Turnitin (iPad): Many have asked about an iPad App for Turnitin, and we have waited a while for it. But now it’s here, let’s see if it’s any good!
“Everything you love about grading with Turnitin® is now available on iPad, allowing educators to Grade Anywhere™. Teachers using Turnitin’s grading tools save time grading student papers while offering more meaningful feedback and ensuring their originality.”
The App offers the same functionality we use and enjoy through a browser but in an App-environment. It does take a while to get used to, especially the subtlety when including and adding QuickMarks or comments to the text.
Hangouts (iPhone, iPod, iPad): From a couple of failed Skype calls recently, and a computer that has decided to not allow the Google+ Hangouts software to be installed, I needed an alternative solution, and quick. One quick trip to the App store, a short search query, and a short download time, and the Hangouts App is ready.
While the App is for iPad and iPod, I’ve only used it on the iPhone at the moment (for you Android lovers out there, you can have it too!). The App is easy to use – just sign in and it picks up your Google+ settings and contacts / circles. The list of contacts makes it easy to see who’s online and who isn’t, and ‘calling’ them or joining a hangout is relatively straight forward.
It was during FOTE12 that I had the first hint of an idea on how to take conference attendee engagement to the next level.
As the curator for the ULCC YouTube videos from FOTE12, I had hoped to collect a series of video interviews with deleagates and produce a number of videos on the delegate responses to the conference theme and ‘future of technology in education’ issues. It did not pan out as planned on the day, so instead I used the archive of tweets from the conference (thanks to Martin Hawksey), as well as the great photos of the day taken by the ULCC photographer.
Here’s what I thought … take the delegates engagement in the conference activity (weeks and even months before the conference itself), add in a new feature in the Conference App (or associated website), and a little bit of 1980′s TV, and you’ve made a great way for individuals to be involved in the conference.
Foldify (iPad): I can’t remember how or where I found out about this app but it is one of the best one’s I’ve ever bought/downloaded. It’s a simple idea – use one of the pre-defined blank templates of a 3D shape and draw on the explanded, unfolded, version to design your very printed 3D figurine. Through it’s simple and intuitive interface budding artists (and big kids alike!) can create and share their own unique paper figure creations.
“Draw, create, print and fold beautiful 3D figures with Foldify. You don’t need drawing skills, Foldify has tons of free content to create amazing, high quality figures!”
The post from Terese has a few more resources that are of interest and I’ll point you to the link at the beginning of this post to read them – they’re worth a few minutes.
Do you have a project where you’ve used or implemented iPads in academia (at any level, either for staff or student use, large or small scale) and would like to share what you’ve done? If so please leave a comment below linking to your resource(s) and/or project aims, I’d be happy to help publicise it.
Amazon Cloud Player (iPhone, iPad, iPod): If, like me, you download music from Amazon you already know that the DRM-free files load easily into iTunes and play nicely (and with good quality sound reproduction) on all iOS devices. Recently available in the UK is the Amazon Cloud Player which enables you, for free, to access all the music you downloaded from Amazon, ever.
Note: I prefer Amazon for downloading music as its (a) usually cheaper than iTunes, (b) better choice on compilation & special editions, and (c) DRM free MP3 files (not AAC, which don’t play on all devices).
So, to the app …
“Your music. Everywhere. Listen to your music collection from the cloud on your iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad anywhere you are. You can download or stream your library from the cloud – or play the music you already have on your device.”
You have the ability to match your other downloaded music from other sources (iTunes included) and have these available through the Cloud Player, but you are limited to 250 tracks on the free services – if you want more then you can have the Premium account for £21.99 per year and up to 250,000 tracks! That’s a whole lot of music, and more than iTunes offers at the moment.
You can link up to 10 devices to your Cloud Player.
You can create your online library to match the music stored on your computer(s) by using Amazon’s “scan and match” technology, which searches a catalogue of 20 million tracks.
All matched songs are automatically stored by Cloud Player in high-quality 256 Kbps audio.
All Amazon MP3 purchases, including music that you bought before the Cloud was introduced, are automatically saved to Cloud Player for free! Nice
What is also great about the Cloud Player is that you can access it from any web browser so you can have your music playing on your desktop while you work (very useful if you’ve not got much battery life left in your device).
At the moment I’m using my iPhone for recording and editing video so, as I’ve only got the base 16GB model, I deleted all my music and quite a few apps to free up storage space … this app gives me the ability to at least access some tunes.
One aspect of the App that I’m really impressed with is that it continues to play the music even when you start using other apps, it leaves it playing the background. This may be a small thing but other apps that I’d hope to continue in the background don’t and, when you go back to it again you have to wait from them to re-start and re-load the details, often losing where you were in the process.
Future of Technology in Education Conference (iPhone/iPad/iPod): If you’re considering attending the Future of Technology in Education FOTE conference this year then you may want to think about downloading the dedicated App for it (also available for Android devices).
“The FOTE12 app offers delegates of the conference all relevant event information in the palm of their hand.”
It has been updated from last year at FOTE11 and doesn’t show you much at the moment, but it’ll come alive on the day with details and information on:
Flick through the days agenda with information and find out more about keynote speakers and their talks
Connect with fellow delegates,
Connect with exhibitors and sponsors during the event,
Visit the FOTE Archive for highlights from past conferences,
Receive alerts and announcements using Push Notifications, and
Receive the latest news about the conference.
You can already look through the recordings of past events and watch them through Archive section, which I guess is where you will also be able to find details and recordings of the FOTE12 event in due course!
