Printing from the iPads and iDevices to the Photo Copier

AirprintUsusally I don’t encourage printing as I would rather encourage students to publish their work on line either in the ultranet or via blogs.

But occassionally you would like to print out a sign or a card to give someone so I have asked my tech to investigate this. Of course it was easy and in two steps we now can print wirelessly to the photocopier from all idevices. (ipods, ipads and iphones)

Here are the two steps to follow
1. Download and install Bonjour onto your print server

2. Download and install Airprint onto your print server

Make sure the printers you intend to use are using a Postscript driver not PCL.

Hope this works where you are. Previously to this the students would email me their work and then I would print as I have access to the printer.

The posters we have created are to advetise our spaces we are creating in the Ultranet which is our State Government’s student management and learning system.

Adding to global2 from iPad

I have now found out how I can post to the blog from my
iPad or from my iPhone. This will be great as I can post from
anywhere when I have time. To enable this in the WordPress app I
had to go to the blog and login as admin, then go to
setting/writing and select all XML-RPC services. Save changes and
put in the blogs username and password in the WordPress app. This
blog entry is about adding a global2 blog to the WordPress app and
this is my first post as a test. Also select the bottom option in
the wordpress app for Global2 blogs.

Collaborating and sharing files

DropboxLast week we investigated using Dropbox on the iPads so we could hand in and share work.  Before working with the students I had already created a dropbox account for the class.  We are going to share that drop box.

So in class –

First we downloaded the dropbox app.  Next students shared a photo or screen shot they had taken.  We do have an iPod Touch with a camera and use duplicam for students to get a photo on their iPads along with the hundreds of photos available on our school intranet Photo Gallery. Then we discovered that you need to select the photos folder first and then upload the photo.  It is very easy as you tap the camera icon and are sent to your photo gallery.  It couldn’t be easier. So that had photos covered but how can we put keynotes or anything not an image into dropbox?


After some googling I found

This allows you to send an attachment to dropbox via email and we all know that many apps allow you to share via email.  So this will easily allow the students to share and hand in work plus be organised into folders.

By adding the dropbox account details into sendtodropbox you are then given an email address to use to sendto.  The part I liked was that you can set it up so that the subject of the email becomes a folder or looks for a folder with that name to put the attachment into.  You could have the students put their name in the subject and then they would have their own folder or you could put the topic in the subject and that would be the folder.  As long as the attachment is properly saved with topic and student name.

I found that students weren’t naming their keynotes and just leaving them as presentation 2 etc.  So another skill has been learnt and sharing has begun.  Sharing work to have others add to will also be a use of the dropbox folders.  I sent our timetable and now all students have it in their iBooks.  It was sent as a PDF file.

I think dropbox will have some great uses  and it will be interesting to see how it goes for space as we are allowed 2gb per account.  Perhaps the shared folder will be used in the future also. I am yet to find out about the shared folders capabilities.  Do you use dropbox? If you have any ideas please share them as I would love to know how others are using dropbox in the classroom. Teachers can view the files and add comments then students can look again and read comments etc and make changes if necessary.

Of course you can get dropbox on your laptop, desktop and phones so student work can be accessed everywhere/anytime.

Updating iOS and syncing

Last week the new iOs 4.3 was released so I thought we should all update our ipads.  The download is close to 600mbs which too big for wireless to drag down x20 at a time.  So we connected via ethernet and 6 students began downloading the required update. Once the students had logged in to their users on the network they then connected the iPad and selected update in iTunes on the info window.  As downloading began they were looking at over 30 mins to download and so we had to leave them running and come back later.  This was going to take too long.

So plan 2 was put into operation which was used last year to update software.  Once the download is complete the download file can be used by others to update without syncing to different iTunes libraries or downloading the iOS. The file is located in the users library/iTunes/ipad updates/update file.  The file can be copied onto an external drive or onto a shared drive for easy access.

