This week I tried out a new tool with my class, which I would describe as a sort of bookmarking and slide sharing mash-up. Edcanvas was passed to me by Julian Coultas at a recent apple event over two weeks ago, since then the web tool has already undergone tweaks and improvements.
Essentially, Edcanvas is a tool for pulling together slides of text and images and embedded Youtube clips into a unique url, essentially you create your own lesson web site. I did this yesterday for my Maths lesson on shape and shape properties and it worked really well. Of course I displayed the same presentation on the Activ Board, but having the set of slides in an easily navigable website meant each child could access this from their iPad.
As we went through the lesson children used the devices and analogue protractors and rulers to measure the shapes; we used this as a springboard for refining our knowledge of the properties of each shape. Clearly we had cut down on paper and I avoided the last minute.com time at the photocopier that morning, but what we also gained was a website with an easy to remember url, which the children could use for home learning. I also included a pdf of extension activities and a youtube video that expanded on shape properties in a Khan academy style. What I must stress is how easy all this curating and embedding was and is with Edcanvas. It is simplly a matter of pasting in links and uploading images, then video is simple another slide and websites are clipped into the presentation too.
I can see I am going to be creating a good deal more Edcanvas sites in the coming weeks and months. I would add that the tech support was fantastic and prompt from these guys too. They answered my questions by chat and email very promptly. It is worth mentioning too that though I am raving about using this on IOS it does of course work on browsers so it could be just as valuable a tool in a computer suite or from a classroom computer.
Here is my first Edcanvas lesson – well part of it anyway – the oral mental starter was Wii based.