Shadow puppet is a fantastically simple app for making videos and presentations. It’s by the same people who make seesaw, so is just as easy to use and works well if you want to export to seesaw.
I use this app for retelling and sequencing activities as well as making reports on things we have done or any trips we have taken. You select photos from the camera roll, sequence them and then record audio for each one. The app manages all the transitions in the finished product so making a little video is just that simple.
On finishing you can save it to the gallery, export it to seesaw or save it to the camera roll.
It really is the simplest way for my class to make small video presentations, but it’s also a really useful app. One thing I particularly like about it is that you can see progression in children’s communication skills after they’ve been using it for a while. It’s great evidence and a good way of tracking pupil progress!
My Most Used Apps : Camera
This is an app that is so used that most people don’t even think of it as an app anymore. It’s just taken for granted. That’s why I wanted to start with it. Not a day goes past in my classroom where the camera isn’t used. It’s so handy you can even access it from the lock screen and the control panel.
For gathering evidence in the classroom nothing beats the camera. Photos, videos, panoramas, all have their place in visually recording the practice of the classroom. Photos of children playing, photos of work, house built of Lego, the first time a child writes their name. Where would be without the camera?
I also love that the camera is inbuilt in a tool that has so much potential for learning. No more connecting leads to rescue photos off a digital camer so you can do something with them. The photos are actually in a device where the possibilities are endless.
With my iPad there really is no excuse for poor photos. I can adjust the light with the slide of a fingertip, I can focus in with a quick tap and with children prone to wiggling I can hold in the shutter button and take a burst of photos. So I know I’m always going to have at least one where their eyes are open and looking at the camera. Time lapse is also a great option. Why not leave it set up during play to see how people move around the room or how Lego gets built? Or you can use it in science to observe change like ice melting or birds visiting a feeder.
My classroom would be a much worse place without the camera app.
Augmented reality is one of those cool things that we’ve seen a big boom in this past year. Unlike virtual reality which transports you to another place (at least in your mind) augmented reality changes the world that you are in by viewing it through your screen. It’s really exciting and motivating but if you want to use it in your classroom it must be for a purpose. A purpose that makes a difference for the learning and teaching, not just because it’s cool be exciting!
In my classroom I use an app called quiver to introduce a little bit of AR to some of my topics. Quiver is app that has a built in selection of colouring pages to print. When you print and colour/design then in real life you then you scan them with the quiver app. Looking at the page through the screen of the iPad your colouring page will come to life.
Our P2s use it when they learn about transport, designing their own cars and planes. Our P1s use a quiver penguin page when they learn about cold places. There are also seasonal and holiday pages.
The pupils always get very excited when I produce a magic colouring page, you should give it a go!
Pickids is the child friend version of Piccollage. Probably the most used app in our whole school.
We use piccollage a lot because it’s so versatile. Making posters displaying learning, sequencing events, making comics to retell a story or create a narrative, showing photos off from a trip or a science experiment, even a weekly recap of learning to make a digital learning journal. There’s literally nothing that you can’t do with this app.
Well worth a try!
I find it really hard not to talk about seesaw when I’m talking about using iPads to redesign and enhance teaching and learning. It’s the app I use most frequently that’s not inbuilt with the iPad. I love it so much that I’ve been a seesaw ambassador for the past two years.
Seesaw is an a crossplatform way to record children’s learning in digital journals. It is available for both iOS and android and also via the web.
My class of 4-6 year olds upload their own work in class and narrate it. They take great joy in sharing it with the rest of the class and liking and commenting on each other’s work. In this way we teach a little bit about digital citizenship.
It’s more than just a collection of work through. It can record audio and screencasts so children’s learning becomes visible. Seesaw blogs make sharing to a global audience easy and safe. Teachers can set it up so that they always have to approve items before they go live, either in the class feed or blog (if you choose to use it.)
Another beautiful thing about seesaw is the ability to link in parents. Parents can see into their children’s journal in real time. Getting updates on their learning and successes, or reminders of school events via uploads by the teacher. I’m not a parent but my godson goes to a nursery where seesaw is used and I love being able to see him at work or play during nursery.
Linking in parents is an option. My current class don’t have parents linked, which is a school leadership choice. But the option is there. That’s one think that makes seesaw great – teachers are in control of what and how to use it.
I could easy talk about seesaw all day, there’s a wealth of information about it online, including wonderful YouTube videos and online training webinars. There’s even a group on Facebook and a Twitter chat for sharing ideas and getting support in how to use it. My advice though is, if you haven’t tried it yet, download it and give it a go. You’ll be hooked.