Author Archives: smarterlearning

How to get great looking app icons for presentations.

Some may call it OCD or just very picky but one of my pet hates is seeing app icons on presentations that are either not stretched and misshaped or highly pixelated.  Screen Shot 2014-08-29 at 16.43.27

The solution to great looking apps is as follows.

There are a number of different ways to achieve awesome looking app icons.

A while ago I found a Mac Application on the Web that finds the High Resolution app icons form the App Store and saves them as a .png file on your desktop.

The application I use is iTunesIcon V2.1 . After you have found the right icon you need make some slight adjustments to make it look just like the icons on the App Store and your device. This can be achieved in Keynote, PowerPoint or Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator.

I use Keynote or PowerPoint as these are quick and easy.

Keynote

Screen Shot 2014-08-29 at 16.25.51

Insert the shape which resembles the App icon (Squircle) . Format the shape and fill with the icon .png file that was found using iTunesIcon. You can drag and drop the .png file into the Style window or located using the Choose option.

Once you have filled the shape with the icon make sure you scale to fit. You may wish to add some other effects such as shadows and reflections at this stage. Download the Keynote here to simply drag and drop your App Icon image into the fill.

PowerPoint

This is really simple, drag and drop the .png file onto a slide and format the image using the Bevel Rectangle setting.

Screen Shot 2014-08-29 at 17.13.03

 

You may wish to use Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop however I find this method a lot quicker and easier.

If iTunesIcon fails to find the right image, return to the App store and copy the whole title of app and paste into iTunesIcon. Failing that use Google to locate a large image of high resolution.

Screen Shot 2014-08-29 at 17.20.31

 

 

 

 

 

Science 6 Marker Mat – Inspired by @JamieClark85 revamped by @steve_sdavis

Screen Shot 2014-05-11 at 17.45.57After the success of the SIXCESS resource produced by myself and @MrBAyres to help students prepare for 6 Mark Questions in science exams the evolution of the resources has snowballed.

Steve Davis, a colleague of mine at Clevedon School, spotted some awesome resources by @JamieClark85  and started to think how they could be adapted to be used within a science classroom.

Jamie had developed a series of overlays that could be used within an English classroom. Jamie’s examples can be seen by clicking the image below.

Screen Shot 2014-05-11 at 17.59.16

Steve did a cracking job with the content and visited me to add some magical touches! The pins icons, SIXCESS logo and certified stamp! A relatively small job but Davis seemed impressed!

Screen Shot 2014-05-11 at 18.08.22

Screen Shot 2014-05-11 at 18.08.30

Screen Shot 2014-05-11 at 18.08.34

 

 

 

 

 

The PDF can be downloaded by clicking the link below. Cut out the example in the centre and use as an overlay or laminate and use as it is.

6 Marker Mat

Screen Shot 2014-05-11 at 18.05.40

Experience Life App – Science Apps from Imaxina

Experience Life App – £5.99

iTunesArtwork@2x 2“Experience Life” is a complete educational application about the vital role of the relationship of man.

Through the nervous system’s response to external stimuli, we relate to other living beings and to our surroundings. Our senses receive stimuli; the nervous system processes the information and responds in the most appropriate manner; then, the musculoskeletal system implements the action.

Available in English and in Spanish, the development of this application was supervised by educational and medical professionals to explain the workings of THE SENSES, the NERVOUS SYSTEM, and the MUSCULOSKELETAL SYSTEM in an enjoyable and entertaining way.

Taking advantage of iPad functionalities, it has interactive illustrations, games and animations which reveal an entirely new approach to learning.

Its innovative navigation moves forward in a natural environment, associating educational content with the capabilities of certain animals. This catches the user’s attention and motivates interaction designed to improve learning.

