app: Instagram

app: Instagram

1 Minute Introduction to Instagram

Instagram is an app you use to share photos and short videos with your Followers. You can Follow other Instagram users (people or organisations) and view their images and videos. You can Like, Comment on images and tag your followers in image comments.

Introductory video Instagram Beginners (5:30)

My Use of Instagram

I’ve been using Instagram since it came out. I like that its all about Images. No posts about “what am I thinking” just posts from friends and others I follow which are Images or short Videos.

Picture it as a visual Twitter. Where Twitter is a platform for sharing short (140 character) text posts, Instagram is sharing just an Image – with a caption.

Images have captions and you can Tag people who are in the Image. You can say the location and also add some built in filters to modify your original image really easily. Add some Hashtags and you’re an Instagram #pro!

What does the Instagram app do?

The Instagram app is how you connect to your Instagram social network and share images. Open the app, take a photo or find one in your Photo Library, add a caption, add a Filter, tag someone, add a Location, share on Instagram or with other linked sites like Facebook or Twitter.

How can I use the Instagram app?

Instagram is a great way to keep in touch with people through Images. Let others know what you are up to through capturing and sharing images of your activity or to promote what you are doing. If you are a classroom teacher its a dead-set simple way to share what’s happening in the classroom – simply take a photo, use Instagram to share with your Followers – most likely Parents and other Teachers.

Video: Instagram Tutorial (33:16)

Links to Instagram training and video:

Instagram Help Centre Instagram Courses MUO – Guide to Instagram Video



Instagram is owned by Facebook and is a trimmed down social media network centred around Images. View and share images from people and organisations you follow without the clutter of everything else Facebook includes. Follow celebs and interest groups for short visual updates.

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app: OneNote

app: OneNote

OneNote app icon1 Minute Introduction to OneNote

OneNote is a notetaking tool included in Microsoft Office and now available on your web browser or as a mobile app for android and iOS. When using Onedrive you can sync it across computer and mobile devices to record notes which can include text, images, audio, video.  Notes are organised into Sections of a Notebook. You can setup any number of Notebooks.

Introductory video from Office 365 (1:16)

My Use of Onenote

Ive been using Evernote Premium since it came out around 2008/2009 and still use it for my personal notes on various devices.

But I started using Onenote in 2016 for work and it’s now my main tool outside of email. Onenote is software from Microsoft which enables me to create digital Notebooks which can contain Sections, each section can be made up of any number of Pages.

Pages can contain, Text, Images, recorded Audio or Video, and are saved instantly as I work. I can move Pages between Sections or Sections between Notebooks.  I can even share Notebooks with other Office 365 users.

What does the OneNote app do?

The OneNote app offers me the core features of the full desktop version of OneNote which makes it great to record notes on my iPhone or iPad when getting out the laptop is too much trouble. Because my OneNote notebook files are stored on OneDrive in the Cloud the data syncs and when other devices running OneNote are connected OneNote data is synced, so everything stays up to date.

How can I use the OneNote app?

For my work I currently have around 7 Notebooks on various topics relating to my Role. Each Notebook has a number of Sections and those Sections contain Pages. For example one Notebook titled “Digital Tools” has content on various software and apps that I can share with others when they ask me what something is and how they could use it.

I have my Digital Tools notebook organised into Sections named Social Media, Video and Robotics and then each section contains relevant Pages, for example the Social Media section has pages on Twitter, Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram.

OneNote structure

An example of a OneNote Notebook/Section/Page structure


When I open the OneNote app on my iPhone (below) I can access this notebook and its contents, but the view and features are obviously different because of the device.


OneNotes iOS app view

OneNote Notebook, Section and Page view on iOS app

One of the great things I use a lot is the iPhone’s camera to add photos of presentation slides during a workshop or presentation. After taking the photo in OneNote you have the option to crop the image by dragging handles to the image corners – OneNote then does it’s best to align the image flat. If its a Whiteboard photo just tap the “Whiteboard” button and watch the magic happen…..

Video: OneNote iPad app (33:16)

Sharing OneNote Notebooks

Once your using OneNote with OneDrive you have the ability to share your notebooks with others. For example, my Digital Tools notebook could be shared with other educators who could then view or contribute to the notebook content depending on what level of sharing I choose.  This collaboration feature enables you to use OneNote as a tool for purposes where information needs to be up-to-date and available to a group.

When sharing a Notebook you are also able to protect sections within the notebook with a password, should you not want to share the whole thing.

Links to OneNote training and video:

Microsoft OneNote Help Microsoft OneNote 2016 Training Microsoft OneNote Free eBook Microsoft OneNote for Students, Teachers, Administrators Microsoft OneNote Community Support Forum



OneNote is a really great tool for keeping the information you need to keep, organised and synchronised on various devices. The OneNote app makes it easy to access those Notebooks on your mobile devices.  If you’re a OneNote user you will value having access via the app.

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OneNote app - vis

What is Swift Playgrounds?

What is Swift Playgrounds?

Introducing Swift Playgrounds.

Swift Playgrounds is a coding app from Apple designed to teach kids how to code.  Expect to see it available when iOS 10 is released in September 2016. It allows students to complete in-built lessons and write code to control a character named “Byte”, giving him movement and direction commands such as moveForward() or turnLeft() or jump(), to guide him through a series of puzzles to be solved in a 3D graphical world.

Swift Playgrounds

With Swift Playground’s split screen on the iPad as seen above, the coder can create and run the code in the left hand section, then preview it straight away on the right hand side Swift Playground’s “world view”. When you start coding the app also gives you suggested commands.

Swift Playgrounds

Download Swift Playgrounds now!

Key features of Swift Playgrounds:

  • only available on iPads running iOS 10 and above (iPad Air or iPad Mini 2 are minimum)
  • you can share your Swift Playground’s code with others using Mail, Messages or Airdrop
  • record and share video of your code in action
  • expect new challenges to be added with app updates
  • code templates enable you to begin using iPad features (accelerometer, gyroscope, multi-touch) quickly and easily
  • Swift Playground’s code can be transferred directly to X-Code, Apple’s programming software for MacOS, WatchOS, tvOS and iOS
  • free app once released, available now to users on the Apple Developer program testing iOS 10 beta.

Swift playgrounds screens

Watch a short video from Macworld introducing Swift Playgrounds (2min47)

From Apple –

“Interactive puzzles teach key programming concepts in a way that is both fun and challenging building confidence and skill. Starting with the “Fundamentals of Swift” lesson, you’ll tackle goals using the same code professional developers use every day. As you move along, more advanced concepts come into play. You’ll continually build on what you’ve learnt and create even more complex code.”

It’s an app which should be popular in iPad schools particularly because learning and writing code is so popular in education at the moment. Code writing involves students in planning, problem solving, design thinking, creativity and collaboration – core 21st Century skills schools want to see their students develop.

Apple has created a Free – Swift Playgrounds Teacher Guide iBook available here:

Watch the video demonstration from Apple WWDC 2016 of Swift Playgrounds below: