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Posts tagged ‘iphone’

PokemonGo: 21st century geocaching, lesson plans, & all around game changer

Maybe you missed this. Maybe you’ve been following the presidential election or the Brexit thing or bemoaning the fact that the 2015 World Series champions have lost seven of their last ten games and are now seven games back of Cleveland. You know, something trivial.

So let me catch you up.

A free mobile phone app just changed the world.

Okay. That may be just a bit of an exaggeration. But it’s not far off. Since last week, more people are using this app than Twitter. During that same period, the market value of the app’s manufacturer bumped up nine billion – that’s billion with a B – dollars. And all over the world, millions have jumped off their couches and are, wait for it Read more

Control your iPads with Guided Access

More and more schools are integrating iPads into classrooms. And while there are tons of apps designed for social studies teachers that encourage quality teaching and learning, new tools always create unexpected consequences. One of the things that I constantly hear from teachers is that their students are easily distracted while using iPads.

It’s easy to say that it’s simply a matter of designing engaging lessons to keep kids on task. But we all realize that the iPad, and all of its bells and whistles, can be hard to resist. You might have one or two students who are always off-task no matter what is assigned. So teachers keep asking

Is there some sort of management tool that I can use to keep that one kid where he belongs?

And the answer is Read more

Tip of the Week: iPhone from the past

I’ve spent the last few weeks having a great time with teachers and iOS 7, learning tools and sharing ideas. During a conversation yesterday, another social studies guy and I started talking about ways to use cell phones as instructional tools. He mentioned a photo he had recently seen with Abe Lincoln holding a cell phone.

And, yes, we went there.

Who was Lincoln texting on the way to the play?

Too soon?

But that image did lead to a much more appropriate conversation. As in . . . if historical characters would have had access to an iPhone, what would have been on it? And could we use that sort of question with kids to help introduce content or to assess learning?

We figured yes. So I quickly fashioned a graphic organizer that you can use to help kids brainstorm and discuss historical content. Read more

Infuse Learning vs. Socrative vs. Clickers

I like the Clickers. Don’t love ’em but . . . yeah, they’re okay. I mean, they do some cool stuff but they’re expensive and can be difficult and time-consuming to set up.

What’s a Clicker? Good question. There are lots of different brands out there but they all work basically the same – a Clicker is a hand-held device that allows students in your classroom to give you feedback, answer questions, and vote in response to questions that you provide.

The technical term? Student Response System.

And if you have a set of Clickers and you have a system for using them that works for you, stick with it.

Read more

Instashare – handy iOS device workflow solution

As long as iPads and iPhones won’t allow access to some sort of file structure, there will be workflow problems in your classroom. If you’re using any sort of iOS device in your classroom, you know what I’m talking about.

You’ve got 25 kids sharing iPads pulled from a cart. They’re all busy working on the very cool activity you worked hard to design. They’ve created some awesome stuff. But it always come down to the workflow question – how do you quickly and easily get their products off of the iPad and onto your computer?

There are steps you can take. Clunky steps – like setting up Dropbox accounts or Google Drive accounts or commercial accounts like School eLockers. (Greg Kulowiec and Jonathon Wylie have created some nice examples of their workflow solutions.)

But they’re all still clunky.

Apple had the right idea when it added AirDrop to their latest computers. As long as two or more computers were reasonable close to each other, you could drag and drop files onto the Airdrop icon in the Finder and . . . viola, instant file transfer from one device to another.

And it works most of the time. But it isn’t designed to work between mobile devices and a computer.

Read more

Reflection gets even sweeter & now has competition

Several months back I wrote about a sweet little piece of software that let you mirror / airplay your iPad (or iPhone) to your computer. Called Reflection, the software let you mirror your iPad screen via an HDMI or VGA projector.

Rather than spending $100 on an Apple TV that many district tech admins hate because it doesn’t play nice with their servers, you could spend $20 and get basically the same mirroring effect.

Well, it just got sweeter.

One of the problems with earlier versions of Reflection was that it was Mac friendly only. In fact, it only worked on Lion. But . . . wait for it.

It now also works on Windows XP or better and any Apple system 10.6.8 or better.


You can download a free trial and check it out. But I’m pretty sure you’ll like it. It’s drop dead simple to use. Make sure that your computer and iPad are on the same wireless network. Slide your iPad’s multi-task bar all the way to the left and tap the Airplay button. Select your computer from the list and turn on the Mirroring button.

You can password protect access in the software’s preferences to keep the kid in the back of the class from hijacking your presentation.

There is a “full screen” option that will simply put the frame on a grey background instead of your desktop. This allows Reflection to function as a full-screen app in OS X rather than having the iPad’s screen fill the Mac’s entire display. You can also select different resolutions and frames.

But wait! There’s more.

There is another option. AirServer, a very similar type of software, recently came out and offers exactly the same sort of service. Airplay via a wireless network directly to your computer, allowing you to mirror your mobile device over a projector.

So. Comparisons.

AirServer is cheaper by a dollar – 14.99 to 15.99. But if you’re downloading to a PC, AirServer drops to $7.99. Plus AirServer offers a better selection of educational prices. AirServer seems a bit more stable and seems to play nicer with a wider range of apps. But Reflection seems to do better at not falling behind when trying to mirror graphic intense apps. Both tools give you the freedom to roam around the classroom untethered and to let your kids connect to the projector quickly and easily. (I especially like how you can now use your iPad or iPhone as a very powerful document camera!)

But I’m going with AirServer because it fills my screen completely. It just looks better. But you’ll want to test drive each of them yourself. At $15 bucks, you really can’t go wrong either way.