Watch out for that Apple Snow White!

Apple, The Devices You Love to Hate

When I walk into the Apple Store, observing the mania, I can’t help feeling as I look around  that this is what is wrong with the world today! We took a bite of the poisonous fruit and we are addicted to it like a drug.  I think most of us know we have a problem, yet we can’t seem to tear ourselves away from our devices which have us hooked. Personally, I spent way to much time on my iPhone and iPad on this beautiful summer day, when I should have been doing yoga (I have an app for that) or walking my dog (there’s an app for that too).  I want to hate you, Apple, but I just can’t.  “Why?” You might ask, because (Ugh)  they just do it better — My 3 Day Apple Training convinced me of this.

An Apple a Day…  Why I’m Hooked

As you know from my previous post, #RockBottom,  I am a bit behind on my blog posts!  So, I’d like to take you back to three cold, snowy days this past winter when I had the pleasure of attending a 3 day Apple Training given by Nora Mallernee Yokota.  Nora was hands down the best trainer I have ever had for a professional development session!  We actually had a pretty significant snow fall on Day 2, and school was cancelled for our district, but most of us managed to dig our cars out and make the trip, because we didn’t want to miss what she was going to teach us!

Day 1:  Keynote, Pages and iMovie.

Keynote is similar to PowerPoint, and you can actually open up PowerPoint presentations in Keynote, so if you have a ton of those lying around like I do, now your students can use them on the iPad.  For Example, I could have my students do the Life Cycle of the Frog and Butterfly Webquests  (free in my TPT store) I created on the iPad, which might be easier for them to navigate.

Pages is a word processor similar to Word.  There are ton of great templates! For example, I was able to type up my weekly newsletter in Pages on my iPad.  I was able to take photos of my students engaged in learning throughout the week with the iPad and drag them right into my newsletter.  This took out that extra step of getting my photos from my iPad or iPhone to my computer.

iMovie is a movie editing tool where you can take video and audio clips and compile them into a video.  I thought I was pretty advanced with iMovie since I used it to edit some music videos I did with my students this past year.  I was surprised to learn a few things I didn’t know, including how to make movie trailers.  These trailers are super easy to use.  All you have to do is drag and drop your video clips or photographs into the template.

Here are a couple of examples of quick movie trailers I made about the frog life cycle and the butterfly life cycle:

Day 2:  iBooks Author


iBooks Author is a way for you to create and publish  your own interactive, eBooks or in this case, iBooks, for your students. In order to use iBooks Author you have to have a Mac computer.  We were able to take content we made on Day 1, like our iMovies and Keynotes and and embed them into our books for our students. I collaborated with a couple of other primary teachers to make a book on Animals.  We were able to to incorporate the webquests I had made previously as well as, the iMovie trailers I made the day before.  We also  worked in videos from YouTube, and there are different widgets that you can use to help your students interact with the content.  For example, we were able to create quizzes for the students to take after completing a chapter.  iBooks author also allows you to make a glossary for your students, so they can click on a vocabulary  word and see the definition.

Day 3:  iTunes U

On the last day of the training we learned how to create a course in iTunes U.  Again we were able use the content we created on the previous two days of the training, and work these materials into the course we were creating.  I began creating a 1st grade science course that I was modifying from a similar course I created with Moodle a few years back during my graduate studies.  When I get my course published I will share it with you all here!

Why Apple Knocked my Socks Off

I, like many others, am pretty smitten with my Apple Devices; however, as an educator I’ve been grappling with  the problem:  “How do I use them with my students?” So I downloaded apps and apps and more apps, and we mirror with the Apple TV.  Which is fine and dandy, but sometimes the free stuff starts to feel like fluff.  This training wowed me, because it showed me how you can create solid, educational content that is applicable to your students. Now if we just could find the time!

What have your experiences been with using Pages, Keynote or iMovie with your students?  Does your school use iBooks or iTunes U?  How do you feel about Apple, and do your prefer their devices over others?

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