Thursday, February 26, 2015

Touchcast - Smarter than video

If TouchCast is not a revolutionary idea, then at the very least it is extremely clever. 

Touchcast is built on HTML5 code, and it uses the iPad’s built-in camera, a useful collection of widgets (called vApps which are video-apps) and a timeline editor to help users to produce video productions reasonably quickly. 

How is TouchCast Different to YouTube?

TouchCasts are immersive and interactive. With the exception of inserted weblinks, YouTube videos are not. They are linear, sender-to-receiver experiences. 

Many Most educators use video extensively in the classroom, and so too do students. But videos are often often in isolation from other media or as a supplementary resource. For example we insert videos in our Keynotes or Google Slides; post to Schoology; or embed on our blogs. This is usually video used inside the web, or alongside it.

Touchcast reverses this inserting all this other media (websites, social media etc) inside the TouchCast video itself. The video is the central platform for all the content used by the teacher and/or student. It's video, but smart video. 


TouchCast is an App available only for iPads (2nd Generation and up). TouchCasts are available for viewing from
Download the TouchCast app.

Ideal additional equipment:

  • Tripod
  • Access to a Green Room (this is used in a number of the TouchCast 'Casts')
  • Microphone for iPad


Download a Touchcast Planning and Scripting Template (.pages format)
Download the official Touchcast Teacher training document

Student Examples: 

The following examples are our first attempts at KIS. Thank you to Ms Rance and Ms McCabe for sharing these samples of student work. They did really well, and this Fish Bowl PD is in large part a by-product of the collaborative learning that took place with these talented students.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

iBooks Author - The 12 Step Program for Classroom Success

This week in The Fish Bowl, we present a session that is the result of considerable request. This is our 12 Step Program to using iBook Author, either for personal use or for use in the classroom. Tried and tested in the classroom, we hope you find the presentation a useful resource for you and your students. 

  1. Understand the components of an iBook and be able to in turn teach students how to create one.
  2. All participants to create an iBook using the provided assets (see screenshot below).

Session Overview:

You will create the basic framework of an interactive iBook. Content will be extremely basic, and will use supplied assets. 


  1. Please feel free to take a copy of the presentation and use/modify for your own classroom/PD purposes -
  2. Download this folder. It contains the assets used for assembling your basic iBook using iBooks Author -

Resources to help get the most out of your iBook experience:

Formatting images for iBook
5 Reasons to try iBooks
Tips for Motivating Student Writers with iBooks Author

Monday, February 9, 2015

Create an online ‘textbook’ with Flipboard

Create an online ‘textbook’ with Flipboard

This Professional Development opportunity presents an idea that I came across while at Learning 2.014 (courtesy of Jeff Utecht). As a longtime Flipboard user, the use of Flipboard always seemed geared mostly towards individual consumption of news, blogs and social media feeds. 

Flipboard presents content in a beautiful way. But in this session, we show you how to use Flipboard for classroom learning. It's simple and intuitive. 

The premise quite simply is to create a Flipboard Magazine, and then clip content from across the internet into it. It's easy and fast to do this. The great part though is that not only can people 'Follow' your Magazine, but if invited, can contribute to it as well in a collaborative manner. 

For the teacher, used to posting links to various individual pieces of content to students through Learning Management Systems such as Schoology (as is the case at KIS), this provides the 'Curation' add on. 

Session Objective: Create a Flipboard Magazine, add Content, and Share. 


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