Then the other students who want to use the file login and connect their iPad.  Once iTunes opens it will tell them there is an update available.  They can then hold the option key while they select update.  A browser window will open wanting to find the file.  Students then navigate to the file and boom!  It installs very quickly not like the original download. This process can also be used for the iPods.

We had a student volunteer to update as many ipads for others as he could that afternoon.  So it could actually be done from one account to many iPads.  As it is a free download I can’t see there being any issues with this.

It was interesting as one of the original students who was installing the update disconnected her iPad before it finished and then had an iPad that wanted to connect to iTunes as when new image on the iPad.  Luckily she had backed up to her account and it could be restored from the backup.  A great example of why we backup.

Credit and Syncing to PC

We still have a way to go to get all students up and running with all apps downloaded. One student purchased an app not on the list and used up credit. Hmmm.

We have decided to give the students from last year some more credit ($20) however it will be in a school iTunes account not their home account so we don’t lose the apps. To do this I have created email accounts for each iPad and forwarded them to my email. Then I created iTunes accounts and added the credit. Buying $40 for $30 has worked well and saved a lot of money at 25% off.

Today we synced the iPads back to the school computers. This was a two step process involving authenticating the computer and transfering purchase to this computer. Some student got the transfer message but it only transferred the music. I later remembered the control click on the named iPad in iTunes and then you select transfer purchased items. This time all the apps came into their iTunes library at school. It was interesting as some students had apps that were not purchased by them and then couldn’t authenticate the apps for the computer.

I have found that some students shared their iTunes account last year and reinstalled a previously bought app on another students iPad in return for the downloading of the games apps. This was illegal and has been spoken about at length with the students.

The forwarding of the emails from iTunes is working very well as I can see what the students are downloading from their school accounts. This is very useful also for the bursar keeping up with iTunes credit.
If you go to there is a calendar of itunes cards specials in Australia. I wonder if it works in other countries.

Never on a Friday Afternoon

Have you ever had disasters on Friday afternoon or problems you can’t solve? Then on Monday you come and try again and everything just works? It’s strange how that happens but then some businesses do close early on Fridays because of human errors that occur on Friday afternoons.

Last Friday I had that experience when I was setting up the iTunes accounts for the student iPads and the class set we have purchased. I wanted them all finished by today but eventually decided to call it a day.First iTunes wouldn’t load in one building so I moved to another to download the apps. Then I thought I would go back to the previous building where all the iPads were stored however I needed to be connected to iTUnes so had to bring all the iPads and MB pro back to the other building. Grrr!

So today I had a second go at syncing the iPads with the apps and adding contacts, bookmarks (our school website and our Photo Gallery intranet as icons on the first screen) email addresses and proxy settings along with a dropbox activated account. The class set had silicon covers and soft zip up pouches along with screen protectors. 6 is a great amount of iPads to be working with. I find the number very workable. (I’ll add some pics tomorrow)

I have made each iPad an email account, for the class set ( a grade email account) and the students on the new roll out of iPads(individual accounts) this year. I typed up the student’s name, iPad email account (iTunes user name) and password and put each one in an envelope. The username- email accounts the students are using for iTunes is being forwarded to my account so I can keep a record of what apps they are downloading. This was something that last year wasn’t checked by parents who didn’t use email. (10 or more) The students don’t actually get to use the iPads email account but configure their own email account on the iPad.

We talked about iTunes usernames and passwords and the netiquette for turning away when someone puts in their password. Discussion also centered around what happened last year when someone used some else’s credit. iPads aren’t so secure for typing in passwords as it shows on the keyboard what is being typed.

So all students typed in their details and were then asked to verify their email address. So I quickly checked the emails using webmail and verified the accounts. Then the students downloaded keynote, soundnote and ibooks. (I’ll add a screen shot of apps tomorrow)

This was just a start to the downloading of apps from the list. It took around an hour to have everyone verified. Two students could not access the apps store however they could access the iTunes store which was strange. I wonder why? We will try again tomorrow.

The grade 6 students from last year were searching for evidence of survivors from the New Zealand earthquake. How did they survive? Were there any common circumstances for the people who survived? Create a presentation to share what you have discovered.

