Monday, 12 August 2013

iOS Device practice, protocols and pointers...


iOS Device practice and protocols

iPads, iPod touches, iPhones, collectively known as iDevices or iOS devices. We are all going to be using these more and more, so it makes sense to start the year off with a good idea about what you should and should not do with them... 


Just because you can does not mean you have to -


Not everything that students create on the iOS devices needs to be saved/exported/captured, often it is enough for it to be what it is and maybe shared with a peer, much liked working on a mini whiteboard. We have awesome learning moments/conversations/experiences with students that are rarely captured, this doesn’t make them less important, it just is what it is. That said ...

If you use the Reflection App on your Mac you can easily share student outcomes directly from any iOS device to the IWB. That is often all you need to do. 


You can also borrow an iOS VGA cable from the DWL to physically connect an iOS device to the IWB via the control box. 
As far as possible allocate devices to students so you can find lost work or know who to blame if there are problems.

While they can be used for reward/free play - (much like a pencil or paper) this is not their primary purpose, as far as possible you should have a specific app(s) and activity in mind.

Just like the Mac, use SPOTLIGHT to locate apps quickly and easily. (swipe from the left of the home screen). 




Use the folders when you want students to explore a range of apps within a specific focus, eg spelling, maths drills, etc.

A longer term activity can be saved, to be continued at a later time, but only do this if you know the student will be able to use the exact same device later.


IF you need to capture/export media from a device here are some guidelines:


Most apps will export directly to the photo app, including video outcomes. Media which is smaller in size, ie less than 1 MB like text and images can be easily emailed to any email address (usually the student or teacher) from the device. Once an email address has been used once, the device will 'remember' the email address for ease of use in the future. It will also 'remember' mistakes, so for this reason it is a good idea to supervise students the first time they email from the device.

For larger Media, ie, larger than 1 MB, like video outcomes, it is better to use an iOS Device cable to transfer the media to a computer, up to 25 of these can be borrowed from the DWL.

Some (not many) apps use a slightly more convoluted method to export media, which is why it always important that you trial an app before using it with an entire class...

If you use the Reflection App on your Mac you can also capture this content (screen capture) using the reflection app on the mac, which will save it as a video file. This can also be another useful way to get content off an iOS device.

Once the media has been exported please encourage students to erase the contents from the iPad, especially deleting recorded images and video from the photo app.  


Confused about sizes? See this post.

Some top tips:


Tapping and double tapping are common techniques on an iOS device, but also remember the tap and hold technique, which usually behaves in a very similar way to the right click on a mouse.

Double clicking the home button (or swiping 4 fingers up) will bring up the multitasking menu allowing you to easily switch between apps that are running. For example between Safari and a pages document. 



4 fingers swipes to the left and right allows you to quickly switch between apps.

From the multitasking menu you can quit apps that are running. IMPORTANT: You do NOT need to close apps that are running in the background, this is a common myth. But this is a useful way to quit apps that may have hung/frozen. But is probably easier to just shut the device down and start it up again.

You do not need to shutdown an iOS device very often, just pressing the power button (top right corner) to send it to sleep is enough.

Please be vigilant and discourage students from changing the settings, a common one is to invert the screen making it pretty much useless for anyone else to use. This is another good reason for assigning specific iOS devices to specific students.

Always always always remind students to LOG OUT of any app they have logged in to, eg Popplet, Google, etc. otherwise the next student who uses the iPad will be able to access their account directly. Remember these devices were not designed with multiple users in mind - we are repurposing them.

You to do not need to leave an iOS device charging, this will only shorten battery life, it is better to only plug them in for one overnight charge when they are below 50 % in battery life.  Please avoid leaving them charging over weekends and holidays. 


Screen shots are a great way to quickly capture a moment. Just hold the power and home buttons at the same time. The photo will be added to the camera roll.  

iOS device Email accounts


I have created email accounts for each grade, this is if you or a specialist would rather not use your own email account to receive media from students. These are already saved onto every iOS device so just typing in for example 'g1' in the to field of an email will automatically fill in the grade 1 account email address. Then you or a TA/helper can login to that account at a computer (password: idevice) to access and download the media. Specialists find these accounts particularly useful.