Given I want a nice gentle start for my class this session I thought we would play with Vedic Squares. I was reminded of these and their possibilities from a tweet I’d bookmarked from Blair Minchin.

We started on Last Thursday making multiplication grids then vedic squares, making patterns by joining the same numbers with lines.

 

The next day we recreated the grids in Numbers. I then explained conditional highlighting so that the class could colour the grid. They were fascinated by both the process and the results. The Gallery below steps through the process.

The next step was to screenshot the grids and place them in keynote to duplicate and create symmetrical patterns. At this point some of the class started animating their patterns to rotate madly in keynote. At that point gifs became obvious;-)

Here is the process in Keynote.

For a gif purist like myself Keynote gifs are a bit off. Very big files indeed. This got a little better after I explained that they didn’t need 999 rotations for a gif, one would do. Getting rid of any easing in the rotation and any delay in the export gives a straightforward rotation.

A quick screencast of rotation settings and gif export:

I particularly enjoyed the excitement as the class saw the conditional highlighting in action and then that the animation step was suggested by the pupils. There is still a lot to explore around both the patterns and processes. I hope that the class will further explore both, opening up links to maths, R.E. and art.

Although we used iPad, Apple Numbers and Keynote I am sure you could do the same with Excel & PowerPoint.

In the iPad version of Word immersive reader does not have (or I can’t find) the Grammar Options. I can get to the online editor in the Safari browser only by viewing the files in Onedrive, checking the radio button beside the doc and using the vertical ellipses that appear to open a menu, choose open and then open in browser.

O365 seems to want me to open word files in the iPad app.

If I am in teams I don’t have the option to open word docs in the browser.

The Grammar options look very useful but on iPad hard to get to.

A workaround for me is to screenshot the text in teams or word. Open office lens, scan the image and then send to immersive reader.

I am sure there must be a more sensible way to do this. I’d like to find it out before I suggest the workaround to my class!

Nearly a year ago I posted Reading Self Assessment Workflows. I continued to have my pupils record themselves reading, self-assess and send to me. I think it is a valuable activity.

I’ve simplified the workflow slightly when Apple started including Voice Memos on iPads. It is not as interesting app as BossJock jr, but that is an advantage. It does one thing well. I think I prefer apps that do that and can connect to others as opposed to more complex apps.

This is the workflow for pupils:

  1. Record reading in Voice Memos. Change the title from the location to what is read and pupil’s name.
  2. Share to Notes, voice memo is embedded in a note.
  3. Listen to recording, write self assessment in Note. (I have prompt cards to help).
  4. Airdrop note to teacher iPad, choosing Classroom rather than user. This is auto accepted and waits in the Classroom app for me to pick up.
    I ask the pupils to name and date the note.

As I’ve mentioned before we use Apple Notes a lot in our class. If the class are writing, unless there is a need for formatting or layout, I often ask the pupils just to stick to notes.

Notes are easily AirDropped to me when I need to collect work and both pupils and myself can organise them in a fairly simple manner.

Occasionally I want to print the pupils work. Notes, reasonably enough, only lets you to print one note at a time. I wondered if there was AppleScript that would help. I found Export Apple Notes via AppleScript which exported a folder of notes to a new TextEdit document. I altered it to:

  • Allow you to choose a folder from Notes.
  • Export to an html file on disk.
  • Provided page breaks so that the notes would each print on their own page.

Not particularly pretty, I guess I could work on the styles a little.

You need to be in my lucky position of having a mac in your classroom. Mine uses the same account as my iPad which helps me organise thing a lot.

Here is the code, I suspect it could be improved. Even if you don’t use AppleScript is easy enough to run. Open the AppleScript editor, create a new script, paste the code below in and hit run. You will be asked to choose a folder and then name an html file. The file will be created and opened with your default browser.
You then can print.

set htmltop to "<!doctype html>
<html lang=\"en\">
<head>
<meta charset=\"utf-8\">
<title>Notes Export</title>
<style>
@media print {
hr {
page-break-after: always;
}
}
</style>
</head>
<body>"
set htmlbottom to "</body>
</html>"
tell application "Notes"
activate
set x to (name of every folder whose name is not "Notes")
set foldertoexport to (choose from list x) as string
if folder foldertoexport exists then
set output to ""
repeat with aNote in notes in folder foldertoexport
set noteText to "<!– ### Start Note ### –>
"
set noteText to noteText & ("<h1>" & name of aNote as string) & "</h1>
"
set noteText to noteText & ("<p>Creation Date: " & creation date of aNote as string) & "</p>"
set noteText to noteText & ("<p>Modification Date: " & modification date of aNote as string) & "</p>"
set noteText to (noteText & body of aNote as string) & "<hr>
"
set output to output & noteText
end repeat
set thehtml to htmltop & output & htmlbottom
set theNewFile to choose file name default name foldertoexport & "-notes.html"
set myFile to open for access theNewFile with write permission
write thehtml to myFile as «class utf8»
close access myFile
else
display dialog "not likly to happen"
end if
end tell
tell application "Finder" to open theNewFile

