8 Apps to turn your iPad into an Interactive Whiteboard
Feb17

8 Apps to turn your iPad into an Interactive Whiteboard

While I am a big fan of the Interactive Whiteboard, they can often to lead to situations where the teacher is firmly stuck at the front of the class to “deliver” content to the students. Some schools are looking to move away from this format, and use iPads as an IWB replacement, although I still think the best way forward should be an interactive screen at the front of the class, coupled with tablets. Anyway, if you do want to move away from the front of the class, then there are several options available to you. The iPad can be displayed wirelessly via Apple TV or software such as AirServer. Check this post for more on how to display an iPad to your  class. The newest version of Smart Notebook even allows for iPad connectivity to your classroom computer, giving proper two-way control. Apps such as Explain Everything and Doceri are essentially screencasting apps, but the drawing and annotation features make them very useful. Children can take photographs of their work, then annotate and highlight key features or important aspects. Here’s 8 ways that you turn your iPad into an interactive presentation tool: 1. SMART Notebook for iPad (£4.99) SMART Notebook for iPad is a light version of the SMART Notebook software you get with your SMARTboards. Using this app, you can both use and edit SMART Notebook lesson activities for individual and collaborative learning with an iPad. Files can be transferred to and from an iPad using cloud services such as Dropbox. Even better, with the new Notebook Maestro as part of Notebook 14 you can even connect to the Notebook file that is being displayed on your classroom computer and annotate/control the presentation. 2. Explain Everything (£2.29) Explain Everything is an easy-to-use design, screencasting, and interactive whiteboard tool that lets you annotate, animate, narrate, import, and export almost anything to and from almost anywhere. Explain Everything allows you to create slides, draw in any color, add shapes, add text, and use a “laser pointer”. Rotate, move and arrange any object added to the stage. You can then record and playback your screencast. Read more about Explain Everything here. 3. Doceri (Free with in-app purchases) Doceri is a free screencasting app for the iPad. Doceri lets you create presentations, add handwritten annotations, insert images from the camera roll and record screencast videos you can easily save or share. Doceri for the iPad is a free download. Presentations display a watermark which can be removed with a £2.99 in-app purchase. Read more about Doceri here. 4. ScreenChomp (Free) Like Explain Everything and Doceri, Screen Chomp is a simple screencasting...

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App-vent Day 14 : Create presentations with VideoScribe
Dec14

App-vent Day 14 : Create presentations with VideoScribe

Videoscribe is an great IOS app that lets you or your students create presentations that look as though they are being hand-drawn right in front of you. It’s pretty simple to use – just click on the page and add text and clip art. Choose from different fonts and colours. You can even record your own voice, or choose a background track from a bank of royalty-free music. When you publish, the app creates a high-quality animation for you. I found this step took a while so don’t do this if you’re in a rush. Finished videos can be saved to your photo roll, Dropbox or uploaded direct to YouTube. As an alternative platform for a presentation, it’s pretty cool. Would make a change from PowerPoint, although there’s always a danger of overkill If you’re looking for a new way to present your lesson objectives, or to provide a summary of the main points of your lesson, then give VideoScribe a go! The app is not free, but is only £3.99, which isn’t too extortionate. Get Videsocribe on iTunes here. You can read more about Videoscribe here....

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Use your iPad as an Interactive Whiteboard with Doceri
May14

Use your iPad as an Interactive Whiteboard with Doceri

Doceri is a free screencasting app for the iPad that when coupled to a large screen lets you use your iPad like an interactive whiteboard. Doceri lets you create presentations, add handwritten annotations, insert images from the camera roll and record screencast videos you can easily save or share. There are several ways to connect Doceri to a large screen, if you already have an Apple TV in the classroom then you can connect your iPad to that via AirPlay. Other options are available, as explained here. Doceri also has it’s own paid-for companion software that can run on your PC or Mac, known as Doceri Desktop. This allows you to connect the iPad to your computer and control the computer via the iPad. Through Doceri Desktop, you can access and control any program or file on your desktop as well as present anything from your iPad or computer. Doceri lessons can be saved to your Camera Roll or shared via other apps on your iPad, so you can upload to your Web site, VLE or other platforms. Lesson can also be exported as PDF files. Share your video screencasts directly to YouTube from within the app. It’s an interesting app, joining the many other good presentation apps out there like Explain Everything and Doodlecast. For many teachers, the iPad connected to a large screen or projector via Apple TV is now becoming a much more affordable system than an interactive whiteboard. I still don’t think it can replace one entirely, and my ideal system is still a multi-screen classroom with IWB and iPad. Doceri for the iPad is a free download. Presentations display a watermark which can be removed with a £2.99 in-app purchase. Doceri Desktop costs $30 for a single seat licence but you can try it for a month for free. Multi-seat licence deals are available. You can download Doceri via the app store here.  ...

