Blog Archives

Vernier Video Physics app for iPad.

Video Physics brings complex video analysis to iPhone, iPod touch and iPad and into the hands of the students. The app allows students to take a video of any object in motion and then by marking its position frame by frame analyse the motion graphically to scale. Video Physics draws trajectory, position, and velocity graphs for the object. Videos can then be shared with Facebook, YouTube and the Camera Roll, which includes the video with markers showing the motion and also the graphs produced from the data collected. Video Physics will display the path of the ball and provide graphs of Y vs X as well as the X and Y position and velocity as a function of time.
This app is perfect for reluctant students that are not engaged in physics and allows them to use technology and see real life situations being transformed into quite complex graphical physics.
The features of  Vernier Video Physics are as follows.
• Capture a new video using the built-in camera, choose a video from your photo library, or use one of our sample videos.
• Mark the position of one object, frame by frame.
• Set the scale of the video using an object of known size.
• Optionally set coordinate system location and rotation.
• View graphs of trajectory, and x/y position and velocity.
• Export the marked video to Facebook or your Photo Library. Graphs are appended to video.
• Email the video and data for further analysis in Vernier’s Logger Pro software for OSX and Windows.
I used this app with Year 9 students last week with the help of @TESScience @asober . I have found that these students are always engaged when using iPads combined practical activity, however, some girls lack self confidence and motivation but during this lesson these two girls produced the best replication of the displacement time graph (seen below) from the whole group and were very pleased to share this with the group at the end of the lesson. The app allows all learners to access the activity and allows some students to show off their skills. The students progressed immensely during the lesson with their understanding of drawing graphs, interpreting graphs and working as a team using iPads. A very productive and pleasing lesson. The lesson plan that we used during this lesson and accompanying resources can be found at the following links. Both resources have been uploaded to the TES Resources by Alessio Bernardelli Science Subject Advisor for the TES.

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!

Using ComicLife app to produce revision comics

A lesson today saw Year 11 GCSE students use the iPads as part of their revision for their forthcoming exams. Students worked in pairs to produce a revision comic using Comic Life. Students decided to use a range of different sources such as the internet, text books and their work books for information. The students had 20 minutes to produce their comic, following this they were considered experts in their chosen subject area.

Once the comics were completed one member of the pair visited other groups to learn something new from their peers, whilst the other member of the pair used the comic to teach other students within the class. Students were engaged and showed excellent team work and peer teaching skills whilst producing an outstanding revision resource that can be easily shared via email, twitter and also Facebook.

Some examples can be seen below.

The start of the future? Using iPads in the classroom.

Today saw the first lesson where I had planned to use all 9 of the iPads to enhance the learning and had planned to allow the students to be creative when demonstrating their scientific knowledge.

The students were starting a new Assignment and were asked to work in pairs or threes when using the iPads. This allowed for collaboration and continuos feedback from their peers. Students were engaged in the task from the start and enjoyed working collaboratively, where discussions with their partner were always focused on learning. Initially some students were a little dubious about using the iPad as they didn’t know how to use it. However, after a few minutes of demos from myself and their peers they had gained the confidence to give it a go and try different things.

Using Dropbox, I shared the assignment brief with all devices along with some key websites and vital information such as the success and assessment criteria. Students needed to use the internet to research all about maintaining a constant environment within the body to produce a leaflet using Comic life to hand out to runners at this years Race for life. Some QR codes were also positioned around the room which were linked to websites and useful information. This allowed curious students to discover the potential of QR codes, all of whom found them ‘amazing’ and one student commented ‘thats well cool,sir’.

Other members of the class chose to combine their comic with a document produced on Pages where they felt they had more freedom with different fonts and layout.

Some students seemed to be slightly distracted with the cameras and were very amazed by the fact that they could take pictures. Those students where quickly advised that this was not part of the success criteria and were reminded of the expectations. I feel that the pupils felt that they were privileged to use the iPads and treated them with a lot of care and a usually lively class was very quite as the students were engrossed in the iPads.

All work, once completed was then emailed to a faculty account that had been set up as dropbox does not support the ability to upload documents other than pictures and videos. Dropbox doesn’t allow you to email the files to be stored which would be a perfect way to share the work with other users and their devices, although this may be developed in the future. Overall, I feel this lesson was a good introduction into the use of iPads within education.

The power of a faculty twitter account – @PCSAScience

I previously enjoyed the odd tweet here and there but over the past 6 months have really turned into the tweeter or twit that I am today. I have built an excellent network and try to provide tweets that will help my followers as much as the people that I follow help me. After realising the power of twitter as an outstanding tool in education, I decided to start a faculty twitter account for all of the staff to use. Therefore, @PCSAScience was formed.

Initially I was surprised to discover that not many of the students use twitter and only a small handful of students are avid tweeters. After plugging the faculty twitter account with my classes the followers have slowly grown. The number of followers is just shy of 100 consisting of Students, parents, other teachers and interested educational tweeters. I hope that more students and staff will join in with the twitter action and also parents of the students to show a genuine interest in their child’s learning to develop a learning conversation over the dinner table.

