Apple are unveiling the new iPhone and, while they are holding off from launching the new iPad for another event later in the year, it gives us an opportunity to see the new iOS 7 in operation. (iOS is the operating system that both iPad and iPhones work off)
Many are expecting the highlight of the event to be about a fingerprint sensor in the home button of the iPhone, and while this move will mean improved security (it will be interesting to see if this will have a huge impact on mobile phone theft!) The real star of the show, for me, will be Airdrop. User's will be able to share files with other supported devices (other iPads or Mac computers running OS X 10.7 or later) simply by selecting the user and 'dropping' the file. There is no requirement for any configuration or even a Wifi network. (Imagine students being able to hand up their homework files from their iPad without a simple click.)
Many of the inbuilt apps are getting a makeover, and will look cleaner and brighter.
The Search feature will be accessed by pulling down with one finger from the Home screen. While the Multitasking bar is replaced by giving you a preview of your previously opened apps and screens.
A Control Center - accessed by swiping up from the bottom of the screen - gives you quick control over the things you do every day, making them easier and faster to do.
iCloud Keychain - Lots of things you do on the web require passwords. Now iCloud can remember your account names, passwords, and credit card numbers for you. And Safari will enter them automatically whenever you need to sign in to a site or shop online. It works on all your approved iOS 7 devices and Mac computers running OS X Mavericks. And with 256-bit AES encryption, it’s highly secure. With your information encrypted, it cannot be read by Apple.
"Open the door, Get on the Floor, Everybody walk the Dinosaur..." You know how the song goes! This app isn't about 80's nostalgia but it does allow you to go back in time and explore the globe in it's Proterozoic, Jurassic, Triassic and modern day states - with over 500 species to discover.
The app is beautifully animated, with billions of years covered. There's enough information in here to keep you entertained and informed for a while, and it also links you to further information through Wikipedia- on each of the species covered.
There are more than just dinosaurs covered and it's fascinating to see the evolution of the planet and it's continents over the years.
This wonderfully colourful app will turn any user into a music maestro in a matter of minutes.
Choose from Piano, Guitar or Strings - or alternatively use in app purchases to work with Drums, Bass Guitar and a choice of 2 synth instruments.
The app was designed to play major chords, using three fingers on each hand. (Worth noting that if you have Zoom features enabled on your iPad for accessibility requirements this can cause conflict with the functions of three finger chords!)
Once you have completed your next symphony you can share with friends using email (formatted into .m4v which means you can use it in Garageband and other music apps) or share on social networks including Soundcloud.
The colour patterns appeal visually and have an almost soothing effect when using this app, which is why I think it may also appeal to students with special need requirements.
Entering your email becomes a common task when using your iPad. Signing in and out of apps can slow you down when you need to get on with a job in hand. This simple tip will help you create shortcuts to save you time and effort.
It's pretty obvious from the title what this app is about, but there is a lot more to 'Frog Dissection'. With impressive 3D graphics, videos and other nuggets of fun - this app has loads to offer on our green friends. Learn the differences between Frogs and Toads, compare how Frogs differ to Humans and when you are finsihed exploring the information, perhaps, you could do as the title suggest and discover the inner workings of the frog.
The app obviously saves you from having to perform an actual dissection, but for the additional information and graphics it worth downloading!
Discover some handpicked articles on Animals and Plants, History, People and Inventions. This intuitive and informative app, is packed full of interesting articles on over 500 subjects. Test your general knowledge with the built in Quiz, or just let your fingers do the exploring through flash cards or throughout the globe.
Content is downloaded with the app, so no internet connection is required to enjoy the app once it is downloaded.
I posted this to my Twitter during the weekend, but for those who haven't joined Twitter or who are not following me here it is. Remember the changes you make here will reflect in any app that utilises your Calendar (which is quite a lot!) Very useful for Gaeilgeoirs and Language teacher alike. Click on the image below to enlarge it and feel free to share with other.
Colourful and engaging!
Bring peace of mind to a student or child's internet use, using Metacert app. This safe internet browser, allows parents and teachers to set up restricted sites and three levels of protection. As a browser it is nice and quick, and the interface is straightforward.
From adult sites, social networking , image and video sharing sites and any other you would like to block access to. You can customise to block specific sites, literally at the touch of button.
Kids Scramble Word Game Review - Submitted by Lucy Price @lucyyyprice
With bountiful educational apps to choose from, it’s a tedious task to find which one will be the best tools to recommend to your students. If you’re handling preschoolers, we suggest you look for word-image applications that will help build their vocabulary and enhance their language skills. Based on K12 Reader’s articles, “sight acquisition is an important building block in the construction of a child’s ability to read.”
