Many people are buzzing about the new iPhone and its new OS called iOS 5. iOS 5 provides iDevices with 200+ new features. Many of the new features are related to accessibility which can benefit users with various physical impairments. Here is a great post from one of our friends by Apple Distinguished Educator, Luis Perez at http://luisperezonline.com/2011/10/19/overview-of-new-accessibility-features-in-ios-5/. Luis points out how features not listed under Accessibility in iOS 5 can be used in the classroom with students.
Let us know what you think of these new features!
At the iteach lounge at the University of South Florida, we are always looking for easy to use apps for iPads that allow teachers to quickly and easily create educational content. Two apps we have recently compared are ScreenChomp by TechSmith and ShowMe app by Easel. Both are essentially doodling apps that allow the student/teacher to record their voice. After recording your drawing and voice the individual to upload their to the “cloud”. Each app has its own cloud type storage service that will generate a link to be shared with other students, teachers family and friends. ShowMe requires the individual to create an account prior to being able to upload the video to the cloud.
ScreenChomp has a few more sharing options by harnessing the Facebook and Twitter networks from within the app as well as providing in app email and open in Safari app support.
ScreenChomp also does not require a login to allow students or teachers to begin making videos and sharing them online. This also means your videos are open to the public provided they have the link. ShowMe app provides a “private” upload, but this just means the video is not listed in it’s website directory. I will say that once you are on showmeapp.com, you can share that link to Facebook, Twitter, Myspace, email, and webpage embed.
Another feature of Screenchomp is that it allows you to download the video as a MPEG-4 file. Now you can add this to your iTunes, YouTube.com, or other podcasting service.
Both of these apps could be used by students or teachers to explain certain visual concepts or tasks such as math or science equations. Students can also use these apps for think aloud exercises. Both apps also allow the individual to add a picture from their photo library, allowing one to annotate over a picture or diagram.
Have you used these apps? What do you think of these apps or other interactive whiteboard apps for tablet pcs (iPad, zoom, tab, etc.) in education?
Streamlining your learning with technology makes education work seamlessly from any of your devices whether it is an iPhone, iPod, iPad, or the computer. There are an overwhelming number of apps available for students to try as part of their work process.
Some resources that are valuable and worthwhile whether you are a freshman or working on your doctorate that we recommend are:
1. GoodReader for iPad: GoodReader is a mulit-tasking tool that supports large text and PDF files, syncs with remote servers, and works with .doc, .ppt, .xls, iWork, HTML and Safari webarchives, high resolution images, and audio and video. This app, also allows you the opportunity to annotate your documents or PDF’s, manage the files, transfer files, sync files and folders, zoom, do a text search, and do a quick hyperlink search in your PDF’s. Cost: $4.99
2. Tap-Dictionary: Works with the Safari web browser and gets dictionary definitions with the tap of a finger. This app will not make you switch applications to find the definition. It instantly finds the definition while you browse the web. Tap-dictionary will pronounce the word in 56 different languages. Cost: $.99
3. Remember the Milk: This utility app lets you take your to do list anywhere. There are a variety of versions for the iPod, iPhone,and iPad. The app also works with your online version that you sync with your calendars at rememberthemilk.com This app lets you add and complete tasks on the go, sync with your online version, organize priorities, due dates, search, receive reminders by email SMS and IM and much more. Cost: Free
4. Dropbox: Once you download this feature to your computer and purchase the app on your iPad or iPhone you have the ability to save and open or share documents, photos, or videos anywhere and at anytime. The best thing about the dropbox account is that you can save, share, or email anything from or to the dropbox account at any time. Cost: Free
5. Dropvox: Dropvox records audio and sends it directly to your dropbox account. It can be used to capture any audio (e.g. interviews, memos, or lectures, ets.) In addition, you can set the audio to start recording immediately when dropvox is launched or continue recording in the background. Cost: $1.99
Taken from Dr. Blog, PhD., this site shares information about apps for research with a focus on obtaining a PhD., but has many apps that are valid for everyone.
One of the most difficult things you can do academically is to get a PhD degree. There are a lot of tough tasks you have to complete in order to be awarded this high degree — including writing research papers. Indeed, anyone on a Ph.D. track knows that it is impossible to get through your schooling without writing several papers. And, of course, a Ph.D. dissertation is a research paper on a massive scale.
If you are looking for ways to improve your ability to write research papers, you are in luck. Technology makes it simple to get help with research papers. If you have an iPad, you can get help writing your research paper.” –from http://www.phddegree.org/
The link for this site is: http://www.phddegree.org/top-20-ipad-apps-to-help-you-write-a-research-paper.html
The college of education at the University of South Florida recently launched an initiative to advance pre-service teachers knowledge of emerging technologies in the classroom. The iteach initiative recently focusing on Apple products, has provided it’s students with workshops from Apple certified educators focusing on multimedia creation and optimizing lessons for consumption on the iPad. Workshops provided hands on experience using Apple’s iLife suite and Dashcode as well as other educational technologies. At the university level USF has made decisions to benefit the students as a whole but also benefits students who are iPad users or are thinking of buying an iPad.
One of these changes that USF IT has made is providing students access to an apps portal. Now students can access a wide array of popular programs such as Adobe CS5 Master Collection, Atlas T.I., Maya 2010, Mathimatica 7 and many others from any computer with an Internet connection. The university uses a citrix system that students can connect to by pointing their web browser to apps.usf.edu.
A benefit of using the apps portal, besides access to expensive software, students can begin working on projects on a machine on campus and still access their same project at home on their personal machines. Imagine you begin building a website for your communications class while on a campus machine and being able to finish your project at home. Or say you begin qualitative analysis project in Atlas T.I., which you couldn’t afford to buy, you can finish it anywhere anytime you are connected to the apps portal.
All of the applications available on the USF Apps Portal can also be accessed on the students iPad. Click the link below to configure your iPad to use the apps portal.
Some applications do not lend themselves to working nicely on the iPad. You may not want to create complex vector graphics in Adobe Illustrator thru the portal, but you can easily edit your documents, write programs, or analyze data on the iPad.
The apps portal is essentially just allowing students the ability to screen share to a server to access the applications. You will want to have a reliable and fast Internet connection to use the portal. The university provides storage space for students to save their files on the server. Students can have up to 4GB of storage space to save their files and create websites. USF has also been a Google University for the past few years. Now that Google has opened up Google Docs to editing on the iPad, this also provides students another avenue to create and share content on their iPad.