App, How-To, iPad, Recording

Story Telling with the iPad (Video) (Shadow Puppet App)

In one of my lessons students were tasked with understanding a tricky topic, in this case the three major belief systems of Feudal Japan.

To aid in this we used a concept of telling a story with pictures. Essentially students did some research on the topic. Students then created a small script and storyboard. The next task was to find a series of images that could be used to help explain their story. Finally, students recorded a voice over to the images and could zoom in and out and highlight key areas.

It was a great tactile and visual way to research, understand and share their findings.

In this case I am focusing on the free App Shadow Puppet, however this concept could easily be used in a variety of apps such as Keynote, iMovie and more.

Get the app here

For more Connected Classroom Lessons please head to my Connected Classroom Blog!

Uncategorized, WordPress

Homework is done between 4 & 6 right?

Scrolling through the list below you can see that what was the typical homework time for students when I was at school (not that long ago) has radically changed. Using a blog allows students to respond when best suits them, again helping you teach more effectively.

Tess says:
August 6, 2013 at 6:34 pm
Elizabeth says:
August 6, 2013 at 9:52 pm
Jesse says:
August 7, 2013 at 4:50 pm
Abi Reynolds says:
August 7, 2013 at 7:54 pm
~Aleyshia~ says:
August 8, 2013 at 9:17 pm 
Phu Pham says:
August 9, 2013 at 8:58 pm 
Clay says:
August 9, 2013 at 9:35 pm
Mirella says:
August 10, 2013 at 2:26 pm
Freddddd says:
August 10, 2013 at 6:21 pm
Continue reading

The Connected Classroom Presentation – 20 minute speed run (Video)

I gave a quick overview of the Connected Classroom presentation to staff of Braemar College. As I only had 20 minutes I used it as an overview of what I have been getting up to. Hopefully this will work to one of my key points, exposure. The talk was then backed up with a bunch of online resources so staff could begin the other important step, training.

The video below is of the presentation, followed by links to the online resources supplied. – This will be the main resource. – A visual overview (Also PDF attached for those using an iPad)
An iTunes U course that focuses on the iPad:
Some examples of use in a class setting:

Workshop: Post 16 – On to the students…

Screen-Shot-2013-07-10-at-2.48.35-PMMost of this workshop has been about how can you better serve your students and parents. Well, time to turn it around, how can your students better serve you?

The more students use the platforms we have discussed today the more the will become familiar with its use and advantages. They can start with a simple Digital Portfolio, a record of their work and accomplishments throughout the year. Get them to upload videos of their work, Projects, Assignments, Comments, and more. Students can get feedback on their work, Have discussion groups the list goes on and you can easily follow their work and tie it into your own blog and assessment tools.

This is where a whole school approach is key. I can see the benefit of a student in my class using social and connected media but if they could take this to every class, use these skills in every class and know their teacher will support and encourage this not only will it be key in personalising learning, letting students find a way of working that they feel strongest in but it has the power to change the way students interact, engage, and share learning.



Workshop: Post 15 – Evernote

762419252I use my blog as the main platform for connecting with students and parents, but what if you wanted to share personal information such as student comments, work, results etc.

This is where I use evernote. I won’t go into the details on how you can use evernote as a whole in the classroom and to make life and assessment easier for you (though I will if you corner me) as there are other workshops dedicated to that.

Screen-Shot-2013-07-10-at-3.19.42-PMInstead I want to focus on how you can use is to connect directly with parents and allow them to follow the progress of their children. Information is up to date, can be accessed from anywhere and could make Parent / Teacher nights a thing of the past! You can link this information into what you have been doing on your blog to give parents even more resources (and you don’t need to re-do the work)

Here is a quick example student to check out. This is a public link so it can be viewed by you all but I create private links and can invite and allow only certain people to view, follow and add their own notes if needed.

The below video gives you a very quick run-through of my setup:

Recording, YouTube

Workshop: Post 15 – Record, record, record…


cameraI am sure I have said it enough by now but I can’t stress the importance and the benefits from simply pressing a button. I’m sure you have finished a class once and thought to yourself “wow, that really went well, I wish I could let others see that”, now you can. Even if you record a whole class and it only gets one view by a student that was absent, that is one enough!

Student revision, student absences, saving time before class, flipping the classroom, parent feedback, assessment, accountability, engagement, etc, etc, all of this you can achieve with a click of a button before class.

Just remember, you are also putting yourself out there, are you happy to be put on show?

Here are just a few examples from the last few weeks of last term…

iBooks, iBooks Author, iPad, iTunes U, Recording

Workshop: Post 14 – In the Classroom

classroomOnce you get familiar with all the tools at your disposal it is now time to unleash them on the students!

There are of course a lot more resources I use in the classroom, each dependent on what I want out of it (like the popplets and padlets you have used today, interactive Keynotes, thinking routines and much more) and a lot I just make up on the fly!

I have found that students will take up this challenge and run with it. Their knowledge and ease of adapting to what ever you throw at them is great, BUT, using these tools also comes with some risk. With any form of social or online media these are the tools that your students use everyday, probably not in this regard, but they expect a certain level of service. For example if you setup a blog with resources for students to use when at home and expect them to comment, then they would expect a reply, ASAP! You need to be ready and willing to do this. As I have said before the point of using this technology is not only for the benefit of students but also for you and once you have a system in place you will see the benefits, both in saving you time and student engagement.  There is a bit of a learning curve, and you need to be a few steps ahead of the students every time but soon you can make this a part of your daily routine and incorporate it into how you plan, structure and run your classes.

For example whenever I begin to plan a new lesson I try to think about all the possibilities to incorporate the things we have looked at today.

I will create all my lessons in iBooks Author because I know I can then easily send these to students, make them accessible online for those absent, and give them to other teachers to run without needed extra resources.

I record ‘how-to’ videos on the blog beforehand for lessons I know would take some explaining to do in class so this saves me time and I don’t have to repeat myself (if students were away they know to follow the blog and watch these videos at home)

cameraEvery time I step into a class I record everything. It only takes a second to start recoding the lesson on my laptop or iPad. I may never use it but just having it there is the key. Great lesson? Had some great responses from the students? — Put them on the blog. Students away? — Upload the lesson to the blog. All this becomes part of my day.

I think the biggest advantage of all of this is freedom, for both students and the teacher. When I know students have all the resources at their fingertips I am confident in letting them go, work things out for themselves, and most importantly, work in a style that best suits them.

weatherI brought up an example earlier about a project on reading Weather Maps. This was a class that I knew students understood (from the comments on the blog) had all the resources they needed (I created an interactive iBook for the class) and the knowledge to create the final product (I put up a video of how to use iMovie for the iPad on the blog they watched a few nights before [confirmed by looking at the analytics] — this was a video I created for another class but I knew I had it and it would work perfectly in this situation  saving me time).

Armed with all of this I just let them go.

Below are some of the results. Through the use of the blog, YouTube and the iBook students had all the resource and knowledge at the start of the lesson. These final  videos were completed in just one lesson.

Note: You can download this entire lesson as an iTunes U course here: (open on your iPad)