Story Patch, A Storytelling iPad App for Children: A Review & Giveaway!

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Story Patch, by Haywoodsoft LLC,  is a fun storytelling iPad app for children that puts both a child’s creativity and the awesomeness of a touchscreen to great use.

Using Story Patch is fun and easy. My kindergartener, Jaclyn, and I created several stories together on our first attempt with the program.  We helped each other learn to navigate our way through creating a story.  An online tutorial is available, but we found it unnecessary.  Story Patch is easy to use. There are story themes to help you build your story or you can create one from scratch on your own. I appreciated how the navigation of the app was arranged in a story method with pictures, paths, and words.

Story Patch makes it fun telling a story with pictures and words. You begin by selecting the Tools button and choosing from a vast collection of each of the following categories: story characters, animals and objects,  and scenery & your own photos. For example, when you select ‘story and characters‘ your choices include thirteen different sub categories ranging from aliens to girl, and my favorite, build a character. Using build a character you literally create a character selecting the face, body, eyes, skin color, facial expression, hair, dress, and clothing. The build a character feature reminded me somewhat of creating a Mii on the Wii. The images can be resized and rotated with your expanding and pinching gestures on the iPad, once they are placed on one the landscape backgrounds or blank pages.

Entering text is as simple as touching Tap here to enter some text! as the virtual keyboard appears. Other buttons include: insert new page, previous page, copy page, tools, and clear page.   The Home feature button allows you to create, edit, share, and read a story, or read the tutorial, and the manage a story choice allows you to copy, rename or delete.

Jaclyn needed some help creating her story, but she enjoyed my company and the ability to create on the iPad immensely. Story Patch is a good app for your child to create a story with and share on the iPad. Story Patch is $4.99 in the iTunes store. 

Haywoodsoft LLC understands the importance and power of updatesin iOS applications. Story Patch received a recent update that not only maximized its performance but also unleashed a multitude of new improvements and features. Updates are important to iOS users. I would love to see future updates add even more selections of art to its galleries and a dream function would be a marker or pen (or art supplies like a drawing app ala’ Brushes)  that would actually allow me to draw on the pages or clip art selections. I think it would also be great to email grandma a copy of the book to read or share it in some other way, like exporting it as an iBook for other iPad users. (Pages allows us to do this.)  Still, this is a solid app, and I just like suggesting new features to existing programs.

If you are like me, and have a young child that go through paper and art supplies, creating a plethora of storybooks, you really should purchase Story Patch and allow them to create a story on one of the coolest gadgets of our time. I enjoyed this program too! I absolutely love any app that provides a learner to create something that has never existed before.

Giveaway! Wired Educator is giving away three free codes for the app.  You can win one by leaving a comment below, another will be given away on Twitter by following us and mentioning Story Patch and @wirededucator in your tweet, and a third for leaving comment on our Facebook page under the Story Patch post.  Just tell us why you want this iPad app.  Thanks and good luck.

State of Georgia to Replace Textbooks with iPads?

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Georgia’s legislators and educators are considering an offer from Apple to implement iPads in classrooms as a substitute for text books in their middle schools.

Senator Tommie Williams told reporters that Apple’s plan is to equip each student with a wi-fi iPad and provide all of the necessary books, texts, upgrades, and most importantly the teacher training, all for $500. He further commented that Georgia is currently spending $40 million books per year, with a life cycle of seven years. He added that many of the issued texts become outdated, and that Apple’s plan would move them in a direction that favored both the funding and the children’s learning.

Not everyone in Georgia politics is prepared to move forward. Tom Dickson, vice-chairman for the House Appropriations Committee wishes to delay the proposal and wants more information before he would vote to invest the money.

Wired Educator is most excited to learn about how Apple plans to ‘include’ the texts and books needed for the students.  We want more information on this. (How can we get our textbooks on iPads now?)  Exciting!

An iPad in Every Classroom! An iPad for Every Student!

Average cost of a literature textbook is around $80 on the low end. Now throw in the other texts for the other classes and all the benefits of having an iPad and I think you are saving money.

Share your comments below.

An iPad for Every Student: Connecticut School Makes Plans

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Wired Educator was recently contacted by Gonzalo Garcia, the Dean of Students and Director of Technology and Advanced Media at South Kent School in Connecticut. Mr. Garcia wanted Wired Educator to know how helpful Wired Educator has been in the deployment of their impressive implementation of Wired Educator’s An iPad in Every Classroom Initiative.  He is a Big Wired Educator fan1 We are proud to share their correspondence, photos, and press release of their wonderful use of technology.