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10 Online Alternatives to PowerPoint for Creating Great Presentations
Feb26

10 Online Alternatives to PowerPoint for Creating Great Presentations

In many schools, Microsoft PowerPoint is still the go-to software when creating presentations. But it does have its limitations, and there’s also the problem of “death by PowerPoint”. Sometimes it’s good to try alternative tools that allow for a slightly different approach. PowerPoint Alternatives There are lots of online alternatives which let you create great looking presentations on any device. Storing them in the cloud means you can work on them wherever you are as well as easily share with others and embed into other websites. They may not have the flashy animations of PowerPoint, but that’s not a bad thing! Here are a few to check out: 1. Slid.es Slides allows allow anyone with a web browser create and share beautiful presentations. It uses HTML 5 and so should work on all devices. You can arrange main slides horizontally, with additional slides running vertically. It’s free to use, with additional paid-for features if you like it. 2. Emaze Emaze is a another simple to use presentation creation tool. Again it uses HTML5 and so should work well on any browser – including tablets and chromebooks. It’s free, and well worth a look. 3. Prezi Prezi lets you create engaging presentations that pan and zoom from page to page. Prezi is good for creating non-linear presentations. You can view the presentations that you have created online, and also download them in a Flash player format to play offline. There’s also a Prezi app for iPad. It looks great, but I do know some teachers who feel seasick when they see a Prezi presentation! 4. Google Drive Presentations If you use Google Drive (Google Docs/Apps) then you should already be aware that it has a pretty useful presentation tool. You can create a presentation from scratch or upload and convert an existing PowerPoint. The strength of the Google presentation tool is that many users can collaborate on a single presentation, such as these crowd-sourced examples from Ideas to Inspire. 5. Zoho Show Zoho Show allows you to create presentations from scratch or upload existing ones created in PowerPoint. Zoho Show also allows you to export your slide shows into a variety of formats, including HTML, PowerPoint and .pdf. Zoho Show forms part of a much bigger suite of online applications that you might also find interesting. 6. Moovly Moovly is a free online tool that lets you create interesting presentations and animations. You can incorporate both the hand-drawn style of apps such as VideoScribe and the hand-moved objects style that you’ll have seen in videos such as CommonCraft. The site is free to register with and use, with more advanced...

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Create Engaging Presentations with Moovly
Nov19

Create Engaging Presentations with Moovly

Moovly is a free online tool that lets you create interesting presentations and animations. You can incorporate both the hand-drawn style of apps such as VideoScribe and the hand-moved objects style that you’ll have seen in videos such as CommonCraft. Moovly lets you add voice, sound and music and synchronize everything using the simple timeline interface. Animations such as “hand drawn”, “drag on” and “drag off” can be added via the timeline. Some of the clips from the library also have their own animations attached to them, such as globes which spin or chickens which feed. Videos can be published via YouTube or Facebook, or can be downloaded for offline use as Flash or Movie files. Free videos are watermarked with a Moovly Logo. There doesn’t seem to be a way to embed them directly from the Moovly website. Downloading may well be the best option for schools – but you might have a class YouTube account which could be used for sharing presentations. Moovly is another interesting tool to have in the box when looking at creative ways to present children’s work. They could use it to tell stories, explain findings of practical work, present work they have researched and much more. The timeline feature may make it a little complicated for very young users, but older children should pick it up quite quickly and have a lot of fun with it. The site is free to register with and use, with more advanced features and options being available for an annual fee. You can check out Moovly at : www.moovly.com...

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Create Interactive Video Presentations with the Touchcast iPad app
Nov15

Create Interactive Video Presentations with the Touchcast iPad app

Touchcast is a new app for the iPad that lets you create interactive video presentations to share online. The app lets users record a short video and then overlay widget-like elements (called vApps) on top. These vApps can hold live web pages, maps, live Twitter streams and more. Anyone watching the video via the TouchCast app (or website) can click on these multimedia elements and interact with them while the video continues to play. You can even add quiz questions. It also lets you view presentations produced by others. These can also be viewed on the web, without using the Touchcast app. To get started, prepare the vApps you want to use in advance. These will wait along the bottom of the screen for you to choose from as you speak. You can pick from several different themes for different styles of video, such as a news report. Then you record the video – using either front or back cameras on the iPad. The app also supports green screening, so if you want you can replace the background of the video with another image by standing in front of a green background. There’s also a whiteboard feature which lets you annotate over the top of your video with some basic pen tools. Here’s a short demonstration video that I recorded just now that shows a couple of the vApps. It’s also worth clicking on the link to the interactive version, it’s more than just a video you sit and watch. Quite an interesting tool. You could use this in class with children creating news reports on different subjects for example. It’s another tool to add to the list of useful Digital Storytelling apps. The sharing options might deter some teachers from using it, especially with younger children – but presentations could be setup in such a way that children do not actually appear on-screen. They could use the back-facing camera and film a drawing or some other image, then overlay the vApps onto that. They could also just be stored locally and viewed on the iPads. It’s a very interesting app, and well worth investigating. Take a look at Touchcast here, and let me know what you think in the comments....

