New features in iMovie update!

If you haven’t checked it out yet, there are some great new features in the recently updated iMovie app. To take advantage of the update you must also have updated your iPad to iOS 7. The article below from Greg Kuloweic at EdTechTeacher does a great job of illustrating some of the new options. Click through to read more…

iMovie + iOS7 + AirDrop + App Smashing = Great Ideas from Greg Kulowiec!

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5 Tips for Better Managing iPad Memory – from TeachThought

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Like many others, you may be experiencing the squeeze of the 16GB storage capacity of your iPad. Here’s an article from TeachThought.com with some good tips about how to manage the limited resource that is your iPad’s memory.

5 Tips for Better Managing iPad Memory” – from TeachThought.com

Another Great Update for the Google Drive App

There was a big update for the Google Drive app for iOS today. The last update gave us the ability to create and edit word processing documents in the app, manage sharing, and upload pictures and video. This time we got:

  • Create and edit spreadsheets within the app (including realtime collaboration on shared spreadsheets)
  • Upload any filetype from other apps using “Open in…”
  • Manage file uploads

These are all great improvements, but the biggest change in my opinion is the “Open in…” feature. I tried it out and found that I could create a document in Pages and then upload that document in .pages format to my Google Drive. Once there, I can share that document with another user, who can then download and view the work in Pages on his iPad or Mac! I was also able to upload a large Keynote file in the .key format.

The upshot of all this is that now we have a way to share all sorts of filetypes without resorting to email (and the limitations that brings). For example, I can have a student create a great Keynote presentation and then turn it in via Google Drive without worrying that the file is too big to attach to an email.

Google has really improved their Drive app in the last few months to make it an excellent option for use on the iOS platform. What features would you like to see them add next? Let us know in the comments!

New in iOS 6 – Lock an iPad into one app

When Apple releases a new version of their operating systems, they never come with a user’s manual. We (the users) are expected to figure this stuff out as we go. In the case of iOS 6, they boast of over 200 new features, most of which are not specifically spelled out.

One exciting new feature for teachers is something called “Guided Access.” This feature allows you to lock an iPad so that it is “stuck” in one app only. You can do this on-the-fly, and can lock the iPad into any app of your choosing. Once the feature is turned on, it is a simple thing to engage and then turn off when you’re done. For a complete explanation of this feature and how to employ it, check out this post from the OS X Daily blog.

Enable “Kid Mode” on iPad, iPhone, or iPod Touch

Turn In Video Assignments with Google Drive for iOS

One of the more challenging tasks for teachers and students using iPads has been the issue of how students can turn in video assignments to a teacher. The initial solution that we offered was to have the student upload his finished work to YouTube so that the teacher could view it there. However, this solution is not without problems – most notably privacy concerns and the requirement that students be at least 13 years old to create a YouTube account.

A New Way to Share

With the publishing of the Google Drive app for iOS, we now have a very simple and powerful way for students to turn in video assignments that eliminates the age and privacy concerns mentioned above. The basic workflow with this method is:

  1. Create video in iMovie (or another app)
  2. Export finalized video to the Camera Roll
  3. Use the Google Drive app to upload the video to the student’s drive
  4. Share the video with the teacher

The Details

The first step in this process is to create the video. This can be done in iMovie or any other video tool on the iPad. Once the project is complete, send it to the Cameral Roll. In iMovie this is done by tapping the share icon and then selecting Camera Roll. The exact location of the share button may vary in other apps, but the basic process should be the same. Next select the export size – be careful that you don’t make your video so large that you run out of storage!

Once the video has been added to the Camera Roll, the next step is to open the Google Drive app. I am assuming here that you’ve already installed the app and have entered your account credentials. Once the app is open, tap the “+” button at the top of the screen. You will see several options to add items to your drive, with the third being “Upload Photo or Video.”

