Turn Your iPad into a Document Camera with IPEVO

IPEVO Whiteboard App for iPad

The IPEVO Whiteboard app for iPad is a great, free solution for teachers who want the benefits of a document camera, without the added cost of new hardware. It is an extremely versatile app that gives you yet another way to use your iPad for teaching and learning. Here’s how it works.

Although you absolutely can use the app with a compatible IPEVO document camera, you really don’t need to because the IPEVO app can be used in three additional ways. You can use it with your iPad’s video camera, you can import an image from your camera roll, or you can use a whiteboard. An array of annotation tools (pens, text, and a pointer tools) are available for you in all of these modes.

IPEVO app screenshot

The app itself is very easy to use with intuitive icons and a self-explanatory navigation. However, if you get stuck, you can tap the question mark in the bottom left-hand corner to get an overlay of the functions that each button will perform.

To take advantage of an app like this, you really need the ability to connect your iPad to an LCD projector or an HDTV. In the camera mode, the projector allows the whole class to see something they may not all normally be able to see at once, and give the chance to annotate over a lab experiment in science, a piece of student work, an historical artifact or whatever else you want to show. You even have the option of recording live video while you annotate on your screen.

In the whiteboard mode you have a portable interactive whiteboard that you can use to teach lessons or pass around to students so that they can demonstrate their learning. However, you again have the option of recording while drawing on the whiteboard. This means you can create great looking screencasts quickly and easily. All of your recorded videos are saved automatically to the camera roll for future use.

IPEVO help menu ipad

Of course, if you do use your iPad as a document camera, a stand to sit your iPad on is very useful. However, it needn’t be an expensive outlay. Makeshift items like a spare locker shelf works just as well. Clint Stephens also has a great YouTube video on how to make your own for about $7 in spare parts. Document camera stands can also be great for more than just traditional uses of a document camera. They can also be great for making stop motion movies. Check out the example below from Tami Rondeau’s class and you will see what I mean, or get more ideas by reading this article: Using an iPad as a Document Camera.

IPEVO Whiteboard is an app I have been showing teachers for a little while now, and every time I demonstrate it, I get the same positive response, not least because it does so much for free. It deos the job of several individual apps, and it does it very well. So, if you haven’t tried it out yet, the IPEVO whiteboard app is well worth a look.

Our Story for iPad: The Best Digital Storytelling App for Young Writers

There are a lot of digital storytelling apps for the iPad. Each is just a little bit different from the others, but one stands out among the others, at least for me, because of its simplicity, ease of use, and ability to tell great stories. On top of all that, it is 100% free! I’m talking, of course, about Our Story for iPad, an app created by The Open University. In my opinion, it is the best digital storytelling app for young writers. Here’s why.

Our Story for iPad

Open the app for the first time and you are greeted with three choices Get Started, Create a New Story, or Use Existing Story. Tap the green button to begin Add a title for your story, then find the photos you need in the iPad camera roll. Drag the images you want to the tray at the bottom of the screen.

Our Story for iPad Creation screen

To begin adding story details, tap on the image you want to use in the timeline at the bottom of the screen. That page of the book will open and you now have the choice over whether you want to add text (tap the keyboard), record audio (tap the microphone), or do both! The app keeps things simple. There are no font choices, page layouts or anything else, so that definitely cuts down on distractions and helps focus the user on the story. When you are done with the page you are working on, the back arrow will take you back to the previous screen to choose another page.

Our Story for iPad Creation Screen

If you want to return to the story to work on it later, press the save button (the floppy disc icon) to store your progress for another day. If the story is finished, you can view it by pressing the purple play button to see the finished product. Stories can be shared from this screen too. Tap the printer for a printed version (no audio of course) or share by email, Dropbox and iTunes as a PDF. You can also send it to other users of the Our Story app the same way so that they can play and edit your story.

Overall it is a great app. Personally I would like to see the option for students to take a picture inside the app and use that in their story, instead of relying on existing images. Alternatively, access to a simple drawing tool would be nice to have students illustrate their own picture if needed.

Otherwise, I think this is a very worthy app for any elementary or primary classroom, and can be a great way for you to create digital stories with your students. Give it a go if you have never used it before.