What I think…

This app is awesome! There is very good interactive element to this app with a range of learning styles catered for. A range of activities and simple to use interface makes this book very accessible to all learners and a range of ages and makes the learning and enjoyable experience.  Visually excellent and very accurate science pitched at the correct level to match the literacy abilities of the user. A great focus on scientific literacy throughout linked to visual stimuli and diagrams. A superb resource for students to use during lessons, at home or for independent study. A really enjoyable app to use and learn with that is well worth the money.

experience1_en

experience2_en

The Miracle of Life App – Science Apps from Imaxina

The Miracle of Life – £5.99 iTunesArtwork@2x 3The Miracle of Life is a complete educational application, focused on the human body’s cycle of life. Available in both English and Spanish, its creation has been supervised by professionals in the fields of education and medicine. In a fun and entertaining manner, it explains the secrets of fertilization, gestation, and human growth. Taking advantage of the iPad’s capabilities, it includes interactive illustrations, games, and animation clips, which allow users to discover an entirely new form of learning. New navigation gives the application a narrative continuity that captures the user’s attention and motivates interaction. GAME
The application is rounded out by a fun educational game: You must help a tiny friend navigate through the female reproductive system. Your mission: fertilize the egg. To do this, you must complete five exciting phases, loading up on energy and speed to overcome all of the difficulties you will find along the way.

What I think…

This app is awesome! There is very good interactive element to this app with a range of learning styles catered for. A range of activities and simple to use interface makes this book very accessible to all learners and a range of ages and makes the learning and enjoyable experience.  Visually excellent and very accurate science pitched at the correct level to match the literacy abilities of the user. A great focus on scientific literacy throughout linked to visual stimuli and diagrams. A superb resource for students to use during lessons, at home or for independent study. A really enjoyable app to use and learn with that is well worth the money.

miracle1_en

miracle2_en

Energy For Life App – Science Apps from Imaxina

Energy For Life – FREE

iTunesArtwork@2x

We get the energy necessary to live, the materials necessary for tissue construction and regeneration, and the substances which regulate the body’s internal reactions through the role of nutrition. Functions carried out in the digestive, respiratory and circulatory systems.

Available in English and Spanish, the development of this application has been supervised by educational and medical professionals to explain the functions of the DIGESTIVE SYSTEM, the RESPIRATORY SYSTEM, and the CIRCULATORY SYSTEM in an enjoyable and entertaining way.

Taking advantage of the iPad’s functionalities, it has interactive explanations and animations which reveal a whole new way of learning.

Its innovative navigation runs in a natural environment, associating the educational content with the capabilities of some of the most famous dinosaurs. This catches the user’s attention, who then learns new concepts and is motivated to interact, enhancing the learning process.

What I think…

This app is awesome! There is very good interactive element to this app with a range of learning styles catered for. A range of activities and simple to use interface makes this book very accessible to all learners and a range of ages and makes the learning and enjoyable experience.  Visually excellent and very accurate science pitched at the correct level to match the literacy abilities of the user. A great focus on scientific literacy throughout linked to visual stimuli and diagrams. A superb resource for students to use during lessons, at home or for independent study.


energy1_en  energy2_enenergy3_en

One Best Thing – Sharing learning with real audiences.

Screen Shot 2014-05-03 at 21.10.14

Last year I was successful in applying to be an Apple Distinguished Educator.  After being selected the Class Of 2013 attended ADE Institutes across the globe. ADEs from Europe, UAE and India gathered in Cork Ireland for a week long collaboration and learning.

Our project was to produce multi touch iBooks using iBooks Author to share an idea or best practice entitled My One Best Thing.

One Best Thing is a collection of books, created by Apple Distinguished Educators (ADEs), that demonstrate the use of Apple technologies to transform teaching and learning. Each One Best Thing book shares a unit, a lesson, or a best practice and is designed to help another educator implement a successful practice. It’s a professional learning idea championed by an educator—in word and action—that others can look to for ideas and tips on how to replicate.

100 ADEs from around the globe were successful in having their chapters published and I was lucky enough to be one of them. To view all the free iBooks click the banner at the top of the page. I would highly recommend that you also download the chapters from Mat Pullen, Mark Anderson, Greg Hughes, Andy Dickenson and John Jones.

You can download my book for free by clicking the image below.Screen Shot 2014-05-03 at 21.02.45

Sharing learning with a real audience immediately provides real purpose for students. This One Best Thing demonstrates ways in which students could share their work with peers, educators and the rest of the world. A range of apps, activity ideas, and student examples are highlighted showing how students can use iPad to share what they have learned with authentic audiences

 

Revision Apps

brainpopBrainPop UK

Bring learning to your fingertips with the BrainPOP Featured Movie app for the iPad, iPhone and iPod touch. Watch a different animated movie every day, then test your new knowledge with an interactive quiz – free! School wide subscriptions can be purchased to have full access to all the videos.

 

Edexcel Past Papers edexcel-past-papers

Edexcel Past Papers allows you to download past papers directly to your mobile device, allowing you to revise anywhere at any time. Giving instant access to all past papers, along with their mark schemes and examiner reports, Edexcel Past Papers allows you to personalise your search so you can access and download the papers you need for revision. Covering all subjects including English, Science and Maths past papers, across the following qualifications – GCSE, A level, AS level, International GCSE, Edexcel Certificate, Diploma, Functional Skills, Advanced Extension Reward and Edexcel Awards.

EvernotePeekEvernote Peek

Evernote Peek is a learning app designed for the iPad 2 Smart Cover. No Smart Cover? No problem! The new Virtual Cover lets any iPad get in on the fun. Studying with an iPad has never been more natural.

Simply peek under the cover to prepare for a quiz, practice a language or strengthen your memory.

 

iMindMap HD iMindmapHD

iMindMap HD is the ONLY Mind Mapping app that is endorsed by inventor of Mind Maps, Tony Buzan, allowing for truly organic Mind Maps and freedom to draw as if by hand. It is your limitless workspace for brainstorming ideas, note-taking during meetings or lectures, organising tasks, planning events, creating and delivering presentations and so much more.
iMindMap HD is packed with intuitive, time-saving features to help lighten the load from your busy schedule and add a touch of creativity to everything you do.

So, ditch the endless lists and dull slideshows and take refuge from the status quo with the creative tool for all tasks, iMindMap HD.

PLEASE NOTE: iMindMap HD syncs your maps between all your supporting devices, so will ask you to sign up for a free account on the first start.

Khan AcademyKhan Academy

Khan Academy allows you to learn almost anything for free.

Our iOS app is the best way to view Khan Academy’s complete library of over 4,200 videos and articles.

We cover a massive number of topics, including K-12 math, science topics such as biology, chemistry, and physics, and even the humanities with playlists on art history, civics, and finance. 

Spend an afternoon brushing up on statistics. Discover how the Krebs cycle works. Learn about the fundamentals of computer science. Prepare for the upcoming SAT. Or, if you’re feeling particularly adventurous, learn how fire stick farming changed the landscape of Australia.

My Exams My Exams

Create your own personal exam timetable using SQA’s Exam Timetable Builder. Once you have created your timetable you’ll be able to view your personal exam schedule at a glance, add notes to exam entries, e-mail the timetable to yourself or a friend, and even integrate it into other calendars using iCal.

This free app also provides information and resources to help you prepare for your exams, and links to other useful websites.

My Study Plan My Study Plan

Do you need help organising your study time before important exams?

 SQA’s My Study Plan app will automatically create your own personalised study plan based on your exam times, their importance and when you want to study.

Once the study plan is generated you can view and edit it to customise it further to meet your needs.

quizletQuizlet

The official Quizlet app is here! It’s a free, fun, and beautifully simple way to study on your iPhone and iPad.

Seamless syncing means all your Quizlet study sets are ready to use. Or search Quizlet’s database of over 21 million flash card sets to find content already created. 

Pick from 3 mobile-only study modes to suit your learning style and take advantage of audio in 18 languages to reinforce pronunciation and retention. Plus, with full offline support you can study anywhere — even without an internet connection.

revision appRevision App

Revision App is The Ultimate Learning Tool. SAVE MONEY & LEARN SMARTER with millions flash cards & Exam Notes covering GCSE, A-Level, College & University subjects to help get the grades you deserve & reach the goals you dream of. 

Reading A Book For An Hour = Revision App For 20 Mins 

Revision App is the Key to the Success you need, not only to achieve your A Grade but also to build the future you deserve! Covering subjects such as English, Maths, Science, Economics, Business Management etc to help you not only revise but continue to learn and progress all year round. 

Revision doesn’t have to be boring and a chore. You can be creative and learn SMARTER with Revision App.

Revise An Inspector CallsRevise AIC

This revision application is aimed at those who have been studying J.B Priestly’s play, An Inspector Calls. It includes detailed summaries of characters, themes, context and plot as well as several interactive quizzes to test your knowledge of the text. Plus with Twitter integration you can tweet your thoughts on the play. It is simple and intuitive to navigate around and is optimised for iPhone/iPod Touch and iPad.

Studying on the go has never been easier!

