iPads in Education

iPad-OldSchool vs NewAge

Photo illustration by Dan Leitao/The Mirror

Last week I went to a great PD session on iPads organised by the School Library Association Brisbane sub-committee.

Judy Peacock, Learning and Study Support Coordinator at QUT Library, spoke about how she and her staff are using iPads in the QUT libraries to teach students how to plan, mind map, and organise their time and research. Dale Lopez, ICT Coordinator at Redlands College and Andrew Starke, Head of Library at TSS, also spoke about the implementation of iPads into their schools.

Now that iPads are becoming more common, many schools are choosing to select them for student use instead of laptops, and Redlands College has given one each to their Year 9 and 11 students (see the Redlands iPad Programme Portal), while Year 12 students at TSS are expected to borrow an iPad from the library at the start of the year.

At QUT, students can book a 25 minute session with one ot the Library staff members, and they find the iPad an ideal user-friendly device for easily showing students how to organise their time, notes, resources, group members and tasks.

Judy’s reccomended apps are:

Priority Matrix – organise your time with this ToDo list ($3.99)

iThoughtsHD – a mindmapping tool for iPads and iPhones ($12.99)

Popplet – for sorting and grouping ideas (free)

Evernote – capture everything in one cross-device platform (free)

Speak It – convert text to speech ($2.49)

Prezi – a different way to present (free)

Pocket Cloud – remote to your desktop from your iPad (free)


An iPad a day gives students an A!  http://fairfieldmirror.com/2010/02/03/an-ipad-a-day-gives-students-an-a/

Private school hands out 105 iPads to students  http://www.gizmodo.com.au/2010/09/private-school-hands-out-105-ipads-to-pupils/

Ushering iPads into the classroom  http://thejournal.com/articles/2010/10/13/ushering-ipad-into-the-classroom.aspx

Useful Websites

Victorian Education Dept http://www.ipadsforeducation.vic.edu.au/http://www.ipadsforeducation.vic.edu.au/support This has useful downloadable or PDF booklets for students and teachers.

Cybraryman’s iPad User Guide  http://www.cybraryman.com/ipad.html

Blog – Reihler Blog http://www.riehler.com/tag/ipad-apps/

Blog – Apps in Education http://appsineducation.blogspot.com/

YouTube  – using the ipad in the classroom – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YFnWoEGWCVY

Ning – iPads in Education – http://ipadeducators.ning.com/

Wiki – Teach with Your iPad http://teachwithyouripad.wikispaces.com/

Free iPad Childrens’ ebooks – http://www.epubbud.com/

The best apps, accessories and tips for iPads – including entertainment, music

Glogster – Interactive Posters

Glogster is a site with a lot of potential for engaging students in the classroom –  providing a different option for both teachers and students to present information in a visual, interactive way.

Mix graphics, photos, videos, music and text to create an interactive poster, then use the embed code to add it to a blog, wiki, website or Facebook page.

Shakespeare_Parodies [640x480]

(Above:  Shakespeare Parodies)

Bookleads_Wiki_Glogster_Page [640x480]

(Above – http://bookleads.wikispaces.com/ by Joyce Valenza. See also http://newtoolsworkshop.wikispaces.com/)

Glogster is keen to encourage teachers to use this site with their classes, and will give help and support with creating school accounts and keeping students’ work private. Go to Glogster EDU to set up a class account, and use these tutorials by Traci Blazosky to guide you through the process.  One is a tutorial on setting up a class account, the other is a tutorial for adding Voicethreads, Vokis, Blabberizes, Animotos, and more to enhance your Glogster page.

Brenda Dyck has put together a great list of examples of glogs in education (see below), and she comments:  “Glogster has tried to make this tool as teacher-friendly as possible by making it easy to set up a class account, which provides a private account for each student (and generates passwords and e-mails them to the teacher).”

See also:

Greetings from the World a wiki where students around the world have created Glogs to showcase the countries they live in.




On March 26 Google launched YouTube-EDU, a website which features videos from over 100 different colleges and universities. Unfortunately, at this stage Australian content is distinctly lacking, but this is likely to change very quickly as universities from around the world realise the potential of the site.

According to Andrew LaVallee “YouTube Edu lets viewers sort clips by school or number of views, and the schools offer content ranging from complete courses to campus events to information for prospective students.”   Michael Arrington of TechCrunch says  “The site is aggregating videos from dozens of colleges and universities, ranging from lectures to student films to athletic events. Some of this stuff is solid gold (the Stanford and MIT lectures are really good). Other content, not so interesting.”

Despite its limitations, the site is a good option for students to search when looking for video clips to further their knowledge and enhance their presentations. The clip below is from UCTV, the television channel of the University of California.

Learner-Centered e-Teaching and Motivation

I saw this video on Judy O’Connell’s blog HeyJude, and really appreciated it. 

When used in the classroom, the power of technology means that learning will become more vibrant, exciting, engaging and personally relevant to students. Teachers will be perceived as ‘credible, interested and current’ – in lives where currency is everything, where students have newsfeeds on their laptops and sports scores on their mobile phones. “Students these days don’t see most teachers as current, even though they may respect their knowledge.”

Students feel so comfortable in an internet world – they have ownership of it; its what they do on a daily basis, and “we have to be a part of the world students are living in” if switched-on students are what we want.


This video was created by the Memorial university of newfoundland and Labrador, and they have also created two others that link to this one: 

Learner Centered e-Teaching: Part 1  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6b0Yp9mQ6bE

Learner Centered e-Teaching: Part 2   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wpat_JkqgPA


Web 2.0 Tools in Your Classroom

I really like Mark Woolley’s slide on the benefits of connecting people via Web 2.0:

  • collective intelligence – collaborative
  • transparent – instant gratification
  • non-hierarchical – democratic
  • potential for passion – ownership
  • open to public – real recognition
  • permanence – searchable resource


Animoto – www.animoto.com – is a great little site for uploading photos to create short or long videos (depending on the length of the music you choose and the number of photos you upload).  The program automatically creates transitions and effects, depending on how fast or slow your music is, and which photos you want to highlight.


You can upload your own music, or you can choose from music on the Animoto site. It costs about $30 / year, but for that price you can make unlimited videos and download them to your own computer. In order to speed up the process of uploading photos, it’s best to re-size them and Animoto suggest using VSO Image Resizer, a free program available for download from their site.

These statistics have come from the Animoto blog: “Since Animoto launched in August of 2007…

– 4 million videos have been made on the Animoto platform
– more than 250,000 users in 200-some countries have registered on Animoto.com
– Animoto vids have been watched over 50 million times on Animoto.com, blogs, social networks, video sharing sites and web sites around the world!”   (http://blog.animoto.com/)

I love the potential for using these videos in a school setting: either to use as an activity with students, to showcase important events in your school, to introduce a topic, or to show an audience what your students have been doing.

Click this link to see what some teachers have been doing:  http://education.animoto.com/casestudies.html#top

Click this link to see a combination of images and text: http://au.youtube.com/user/cloudrecruiting

Click these links to see what we’ve been doing at Redlands College:  Bayside Readers Cup Competitions 2003-2007  and  Redlands College Library 

If you register for Animoto in Education, you can allow your students to create their own videos, simply by creating dummy email addresses for them where you can monitor activity on each of their addresses. (http://education.animoto.com/learnmore.html)  

“All videos are completely private. The only way someone can watch a video is if they are directed to that video’s specific URL, or if that video is posted to another website. Also, no one will be able to contact your students via Animoto”