Today I just wanted to do a quick post pointing you towards a handy app I used this past week. A coworker of mine had used Amerigo to rip some video clips off of CNN.com, but they were saving as a format that the iPad could not read. The clips were useless: they couldn’t be viewed on the iPad or incorporated into other apps (such as Pinnacle). She needed a simple way of converting the ripped files into a format that could be used in iOS.
Conveniently, there is a very straightforward app called Convert Videos available in the app store for just $3.99.
When people ask me to recommend a whiteboard app for the classroom, I usually recommend Educreations. It is free and super easy to use. My students use it to write answers down during class review games and my coworker uses it to record her fifth grade math lessons.
But someone recently pointed out that Educreations can be inconvenient when trying to keep track of your different projects and demonstrations within the iPad. They were looking for a more robust whiteboard app that also saved projects for future editing in an easy and intuitive way.
For that I recommend Explain Everything ($2.99).
This is just a quick post to highlight my favorite YouTube app on the iPad: Jasmine ($Free). It has several key features that make it perfect for teachers and great to use in the classroom.
Of course, this might be a good time to remind you that the best option for showing videos to students from a PC is to filter the video through Safeshare.tv or to download the video file itself via the Amerigo app.
But sometimes you need to be able to hunt down a video spontaneously without having a chance to utilize either of those other options, so Jasmine is your next best bet.
Easy Media Transfer: my preferred option.
My students make a lot of media projects. I am always having them use their iPad to interview their grandparents, film commercials about the importance of recycling, act out scenes from books they've read, create photo stories, create their own iBooks, and much more. All of these projects require photos and videos and sometimes the file sizes can become extremely large.
If students are working together in a group and need to collaborate and share pictures or video clips in order to make their final project, they are sometimes unable to transfer the media by using email or iMessage (due to file size or video length restrictions). Another problem is how to get these final projects onto a computer since we block the students from syncing their school iPads with their personal iTunes.
The fast and easy solution is to use one of several cheap media transfer apps available in the AppStore. I'll give you a rundown of how these apps work (they are all identical) and then give you AppStore links to 3 of them so you can pick whichever you want or keep an eye out for a sale or freebie.
The Internet can be a great tool, but many teachers are not confident enough in their ability to block out unwanted content. They avoid using the internet out of fear of something inappropriate popping up mid-lesson. This is especially common with regards to all the video content available on YouTube and other sites. Some teachers just don’t want to take the risk. Other teachers don’t mind the risk, but they worry about their internet connection stuttering or failing mid-video.
The solution? Find the videos during a planning period and save them to your hard drive with the Amerigo app ($4.99).