iPad Apps and Blooms Taxonomy

The following is an adaptation of the Padagogy Wheel developed by Allan Carrington of the University of Adelaide which was in turn built upon the work of Sharon Artley.

Many others have adapted this idea to suit the applications being used by their students on iPads. I recently received a version created by Unley High School and decided to create a set of posters for PBAS linking Blooms Taxonomy and our iPad apps (posters are up in the staffroom).

It is not my intention to spend any time in the immediate future looking a these posters and discussing in detail how we as a staff can move student learning forward using Blooms and the iPads (unfortunately we have too much else going on). I am however hoping that these posters may generate some ideas amongst teachers and be used as a resource:

  • When you use the iPads does this use fall into one or two areas only?
  • Can you create a single task using the iPad that allow students to work within different levels in Blooms depending on ability?
  • How could you use the iPads to move students into the higher order thinking skills of analyse, evaluate and create?

All the apps listed below are on our iPads. There are a couple that have been added since which fall nicely into the apply, evaluate and create categories of Blooms these include Daisy the Dinosaur and Kodable both coding/programming apps.

Click here to see a range of posts on various iPad apps (listed on the posters) and how they might be applied in the classroom.











Art on the iPad

Our school iPads have two dedicated Art apps, Brushes and Art Set. Both can produce quality art work using a stylus once students are used to how the apps work. This post is not about how the apps work, if you are interested in using them I suggest the best way is for students and teacher to have a play with the app and share that knowledge within your class.

One of the great features of the Brushes app is that it allows the artist to play back how their art work was created. You can press the play button and watch from beginning to end how the art work was constructed. Not only will the students enjoy watching their art work be recreated before their eyes but the opportunity to view how others constructed theirs is a great learning opportunity. Below I have included a video of something I did in Brushes last year when I first played around with the app. Sorry it is a bit shaky I had to play it on the iPad and video it with my iPhone.

I would like to acknowledge @kevinhoneycutt for tweeting the following image which encouraged me to remind you about these two apps and their potential use in the classroom.

Screen Shot 2014-02-23 at 2.27.38 pm

Compress Video – Save space on your iPad


Here is a great free app called Compress. If you keep video on your iPad or iPhone and want to free up some space without deleting your videos then get this app. There are three levels of compression. The two levels offering the higher quality will compress videos at the following levels (these numbers are taken from a 3 min video compressed on my iPad). 262MB to 115mMB using the 720p quality compression and 262MB to 20MB using the 360p quality compression. The quality drop is minimal and I found it difficult to hear or see any difference between the original and compressed version (both 720p and 360p).

Before using the Compress app I had 8GB of free space on my 32GB iPad. I keep a large amount of video on my iPad including skills video and Just Dance video for PE as well as keeping video in student portfolios as part of student assessment in HPE. This means I am always on the edge of filling up my iPad, particularly towards the end of a semester. So after compressing 17 Just Dance videos (took about 15 minutes) on my iPad I suddenly had an extra 2.2GB of free space. This was using the 720p compression option, had I used the 320p option I would have saved myself 4.5GB plus of space.

Note: Video over a certain length (10 minutes from what I can gather) cannot be compressed by the app without the app trimming your video which is not practical.

My main use for this app will be compressing instructional YouTube video and video for student portfolios.

Thanks to @mrKampen who shared a blog post on his iteachPE blog explaining the Compress app.

Removing work from iPads

At the beginning of the year I thought it might be useful to remind staff how to get work off of the iPads and what options are available.

File Browser

This is the most effective in terms of being able to access student folders and the P Drive (Curriculum) on our school server. Students can create documents in Pages, Keynote, iMovie, Strip Design, Book Creator, Puppet Pals 2 and Brushes for example and transfer them directly to their student folder. Some of these apps like Book Creator and Strip Design, Pages and Keynote allow you to use File Browser straight from the app while others like iMovie, Puppet Pals and Brushes require you to save to the camera roll first and then use File Browser.

I have included a quick 3 minute video that helps explain how to use File Browser. This presentation was made using the Explain Everything app which is on our student iPads and is a great tool for students to present their work on.


AirDrop iconAirdrop_icon-3

Airdrop for iPad       Airdrop for Mac

The easiest way to transfer documents from one iPad to another. It is however limited when compared to File Browser. It is easy to activate AirDrop and then transfer video/images (from camera roll) or documents from Pages and Keynote. As time goes on more apps will likely incorporate Apples AirDrop functionality within their apps.

