Software Apps and Extensions

We are increadibly lucky in this district to have a technology team who works hard to add all the software and Apps that our district Ipads have onto our Setbc technology. For this reason my Setbc Ipads run seamlessly with the smaller iPads available in Libriary Learning Commons, which allow our students to have some access to technology when I am not there. As our Me to We projects include self determined presentations we have been testing out a variety of apps to aid the students in telling their stories, their teams stories, and the story of someone who’s voice has been silenced in their community. Some have fit these needs better than others, however three that we are really enjoying as story telling models are; Book Creator, Animation HD, and iMovie.

Book Creator is a great app. It’s easy to use, holds a variety of media sources, and easily allows multiple users to work on the same piece as long as all the team members have the app. The students appreciate that they can write a traditional book, add photo’s or art work to illiistrate it, and audio clips, video’s, and a variety of other media. They also really appreciate that they can move the pages around, and add pages wherever they choose. Therefore this app really works well with the philosophy of practice without punishment as students feel that they can explore and take risks with this app without worry that they will not be able to navigate themselves out of problems.

Animation Creator HD frame by frame movies is an oldie but a goody. This is a great app for those student’s who enjoy expressing themselves through art but want to do something a bit more involved than Comics or drawings. It allows them to create rich stories with movement, and honestly the pride it provides is incredible. Students are amazed at what they are able to create with this app. One excellent side benefit here is the planning that is involved. As the students are creating a frame by frame movie they can easily understand the necessity of story boarding and planning, then once students apply those skills here they can easily see the benefit of storyboarding elsewhere. I don’t want to overstate this so, WOW! This has provided us some happiness. There are some problems with this app. It has a bit of a learning curve, which we got through with YouTube clips, and its audio component is not fantastic, however, it is on our devices so we are using while vetting other frame by frame makers that deal with those issues.

iMovie is a fantastic app that we often overlook, another oldie but goodie. It really gives students the feel for movie creation. We are using it in a variety of functions, from recording spoken word poems and interviews, to capturing performances, creating movie trailers and much in between. The students love the ability to manipulate the sound and edit more deeply using their larger screen on the IPad pros. This app really functions better when you have the larger screen.

Honourable mentions go to Stopmotion, which we have just begun to use with a few students, and Inspiration Maps™ by Inspiration Software, Inc.

Stopmotion needs very little introduction. However, one of the best things about Stopmotion are the incredible resources available to learn the program and show exemplars. One of my favourite exemplars is from Haidawood which is a YouTube channel of Stopmotion movies created by Haida students. It is wonderful, and truly inspires students.

Inspiration Maps is a free app for mind mapping. As we have many students who don’t feel comfortable with mind mapping on paper because of their penmanship, may of us are trying to find mind mapping apps that will work for them. We are not in love with this app. It’s basic functions are fine, but the pieces we would love the kids to be able to access are only available with the $13.99 upgrade, and well, we are teachers. We are looking for a better fit and would love some recommendations. We would like the kids to be able to use their own images and manipulate the brainstorm using the ipencil.

It’s such a unique pleasure to use technology with culture. I am looking forward to reading all the pieces you are all using.