About James Potter

My day job is Director of Technology at one of the UK's leading independent schools. I'm on a daily mission to use, and learn to use technology in the most creative, innovative and transformational ways. The iPad ticks all of these boxes. My geekery also extends to a passion for cricket, amateur astronomy, video gaming and bad guitar playing. You can contact me on Twitter with the link below.

WriteReader for iPad Review: Teach Children How to Write

IMG_1351

WriteReader with keyboard

WriteReader for iPad has clearly had a lot of thought go into it from an educational and technical perspective. It’s main USP is that it will help to develop your child’s writing through using phonetically based sounds to create words which can be turned into a publishable eBook. However, does it live up to it’s promise?

WriteReader has a lot of financial backing and it heralds from Denmark. It’s modus operandi is to teach children to write. I would say that the app should be aimed at reluctant writers who have a lot of parental support. I also don’t believe it is the sort of app your child could use effectively without direct assistance from an adult. [click to continue reading…]

Share This:

Notes Plus for iPad Giveaway: 5 Free Codes to Be Won

Notes-Plus-for-iPad_thumb.png

You may remember last year I wrote a post about the excellent note taking app Notes Plus. My opinion was that it was a really well thought out app with plenty of options and excellent handwriting recognition, which at the time was an in-app purchase. You can read the full review here, and you can read my 3 way handwriting recognition app shootout here, in which Notes Plus came out as clear winner.

The developers have released a new version of the app with the headline feature being that handwriting recognition is no longer an in-app purchase, which is great news if you want to find a pretty accurate handwriting recognition app. The developers have also kindly given our readers 5 promo codes for Notes Plus which you can get by being one of the first 5 people to reply to this post in answer to this question:

What is the productivity app that you simply could not do without on your iPad? (mine would have to be Google Drive I think).

Your reply needs to have a valid email address, or I won’t be able to send the code to you and the contest will close on Sunday February 15 at 3:00 US Central.

In the meantime, here’s an App Store link for Notes Plus; it’s priced at $9.99.

Share This:

Koder for iPad: Take the Hell out of HTML

IMG_1313

One of the computing classes that I teach at school is HTML, and being a 1:1 iPad school I wanted to refresh my scheme of work to take advantage of using the iPad. Now, let’s get one thing out of the way, coding on the iPad may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but for me, the fact that I can work on it in class and get the students to take the same software home and continue working is a real bonus for me. I had a good look around for an app which would fit my needs and zeroed in on Koder. My reasons for choosing this were mainly because it offered a browser preview of your code and it also wasn’t rated 17+ (Apple rates pretty much any app with a browser 17+ for unrestricted web access unfortunately). It is worth noting that it offers other coding languages, but for the purposes of this review I’m going to concentrate on HTML. [click to continue reading…]

Share This:

Spout is the Prezi for social network feeds

icon175x175

I was introduced to Spout at the start of the week and it was one of those apps that I was immediately wowed by. Pictures won’t really do it justice, it’s the movement and animation that really sell this app. The way to describe it is it is rather like watching a Prezi of your social network feeds.

Upon launching the app, you can configure your social network feeds and attach Twitter, Facebook, Flickr and Instagram. Within this you can opt to display certain hashtags. If, for example you put #ipaded into the stream, Spout will only display tweets with this hashtag. As well as this, you can add custom text which will animate. It could be used as a message if your iPad is connected to a screen for example.

[click to continue reading…]

Share This:

Osmo for iPad Review: Magical and Educational

osmo1

We are all used to interfacing with a computer through mouse, keyboard, and in more recent times, touchscreen. Osmo has created an educational game system that allows you to interface with the iPad through physical objects. It’s a new way of using the iPad to engage children in learning and it is as close to a magical experience as I have come using an iPad. [click to continue reading…]

Share This:

Studying French? Triomphe iPad Review

We had our family summer holiday in France this year and although I have plenty of French words stored in my head (thanks to my grammar drilling French teacher Miss Chettle), my pronunciation is terrible. In fact, it’s a bit like watching one of those comedy movies where someone totally out of their depth tries […]

Read the full article →

iPads in Education: Why iPad?

There have been lots of interesting stories in the news recently about various iPad deployments in education, some good, some bad. Earlier this year our school made a carefully considered decision to deploy iPads to each student on a one to one basis and we are currently in the second phase of our roll out. This […]

Read the full article →