The 5 Best iPad Podcasting Apps for Students

ipad podcasting apps title

If recent predictions are to be believed, the podcasting scene will explode in 2016. For me, that’s great to hear because I am a big fan of podcasts, but it is also great news for teachers who are looking for new ways for their students to communicate their ideas and reach a global audience. So, with that in mind, here are some of the best apps for podcasting on the iPad.

What is Podcasting?

Depending on who you ask, the definition of podcasting can vary. Some people think they are podcasting when they record audio, but to most who are familiar with podcasting, this leaves out one important aspect, namely the ability to reach that global audience. So, here’s a definition I like from the Oxford Dictionary.

The practice of using the Internet to make digital recordings of broadcasts available for downloading to a computer or mobile device.

Podcasts can be recorded in a video and/or audio format and are often distributed through RSS feeds or other subscribable services.

How Do You Podcast on the iPad?

As a truly multimedia device, it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that you can record a very decent podcast on the iPad. For video podcasts you can use the iPad’s camera, but if you want to keep it simple, audio podcasts are a great place to start. The built-in microphone does a decent job with many apps, but a more professional sound can be achieved if you use the 30-pin or Lightning to USB Camera Adapter to plug in a USB microphone. You can also choose from a variety of external microphones to use with the iPad.

What are the Best iPad Apps for Podcasting?

There are many different apps that will let you record audio on the iPad, but some are more suited to podcasting than others. Here are a rundown of some of my favorite iPad podcasting apps for the classroom.

1. Opinion Podcasts

If you are looking for a great all-in-one solution, Opinion Podcasts is a great place to start. It lets you record, edit and publish podcasts for free. They give you a webpage to use as the home base for all your podcasts and even supply an RSS feed that you can use to submit your podcast to iTunes and other podcast directories. Opinion also shares to SoundCloud, Dropbox, Google Drive, e-mail, and iMessage. You can also import audio for sound effects or intro music from your iTunes music library, Dropbox, iCloud, Google Drive and others. Recordings are limited to ten minutes in the free version, but you can unlock unlimited recording with a $3.99 in-app purchase. Check out Room 108 Oklahoma City by Shelly Fryer (@sfryer) for a perfect example of how Opinion Podcasts could work in the classroom.

Opinion Podcast app

2. AudioBoom

Another useful all-in-one option is AudioBoom (formerly AudioBoo). Like Opinion, you can record, edit and share 10 minute clips for free from the AudioBoom app. It is a little less flexible in that you can only send your audio clips to AudioBoom, and you cannot import any audio from other sources, but sometimes simplicity is better. Of note, this app is rated 12+ because AudioBoom also gives you the ability to search and listen to a variety of other podcasts. Not all may be suitable for young audiences, so that is something to be aware of. That said, AudioBoom can be a great host for a class podcast. Check out Fifth Grade Fever, a daily podcast created by the students of Scott Hagedorn (@mrhagedorn).

AudioBoom iPad App

3. Voice Record Pro 7

Talking a side step away from the packaged solution is a free app called Voice Record Pro 7. This is an extremely versatile audio recording app that I first learned about from Wesley Fryer (@wfryer). You can import and export audio from Google Drive, Dropbox, OneDrive and Box. You can also export to SoundCloud or an FTP server. One compelling feature is the ability to export the audio as a video file, with an image, and send it to YouTube. This would be a great way to add to a class YouTube or student YouTube account with minimal effort. It also gives you a huge audience to interact with your media, as well as the ability to embed it on school or classroom websites.

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The Best iPad Apps You’ve (Probably) Never Heard Of!

best ipad apps title

In 2013, I wrote a post entitled The Best Free K-12 iPad Apps You Might Never Have Heard Of! These were some great apps for the classroom. However, they are not as new as they once were and you have probably heard of most, if not all, of them by now. So, I decided to revisit this idea and give it a new twist.

This time around I thought it would be fun to crowdsource some ideas from teachers who are using iPads in the classroom right now. So, I put together a quick Google Form that you can use to submit all the apps that just don’t get talked about enough. You will also find a box on the form to include a brief description of how you use that app in the classroom.

Are you interested in seeing the apps that others have submitted? Me too! That’s why I have made the results publicly viewable for anyone who wants to see them. The links to both the survey, as well as the spreadsheet of results, are included below:

best ipad apps banner

Not sure what to submit? It’s easier than you might think, and the best thing is, there is no wrong answer! Simply take a look at your iPad and see what apps you have that others might not know about. The chances are high that you actually have quite a few. I have a lot of apps on my iPad but people show me new ones all the time. I love exploring these apps and hearing about how teachers are using them in the classroom.

So, I look forward to seeing the apps that you submit. The links have already been shared on Twitter a few times, so even if you can’t think of anything to submit right now, you can still take a look at the apps that have already been submitted.

Here are the links one more time:

Feel free to share this post, the spreadsheet, or the submission form with any of your colleagues. Together we will create something that we can all use for enhancing teaching and learning in an iPad classroom. Here are some of my favorites that I shared with educators recently.

Hyper: Inspiring Videos for the Classroom

hyper ipad app

Educator’s looking for great examples of digital storytelling, journalism, and video production should take a look at a brand new app called Hyper: Best Daily Videos. It’s one of my favorite new apps for the iPad and I am going to take a few minutes to tell you why, as well as share some of the videos you can expect to see with this new video app.

I am currently taking some graduate classes as part of a Master’s degree. One of these classes is focused on filmmaking and digital storytelling: skills which I believe are important for students to be exposed to. The class has really opened my eyes to all that goes in to the creation of a great video in terms of the time and effort that is required to tell a really good story.

In essence, this is the goal of Hyper. It is a daily video magazine that consists of 6-12 videos that are hand-picked by real people. Each one is chosen for its quality, production values, visual appeal, journalistic integrity or storytelling prowess. Many are educational and are designed to make you think. For instance, did you know the internet is under water and covered in Vaseline? The video below explains why.

Looking for examples of great stories? Vimeo has always been a great place to find them. The Staff Picks often contain great stories worth sharing, but there are plenty of other amazing videos on Vimeo that don’t always get the attention they might. The film that is embedded below is from Alex Aimard. It has some amazing shots of a world champion skydiver. It is also less than three minutes long. Can your students tell a great story in three minutes or less? It would be fun to watch them try.

Green screen is all the rage, right? Whenever I show teachers how to use green screens, I like to put it in perspective. I show some of the real world examples that we see today in film and television. The video below is from WIRED and is a behind the scenes look at The Martian, starring Matt Damon. It shows exactly how and why green screen effects were needed to make this movie as authentic as it could be.

Need some interesting talking points for Social Studies? How about this next video. It exposes the true cost of the vast amounts of food that we waste on a daily basis. Is there a way to avoid this? What can governments do to discourage or redistribute the surplus? Your students could help decide.

All of these videos, and many more, are videos that I have watched in the Hyper app for iPad over the last week or so. The app is slick and well-designed. It refreshes with a new set of videos once a day, and if you miss a day, you can go back a few days to catch up on the ones you missed. You can also take advantage of the Weekend Recap which rounds up the best videos of the week.

Not every video is going to be one that you are going to use for in your classroom. In fact, not every video is going to be appropriate for your classroom. Hyper is rated 12+ so you will occasionally find videos that skirt the line between acceptable and unacceptable. That said, the vast majority of the videos that I have seen are just great examples of modern filmmaking. They are inspiring for videographers young and old. In my opinion, that makes Hyper a perfect discovery tool for educators who are looking to teach students the finer points of film making. Try it out for yourself and see what you think.

Cameo by Vimeo: A Free Video Editor for iOS

cameo video editor for ios

When using an iPad, there are not many free video editors that are robust enough, or have enough features, to warrant you spending a lot of time and effort on. Recently, I write about the Clips Video Editor. It is a great free option for schools or anyone else who is looking for a quick easy editor. Today I am writing about a new app that recently got a big overhaul to make it much more useable. It is called Cameo by Vimeo.

Technically, Cameo is an iPhone app. It is optimized for an iPhone 5, 6 and 6 Plus. However, it runs just fine on an iPad if you want it too. It doesn’t have a whole lot of bells and whistles, but it does the basics well and has some nice touches that you may not find in other apps. You can see a sample video below that I very quickly put together with the Cameo app.