Scratch is now at version 3.0. I’ve been looking forward to this as it will now support the iPads my class uses.

I gave it half an hour or so on my iPad and am delighted to say that it does what is says on the tin. The iPad I am using is an Air 1 so a good few years old. It was a little laggy now and again but nothing that I worried about.

I was especially delighted to see that old scratch embeds still word and now work on iOS too the Scratch Embed example on Glow Blog Help just worked.

I also tried exporting a Pyonkee project and then importing it into scratch 3 on the iPad that worked too. Pyonkee is an iOS app that is based on scratch 1.4 that my class have been using.

I look forward to introducing the class to scratch on iOS in the new term.

Here are a couple of useful links:

I was interested in this app when I read about it on micro.blog when the developer @becky posted about. I didn’t have a phone that took live photos at that point, so put it in my memory.

Today it popped back out and I installed it. I looks like it will be a useful app. It allows you to choose either live photos or videos and stitches then together. you can add title screens and audio, either from iTunes or some built in tracks1.

This solves the problem with how to share live photos. I have exported these as gifs from photos on a mac but the files are huge.

You can export 30 second watermarked videos for free and a £2.99 unlocks that limit 2.

I guess the app will mostly be used with live photos, to knock out a quick video and these will be short. It might be interesting to experiment with a little DIY ‘Ken Burns’ I an certainly thinking of holding the camera for longer when taking photos.

Anyway I really like the app,  the interface is great and it performs a useful task really nicely. I imagined  I’ll use it  to summarise a walk or a get my class to record a  school activity.

I think this could be an interesting classroom app, its simplicity and lack of features will, perhaps, be a better solution than the likes of clips or iMovie for a quick movie. Most of the iPads in my class are original Airs, too long in the tooth for live photos, but we have a few newer ones so I hope to give it a go.

Here is a quick video I made the morning while Christmas shopping.

  1. Most seem to be by Kevin Macleod a long time favourite of my classroom.
  2. I think 30 seconds is plenty for this sort of video, a few live photos, but I paid anyway. If we use it at school we will stick to the free version.


Daring Fireball: Sometimes It’s Better to Just Start Over With iCloud Photo Library Syncing

Next, I wanted to delete every single photo and video from my iPhone. To my knowledge there is no easy way to do this on the iPhone itself. (There are a lot of tasks like this that are easy on the Mac thanks to Edit → Select All that are painfully tedious on iOS.) I connected the iPhone to my Mac with a Lightning cable and used Image Capture to delete all photos and videos from my phone. Image Capture just treats the iPhone like a regular camera. Image Capture crashed three times during this process (I’m still running MacOS High Sierra 10.13.6, for what it’s worth), but after the fourth run the iPhone had no photos or videos lefp.

I just deleted all the photos from a school iPad yesterday by selecting a couple and the dragging to select the rest. Worked with ~3000 photos but a bit clunky. I’ll use Image Capture in future. It’s an application I don’t remember very often.

In a 1-2-1 iPad class I do get a lot of benefit from having a mac in school. There a several things that can be solved with a quick airdrop to the mac and back. Given the iPads and mac are of similar vintage (2012).

I’ll edit a note on the mac, it syncs to the iPad (instantaneously it feels like) and I can Airdrop to class or group via classroom app. Now the Classroom app is available for the mac I need to think about upgrading the ageing mac to Mojave. I think it is new enough but spinning hard disk and skimpy ram might be a problem?

iMovie, Numbers, Keynote, Pages, and GarageBand for both Mac and iOS devices have been updated and are now listed in the App Store for free.

Apple Makes iMovie, GarageBand, and iWork Apps for Mac and iOS Free for All Users – Mac Rumors

Worth noting, although these are free already on new devices. This will help classes like mine whose iOS devices are on their second Apple ID.

Also good for distributing through MDM, which seems to be the idea.

Also Clips