SCHOOL EMBRACES APPLE’S iPAD, PLANS FOR EVERY STUDENT TO RECEIVE ONE THIS FALL

The School is pleased to announce its commitment to embracing Apple’s iPad as a learning tool. Like the School’s move to increase the number of SmartBoards in classrooms, this is just another example of the school’s willingness to adopt cutting edge technology to enhance its rapidly evolving new curriculum.

Mr. Garcia recalled the school’s first exposure to the iPad. “Mr. Vadnais and I were invited by Apple’s Business Team to try the iPad out on launch day. I don’t know what we expected, but we were both bowled over by the potential of the thing. We bought two immediately,” he said.

During the Fall Term each faculty member was given an iPad, iWork suite, and an iTunes credit to use in their classes. South Kent is working closely with Apple which offers support and training for the faculty. Campus workshops have already taken place in preparation for a full-scale application in campus that seeks to find digital substitutes for written materials of all kinds.

Beginning Fall Term 2011, each student will receive an iPad when they arrive on campus.

According to Apple “there are already thousands of classroom apps available to download. Students can track their assignments, take notes, and study for exams. Teachers can give lessons, monitor progress, and stay organized.”

A growing number of schools across the nation are experimenting with iPads, but South Kent appears to be in the forefront of applying the potential of the iPad across its entire curriculum.“This is more than a pilot program,” Mr. Vadnais says, “but the introduction of a new supplemental learning tool with enormous power to engage boys in the digital learning environment.”

The School, which is moving forward rapidly with development of its new Center for Innovation on recently acquired land to the north of the school’s campus, plans to make the iPad an integral part of the hands on approach to learning so integral to the South Kent approach to educating high-school age boys.

Students and faculty have begun implementing portions of a new curriculum designed to engage, motivate, encourage, and nurture student creativity, entrepreneurship and commitment to stewardship with a focus on applying those skills to the study of science, art, technology and sustainability. The adoption of the iPad is consistent with that mission.

Mr. Benjamin’s Environmental Sciences classes are already using the iPad for scientific measurement in soil and water experiments. Recently, the class used the iPad and wireless sensors to measure ph levels in an aquarium and carbon dioxide levels, allowing the students to model its role in atmospheric heat retention and global climate change.

In June, after a final evaluation report, the iPads will be ready for all new students in September.

One Device to Teach Them All: iPad Required for Tennessee Students

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Webb School, a private school in Knoxville, Tennessee ,is requiring an iPad for all students in grades 4-12 starting in the Fall of the 2011-2012 school year. This bold requirement makes Webb stand out as a leaders in Wired Educator’s initiative, “An iPad in Every Classroom.”

The ease of use, the ‘instant’ on, lower costs, and the ability to easily have access to technology whenever and wherever they need it are making iPads more and more desirable in schools.

Webb hopes to use the iPads to replace their text books in time, and will be leasing the iPads for $20 a month to defray costs to parents over time. It’s a $200 for year or $20 over ten months.   Interesting that the iPad specifically is named as a requirement, much like schools make requirements of models of calculators and texts. Good for them.

Webb is looking at this as actually a long term savings for both parents and school. The iPads will travel with the students.  If they can actually use them as texts and portable computers it would simplify much, including back problems from overloaded backpacks.

One device to teach them all. I love the possibilities of requiring iPads. I love the $20 a month fee.  I love the idea of digital texts on the iPad.

While the school is advancing with technology hardware, their view of social networking is traditional.  It plans to block Facebook and Twitter.  Hopefully they will see the value of opening up social networking in the future.

Webb School is not alone

We will be looking at Webb, and other schools that are making similar integrations with the iPad in their classrooms, for future updates to our An iPad in Every Classroom Initiative.

“Once I explored it, I was really excited, because there are things we can do better on this than we can on a paper text,” said Elli Shellist, an English teacher at the school according to NBC affiliate television station KLPC.

Wired Educator founded and supports the iPad in Every Classroom Initiative. Tell us your iPad in education story.

Solar Walk Now for Mac and Now at Mac App Store

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Vito Technology, the Apple Design Awards 2010 winner, introduces Solar Walk for Mac, a 3D Solar System model application that is now available on the Mac App Store. This app is designed to explore not only the Solar System, but also the whole Galaxy. Among other features are real-time trajectories of  the most interesting artificial Earth’s satellites, your current position marker, the biggest cities on the globe, and the points of interests on Mars, Venus, and the Moon. The app starts the educational movie collection with the first video “Solar System Planets’ Size Comparison”.

The greatest and most impressive feature of this app is the availability to explore the whole of the Milky Way Galaxy and see where the Solar System is. Users can zoom in and zoom out to turn the Solar System and the galaxy in any direction.

