SLAV Connects is a blog by the School Libraries Association of Victoria (SLAV), formerly named Bright Ideas when a collaboration between SLAV and the State Library of Victoria (SLV). Its aim is to share news from the Association and to encourage teacher librarians, librarians, school library staff, educators and all interested persons to actively engage with the school libraries, to share tools and experiences; to network on a global scale; and to embrace dynamic teaching and learning opportunities.
We’ve made no secret of our love for Evernote here at Bright Ideas, as it’s one of the best ways to keep notes and bookmarks together. One great feature of Evernote is the Web Clipper which works in most major web browsers and makes it easy to save articles for later reading. But on the iPad it’s a bit of a different story, as the iPad’s built in Safari browser doesn’t integrate very well with the Evernote web clipper.
We’ve written about a rather complicated solution to this problem in the past, but this tends to be a bit unreliable. A much more sturdy solution has now come along in the form of the free Dolphin Browser for iPad. Dolphin integrates with Evernote to make saving web pages to your account easy.
To set up Evernote integration, first install and open the Dolphin Browser for iPad app. When you find a page you’d like to save follow these steps:
Select the sharing button (a small rectangle with an arrow)
Select the Evernote elephant logo.
Choose Login (you should only have to do this once).
Once you’d entered your Evernote login details you will see the Save Article option (circled below). The small drop down menu next to this button lets you choose to save the entire web page instead. You can also add tags, choose the notebook to store the note in and add comments. When you are happy select the Save button. The page or article should now be saved in your Evernote account for posterity.
Dolphin browser also has some interesting features apart from Evernote integration, including the option to draw commands on your screen (for example you could draw a G to take you to Google). It’s well worth a look as a good alternative to Safari.
The one draw back is that unfortunately Apple still don’t let users choose their default web browser (unless you want to jailbreak your device) so you’ll have to remember to open Dolphin for your browsing sessions instead of Safari. Hopefully with the upcoming IOS operating system upgrade this option will finally be available to users of Apple devices. But if you are a regular user of Evernote and you own an iPad then it is definitely worth remembering to use Dolphin browser to make saving those articles easier.
Evernote is a useful tool for staying organised and keeping your notes synchronised across all of your devices. After exploring the uses of Evernote in the classroom last week, let’s look at two ways to make Evernote even more useful- note linking and bookmarklets.
Note linking is not a well publicised feature but it has some really useful applications. Using the desktop version of Evernote you can find a direct link to your note and then hyperlink to it. Then when you click on the hyperlink the related note will open up automatically. Students could use these links to build a to-do list for the week, with direct links to a new note for each task they have to complete.
Adding bookmarklets to your iPad (or iPhone) browser is also a great time saving option. One of the problems with the iPad is that it is time consuming jumping between apps. If you are reading a page in Safari and want to save it to your Evernote account you need to install a special shortcut (called a bookmarklet) that will do it for you with a few clicks. Our tutorial video below takes you through the (rather complicated) process of installing an Evernote bookmarklet on the iPad.
You can also install other bookmarklets for useful services such as Pocket, Instapaper, Diigo and more. The process is similar to the one outline in the video, so visit this page or do a search online to find the codes you need to make the bookmarklets work.
iPad users now have another option for creating and saving notes using the newly launched Moleskine Journal app. This free app lets you create virtual notebooks with text, handwriting, photographs and drawings. These notebooks emulate the style of the iconic Moleskine notebooks.
Moleskine Journal joins a crowded market of iPad notebook apps and challenges popular paid apps like Penultimate and Notability(both $0.99). But several novel features, an elegant visual style and good integration with Evernote and Dropbox makes the app a worthy alternative.
The launch of Moleskine Journal also coincides with Moleskine’s announcement of physical notebooks that are designed to work well with Evernote. Page markings within the notebook and special stickers for tagging pages promise to make snapping your handwritten notes much easier. (Find out more at Techcrunch).
We explored the Moleskine Journal app and you can read our first impressions and guide to some of the features in our Storify below.
Today’s guest post comes from Catherine Hainstock of Vermont Secondary College.
The e5 Instructional Model was recently introduced in Victoria and Vermont Secondary College has been trialling it for the past 12 months. We are also on the first phase of a 1:1 iPad program beginning with Year 7 in 2013. As one of the Teacher Librarians I am keen to evaluate and recommend resources of any sort to support quality teaching and learning so last year I began reading blogs about apps for education. I listened to individual recommendations then downloaded and trialled apps but only passed on a handful to specific teachers. I started questioning the quality of educational apps available (most were gimmicks, games or had limited use). Were we expecting too much too soon? I decided to take a different approach.
My question became – how could I support teachers to implement the e5 Instructional Model via the iPad Program? Was it possible to find quality apps suitable for each of the facets of e5?
