Posts Tagged ‘iPad’
EasyBib is my first review of an app. I have not reviewed very many apps because I have yet to procure a iPad or iTouch of my very own. I have been able to borrow them from my local BOCES (School Library System). I found it extremely exciting. However, I wanted to share with you a wonderful app for all those research papers that librarians have to help with. Bibliographies and giving credit is a big problem for students. It is imperative for us, as teacher librarians, to instill in students an understanding of digital ownership. If we are going to go to Google Images use creativecommons.org. Okay, I am off my soapbox.
EasyBib is an app that takes the wonderful free citation creator website and repackages it as an app. You can keep track of your bibliography and email it to yourself. Three styles are included on the site: MLA, APA, and Chicago/Turabian (however to use all the types you have to pay). (From Appstore: Create accurate MLA, APA, and Chicago style citations in seconds by scanning a book bar code or by typing the name of a book. Build and manage your works cited. Once done, email your citations and then export your citations to EasyBib.com’s popular bibliography management service.) The scanning of the barcode is exciting to me.
It is also a GoogleApp. Your Google Administrator can add it to your Google Apps account. The App is free and have MLA styling.
If you are using the internet it is just as easy to use a free option: Oregon School Library Information System (OSLIS) Citation Maker
So I was reading a blog that did a nice job laying out public opinion on the Apple vs. Android discussion. Should schools get iPads or Android Tablets? Which is the best solution?
One of the big concerns with Apple is the way they are marketing the iPad. Users seems to be looking for a netbook replacement. They want to be able to hook in their peripherals. They want USB, HDMI, & SD Card ports, not to mention the limits of Google Apps on iPads. Android allows users to use Flash and other popular tools. Though with the transition to HTML5, maybe Flash will not be such a big deal in the future.
I do wonder if jumping on the tablet band wagon is necessary….could education wait until the price goes down? Are there cheaper options such as the Nook Color adding Android accessibility options? Companies are rushing to come out with the next solution. Is the first solution the best? Should schools even be buying these things when students can bring them in to school to use on a wireless network? Not all students have these tools…so buy a few instead of for all students. Cellphones are quickly replacing laptops for simple and general computing. Things change every day…I look forward to the next advance with interest.
Another user notes the ease in which Google makes app creation. In the Google App Inventor, users can easily create apps. This is ideal for students. However, Apple caters to education and has a variety of educational apps. Android needs to catch up to be a threat in that field.
To create an iPad, iTouch app there are a few more steps.
“First start by joining Apple’s iPad Dev Program ($99). With your membership you will get iPhone SDK with Xcode, interface builder, ipad simulator, sample codes, video guides, forum, and performance analyzer. Download and install the latest version of the iPhone SDK. Note, you will also need a MAC or Mac Mini with the freshest Snow Leopard installed in order to run it. If you cannot afford a MAc. you may try to develop on a Hackintosh PC. Here is a tutorial on building a Hackintosh with Snow Leopard, no hacking required that might help you in your project. There are some great places with tutorials and guides or forums to ask for help from other developers: Apple Dev Forum, iPhoneSDK, iPhoneSDKForum.(Source)”
What will you choose? Will your choose? Take a look at your needs and reasons and then decide.
Al Gore’s follow up to An Inconvenient Truth is called Our Choice. However, why create a traditional book? Along comes Push Pop Press and Charlie Melter (sp?) with the first feature length interactive books. This book is a perfect book the explore interactivity in books. The book details all the solutions for the environment challenges on Earth today.
This video comes from Ted: Ideas Worth Spreading and is a mere 6 minutes long and features Mike Matas explaining how the book will function and read. Over an hour of documentary footage with be included in Our Choice. You can use gestures inherent in iOS. It shows and explores how the information impacts regions in real time. I think we really do need to think of interactive books as separate entities. Traditional books are good at what they are trying to accomplish. However, there is so much more that can be conveyed in this medium. The book almost functions as a pathfinder and collage of different media, pictures, and text. It is not a book that needs to be read the whole way through, but can. It is a bit like a personalized book….or at least what a personalized book looks like today.
There are some new features within this book (it does help that Mr. Matas worked on the interfaces and artwork for the iOS). As you can see from the picture at the left, one of the interactive components is the ability of the user to blow into the iPad/iPhone/iTouch and it shows the impact of wind energy. Think about the possibilities of interactivity. I am excited to see what Mr. Matas has up his sleeve for fiction books. Please note: It currently works with iPhone and iPad but I wonder about Android products.
About Mike Matas (from Ted: Ideas Worth Spreading)
“Mike Matas has worked on some of the most intriguing tech projects of the past 10 years. As a (surprisingly) young coder, he co-founded Delicious Monster, makers of the elegant cataloging tool Delicious Library. In 2005, he went to work for Apple, where he designed user interfaces and artwork for the iPhone, the iPad and Mac OS X.
