Create mobile apps for your students!

Firstly, this comes with a warning….. it’s so addictive!  Since discovering this site I’ve created mobile apps for my school and also for my students.  Get yourself to – it’s the future!!  You need a little tech knowledge – but not a lot.  Have a play, it’s a lot of fun and best of all FREE!

Check out my apps I’ve created for Pakuranga College; “PakZone” in the iTunes app store and “PakColl” on Google Play – publishing to these platforms is a little more involved and can get rather technical (especially iOS).


However, if you’re just starting out have a go at creating a “web app” – it’s free and runs on iOS and Android.  Below is a mock-up of an app I’ve put together for my Yr13 Sports Leadership class.  Try it, go to on your phone and have a play!




No audio with this one – but it is packed full of exciting links!  I’m presenting at the above conference later this week and have attached pdf versions of the slides that I’m using.  I’ll do a voice-over at a later stage – but you’ll get the rough idea of what I’m presenting!?  Obviously, you wont get to see the embedded video clips or the funky transitions, sorry!


The future looks grim! According to Middleton (2010), “there is an epidemic of educational failure and disengagement in New Zealand.” Generation Y, our current clientele, have been described as lacking communication, basic math and writing skills and even critical thinking. These “Millennials” are stereotypically lazy, spoilt and demanding. Juxtapose all this doom with what’s happening on the internet and the future is positively blooming! Social media sites such as Facebook, YouTube and Twitter have exploded into life over the last 5 years and our adolescents just can’t get enough; 73% of “wired teens” log-on to them daily (the same Gen-Y students that we as educators are struggling to motivate and engage in the classroom?!).

In this session, I will argue that the way our students’ learn has changed over the last two decades. Unfortunately, the way we teach them hasn’t. Could tapping into their love of social media be the solution? I’ll explore the challenges and benefits of using social media in education, the superb synergy between social media and the New Zealand Curriculum, and then finally leave you all with a challenge!

Below is a pdf version of my presentation and also some great resources!:


The new iPad 2: I thought it was just a fancy toy? Podcasts: Downloading PE lessons from the iTunes store? Twitter: It’s far more useful than just finding out what Richie McCaw had for breakfast! For the last year I’ve made a conscious effort to embrace some of the new technologies available to our students and explore what value they can add to physical education. By using these technologies and integrating them into our teaching and learning programs, students have been more engaged in their learning. Student voice tells us that physical education at Pakuranga College has the “cool” factor! In this session I will focus on three technologies; the new iPad 2, podcasting and Twitter. I’ll show you in detail how each of these have been used in a physical education context and also the feedback received from students.

We’ll explore:

*  Some of the Apps that can be used with the iPad 2 and NCEA PE 

*  How to create and submit audio/video lessons to iTunes for students to download 

*  How using Twitter can really connect you with your students 

*  How, using Twitter, you can receive the best PD every day for FREE! 

Here’s the pdf version of my presentation:

Digital Technologies Presentation


  • Vital Signs App
  • US iTunes account

Vital Signs App  – NZ$1.29

 Just a very short blog today on a new app I found in the iTunes store – Philips Vital Signs Camera.  I love this app – it’s awesome and very clever.  Just by looking at your iPad 2, this app will calculate your pulse (based on the blood flow in your face!) and also your breathing rate (based on the movement of your chest).  It’s a must – go check it out!

Vital Signs Camera is the only App that measures your heart rate and breathing rate remotely, simply using the camera of your iPad 2! Try it out now and experience another amazing innovation by Philips!


The Vital Signs Camera App of Philips measures your heart rate and breathing rate using advanced software and the camera of your iPad 2. This breakthrough technology allows you to measure your vital signs in an easy and unobtrusive way at home*.

• Measures your heart rate just from the color for your face!
• Measures your breathing rate by analyzing the motion of your chest!
• No need to hold or touch the iPad 2.
• Share screenshots of your results online!TIPS: 
1) Place the iPad 2 on a table.
2) Position your face inside the marked area.
3) Sit still and quiet during the measurement.

* The Vital Signs Camera App for iPad 2 is not intended for diagnosis or for clinical measurements, monitoring or decision making for entertainment purposes only.


  • Setting up multiple iPads
  • Enabling restrictions
  • Creating an iTunes account (without a credit card)
  • Adding an email account
  • What students should know….

In this episode I’ll quickly talk you through how we’ve set-up 10 iPads for shared use in the classroom.  It is important to note that these are a shared resource, kept in a central location and owned by an educational establishment.

The logistics of setting them up was a little time consuming at first (especially updating 10 devices to iOS5 – much fun!).  Now that they are set up, it’s pretty easy and low maintenance to keep them going.  Listen in, and I’ll talk you through how and what we’ve done – and importantly the pitfalls and mistakes that we’ve made so far!

Below are screenshots of the apps that we are using in PE here at Pakuranga College – each has been set up identically the same as all the others;



Idea Sketch – FREE

Idea Sketch lets you easily draw a diagram – mind map, concept map, or flow chart – and convert it to a text outline, and vice versa. You can use Idea Sketch for anything, such as brainstorming new ideas, illustrating concepts, making lists and outlines, planning presentations, creating organizational charts, and more!

