Book Creator for iPad

Book creator is one of my go to apps. It is one that I definitely think every teacher should know about, partially because of it’s possible scope and also because of its brilliant user interface. Put simply Book Creator is a simple way to create your own beautiful ebooks, right on your tablet computer.

Book Creator has various options to choose from and is  ideal for making all kinds of books, including children’s picture books, comic books, photo books, journals, textbooks and more. This is another reasons that I am a fan as you can use the app again and again to suit your text type/ genre.

And when you’re done, easily share your book, or even publish to the iBooks Store!

On the app there are lots of features to choose from:

  • Add text, choosing from over 50 fonts
  • Add photos and images from your iPad’s photo library, from the web, or use the iPad’s Camera
  • Resize, rotate and position content as you like with guidelines and snap positioning
  • Add video and music, and even record your voice
  • Use the pen tool to draw and annotate your book
  • Choose from portrait, landscape or square book sizes

Overall, I would definitely encourage anyone reading this to get the app and try it for yourself. I currently have my digital leaders, self-titled ‘gadget geeks’ working on a how to eBook which they are making independently. As soon as that’s complete I will be publishing it on this blog and pushing it out on social media.

Thanks for reading!

For more check out:


Green screen and Animation for Learning.

So recently I ran a course in Bury which covered Green Screen and Animation techniques and how, as an educator, you can use these to enhance your lessons. I am a particular fan of both of these for a few reasons which I will cover below.

Green screen

The overall benefit of a green screen is that it puts children into their learning, whatever it is they can be immersed in it. This could be a virtual school trip, a revisit of a trip using pictures taken, children demonstrating a particular area of their learning or just entering an immersive world! Imagine speaking at the House of Commons at the age of 9! Or performing some performance poetry at Wembley! You could even explain about the Great Wall of China on location! This could be a very powerful tool in any class teachers arsenal. All that is needed is some green/dark blue material and a decent Green Screen app, I prefer Green screen by DoInk and Veescope but others are available.


For me animation is the other side of the coin, if Green Screen is immersing a child in their learning then Animation is the child manipulating it. This means that learners really need to think carefully about what they are explaining and what the content is. There are a couple of apps that I really enjoy using; stop motion studio and tellagami. Stop motion studio does what the name suggests, it collects pictures together as frames and then plays this through as a video. I’ve used this when children have demonstrated how to build an Anderson shelter with plasticine, or demonstrating how to be safe online. Tellagami is a much more digital app. Once you go into the app you choose a Gami (an avatar or character) using the Gami users can record their voice, once happy with this the Gami’s  mouth will move explaining whatever has been recorded.

The adults on the course thoroughly enjoyed using these skills in a small piece of project based learning. From this it’s hoped that they can go back to school and continue to use their creativity to continue applying green screen and animation to enhance learning in their lessons.

Greenscreen and Animation from Adam Chase on Vimeo.

For more about green screens and/or animation  you can always look up:



Do ink


Thanks for reading!


APPlying skills with AppsMe.Education

So recently I decided that as a class project we would start to create an app about the Ancient Egyptians. After looking around and some advice from @Animate2Educate I settled on AppsMe Education. I did this for a few reasons:
– To achieve criteria from the Computing strand of the national curriculum.
– Children got the opportunity to explain topic-based knowledge.
– Children had to think about competency, being able to make everything bold doesn’t mean you have to.
– Apps me education has a very user friendly interface.

When we first accessed the digital classroom the children were pleased to see that they could all make their own app rather than contributing to a class / group one. Also, despite being limited by a few pages and a gallery etc the class found this the right amount of content for a series of lessons.

When the children had finished, edit and reviewed their content they had the option to publish their app. I must say it definitely didn’t disappoint. In many ways the format of the published apps are similar to many around today such as the @Naace app or a PIOTA school app. As stated by John Murray using apps:
“ applying skills in a meaningful context…perfect way to embed them and allow children to engage with and explore their wider application.”

Afterwards I asked the children what they would like if they were to go on apps me education again. Which we will! The overarching answer was the option to add more pages, in my opinion this is no bad thing. When learners want to do more I consider that a bonus! On balance though the option to do 2 information pages means children need to focus on the layout, feel and aesthetics of each page, a push towards quality over quantity.

Year 5 loved creating our app.

As a class we will definitely be creating apps in the future and I will heading to AppsMe education first. It’s user interface was brilliant and the separate teacher/ children logins were a bonus. Finally, and most importantly, the children loved doing this. They were research extra nuisances, checking and rechecking spellings and constantly applying their learning.


Thanks for Reading!

Socrative- A Simple, Strategic Assessment Tool.

At the start of the school year, I was introduced to a student clicker-type program called Socrative. It’s free and can be used in your web browser or downloaded as an app to a mobile device (available for iOS and Android devices), I must say I prefer the app as a class-based tool. I’ve been testing this out in my class for the past couple of months and have been rather impressed by the results.