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5 Free Online Alternatives to PowerPoint
Jun25

5 Free Online Alternatives to PowerPoint

While PowerPoint is still the go-to software for many people when creating presentations, it does have its limitations, especially when it comes to editing a PowerPoint presentation on an iPad or collaborating with others. While some of these issues are addressed with Office 365, you do have to pay for the privilege. There are lots of online alternatives which let you create great looking presentations on any device. Storing them in the cloud means you can work on them wherever you are as well as easily share with others and embed into other websites. They may not have the flashy animations of PowerPoint, but that’s not a bad thing! Here are 5 of my favourites. 1. Slid.es Slides allows allow anyone with a web browser create and share beautiful presentations. It uses HTML 5 and so should work on all devices. You can arrange main slides horizontally, with additional slides running vertically. It’s free to use, with additional paid-for features if you like it. A big thanks to Mark Allen (@edintheclouds) for making me aware of Slid.es 2. Emaze Emaze is a another simple to use presentation creation tool. Again it uses HTML5 and so should work well on any browser – including tablets and chromebooks. It’s free, and well worth a look. 3. Prezi Prezi lets you create very engaging presentations that pan and zoom from page to page. You can create non-linear presentations quite easily. Prezi lets you embed images and video too. You can view the presentations that you have created online, and also download them in a Flash player format to play offline. There’s also a Prezi app for iPad. It looks great, but I do know some teachers who feel seasick when they see a Prezi presentation! 4. Google Presentations If you use Google Docs (Google Apps/Drive) then you should already be aware that it has a pretty useful presentation tool. You can create a presentation from scratch or upload and convert an existing PowerPoint. The strength of the Google presentation tool is that many users can collaborate on a single presentation, such as these crowd-sourced examples from Ideas to Inspire. 5. Empressr Empressr is a free online storytelling tool that allows you to create, manage and share rich media presentations online. Upload your video, images and audio to get started creating cool slideshows. If you have your own website, blog, or social networking page, you can either post a link or embed your Empressr. Empressr also has charting and table tools.   There are many other tools out there, let me know your favourites in the comments below!    ...

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Be a News Reporter with the I Can Present iPad App
Apr22

Be a News Reporter with the I Can Present iPad App

Kudlian software have released an iOS version of I Can Present, their popular presentation software. The app allows students to write and edit their own teleprompter script and record video as they read it out. The app is available for all iPads and iPods and will soon be available for Android devices. I Can Present can be used in three different modes including video only, video and script and script only. The split screen mode allows users to hold the iOS device, and record footage whilst still being able to read the script for a flawless performance. You can switch between the front and rear cameras – so you can either act as a presenter speaking to the camera or a narrator of something else. With the teleprompter mode on, it looks something like this : The app saves the video to your camera roll – so you can then do other things with it afterwards, such as export to YouTube or edit in other software such as the desktop version of I Can Present. You can preview your recorded video inside the app. The app has a number of cross-curricular applications for all age groups. They could present items from history as news reports, or present the results of a science experiment or speak “live from the scene” on a field trip or school visit. The teleprompter features are very nice, but I’d like to see the app do a little more for your money. Being able to load up pre-recorded videos for narration would be good – as would being able to make a photoslide show for narration. Green screen features would be welcome too. Hopefully these features can be added in future updates. The I Can Present app costs £1.99 and you can download it here.    ...

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Videoscribe – A Fast Drawing Presentation Creator for iPads
Nov20

Videoscribe – A Fast Drawing Presentation Creator for iPads

Videoscribe is an IOS app that lets you or your students create presentations that look as though they are being hand-drawn right in front of you. You’ve probably seen this style of animation recently, (like this from Sir Ken Robinson) they’ve become quite popular. Here’s a quick demonstration of the kind of video it produces: I saw this app being used last night by Penny Patterson at TeachMeet Essex, and I loved the effect. It makes an interesting change to Powerpoint or Prezi. It’s pretty simple to use – just click on the page and add text and clip art. Choose from different fonts and colours. You can even record your own voice, or choose a background track from a bank of royalty-free music. When you publish, the app creates a high-quality animation for you. I found this step took a while (the video below took 12 minutes to process on an iPad3) – so don’t do this if you’re in a rush. Finished videos can be saved to your photo roll, Dropbox or uploaded direct to YouTube. As an alternative platform for a presentation, it’s pretty cool. Would make a change from PowerPoint, although there’s always a danger of overkill If you’re looking for a new way to present your lesson objectives, or to provide a summary of the main points of your lesson, then give VideoScribe a go! The app is not free, but is only £2.99, which isn’t too extortionate. Get it on iTunes here. There’s also a website version, but that involves an account and subscription. If you find you make a lot of these, it may well be worth it. Take a look here : www.sparkol.com Let me know what you think in the comments below.  ...

