Blog Archives

Reflection – AirPlay Mirroring of your iPad/iPhone without Apple TV

Reflection.app has provided an alternative to using Apple TV to mirror your iPad or iPhone. Reflection allows you to mirror your iPhone 4S, iPad 2 or iPad 3 to any Mac running OS X 10.6+, wirelessly. Previsouly I had been looking to purchase Apple TV to utilise the AirPlay function of the iPads within the classroom. The ability to wirelessly share the iPad screen with my MacBook linked to a projector allows me or the students to share the iPad screen with the whole class from anywhere in the class or anywhere on the school premises. As long as I the device is connected to the same WiFi network as the Mac running OS X 10.6+ then the mirroring will work.

Reflection also allows you to easily demo iOS apps on any Mac running OS X Lion using AirPlay Mirroring on iOS 5. Mirroring and recording the MacBook screen using Camstasia allows you to make instructional videos that can be shared with students or the students could produce their own to demonstrate to their peers. This is one option that I will be exploring with my Digital Leaders. Follow their progress and excellent advice at @PCSADigiLeaders.

Reflection currently cost $14.99 (approx £10) for an individual licence or $49.99 (approx £40) for 5 licences. This is a lot cheaper than forking out £100 for Apple TV + £40 VGA to HDMI convertor to allow this to work in the classroom with a projector that doesn’t have a HDMI input.

Check out my first attempt of a iPad Screencast. More to follow!

Just Dance 3 – Autodance app

Just a little bit of fun for the classroom. With the idea that all pupils need to have a laugh every now and then and also to show that the Teacher does have a personality and a fun side.

Using the app Just Dance 3 Autodance that is available for iPhone and Android. It is also available to download on the iPad as an iPhone app. You can film pupils undertaking work or practical activities or your faculty teaching. The app then does all the hard work putting it together to a choice of three songs. Easy free idea to put together a short video to document the students lesson or an excellent tutor time activity to build confidence and develop team work and creativity.

Just Dance 3 Autodance – app

http://just-dance-thegame.ubi.com/just-dance-3/en-gb/autodance/index.aspx

 

Augmented reality in education

Augmented Reality (AR) adds a new wow factor to a number of different sectors and has true potential in eduction. AR super imposes a graphic, video or auto onto the real time environment. AR systems superimpose graphics for every perspective and adjust to every movement of the user.Augmented realty is widely used in the retail sector at present and is the future of advertising and has great potential in education.

I have used a lot of AR Web tools to date all of which are free and have an excellent impact on student enjoyment, engagement and most importantly, learning. The AR sites that I have found to be most useful and provide a big impact on student engagement and learning can be seen below.

Anti Smoking: AR Lungs

http://www.arlungs.com/

Biology: Organs

http://www.learnar.org/bio_organs_demo.html

This can be seen in action in the short video below.

I would love to here how you are using AR in your classroom. Please leave a comment with any suggestions or websites that you are using. Thank you!

Smart Phones – In the pocket or the palm?

There has been a lot of debate to whether Head Teachers should ban smart phones. According to the Guardian the view of the NAHT is that schools should continue to ban smart phones because they hold “potential for mischief and distraction”. My view on this quite bold statement will be discussed during this blog post and I am sure that this blog will be the first of many issue around this topic.

I strongly feel that the view of smart phones having the  “potential for mischief and distraction” is one made by someone who does not fully understand the potential that these devices that are currently lying ‘dormant’ in the students pockets and could have massive impact on teaching and learning. A manageable acceptable use policy would need to be in place and if these students did not use there mobile devices in the correct manner then they would lose the right to use them. A large element of trust must be placed in the hands of the students to use their devices appropriately.

We must remember that in the current economic climate schools may not have money to spend on new technology and with funds being cut to develop technology, using the pupils smart phones or mobile devices will bridge the technology gap without significant investment from the school. The devices that are now in the pockets of students is an excellent opportunity to engage students in learning in a way that can develop their own independent learning skills and also “capture the vast amount of informal learning going on outside the classroom”. The opportunities available to students to access the internet and also applications that are available on smart phones and mobile devices are endless.

I strongly feel that Smart Phones and Mobile devices should be encouraged in the classroom these will provide an engaging up to date way of learning. From first hand experience I have used smart phones and mobile devices such as PSPs, Nintendo DS and iPads to allow less able students to access key information from the internet to aid in their learning. This has really engaged these pupils in learning and increased their enjoyment within the lessons.

I am lucky enough to work within a school that provides the opportunity for students to bring their own device into school to access free WiFi that is available to all students all over the school campus. I wish to develop this opportunity with the students and would love to see the full potential that Smart Phones and mobile devices can offer in education both within the classroom and on the all over the school campus. It is no longer, ‘put your phones away!’ but ‘put your phone to good use!’

So reviewing the big question from the start… Smart phones definitely belong in the palm of the students to aid learning and provide an up to date learning environment which will engage all students.

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