Monday, July 28, 2014

NMC Horizon Report Summary

I was re-reading the Horizon Report the other day when it occurred to me that it could be easily summarised. This has helped me consolidate the main elements of the article in my own mind. It is always interesting to reflect on where your school or region is at in this whole process. I hope this is helpful for you too. Please feel free to use and share.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Speech to Text Apps - Updates

Two years ago we published a Speech to Text Apps blog post that has gone on to have over 70,000 hits. Obviously things have changed since then and it was about time that an update to the original blogpost was published. Here are a number of newer apps to add to the original list we published in 2012.

Voice Text Pro: FREE
Dictating has never been easier! Voice Texting Pro doesn't need to learn your voice, no training is required. It works straight out of the box. By default, it uses the language appropriate to the settings of your device. So if you are in Spain, it recognizes Spanish, etc. You can change the language in the settings page.

Voice Assistant: $2.99 AU
From short text messages to longer email messages, and anything in between just use Voice Assistant. Voice Assistant is an easy-to-use voice recognition application that allows you to easily speak and instantly see your text or email messages. In fact, it’s up to five (5) times faster than typing on the keyboard.

Voice Dictation: $0.99 AU
Voice Dictation is a new app that makes you forget about typing a message! Now you can make and send your SMS / Facebook / Tweeter / e-mail messages using your voice on IOS device. Uses advanced voice recognition technology to create an easy and convenient app for voice to text dictation.

PaperPort Notes: FREE
PaperPort Notes is a digital note taking tool for the iPad that is transforming the way people create and share information. Leverage Dragon voice recognition to capture your ideas and notes simply by speaking. Combine documents, web content, audio, typed text as well as hand written notes into a single document.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Learning about the Ocean

Oceans are a great place for learning. It might be learning about tides or about erosion, it might be learning about ecosystems or coral reefs. It might be learning about the animals of the ocean big and small. Here are a number of apps for when your students are studying about the ocean.

Oceans: FREE
The abundance of water on the Earth's surface is an exceptional feature that distinguishes our "Blue Planet" from others. Beyond the species that inhabit them, the oceans are essential to all living organisms on Earth. Thanks to the oceans, clouds and rainfall are produced, allowing vital water to reach all.

Map my Globe: FREE
The continents, oceans, and poles have lost their places! Can you help put them back and restore order to the world? Map My World encourages children to broaden their global awareness, by asking them to place all 7 continents, 5 oceans, and 2 poles back in their proper world locations.

Ocean Science: $2.99 AU
The Earth has one big water system with many features. The Ocean app of Ringier Studios is a fantastic journey deep into the sea. Learn and enjoy the seven essential principles of Ocean Science with movies, 360° pictures, outstanding animations and motion graphics.

Marine Missions: FREE
Explore with Jacques the hermit crab and learn that a healthy ocean is a healthy world! This app from National Geographic Kids teaches children about ocean animals and the importance of water conservation in a fun and interactive adventure game. Help Jacques on his mission to clean up the world's ocean!

Ultimate Sharks: FREE
Ever wondered what it would be like to swim among the ocean’s deadliest sharks? Get in the middle of the action as only Discovery can – intense attack stories, 3D interactive sharks, exclusive HD videos and awesome high-resolution photos, and all for free!

Otter on his Own: $2.99 AU
Join Sea Otter as his mother teaches him to dive, hunt, and survive on his own in the ocean. Explore pictures, learn new vocabulary, and personalize the story with your own narration. When the pup follows his mother into the open sea, more than just excitement awaits them- a great white shark lurks nearby!

Melbourne Aquarium: FREE
Melbourne Aquarium’s iPhone application allows you to access heaps of fun facts and cool images of our amazing underwater animals, taking you on a journey through the aquarium’s four exciting worlds; Antarctica, Weird and Wonderful, River to Reef and Sharks Alive.

MarcoPolo Oceans: $2.99 AU
Make dolphins jump. Build a coral reef. Explore the deep sea. Create your own aquarium. These are just some of the fun things you can do with MarcoPolo Ocean, a “digital sandbox” for kids to play in that sparks their interest in the most unexplored part of our planet – the ocean.