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Capzles – digital storytelling and presentation tool
Feb21

Capzles – digital storytelling and presentation tool

Capzles is an interesting digital storytelling tool that allows users to tell a story using pictures, video clips, audio tracks and text. Users are given the ability to place this media, called “moments”, together chronologically in a timeline. Creating a “Capzle” is easy via the website. You can upload photographs and videos or blog directly onto the site. You have a lot of control over the background colors and themes to be used with the capzle. Users can also add an audio track to be played in the background as their capzle is viewed. There is also a Capzle iPhone app which lets you upload images from your phone straight into a Capzle. I had a quick play with the site and produced a short test capzle : View my Test Capzle Here Adding video is tricky in that you cannot just import files from YouTube. You need to upload video files. Maybe in the future this feature will be added. This does limit it’s use as a way of collating resources that students have found online on a given topic. The terms of the Capzle website state that under 13s cannot register, so this is something to use with children above that age. There are social network aspects to the site so it’s best to restrict it to older children. For educational use, this is another tool which could be used to produce simple presentations – collating images, videos and text into one presentation document. Pupils could produce Capzles on particular topics in the same way they might produce a powerpoint or prezi presentation. Capzles looks like an interesting tool – and it’s worth bookmarking as another online presentation solution....

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8 Great Online Presentation Tools
Feb07

8 Great Online Presentation Tools

Here are 8 alternatives to giving a presentation with PowerPoint. As well as standard presentations, some of these tools create slideshows from sets of images. They are all free, or at least have a free option. Prezi Prezi lets you create very engaging presentations that pan and zoom from page to page. You can create non-linear presentations quite easily. Prezi lets you embed images and video too. You can view the presentations that you have created online, and also download them in a Flash player format to play offline. Here’s some ideas on how to use Prezi. Here’s a Prezi I produced to introduce the Science course on the PGCE orientation day. Scitt Science Intro on Prezi PhotoPeach With PhotoPeach you can create a rich slideshow in seconds. It also allows background music, captions, and comments so you can elaborate on your story further. It’s quick and easy to use. It doesn’t have a lot of fancy effects, but for a simple slideshow it’s worth considering. Animoto Animoto lets you create photo slideshows and put them to music. A wide range of creative commons music is available. Short videos can be produced for free, longer ones require a small payment. There is an educational version available. It’s very simple to produce cool-looking presentations quickly, like this: Zoho Show Zoho Show allows you to create presentations from scratch or upload existing ones created in PowerPoint. Zoho Show also allows you to export your slide shows into a variety of formats, including HTML, PowerPoint and .pdf. Zoho Show is part of a much bigger suite of online applications that you might also find interesting. Empressr Empressr is a free online storytelling tool that allows you to create, manage and share rich media presentations online. Upload your video, images and audio to get started creating cool slideshows. If you have your own website, blog, or social networking page, you can either post a link or embed your Empressr. Empressr also has charting and table tools. Image Loop A very simple free tool for taking photographs and turning them into a slideshow. You get some customisation options, but they are a little limited. Finished slideshow can then be embedded into your blog, wiki or VLE. Google Docs Google Docs has a pretty useful presentation tool. You can create a presentation from scratch or upload a PowerPoint. The strength of the Google presentation tool is that many users can collaborate on a single presentation. The best examples of this are the “Ideas to Inspire” presentations sparked off by Tom Barrett. Each presentation is the combined efforts of many different teachers from all over the...

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Teacher 2 Teacher Smart Notebook Files
Mar20

Teacher 2 Teacher Smart Notebook Files

I had an absolute blast at the Teacher2Teacher conference in Bow Island, Alberta this week. It was fantastic to meet so many great educators who up until now I had only contacted via Twitter. There was such a great buzz around the school – it was brilliant. I’ll write more about the conference soon – but for now,  I just want to put this post up quickly because I told the delegates I would. (EDIT – I’ve taken these files down for now…. If you attended the conference you can still get them via the Prairie Rose file area) Links to the websites I mentioned in the sessions were all tagged with the T2T tag on delicious, so you can find them all here : http://delicious.com/dannynic/t2t Thanks to the everyone involved in the conference for making me feel so welcome! Hope to see you next year too!...

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