Monday, April 25, 2016

Interactive Video adding a new dimension to your instruction

Touchcast is a free app available for the iPad that allows you to create videos with interactive elements. While recording introduce other videos, images, twitter feeds, Google Maps as well as a host of other vapps.
Create a presentation with embedded video clips so viewers can view specific content. The main video stops and will resume when viewers return to it.
See the example below of what is possible. Touchcast is an excellent apps to have for the flipped classroom.

Come and talk to the DLCs about this app or about setting up a recording session.


Featured Ambassador Series: Megan Endicott

TouchCast Ambassador Megan Endicott shares how she uses TouchCast for personalized learning with her 700 music students! She also includes great examples in her touchcast.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Apple Photos App - Fast and Easy Slideshows

It is very easy to make creative projects in the Photos App.  To me, this is where the Photos app shines.  If you don't feel a need to control all aspects, you can create professional looking projects in a short space of time.

There are two different ways to build slideshows.

Quick and Easy - Instant View

  • You can add or remove individual photos to/from the group by holding the command key and clicking on the individual photos

Slideshow to Save and Export
Choosing the second option gives you more choices.  You can save, edit and share slideshows.  Creating slideshows this way gives you more control over timing, picture direction etc.  If you want fine control over each picture, I would recommend that you use imovie instead.

Notice that when you have created your slideshow, it appears on the bottom left hand side menu in the Photos App.

More In This Series:
Apple Photos App - Pt 1:  Organizing and Editing Your Pictures

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

What is new in Smart Notebook 15

Smart Notebook 15 software delivers a number of new features that you will very useful in the classroom. These new features will allow you to create objects and activities very quickly to demonstrate concepts and have the students practice skills.

We have picked just a few of the features to show you but we will add to the list in the future.

Contact the DLCs for further information
DLC contact page

Monday, April 11, 2016

Blobs and cupcakes: Learning about design

An article written by Lisa Richardson at CORE-Ed looks at the relationship of form and function in design. It is important to understand this relationship as we explore design with our students.

"Today, using the Internet, social media, and blogs, anyone, of practically any age, has the potential to share their ideas with a giant audience with a few clicks. In a world of big data and 3 million blog posts a day, we are increasingly turning to visuals to give us an overview of the wealth of information we are creating."

PYP in the early years

PYP is coming to the Elementary School next year. Find out more about PYP in the Early Years. There is lots of opportunity for student to explore learning using technology.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Pagoda - Closing Out The Year

As the end of year is fast heading our way, we want you to be aware of the importance of closing out (making inactive) your Pagoda courses/pages.  Closing out is important as it will cut off student access and make classes ready for the next school year.

When closing out courses, you need to consider whether you will be wanting to make a fresh copy to work with next year, or you will just continue to use the existing course you have.

Choices choices ...
Existing Course:
  • think of it like a google doc - you edit it and the changes are permanent.

Create A Copy
  • your old course is archived and can be referenced
  • the copy has all your old content but you can change it and develop it as needed, knowing that all your old content is stored somewhere.
  • Ensure you clearly name your course BEFORE creating the copy - eg. 6th Grade Humanities 2015_2016
  • the downside to a copy is that you start to get very long lists of courses to browse through

Make Courses Inactive

Check out the screencast for how to make your classes inactive.  It's quick, easy and painless!

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Going Further in Your Photography - Adding Manual Control & Great Tutorials

Whilst you can do a lot with the iPhone camera, if you are used to shooting with a DSLR you may become a little frustrated at the limitations of not being able to change exposure, aperture etc.  Fear not ... there are apps for YOU!

Camera +  (Control your iPhone like a DSLR)

free/$2.99 in the iTunes store.  Get it here.
Consistently rated in the top photography apps by Time Magazine,


  • manual control of aperture
  • change ISO settings
  • separate auto exposure and auto focus points
  • take detailed macro (closeup) shots
  • choose your shutter speed
  • clarity filter
  • advanced shooting options 
  • borders
  • captions
  • visual effect filters
  • built in tutorials
  • supports Apple Watch

The free version has a limited set of the features but is worth a try if you want to play a little first.

iPhone photography school has a great tutorial on using the controls of Camera+.  Check it out.


Tutorials for iPhone Photography

iPhone Photography School has some great tutorials if you are wanting to expand your skills.  Check them out here.

More Photography Tricks and Tips?!  Check Out Our iPhone Photography Series ...
Part One    - What's The What? An introduction to the basics of the iPhone camera
Part Two    - Panorama Mama!  Getting the best out of panorama mode on your camera
Part Three - Editing With Snapseed! A great app to bring the best out of your pictures.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Panorama Mama! - iPhone Photography Part Two

In Part One of this series, we looked at the basics of the iPhone camera. In Part Two, we shall look at how to get the best out of your panorama photos.

Panorama is AWESOME.  You can use it to great effect to capture those very wide or tall buildings, landscapes or create perspective.

Using Panorama mode on horizontal phone orientation and scanning
from ground up to sky helps capture this iconic New York building.
Panorama mode on vertical phone orientation, scanning side to side helps capture the scale of this ancient theatre in Pompeii.
Whilst panorama offers some awesome photographic possibilities, there are also some tips and tricks to using it well.  Lets look at some of these and the results if you don't do it!

Keep the sharp point of the arrowhead directly on the line as you pan:

It's really important to be steady and slow.  Once you have set the scene, take a breath, stop looking at your picture and focus on keeping the tip of the arrow directly on the line.  If you waver off the line you will end up with poor lines.

Panorama, landscape orientation, bottom to top
Note broken, warped lines of left columns.
EPIC FAIL!  Keep the arrowhead on the line!
Want To Change Your Panning Direction?!
You can pan any direction you like.

  • Panning left to right/right to left:   phone is held in portrait (vertical) position
  • Panning up and down:  phone is held in horizontal position

If you want to change the way the arrow is pointing, just tap the arrow and it will change directions.

A little panorama goes a long way!

A short panarama (vertical phone orientation, scanning from side to side) helps capture the Colosseum in Roma.

"Just because you can ... doesn't mean you should!"

A little panorama goes a   L O  N  G   way ... be aware of warped perspective.
TWO beaches?!  Standing on the beach in Positano ... the beach is straight but you wouldn't know it from panoramic warping.

A much better result is achieved by thinking of what it is the photographer wants to achieve, shifting your angle and using less pano.

More Photography Tricks and Tips?!  Check Out Our iPhone Photography Series ...
More Photography Tricks and Tips?!  Check Out Our iPhone Photography Series ...
Part One    - What's The What? An introduction to the basics of the iPhone camera
Part Three - Editing With Snapseed! A great app to bring the best out of your pictures.
Part Four    - Going Further.  Great manual control app and online app and tutorials