibility and interactivity of an IWB. A more detailed summary is available here and the tutorial video below shows you the potential of the Belkin Stage app – it certainly gets you thinking of lots of different ways it could be put to use in the classroom.

The interface is very simple to use with two menus – one either side (these are fully explained in the video above). It is possible to write on a whiteboard or blackboard background, annotate live video or annotate a photograph. At any time screenshots of your annotations can be taken and it is also possible to record all the actions.

The app is currently free with just a £1.40 in-app purchase if you want to activate the ‘record’ function (which is really useful)

I have only just started playing with the Belkin Stage app but can already see the potential is fantastic and can’t wait to discuss ideas with colleagues in school from across curriculum areas. It is also a fantastic tool for maximising benefits to teaching and learning in a 1 iPad classroom.

Some possible ideas which I hope to add to are…
1. AFL – take a picture of student work – and using AirServer project to board – annotate and assess as a class to identify aspects of good work / how could improve.

2. Science lab – recording a demonstration live, used in conjunction with AirServer so that the video is projected on to the board so that all students can see – the teacher can be discussing what is going on and even annotating / highlighting aspects of what is on screen to help focus students. The whole thing can be recorded and then uploaded to the school’s VLE or wikispaces etc. for students to access later for revision or homework.

3. create little ‘mini-tutorials’ e.g. for science / maths / geography etc.. during (or even before) the lesson to be uploaded to the VLE / blogs or even to be used as part of a lesson.

4. creating screencast type resources for use in the ‘flipped classroom’

This youtube video (Why use Belkin’s Stage app to create lessons?) also starts to explore the potential of Stage by looking at how it makes the most of the camera function of the iPad to bring learning to life in a visual way.