Sorting, Labeling & Matching iPad Games

Sorting, Labeling & Matching iPad Games

Learning in Hand #27 is all about the Stick Around app for iPad. The idea behind Stick Around is simple: players move stickers onto the correct spots on a background. The thing is, you not only use Stick Around to play these sticker puzzles, but you use it to create them as well! Watch the 9 minute video to get a taste of what you can create with Stick Around.

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Learning in Hand Podcast #23: Collecting & Organizing Voice Memos

Learning in Hand Podcast Episode #23: Collecting & Organizing Voice Memos explains how to sync voice memos from an iPod, iPod touch, or iPhone. Using Smart Playlists in iTunes, see how students and teachers can sync and automatically organize recordings. This process is essential in classrooms where teachers collect reading fluency samples, student reflections, and podcast segments.

Download, watch on YouTube or Vimeo, or view in iTunes all 6 minutes 12 seconds of Episode #23 for tips, how-tos, and ideas for collecting and organizing voice memos.

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Download the handouts mentioned in the episode:

Syncing with iTunes Handout
Emailing to Posterous Handout


This is the Learning in Hand Podcast. I'm Tony Vincent and this is the show where I share tips, how-tos, and ideas for handhelds in teaching and learning. Episode 23, “Collecting and Organizing Voice Memos” recorded August 2010, happens now!

iPod, iPod touch, and iPhone have the the ability to record voice memos. If your iPod doesn't have a built-in microphone, you can attach one like the Blue Mikey, Thumbtacks, or earbuds with mic.

I covered lots of information and uses for voice recording in Episode #14. There are many occasions where teachers want students to record audio. Whether it's to assess reading fluency, share reflections, record segments for a podcast, document a field trip, record a musical performance, or archive a discussion or interview, the teacher will most likely want to transfer the recording from the device to computer for listening and sharing.

Voice Memos can be transferred to iTunes by syncing. When synced, a Voice Memos playlist will appear if you don't already have one. All recordings are placed in this folder. By default, recordings are named by the date and time the recording started.

Once copied to iTunes, the recording is in two places: iTunes and the handheld. If you delete a voice memo on the handheld, it isn't deleted from the Voice Memos playlist in iTunes. But, if you delete a voice memo from iTunes, it is deleted from iPod touch the next time you sync.

That Voice Memos playlist isn't well organized. All you is see the date, time, and length of the recording. This is no good for the teacher who is collecting reading fluency samples--or collecting any kind of recordings. I'd like to show you how to use Smart Playlists in iTunes to automatically sort Voice Memos into playlists for each student. This makes it easy for teachers and students to find their own work.

First, set up a Smart Playlist for each student:

  1. Choose New Smart Playlist from the File menu.
  2. Set the rule to Artist contains and the student?s name. Click OK.
  3. Complete the steps above for each student.
  4. For each smart playlist, click View Options from the View menu. Remove all checkmarks except Artist, Time, and Comments.
  5. When a voice memo is added and Artist is changed to the student?s name, it will automatically appear in the student?s smart playlist.

So then here's how it works:

  1. A student records using the Voice Memos app on iPod touch. The student should say his or her name at the beginning of the recording.
  2. Connect to the computer. The recording should appear in iTunes? Voice Memos playlist. You may have to click Yes if a dialog box appears asking if you would like to copy voice memos to your iTunes library.
  3. Select the Voice Memos playlist.
  4. Click View Options from iTunes? View menu. Checkmark Artist and Comments and click OK. Also select as List from the View menu. (These actions only have to be done once).
  5. Play the recording and listen for the student?s name. Press Pause and click the recording?s Artist. Change the Artist to the student?s name. Be consistent about spelling and whether you use last names or initials.
  6. Optionally, click under Comments to add any additional information about the recording.
  7. You may delete the items in the Voice Memos playlist after you have added Artist information. This way the Voice Memos playlist shows only recordings that have not yet been tagged with a student?s name.
    You can place your smart playlists into a folder. Create a folder by choosing New Playlist Folder from the File menu. Name the folder. Then drag and drop each student?s playlist onto the folder. This is really handy for computers that are shared among multiple classes.

Having sorted recordings is helpful for collecting portfolio artifacts, grading, and easy access for students to incorporate into their projects.

There are of course variations to the process I've shown you. For example, if only one student uses each iPod, you can name each iPod the same as the student. When synced, the iPod's name is shown in the Artist's field and will automatically sort without you having to listen for a name.

Another way to collect and organize recording is to have student email from their iOS handheld to Posterous. Watch episode #21 for more info. At you'll find a handout with the steps for using Posterous for collecting student-made recordings. You'll also find a handout with the steps for setting up Smart Playlists like I've shown in this episode.

That's it for Episode 23. For a transcript and much more about iPods, iPads, and podcasting, click on over to Thanks for watching!

Learning in Hand Podcast #22: Educational Apps

Learning in Hand: iPodsLearning in Hand Podcast Episode #22: Educational Apps features lists of apps for Apple's handhelds. It also showcases apps that educators have shared on Twitter.

Download, watch on Vimeo, or view in iTunes all 10 minutes 22 seconds of Episode #22 for some great app suggestions. Links to all sites and apps can be found below in the transcript.

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This is the Learning in Hand podcast. My name is Tony Vincent and this is the show where I share tips, how-tos, and ideas for handhelds in teaching and learning. Episode 22, “Apps for Education” recorded June 2010, happens now!

Apple has sold over 100 million of their handhelds, which include iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. These devices run the iOS, which was formerly known as the iPhone Operating System. This month Apple is touting that 5 billion apps have been downloaded, which is about 50 downloads per iOS device! There's so much in the App Store and it's growing by about 700 apps per day!