Now he’s the co-founder of Push Pop Press, a new digital publishing company. Push Pop’s first title is Al Gore’s “Our Choice,” playable on iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch.”
Have you ever created a website and wanted to make sure that it is viewable to all browsers and devices? Well a new website will do it for you. I stumbled upon LaunchCheck which allows users to check their website (or any websites) compatibility.
The site checks the following:
- Firefox (MAC & PC)
- Safari (MAC & PC)
- Chrome (MAC & PC)
- Opera (MAC & PC)
- Other Mobile Devices (Ex. Android)
- HTML Valid
- CSS Valid
Creators do not know what browser their readers will use, so it is important to be as compatible as possible. The only thing required is a twitter account (login) and your email address to send the report. It is easy to use and the report is very quick.
eTextbooks — the future of education???
eTextbooks seem to be on the horizon. Some districts have begun to embrace them from California to New York. There are pockets of creators and district initiatives. Then there are the choices of pdf, ePub, eBook, and many others. What format should this new book take. Will you have videos, links, and other media? Of course, we say, because we want to take advantage of the technology of today. Will the textbook take advantage of collaboration and be an editable text? Will you add student work?
There are many questions to ask before one begins undertaking an eTextbook. However, I believe the benefits are well worth the effort. A text that changes and evolves with the class and links directly to instruction rather than driving it. How many teachers have truly reached the end of their textbook by June? Few that I know of. The money saved by using eTextbooks could put a computer or digital device in the hands of each student (1:1 iPad or Kindle or Nook anyone??)
You can buy eTextbooks but why? Unless time is a real issue the ability to create your own textbook is power. You can work as grade levels and create a text that will truly supplement your teaching.
Flexbooks – Create interactive textbooks using this online creator. There are quite a few textbooks that have been created.
EPUB Conversion — This format can be read by eReaders including the iPad. PDF & Word Document Converter to EPUB
Traditional ebook creator (no multimedia features): You can create traditional books, cookbooks, textbooks, etc. However, they are not interactive (yet…I have high hopes for lulu.com in the future)
Ebook – Add to this myebook’s powerful yet simple user interface, and you have the ultimate ebook platform for your own or your class publication. You can even embed or link to videos, audio, documents, images and flash files to make your books fully interactive. Be careful when using with students as some of the books on the site are not necessarily the best for younger students. A true eBook creator! A site in which users can create digital content that is meant to be viewed on digital devices and computers.
This is an eBook from the Department of Education and Early Development in the State Government of Victoria. I think one of the coolest parts of this eBook, beyond the content, is that it actually functions as a book. As a librarian, this was quite cool.
Content in this eBook is great. It gives a complete overview of the process of creating 1 to 1 technology implementation. I have not achieved this at my current school, but it is ideal. With grants and such, it might be possible and I am quite excited. Finding research and books such as these to support and aid implementation is key.
Checkout the book
I just came across (thank you Twitter) a list of Educational Apps. I will not try to list them all, but go to this wiki and find a slew of them. Some are free and others are not. I believe the most expensive one is $1.99.
A few to note:
Animoto App — Free. I am a great fan of Animoto. They have educational accounts and make digital storytelling so easy to accomplish. Taking advantage of the video capabilities of the iPad 2 and iTouches make this tool a must.
Bump – Free. Share photos, apps, music, messages, locations, contacts, calendar events; become friends on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn; compare mutual friends, and more. You can share information with those people in your vicinity. This would be great in a classroom.
Puppet Pals — Free. Create animated puppet shows and add your own audio for the shows. Once completed, you can add to your videos for future viewing. I saw the program online a few years ago for Harry Potter. A very funny app students will enjoy.
Xtranormal Messenger — Free. Create avatars and add your own voices to them. Much like Voki but for i-devices. Text-to-speak or voice recording options. Choose your character and settings.
Very soon I will have 7 iTouches in my library and I am so excited to use them with my library classes. The kids are going to love love love them! I was able to use an iPad for 3 weeks (thank you SLS BOCES!) and love it. I do think it is important to separate what an iPad is and one’s expectations of a computer. iPads are not computers and they are not trying to be….they are iPads a new type of device that allows us to cloud compute (unless it is Flash) and do limited creation. Also, some are not Apple fans….I have to admit I am a bit of a PC person myself but one does not have to have an apple to appreciate the uses of an i-device.
I think of it as a small window into the internet. Most of the activities that I do online do not require a laptop. Sure the laptop is nice, but not as portable as an iPad and it definitely does not have the battery life!