Shark Net - Prisoners of the Blue Serengeti: FREE
Shark Net gives you a deep look into research being done by Stanford University scientists. Shark Net allows you to connect directly with one of the most amazing predators on the planet – white sharks, which return every year to the Gulf of the Farallones and Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuaries .

Animals of the Ocean: $0.99 AU
Using sight and sound, explore the Animals of the Ocean, in this app that is suitable for toddlers through to adults. Included are all your favourite animals you would find deep in the ocean, featured in high quality photos and authentic sounds. Animals of the Ocean provides three different mode

Friday, January 31, 2014

Sharing Australian Aboriginal Culture

Australian Aboriginal culture has existed continuously for more than 40 000 years. They have developed sophisticated social organisations, complex legal systems and a numerous practices and ceremonies based around their Dreamtime beliefs. There is no way we could ever hope to capture all their knowledge of animal behaviour, or of the seasons and bush tucker that each one brings. For that matter we will never know the full extent of the geographical, ecological or land management skills that these communities possess but at least some of them are documenting different aspects of their culture for future generations. Here are a number of apps that introduce students to both their oral story telling tradition and their traditional languages. Enjoy!

Ngurrara - Australian Aboriginal Storybook: FREE
Ngurrara follows the journeys of three young Australian Aboriginal Ngarluma men as they fish, hunt and carve their own stories. It is set on Murujuga (Burrup Peninsula) As the landscape, the people and culture change over millennia, one thing remains the same, the Ngarluma people 'were always here.'

Warlu Song - Australian Aboriginal Storybook: $2.99 AU
A spirit man journeys with a terrifying serpent, ripping up trees with an angry wind, smashing the land with floods and changing the country forever. Continuing the Aboriginal oral tradition, this story was dreamt by a songsmith and is here sung in Yindjibarndi and spoken in English.

Yagambeh - Australian Aboriginal Storybook: FREE
Yugambeh Aboriginal language from the Gold Coast, Logan and Scenic Rim regions in Queensland, at your fingertips for educators, visitors and community. Includes audio, dictionary and pictionary files. Developed by the Yugambeh Museum to re-invigorate use of their traditional language.

One Road: Canning Stock Route: $1.99 AU
One Road: Canning Stock Route Project app takes users on a journey through the remote deserts of Western Australia. Part rich cultural resource, part travel guide, One Road is an interactive map spanning the 2000km Canning Stock Route, which was surveyed between 1906 and 1910 to transport cattle.

Healesville High S-Dreamtime: FREE
Under the guidance of Aunty Joy Murphy, a Wurundjeri elder, nineteen years 7, 8 and 9 students from Healesville High School undertook an intensive two days of Dreamtime story telling, culminating in four dreamtime stories told through striking artwork and narrated in the students' own voices.

Ringbalin - River Stories: $6.49
In 2010 the Ringbalin, a group of Indigenous tribes reignited an ancient ceremony, a Ringbalin, travelling 2300km, dancing to save Australia’s Murray Darling Rivers from a crippling drought. By the time they had finished rain had started falling. What followed were the biggest floods in Australian records.

Indigenious Australian: AGNSW: FREE
Indigenous Australian: Art Gallery of NSW lets you explore a selection of artists and artworks from the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art collection. Discover stories of the artists and the art, get simple explanations of art terms, and go behind the scenes with interviews and videos.

NT Languages - Anindilyakwa: FREE
A flash card language app developed by the Northern Territory Library comprising everyday words and phrases in Anindilyakwa and English. This app is a bilingual literacy tool for people in Anindilyakwa communities, as well as English-speaking workers and visitors to the Gulf of Carpentaria.

Australian Aboriginal Torres Strait Islanders: $4.49
Information on the Australian Aboriginals and the Torres Strait Islanders. Past and present, the corroborees, Indigenous art, the land with places like Uluru also known as Ayers Rock, Kings Canyon. The Torres Strait Islanders history including the cultured pearling industry and fishing for Dugong.