Share Your Ideas
Diagrams can be saved to the Photos app, which are then synced to your desktop computer. You can also copy-and-paste diagrams and outlines into any other app on your iPhone. You can even upload diagrams to your Facebook account!

Idea Sketch is designed to be intuitive and easy to use. You’ll be creating and editing diagrams and outlines right away.

No Drawing Required
Just enter your text and move the shapes around, Idea Sketch handles all the drawing.

Here’s the one I did with my Yr13 class – easy!


Make Dice – NZ$1.29

You can make dice anywhere anytime on the iPad, iPhone & iPod touch.

Where should we go? Who should it be? What do we eat? We all come across a situation where decisions are hard to make. How about having a dice make the decision for you?


– Dice rolls when the device is shaken.
– 6 colors of dice. (White, Black, Pink, Blue, Wood, Stone)
– Up to 6 dice.
– 5 color tables. (Green, Red, White, Black, Gray)
– also possible to use favorite photograph a table from the photo album.
– Couple DICE and Personal DICE are prepared by default.
– All the languages and signs can be input.
– A favorite language can be expanded with the keyboard in setting > General > Keyboard > International Keyboards.
– Sounds ON/OFF

Strip Design – NZ$4.19

Impress your friends with your own personal comic strips, created on your iPad, iPhone or iPod using just the photos from your photo album or iPhone camera.  Select one of the many included page templates. Add photos to the cells. Add a couple of balloons with fun words. Add additional effect symbols (stickers) like “Boom”, “Splash”, or “Bang” for a bit of extra spice. When you are happy with your new graphic novel, share it with friends and family.

Photos can be added from the camera, your photo-album, or downloaded directly from your Facebook account. You can apply filters to photos, and change the layout of the page to fit your needs. You can even paint on the photos, or draw your own sketches from scratch.  Text balloons can be position, sized, and rotated freely on the page. You can alter colors, font, text-size. You can even give the balloons color gradients for additional impact.

There are plenty of stickers to spice up the novel, but you can also create your own using photos from your photo-album and the built-in masking and drawing tools.  Use warped text with thick borders and gradient color-fill to give your cartoon the super-hero look.  Additional fonts can be installed from the web, so you will only be limited by your own imagination.  While you work, you can freely pan and zoom to control even the smallest details.

Once you have finished your masterpiece you can save it to your photo album, email it to your friends, upload it to Facebook or Flickr, or create a Tweet with Twitter and Twitpic


– More than a 100 strip templates with 1 to 9 photo cells
– Create your own layouts with up-to photo 12 photo cells
– 12 different balloon types
– Warped text
– Change ballon size, rotation, color, and transparency
– Use any iPhone font or install additional fonts
– Color gradients
– More than 100 stickers to insert for additional impact
– Facebook, Flickr and Twitpic upload support
– Facebook photo download built in
– Export to PDF to create real comic book pages
– Control scale, position and rotation of photos
– Paint on photos or your own stickers
– 5 different cell styles
– Image filters for photos
– Freely pan and zoom while you work
– Insert maps


  • Game and Player analysis
  • Easy Tag
  • Time Motion
  • Data exported as .csv

Easy Tag  – (FREE!)



With EasyTag, notational analysis comes to the iPad. Start the timer at the beginning of the game then a fully customizable tagging panel is used to time-stamp the key performance indicators (KPI) of your sport and display instant statistics of their frequencies.

EasyTag creates a .csv file which can be further analyzed by spreadsheet software or tagged events can be related to a video recording by import into Dartfish video analysis software (TeamPro and Connect+ editions).

EasyTag’s panel can contain from 9 to 30 buttons each of which can be set to time stamp a fixed, user-defined duration which allows a single button tap to record an event. Buttons can also be set to be open duration which is ideal for recording the length as well as frequency of phases of play. Buttons can be labeled and color-coded. Optionally, buttons can also display frequencies and have variable color-coding according to frequency; giving instant visual feedback on your KPI.

* Create custom panels with up to 30 buttons
* Color code buttons for easy identification
* Optional time stamping of fixed or open duration periods
* Pre-roll setting allows you to assess an event before deciding to tag it
* Statistics display and heat-map color coding
* Creates a CSV file which can be imported into other computer applications
* Dartfish Quick Import easily integrates your notational analysis with video.

TimeMotion  –  (FREE!)


TimeMotion takes the hassle out of time-motion studies. For sport science or coaching students, doing a time-motion study can be a
real chore. TimeMotion allows you to record the activity profile of any sportsperson live during the event, or now you can analyse an existing video stored in your photo library. Use the activity categories that ship with the app or choose your own. You can even turn categories on and off as and when you need to. 

To save the data just take a screenshot (press the Home and Sleep buttons at the same time), or email the results via the Share button. Coaches can even use TimeMotion to track the time in possession of the ball and the frequency of possessions for their team or individual players.