So at the end of the day a class set of iPads is ready to go. There will be some excited kids tomorrow. Oh and some excited teachers as I gave them an iPad to take home and play with tonight. Both teachers very happily accepted their present. It will be interesting to see how they got on with the iPads. Both teachers have had little or no experience in using iPads or iPhones.

Here is a list of setting up jobs in some sort of order. Before setup I purchased a $50 iTunes card for each iPad for the students and one for each 6 ipads for the class set. The $50 gift card allows me to download the apps once. Then the account will need to be credited via a credit card as you can’t gift from a gift card.

1. Create an email account for each iPad. I use ipadxx@school domain – Set this to forward to the admin person for the iPads.
2. Create an iTunes account for each iPad and redeem the iTunes gift card.
3. Create a new user/s on the computer/s for the iPads. (The students will sync at home and at school by authorizing the ipad account on the school and home computer)
Step 4-11 Class set of iPads
4. Once in the user account open iTunes and download the apps. You will need to add credit card details to gift apps.
5. Gift the apps to all the other iPads
6. Gift them to the other iPads by using their email address. (These will not be redeemed but the invoice with proof of purchase kept for auditing)
7. For the class set of iPads – Working on the computer add bookmarks to the users account in Safari, add contacts you want listed on the iPad for email. I listed some teachers and the principal so students can send them an email or their work. Create an email account in mail for the iPads (class email)
8. Sync each iPad-apps, contacts, email, bookmarks.
9. On each iPad select a wireless network and configure for the iPads.
10. On each iPad configure dropbox class account (previously create the dropbox account on the web)
11. On each iPad open safari and use bookmarks to add sites to home screen.
12. Put on the screen protector and the silicon cover and then put the ipad in the zip up cover. (All parts are numbered-ipad, cover, cable, power plug etc

Students iPad- these have been named iPad 6 etc before the students got them but not synced.
1. Go to settings and Find the wifi and configure via help on the whiteboard.
2. Go to settings and select mail, follow add account instructions on the whiteboard with teacher. (use screen shots)
3. On the iPad enter the iTunes username and password in the Apps store.
4. Verify email address
5. Download the required apps sign out
6. Sign out
7. Bookmark the school website and photo gallery add to the home screen.
8. Add contacts
9. Add dropbox account details to dropbox app.
10. Send an email to check it is configured properly.
Dont forget to add the screen protector and silicon case. Then put it into the hard shell cases. We added a bag tag with the iPad number to the case and an iPad sticker with the iPad number onto the back of the iPad. Silicon covers are clear so you can see the number through it.

I have an iPhone configuration utility program that I haven’t used yet think I’ll put put on the MB pro and see what it does. I think it may save some time. Come back tomorrow and check out the pics. Time to get some zzzzzzzz.

Trying to be legal but no-one likes to talk about it.

2011 a new year and with it new challenges. This year we have had to restart the iPad trial as the grade 6’s went to year seven at high school. We have 22 grade 5’s coming into the trial (12 existing iPad users now in grade 6)  and have been thinking of how we can best use our money and be legal.

Last year all students were given a $100 iTunes card and the job of creating iTunes accounts at home with their parents. For some this was successful. It relied on parents having time to sit and download the apps, families having broadband and download capabilities and a lot of trust. I ended up having to check all the iPads for the apps they were supposed to have which took a  long time.

As well, now with the grade 6’s gone to high school and the apps being purchased in their family’s account we no longer have access to the apps. So we have had to buy them again. This will not be sustainable in the future to have to rebuy all apps every year.

Last year with each student’s parents downloading the apps it meant we were following the iTunes agreement. I have taken parts of the Apple agreement (Australia) to discuss the legalities as I see them.

“You acknowledge that, because some aspects of the Services, Products, and administration of the Usage Rules entails the ongoing involvement of Apple, if Apple changes any part of or discontinues the Services, which Apple may do at its election, you may not be able to use Products to the same extent as prior to such change or discontinuation, and that, to the full extent permitted by law, Apple shall have no liability to you in such case.”

