Gadgets for the Classroom

I have just upgraded my phone from a iPhone 4 to the 5s. The camera is much improved so I am looking to do even more with video and photos for my school.

I have my new Joby Gorrilla tripod and will be looking to add a wireless mic.

Stay tuned for which solution I find.


With the increase in blended learning opportunities and more concern with using materials legally, creating your own images, videos and resources is one solution.

Today we have many resources in our pockets with our smart phones. Use your phone and media creation apps to make your own media resources.

My District is going to offer a 3 day institute on creating multi-media for classrooms. One day is how to use a digital camera and another how to use a camcorder and the last is how to use screen casting software. Schools will have to purchase a bundle at about $800 to send a team of 3.

I have no problem with having the class. But I do think we have schools that already have equipment that isn’t being used that after the class, teachers would use. So I am not too crazy about requiring the bundle.

Another problem with teaching specific equipment is that there is limited access to the bundle. If three take the class and there is one digital camera and one camcorder, two may be left out.

That is why I almost always use my iPhone to create my media. It is with me, I don’t have to check it out, I don’t have to set it up, I can edit and share directly from my phone most of the time. I can do stills, video, edit , apply filters and special effects, create audio, slideshows, annotate pdfs, create QR codes. use the GPS feature, and more.

I have a few accessories that make the iPhone better to use for media, but they are easy to use and usually easy to have with me.

As for screen casting, love the QuickTime X on my Mac! Can we say, “Free!”

One of the drawbacks of the app, in my opinions, was that you could not fade out the music. In the update, you can now fade out the music. The fadeout occurs when you export the slideshow.

I am still not able to open the file in iPhoto. I have to use ImageCapture. iPhoto sees it as a corrupt file. After trying to open it in iPhoto, I needed to delete the video from my photo roll from my phone before iPhoto would open any files on my phone.

You may find it here:
After you open it, go to File, save as template.

I added another way that you may use Strip Design for teaching. This image could be used to introduce a subject in a slideshow or on a handout. Or to model for kids how they may share their learning using this app.

Paul Revere Ride Strip

April 19, 1775

One of the tools I use while presenting is my iPhone. I use it as a remote, and it also displays my notes. I love it because it is easy and frees me from looking at the laptop.

For MassCue 2011, I left my iPhone at my hotel and did not have time to get it. So I had to switch my presentation from mirroring to presenter mode. So I was tethered to my laptop and my hyperlinks could not work. (I did not know the trick of pressing x to switch back to mirror and again to presenter) I had never tried or practiced using the Keynote in presenter screen so it was new to me. Now I will practice in that mode, as well.

Next time I don’t have my iPhone or it doesn’t work as a remote, I know now that I can use the x key to change my display options within Keynote. (I will be testing this next week at school. I don’t have a projector at home.) I will also have practiced using plan b.

I have been thinking of adding a plan C. Another solution may be to be prepared to go old school with a print out of slides and notes in hard copy for back up! So my next presentation will be prepared to go old school as well as using tech.

Technology is awesome when it works as planned, but it is important to be prepared for the occasional glitch, as I learned this last week.

Next Page »