Update 28/9: New features have been added since I wrote the app, including delegate list (currently empty), maps and location, details on the #playFOTE12 game (sounds good!), and agenda for the day (inclusing bio and outline of the session).
Photosynth (iPad, iPhone, iPod): I’ve tried a few apps that stitch photos together and produce a seamless panorama (DMD Dermandar is one I’ve mentioned before) but this one is the best I’ve found that enables not only 360 degree horizontal rotation but also vertically too. Let’s face many how many scenes are so flat you can capture it in one plane?
“Photosynth for iOS is the panorama creation app that makes it easy and fun to capture and share interactive panoramas of the places, people, and events that are important to you. Using the latest in computer vision techniques you can not only make a panorama from left to right, but also up and down, enabling you to capture a full ‘sphere’.”
Be careful when using an area that has a high contrast between direct sunlight and shade, the final panorama will not look as seamless as you may hope.
Take your time between capturing each image, especially if there are people or moving elements in the frame(s). If you can just wait until someone has moved out of the immediate frame before continuing – this will stop the ‘missing head’ or ‘missing body’ that features in my second panorama (see below).
Don’t stand too close to objects (railings, buildings, etc) as these become very distorted during the stitching process (again, see panorama below).
So, what can this app offer education – it can bring places into the classroom as more just a static image. Share your Photosynth’s on Bing Maps and the Photosynth website for others to take advantage of, and use someone else’s from somewhelse else in the world, like:
MarbleCam (iPad, iPhone, iPod): If , like me, you love the portability of your gadgets and take loads of photos as you’re out and about with family, friends, work colleagues (capture sneaky snaps of them drinking or dropping something?), or at a conferences or training events, then this is something worth looking over – MarbleCam. Use existing snaps or take them fresh through the app it applies a ‘marble’ type filter to the photo to give it the “water droplet” look.
“MarbleCam takes pictures that look as if you had focused on a glass marble with a macro lens.
The beautiful harmony of the scene appearing upside down within the marble and the blurred background make it look like you took your photo with a real marble or a soratama lens.”
It an easy to use and easy to configure app which can provide some good images once you get used to it. Of course, as with all these photo manipulation apps, the output is only as good as the input, but it can still produce some good results with even the most ‘dubious’ of photo scenes.
If you’re going to use this then it’s best to practice, not all photos will work well, especially ones with people in it, so it’s best ot learn how to take a photo for this app to get the best from the app.
Note – it’s free, hence the ads on screen. Not nice but after a while they can be easily ignored, just ‘zone out’.
In-built sharing means the usual selection of Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, email, whilst the ‘other’ option will allow you access to other installed apps that are recognised for further editing options. Well worth investigating this, if for no other reason than to see how good you can be.
There are some good before/after pictures on this review of the App on the Sandra Hale Blog.
Even better – why not mix your camera apps together and use the different features and functions to make some truly personal and inspiring images? The above MarbleCam photo was based on a flower I took in my garden recently, which was then processed through Instagram.
Dermandar (iPod/iPhone App): I like panorama photos, especially when done well and you can spin the full 360 degrees and see a room, courtyard, scenery, sport venue, etc. While this is not necessarily the ‘best’ it is still good and worth the price (free!).
“The easiest-to-use panoramic picture app on the iPhone. Just launch, take a picture, steadily move the camera to the left or right to slide an on-screen Yin symbol into a Yang symbol – How clever! How Zen! – and the program will automatically stitch together a slick panoramic photo.” – Wall Street Journal
Perhaps the best feature of this App is that it tells you when it is going to take the next photo, based on your rotation, and takes it for you. All you have to do is keep the iPhone steady, same height, and turn slowly. Share your panoramas on the Dermandar site or push them to Twitter or Facebook.
In the immortal words of children’s BBC presenters from my youth … here’s one I made earlier! Click and hold your cursor in the photo and drag left or right to rotate. If you want to make it full screen click the up arrow in the top-right of the image:
Please, if you use this, don’t forget to edit the title of your image – when I searched the website there were thousands of ‘untitled’ panoramas to trawl through. And, once it’s uploaded, use the edit feature to add a description and ‘tags’ so it is categorised and easy for others to crowd-source too?
Here are a few tips to remember when using the app:
Keep the camera steady and level, if you drop your hand as you pan round the stitched photo will look wrong.
As you pan round the light/contrast of the subject or scenery will change, so you’ll get dark vertical bands where the individual photos are stitched together. With practice you can minimise this, try starting the pan at a different point of the field of view?
Update the title and tags associated with the panorama, and upload to www.dermandar.com, start or add to a growing repository of panoramic photos.
Once you’ve uploaded to the website you’ll need to check the settings on each individual upload, by default it looks like your panorama is set to ‘hide from galleries and search results’. (NB: ‘galleries’ is spelt wrong on on the Dermandar website, opps!).
Connect your Twitter or Facebook accounts and publish direct.
What I’d like to see is the ability to add labels to the panoramic photo, so you can highlight an object or area of view, this would help contextualise the photo.
There are two embed options – JS & HTML5 or Flash-based – but I can only get the Flash one to work on my blog here – have you been able to get the HTML5 one working, does it then work and display on mobile tech devices that can’t handle flash?
Here is an example of one that someone else made/took, and shows you how you can use crowd-sourced content for lesson content? Embed it in your materials, wiki page, blog, VLE, website, etc (not forgetting attribution to owner/creator).