Techbook at the Tip of Your Finger with Brad Fountain

Intrigued by this latest touch-based technology? Wondering how these new devices are reshaping the learning landscape of our schools? Brad Fountain explores techniques for building a mobile learning toolkit powered by Discovery Education. Want the latest updates for accessing Discovery Education Techbook content on mobile devices as we shift our student’s focus from consuming content to creating content on the iPad? Welcome Brad Fountain, the final presentation of our Science TechBook day.

Brad began by noting that the iPad is ubiquitous and the tool students of all ages reach for in the learning process. If you haven’t tried using Discovery Education resources on the iPad, you are in for a surprise. Over 90% our our assets have been converted to html5, so they integrate very smoothly on the iPad, making the device a natural “go to” in the classroom, paired with the DE Science TechBook.

But the iPad is a great creation tool, paired with DE assests and the Science TechBook. And that is another reason that the iPad works so well in the classroom. For those of you who want to import videos, you do that on your iPad from your Camera Roll, or you can email any media files into your account associated with the iPad. You can open and copy, or insert. You can use a new app called iPadMobile. It is a browser, and it enables you to download a video that goes directly to your Camera Roll, making importing easy. Another great feature within the iPad is speak selection, available in Settings, and then Accessiblity. Highlight your text and it will be read to you.

Another feature is limited access. Triple click, circle what you do not want accessed, and it will not appear. Go to Settings, General, Accessibility, and then click Guided Access. Triple clicking on an area not to be accessed lets you eliminate what you have encircled. From Janita Demyan comes another app, Sock Puppets, great for a younger audience. It allows you to record multiple voices with each sock and allows for easy podcasting. Yet another great app is Scribble Press, a  fantastic drawing tool with almost unlimited marker colors available in sizes and shapes. If you are into artistic representations, this is a great tool for students of all ages. At this point, you cannot import video.

Brad recommends App Shop as a great way to search for apps. App Shop will email you when they go on sale or become free. I’ve used this app and I really like it because it is the one place that I welcome notifications. Coaches Eye is an interesting app that lets you analyze a video. It was originally designed for coaches, hence the name, but it can be used beautifully in an educational setting. Highly recommended if you have a classroom set of iPads is NearPad, which lets you monitor all your iPads while they are on the same network. Class Dojo is a fun app that lets you applaud your students’ work in progress.

Puppet Pals is an app that lets 8 people collaborate. Many of these apps remind me of VoiceThread, but tooled down to an elementary school classroom for ease of use. Drawing tool is very cool, and you can import images. The possibilities are unlimited, especially for importing Discovery Education assets. The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore give you an almost Harry Potter movie approach to reading the book. Very Cool!

Green Screen FX makes green screen videos using the iPad app. Any solid green wall works very well. It will pull video content from your Camera Roll, including Discovery Education videos. It’s a fun app and students just love working in green screen.

Patti said Brad would blow us away with his apps, and he certainly did. And he didn’t even get to cover all of them, but they will appear eventually. Kudos, Brad.

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  1. Carolyn Stanley said:

    I am so very impressed with how well you archived and annotated these presentations for us. What a lot of time and effort you put in!
    Thank you so much. Your posts are a really great resource for us to go back and review what we want to learn more about.
    By the way, that browser app that allows you to download video to your iPad camera roll is called iCabMobile. I purchased it this summer when I wanted to have a video I’d uploaded to YouTube available on my iPad even when I didn’t have a wireless connection.
    It worked like a charm. Now I just have to go back and remember how I did it. 🙂

    • RJ Stangherlin said:

      Thank you so much for the name of the app. I need to get that one. So glad you shared. I like that it worked without a wireless connection. If you figure out how you did that, let us know.

      • Carolyn Stanley said:

        Hi, RJ – actually you need a wireless connection (or 3G) to use iCabMobile browser. What you do is get the html address of the video you want to download. There is a downloader in the app that helps you to download the video, and then from the downloads folder, you have the option to save the video to your camera roll. So, then, once the video is saved on the iPad itself, you can play it without having a wireless or 3G connection. I’ll try it again soon. The iCabMobile browser does lots of other things, as well, including allowing you to access Flash data on the iPad. The browser Puffin also enables Flash content to play on the iPad. Isn’t it Fabulous that DE took the time and effort to convert most of its content so it will play in Safari on the iPad:)

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