Getting started is easy. Simply pick the clips from your camera roll that you want to add. Right now, it is video only, no pictures. Once you have the clips you need, your movie will begin playing but you can jump into the editor screens by tapping one of the three buttons in the bottom right hand-corner of your screen.

The scissors icon is a great place to start. Here you can trim the beginning or end of a clip, rearrange the order of your clips, add a caption or title to one or more clips, and optionally mute the audio of any of your videos. A number of audio tracks are built-in to the app and are available by tapping the music icon. Here you can browse by genre or see the featured artists that Vimeo is highlighting. The last button (the color pallete icon) lets you choose a theme to apply to your video. This is optional, but some nice effects can be achieved by choosing a video filter, and Cameo allows you to vary the strength of any effect you add. Each theme has its own selection of fonts that will be applied if you add any titles.

 

cameo editor screen

Once you are done editing, tap the check mark in the top right-hand corner of the screen. At this point, you can give your video a title, choose a thumbnail, and add a description. You can choose to upload it to Vimeo, or save it to the Camera Roll. Note that finished videos will automatically fade to black at the end, and so will the music. Also, if your video is longer than your chosen music track, the track will automatically loop. At the moment, this is not something that the Clips Video Editor does.

All in all, it is a very polished experience, and a nice video editor that could be ideal to introduce students to the power of video editing. It is missing a few things that you might want like transitions or the ability to set the volume of a music track. It would also be great if you had some ability to create exit titles to cite source materials, but otherwise there is a lot of positives here and I enjoyed using the app. I have no reason to suggest otherwise, but if the app remains free, it is easy to recommend it for the classroom.

I’ve always liked Vimeo. You might not always have the choice or variety you get with sites like YouTube, but there is a lot less noise. There are also some great storytellers on Vimeo, many of which are highlighted in Staff Picks each week. Some of these videos can be great model examples for film, journalism, and language arts students who are looking to tell digital stories of their own.

Another reason I like Vimeo is for the stock footage channels. There are several film makers on Vimeo that freely distribute video clips for you to use and download for your own use. The ones on the video clip above, were sourced from a Vimeo Group called Free HD Stock Footage. I often look here when I am looking for background videos for things like green screen video projects on the iPad.

So, if you are looking to edit video on the iPad, and don’t have the time (or money) to spend on iMovie, Cameo is well worth a look.

How to Hide iPad Apps and Put Folders in a Folder!

I do a lot of iPad trainings and provide support for educators with iPads on almost a daily basis. So, I get my fair share of complaints along the way. For instance, people who wish that they could “swipe to type” just like they can on their Android phone, or those that want to set certain apps as default apps. I explain that this is just the way things are on iOS right now. It might change in the future, but right now you can’t do that.

Today, however, I am happy to eat my words. Today I came across The iTeach Hub website and I learned two new things that I had previously told people were not currently possible on an iPad. So, I feel compelled to share what they are, just to put the record straight. After all, maybe they are new to you too!

UPDATE: These tricks may no longer work if you update to iOS 7.1 ūüė¶

1. How to Put Folders in a Folder (i.e. nest folders)

Wouldn’t it be nice to have one Language folder that had sub-folders for Fluency, Writing, Vocabulary and so forth? Well, you can, and it works. The video below explains all you need to know. Personally I had more luck double clicking the home button first and then selecting the folder, but it works the other way around too…

2. How to Hide the Settings App from Students

Most educators, therapists or consultants have fallen foul to students who have messed with the Settings on your iPad by accident, or on purpose. This trick is designed to fix that, and can be used with other apps too, like the Mail app for instance. Again, I had more luck with double-clicking first, and it should be noted that you can only hide apps that are on your dock to begin with. If you want to hide an app that is not on your dock, drag it to your dock first. The video below explains the rest.

These hacks work for now, but don’t be surprised if Apple removes this functionality in future updates to iOS. They have done that before. However, until that time, feel free to enjoy it while it lasts and share your newfound iPad knowledge with others. ūüôā

 

My BIG List of iPad Coding Apps for Kids!

