March 29, 2017
Accessories, Apps, Assessment, Classroom Use, Hardware, iOS, Organization / Efficiency
I have always graded student presentations on my computer using Excel. I have four categories, enter the grade and comments for each category on the computer during the presentation, and Excel does the math for the final grade.
Recently, though, I’ve been using my computer to project the presentations; I seemed to have some trouble with the frequent swapping in and out of multiple (student) computers. But if I use my computer to project, I can’t use it to grade.
This year I figured I would be able to use the iPadPro to grade. So I opened the spreadsheet via Dropbox in Excel and off I went. Except…the iPad told me that it was read-only (in Excel) and I had to convert it to be able to edit it, and the convert button didn’t seem to want to convert.
So I took a screen shot of the spreadsheet and made it my default page in Noteshelf (see here for Noteshelf and other notetaking apps) and used the ApplePen to grade it.
I screenshot the completed sheet for each student, uploaded it to Dropbox, and uploaded it to ItsLearning. As usual, the ApplePen made it worthwhile; I wouldn’t have wanted to do that with a regular stylus.
March 22, 2017
Accessories, Apps, Assessment, Classroom Use, Hardware, Observations / Evaluations, Video
I had applied to become a Swivl Pioneer and tonight was the introductory webinar. The company now seems to be focusing their technologies on individualized classroom observations, i.e. teachers using a Swivl set-up to observe up close individual student work. The Swivl+ app connects to devices at student workstations which then feed into the primary video of the teacher (student video is not necessary; by using Swivl microphones the same can be achieved with audio only). Teachers then use these closer perspectives of student work to assess the impact of lessons, classwork, engagement, emotion, etc. It seems both overwhelming and intriguing at the same time. I think my biggest question is how to manage that much video. The reason I prefer reading is that I can change my pace: I can skim or slow down based on relevance or interest. With video, I’m largely stuck (I know that I can change the speed). So I’m interested to get to know the system better.
March 21, 2017
Accessories, General, iOS, Media, Video
Saw this piece from iphoneinformer.com and was actually just wondering that. I had seen a Snapchat from the Boston Breakers (soccer team) that I thought would be interesting to post to my coaching blog, so I thought that would be a good way to try it out. So here’s the process (basics from iphoneinformer; screenshots and annotations from me):
- Plug in your iOS device to your Mac.
- Open Quicktime.
- From the File menu choose New Movie Recording.
- When I first tried this, I mistakenly chose New Screen Recording (because it seemed intuitive) but that does not work. So it is New Movie Recording (and be prepared for that wonderful moment when the Facetime camera turns on and there you are).
- From the menu next to the record button, change the input to your device, which, if plugged in, will appear there.
- One thing to note is that I did not change the audio input (bottom arrow above) and so did not record the sound with the video. This was not enough to make me redo it; I didn’t really care about the sound, but it is worth noting that the audio input needs to be changed to capture any sound from the phone (and the iphoneinformer piece did not mention this).
Obviously this function can be used for recording instructions or how-tos, even game-casts, but a useful thing to know / have in the toolbox for when you need it.
Here’s the video that I recorded (again, without the sound):
Untitled from Ed DeHoratius on Vimeo.
March 15, 2017
Flipped/Blended, Organization / Efficiency
I’ve had Skitch for a few years now and have used it sparingly. When I think about it and/or when I need its prominent and easy-to-draw arrows, it’s been great; it does exactly what I want. But generally it wasn’t in my go to rotation of apps.
I presented today to a group of faculty on Mac Tips and Tricks (under the Mac Training tab above, if you’re desperate to see), so lots of screen shots and lots of annotations. Skitch was perfect. Easy to use; clear; (mostly) editable (more on that below).
A few other factors contributed to my adoption of Skitch:
- Microsoft Office’s shapes. At some point, Office took a very functional aspect and made it annoyingly complicated (I might argue that they’ve done this with their entire suite, but that’s another post). I could once easily draw in PowerPoint simple shapes that were easily editable. No longer. The default rectangle is not only this weird gradient light blue, but, when I resize it, the weight of the line resizes accordingly. Because who wouldn’t want a rectangle with a 1/2 inch border that can’t be easily made smaller? I’d been struggling with this for a while, but didn’t have a viable alternative / didn’t realize the extent of Skitch’s usefulness and ease.
- Stumbling upon command-shift-control-5. I imagine most of you know the screen shot key combinations (if not, see the Mac Tips and Tricks above). When using them, I mistakenly hit 5 instead of 4. I got the crosshair, but the rest of the screen was greyed out; whatever I highlighted cleared up. I didn’t know what was going on but tried it and it took the screen shot and pasted it directly into Skitch.
Skitch allows easy and editable annotations with…
- free annotations / drawing
- pixelation (i.e. blurring something out)
I’ve included some screen shots below of these different features.
And once I edit or annotate in Skitch, I use the Mac screen shot function (command-control-shift-4) to copy to the clipboard and paste directly into PowerPoint. Skitch of course saves, but all of these are pretty much one-offs, so no need to preserve them anywhere but the PowerPoint, and the screenshot lets me accomplish in two steps what would be a lot more steps to save and place.
So give Skitch a try. For any heavy screenshot work or annotation work, it’s hard to beat.
March 15, 2017
Accessories, Classroom Use, Flipped/Blended, Hardware, Observations / Evaluations, Organization / Efficiency
I first saw Swivl at a conference (I think iNACOL) a few years ago and, while it seemed like an interesting idea, I wasn’t doing enough flipping or taping to warrant it. But I was giving a PD today and thought it might be a good reason to revisit Swivl, and I’m glad I did.
Let me say first and foremost that you’ll notice in the video that it actually doesn’t follow me. That is not Swivl’s fault; it is entirely mine. I was hooked in and ready to go, and realized that I forgot my presentation clicker. When I retrieved the clicker, I went out of range for the Swivl, which de-paired the receiver. I didn’t want to take the time to figure out the re-pairing on the fly since I needed to start the presentation. (It’s only fitting that the way I’m facing and the lighting makes the red light that signals that I’m not paired flare conspicuously throughout the video.)
In any case, the video below is as bad as the Swivl gets, i.e. because it’s stationary rather than following me, and it’s still pretty great.
Beyond the defining technical aspects of the Swivl (i.e. that it follows you), here are some other benefits to the Swivl:
- auto-upload: the Swivl automatically uploads any videos to your account on their server
- auto-delete: the Swivl doesn’t store videos locally, so your device stays unencumbered by all the video it’s taking
- auto-awake: the Swivl keeps the device awake during the upload so, as long as you don’t interrupt the upload, it continues until it’s done (this can of course be a power drain, but I’d rather have to turn it off to save power than to turn it back on every few minutes after it puts itself to sleep)
- (all of these are in contrast to Dropbox; I have the Dropbox camera uploads active and it is slower, needs to be turned back on constantly (especially for video) and requires me to manage the storage on my device)
So here’s the video. Again, it could be a lot better. But it’s still pretty great. Thanks, Swivl.
[Wordpress is being a bit finicky with the embed code, i.e. I can see the embedded video below in this edit page and the code worked in an online compiler, but when I view the post itself the video doesn’t show up. In case that happens, here’s a link for the video.]