As I re-examined e5 and trialled more apps, I had several objectives in mind:
to find apps that could be useful across Learning Areas (not always possible)
to choose apps that could support both teachers and students
to keep costs minimal
to check the terms and conditions (especially with regard to age restrictions and ownership of uploaded work)
Here is what I came up with –
While trialling apps I found that:
many suited more than one facet of e5
many suitable high quality apps are not listed in the education section of the iTunes Store
the apps I found suitable for the Engage facet of e5 tend to be subject specific so I continue to sample across the learning areas
The e5 app chart is also available as a pdf to download. I’d love to receive comments or constructive feedback and continue the conversation about quality apps for the e5 model.
To find out more about Catherine’s work or give her feedback about the app chart, head over to her fantastic blog TL Under Construction.
(Update July 2, 2012: The Display Recorder app has now been removed from the Itunes App store. At this stage it is unclear whether the app will reappear or has been permanently removed.)
There was some surprising news this morning with the announcement that Apple had approved a screencasting app for the iPad and iPhone called Display Recorder. As far as we know this is the first app that allows for full screencasting of other apps on your Apple device. Previously if you wanted to record a screencast you would need to link wirelessly to your computer using the Reflection app, which we looked at recently.
Display Recorder costs $1.99. The app seems to work reasonably well though at this stage there is a bug that means you have to change your region settings on your device to United States. You can do this in Settings>General>International>Regional Format.
Recording of the screencast was simple. Just open the app, hit record and then you can skip between apps by clicking your home button and selecting the app you want to use (you can also double press your home button to quickly access open apps, or use the four fingered swipe to switch quickly between apps). Once you’ve recorded, head back to Display Recorder and click stop.
We did run into some problems uploading to Youtube as the upload froze on each attempt. Instead we saved the video into the iPad’s Camera Roll and then uploaded from there. You might use an app like iMovie to trim the video and clean up any errors (particularly the first and last few seconds when you need to start recording within Display Recorder).
Display Recorder looks like a promising screencasting solution. We had a very quick play with the app and recorded our first impressions which you can watch below. (1.17)
The Reflection app has been available for the Mac for a while and is now also available on Windows. The app allows you to display the screen of your IOS device (iPad, iPod or iPhone) on your computer, meaning you can easily switch to your device during presentations or record screencasts.
To establish a connection and share your screen your computer must be on the same network as your IOS device, but our initial impressions are that it is reasonably easy to establish a good connection. We had a play with the trial version of the app, which is fully functional but limited to 10 minute sessions. Have a look at our first impressions and quick guide to getting started below (2.26).
Celebrate Melbourne Museum’s tenth birthday and rediscover, explore and share some of Melbourne Museum’s most iconic stories and treasures from this celebratory iPad app.
Please touch the exhibit lets you explore some of Melbourne Museum’s iconic objects including Phar Lap, Australia’s most famous horse, and the Museum’s massive skeleton of a blue whale – as well as some of the less well known, such as fragile birds eggs and tiny, gemlike beetles.
Other popular Museum experiences featured in Please touch the exhibit include Bunjilaka Aboriginal Cultural Centre, the Forest Gallery, the Melbourne Storyexhibition and some of the new exhibitions in the Science and Life Gallery.
You’ll find the free app here. What an exciting way to add value to school excursions!
I’ve been using Evernote for a while now and so I am convinced that it is a terrific tool for library staff and students (in particular.) Anyone who wants to sync documents, websites and notes between their devices will find Evernote just so useful and user friendly. It’s kind of like cataloguing your entire computer’s contents and the ability to access them from all of your devices.
Although still in beta testing, popplet is well worth checking out.
By applying for a tester code that will arrive in a day or two, users can take this site for sharing ideas visually for a test drive. This video explains more:
If you don’t want to try the test model, you can stay in touch with popplet news via email, Facebook, Twitter, Vimeo or Tumblr. As popplet lite is also available as a free iPad app, schools and teachers that have access to them might like to investigate further.
When Apple’s Steve Jobs said in 2008 that “people don’t read anymore” there was an outcry from a range of people across the world. Jobs, was of course, decrying the Kindle eReader as a stand alone device and it would be interesting to know how many people who have purchased the iPad have done so primarily looking for an eReader.
A recent article in the New York Times, Yes, People Still Read, but Now It’s Social takes a look at the phenomenon of social reading thanks to a number of eReaders enabling users to highlight and share passages in eBooks as well as being able to share thoughts and ideas via email, Twitter and blogs. Article author Steven Johnson says
Yes, we are reading slightly fewer long-form narratives and arguments than we did 50 years ago, though the Kindle and the iPad may well change that. Those are costs, to be sure. But what of the other side of the ledger? We are reading more text, writing far more often, than we were in the heyday of television.
And the speed with which we can follow the trail of an idea, or discover new perspectives on a problem, has increased by several orders of magnitude. We are marginally less focused, and exponentially more connected. That’s a bargain all of us should be happy to make.
The changes in the way we read are occurring rapidly. I’d like to know how many people across the globe who have purchased an iPad as a portable device rather than an eReader have downloaded (at least the free) books from the iBooks app. Will they read them? Perhaps. Would they have ever read them without such a device? I think not. The article is a brief one and well worth a read.