It can be challenging for an educator to stay tuned into the latest and greatest apps.

You can search the App Store for apps that might go with your activity or unit of study. When searching you can limit the results to free apps by clicking Power Search. Pay attention to the reviews. Unfortunately, reviewers are often not educators so reviews and ratings might not reflect an app's true value to you. Be sure to pay attention to the apps at the bottom of the page listed under Customers Also Bought. I've discovered some great this way.

Outside of the App Store, there are many helpful people who have put together various lists of apps for teaching and learning. I've bookmarked over 30 lists of educational apps on my delicious page at Let me tell you about a few of them.

  • There's where you can click a Grade Level or choose a subject under Lockers. Some of the reviews have videos and all reviews are by educators.
  • The Recess Duty blog has a list of the 99 iPod touch apps used by a middle school teacher during the 2009-2010 school year.
  • Macworld has an extensive App Guide with various categories, including Education Genres.
  • ConnSENSE Bulletin has a very extensive listing of apps. Apps have short descriptions of their educational uses.
  • There's a great 24-page document by Eric Sailers on full of apps for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch with a focus on Special Education. The list is arrnaged by category.
  • Kindergarten Teachers at St. Mary's Episcopal School in Tennessee have a website for their Poddy Training project. They list a few of their favorite apps and their blog has some useful videos and advice.

My list of lists continues to grow! But I want to tell you about some of the apps I learned about from Twitter.

Long Division 1.4 for iPhone now lets you set you own problems #edapp #edtechSat Jun 05 21:32:18 via web

Esa posted a link to the new features added to the Long Division app. It's an app that can be used to learn and study the long division method. Students can solve random problems, large and small, or enter their own. You might want to check out other apps by the developer, iDevBooks, including Long Multiplication, Column Subtraction, and Fraction Math.

Just been trying our #edapp StoryKit good for all ages could create work experience diary for older studentsMon Mar 22 14:21:38 via web

Irene wrote a tweet mentioning StoryKit. It's an app where users can create digital storybooks. Just combine text, a drawing or image, and recording a narration or sound effects. The storybook can be shared online. You'll get a URL, but the sounds won't play back on an iOS device--but sounds work great in a desktop browser. Here's an example.

You might notice that these Twitter posts, called tweets, contain #edapp. This is called a hastag. A hashtag begins with the number sign/pound symbol and then contains a keyword. Hastags make it easier to search and archive tweets. Educators are tagging their tweets that mention an education app with #edapp. This way, even people who aren't registered with Twitter, can go to and search for #edapp. Twapper Keeper and Twubs are sites that keep archives of all #edapp Twitter posts and are full of great app suggestions.

@tonyvincent thank you for the #edapp idea -Faces iMake - Creative Craziness !!! - great tool for the classroom- Jun 03 16:25:01 via web

The developer for the Faces iMake app wrote about their app that is all about "creative craziness." Instead of drawing with a pencil or paint, you draw with stuff. You use food and objects to make a face. It's actually quite fun and the objects can have meaning. For example, when I make a self-portrait, I included the foods I like and objects that have meaning to me.

A 3 inch ruler for the iPod touch/iPhone: limited but will include in iPod classroom app list... #edappFri Mar 19 16:49:04 via web

RecessDuty posted a link to a 3 inch ruler for iPod touch and iPhone called TapeMeasure!. It might be handy to instantly have a ruler around when you need it.

Numbl-Number Jumble Fun App: #edappWed Mar 24 12:48:55 via web

She also posted a link to Numbl - Number Jumble Fun. It's a game where 2 players touch numbered tiles as fast as they can to reach a target sum. This is great for sharpening mental math skills.

Mental Note (2.99) and Mental Note Lite. Nice combination of voice recording, text, picture, and drawing with email export. #edappSat May 22 09:58:41 via web

Mystre mentioned Mental Note, both free and pay versions. It's a way to combine text, photos, sketches, and audio that can be organized and even shared through email.

Fred wrote about the Podcasting for Education app. It's a set of 7 tutorial videos for educators who want to learn how to podcast using GarageBand. If you're not a Mac user, this app isn't for you since GarageBand is Mac-only software.

"BrainPOP Releases Featured Movie App For iPad | BrainPOP Educators" ( ) #iPad #iear #edappSat Apr 03 23:39:09 via twitthat

Fred also tweeted the BrainPOP Featured Movie app for iPad. While the current site uses Flash and won't work on an iOS device, this free app brings one video from their educational site to the iPad. You don't get a choice in what the featured movie is, but they are all good. Tim and Moby rarely disappoint.

Nice overview of the ins and outs of iWork for the iPad. #edappFri May 14 09:19:58 via Twitter for iPhone

And on the topic of iPad, Kathy tweeted a link to an article that tells about the ins and outs of iWork apps for iPad. That's Apple's suite of three apps: Pages for word processing, Keynote for slideshows, and Numbers for spreadsheets. They are $9.99 each and are pretty powerful apps, but they do have some frustrating limitations and quirks.

Like you might have guessed, I'm on Twitter and I often share apps, especially ones that happen to be on sale. Sales typically last only a day or two, so Twitter is a great way to share these timely deals.

My favorite app, SonicPics, is FREE today--and that's no joke. #edappThu Apr 01 07:21:38 via web

For example, one of my favorite iPod touch apps, SonicPics, was offered for free April 1st. SonicPics is like Microsoft PhotoStory where you can narrate a slideshow of images. The end product is a movie file you can share with others. You'l need a microphone if you're using this on an iPod touch.

iCut app is free today. It's a game where you cut shapes into congruent parts: #edappWed May 26 02:55:19 via web

Another app that was offered for free is iCut. It's a puzzle game where players cut shapes into congruent parts. It starts out easy but gets harder and harder.