The great thing about Airdrop is that it does not require an Internet connection, it just requires WiFi and Bluetooth to be enabled. To read a quick explanation of how to use Airdrop click here.

Note: The year 9/10 students and their teachers can Airdrop work between MacBooks. It is not currently possible to Airdrop between iPads and Macs although would expect this to change in the future.

Connect via USB Cable

Apple have finally seen fit to allow iPads supervised by Apple Configurator (the software we use to run the iPads) to be connected and recognised by other Mac computers (unfortunately not Windows machines). There are a number of Mac machines in the school including the 4 iMacs in the primary area and 4 staff MacBooks (Justin, Allan, Nick and one not allocated yet).

Turn on the Mac computer, connect the student iPad and a USB. Transfer your video or photos by dragging and dropping from the iPad to the USB.

Note: All Lightning USB cables for the student iPads are connected to the iPad cart and cannot be removed. If you wish to use this method you will need to use the lightning USB cable that came with your teacher iPad.

Need Help?

Please ask! If you have any issues with any of the above 3 options please come and see me. I am more than happy to help with any trouble shooting. If you are in the middle of a class and want to transfer student work and I’m in my office I am always happy to come out and help – just ask. All 3 methods are fairly straight forward and will not take a great deal of time for me to help you with.


Currently unavailable. Last year the students had the ability to email work from the iPads. Unfortunately over the holidays I had to reimage (unsupervise and re-supervise) all the iPads. This meant wiping all settings and content which included email settings. As email is configured manually on each iPad I have just not got to it yet.

Make iPad books for your students – Book Creator

There are many uses for the app Book Creator including:

  • students creating narratives for English.
  • students create their own portfolios of work for a particular subject or topic. (Click HERE to see Jarrod Robinson’s video “Book Creator iPad App in A PE Classroom”)
  • students work in a cross age setting to create a book.
  • students present their knowledge of a topic for assessment.
  • students creating reports for science.

The use that I want to promote in this post is the ability for teachers to use Book Creator to create instructional books for students. This could be a more traditional text book style or a book that introduces students to a topic and provides some or all of the resources to assist with that topic.

The great thing about creating a book is that it can then be permanently stored in iBooks. It is then available not just for a single purpose but can be used by other classes or when you teach the unit again to another group of students. The ePub file can be stored on your PC so that if it is ever wiped from the iPad it can be reinstalled via the File Browser app.

It is also a simple process to upload the ePub file to a common area, i.e. a common drive on the school server and ask each student in your class to download your book using the File Browser app.


Augmented Reality – Aurasma App

I found this app a long time ago but it was really buggy and I didn’t have the patience at the time to use it. It now works better than it used to and although it does not work through our wireless network it will work through a smartphone hotspot. I have put it across the student iPads as it has the potential to be used by students if a teacher wants to use their phones hotspot for students to create ‘auras’ in the app. Note: an internet connection is only needed to create the ‘aura’ and trigger, once completed it needs no connection if the video is on the iPad/iPhone being used.

I decided to try it out with my 9/10 PE class who are doing volleyball this term. To make it easy I used my school iPad, my personal iPad and my iPhone so students had 3 devices to use in the hall during lessons. We have been using it this week and I think it has helped students to understand the serving skill (our focus this week) and given them a point of reference they can go back to without me having to be alongside a student helping them out. This keeps certain students engaged in a task while I can work with other groups in other areas of the hall. I can see potential for this app in any subject area  – imagine a student poster with images that when an iPad is held up to them turn into videos created by students elaborating on the content of the poster.

To understand what it is that I have been talking about watch this video it demonstrates how I have used it with my volleyball unit.

The next video is from Aurasma and gives a more detailed look at how the app works.

Visual Poetry App

Richard Byrne has a blog called “iPad Apps for Schools”. He contributes regularly and reviews a wide range of educational apps. One of his more recent app reviews was for an app called Visual Poetry which I thought sounded useful for presenting student writing. The app allows the user to create custom word clouds with their text (not just poetry). The app is .99c. I would be interested if anyone would like to download it and see if they think it would be worthwhile putting it on the PBAS iPads.

Click here to read Richards review of the app.

Click here to visit iTunes to view the app.

visual poetry 1