26 March 2014

Hi-Tech Impressionists

Year 6 have concluded their study of impressionist art by organising an exhibition of their work.  The displays were arranged in typical Art Gallery style, except for the addition of QR codes and Aurasma icons.

The QR were easily scanned by visitors using their phones, but there were plenty of students with iPads to assist anyone without a scanning app. The QR code opened up a description of the art, written by the artist. Here you could read about their inspiration, the background knowledge they had learned and information about the painting itself, e.g. the colours or materials used. All very interesting.

I viewed several images using the Aurasma app, which miraculously displayed a video of the artist chatting about the work, giving a first-hand account of the story behind it. This was just like having the artist there, which was very cool, except it wasn't possible to ask them questions!

Well done to Yr6 and their teachers for taking the risk of pushing the bounties of technology to enhance the experience.

Yr6 Students demonstrating the Auras for parents.

23 March 2014

Tech Visitor

When a visitor from Hong Kong visited our school, the one thing he was most interested in was how students use their iPads. Mr Clive, Head of ICT from the prestigious Kellett International School, dropped in on his way to a conference, so I gave him a quick tour. As we wandered through Primary we noticed a lot of activity in Yr5. It turned out that they were showcasing some of their learning to their parents as well as students from other year groups. Their integrated project was created almost exclusively on the iPad. Photos, video interviews (with Green Screen), Keynote presentations and much much more were combined to create incredibly rich multi-media reports. 

I was really impressed with what I saw, but our visitor was blown away by the quality of the work as well as the passion that the students displayed. Fantastic job Year 5.

Animated Adverts

Year 8 experimented a little with Stop Motion animation on their iPads, and were then set the challenge to make an animated movie, promoting a product of their choice. They had to design, create, shoot and edit, with the aim to showcase their final advert at our very own Yr8 Animated Film Festival.
The movie below was made by Twisha, Nicole, Sung Min & Melissa. I think they did a really good job, with some imaginative shots & ideas. A variety of editing techniques were also used to enhance the final presentation. What do you think?

All movies were recorded and edited on iPad, using StopMotion HD or Stop Motion Studio. Some chose to use iMovie on the Mac to add additional edits.

06 March 2014

Blogging images

We work hard to help our students understand the importance of ownership and copyright when they're searching for images and other digital content online. This is particularly important for students who have their own blogs. We have a responsibility to consider the moral & legal aspects of what we use.

Finding high quality images for our blogs has recently become so much easier. Google image search now includes an easy to use menu. Within Search tools there is now a menu for Usage rights so you can search for images where permission has already been granted for use. 

Another method comes from a startup company in Singapore called imgembed. This site host thousands of images that can be embedded directly to your blog. All are free for personal / educational use.

And today it was announced that Getty Images, one of the world's largest stock photo suppliers, has released 35million images that can now be used free of charge for non-commercial use. So that makes it  perfect for student blogs. The images have to be embedded directly from Getty, and include an attribution - a label saying who owns the image. The image below was embedded from Getty.

Now there's no excuse. We have access to millions of high quality images that are 100% legal for us to use.