When we started using iTunes and the apps store in 2008 it was legal to download the app once and sync to as many iPods as you liked. Last year we were told by Apple representatives that it is no longer legal to sync apps to many iPods from one iTunes account at school.

Further to this the agreement now states,
“This license does not allow you to use the Licensed Application on any Apple Device that you do not own or control, and except as provided in the Usage Rules, you may not distribute or make the Licensed Application available over a network where it could be used by multiple devices at the same time. Except to the extent that applicable laws prevent Apple restraining you from doing so, you may not rent, lease, lend, sell, transfer redistribute, or sublicense the Licensed Application and, if you sell your Mac Computer or iOS Device to a third party, you must remove the Licensed Application from the Mac Computer or iOS Device before doing so.”

Are we at school making the application available via the network for multiple devices to use?

We thought about creating an iPod account that could be accessed around the school for all iPods from each computer. We decided against this due to bandwidth and dragging apps across the network. Syncing would be very slow but also it’s illegal.

(i) You may download and sync an App Store Product for personal, noncommercial use on any iOS Device you own or control.
(ii) If you are a commercial enterprise or educational institution, you may download and sync an App Store Product for use by either (a) a single individual on one or more iOS Devices you own or control or (b) multiple individuals, on a single shared iOS Device you own or control. For example, a single employee may use the Product on both the employee’s iPhone and iPad, or multiple students may serially use the Product on a single iPad located at a resource center or library.
(iii) You shall be able to store App Store Products from up to five different Accounts at a time on compatible iOS Devices.”

So the words “on devices you own or control” lead one to think yes we control the devices at school so we should be able to sync the app to all the idevices we control.

But then in the next paragraph educational institutions are explicitly referred to but it also says ….“for use by either (a) a single individual on one or more iOS Devices you own or control.” So we control 30 iPods so does that mean we can sync apps to 30 iPods as we control them? Or does it mean we can only sync an App to each different type of idevice ie ipad, ipod and iphone once and the user can use either of the idevices?

Interpreting the agreement is interesting. However in Australia Apple representatives have told us that each idevice has to have a licence for the app.

So why not keep just syncing one app to 30 iPods? Well digital citizenship is something we are promoting and meant to be modelling to students. Do we condone pirating music, software or copy right issues? No we don’t so we need to make sure we are not pirating apps.

So for 2011 we decided to create school iTunes accounts with an email for each account to receive iTunes receipts and invoices that can be used for auditing. Then we will put credit into each account and download the apps at school. We will authorise the accounts on a school computer and the students will authorise the account to their home computer.

If we were in the US we could use the volume purchasing agreement that is available for education. This would allow us to purchase multiple copies of apps.  But here in Australia ( and UK, NZ and Canada) it is impossible to purchase multiple copies of apps from one account.

At the end of the year when the students hand back their iPads we will sync and deauthorise all computers and reauthorise the school computers and change the password on the iTunes account. Hopefully this will allow us to continue to use the apps next year without repurchasing them.

For our school iPods we are creating an iTunes account for each grade but an email account for all iPods. We will download the apps into the one grade iTunes account and then gift them to the other accounts, but not redeem but sync then to the original account with the downloaded apps. Then for audit purposes we can use the invoice with the gifting as proof of purchase.

So this all sounded very good in theory but when I attempted to create 22 iTunes accounts for the iPads after the fourth account I had a message-
iTunes message after adding code from iTunes card.

My colleague @loisath suggested that iTunes has detected many accounts coming from the one IP number and treats it as spam. (Lois had this problem when creating many google accounts and so spaced them out.) So I will try again on another computer and at another time so see if I get the message. In the meantime I created an apple ID for the account that wouldn’t create but haven’t got back to the site to email my problem to Apple. As I teach classes at school and have to fit this in between. I don’t have time for lengthy processes. So the email will have to wait until Monday.

I’ll try to create an iTunes account from another computer at school and see if it works. Buying all the iTunes cards was interesting and it took the cashier 45 minutes to validate all the cards. Luckily I decided to only buy half the amount I needed.