December 9-15, 2013 is Computer Science Education Week, and this year their big push is to get coding incorporated into school curriculums everywhere. There are lots of reasons why kids should be coding, but none more than the fact that there are more resources than ever to help students and teachers get started, regardless of their previous experiences with computer programming. So, in honor of the #HourOfCode project, here is my BIG list of iPad coding apps for kids. There is something here for students of all ages.

bee botBee Bot PyramidcoddyKineScriptilogo

Bee-Bot (Free) –¬†The new Bee-Bot App from TTS Group has been developed based on our well-loved, award-winning Bee-Bot floor robot. The app makes use of Bee-Bot’s keypad functionality and enables children to improve their skills in directional language and programming through sequences of forwards, backwards, left and right 90 degree turns.

Bee-Bot Pyramid ($0.99) –¬†A fun educational Numeracy game which encourages directional language, sequencing and problem solving. The Bee-Bot app teaches children how to direct and move their Bee-Bot character by giving it a set of sequential commands that they programme in, by pressing the keypad buttons.

Coddy Free or Coddy Luck (Free or $1.99) –¬†CODDY FREE is an original educational tool with the MAIN OBJECTIVE of creating a sequence of steps so that the pencil Coddy can draw a pattern you have chosen from the menu or created by yourself.¬†DO YOU THINK IT IS EASY?¬†There are max. 220 rows to be filled in and there are 7 basic commands to be used. NOW, CAN YOU MAKE IT?

KineScript Lite or KineScript (Free or $1.99) –¬†KineScript is a visual programming language that children can learn a code and share it. It’s easy to make a scene with built-in sprite characters, stage images and sounds library.¬†Drag a script and build the script block to control the flow and to change the behaviour. You can build animations, games and stories easily to share them by email.

i-Logo –¬†LOGO was created in 1967 for educational use, is a computer programming language with functional programming capability.¬†This version of LOGO is an interpreted language, but isn’t a lite version.¬†Functional programming with global and local variables is implemented.

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15 Engaging and Creative Ways to Use iPads in a K-12 Classroom

If you are looking for unique and innovative ways to use the iPad in your classroom, then you have come to the right place. In this post I teamed up with Stephen Lai and Meg Wilson to bring you 15 ideas that will help you think outside the box and bring new levels of creativity to your iPad classroom.

1. Use your iPad as a document camera! – @jonathanwylie

With the Stage Interactive Whiteboard and Document Camera app, and the help of a dedicated, or DIY, mount you can easily use your iPad as a document camera. Better still, you can annotate over anything you set under the camera, and even record what you show. Got another $10? Make your own microscope attachment for up to x175 magnification! It is a great way to use iPads in the classroom.

Stage Interactive iPad app

2. Review academic topics! – @sly111

Quizlet is a completely free app that allows you to create flashcards for your students. Interactive games can also be done on the web. Project them over Airplay for a great review opportunity as a class! An optional Teacher account with extra features is available. Students can also practice individually at home for review for upcoming tests. You do not necessarily need the app, as it is a web-based service as well. Run it on your browser.

3. Collaborate with other classrooms! Р@iPodsibilities

We should never let our students think that their classroom is just the four walls around them. It is essential that students know that the world is their classroom, and the iPad is a great way for students to connect and collaborate with students anywhere in the world. Whether students video conference with FaceTime or Skype (both free) to discuss a book in they read together in Subtext (a social reading app), or to do a Mystery Skype, the iPad opens doors to collaborative learning experiences for students of all ages.

4. Create a special effects movie! ¬†–¬†@jonathanwylie

One of my favorite new apps is the Doink green screen app. Recreate your favorite Sci-Fi movies or your own mini blockbuster with the aid of a green sheet and this innovative app. Film your scene in front of a green screen, then layer your background on top if it to create an awesome special effect! Export your video to the Camera Roll and it is ready to be edited further or combined with more clips in iMovie. You might also want to take a look at the Action Movie FX app.

green screen app

5. Use your iPad as a “game show” style soundboard! – @sly111

Play review games (with the aide of technology or without) and use special sound effects in your classroom using iPad apps such as the Game Show Sound Board. Younger students will love these special audio effects.

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