Apple – Education – iPad makes the perfect learning companion

iTunes U for iPad.

Wow, is it really here or is it almost here? Is this the educational shake-up that we, the people, have been hoping for?

It’s a darn good start!

Apple has introduced, for free, the iTunes U app, an app that allows complete courses and materials to be available on iPads….and a number of courses are free.

Below I have the description from Apple. Be sure to check it out in iTunes and take the time to read some of the user comments…I’ve never seen such jubilation! I do suspect that much of the excitement is for the anticipation of what’s to come. Will you be able to take courses from respected universities and colleges, from all over the world,  from your iPad,  for a nominal fee, AND graduate with a degree sometime soon? A shakeup indeed!

“The new iTunes U app lets you put all the assignments and materials students need for a complete college or K-12 course on their iPad. And they can tap into the world’s largest online catalog of free education content from anywhere. Learn more about iTunes U

Complete courses on iPad.

With the iTunes U app, students can carry everything they need for the course wherever they go. They can listen to lectures, read new iBooks textbooks, watch videos, and stay on top of assignments. And when you post an update or send a message to your class, they receive a push notification with the new information.

The world’s largest online catalog of free education content.

Anyone can start learning right away by browsing over 500,000 free lectures, videos, books, and other resources on thousands of subjects. Hundreds of universities, colleges, and K-12 school districts distribute content through iTunes U, including Stanford, Yale, MIT, Oxford, and UC Berkeley, along with other distinguished entities such as MoMA, the New York Public Library, and Public Radio International.

via Apple – Education – iPad makes the perfect learning companion.”

Narration – How to Make it Easier with Voice Recordings

As many teachers know, using narration is a great way to ensure children are comprehending and remembering what they read. And if you’re a follower of Charlotte Mason’s educational philosophy or AmblesideOnline then it’s a critical part of the curriculum.

As a teacher, you also know it can be difficult to carve out the time from helping other children to listen to an individual narrating. Luckily, there’s a some free apps for teachers on the ipad (and the computer) that can help us out.

First off, if you want to have the children do oral narration than consider having them record their narrations onto the iPad. Kids love the sound of the voice recorded. Take a look at the list of free iPad apps that will do voice recordings:

1. Evernote – not just for your iPad but also for your computer (offline) and through the web, it’s an amazing (and FREE) productivity tool. For narrations I love that it’s very easy to create a New Note, click the icon of the microphone to start recording and that’s it! I have also had my daughter record her multiplication tables since she’s an auditory learner. What an amazing tool and easy even for the youngest narrator!

2. Noteminder (Lite) – This is a super easy to use app for the iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch. Simple shake the device to record and then shake again to email it. I originally was using this app for oral narration (and I will return to it) but I found that both myself and the kids needed to shake my iPad a little TOO vigorously (in my opinion). That being said, you can also turn off the shake feature and just use the deliciously huge buttons. I think the best option would be to use it on an iPhone or an iPod Touch. Keep in mind that the older generation iPod Touch does not have a built-in microphone so you’ll have to hunt one up and plug it into the headphone port (a headset with microphone would work great).

3. QuickVoice Recorder – While I have not used this app, recent reviewers are quite positive about it. And I like that it’s FREE. Let me know in the comments what you think.

What do you use for narration? I’d also love some new ideas for more creative narrations. Please drop me a line and let me know.



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