I have tried to discuss this issue on twitter with my PLN but have found people don’t really like to engage in this conversation. A few have admitted they just download once and sync to many devices. Hmm…to be continued. Here are some great links where others are talking about it- ( so yes some people are talking about it)

Fraser Speirs – App management and syncing

Warren Hall’s Core-Ed blog and iTUnes and Apps in schools post (NZ)

Volume purchasing explained by Tony Vincent- (US)

We have purchased silicon skins for the iPads and iPods and are still waiting to find a supplier for the hard cases for the iPads. We need 10 cases. The silicon cases will absorb the shock when the iPads are placed on a table or dropped to the table on corners etc. And it allows the iPad to fit in the hard cases we want to buy.
Oh and one more thing we have our iPad/netbook information evening next week so I’ll let you know how it goes and about the paper work.

End of Year Thoughts

iPad in Apple case

iPad in Apple case

The end of the year has arrived. The grade 6’s have graduated and now go on to secondary school. They have had to hand back their iPads. I could feel their disappointment although they knew it was going to happen.

Collecting the iPads took some time and I noted which iPads had been upgraded to 4.2 iOs.  Getting back the chargers was harder than the iPads.  Some chargers were left at parent’s homes or grandparent’s homes where the children had had recent visits and stayed over.  Luckily all chargers were returned from the grade sixes leaving.


The second last weekend of the year we had a break in at school.  4 iPads were stolen and 2 macbooks, cables, connectors and chargers.  It seems like a setup job.  The iPads were taken from 3 different places and it was obvious someone knew where they were.  This was very disappointing for the students and teachers and makes you realise our trust in security needs to be updated and security tightened.  We have been a small school with very familiar community.  This is quickly changing and so we will also have to make changes in our trust of others.

Next year all cables plugs and power sockets will be labelled with the same number as the ipads. This is because this year we had 2 students who misplaced their chargers and borrowed others.  One cable is in a very poor state and responsibility for the damage has not been reported.  No chargers or and parts will be borrowed or lent next year. Students will have to realise if they lend their equipment they are responsible for it if damage or loss occurs.

Damage and Cases

Damage to the iPads during the year has been minimal.  We had three returned due to not recharging (very quick turn around of about 3 days)  Out of 28 iPads 3 had corners dinted and 2 had slight dints in the back casing.  I believe our cases we use are not sufficient to give them protection when dropped.  The students take the iPads out of the cases they are in as they are too bulky to handle when playing games or using on a lap. I believe we should also have skins on them to avoid damage from dropping even onto to table tops.  Some shock absorbtion would be good.  I like the Apple black cases with the angled ledge but wonder if they would give as good protection in the students’ bags as the larger covers we have purchased. We’ll be looking into this before we purchase more and could even trial some of the different cases if we can get cases at a good price.


I thought it timely to give a survey before the grade 6’s left.  24 out of 25 students completed the online survey.  I also sent home  a survey for the parents.  Here is the first question and a couple of typical answers by students.

1. a.When I first got the iPad I thought…now I think….

b.Have you changed your opinion about the iPad from when you first got it?

c.If you were only allowed one device a netbook or an ipad which one would you have?

Student 1

A. I thought that it was so cool

B. No I haven’t changed my opinion of this brilliant technology

C. I would have an iPad because it gets on quickly and you can get on anything

Student 2

A.It would be awesome I couldn’t wait untill we got them out I haven’t they are pretty cool
C.I  probably would rather the iPad because it is a lot more mobile and is quicker to turn on and last longer.

Student 3

a.They are super slim I wonder how many games I can put on it

b. now….I thought they were a big toy but we can actually use them for school
c. iPad

Four students out of 24 said they would get a netbook in preference but declined to say why.

87.5% of students would use the ipad over the netbook to create a presentation with 12 .5% selecting the netbook.