Other features allow you to discover in greater details our won planet. The Solar Walk developers have chosen 10 of the most interesting artificial satellites of the Earth, so that users will be able to find them and follow their trajectories in real-time. This new version also shows the names of the biggest cities on the globe.

Solar Walk brings us closer to the Moon, Mars, and Venus where we can find named points of interest on their surfaces. You can catch someone’s imagination naming craters of Mars or Venus, or just study astronomy with your kids. Some of those names can really get your imagination going and make astronomy good fun to study.

This app includes the first movie of a series of app generated videos. The movie presents a comparison of Solar System objects’ size from smallest to largest showing their size tin relation to the Sun and includes Pluto (whether you like it or not :-)

Solar Walk features:

3D SOLAR SYSTEM: availability of stereo view to get an unique and impressive stereoscopic experience at absolutely different level.

SATELLITES: 10 Earth satellites trajectories.

GALAXY VIEW: expanded view of the Solar System and the Milky Way Galaxy.

MOVIE: the 1st educational movie “Solar System Planets’ Size Comparison”.

 

 

Price: $ 2.99

About Vito Technology

Since it entered the mobile software market in 2001 Vito Technology Inc. has developed an impressive portfolio of products for Windows mobile. The latest Vito endeavour includes iPhone and Web 2.0 software development. VITO Technology have won Apple Design Awards 2010 with its Star Walk for iPad. Copyright (C) 2010 Vito Technology Inc. All Rights Reserved. Apple, the Apple logo, iPhone, iPod and iPad are registered trademarks of Apple Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries.

Purchase and Download http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/solar-walk-for-mac-3d-solar/id413570629?mt=12

Product Page

http://vitotechnology.com/solar-walk.html

Media Kit

http://vitotechnology.com/manual_/pdf/solarwalk_mediakit.pdf

Screenshots

http://www.flickr.com/photos/starwalk/sets/72157625139620323/

Icon

http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5201/5279195075_1d15ff4814_z.jpg

Video demo of Solar Walk.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J5_K8OQI9Go

 

Google Unveils Body Browser: A Google Earth Experience for the Human Body

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Google has just launched Google Body Browser.  It offers a Google Earth experience for the human body. Using HTML5, Google Body Browser allows the user to explore and learn about the human body through detailed 3D layering.

Body Browser only works with certain web browsers. (e.g. Chrome at the present time, and yet unreleased, aka beta versions, of Safari and Firefox.) Users can zoom in and pan around using controls identical to Google Earth and Google Maps. Navigation is intuitive and the graphics are designed to impress.

The project is not complete, in fact, it is still in the mid stages at Google Labs. More enhancements and features on the way.

You can check out this impressive educational wonder at: http://bodybrowser.googlelabs.com/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Teachers, Turn Your iPad into a Wireless Whiteboard! (For Free!)

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Wired Educator’s Initiative: An iPad in Every Classroom

Qrayon, LLC has unleashed four very cool apps that allow you to turn your iPad a wireless whiteboard.  Look for Air Sketch Free (Yep, it’s free) in the iTunes Store, or its more powerful, big brother, that is loaded with more tools and capabilities, Air Sketch ($7.99), a sister app, Stickyboard (Free) which offers the same wireless whiteboard abilities with an endless stack of colorful sticky notes, and finally Air Projector ($0.99) which allows the projecting of PDFs and photos from your iPod Touch or iPhone.

All of the apps are designed to work with a computer connected to the same local network as your iPad. You open the app on the iPad and the specified URL from an HTML5 enabled browser on your computer. You will be able to project the image through your computer, and you can see you sketches, diagrams, notes, and sticky notes in real-time without installing any additional software. You can even share your your work to another iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch or via meeting software like iChat or WebEx.

The free version of Air Sketch has only basic diagrams and the full edition includes lots of diagrams and tools, as well as the the ability wirelessly project and annotate pictures.

Here are some free promotional codes to the first readers of this post. Enjoy! (Here are 3 download codes for Air Projector: HXHWTREPL7H9, MWRTRXW7AKMN, PWWN93NX779M, and here are some for Air Sketch. Again, for the first readers of this post to gobble up. EYRLMMLJ4JFW, 66LKJJTLFWK9, YPPYARKR9PEL. Go get’em.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

This app is approved for Wired Educator’s Initiative: An iPad in Every Classroom

Wired Educator believes the iPad is powerful tool in the classroom for students and teachers. We are constantly looking for ways to best utilize the iPad in the classroom.  Tell us how you are using it.

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