Yan - Aboriginal Text Editor:
Creation of Australian indigenous language text on iPads. The app contains the special characters used by most of the common Australian Aboriginal languages, such as 'Ŋ' for example. Unforunately this app is not currently available in the Australian iTunes Store.

Sharing the Dreaming: FREE
Sharing the Dreaming is a window into Aboriginal culture: the culture of the Nyoongar, the traditional custodians of Australia’s South-West. Listen to Dreamtime stories, illustrated by images of paintings in the local style. Hear and learn Nyoongar words and their English language translations.

The West Macs: FREE
Welcome to the spectacular West MacDonnell Ranges, a world class National Park and home to the Western Arrarnta people of Central Australia. Listen and watch our stories of scenic beauty and history from this ancient landscape and a culture that has existed for many thousands of years.

Ma Iwaida: FREE
The Ma! Iwaidja app is an initiative of the Minjilang Endangered Languages Publication project. Anyone interacting with the language in any way, including Iwaidja speakers becomes an instant documentary linguist. Adding a new word with transcription is as simple as adding a new contact to your Contacts list.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

iOS Writing Prompts

Writing Prompts seems to have been a recurring conversation on twitter recently so I wanted to investigate what was available for teachers. I was surprised to see just how many apps designed for writing prompts there were. What is nice, is how many of these can be used for all grades. I really like the interface of some of these and I think your kids will too. Find a couple that will suit your students and your teaching style. Please list any more that you know of in the comments.

Write about this: $4.49 and FREE
The world is full of scenes with stories yet to be written...what will you Write About? Write About This is a visual writing prompt and creation tool! With endless ways to respond and the ability to craft custom photo prompts, it will kick-start any writing activity. Multiple authors can write and save to the gallery.

The Brainstormer: $1.99 AU
The Brainstormer is kindling for creative minds. A tactile tool to randomly combine a plot, a subject and a setting or style, the Brainstormer provides a moment of inspiration for writers, painters, or any creative mind. Combat creative block, spark new ideas and summon up quick subjects matter.

Writing Prompts: $1.99 AU
The writing prompt generators use current events, scene elements, words, sketches, colours, genres and writing types, unleashing endless random bits of fantasy to fuel your muse. Plus, we've included our database of 600 creative writing prompts so you've got them right at your finger tips, online or off!

Prompts for Writers: FREE
Prompts is full of original writing prompts to ensure you never have a dull moment of writing. Feeling stuck? Press the lightning bolt at any time and you'll be presented with a prompt to help inspire you. Even if you don't know where to start writing, just open the app and press the plus button .

Things to think about: FREE
Kids’ Things to Think About provides 100 prompts to spark thinking for written responses and encourage conversations about ideas and issues for kids. Created by students and teachers in Michigan, it can be used in classrooms by allowing children to explore the prompts and by using them to guide a discussion.

Writing Prompts for Kids: $1.99 AU
Boost students' creative writing skills with writing prompts that will spark their imaginations. This writing prompt generator is quick and easy to use; your students will have an inspiring writing topic in seconds. Just tap the screen to pick a situation, a character, a setting, and an object.

iDeas for Writing: $1.99 AU
If you like writing, you don't have to worry about the creative blocks or the fear of the blank page anymore. Thanks to "iDeas for Writing", you will always carry with you a whole writing workshop with creative triggers and exercises to get your imagination flowing. You will have a smart notebook for writing within the app.

Lost the Plot Writing Prompts Generator: $1.99 AU
Lost the Plot? Then this is the app for you. It is, of course, a writing prompts generator. That much is true but, it is so much more. The prompts held in the digital mind of this app are a little different to the prompts out there in the world. This app generates prompts a little left of centre.

Character Prompts: $2.99 AU
Character Prompts gives you 19 different profile characteristics. We take the process of character development to the next level by adding thousands of character twists and 150 thought provoking questions for your character. Shake your device, swipe across the screen or tap a tab to change prompts.