Prices for apps change periodically. So prices you see on Twitter or on websites may be outdated. And sometimes an app might change its name or disappear from the App Store.

Take a 3D view inside a cell with iCell! #edappFri Apr 02 00:32:53 via web

An app that is free and completely awesome is iCell. It gives you a 3D look into an animal, plant, or bacteria cell. You can spin and zoom around the cell. Tap a structure to see its name and read about it.

RT @tonyvincent: Take a 3D view inside a cell with iCell! #edappFri Apr 02 00:33:39 via TweetDeck

You'll notice that many of the tweets when you search for #edapp are re-tweets. That means that the person tweeting is repeating a tweet from someone else. When someone retweets, they thought the original post was so go that it was worth repeating. Retweet posts often start with RT.

EnterState app is hard! Tap 50 states in 60 secs or less: #edappWed Jun 09 01:15:35 via web

I tweeted about EnterState. It's a game where you try to tap 50 states in a minute or less. It's really hard and I have yet to meet anyone who can do it, which makes it a great geography challenge for students.

A new talking picture book every day on your iPhone/iPod touch: #edappWed Mar 24 07:28:15 via web

Very young readers will like Read Me Stories. You can get a new talking picture book a day. You can read 7 books during your free trial, after that books are 10 cents each.

Please consider tweeting about apps you like for teaching and learning. Just remember to include #edapp. Also, it's helpful to include a link to the app in iTunes. Do that by searching for the app in iTunes. On the app's details page, click the triangle next to the download button and choose copy link. You can paste that into Twitter. If Twitter doesn't shrink the link for you, you might need to make it shorter first by using a URL shortener service like

You've seen a nice sampling of apps. Thanks to everyone who shared these on Twitter and keep them coming!

That’s it for Episode 22. For a transcript, web links, and much more about iPods, iPads, and podcasting, visit Thanks for watching!

Learning in Hand Podcast #21: Podcast from iPod touch

Learning in Hand: iPodsLearning in Hand Podcast Episode #21: Podcast from iPod touch is about recording an audio podcast and publishing it using only an iPod touch--no Mac or PC required. See how the free blogging service Posterous makes this possible.

Watch all 11 minutes 23 seconds of Episode #21 to learn about recording and sharing podcasts from iPod touch.


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This is the Learning in Hand podcast. I’m Tony Vincent and this is the show where I share tips, how-tos, and ideas for handhelds in teaching and learning. Episode 21, “Podcast from iPod touch” recorded March 2010, happens now!

You already know that iPod touch makes it fairly easy to listen to podcasts. You can subscribe in iTunes on your Mac or PC and sync the audio and video episodes to your iPod. Or, you can even launch the iTunes app on your iPod to browse and search for episodes to download directly onto your device.

There are so many ways to produce and publish a podcast. It almost always involves a Mac or PC running software like GarageBand, Audacity, iMovie, or MovieMaker. Then the finished audio or video file is uploaded to the web and a web feed is made. The web feed tells software like iTunes that a new episode is available.

In this episode I'd like to show you how I make an audio podcast using the free web service Posterous.

A podcast usually has three components: the audio or video file, a web page or blog post, and a web feed. With an iPod touch, it's actually possible to record an audio podcast and publish it to a Posterous website, all on the iPod itself. Here's how:

First, you will need a microphone for your iPod touch. The current generation of iPod touches do not have built-in microphones. That's the bad news. The good news is that your iPod may have come with a mic and you don't even know it. If not, you can purchase an attachable mic.

The current 32 and 64GB iPod touches come with earbuds with a mic. These mics work pretty well--you just have to make sure they are plugged in. It's difficult to have more than one person talk into these. If your iPod didn't come with these earbuds, you can buy them. I recommend buying from They sell them for less than $4 each.

The Belkin TuneTalk is a microphone that attaches to the dock connector. Mics that connect to the dock tend more expensive but sound better. The TuneTalk is available from Amazon for $50.

If you don't want to spend that much, then find a mic that attaches to the headphone jack. The ThumbTacks mic is pretty tiny and about $15. Though, these really could get mixed up with your collection of real thumbtacks.

The Voice Memos app has very basic editing tools. You can trim the start of the recording and the end. You cannot trim the middle. So don't make mistakes in the middle of your recording.

To get the audio file off the iPod, you can sync it with iTunes or Email it. Since we're podcasting all from the iPod, we're going to use the email option. This requires that an email address be set up. If you don't have email on the iPod, I suggest going to and creating a new account. Then add that account to the iPod touch in the Settings app.

Here's where comes in. Posterous is web publishing service that bills itself as "the dead simple place to post everything." Like Blogger, Wordpress, and countless others, Posterous is a blogging platform. Unlike others, Posterous focuses on publishing by email.

Before emailing Posterous, I suggest setting up an account and a blog. You can see my Posterous blog at I actually have my own domain for this blog, so it redirects you the URL, You can see that it is certainly a blog because it is organized in reverse chronological order.

To post, I just email to When emailing from Voice Memos, it attaches the audio to the email message. The subject of the email is the title of the post. The body of the email is the content of the post.

But, not only is this a blog post, it can be a web feed for iTunes. So, the title of the post is the title of the episode and the body of the email is the description of the episode.

Unless you've verified your email with Posterous, you will have to log into Posterous to approve the emailed posts. I've verified my email, so my recording is added to the top of my blog within minutes.

That's it. I just recorded on an iPod touch and emailed it to Posterous where it is now online as a blog. I can listen to the audio by clicking it in my browser on my desktop or the Safari browser on an iPod touch.

So, what about making it a podcast?