50% of students said they use the iPad all the time for internet browsing, 33% used the iPad more than the netbook

8.3% indicated they use the netbook only for internet browsing and 8.3% used the netbook more than the iPad.

91.7% said the iPad was better because, it starts quicker, was easier to see the screen, easier to use and they indicated that they could create quicker. 8.3% said the netbook was better to use. 70.8% said they used the iPad more than the netbook.

The parent survey did not have as good a return rate (10/25) even though I had a gift voucher as a prize to draw from all who completed the survey.  As surveys were returned a raffle ticket was given and then on the last day drawn for the prize of a gift voucher.

These are just some questions that were on the parents survey

1. Do you think the iPad could enhance your child’s learning? yes 9/10 no 1/10

2.Do you believe using the iPad made your child more interested in learning?  yes 8/10  no 2/10

3. Did your child teach you something about using the iPad?  yes 9/10  no 1/10

4. Did your child like using the iPad?  yes 10/10

5. Do you have a suggestion?  5/10

3 supporting the program-

– a great way to enhance learning and kept him very interested

-if possible the iPad should be a permanent tool for their learning as they enjoy using it and get great benefit out of it

-it is such a wonderful opportunity for the children to be able to use the ipads, especially being able to bring them home.

2 stating concerns-

-time needed to be monitored when on the ipad. If left to his own accord would be on it day and night

-it is not suited to those children who are highly addicted to using it since receiving one to use, I have had behaviour problems when I told them to turn it off.

These concerns will be ones we will be talking about with the parents next year. We did state this year that parents are the boss of the equipment and that iPads and netbooks are only to be used in commonly shared rooms of the household.  However this will be given more attention next year so the parents know they have our support.  I found it interesting that until this survey we had not had any parents reporting they had any problems with the overuse of the iPads.  This feedback is great for our information evening next year.  I will be sending home a further suggestions note to parents for the information evening next year.

Apps and syncing

I am often asked, “We are getting 10 iPads what is the best way to sync the apps?”  This is a question I have thought about a lot.  If we had the Apple volume licencing it would be a lot cheaper as the apps would be half price. If the apps were purchased by the school and synced students could still purchase their own apps and add to the iPad they would just need to authenticate the school computer for syncing.  It is quicker for the students to sync their own but it takes longer to check they all have the required apps. It seems a waste of time and money to have to download all the apps every year.  Perhaps a basic set could be synced to the iPads each year and then others added on.  The hard part is that apps are being developed everyday and what was good yesterday now is obsolete.  Do we sync or do they?  Syncing 35 iPads could take some time and logistics.  One computer is to0 slow.  I wonder if a user for each iPad could be made across the network so any computer can be used to sync them to the same iTunes library account each time.  These accounts on the network would only be used for syncing iPads/iPods.

Self management of iPads is best for teachers as it allows them flexability to add apps as they like and to sync to their laptops with photos, mail etc. Each teacher could be given a budget for the apps and then use their own iTunes account or a school generic iTunes account for themselves.  class@school iTunes store accounts for teachers so they can be used in coming years to sync other iPads/iPOds.  If students and teachers use their own personal iTunes store accounts the apps are given away and can’t be used again if that person moves schools or class where there are no iPods/ipads in use. This is not in keeping with our schools policy for purchasing where the property remains the schools when staff or students leave. The iTunes store school accounts can be deauthorised from all computers and then reauthorised to another computer when needed. One iTunes library can have apps purchased from many iTunes store accounts. These iTunes store accounts just need to be authorised for the computer and can be authorised for up to 5 computers at one time. The iTunes library stores your apps, music movies etc on your computer the iTunes store account allows you to purchase from iTunes and add to the library. Each iPad or iPod can only sync to one iTunes library.

Next Year 2011

Next year we will have 2 grade 5/6’s so we have to purchase more net books and iPads to continue the research. I wanted to keep the same group with the iPads rather than starting over with a new group. So we have one teacher remaining, a new teacher joining the research project (already has an iPad for holiday learning) and about 22 grade 5 ‘s joining in next year. I was too busy to give out iPads to the new students coming into the project so we have collected all the iPads from the existing grade 5’s also.

