I have been privileged to have had the opportunity to teach Creative iMedia this year for the first time. This post describes some of the software applications and hardware that we have used in meeting the requirements of the three units taught this year. For more details of the course, including all of the units, visit the OCR website:
App review sites and sites describing apps are found quite widely when browsing the Internet with just a quick search. Also, to make life easier for educators, many kind people have created ‘app wheels’; app wheels are another great way in which a range of apps can be explored, linked to areas of learning. Here is a link to an example app wheel for pupils with ASD Continue reading
By Paul Adams
After many months of squeezing in an hour or so here and there, I took the decision to dedicate five full days over the course of a month to creating my first iPad app. Working at a special school, I had a vision, long ago, of an an app that allowed pupils to label things around the room, in a sort of pseudo augmented reality fashion. The app would speak to pupils, linking to the word on the label; my idea was that vocabulary could be learnt in a real-time learning environment. The app would be accessible for all pupils, and would help learn key vocabulary.
After following numerous tutorials on learning Swift 2 and SpriteKit, and jumping through all of the hoops to publish on the App Store, I have now released version 1 of my app. I decided to call it Labels: Materials, with a view to later releasing more apps under the ‘Labels’ banner. It is still a way off my original vision, but the app allows pupils to label items in a picture by dragging the labels from a selection. If the label is pressed for more than a second, the label speaks its name. The app contains six different backgrounds to label, including a kitchen, a playground, a park, the beach, a street and a playroom. Photographs from the camera roll or the camera can also be used for labelling, allowing pupils to take a picture of, for example, their classroom, and label items around the room.
For my next steps, I’m intending to upgrade Labels: Materials to include a title and the ability to save an image to the camera roll. Any suggestions for future improvements are warmly welcomed from any readers or users. I’m also hoping to make the following apps using a similar template:
- Labels: school
- Labels: living things
- Labels: the home
I have enjoyed writing the app. I have to admit to having long periods of frustration when familiarising myself with XCode and Swift 2. As Swift 2 is a relatively new programming language, much of the support available online is for earlier versions of Swift or for Objective C. Most importantly, though, I am looking forward to using it in school, and hopefully enjoyed the rewards of seeing pupils benefit from its use.
I have enjoyed exploring the free ‘Show Me’ app on an iPad. The app allows videos of the screen to be recorded, complete with a recorded soundtrack. On playback, the user views an animation of all of the sketching and annotating that has taken place. My example below is a quick demo of showing grid method; I have simply sketched the calculation, but pictures can be imported too. I can’t understate how simple the app is to use! On completion of recording, the app can be published live to the Show Me site following setting up of an account, and the embed code can then be used in a blog or VLE such as Moodle, or the usual array of social networking sites. Continue reading