Remember, a podcast has 3 components: A website, audio file, and web feed. Posterous generates all three for us. The website is the blog and the audio file is uploaded to Posterous as well. If you look at your Posterous blog, you'll see the web feed symbol. Sometimes this is called a news feed or RSS feed.

Know that your podcast does not have to be listed in the iTunes Store for people to subscribe. You can certainly submit the podcast to the iTunes Store if you want it listed in their directory, but that's optional.

Let me show you three ways to get that RSS feed into iTunes.

One way is to go to your Posterous blog and right-click the web feed symbol and copy the link. Then go to iTunes and click the Advanced Menu and choose Subscribe to Podcast. Paste the URL and click OK. You're subscribed. That means the latest episode is downloaded and iTunes will periodically check for new episodes. If there's a new one, it will download it.

Another way to subscribe in iTunes is to drag and drop the web feed icon from the blog right into your iTunes Library.

Both of these methods will take a little explaining if you plan to have parents, the community, or colleagues subscribe. Most likely you're linking to your podcast from a class website. When liking from a webpage, you can set-up one click subscriptions. That's right, with one click, a user's iTunes opens and they are subscribed to your podcast. This involves first copying the web feed URL by right-clicking the icon. When you go to link to this on your website, paste it as you a regular link. Unlike a regular web link, change the http to itpc. The itpc tells web browsers to launch iTunes and subscribe to that feed. Pretty cool, huh?

Optionally, before doing all this, you may want to run your feed through the free service. Feedburner lets you create an iTunes feed that includes artwork and extra information. It also tracks how many subscribe to your podcast.

At this time Posterous does not support video podcasting, only audio. But it's a great deal. For free you get 1GB of space. Audio is about 1MB per minute, so you will have at least 20 hours of audio before you reach the limit.

Ok. So why would teachers and students want to podcast from their handheld? I can think of lots of reasons. Sharing information and thoughts with the world is incredibly empowering and students are be more motivated knowing there's an audience for what they have to say. The audience might be the world or their peers. Consider this: small group discussions are recorded and uploaded for other groups to hear.

Like podcasting from big computers, students can share book reviews, curriculum insights, poetry, math and science discoveries, name it! Teachers can share homework information, class announcements, extra name it!

These podcasts don't have to be public. Posterous blogs can be password protected, so just the teacher (and maybe students and parents) have access. This means students can record reflections, group discussions, passages for reading fluency, etc. on an iPod touch and email them to Posterous. The teacher subscribes and can listen to each one in iTunes. This might work better than trying to figure out how to sync all of those voice memos. It also allows the teacher to listen from any computer, not just the computer the iPods where synced to.

You can set up as many Posterous blogs as you like, each with it's own URL and receiving address. That means that each student could be set up with his or her own Posterous email, blog, and podcast. A personal blog and postcast could surely make a handy multimedia portfolio.

One final tip for this episode. Add the Posterous email address to the Contacts app on the iPod touch. This way no typos will be made when entering the email address. Just typing the first couple letters autocompletes the address.

That’s it for Episode 21. For a transcript and much more about iPods and podcasting, click on over to Thanks for watching!

iPods Episode #20: Classroom Dos and Don'ts

Learning in Hand: iPodsLearning in Hand: iPods Episode #20: Classrom Dos and Don'ts is online.

There are lots of management and technical issues to work through when you have a set of iPod touches in your classroom. Listen for some helpful dos and don'ts, including how to name iPods, charging solutions, cheap accessories, playlist use, transferring apps, and much more.

You can read the entire list in my previous blog post.

Tune in for all 18 minutes of Episode #20 to hear all the dos and don'ts.

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iPods Episode #19: Maps, Screenshots, & Comics

Learning in Hand: iPodsLearning in Hand: iPods Episode #19: Maps, Screenshots, & Comics is ready for viewing. In the video I show you how to take a tour of Washington, D.C., take photos along the way, and use those photos in a comic strip--all on an iPod touch. I use the Maps app, the screenshot feature, Google Earth, and a comic-creation app.

Watch all 11 minutes 37 seconds of Episode #19 to see the comic strip project come together. The transcript and sample comic strips are included below.

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Episode #19: Maps, Screenshots, & Comics This is Learning in Hand: iPods. My name is Tony Vincent and this is the show where I share tips, how-tos, and ideas for iPods in teaching and learning. Episode 19, “Maps, Screenshots, & Comics” recorded September 2009, happens now!

Let’s take a tour of Washington, D.C., take photos along the way, and use those photos in a comic strip--all on an iPod touch. We’ll use the Maps app, the screenshot feature, Google Earth, and a comic-creation app.

My task for this comic is to create a comic strip to be published online that summarizes how a chosen issue is dealt with in each of the U.S.’s three branches of government.

Comic Thumbnails

Photos Creative Commons licensed: Supreme Court Justices by Steve Petteway,
President Obama by Steve Jurvetson, and Senate Chamber by Susan Sterner.

The Maps app is loaded on every iPod touch and iPhone. Maps requires a Wi-Fi connection because it uses the Internet to get its Google Maps data. I can simply search for Supreme Court Building Washington, D.C. and Maps zooms to the location. If your map isn’t showing satellite imagery like mine, tap the corner to select Satellite. You might also like Hybrid view to see street and landmark names layered on top of the Satellite images.

Slide to pan. Spread or double-tap to zoom in. Pinch to zoom out.

Google has driven around specially outfitted cars to take panoramic photos. These panoramas can be seen in Street view in Google Earth and Google Maps on desktop computers. But, guess what? Street view is available on iPod touch and iPhone as well! You’ll see a white and orange icon next to a description if Street view is available.