One of the highly recommended apps for toddlers and preschoolers is the Kid Scramble Word Game. This application requires basic mobile teaching tools. Apart from the game, the Verizonwireless’ techie teacher checklist includes any mobile device (smartphone or tablet), Wi-Fi connection and a projector that can receive wireless data from your gadget.
What to expect from the word app
·It has three levels of mastery: Easy, Medium and Difficult
·An interactive spelling game with over 500 frequently used words in its database
·Colorful User Interface (UI) with attractive fonts and pictures
How it encourages learning
·Children can use the app independently. They can arrange and rearrange letters to form the correct word.
·The words are easily recognized by students and are appropriate to their learning level.
·It also uses unique sounds and pictures of items and animals such as “Ribbit” from a frog.
·Each level has an extensive word bank that keeps all the words they’ve guessed.
·The app makes use of sight words (image to word connection) to develop the children’s reading and pronunciation skills.
· It has positive remarks when you complete a stage such as “Congratulations! You did it!” along with a clapping sound.
Using the app to learn read with correct pronunciation
Most of the words that were used in the application are present in a child’s verbal vocabulary. Associating it with images can help them learn words faster. When using it in the classroom, you can ask the whole class to answer the stages, instead of picking one student. But you have to remember the following:
· Choose a level that is appropriate to your students’ age, spelling and reading levels.
· To make it more engaging, ask each student a letter until they complete the word on the screen.
· Once the word is complete on the board, you can ask another student to repeat the term with correct enunciation and pronunciation.
· You can also ask each student to recite it one by one, in order for you to gauge who needs assistance.
There are other applications similar to the Kid Scramble Word Game. But, we highly recommend this application for language preschool teachers who wants assistance from digital tools. You can also recommend this app for parents, so their kids will be able to practice whilst at home. Remember, learning is a never ending process. Thus it's best to always be open to changes such as adapting to the mobile learning world.
Have you tried the app we just recommended? Do you have other applications that you want to share with our fellow teachers? Share them with us.
About The Author:
Lucy Price loves writing about new technology, blogging, gigs and music and the latest gadgets. Her other passions include cars and she also maintains a passion for cooking.
The countdown to Exam time has well and truly begun so here is a list of some useful websites and apps to help you get the most from your time.
Practice makes perfect?
Mocks.ie is a website, that also has a very useful app. (Watch the TME demo here) On this you can view mock papers, revision notes, information about orals, career guidance as well as some discounts. While there are elements of this app and service that you do need to pay for, there are plenty of free materials to help get you started. You can access both Junior Cert and Leaving Cert past papers, listen to Aural Exams, Test yourself with Multiple Choice Questions as use the Timetable and Study planner to get you off to a great start with your study plans!
This is an Irish Company focussing specifically at the Irish Curriculum.
Clevernotes is a Folens company, with a long history in providing educational content. This website gives you access to engaging interactive content, exam preparation tips and is focussed on the Irish Curriculum. Contributors to the notes include Irish textbook authors, experienced teachers, examiners and subject matter experts.
If maths has been you weak area, then this fantastic site may be all you need to improve! Covering all 5 strands of Project Maths, including ordinary level and higher level. With interactive exercises, video lessons and online support all designed to help you ace your maths exams.
Regardless of what topic or level you are learning, examtime.com puts some powerful tools at your disposal to help you improve your study. You can use features like Mind maps, flash cards and what I really love about this site is that you can share study notes, so that you can collaborate on your study! Learn more here
One of our favourite apps on www.tme.ie is Shakespeare in Bits. (Click on the icon to the left to be brought to the demo). Not only can you get your Shakespeare plays here, the app is rich in features that make studying and understanding the text, so much easier. Study notes are provided for each scene along with key themes, language, and imagery. You can take your own notes in the app itself, or just look at the character maps!
Poetry Beo - is for Leaving Cert Irish Poetry Study. Includes texts, subtitled video and audio recorded performances, study notes, quick revision memos, sample questions, a game, and English translations of the meanings. Ideal for the oral as well as written exams.
One of the most popular mind maps out there, and it is easy to see why, is Popplet. (Click on the icon to the left to be brought to the demo). Popplet's super simple interface allows you to move at the speed of your thoughts. With Popplet you can capture your ideas, sort them visually, and collaborate with others in realtime. Quickly and easily! You can also sign-up for an online account to work on your popplets in any Flash-enabled web browser.
