Creating Art with the iPod

My daughter really enjoys creating works of art. She has a wide range of interests ranging from painting to paper mache to origami to crafts of all types. She has been having a lot of fun checking out draw programs for the iPod Touch. Some favorite art apps are:

iBurn – draws with flames, has options for mirroring to create symmetric shapes

Doodle Buddy – drawing program, has a good smudging feature

Glow Coloring – drawing program with florescent colors, has a stamping feature

TrippingFest Lite – allows drawing by pattern – great for symmetry, example patterns include polar, random shapes

Meritum Paint – simple drawing paint, lines are feathered like spilt paint, can draw with 2 fingers at once

Spawn Lite – random bouncing lines that explode in fireworks shapes

Dash Of Color – loads an existing picture to a black & white version, you can add colour highlights

SketchMee Lite – takes an existing picture and coverts it to a version based on chalk or pencil lines, then you add a new color scheme

PaintMee Lite – similar to SketchMee, but uses ‘paint’ rather than lines

Adobe Photoshop – photo editing on the go

Sample Art Gallery:  Pictures are names to reflect the app used to create them


Doodle Buddy

Glow Coloring

Tripping Fest Lite

Meritum Paint

Spawn Lite

Dash of Color

Sketch Mee

Paint Mee

File transfer with Skype

At the beginning of the week, I blogged about Tethering and how that made a real difference to someone else in a particular situation. As a followup to that post, I have now had an opportunity to transfer my 90 minute, 2 GB quicktime video file from Ontario, Canada to Scotland.

This was accomplished by connecting with my friend via Skype and using the built in file transfer capability. I actual process is easy – once both people are online, right click the person to receive the file, choose send, select the file and start the transfer. I was sending the file via a wireless connection on my end. The estimated transfer time was 6.5 hours.  The actually time was slightly more the 7 hours, which was accomplished in 2 sessions. For the second session, the Skype had the built in smarts to resume the file transfer right where it left off. We verified that the file plays properly, so all is well as far as this project goes.

~ Mark

Tethering to Make a Difference

You never really know when you will use your iPhone to make a real difference. I had one of those unique opportunities this weekend.

Last week, I received a call from a friend from university days to ask if I would consider performing some music at her father’s memorial service. Her father was a very talented musician with a long history of success in our region. I had known him for 30 years myself and had many wonderful memories of performing and working on music projects together.  Of course, I was honoured to be asked to play at the service. As we exchanged emails to organize the details, it also became clear that my friend was not going to make here from Scotland for the service due to the volcanic ash in the air that shut down travel in the European air space.

Technology to the rescue. I offered to set up a skype session so that she could at least see the service in real time. First we complete a pretest session to check out things out and get an idea of laptop to speaker distances. Since the church did not have an Internet access, I used my iPhone in tethering mode to establish a connection a few minutes before the service. I was able to sit at the front of the church and pan the laptop to point it at the 2 speaker locations. I used a second iPhone to video the whole service for them. The video turned out great – one take for the 1.5 hour service. The video file was 2.25 GB in size.

We are going to connect this week and try a direct file transfer using a Skype connection. Hopefully this will work well.

Everything turned out great. I was delighted to perform at the service, and glad I could lend a helping hand  given the travel challenges.

~ Mark

Digital Citizenship Symposium

Tuesday March 30th, 2010 was a special day – the day our Board held their first Character Development/Digital Citizenship Symposium. The ballroom at St. George’s Hall was buzzing with energy. The room was filled with administrators, teachers and students. We were about to share a day focused on Digital Citizenship in the context of Character Development and ultimately moving the agenda forward.

Showcasing our Digital Citizenship poster, in the case a giant one by the registration desk.

The Character Development – Digital Citizenship Program

8:00-8:30 Registration

8:30-8:45 Welcome

8:45 -10:00 Keynote Speaker  – Jesse Brown

10:00 – 10:15 Break

10:15 – 11:00 Morning: Session A – 21st Century Tools of Learning

  • Option 1 Social Media – Networking Tools
  • Option 2 Equity of Access – Adaptive Technologies
  • Option 3 Digital Literacy and e-learning
  • Option 4 Tools for Student Engagement
  • Option 5 Multimedia Projects – Original Work

11:00 – 11:15 Break

11:15 – 12:00 Morning: Session B – Classroom Applications

  • Option 1 Digital Citizenship in the Classroom
  • Option 2 Bitstrips – Literacy
  • Option 3 Creating a Collaborative Online Community
  • Option 4 Digital Citizenship in the Classroom -Ministry Project
  • Option 5 Building Community – Blogging

12:00 – 1:00 Lunch

1:00 – 1:45  Session C ” Your Digital Footprint “ – Panel Discussion

1:45 – 2:00 Break

2:00 – 2:45 Afternoon : Session D ” Where do we go from here?”

  • Positive Impact of Technology – The New A.U.P.

2:45 -3:00 Day Program – Closing

Evening Session for Parents and Community members

6:45 – 7:00 Welcome

7:00 – 8:00 Keynote – Jesse Brown

Jesse Brown, owner of Bitstrips for Schools, recently licensed for use in Ontario schools and host of TVO podcast “Search Engine” kicked off the day with a keynote presentation that tackled three questions:

  • Do cell phones belong in classrooms?
  • Do teachers belong on Facebook?
  • Does the internet make us stupid?

After exploring the ins and outs of these questions, the day moved to the break out sessions. I attended Steve Rensink’s session on using Web 2.0 tools in the classroom and Susan Watt’s session on Digital Citizenship in the Classroom. Both sessions were well done and provided opportunities for all to extend their learning.

The afternoon’s activities started with a panel discussion, which I had the privilege of hosting. The panelists included two secondary school students, a teacher, an administrator and a business representative from Opentext.  The discussion started by allowing each panelist to present their views about how integrity, respect and social responsibility (3 of our 8 key character attributes) relate to Digital Citizenship. Picking up on key points made early in the discussion, I also explored two additional points with the panel:

  • Explain the important differences when interacting in a face to face situation vs. an online environment, and
  • With the ease of copying, sharing and distributing content, give your views on academic honesty.

The final session of the day was prepared by Harry Niezen, Ron Millar and Anita Brooks-Kirkland, our ICT consultants. Seating arrangements for this session grouped students with students, teachers with teachers and administrators with administrators to explore a series of questions focusing on the future of our Acceptable Use Policy (AUP). Each table had a recorder so that the ideas and view points expressed could be captured, reviewed and considered in the rewrite of our AUP which will begin as a followup to this event.

All in all this was a successful event. The day closed with Susan Watt relating some classroom experiences from her point of view as our Technology Support Teacher and me announcing the launch of our new student email system and additional access to social media tools (including Facebook as of September) and our intent to embed their use in curriculum delivery. I think the highlight of the day for me was seeing all attendees – students, staff and administrators seated side by side and learning together. I feel fortunate to have been a part of this important WRDSB event. Congratulations to the event organizing team!!!

Additional Resources

Did you know? (4.0)


The day as captured on Twitter

Social Media policy framework reference

Event Wiki

~ Mark