Supreme CourtWhere this red pin is dropped for the Supreme Court Building does not have the icon, so Street view isn’t available here. That’s probably because the pin is not on a street. I can add my own pin by tapping the icon in the bottom-right corner and tapping Drop Pin. A purple pin appears on the map. I can drag and drop that pin to any location. Let’s try to drag it in front of the Supreme Court Building. Notice that now the orange and white Street view icon appear. Tap it to switch to Street view.

Tap and drag to view the panorama. Stretch to zoom in and pinch to zoom out. Tap the arrows in the street to view a panorama taken 10 to 20 meters away.

This looks like a great photo op. I can take a photo of anything on the screen by hold down the Sleep button and quickly pressing the Home button. The screen flashed and you hear a camera noise.

“Where is the Photo stored?” you might be wondering. It’s saved into the Photos apps in the Saved Photos album. That makes sense. Let me show you. I tap Photos and then the Saved Photos album. Then I can tap to find the screenshot. It’s saved as an image file. I can email it, sync it to copy it to a desktop computer, or import it into other apps. I’ll show you how to import it into a comic app shortly.

For now, I’m going back to Google Maps. Remember, I want to construct a comic strip that summarizes how a chosen issue is dealt with in each of the U.S.’s three branches of government. For my comic, I’ll also need photos of the Capitol Building and White House.

So, I just type in a search. There it is, the United States capitol building. The pin closest to the building does not have the Street view icon. So, I tap to place a pin in the street directly in front of the Capitol. Like I did with the Supreme Court Building, I can hold down the Sleep/Wake button and press the Home button to take a snapshot of what’s on the screen. I’ll use that snapshot in my comic strip.

Google EarthNext, on to the White House. Unfortunately, I could not find very good photos of the White House in Street View. I could take photo of the Satellite view of the White House. Instead, I’m going to launch the free Google Earth app and take a screenshot there. Google Earth doesn’t come preloaded on iPod touches like Maps, so you’ll have to download it from the App Store.

Google Earth has a snazzy zooming feature, ability to tilt, and information layers you can view. And like in any other app on iPod touch, I can hold down Sleep and press Home to take screenshot any time. I tap the Search button and away we go.

This looks just like Satellite view from Map. But, when I tilt the iPod, I get the tilted view, which will make for a better snapshot. I can zoom, rotate, and move around in Google Earth until I find just the right view. But, I don’t want those red pins in the photo. To remove them, I need to clear my search. Just tap the Search button and tap the X and then Cancel. The pins are removed! Now I can take a screenshot. In fact, I’ll take several so I can pick the best one when it comes time to import them into my comic strip.

For my comic strip, I also want photos of not only the buildings, but the people who head the three branches of government. So, I use Safari to search for images. I’ll be able to save the images to the Saved Photos album.

I’m going to do an a Google Image search by going to The website knows that I am visiting from an iPod touch, so it formats the screen for my device. Unfortunately, that format removed the Advanced options. I want to use Advanced image search options so I can search for copyright-friendly images. That way I can publish my comic strip online.

To get to Advanced options, tap the link to View Google in Classic. This is the same google Image Search page you’d see on your desktop computer. If I double-tap to zoom in, I can read and tap the link for Advanced Search. I input to find the word Obama and then scroll down to Usage Rights and select “labeled for reuse with modification.” Now I tap the Google Search button to see the results.

I tap a thumbnail image to see a larger one. I like this photo and want to save it. First, I note the author and URL so I can give attribution to its owner. Then I tap and hold the image. I am given a list of options. I choose to Save Image. That saves the image in my Saved Photos album in the Photos app.

I use Advanced Search and save photos for the other branches for the comic strip. I suggest bookmarking Google’s Advanced Image Search page for future use.

For $2.99 I bought Strip Designer in the App Store. I use Strip Designer to combine the snapshots I took in Maps and Google Earth and saved photos from Safari to make a series of comic strips about the three branches of government’s role in an issue. Let me show you how...

Launch Strip Designer and tap to Create new strip. Select a category and a template.

Strip DesignerTap a frame to add a photo. Choose to select a photo from your Photo album and select Saved Photos. Tap the first image you want to use in your comic. I choose the White House screenshot. I can rotate, resize, and position the image and tap Done. Tapping the Add button allow me to add speech bubbles. There are several types to choose from. Double tap the new bubble to input text. Tap the corners to change the size of the bubble. Then tap and drag to position the bubble where you want it.

You can also change the text, background, and line colors.

Now I can tap the next frame to add another photo from my Saved Photos photo album. Again, I can position the image exactly how I want it in the frame and tap Done. Then I add a speech bubble.

When the comic is complete, you can save. You can save high or low resolutions. I like high res so that the comic looks as crisp and clear as possible. You’ll probably want to save For later editing. That way you can go back and make changes. Just give it a description and the comic is saved under Saved strips from the main menu.

But you’ll also want to get the final image off the iPod. You can tap Save again and this time choose to send by email if you have an email account set up with the iPod. Alternatively, you can choose to save the image to the Save Photos album where the photos can be access on a desktop computer during a sync. It will be a JPEG image once it’s emailed or synced. Of course, with a JPEG it can be printed, posted on blog, or imported into a slide show.

As you’ve just witnessed, the Maps, Google Earth, Safari, and Strip Designer apps are are very useful individually. When used in combination, you can see that students can create compelling products, all right in their hands.

