Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Online iPad Resource

I received an email this afternoon about an online udemy course that Sami Rahman, co-founder of BridgingApps.org, has created to demonstrate all the accessible features of the iPad.  BridgingApps.org is also another resource I regularly consult for information about online and iPad applications to support students with disabilities.  The information is broken into mini-lessons totalling a mere 1.5 hours of content.  If you need a refresher on some of the material I have presented at SST meetings or if you would like to learn some additional accessibility options, I highly recommend viewing some of these videos.  You can view these mini demonstrations here.

Notable App

I love when I get emails from tech organizations like TCEA in Texas that send me information about an online application to which I haven't previously been introduced.  Today, I browsed my inbox and discovered the notable app.  If you are thinking about having your students blog, or if they have already created a blog, you will definitely want to check out this website.
Basically, the tool at www.notableapp.com allows you to annotate on screenshots of webpages.  You plyg in a URL, the app takes a screenshot of the page on which you are looking to comment. You can add your own written comments and then email the annotated version of your screenshot to the person of your choosing.  You can literally annotate on any webpage. If you have flipped your classroom, this would be an excellent tool for you to have students use.  As an educator, you could list instructions or pose questions for students to respond to right on the screenshot of a particular webpage. This would allow for pre-reading at home, branching into a discussion in class the next day. There is also connectivity to your Google Chrome browser as you can add this as an extension. I immediately envisioned using the notable app for giving feedback on student-created blogs.  If you have students documenting their work or their learning journey through a particular project on a blog, you could provide descriptive feedback or pose thought-provoking questions for your students to consider about their writing. (Consider a hosted blog site such as kidblog.)  Your feedback can be emailed for students to read. I'm going to explore this app further for some additional possibilities and update this post with some more options for using the notable app. If you'd like to learn about some possibilities for blogging with your students, please have a look at this blog post!

Thursday, 14 March 2013


If you've ever worked with an individual using the Proloquo2go app on an iOS device, you know that there are so many customization options.  It can be overwhelming to get the device customized to the users' speaking preferences. Once it is just right, however, the student you are working with may be all the more motivated to communicate with partners.  AssistiveWare, the developer of some great AT products has a set of webinars that walk the user through the fine details of the app.  This is a great tool for someone who is new to the use of Proloqou2go and someone who is quite familiar with the software. It may assist you in making the decision to purchase the pricey $189.99 app.  Have a look at http://www.assistiveware.com/videos to view the selection of concise and effective demos.

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Videography using the iPad 2

The iPad can be a great tool for creating videos for a variety of purposes. As an educator, you can capture video for video modeling scenarios, documenting student progress, and for curricular support. Imagine having your students create a movie trailer using iMovie for their favourite novel. Engagement and entertainment!
Here are some tips for creating great videos with the iPad 2:

1- Shoot your film using landscape orientation.  If you shoot video while holding the device upright, you will not be collecting video in the correct resolution.
2- Allow location services if prompted to when you open up your video editing app. This allows you to have access to videos in your camera roll.  If you have disallowed location servies for your iMovie app, you can allow it by going into Settings>Privacy>and turn on locations services for iMovie.
3-Allow time at the start and the end of capturing your footage- 2 seconds at both ends should be enough. This allows for transitions when you are editing your film in iMovie or another editing application.
4- Add a variety of camera angles when you are shooting your footage. Think close-ups, medium depth shots, and faraway shots. This will add depth and visual interest to your final edited product.
5- Source out royalty-free, no cost music. Check out Kevin McLeod's website http://incompetech.com for copyright free music.

Which apps to start with?
Animoto.com. This site is a great tool for beginner videographers. It is easy to upload and edit video clips into a great compilation.  There are free options, but for a mere $3/month, you can create some amazing videos, incorporating music and your photos. There is an app available for iOS devices.

Videolicious (Free) This iPad app allows to you integrate video and photos into a narrated visual presentation.  Could be used to create a tutorial or create a narrative video.

iMotion HD (Stop Motion animation- $1.99)
Action Movie FX  (in app upgrades) Allows you to add some special effects which can be incorporated into iMovie for further editing.
iMovie ($4.99)
Lego Super Heroes Movie Maker (stop motion animation-free)
Avid Studio- editing application