There are essentially two modes for using Socrative: you can administer a pre-written quiz to your students with multiple-choice questions and free response questions, or you can administer a quick one-question activity or exit ticket.

I used the pre-built quiz feature for a few days as a warm-up activity for my children whilst they got used to the app and logging in. Students find the app on a tablet computer and then enter a code, there is a set, random one that is given to you. However, if you got to settings you can change your code for your class to something more memorable – I think this is a terrific feature!

Socrative 1
I was asked to demonstrate Socrative to my colleagues at a staff meeting, so I wrote a sample quiz for them. Here was one of the multiple-choice questions:

Socrative 2
Now, while students are taking the quiz, the teacher can use their end of the software to monitor progress and results in real time:

Socrative 3
Free-response questions can also be built into a Socrative quiz. Here’s an example from the quiz from the staff meeting:

Socrative 4
Now, here’s the interesting cool part. When I see that the children have finished, I end the activity. Then, I am presented with the option to e-mail a report to myself.
Socrative 5
So this morning when my students finished their warm-up question, I had a report e-mailed to me. A few minutes later, the results arrived in my inbox (student names have been removed):

Formative performance data that can inform and drive my classroom instruction to best meet the needs of my students. This is all organized and colour-coded in an Excel spreadsheet.

If you don’t have time to write a quiz in Socrative, that’s no problem at all. Socrative also allows for a quick one-question option that allows you to assess students on the fly. On the teacher control panel, you can choose to start a quick multiple choice, true/false, or short answer activity:
Socrative 7
You can announce the question orally, or provide it in a written format on paper or on the board. You select this option, and the students see this on their screen:
Socrative 8
Notice that there’s no question displayed. As I mentioned, it’s up to you to present the question however you want. The point is that you can use Socrative on the fly to formatively assess your students as well. You can also monitor results in real time, though there won’t be names attached (so this is also good for taking an anonymous poll). The downside, however, is that you can’t e-mail a report to yourself in this mode.
Socrative 6
So far, I’m seeing great advantages to using Socrative in my classroom. It’s a very handy way for me to quickly collect and organize formative assessment data before, during, and after a lesson. It allows me to more effectively monitor my students’ learning and to make appropriate instructional decisions. Overall, this is a great piece of software and is a very simple way of recording formative assessment data.
If you would like to learn more about apps for assessment I highly recommend  a course that NAACE  put on which is Apps for AfL. Find out more on:

Thanks for Reading!

Adam Chase

Skitch- The Simple Annotation Tool.

I have been recently using different apps with the aim of trying to become more paperless, from this I started using Skitch, Skitch is an app that has been around for a while, it’s available for Computers, Macs, iPads and even the Android Market. The app is made by Evernote and it tries to sort out information as easy as possible. It is easy for a user to capture screenshots, gallery pictures or take pictures in the app and then annotate them.

Skitch used in Y5

Skitch used in Y5

Skitch goes out of its way to keep things simple and coherent. It launches very quickly, and has a vertical toolbar with a scant seven tools, each with a large, clear icon. These are traditional image annotation tools: An arrow for pointing things out, a text tool, a colour picker with a limited palette of just eight colours, a rectangle you can surround objects with, a highlighter, a “pixelizer” for blurring out details, and a crop tool. With this app, students can sketch ideas, mark-up photos, make diagrams, create/label maps, and even annotate text.

Introducing Skitch: 

The Skitch app, which is very user-friendly, enables students to snap their own photos or upload images/screenshots from the web.  Before jumping into digital texts, I spent some time introducing the students to the app itself. We practised taking photos using the camera and practised using all the tools. We talked about appropriate tools for specific tasks and how not every tool will work for every assignment.

Further ideas:


  • Create diagrams (e.g., parts of a flower, stages of a life cycle, planets in a solar system, layers of the rainforest, etc.)
  • Create a map of your classroom/school
  • Create a treasure map using all the features of a map (i.e., key, scale, symbols, routes, geographical features, etc.)
  • Label of blank map of the continents or a map of the country

Text Annotating: 

  • Take a screenshot of non-fiction articles or snap

    Annotating the features of a text.

    a photo of text from a newspaper, magazine, or book to annotate for active reading

  • Take a photo of student writing to mark-up (i.e., label parts of a paragraph, highlight writing conventions, locate text-based evidence, etc.) — great for self-assessment!
  • Label fiction story elements
  • Label non-fiction text features (see my lesson above)
  • Highlight key words that show non-fiction text structure

Speaking and Listening: 

  • Capture examples and make content vocabulary come to life (snap pictures, sketch, label, etc.)


  • Deconstructing word problems (snap a photo & mark it up!)
  • Showing work for constructed response maths questions (you can use Skitch as a whiteboard)

Further Reading:

If you’re interested and would like to learn more about Skitch look at:

Also, if you would like to learn more about educational technology I would recommend you look at: 

Thanks for reading!