Also in the Mind map genre of apps is iThoughtsHD, allowing you to sort your ideas and notes. You can export your map as an email, so creating a logical flow to your information becomes easier. This type of app really supports different learning styles and can be very useful to allow you to plan out how you will write essays etc.
If you are still struggling and feel you need the benefit of some grinds, check out www.onlinegrinds.ie. Grinds are delivered by teachers, in the comfort of your own home and are very reasonably priced.
At some stage in your life you are going to need to keep track of scores or multiple things at once. Whether it's keeping score in a quiz, a match, counting up loose change, surveys, voting and informal elections or tracking calories.
TallyPad is a fully customizable counter for iPad or iPhone. With so many areas in the app that can be changed, to suit your needs, its uses are only limited by your imagination. It came to my attention from a PE teacher who was using it to examine a rugby team and how many times different things occured throughout their games. He was able to quickly present their stats to them at half time, which made them focus more in the second half of the match.
Not only can you customise what you are counting, you can give different values to different motions within the app so a vertical swipe may add 10 points to a score, while a horizontal swipe may take away 10. You get to choose the values. TallyPad implements AV Out and AirPlay Mirroring with AppleTV. You can display your tallies on an external screen! This is great for keeping score at sporting events, family game night, or displaying items on a television in the classroom, and it all looks very slick!
Because TallyPad saves all your custom-named tallies, you can keep track of a virtually unlimited number of tallies and come back to them later.
Technology is amazing! Right at our fingertips there is so much content available to us to find and enjoy. We all (well most) agree that it is wrong to steal other people's stuff. Yet, as teacher's, student's and/or parents, we are also aware of the temptation to copy and paste some work and present it as our own, especially, when deadlines are looming and other things in life still have to be done! Most frequently, plagiarism is done with no ill intent or quite innocently by simply not quoting sources or attributing quotation marks. So how do we avoid it?
This week, in the US, a campaign to highlight the importance of originality in academic work is kicking off. Some great tips for teachers are being shared (with consent and acknowledgement) from the likes of plagiarism.org, writecheck.com and turnitin.com to name but a few.
You can access student posters, links, and some useful videos to share with your classes. I particularly like this one from writecheck.com, which tries to explain why Wikipedia is not necessarily considered a reputable source by many. The aim is to promote an understanding of why copying is considered wrong, even when it's not over the shoulder of the person beside you.
If you are interested in getting copyright for your own material, you should check out www.numly.com. If you submit work to them, they create an electronic serial number to prove your copyright. If you are using a mac you can download the free Widget to your desktop (although you will still need to have an account!) Download the widget here
For more information and useful links check out: http://www.plagiarism.org
Here is a list of online websites that will assist in identifying plagiarism, and have additional support materials to help you teach your class about plagiarism:
http://www.plagiarisma.net They also have an app available on Google Play (Android only)
If you are looking for an app and are using a Mac laptop, there is an app called Novus Scan. I have yet to try this out myself as I tend to use one of the web based services.
If you are interested in this article why not also read/watch Common Sense Media.
Focus on Plant is a nice and detailed app that allows a student/teacher to examine Plant Biology.
Covering Plant Structures, Plant Cells, Physiology and Life cycle in detail, users can delve deeper into each section to reveal more detail along with animation. It has an impressive Auditory Glossary so you can get some assistance with pronouncing scientific terms.
Useful for Biology Teachers, students or anyone with a general interest in botany.
Try and solve math problems as fast as you can to beat your personal best. Quick Math is a great game app that will keep young and old brain's ticking!
It has a handwriting recognition feature, which allows you to jot down your answer directly on the iPad screen. You can choose from game types and levels. The game will remember your personal best and you can set up multiple player profiles so it is useful for teachers using a singular iPad in a classroom.
This is, by far, one of my favourite apps at the moment. I have always personally struggled to write essays, and when I take notes I usually look back over them wondering what I was referring to. Mind maps have been incredibly useful to me to help structure my thinking and allowing me to flesh out those random thoughts that pop into my head from time to time.
For those of you already familiar with Mind Maps they are useful in education, brainstorming, thinking, meeting, planning, problem solving, communications and note taking etc. It is often used for students with different learning styles to assist in their learning.
This app gives the user the potential to use them in many ways. From presenting using mind maps, to sharing them in cloud services, and also email them to yourself (which lays the mind map out in a very easy to understand layout, so much so I actually surprised myself that I took such diligent notes!) I will be honest and say I dived straight into the app without looking at any help menu's or tutorials and found the basics straight forward enough, however, some thing were not so intuitive. They are still very easy to do and once I watched the video above I felt like a pro using the app. Rather than recreate the video, here it is for your own benefit!