Whether it’s something you get at the start of a new school year, or a perhaps a present for your birthday or Christmas – if you have a new smartphone, tablet or laptop the following may provide suggestions which may be helpful to you.
1. All Falkirk pupils and education staff are entitled to FREE Microsoft Office for use at home and on mobile devices – this works on all mobile devices and PCs (on multiple devices per person) – the following link describes how to get it:
2. Keeping safe – the UK Government’s National Cyber Security Centre has provided links to how-to guides from mobile device manufacturers to steps to keeping safe with a mobile device https://www.ncsc.gov.uk/guidance/securing-your-devices as well as 5 Simple Steps everyone can take to help provide protection for users https://www.ncsc.gov.uk/blog-post/staying-smart-with-your-christmas-gadgets.
3. The BBC OwnIT app has been designed to help keep children safe online. Please consider sharing this with parents/carers using Twitter, a school newsletter and on the school website – click here for a link to @BBC_Teach Twitter video from Prince William explaining about the app
Here’s a link to more information about the app on the BBC website: https://www.bbc.com/ownit/take-control/own-it-app
In a classroom it’s often handy to be able to connect an iPad to the class projector or digital display panel so that what’s on the iPad can be shared with a whole class of learners. There are different ways to connect an iPad to a classroom projector. The least expensive way is to use an adapter to directly connect the iPad to the cable which connects to the projector. The Sway below illustrates how to do that (using a VGA to lightning adapter, but note that some classrooms may have a need to use a different adapter, such as HDMI to lightning adapter, depending on the projector or digital display connection.
Alternatively if you have Apple TV this could connect wirelessly with devices in the classroom – the teacher connects first and sets a password each time to stop subsequent pupils accessing – because it’s in room only, and only for each time session actually in use, a teacher can see username of any user if they attempt connection. Note that the device and the projector or digital display screen need to be on the same wireless connection (which is often not the case for classroom PCs to be on wifi therefore there may still be a need for a switch device to avoid having to disconnect and connect the chosen device to be displayed on screen.
The Sway below illustrates how to connect Apple TV to an iPad
Getting Going with iPads in the Classroom – if you have recently got one or more iPads to use in your clsssroom you may find useful the Sway presentation at the link below:
This provides step-by-step guidance, illustrated with photographs and screenshots, for the teacher who is looking to get started using the iPad in the classroom: from how to switch on the iPad; how to take photographs (including different tools within the built-in iPad camera app); how to edit and add annotations on photographs in the inbuilt iPad photos app; using the various features on the inbuilt iPad clock app; how to connect an iPad to a classroom projector (whether via direct cable connection or via Apple TV); how to share content from an iPad with others (whether using the inbuilt iPad AirDrop feature or uploading via browser to OneDrive cloud storage); how to capture images or video of what’s shown on an iPad screen; how to use guided access to restrict learner access for a period of time to specific tools; and much more.
The above blogpost also includes a Sway full of examples of the use of iPads in classrooms in Falkirk Council educational establishments.
Mobile Learning – CLPL Workshop – Resource. If your school is looking to introduce all staff to embedding the use of mobile devices to support learning and teaching in your school then there is a guide available which could be useful as the basis for a Career-Long Professional learning session with all staff. This is available from the Digital Learning Community site (supported by Scottish Government and Education Scotland).
The aim of this resource is to improve the understanding of approaches to mobile learning. The guide itself is aimed at whoever might be leading the session with colleagues, perhaps in a training role, and provides a scripted framework and resources (including a PowerPoint presentation) both of which can be adapted to local need) ready to use for a 2-hour workshop for practitioners that allows for a high level of discussion and interaction.
Creative iPad Apps for Classroom by Jonathan Wylie – a post which lists a host of apps tried and tested in the classroom by an experienced teacher. Jonathan has selected the apps which he has found most useful in the classroom, and has grouped the apps by the type of creative output being sought, namely video, photograph, graphic design, audio, digital storytelling, and sketching. Jonathan then lists each app and provides a short description.
What creative iPad apps have you found most useful in the classroom?
Use Voice Dictation to save time on an Android, iPhone or iPad – built in to mobile devices is the facility to use a dictation tool so that, simply by speaking into the device’s microphone, your spoken words are transcribed into text in any application where text can be entered.
This can be helpful for learners at any stage, perhaps struggling or reluctant writers or where the mechanics of typing can restrict the flow of ideas. Additionally teachers have found this can be a quicker way to provide textual feedback on work submitted by learners.
The dictation tool will work anywhere you can add text via the mobile device, such as email, word-processed document, OneNote notebook, Powerpoint presentation or form.
The link below on the How-To Geek site gives details explanations of how to set up and use the dictation facility on an Android device or iPhone of iPad.
32 augmented reality apps for the classroom – Pokémon Go is a gaming environment which for many will be a well-known popular application of augmented reality, where a mobile device camera pointed at a real environment also includes on the screen a superimposed virtual character or object moving along with the real image shown through the camera lens on screen.
But for many educators they will be looking at this and wondering about ways in which augmented reality can be used in the classroom to support learning and teaching. The TeachThought EdShelf website has a post listing 32 apps which make use of augmented reality for different purposes.
Using mobile devices to create videos – a blog by the University of Derby’s Technology Enhanced Learning Team and other practitioners to provide a step by step guide to basic video creation using mobile devices and online editing software, to help you create informative educational videos. Through a series of short videos this is divided into sections including Planning your video, Filming with your mobile device, Camera techniques, Editing, and Case study example. Each of these sections is then broken down into parts so that you would readily be able to find the information most relevant to your needs, or to work through parts in sequence, whichever you or a group of learners would find most useful.
So whether it’s instructional explainer videos or video log diary reflections this blog has advice, tips and guidance for anyone setting out to use their mobile device to create and share a video.
Must have accessories – a post on the excellent iTeach site which gives suggestions for accessories to complement the use of mobile devices in a classroom.
These accessory recommendations include a green screen for using with video-creation apps in order to make characters appear to be in different background scenes, or a mini-drone for programming to fly, a tripod kit which provides a mechanism to hold a tablet or smartphone mobile device for steadier filming(or to hold the device when using an app to present text in auto-cue fashion, or microphones for better audio recordings with a specific focus, a table-clamp stand to hold a tablet or smartphone mobile device for creating stop-motion animation films, and a clamp to hold a tablet or smartphone mobile device when using as a visualiser.
Though these recommendations from iTeach can be purchased through the iTeach site there are, of course, alternatives which can be purchased through a school’s normal suppliers.
What accessories would you use in your classroom to extend the use of tablet or smartphone mobile devices to better support learning and teaching?
Transitioning into an era of mobile learning – a blogpost by Ontario educator Christina Moore setting out the case for, and the benefits to be gained by, having pupils using their own mobile devices used to support learning in the classroom. The blogpost suggests different ways in which mobile devices can be used in the classroom and also provides links to additional sources of information expanding on these ideas.