10 articles Tag video

Evernote For Extended Essay

Evernote is a great too for staying organized and I think it would be excellent for any research assignment such as the IB extended essay. This tutorial explains the basics of Evernote and how to use it as a research tool.


Evernote for IB Extended Essay from Mister Norris on Vimeo.

13 iOS Apps For Education

iOS devices (iPod Touch, iPad, iPhone) are becoming increasingly popular in the education setting. Due to their prices, easy accessible for students of all ages and their versatile uses, I see them as a great tool for teaching and learning.

I have been using them for two years now, purely as a tool for learning. I find the utilities such as the still camera, video cameras, the sound recordings, etc. great tools for classroom use. I think when people start to see the apps as a silver bullet, magic pieces of software that are going to replace something they do in their classroom as naive. The apps you want developed are only going to be made if there is demand and if someone can profit from it, just like a website. Like all technology, the iOS devices need to be used as tools for learning, not replacements for teaching.

In saying that, here is a list of the apps I would make sure are on any iOS device I used to help me utilize the technology as a tool for teaching and learning.



USE: Taking notes and saving files


Essential for staying organizing. The great part is that you can also sync the account with any other device you own. So if your using iPads/iPods/iPhones you can easily access notes, PDF’s, videos, photos and anything you have stored in Evernote on all devices. You can read more about it in one of my former posts.



USE: Taking and sharing photos


Not an essential app for education, but one that has so much opportunity in the classroom. Instagram is a simple photo taking app that adds filters to give it a vintage look to your photos. The other part of Instagram is the social network. It has it’s own social network, which is a stream of photos that you see from people you follow. The other great feature is it’s so straight forward to share on other social networks like facebook, Twitter, etc. This app could have many applications. It could be used in an art class to provide opportunity to practice photography skills. Or students could sync their account with their own or a class Twitter account or blog to update parents about the work they are doing in class. A great way to show the learning that is taking place in the classrooms.


WiFi Photo Transfer

USE: Transferring photos from device to computer


A simple app that makes your device into a wireless server so that you can access the photos or videos you have taken wirelessly. No more lost cables. No more forgotten cables. It’s free and makes your workflow that much quicker.



USE: Recording, editing and uploading videos


Not only record, but edit and upload straight to Vimeo from this amazing free app. This bring so many possibilities for the classroom.



USE: Saving pages to be read later offline


Formerly called Read It Later, this is a great app that allows you to flag web pages in a browser and access them later. When the pages are viewed in Pocket, it takes out all adds, images, etc. and just leaves the text. It also downloads the pages so they can be viewed offline. So if you are in a subway or if you in the park and you don’t have WIFI access, you can still read the pages you have flagged. This would be perfect for students that have to read from sites or Wikipedia entries. It helps take away the distraction and they can read the articles anywhere, anytime. In the park on the weekend, on the bus on the way home from school, at lunch time in the playground, etc.



USE: Twitter client


Personally I used HootSuite as my Twitter client, but the official Twitter app is easy to use and manage. In the classroom, with younger classes I’d have one class account and have the students follow people related to the field they are studying. I’d also have them post about things they are learning, questions, etc. Parents could follow the account and see what was happening in the classroom. For older students, they could create their own account and tweet out to the world. The other great thing about this is that you can set up the Twitter account on the device in the System Preferences and be able to use Twitter integrated into all other aspects if iOS5. If you don’t have iOS5, you will have to update first, it’s free and awesome.



USE: Blogging


Posterous is a blogging platform. The app is an easy way to compose and publish posts to your blog. Personally, I use my own hosted version of WordPress and I have my students use Blog.com but Posterous could be used quickly and easily from an iOS device to publish blog post. To see why I think students should be blogging, read this post.



USE: Creating presentations

PRICE: US$9.99

Just like Keynote on a Mac, Keynote for iOS is a quick and easy way to create presentations. With the use of iCloud, these presentations can be accessed on a Mac wirelessly. Another option is to buy a VCA adapter and have the students/teachers present straight from their device.

The results of this app are amazing, here is just one great presentation composed entirely on the iOS Keynote app, from pictures to text to slides.



USE: Recording and sharing audio


Create a SoundCloud account, take a recording of anything (a voice, an instrument, a speech, etc.) and upload it directly to the SoundCloud account. There are so many educational possibilities!



USE: Handwriting practice

PRICE: US$2.99

This is a great way to teach old things in new ways. It would be perfect for kindergarten students up to Grade 1 or 2 and the great thing about it is that it helps students form correct sequencing of the letter development. Students must write their letters in the correct sequence (E.g. top to bottom) or they can’t move on to the next letter. If your a stickler for hand grips, then you could always get a stylus.



