I wrote about the Justand iPad Document Camera Stand in 2012. It was one of the very first contraptions designed to hold an iPad above a surface so you could use it as a visualizer. Justand's inventor, Justin Franks, has learned a lot from his customers' feedback and has released the Justand V2.Read More
A great management tip for school or class sets of iPads, tablets, and iPods is to number each device. Setting the lock screen wallpaper to an image with each device's number will make it easy to identify devices. Just press the home or power button and the lock screen instantly lights up and displays the number.Read More
Reflection is an essential part of learning. Yes, it often hard to fit in the time for reflection. It's also challenging to make reflection something that doesn't seem boring and tedious. To help make reflection a little more fun, I've made a reflection question generator and dice that can help students express their responses. Both the generator and dice use QR codes and serendipity to call up reflection questions and avenues for responding.Read More
Padlet and Lino are the two best online sticky note services around. They are web-based and work great on iPads, PCs, Macs, Chromebooks smartphones, and tablets. Walls can be set up so that students can use them without logins or passwords, making them easy to infuse into lessons.Read More
Interested in mobile learning? Want to hear what other educators are saying about new digital tools? Ready to discover the latest and greatest iPad apps for teaching and learning? If so, I've got two audio programs for you!Read More
Touchscreen devices aren't supposed to require a stylus. But there are times when you might want to use one. You probably draw better with a stylus. Your handwriting is more legible with a stylus. You don't leave fingerprints with a stylus. Using a stylus doesn't block your view of the screen.
Because modern touchscreens are capacitive sensing, they take the conductivity of the human body as input. It doesn't matter how much pressure you apply. It's the electricity flowing through your fingers that cause a change in the screen's electrical field. That change is interpreted by the device as input.Read More
When you think of iPads in schools, you probably think of a cart that's wheeled into a classroom. Youngsters cheer at the arrival of the cart. Devices are passed out, used for a lesson, and then returned to the cart. The cart is then whisked away to another classroom where the same thing happens.Read More
Learning in Hand Podcast Episode #25: QR Codes is all about those two-dimensional bar codes that are popping up everywhere. QR codes have lots of uses for education, especially in classrooms where students are equipped with mobile devices.Read More
Speech input is finding its way into more and more mobile devices and apps. Dragon Dictation for iOS came out in December 2008 and is probably the best way for iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch users to speak into their devices and have it turned into text. The dictated text can then be pasted into other apps. Perhaps future versions of iOS will include speech-to-text across all apps.
iOS's rival mobile operating system, Android, introduced a voice-enabled keyboard with version 2.1. Any time the keyboard is on the screen, Android users can simply tap the speech input icon (or swipe across the keyboard) and then say what they want typed. The device displays the spoken words on the screen.
An app that takes advantage of speech input is the Merriam Dictionary app for iOS and Android. Users can search words by voice. This means that you don't have to know how to spell a word to look it up! The app also will pronounce the word, provides synonyms and antonyms, and contains sample sentences. Unfortunately, the free app also contains advertisements.
An even more amazing app that features speech input is Google Translate for iOS and Android. The app translates words and phrases from more than 50 languages. For many languages, you can speak your phrases and hear the corresponding translations. Not only could this be useful for learning a language, but it could be a helpful communication tool for teachers, students, and parents who speak different languages. Translations can be displayed full screen by holding the device in landscape. Tapping a translation gives you the option to copy the text for use in other apps. As the comments to this post indicate, beware when relying on technology to communicate. You may not be expressing what you actually mean or the translation could turn out to be gibberish or offensive.
Of course, for speech input to work your device must have a microphone. Those with older iPod touches without built-in microphones can use Apple Earbuds with Microphone or very affordable mics from Amazon and DealExtreme. (sorry first generation iPod cannot use any kind of microphone). Going forward, pretty much all mobile devices will have built-in microphones because of features like speech input.