That’s it for Episode 19. For more about iPods and podcasting, click on over to That’s where you can contact me to book an online or in person workshop for your school or organization. Thanks for watching!

iPods Episode #18: iPod touch Basics

Learning in Hand: iPodsLearning in Hand: iPods Episode #18: iPod touch Basics is available. In this video podcast I show the basics that iPod touch and iPhones users should know. Items in this episode:

  • iPod touch runs the iPhone Operating System that is currently at version 3.0
  • Sleep/Wake buttons
  • Slide to unlock
  • Touchscreen information
  • Home screen organization
  • Selection of text
  • Copy & paste
  • Setting up Wi-Fi internet access
  • Turning off keyboard clicks
  • Apple's 100+ page iPod touch manual
  • Go to a web app user guide in iPod touch's Safari at

Watch all 5 minutes and 27 seconds of Episode #18 to have the basics covered. The transcript is included below.

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This is Learning in Hand: iPods. My name is Tony Vincent and this is the show where I share tips, how-tos, and ideas for iPods in teaching and learning. Episode 18, “iPod touch Basics” recorded September 2009, happens now!

No StylusTens of millions of iPod touches and iPhones have been sold. They are so popular because they are great media players, fairly powerful computers, and have a large library of great software applications in the App Store. Also, these handhelds are easy to learn and use. After all, aside from the volume controls, there are only two physical buttons. For most all functions, users simply touch their fingers to the screen. Even though the iPod touch is mostly intuitive to learn, I’d like to take the time to show some of the basics for those who want a jump start.

iPod touches run the iPhone Operating System. That’s right, an iPod touch is so similar to an iPhone that they run the same operating system software. Currently the newest version of iPhone OS is 3.0. iPhone OS 3.0 has some very useful new features like selection of text, cut/copy/paste, and search.

Before we take a peek at those features and other basics, I’d like to talk a moment about those two buttons. The Sleep/Wake button is located on the top of the device. It’s the button you hold down for 5 seconds to turn the iPod on. Or, if the iPod is not powered down, it’s the button to press to wake it from Sleep. You’ll be asked to Slide to Unlock. This way your iPod doesn’t accidentally wake up in your purse or pocket. Then, there’s the Home button. It’s the button with the square on it, just below the screen. Use this button to get back to your listing of Apps no matter what screen or app you’re in.

The touchscreen is designed to work with your fingers. Instead of using a resistive touchscreen that requires a stylus, iPod touch uses a capacitive touchscreen that senses the presence of your finger. That means you don’t have to apply any pressure to the screen--even a very light touch does the trick. If you really want to use a stylus on the screen, you’ll need one specially designed to work with capacitive touchscreens.

Besides tapping, there are others verbs associated with multi-touch, including slide, swipe, pinch, spread, flick, double-tap, two-finger tap, and two-finger slide.

Search Screen GrabIn iPhone OS 3.0, you can swipe to the left of the first Home screen to get a search box. This searches your apps, contacts, and notes. I actually have over 100 apps on my iPod, so I search to launch apps instead of swiping through 8 page of app icons.

I like to have the apps I use most in the dock. That way I can get to them with one tap after pressing the Home button. I like other apps I use often to be on the first page. That’s because when I’m on, say, my fifth page of apps, I can just press that Home button to be taken instantly to the first page of apps. To place your apps in the dock and to place them on the pages you want, just tap and hold one icon. Within seconds they will all jiggle. Now I can drag them wherever I want them. Once you have everything the way you want it, then press the Home button to get that wiggling to stop.

Another useful feature of iPhone OS 3.0 is selection of text. I just tap and hold the screen. Then I move the blue dots to fine-tune my selection. I can tap copy to copy the text for pasting someone else later. To paste, I just tap where I want the pasting to begin and then tap and hold the screen for a moment. Then I tap the Paste button that appears.

Most likely you’ll want to connect iPod touch to a Wi-Fi network. Do that in the Settings App. If the Wi-Fi access point requires a password, you’ll be asked for it. However, next time you are in proximity to this network, iPod touch remembers the settings.

Turn off clicksWhile you’re in the Settings app, you might want to turn off Keyboard Clicks in the General section under Sounds. If iPod touch is being using in a classroom, those clicks can be very disruptive and annoying (unless earbuds are being used) because each keystroke makes an audible noise.

If the little pamphlet that came with your iPod doesn’t satisfy your need for information, Apple has a 121-page manual in PDF form online for your reading pleasure. You might find the information about the ins and outs of syncing with iTunes particularly helpful.

Also, Apple has a web app called iPod touch User Guide. A web app is a website that’s specially formulated for an iPod touch’s screen. So, you can go to the address on your screen in the Safari app on your iPod to read the guide.

There you have it. Some of the basics of using iPod touch. And that’s it for Episode 18. Thank you very much for watching!

iPods Episode #17: Favorite iPod touch Apps

Learning in Hand: iPodsLearning in Hand: iPods Episode #17: Favorite iPod touch Apps was recorded live. It was supposed to be a call-in show, but no one called in. Fortunately, there were live listeners in the chat room who asked great questions.

Besides sharing some useful information about the App Store and installing apps, listen for information about the Google Moderator series designed for educators to vote for their favorite apps. You can find the series at Please contribute your own and please vote!

Tune in for all 16 minutes of Episode #17 to hear all about some of the great software the App Store has to offer. Note: This is an edited version of what was recorded using TalkShoe. If you want to listen to the entire live broadcast, go to this page.

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iPods Episode #16: iPod touch Tips

Learning in Hand: iPodsLearning in Hand: iPods Episode #16: iPod touch Tips is online. In this video podcast I share some of my favorite tips and tricks for Safari, text entry, and the Home screen.

