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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 iMovie for iPad in a Science classroom

One of the reasons why iPads have been such a success in Science is that it offers a different way to demonstrate learning which is accessible to all students. All of the apps previously discussed on this blog has minimised writing and maximised learning, engagement and also creativity.

I recently used iMovie with a Year 9 BTEC class and asked them to work in pairs to create a short documentary of a planet within the our solar system. Students were given a brief success criteria to follow but I wanted them to be creative. All students were engaged with the task and enjoyed having the freedom to create their film. Great pride was shown by all teams to create the best short film. I feel that this was more than usual and increased pride and engagement in the task was purely down to the use of the iPads, team work element and also the sense of freedom of the task.

The iPads allowed the students to plan, shoot, edit and share their videos easily and high quality work was produced.

iMovie

Make beautiful HD movies anywhere with iMovie, the fast and fun moviemaking app for iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Designed for the Multi-Touch screen, iMovie puts everything you need to tell your story at your fingertips. Browse and play projects in the Marquee view. Make a movie in minutes by adding video, photos, music and sound effects. Then give it the Hollywood treatment by adding a theme, titles and transitions. And you can share share your movie with the world – right from iMovie.

Made for Multi-Touch
• Tap to add video, photos, music, and sound effects
• Drag to trim the length of any clip
• Pinch to zoom the timeline• Slide to scrub through your project
• On iPad, pinch vertically to open the Precision Editor

Add professional polish with Themes
• Choose from a selection of eight unique themes. Each theme includes a matching set of titles and transitions — and its own soundtrack
• Instantly change themes or swap themed elements in your project
• Titles and graphics automatically update with location data from your video

Add photos, music, and sound effects• Add photos from your library, or snap a

picture and drop it into your project
• Use the automatic, face-aware Ken Burns effect, or pinch and drag to create your own
• Choose from soundtracks that match iMovie themes, or select music from your own song library
• Bring your movie to life with a choice of over 50 sound effects

Record and edit your soundtrack
• Record audio directly into the timeline
• Adjust the volume of any video clip, song, sound effect, or audio recording
• Loop music to fill your project
• On iPad, view detailed audio waveforms for every clip in your project

Share your HD movie on the web and in your home
• Publish in HD directly from iMovie to YouTube, Facebook, Vimeo, and CNN iReport
• Send to the Camera Roll and share in an email, or via MMS on iPhone
• Transfer your iMovie project to your computer and compatible iOS devices.

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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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.

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.

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