When you tap this option, you will be prompted to select a photo or video. Tap on the video that you just created and you will see it begin to upload. This may take a while depending on the size of the file, but it will continue even after the device goes to sleep.
After the upload is completed you will see your video in the list of files. Tap the arrow icon to the right of the file name to open the Details panel, which includes options for sharing. Tap the plus icon in the “Who has access” pane and type the full email address of the person you want to share with. If needed, you can even share with several people. Tap the “Add” button and the process is complete!

Final Thoughts

As you can see, this is a great method for sharing video without running into some of the headaches associated with using YouTube. It keeps your video private and allows you specific control over who can view your file. It also avoids problems due to file size limits in email and age limits on YouTube accounts.

So what do you think? Any suggestions to improve the process? Is there a problem we’re missing here? Let us know in the comments section!

Using Parental Restrictions in iOS 6

All BLS-issued iPads have what’s called a “configuration profile” installed on them. This file locks certain features of the device that we as a school have deemed unnecessary or inappropriate for our students. In addition to these blocked features, there may be certain apps or functions that you as a parent would like to block for your child. This is where Restrictions come into play.

Restrictions

The Restrictions section in the Settings app allows you as a parent to create a second layer of controls on the iPad that has its own separate passcode that only you know. This gives you the ability to turn off iMessages, app installations or deletions, and a variety of other items. it is important to note that some of the things we will discuss in this article require the iPad to be running iOS version 6.0 or higher. To check which version of iOS you have, go to Settings > General > About and look for the line that says “Version.” If the number there is lower than 6.0, go to Settings > General > Software Update to get the latest version of iOS.

Getting Started

The first thing you need to do is to decide what you want to turn off or block on the iPad. If there are games or other apps you don’t want your child to have, go ahead and delete those. (To delete an app, tap and hold until it shakes and an “x” appears in the corner. Then tap the “x”. Press the home button when you’re finished.)

Next, if you want to turn off iMessages, go to Settings > Messages and turn the switch at the top to the “off” position.

Finally, if you want to remove any non-Ben Lippen email accounts, go to Settings > Mail, Contacts, Calendars. Under “Accounts,” tap the name of the account you’d like to remove, and then tap the big red “Delete Account” button. Repeat this for any other accounts you want to remove. Note – please do not remove the benlippen.me account (which may be labeled as “GMail”) or the iCloud account.

Setting the Restrictions

Now that you’ve got the iPad in the state you want, go to Settings > General and tap “Restrictions.” Next, tap the button at the top that says “Enable Restrictions.” The iPad will then prompt you to create a 4-digit Restrictions Passcode. This is a new passcode that will be known only to you. DO NOT TELL YOUR CHILD THIS PASSCODE. If you do, it defeats the whole purpose of setting up the restrictions. The iPad will ask you to enter that code twice.

Once you’ve created the passcode, you can then make changes in the restrictions as needed. You will see that some options are not available because they have been locked by our configuration profile.

The items you will want to take particular note of include turning off Installing Apps and Deleting Apps. By doing this you can prevent your child from adding any new apps without your approval.

Other items you may want to consider:

  • iOS 6 has Twitter and Facebook integrated into the iPad. You have the option to turn both off in the restrictions.
  • Under the section that says Allow Changes, tap “Accounts” and then select “Don’t Allow Changes.” If you have previously turned off iMessage or deleted an email account, this will prevent the child from turning those back on.
  • Under “Game Center,” if your child is not able to moderate his or her gameplaying on the iPad, you may want to turn off “Multiplayer Games” and “Adding Friends.”

Conclusion

By enabling the restrictions on your son or daughter’s iPad, you have a tool to help your child use this device as a tool, and also to help him or her learn to exercise self-control and good judgement in the use of technology. Depending on the age of your child or your particular circumstances, you may or may not want to turn on some of these features. Whatever your situation, know that Ben Lippen desires to partner with you to give you the tools you need as you parent your children.

Questions? Comments? Join the discussion in the comments section below!