In the video I do not attempt to show you the basics of using iPod touch. Mostly because has a great iPod touch Guided Tour video and 116-page User Guide. Instead, I share tips that I hope are at least partly new to even experienced iPod touch and iPhone users. Here's a quick list:


  • Tap the time to skip to the top of the page
  • Double-tap a column or image to zoom in
  • Save an image by tapping and holding
  • Tap and hold a link to show its URL
  • Add a bookmark icon to the Home screen
  • Use bookmarklets to find text on a page, find similar pages, look up words, skip to the end of the page, and more
  • Turn iPod touch horizontally before entering a web address or search to get a larger keyboard

Text Entry

  • Double-tap Space for a period, space, and capitalization of the next word
  • Type "im" and "cant" and let iPod touch autocorrect to "I'm" and "can't"
  • Move the cursor by tapping, holding, and dragging
  • Enter student names into Contacts to add them to the auto-correct keyboard dictionary
  • Reset the keyboard dictionary in Settings > General > Reset > Reset Keyboard Dictionary

Home Screen

  • You can have up to 9 pages of apps for a total of 148
  • Tap the bottom right or left corners to move between pages
  • Tap and hold one icon until they all jiggle to rearrange them
  • Push the Home button to go to the first page of icons when on any other Home screen page
  • Put commonly used icons on the first page
  • Put most accessed icons in the dock
  • Download Backgrounds free from the App Store for thousands of images to use for wallpaper

Watch all 18 minutes of Episode #16 to see these tips in action!

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iPods Episode #15: Linking to iTunes

Learning in Hand: iPodsLearning in Hand: iPods Episode #15: Linking to iTunes is the podcast's first video episode and it's is online now. In the video I show different ways to create hyperlinks to items within the iTunes Store, like podcasts and apps.

The episode is particularly relevant for iPod touch and iPhone users, as the same hyperlinks that work with a desktop browser and iTunes also work with mobile Safari, mobile iTunes, and the mobile App Store on the device itself.

I've previously written about linking to items in iTunes, but this video goes into more detail. Watch all 10 minutes of Episode #15 to learn how to link to media and apps in iTunes and see how those links work on an iPod touch.

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This is Learning in Hand: iPods. I'm Tony Vincent and this is the show where I share tips, how-tos, and ideas for iPods in teaching and learning. Episode 15, "Linking to iTunes" recorded December 2008, happens now!

This is the first of many episodes of Learning in Hand: iPods that is video. More and more of what I will share on this show is visual,especially as the focus changes from click-wheel iPods to iPod touch and iPhone. By the way, I'm wearing these earbuds because they are the kind with a microphone--I tested recording video using a desktop mic and it just didn't sound as good--so I'm using these.

Alright. So, you might have noticed an iTunes icon on webpages. When you click it, your browser redirects you to iTunes and opens on the details page for a podcast, musical album, movie, or software in the App Store. When I click the iTunes button on on the Our City Podcast webpage in my web browser, it opens iTunes right up to the podcast's details page in the iTunes Store.

Now, check this out. I have the Our City Podcast page opened in mobile Safari on my iPod touch. Tapping that same iTunes button on my website launches mobile iTunes on the iPod and opens to the Our City Podcast details page where I can download specific episodes right there on the device itself without the help of a desktop computer.

Let me show you the first of two ways to hyperlink to the iTunes Store. You'll need to go to the iTunes Link Maker or just Google "iTunes" and "link maker" and it will be the first search result.

With iTunes Link Maker, you search for the item in the iTunes Store to which you want to link. I type in Our City and choose Podcast as the Media Type. But as you can see, you can also link to other media types, like Music, Movies, TV Shows, Audio Books, Applications, and iTunes U.

After clicking search, I can see a list of search results. I find the one I'm looking for and click the Arrow next to it. Then iTunes Linkmaker gives me give me HTML code to put into my website, wiki, or blog. Because it's HTML, you most likely can't just copy or paste it into a webpage. You'll need to toggle into HTML mode. I use Dreamweaver for my website, so I toggle to Code view and paste the copied HTML code there. Then I switch back to Design view to see what it looks like. Let's preview this in the browser. I click the button, and now iTunes opens to the details page for the Our City Podcast!

Ok, maybe you want to use just a text hyperlink or use your own image for linking. On that iTunes Link Maker page, you can right-click the image next to Link Test and copy the link. Now I can type text and select it to hyperlink with the copied link. I'm going to paste what I copied from the Link Maker just so you can see what the URL looks like. It's pretty long, but you can see that it links to the store and includes a unique Podcast ID so that iTunes can open to that podcast.

If you don't need that iTunes button or you want more control over what you're linking to, then you can use the second method of linking to items in the iTunes Store. Here's how it works.

Go to the details page for what you'd like to link to. Right-click the Artwork and then choose Copy iTunes Store URL. Then you have that same URL you could have gotten from iTunes Link Maker. But, you can also use it to link to specific episodes. I can right-click a specific episode and copy the iTunes Store URL. Now, let me paste that URL into a Google Doc document just for demonstration purposes. Now when I click that link, not only does it open to the podcast page, but the specific episode I link to is highlighted.

You can use this right-click and copy method in the App Store as well. I can right-click on the icon for Word Warp and Copy iTunes Store URL. Like I would with a podcast episode, I can paste that URL into a webpage or document.

If you read my blog at, you have probably noticed that I use this method to link to iPod touch and iPhone apps I write about. Here's something cool. So I'm on mobile Safari on an iPod touch. I can tap the link for an app that's I've put on my blog. The mobile App Store on my iPod touch launches and takes me to the details page for that app where I can download it. This is super useful when teachers want students to download a specific app. Instead of the student taking the time to find the app, they can tap its link to have it instantly available to them!

Ok, a couple more tips on linking to the iTunes Store. You can actually copy the link to just about anything you can click on in the iTunes Store. I can go to the Podcasts section of iTunes, select Education, and then right-click K-12 to link to that specific category of the iTunes Store, Podcasts - Education - K-12 . When clicked in a desktop browser or on an iPod touch or iPhone, the user to taken to the K-12 Podcasts category.