Revise OM&MRevise Of Mice and Men

This revision application is aimed at those who have been studying Steinbeck’s Of Mice & Men. It includes detailed summaries of characters, themes, context and plot as well as several interactive quizzes to test your knowledge of the text. Plus with Twitter integration you can tweet your thoughts on the novel. It is simple and intuitive to navigate around and is optimised for both iPhone/iPod Touch and iPad.

Studying on the go has never been easier!

A full list of School Revision Apps can be viewed here. These include other English Literature Apps as well as the Paid versions of the apps above.

Simple Mind HDSimple Mind

Mind mapping tool that turns your iPad, iPhone or iPod touch into a brainstorming, idea collection and thought structuring device.

FREE FUNCTIONALITY
• Easy to use – drag, arrange and edit topics on the Mind Map page.
• Tap or drag Node Well to add new Topics.
• Undo/Redo in the editor – full Undo capabilities make editing and experimenting easy.
• Word wrap tool allows easy adjusting of topic width.
• Reconnect topics using drag drop, aided by topic auto-layout.
• Cut, Copy, Paste – move or duplicate topics between Mind Maps.
• Apply visual styles – change colors, borders and lines for maximum presentation impact.
• Large Mind Map support – unlimited page size.
• Exchange your Mind Maps with SimpleMind Desktop for OS X/Windows.
• Universal version: user interfaces natively designed for iPad and iPhone/iPod.

youtubeYouTube

There are loads of users that upload educational videos onto YouTube than can help with revision. Some examples of excellent revision channels are below.

http://www.youtube.com/user/myGCSEscience

http://www.youtube.com/user/HEGARTYMATHS

April Fools Day… Do not miss this opportunity!!

X-Ray Goggles allows you see the building blocks that make up websites on the internet. By activating the X Ray goggles you can inspect the code behind any webpage. You can then pretty much do anything to a copy of that webpage. Do not worry you will not change the real webpage. You can change most elements with a single click, swapping in your own text, images and more.

This could be used in the classroom to give your lessons a ‘real’ life context. Students will immediately engage in the topic. See the image below. Students may also wish to build their very own page on a famous website to share their learning.

 

 

 

 

 

News Article

Or make your own just in time for April Fools Day. The remixed website can be published to a web address where all other links still work and appears as a genuine webpage. The below screenshot can be viewed here.

Screen Shot 2014-03-31 at 20.24.07

 

 

Apple TV, Spout App and Black & Gold Radio. A perfect combination.

We have recently installed a large 40 inch LCD Smart TV in the Science atrium at Clevedon School that can be used as a separate learning area for students and staff or an area for students to use before school and during break and lunchtimes. Using Apple TV and Spout App we now have digital interactive signage that can be used throughout the day.

spoutSpout is the newest way to enjoy news, messages, tweets and comments; delivered to your screen as a beautifully rendered up-to-the-second display of social content. With a wide range of themes, the app produces professional looking signage that is always up to date and interactive.

Black-and-Gold-Radio-Clevedon-School

 

Together with Black And Gold Radio App (our very own in house radio station developed by one of our students) we now have an awesome interactive, fun and professional looking display of students work, key messages, tweets and images at our fingertips that can be streamed easily from an iPad.

Gavin Smart Lead teacher of the Digital Directors at Clevedon School and an Apple Distinguished Educator

Using Layar to make displays interactive.

layar iconAugmented reality (AR) is cutting-edge technology that allows for a digitally enhanced view of the real world, connecting you with more meaningful content in your everyday life. With the camera and sensors in a smartphone or tablet, AR adds layers of digital information – videos, photos, sounds – directly on top of items in the world around us.

Layar is one of the many Augmented Reality apps that could have so many uses within schools. Layar is similar to Aurasma but with a lot more options and a more user friendly and stable interface.

Layar is a free app that can be used on iOS and Android devices. You can make your own Layars via layar.com with a free sign up. Your Layars can link to numerous things videos, audio, apps, social media and so much more. For more guidance click here. This is an awesome ‘How to guide’ produced by fellow ADE, Mat Pullen.

Below is a video of how I have starter to use Layar around my school. I had produced a display in Science to share the recommended apps that we use a lot within lesson so students could scan the individual codes to download the apps. Now it is a lot more interactive. The display now includes Download Buttons for the apps, twitter feeds and also a tweet button. The twitter button can be programmed to say whatever you wish. In my example the tweet promotes the display and also @ mentions the science account so we can monitor the tweets.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 3,444 other followers

%d bloggers like this: