Wednesday, April 25, 2012

iPad vs. PC

We are transitioning from tablet PC's to iPads in our school, so for the time being I have one of each to work with. I've been trying to get acquainted with the iOS realm, but I still go back to the laptop for some things. Here are my thoughts of the day:

Why I like my iPad:

It's lighter and easier to carry around.
The screen resolution shows off my photos nicely.
I can take photos (other than of me).
It's easier to scroll up and down on the attendance screens. (Hardly a big deal, but something I do several times a day.)
Word files for quick grading in Moodle open up instantly.

Why I like my tablet PC:

Typing! Much easier to offer comments in grading on Moodle.
Full functioning of all the apps I use. (Pretty important.)
Much easier to navigate around on the web and between apps, at least so far. (I'm learning...)
The screen doesn't get smudged constantly.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Animoto rocks!

I had not used Animoto in almost three years. I've experimented with Movie Maker and Photostory, tools that allow more control, but are also more time-consuming. Coming home tired from helping out at a two-day retreat, I just wanted something quick and easy to make my photos into a video that would help students remember their experience.

Just upload the photos, pick out a song, and -- thank you very much --within a short time the result is one snazzy video. Animoto does all the work!

Friday, April 20, 2012

IPad camera

If I keep writing here, eventually, there will be much about Apple and iPad, since our school is making the switch from tablet PCs to iPads for freshmen next year, and that's where many discoveries will be, I'm sure.

I took my newly issued iPad to keep tabs on my e-mail at a school overnight retreat that I was helping to supervise. I also took my little Canon Elph to take some photos, but since I had neglected to charge the battery, it lost charge halfway through the retreat. I thought I was done with picture-taking.

And then I remembered my iPad, with the supposedly great camera. So, I took a bunch of shots with that, too, and some of them turned out very nice. Now I need to ponder how those cameras might be used for learning with those freshmen next year.

Newly noticed on Moodle

A colleague pointed out a feature that I need to explore more: "lesson," which allows for a step by step process that a student can do on her own. We have been tossing about ideas about creating lessons that could fit in a general way into the curriculum of a course to use during teacher absences. The thought is that we could create these lessons and have them available for any teacher of a particular course.

Another thing that seems to have just popped up for us is "rubric." Create a rubric for an assignment, and click, click, click, the assignment has been evaluated. Definitely worth a look. When I have used rubrics I have delivered them by e-mail or on a wiki, but this seems to be a most hassle-free way to get the information to the student.