USE: Mapping

PRICE: Free (pre installed)

Whatever you would use Google Maps for, you can use this app for. The bonus of this app is that depending how you connect to the internet, you can have access to your current GPS data in real time. A world of education possibilities, from treasure hunts and orienteering to a range of geography lessons.



USE: Finding directions

PRICE: Free (pre installed)

Just like a regular compass but based on GPS not magnetism.



USE: Making calculations

PRICE: Free (pre installed)

Everyone needs a calculator every now and then.

Grade 2 Make New Friends

Grade 2 have been working on biographies but they are also studying about people from around the world. So in ICT class, I had small groups study a child from another country. We had four groups per class that first researched and answered questions about their new friend that they were studying. Then they made a slideshow from the findings. They narrated the slideshow and uploaded it to Vimeo. Here is one of the first videos that was completed. To see the rest, follow this link.

Grade 2 Water Cycle Slowmation

Last year I went out on a limb and decided to do Slowmation project with my Grade 2 class. It was quite risky as I’d never tried it with students that young before but with some scaffolding, it turned out to be one of the best projects I did with any of my students in the 2010-2011 academic year. The girls had a blast and got so much out of it. They a chance to review their knowledge in a tactile and verbal way and really solidify their understanding of the topic they were studying in class, water cycles.

As the end of the year was so busy, I forgot to share the video with everyone and when I was talking about the videos over the weekend at the amazing ‘The Network Educator‘ professional develop course, I realized I had forgotten to post up the students videos. So here it is, finally, given the credit it truly deserves.

For the complete album of the work, click here to see the students outstanding work. Also make sure to leave a comment for them giving them feedback, I’m sure they would love it!

Google Apps Room Booking v2.0

It turns out my last attempt at making a movie for people to make a room booking was totally wrong! Woops! I apologize. The reason it was different was because my account is an administrator account so I could automatically add booking to room calendars.

This time around I corrected the mistake and made another video for you on how to make a room booking in case you need a refresher. Here it is!



For me, I love to customize EVERYTHING I own. I think that’s how I became competent on computers, because I would go through all the menus and customize everything to exactly how I want it.

During my middle school ICT class, I’d like my students to customize their computers, to make their workflow more efficient. Here are some videos outlining how to customize your computer:

Customizing Windows 7

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Customizing Firefox

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TED: Ken Robinson says schools kill creativity

I saw this video a while ago now but stumbled upon it again on the weekend. Inspirational stuff!

G5 & 6 Book Trailers

Earlier in the year, myself and Ms. Fish, the grade five and six English teacher developed a lesson that we could do together. She really wanted to have the students make book trailers, which are just like movie trailers, but for books. It is a fun concept and there are a few popping up here and there on the Internet but I see this is a big trend in the near future.




We started the project with the Grade 5 and 6 students and they came up with some excellent results! See below for just one of the many great examples.

HOW TO VIDEO: Password Protect A Vimeo Video

Vimeo is a great resource that I have been capitalizing on lately. Vimeo is a movie hosting website, much the same as YouTube, but with less adds and a focus on created, user created content rather than pirated or copyrighted material, which is what makes up the vast majority of videos on YouTube.

From a teaching point of view, it is very effective for sending home private or secure videos to parents as it has a password protect function so that you can set any video you upload as private, unless you have the password. We have already seen the kindergarten teachers use this very well and parents have even been emailing the video to relatives in other continents, which is keeping family connected despite huge geographical boundaries. This is one of the biggest benefit of modern age connectivity.

So here is a simple screen cast of how to set the privacy setting on Vimeo so that videos are only viewable with a password:

How To Be A Superhero

This video was made by two of my Grade 7/8 options class students. I am doing movie making for the first time in the middle school and the students are having a blast as well as learning a lot about time management, movie taking skills, editing skills and lots more.

This example is an amazing piece of work by Karen and Meg, I can never help but laugh in hysterics when I watch it. The girls shot this using their own still camera and edited it using their own Macbook Pro and iMovie. Twice a week the girls would bring this equipment to school to work on their project. Because of this, their movie goes above and beyond what could of been done in class at school. They worked on this in their own time shooting and editing too, which really surprised me. It was great to see they were so motivated and dedicated that they wanted to keep doing it in their own time.

To view the other videos from 5/6 and 7/8 options, click here to visit the options Vimeo album. All of them should be up over the next few weeks so stay tuned for more. Be sure to leave comments of encouragement for the students outstanding efforts below or on Vimeo.