You can also link to search results. Let me show you how to do this for "math". On the results page, right-click See All in the Applications results and Copy the iTunes URL. When someone follows that URL, they are instantly taken to the iTunes search results that include Math and are in the App Store. Unfortunately, links to search results only works on desktop browsers and won't work on an iPod touch or iPhone. Also, links to iTunes U won't work on an iPod touch or iPhone because iTunes U does not yet appear in the mobile iTunes Store.

On the desktop side, if someone clicks a link to something in the iTunes store, but they don't have iTunes installed, the link will take them to a page where they can download iTunes, which, as you know, is a free download for Windows and Macintosh.

If you're a teacher with a class website, linking to items within the iTunes Store can help your students and parents subscribe to podcasts and watch or listen to specific media in the iTunes Store. If you're a teacher with iPod touches, it's really convenient to use iTunes Store links to direct students to podcasts and apps to download.

That's a wrap for Episode 15. Thank so much for watching. For more about podcasting and iPods, head on over to Stay super everyone!

iPods Episode #14: Voice Recording

Learning in Hand: iPodsLearning in Hand: iPods Episode #14: Voice Recording is available and is all about using iPods to record audio.

A popular student and teacher use of iPods is voice recording. While you can use a computer for recording, it’s handy to have a portable recording device for lectures, class discussions, announcements, interviews, and notes. In this episode, I share two really cool examples of voice recording. One example is "Word of the Week" from Sean Porter's fourth graders and their podcast, Club 4Cast.

Additionally, I share how to do the recording on iPods with click wheels. To record, you're going to need a microphone attachment, but the software is already installed on all iPod nanos and classics. Listen for tips for indicating where the recording needs to be edited and for importing the audio. Also listen for how the newest generation of iPods record differently from older ones.

Tune in for all 13 minutes of Episode #14 for just about everything you need to know about iPod voice recording.

And as a special request: If you enjoy this podcast, please click here and leave a rating and comment in iTunes. Thank you!

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iPods Episode #13: Batteries & Charging

Learning in Hand: iPodsLearning in Hand: iPods Episode #13: Batteries & Charging is online and is full of ways to extend battery life, care for batteries, and advice for charging.

You know how important a battery is to an iPod. If an iPod's battery is completely drained, you can’t use the device until you plug it into a power source. And, after a couple years of use, a battery’s capacity to hold a charge diminishes. What you actually do with an iPod greatly affects how long one charge will last. This episode discusses some of the things that drain the battery the most. Additionally, listen for ways you can keep iPod batteries from premature aging. Listen to all 12 minutes of Episode #13 for the full scoop.

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iPods Episode #12: Podcasting Booklet

Learning in Hand: iPodsLearning in Hand: iPods Episode #12: Podcasting Booklet is online and gives an overview of the free 34-page booklet I recently made available.

The PDF is titled Podcasting for Teachers & Students and in it, I focus on free and cross-platform software so that both Windows and Macintosh users feel included. First, learn what a podcast is and then learn to find, subscribe, and listen to them. You probably already know how to do that, so most of the booklet tells about creating a podcast using Audacity, Levelator, and iTunes. Also, three methods of posting the podcast online are included in Podcasting for Teachers & Students. I tried to make the directions clear and simple so teachers and students can focus on communicating their messages.

Listen to all 9 minutes of Episode #12 for an overview of Podcasting for Teachers & Students.

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iPods Episode #11: Artwork & Lyrics

Learning in Hand: iPodsLearning in Hand: iPods Episode #11: Artwork & Lyrics is online and is all about giving audio files cover art and accompanying text.

Artwork and lyrics are two things you can easily add to an audio file to make it more useful on iPods. While most all references you'll find to artwork and lyrics on iPods deal with music, the audio files do not have to be songs. They can be recordings from a voice recorder, ripped from a CD, podcasts, files from Audacity or GarageBand, or downloaded from the Internet. Wherever you got the audio, we'll explore adding customized artwork and accompanying text to these files.

Listen to all 11 minutes of Episode #11 for tips, how-tos, and ideas for using artwork and lyrics on click wheel and touch iPods.

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iPods Episode #10: Photos Part 2

Learning in Hand: iPodsLearning in Hand: iPods Episode #10: Photos Part 2 is available and focuses on various kinds of educational image sets.

First, learn about commercial sources of image sets, like iPREPpress and Raybook. Explore many different kinds of image sets, including visual books, study aids, flash cards, matching games, math manipulatives, converters, response cards, and more. In fact, you can visit learninginhand's Gallery of Educational Image Sets and download lots of great learning tools and resources for the Photos section of an iPod.

Although teachers and students can download pre made image sets, the real value is using software like PowerPoint or Keynote to make your own image sets. Creating your own study aids really aids your study of a topic!

Listen to all 18 minutes of Episode #10 for great tips for using and making educational image sets. Refer to Photos Part 1 for basic information about Photos on iPods.

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Image Set Examples

iPods Episode #09: Photos Part 1

Learning in Hand: iPodsLearning in Hand: iPods Episode #9: Photos Part 1 is online and gives information about getting images and slide shows on an iPod.

You probably know that you can sync photos to an iPod. After all, it’s an option in iPod’s Main Menu. Photos of your children, pets, and vacations are fun to show off on iPod’s screen. Episode 9 covers the basics of putting photos on an iPod and then tells you about viewing PowerPoint and Keynote slide shows on an iPod.

Listen to all 9 minutes of Episode #9 for a how-to, valuable tips, and useful information. Part 2 will feature surprising and innovative educational uses for iPod's Photos.

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