Video-conferencing on an iPad

Tom Whitby tweeted recently about ways to video-conference on an iPad. The link above goes to the web site Apps in Education, a blog that lists iPad apps by subject. Obviously video-conferencing on an iPad requires one with a front-facing camera so iPad 1 users like myself won't be able to take advantage. The great thing about this list is that most of the apps are completely free.

Has Apple reinvented the Textbook?

Apple has unleashed iBooks Textbooks today, where they claim that they have "reinvented the school textbook."  Apparently, these books will be "an entirely new kind of textbook that’s dynamic, engaging and truly interactive."  I am somewhat sceptical. Don't get me wrong - I love Apple products as much as the next fanboy. While I ditched my iPhone for a HTC Desire, I love my iPad and my new Mac Book Air is the most beautiful laptop I have ever used. As far as I can see, the new iBooks textbooks are going to provide students with a much more interactive textbook in that there will be animations, videos, slideshows and links to web sites.  This is all good stuff.  At least it's better than text and diagrams. The problem I have is that there isn't real interactivity.  By this I mean, the social side of interactivity. Wouldn't it be great if...

Autism Spectrum Disorders and Technology part 4

While there is a lot of software out there to run on PCs and laptops, there is a trend towards handheld devices and tablet PCs.  The most popular of these are made by Apple - the iPod Touch, iPhone and iPad.  These devices allow one to run "apps" on them and the devices are very easy to use.  Because of the way they are designed, some children with ASD find them easier to use than a PC or Laptop.  Perhaps this is because there are very few useless functions on the iPod and the choices one has are limited. Right now, there are two apps for the iPod that are designed specifically for ASD.  The first is a communication system.  Proloquo2go is an app for the  iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch that includes over 7,000 symbols so the user can create messages using symbols based on PECs.  This app is particularly useful for students who are...

Blindly Using an iPad

A great and inspiring video from Bernie Goldbach, Tipperary Institute. Although this article is written from a 3rd level context, it is certainly relevant to all levels of education. To watch the video, please go to: OKI YUSEF IS legally blind. But that hasn't stopped him from learning how to use an iPad in mainstream third level education at Tipperary Institute. I'm following his remarkable progress as he completes a major research paper on learning with the iPad. He's showing me things I wouldn't normally see and he likes some of my online favourites like Audioboo. Watching him in this applied research setting is one of the most uplifting experiences in my life. Bernie Goldbach writes "Inside View" for the Irish Examiner every Friday and edits in addition to...

Fís iPhone and iPad App

Fís is a wonderful project in Ireland that allows primary school children to make films. Each year there is an award ceremony and children are invited to showcase their work with an overall winner selected at the end. It is an invaluable way to teach children lots and lots of great skills. Due to the lack of funding for training, Fís have had to think outside the box.  They have uploaded all their lesson plans - a complete course in digital video creating - to their web site,  However, lately they have expanded further and they created an iPhone and iPad app which allows users to run the complete course on these devices. In even better news the app won the best Education App in the Irish Appy Awards.  Congratulations to the guys at Fís - an innovative establishment who aren't letting the current problems in Ireland...

Fáilte Romhat, iPad, go hÉireann

Today the iPad is being launched in Ireland. So while you are queuing outside your local Currys or PC World to get your hands on one, I thought I'd give you something to read! I bought my iPad in America in April.  The 3G model wasn't out at the time and I bought the cheapest model available - the 16GB version for $499.  In Ireland, it's being sold for €499, slightly more.  Having looked at the price plans for the 3G version for O2 and Vodafone, I'm kinda glad I was so impulsive. It seems it's going to cost €19.90 per month for 5GB of bandwidth with O2 and €20 per month for the same with Vodafone.  I'm happy enough to pull out my iPhone for Internet access if my iPad isn't in a wifi zone at those prices! Anyway, if you feel that these prices are reasonable, the minimum price a 3G iPad will cost you is €599.  As storage doubles,...

Ipad available in Ireland

Toy Story on the iPad
[caption id="attachment_2939" align="alignleft" width="150" caption="Toy Story on the iPad"][/caption] The iPad will be launched on Friday in Ireland. I've written some articles about iPads in the classroom. Must have app for me: Toy Story - great for reading, recording, rewarding and lots of other words beginning with "re!"

Teaching with an iPad

Toy Story on the iPad
So I gave in. My friend was getting married in Milwaukee and my wife and I decided to spend a couple of days in Chicago beforehand. On the obligatory shopping day, I walked into the Apple Store where about 50 people were standing around a stand playing with the new iPad. When I eventually got to touch it, I couldn't get my credit card out of my wallet quick enough. Whenever I get a new piece of technology, I always think about how I can use it in school with my classes.  Although precious to me, the iPad is no exception.  Unfortunately, because an Irish iTunes store doesn't exist yet for the iPad, I am reliant on free apps so I've been using the iPad with a number of children in class for reading and maths. The app I'm using for reading is Toy Story.  At its most basic it's an electronic book and it can read the story to the children. ...

A week with an iPad in school

My iPad and iPhone face off!
[caption id="attachment_2787" align="alignleft" width="150" caption="My iPad and iPhone face off!"][/caption] When the iPad was launched a few weeks ago, I smirked at the "fools" who queued up for days to get their hands on one.  "Sure, it's just a giant iPhone",  I muttered in condescending tones.  All the reviews on the web, in newspapers and in magazines were lukewarm too.  It doesn't multitask and it has no USB.  It doesn't even have a camera.  And how in the name of goodness could you type on an on-screen keyboard? During the spring holidays, my friend got married in Milwaukee.  My wife and I flew to Chicago and we headed to the Magnificent Mile, Chicago's version of Fifth Avenue in New York.  I had expected to be walking around countless boutiques carrying bags and saying things like, "they're both lovely".  That was before we...