Thursday, December 13, 2012

Apple Learning Tour 2012 - Engage students. Explore apps, interactive books, and Multi‑Touch textbooks

Today, I had the opportunity to spend a day at the Apple Learning Tour 2012 in Regina.

The first workshop I attended was all about apps and multi-touch textbooks. The description of the morning session was:

Engage students. Explore apps, interactive books, and Multi‑Touch textbooks.
9:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Discover amazing interactive iBooks. Immerse yourself in the world’s largest online catalog of free education content in iTunes U. And experience some of the thousands of education apps for iPad. Learn how to create your own interactive Multi-Touch books with Mac and iBooks Author. Discover how a course is built with iTunes U Course Manager using interactive learning materials. Then see how it all comes together with an overview of ownership and deployment models for content.
The second session I attended was all about creating my own course for the iPad using iTunes U. The description of the afternoon session was:

Learn by doing. Create courses with iTunes U Course Manager.1:00 PM - 4:00 PM
In this hands-on session, you’ll learn how to build a course by exploring all the capabilities iTunes U Course Manager has to offer. Experience the ease of pulling together content such as audio, video, iBooks textbooks, and over 500,000 resources in iTunes U into an organized syllabus. Make available all the assignments, quizzes, and materials for your students or anyone who’s interested in the topic — whether in your class or anywhere in the world.

Resources that teachers might want to check out can be found on the Apple website for education: Resources

My notes from the session:

Demonstration of products:
  • Apple TV to turn your projector into a sharing screen where students can use airplay to share what they are working on from wherever they are working in the classroom.
  • Exploration of accessibility features on an iPad such as speaking, guided access, mono audio to make the device meet the needs of students and their different learning requirements.

Apps we explored on iPad and Mac:
  • Explain Everything: (iPad) Allows students to record a voice over, edit photos, write text. Project idea is to give the students a slide deck (or have them create a slide deck) and each record their understanding of a concept or explanation in 60 seconds or less. Interesting demonstrating of learning idea.
  • Doceri: (iPad) Allows you to use an interactive whiteboard similar to Explain Everything recommended by another participant.
  • Book Creator: (iPad) Allows you to create your own book with photos, text, voice over and drawings. Students could even create their own book for their demonstration of learning.
  • iBook Author (Mac) We then spent some time exploring how to create books on iBooks Author which is a Mac app that allows you to create your own book using video, links and interactive features. For more detailed instructions, I encourage you to visit the education resource section of the Apple website as it has instructions to help you create your own iBooks. Apple Education Resources
  • CloudOn: (iPad) (Thanks to Jim Swan for this one) Awesome app that allows you to use the Office Suite of products to create and use documents but save them to your Google Drive or Dropbox. 
iBooks we explored:
  • Life on Earth (Edward O. Wilson, Harvard University)- Saw features like including video and interactive maps and materials. Also saw how highlight parts of the text and allow students to create their own study notes and cards based on their highlighted information. There are also accessibility features that allow the student to have content read to them.
You can create your own account (using Safari browser on Mac or PC) in the iTunesU. Once your school or division signs up, then you can be linked to an institution, which I understand has extra features or benefits. Using their course management system, you can design your own courses to be delivered through the iTunesU app. More resources and instructions are included in the Apple Education Resources

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