Monday, November 18, 2013

Creating instructional videos on the iPad

Today we compared a few apps which can be used to create short video lessons on the iPad. These apps could be used by teachers and students alike. All of the apps we looked at allow you to insert images, text and markup on one or more "pages" and record your voice over it then save it as a video. We took a brief look a ScreenChomp and ShowMe but didn't find them as good as these three.

Knowmia has the most options. We liked that you can import PDFs but we found it less intuitive.
·        Knowmia – Import visuals, organize them in steps, and record your voice and face to bring them to life.

Overall, Explain Everything was our favorite app of the bunch. It is really easy to use and super quick to export to YouTube for sharing. Here is the movie I created with Explain Everything.
·        ExplainEverything – Annotate, animate, and narrate explanations and presentations.

Educreations is so simple Kindergartners use it! We like that the app has featured videos to give you some ideas. Here is the short movie I created with Educreations.
·        Educreations – Create and share amazing video lessons with your iPad or browser.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

iPhone and iPad Photography

Here are some notes from the iPhone Photography workshop if you missed it. Thanks to Jeanette from the Faculty Technology Center for a great workshop.

Have fun with these tips!
  • For inspiration – take a look at the iPhone Photography Awards site 
  • For some cool features - install Camera Awesome app (see below)
  • For flexibility - find the Apple earbuds/headphones that came with your iPhone; the volume controls can also be used as a shutter release  - for more information, see this article on Ways to Release the iPhone’s Shutter
  • For composition help – use the rule of thirds, golden spiral, or trisec to compose interesting photos

 iphone/ipad/andriod Camera app
  • You can turn on a grid so it is easier to use the rule of thirds to compose a picture (you may have to turn on the grid under Settings > Camera)
  • Touch the screen to focus on a part of the picture
  • Takes picture on release of shutter button (unless you use one of the other ways in the article above) so you can hold it down and let go when you want to snap the picture
  • Don't use digital zoom, but instead crop to the size you want after
  • HDR on/off-  Apple's HDR combines three images taken in quick succession to put the best parts of the images together into a shot that brings out details in both the shadows and the highlights.
  • Across the top: 
    • settings allow you to choose defaults and connect to photo sharing services
    • touch the grid icon for different composition options
    • effects (can be done post production too)
    • use the level on the end to be sure you're holding your camera level
  • Touch the screen with one finger to get focus square
  • Touch the screen with two fingers to get an exposure square as well that you can move around to change the exposure
  • At the bottom: 
    • use the arrow to choose items such as image stabilization, burst options, timers
  • Post production
    • Touch the thumbnail picture on the bottom left to see pictures you've taken with Camera Awesome and then use the magic wand button to "awesomize" - drag the awesomize slider, check out the transform (crop), presets, filters, textures and frames
    • When done editing, touch done and then export to camera roll or another photo sharing service or trash the photo (the "i" button gives you information about the photo)

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Apps to Support Bloom's Taxonomy

In lieu of another iPUG meeting during this busy time of year, here are some iPad apps organized by learning category for you to check out when you need a break from grading. Educational Technologist, Kathy Schrock, updated her list of iPad apps and how they fit into the levels of Bloom's Taxonomy. She also revised the visual to resemble the interlocking of the cognitive processes as you can see below. 

image of ipad apps in Bloom's taxonomy areas

Take a look at Kathy's Bloomin' Apps page: Scroll down and look for the Bloomin' Apps iPad edition. As an example, the Skype app falls under Evaluating/Conferencing. Some apps I would like try include Drawing Box Free (Applying/Illustrating), TwitCasting Live (Creating/Videocasting), SimpleMind+ (Remembering/Mindmapping), and Inspiration Maps Lite (Analyzing/Outlining)

Here is something similar my SON (School of Nursing) colleague found: The Padagogy Wheel Developed by Allan Carrington of University of Adelaide

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Haiku Deck iPad App

For all you iPad users who need a break on Thursday for some creative fun…
Join me to try out Haiku Deck, a presentation tool you can use to create presentations on your iPad and share them with anyone to view on any web-enabled device/computer. This free iPad app was listed in numerous places as one of the top apps for education.

“You can use Haiku Deck to tell a story, pitch an idea, share some news, give an update, show your stuff, enliven a meeting, inspire a group, teach a lesson, or ignite a movement…Once you save your Haiku Deck to the web, you can view it on any smartphone, tablet, or computer. You can easily share Haiku Decks via email and your favorite social networks. You can even embed your decks in a blog or export them to Powerpoint or Keynote.”

Note: This is the opposite of what we have been working on, which is to create a PowerPoint presentation on our computer and then find the best way to present it from our iPad.

Here is a practice presentation I just made on my iPad:

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

iPad Mirroring in the Classroom

The Apple TV is working consistently in one of our classrooms for iPad mirroring. (Thanks to our UAA ITS crew for developing a profile that would allow it to work on our wifi network.) So far only a few faculty members are using it. The cool thing is that anyone with an iPad can project their screen from the room, so as more students bring iPads to class, they will be able to share their work this way. I would like to have an iPad mirroring option in all the COE classrooms.

At the ASTE conference, there was buzz about Reflector software, but I haven't been able to get it to work. Interestingly, I came across this article this morning: The 4 Easiest Ways To Mirror The iPad (Comparison Chart). The conclusion here is that "Apple TV gave us the best end user experience. When adding technology to a classroom we want to make the experience as seamless as possible for the teacher and student." 

Friday, March 8, 2013

Tablet Computing: Time to Get on Board

"The tablet itself [is] a portable personalized learning environment." 

Tablet Computing is one of the NMC 2013 Horizon Report's two technologies to watch within the next year for entrance into mainstream teaching, learning, and inquiry.

Note: "The NMC Horizon Report is an unbiased source of information that helps education leaders, trustees, policy makers, and others easily understand the impact of key emerging technologies on education, and when they are likely to enter mainstream use." (

Back at the ranch, the eLearning Workgroup surveyed the UAA student population concerning their mobile computing habits in 2011 and 2012 (and are now gearing up for the 2013 survey).  Each year more than 700 students completed the survey, and 77% of these students are checking email and 70% are accessing Blackboard through their mobile devices (phones and tablets). In the 2012 survey, about 21% of the student respondents own or plan to own a tablet, and another 31% would like to own a tablet.

What does this mean for UAA faculty and staff? First, we need to get comfortable using tablets ourselves. There are so many great productivity apps that are a good place to start (see the previous post). Second, we need to think about how we design our online course materials so they work on a tablet (as the Horizon report points out, "tablets are not a new kind of lightweight laptop, but rather a completely new technology"). Third, allow tablet use in the classroom and begin to develop classroom activities and assessments that utilize mobile technology.

Information and resources on Mobile Computing at UAA (put together by the Faculty Technology Center) is available online at