Next year we will have another information evening for the parents and students before the iPads are sent home. The original students not new to the program will get their iPad back to save  time to sync them.

The new students will be given half the iTunes credit at a time and just half the apps list to purchase and then later a further installment for iTunes and the rest of the apps list. Most of last years grade 5 students sync their iPads to a computer at school as they had some difficulties at home due to bandwidth or time management issues or no internet at home.

I went through the apps list with the students to try and cut it down but we ended up with almost the same list and a few more to add. There were so many apps the students had used and wanted to have next year.

Reflections and hopes

So in the 15 weeks that we have used the iPads we have made progress from using the ipads for drill and kill apps to using creative apps where we can communicate and share our learning. We have only begun to use the iPads and next year should see greater scope of learning happening on the iPads. The students commented they would like to use them more for literacy in both reading and writing next year. I would like to see more collaborative learning happening and a global perspective being added.  I hope to have the use of dropbox as a standard way of sharing in the 5/6 team.

In 2011 all classes will have either iPods or iPads at Epsom PS.  I am hoping that this will allow for greater sharing of ideas and resources between the teachers rather than just a few having access. Professional development will be given as a whole school opportunity rather than small boutique  groups. I will be putting dates on the calendar from the start of the year and hope to include some Brekkie Bites sessions during the year.  I will be calling on the teachers to take turn at sharing what works at our Brekkie Bites. Also staff from other schools will be invited to join us at some of our professional development meetings. The use of blogs, wikis and twitter will also enhance our personal learning networks next year as they have this year.

Thanks for checking out how we are going this year with our iPad project.  I will continue to add to the blog next year.

Trial Schools Sharing Day

Today we met with all the other iPad trial schools in Melbourne at the Conference and Exhibition Centre. The day kicked off with an App Smackdown where each school gave a quick best 5 apps. Here is a summary of the apps:-
Keynote, Coolfacts, PuppetPals, TED, Nue Draw, Corkulous, Guardian Eyewitness, Popplet, Draw, Wolfram alpha, Math Board, Strip designer, iBooks, Goodreader, Doodle buddy, Reel director, App shopper, SimplemindX, AnimationHD, Pages, Star walk, Dictionary- thesaurus, Melbourne Museum App, Calendar, Epicure, Online Galleries, Homework Plus, Sonic Pics, Atomic Browser/Perfect browser (allows VGA output)

I showed Spoken Motion as another app that allows you to record audio but also records drawing on pictures or text or a blank canvas. I actually created some movies using Spoken motion as tutorials for students wanting to learn cursive script. Each tutorial shows how to write a high frequency word with audio explanation.

The second part of the day was each school telling their story about the iPad trial. Stories were varied but had the same theme with engagement of learners and teachers being a significant outcome. Two schools have students with both a netbook and the ipads and have both found that students are choosing the iPad as their most preferred tool. Some students were even leaving their netbook at home.

Another common finding was that the less able students were seen to gain a lot from the program so far. For some this meant attending school more regularly, becoming techsperts and points of call for others, having social connections because of the iPad use and having a greater work output than previous to the iPad trial.

Creative uses of the iPads was the third common thread between the school’s uses of the iPad. Students creating presentations, movies, slideshows, posters and more using a range of apps to produce a product. Some students can use up to seven or more apps to produce a final product. Students are given a problem or challenge and then decide which apps they would like to use.
An example was using Whiteboard and Sonic pics to create a how to presentation and an assessment piece on addition of 2 3 digit numbers with regrouping.

There was talk about developers and teachers being able to collaborate on creation of apps and it was noted that most app developers are most willing to accept feedback and work to develop their apps along side teachers. If a developer was emailed it was only a short time until there was an answer.

I have found this myself as lately I have made contact with the developer of Spoken Motion. Spoken motion allows you to add pictures and then draw on them while recording your voice. Then you can share the files with others. I would like to be able to use this app on the iPad to give feedback to students on their work. In particular to be able to annotate their work and the record voice with more feedback. This can be emailed to the students.