A+ Writing Prompts: $5.49 AU
Writing.Com presents "A+ Writing Prompts", the education version of "Writing Prompts", the iPhone app with an endless supply of creative inspiration! The app includes all of our prompt generators and prompts packs, with no in-app purchases, and at a discounted price, making it perfect for teachers and students.

Story Dice: $1.99 AU
Story Dice is a creative tool to prompt ideas for plot, character, and setting. This idea generator can be used effectively for both written and oral storytelling.  The user interface is simple enough for ages 3+ to use without any additional instruction. A general writing prompt for all ages without reading or native language barriers.

Rory's Story Cubes: $1.99 AU
Keep all your Rory’s Story Cubes in the one place. The ultimate, mobile storytelling game loved by children, parents on the go, creative writers, progressive teachers and games masters.

 9 cubes, 54 images, Over 10 million combinations. Can you create a story using all 9 face-up images?

Story Spark: $2.99 AU
Do you have writer's block? Use Story Spark to generate a plot twist or surprise for your current work in progress. Just apply the spark to your current characters, or have them meet someone new! Great for the reluctant writer, young and old. Never fear the blank page again!

Silly Story Starters: $1.99 AU
Silly Story Starters generates millions of creative writing ideas for kids. It provides the ability for kids to save their writing and remembers the student's information for 'publishing' by email. The app stores the projects as a collection as well as offering editing capabilities for existing writing projects.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Editing Video on your iPad

Making movies on the iPad is one of those activities that I often see in schools. I love to watch how quickly even very young students can produce a professional looking movie. It is a great way for them to illustrate what they have learnt. Normally I would say that editing movies on the iPad is best done using iMovie but it is not exactly cheap, especially if you have a raft of other apps you want your students to have. Here are a couple of apps for editing movies that do not cost the earth. Many of these apps also contain features found on the more expensive apps.

Magistro: FREE
Magisto is a fun and easy way to automatically edit videos and photos and share them with your friends and family. Magisto will turn your video and photos into beautiful edited movies, complete with music and effects, in minutes. Create sensational movies using as little as 5 photos.

Movie Pro: $2.99 AU
MoviePro - the most powerful video recording and film making app with innumerable options (switch cameras while recording, pause, zoom, adjust Frame rate and resolution, landscape/ portrait mode, selectable video and audio compression, uncompressed audio and  Silent Movies.

VideoBite: FREE
VideoBite makes it easy to turn your smartphone video clips into awesome short movies. Make your clips look their best before sharing them privately among friends and family; or save them to your Camera Roll for sharing on Instagram! Simply use the heart symbol to mark your favorite moments in your video clips.

Viddy: FREE
Turn everyday moments into fun little movies with the Viddy app – it is a simple way to capture, create, and share short, 30-second mobile videos using social media. Viddy is perfect for capturing memories, showing off your skills or sharing video updates with friends. One-touch publishing to social media.

Perfect Video: FREE
Perfect Video is the easy to use video editing app for quick and straight forward editing. With help of it, you can quickly trim, merge, add subtitles, add photos, add text, pick transitions, add music and export your video clips. Its simple lay-out and workflow does not need any explanation.

Now you can DRAW a movie!  Do you want to create your own unique movie? Just draw it by yourself with Cute Cut! Beside providing the utilities of a common video editor, Cute Cut gives more than you expect. Just drag and drop, you can arrange your media segments easily. Supports both portrait/landscape.

Videon: $4.99 AU
Videon contains all the features necessary to record great videos - from capture to editing to viewing. The goal is simple - perfect videos! We combined our knowledge of cinematography with advice from industry professionals to create the most extensive video app available.

Givit Video Editor: FREE
Givit with Highlight is a revolutionary way to stitch together multiple scenes from a single or several videos. Add transitions, effects, titles, photos, and finish with music from Givit or songs in your iDevice. Your final "Highlight" will be a highly entertaining video to share with the world or friends and family.

Splice: FREE
Splice together HD photos and videos in an amazingly simple way. Add music tracks from your iPod library, sound effects, transitions, borders, effects (like Ken Burns, slow motion and fast forward), trim video and audio, narrate with your own voice, and much more.