One of the first things I looked into installing on our ipads was a whiteboard app. The ones available are like turbocharged mini-whiteboards. Fantastic for ongoing assessment throughout the lesson, planning, practising and collaboration. Whiteboard apps have the added advantage of being able to be projected onto the Interactive whiteboard (given the right technology), add audio, photos and the ability to screenshot children’s work for evidence (saving the wrath of the assistant head for leaving mucky marker pen marks on the photocopier!)
Look around and you’ll find a plethora of available apps to do the job, each with different features. (ShowMe, Explain Everything, Educreations, ScreenChomp, Doceri). Back in October, I came down to a choice of 2 freebies – Screenchomp or Educreations. I went with the latter, just because I found the sharing of work pretty difficult on Screenchomp.
With Educreations you can:
- write with a pen (and choose from a range of colours)
- write with the keyboard
- import pictures from camera, camera roll or from a direct web search
- add more slides
- add audio
- change to a squared paper background
- save the presentation ‘privately’ and without an account
- email the presentation to yourself/the teacher
Educreations has served us really well, and is still many children’s ‘go-to’ app for sharing ideas. But getting the slides off the devices was not possible, as I still haven’t got round to setting up email accounts on the iPads.
This is where Doceri comes in. Doceri does the above, and more….
- a variety of pens
- a variety of shapes and lines, and the ability to change their thickness
- a wider range of colours
- a huge range of backgrounds (grids of varying sizes, isometric dots, maps etc)
- the ability to project to an interactive whiteboard via a desktop program run from a PC or laptop
- and most importantly, the ability to save slides and presentations directly to the camera roll on the iPad.
This final feature is crucial for me, as we begin to use Showbie more and more for storing work. Add this to its fancy pens and backgrounds and I’m expecting this app to be an instant hit with the children when we go back to school after Easter!