It was also evident that many of the schools had purchased further iPads than the ones in the trial to allow other teachers and students to participate in the project. In addition parents had also purchased iPads as a ripple effect was felt from the student’s use of the iPads.

In the afternoon Simon Shaw showed us how you can create ePubs (books for the iPad) by using pages or a template available on the Apple website. I thought the students would like to create some of their learning in this format.
Also in the afternoon we were shown the DEECD Vic Gov Ultranet design space that we have all been invited to use. This will be a great space to communicate together and there will be a front page to the www added later in Dec. I liked that feature so we can include a wider following on the project and get added ideas and feedback from a global perspective.

Finally we shared our take away from the day and any other things we wanted to share with others.  My take away was create, share and create. The best apps allow students to create and share in many ways.

iPad iFootball


Today was the last day of term and we had our Prep12 footy match and footy day. I was amazed to see one of our students use his iPad at the game on the official time keepers table. The app he used was Soccer sound box.
He had, on his own downloaded an app that gives you various sounds you might hear at a footy game and set up with the speaker so he could play the siren sound at the appropriate time. Yes there’s an app for that. During the last half he disappeared inside where the wifi was better to download a song he wanted for the winners, We are the Champions. And so at the end after the siren went the music came on and everyone sang along and cheered the winners.
This was a fitting end to the term and an example of how the iPads are now being used for all sorts of uses at school. Oh and yes there was a plan B as we always need plan B, the old school bell but it wasn’t used.

To finish the term off the students made a keynote about our school concert and the used many iPad skills such as screen shots, copying images to the photo gallery, keynote features and page layout and email. Talking Tom featured in some keynotes.

How to get things on the iPads without usb’s has become a great problem solving exercise that’s finding different solutions every day. Email seems to be the quickest way. An example today was a student who wanted the concert program in his keynote. He came to find the scanner to scan the document. I asked, “I wonder if someone has this on a computer? Perhaps they could email it to you and then you would have it to use.” A screen shot and a crop and it’s done. Much quicker than a scanner.

Thinking back on the introduction of the iPads I would change the following next time.

1. I would have a parents only information evening. This would allow for talk about security issues and iTunes accounts.
Also I would demonstrate creating an account and downloading. This wasn’t done as everyone seemed to say we know but actually about 10 students have had problems with this either the downloading or use of the accounts. Assuming the students would know or older siblings could set it up, it wasn’t always a good idea. It would have been good to give out the iTunes cards and everyone redeem them on their accounts at school together.

2. The security on the iPads should be turned on with selections of restrictions and a code from the school set on each iPad. This would make it impossible to add unsuitable apps, music etc. Ratings can be selected. I didn’t know this at the time and now have set it on a couple of iPads where children were downloading unsuitable apps.

3. If the volume licencing is available I would sync them all at school. This would make sure all the apps are on the iPads right from the start. We still have some students struggling to get all the apps. One downside would be if the students wanted to upload an app like today at the footy it wouldn’t be possible if the students didn’t have access to an account.

I don’t know why you need an account for free apps. There needs to be a way as finding the apps to suit various jobs is one of the great things iPads allow students to do, just in time learning.

4. I would use the iPad licence testing as a way to begin the iPad use again. This worked very well and the students liked the idea of a licence.

So at the end of the term I would say at this stage the iPads have gained a lot of the students full support and have become the tool of choice for most jobs. The netbooks are staying in their cases.

The cables and wall connectors will need to be collected early in Dec along with the iPads so we have them all for next year. Whether returning students will have holiday access and if next years grade will be given them to take home are issues that need some thought. Our grade structure changes next year and we may have the netbooks in another class and the ipads in the other as we will have more grade 5 students than grade 6’s requiring 2 grades with grade 5’s.

I am on leave for a large part of next term and this will be interesting to see how the iPads continue to be used. I will be emailing the students and teacher to keep up with the iPad use and will be inviting the teacher of the class to put some guest blogs here on this blog.