I have used twitter to share websites with classes that maybe useful to develop their understanding of certain topics. Some pupils have also enjoyed relevant news stories that I have shared with particular classes to contextualise their learning. When using twitter during lessons I have used twitter to check progress of individuals and form an electronic network within the lesson. This also provides real time feedback to myself as well as other students. Some web tools such www.goanimate.com and http://popplet.com/ have the option to share the students work direct from the application to twitter and this provides an excellent opportunity for collaboration and peer assessment. Some iPad and iPhone application also have this function and with iOS5 this provides endless possibilities to share content from iPhone and iPad. Some apps on the iPad and iPhone also offer the option to share the creations on twitter such as PuppetPals, iCanAnimate and ComicLife.

#tags have been used so that followers can quickly identify relevant tweets and form an easy online revision resource that can be accessed in school, at break, at home and on the move. I hope that twitter will help students to learn and also provide an insight into lessons at Priory Community School for parents and also educational tweeters and is an excellent way of sharing best practise.

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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.

Gavin Smart’s presentation @ #tmclevedon – 21st October 2011

TeachMeets have really kicked off at Clevedon school over the past couple of years and I am really pleased to have presented at the last two. I attended the first TeachMeet at Clevedon and was truly inspired to try something new and also left the meeting wanting to present.

I am in the process of organising an internal TeachMeet in the next couple of weeks and all going well, I wish to organise a larger event at Priory Community School in the New Year.

I strongly feel that good ideas should be shared so that all teachers can learn from each other. All ideas demonstrate tried and tested ways of engaging students, inspiring learners an developing teaching and learning.

I have included the videos that I used during the presentation.

Below is the link to my presentation from the last TeachMeet.

TeachMeet 20th October

I will be blogging in depth about the sites, apps and ideas that I presented at a later date.

apps

I am a firm believer in that having an iPad or any Apple product is to do things differently and not carry out the same task just on a different device. For example I wouldn’t use an iPad to write up a piece of work in the classroom when a computer room was available. I totally agree with the advertising slogan ‘Think different’ dreamt up by Apple in 1997. If they thought differently in 1997 and made Apple what it is today then we can definitely think differently today, imagine the potential of your students now if you encouraging them to think differently.

As previously mentioned in my first blog I strongly feel that iPads and iPhones should be used creatively in classrooms to develop creativity and provide opportunities for all students to learn in a way that is relevant to them.

Applications available from the app store provide an excellent resources that is accessible and relatively cheap. It provides an easy way to personalise your device and your learning.

On the blog I wish to share some excellent apps and hopefully provide a new way of thinking towards some of the apps that aren’t directly linked to education. I find that using subject specific apps do not provide a creative way of learning although they do enrich the learning journey.

TIM RYLANDS Using ICT to Inspire at #SWGFL11 @timrylands

Tim Rylands seminar at the SWGFL conference was a truly invigorating, inspiring and engaging journey through a range of ideas to use ICT in the classroom to inspire the learners and to make the learning journey more engaging, enjoyable and most importantly inspiring. The seminar focused on a range of Web2 tools and software (most of it FREE), hand-held devices, games and more.

 The seminar started virtually the day before with a request from @timrylands for anybody attending to bring a smart phone lighter.  All will come apparent later on.

This set a little bit of awe and wonder about the treats that may be in store for the enthusiastic and optimistic delegates who had been waiting all day for the last of the seminar sessions. So much excitement boiled over at one stage when @ICTEvangelist rushed to the front of the seminar room to proudly occupy the front row. After a slight delay (due to technical difficulties) the seminar kicked off. I can honestly say that good (outstanding) things come to those who wait!

Tim started with an excellent but amazing under estimated use of ICT, a blog with all the links to every website that he used in his presentation! Gone are the days of pen and paper, especially at an ICT conference. The delegates were equipped with (virtual) lighters and iPads ready to be enthused.

Tim stressed that ‘Fascination is a tool that can be easily neglected. This digital world, when mixed with the analogue, brings such potential for communication.’

‘Technology is not the only answer… but, it does open up some remarkable opportunities, to extend teaching and learning styles.’

This feeling towards the potential that technology in the classroom has was shared by all delegates and all left inspired, enthusiastic and landed back at school the following day clutching a number of new exciting ways to inspire learners.

The talk finished with a sing along to one of Tim’s greatest hits. Virtual lighters at the ready, Tim played a live electronic tune that was made very easily online and could be an idea for the classroom. iPhones and iPads aloft we all swayed to the rhythm of the chart topping hit!

http://www.jamstudio.com

All of the websites, apps and other uses of ICT that Tim demonstrated can be viewed at http://bit.ly/world2me – a few highlights include:

Isle of tune

http://www.isleoftune.com/

Panorams.dk

http://www.panoramas.dk/

A range of avatar makers

http://www.timrylands.com/blog/2010/07/02/a-few-more-avatar-makers/

Online Mind Mapping and Brainstorming – MindMeister

http://www.mindmeister.com/

Terragen

For creating your own worlds

Jaycut

For online video editing

Many more can be seen at Tim’s blog. Overall an inspiring seminar, which left the delegates, excited about returning to school!

You can find out more about Tim Ryland at @timryland and also his website www.timrylands.com where you can also follow links to his blog, where some pictures of the delegates with enjoyment written all over their faces can be seen.

This blog can also be found as a guest post on the following link.

http://ictevangelist.com/?p=17

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