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Timeline Creation App for iPad

28 Mar

Last week I was walking down the hall and saw a group of students working on a timeline for their Biology class.  They had a large white sheet of paper (about 6 feet long) and they were measuring out a distance of time on it and adding significant events.  As I got back to my desk I thought to myself “there has to be a great iPad app out there that can do this in a more meaningful way.”  After searching for just a short time I discovered a great App: 3DTimeline.  Although this App is $9.99 it is well worth it for the ease of use and the professional looking product that gets created when you are finished.  Because students can add images and video to their timelines it can be used as a standalone project or as part of a larger presentation.  (In the end it almost has a Prezi feel to it)

Major Features:

Easy to edit:  As you can see in the image below, the ability to add new events and information about that event is very intuitive.

3D timeline


Timeline creates a beautiful finished product that can be viewed in either 3D within the app or sent our of the App as a PDF.

See result of a timeline below at the end of this overview video.




Flipboard for PLN

1 Mar

If you have not used Flipboard, or another app like it, to curate all of your incoming information from RSS feeds, Twitter and other websites you are missing out.  I found myself checking three or four different blogs a week, several news sources and monitoring a number of twitter hashtags in my effort to keep up with educational technology.  Flipboard is a great iPad app that curates all of this information into one place and displays it in a layout, similar to a magazine.  Now I just have to spend a few minutes a day “flipping” through my different magazines (or boards)  on Flipboard.

In addition to reading articles, twitter feeds and blog posts, you can create your own boards  to curate information you are interested in.  Several teachers at our school are using this to compile articles for their students to read.  The teachers create boards centered around topics their students are researching and the student subscribe to their teacher’s boards.    These boards immediately update on the student’s Flipboard App giving them the most up to date articles to read.

See the  short video demo below:

My Maps Editor_ A geolocation activity

6 Feb

This is a email from one of the Geoscience teachers at my school that is also apart of our iPad pilot.  She used My Maps Editor to have students place volcanoes on a Google Earth map.  When the add these locations they can also add additional information including text and pictures.  See the information below and feel free to download her example and directions.  I could see the being usefull in other classes including Geography and any language class.

I use My Maps Editor ( to create a Google Map in geoscience.  I also attached the data for part of the assignment that I quickly created so you can see what the final product may look like (when it opens in Google Earth you likely have to zoom in to see the volcano icons).

Volcano mapping MY MAPS instructions iPad

Basically, My Maps Editor allows you create a map and add data points, lines, etc to that map.  The data can then be exported to Google Earth or uploaded & submitted to Canvas for me to view.   For each of the data points you can type in detailed information and add a photo easily from your camera roll (assuming you are signed in to your Google account through the app).  Map locations can be search by point of interest, city, or coordinates (latitude, longitude) as long as Google Maps is enabled through the app.  I also like the option to have the Google Maps integration and satellite view as well (especially for geoscience).  Data point icons can also be changed so that you may have a variety of colors, shapes, images, etc (they have a little volcano icon!).

For this geoscience assignment, students had to map volcanoes we have been discussing in class, as well as other active/infamous volcanoes, include information/images for each, then eventually draw in the major tectonic plate boundaries so that we can see the relationship between the different plate boundaries, type of volcano and activity status of the volcanoes.

This is a pretty cool app that I will definitely be using for multiple geoscience activities and hopefully other teachers can use it as well.

Another new note taking App

19 Dec

As students perform more and more of their class work on the iPad we are really putting note taking apps through it. We have tried Goodreader, iAnnotate, NoteShelf, Remarks, Notability and now UPAD. So far none of them are perfect but we are now leaning towards UPAD. Remarks was our standard at the beginning of the year but we saw consistent problems with data corruption and deleted annotations. While we really like the typing features and the interface of Remarks we can’t stand by and watch our students keep losing work. We have moved to UPAD. It has a great handwriting engine, pretty good folder structure, decent typing tools and the ability to read PDFs and take free hand notes. Students have not lost data and are therefore trust UPAD with their work.

We are always looking for a new note taking app. If you have suggestions send them our way.
Requirements for a good note taking app…
1. Handwritten notes
2. Typing took
3. PDF reader
4. Free hand note taking section
5. Connect to either WebDAV and/or Dropbox
6. Folder structure that allows students to organize their notes
7. A way to open the notes in other PDF apps
8. Ability to change tools, colors and options quickly and easily.

I know there are more but at some point you have to stop!

Student Note Taking App: Remarks

14 May

In my anatomy and physioloy class we have been using the iOS app GoodReader as our hub for learning.  (See Post)  GoodReader is a pretty good app that allows students and teacher to accomplish a lot however it has a few limitations.

  1. Handwriting on a PDF document you have to hit save to keep your inking it does not automatically save as you write.  This becomes a bigger deal when you want to change colors because you have to hit save and then reopen the writing tool, change the color and then begin writing.
  2. No eraser.  If you hand write a lot of notes and then realize you made a mistake at the top of the page you can’t just erase the mistake you have to delete the entire section.
  3. Although you can synch folders and files to remote serves it does not do it automatically.  You have to hit the sync button.  For students and teachers this can create problems with creating multiple files particulary if students don’t always remember to sync.

A new application on the iOS app store is called Remarks is going to be our replacement for GoodReader.  The following is a list of reasons that we are going to be choosing to use Remarks as our note taking/PDF annotation app.

  1. Very simple interface
  2. Great handwriting engine that is smooth and easy to use
  3. Changes to pen color and text color can be done on the fly without saving and reopening your inking tools.
  4. Images can be imported from the camera roll or even taken by the camera from within the app. These images can then be placed within a PDF or in a new note.
  5. Students can not only annotate PDFs but create new blank notes with one of 9 choices for paper.
  6. Links within PDFs still work!  This allows teachers to keep active links in their documents they distribute to students.  (Links to Google form quizzes, websites or videos)
  7. Create folders and sub folders for classes. This will allow for better student organization.
  8. Connects with WebDAV and Dropbox
  9. Syncing documents and folders to WebDAV of Dropbox is easy to create and they update every time you leave the document.  There is no need to go and hit a sync button.  This will allow students and teachers to share documents and turn in work without creating multiple copies of a file.
With all of these new features Remarks will become or one stop shop for note taking and PDF annotating!
Watch one of these movies to get more information about how Remarks works!
The PDF processing engine is a little slow right now but they have assured it will get better with an update soon!