I reviewed the Wheels on the Bus and Word Magic iPhone apps for the I Education Apps Review community back in April. Each review consisted of a written component and a supplemental video review to show the app in action. One thing that I was never quite satisfied with was the technique I had to use to capture video of the iPhone app in use. To complete the first two app reviews, I resorted to mounting my video camera to a modified tripod that allowed me to capture video from directly above my iPod Touch. This method was less than ideal as it was very difficult to attain the proper lighting so that the screen was always clearly visible.

This weekend, I sat down to write, record and edit a long overdue IEAR review, but I just couldn’t seem to produce video of the iPod screen that was high-quality enough to use. After nearly an hour of frustration, I decided there had to be a better way to create video of an iPhone app in use. That’s when I turned to Google and YouTube. I started with a Google search of the terms “iPhone screen capture.” Jackpot. The search results provided a plethora of website and video tutorials.

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Let’s take a closer look at the educational application Word Magic from anusen.com, which is available for both the iPhone and the iPod Touch. The application is currently on sale for 99 cents.


Word decoding is an important phonics skill for students to master. Effective teachers combine  the use of context or picture clues when they provide instruction in this area. Word Magic applies this pedagogical approach to a skill based iPhone app that provides students of various skill levels to use multiple clues and problem solving strategies to figure out unknown words. This instructional component provides plenty of potential for classroom use.

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iPod Touch Theme

I’ve been delivering professional development and providing training on iPods, iTunes and podcasting for about 3 years. When I first started working with educators in this area, I was toting around a fourth generation Classic iPod with me. At that time, I’d say that about 90% of the teachers I worked with had never had an iPod, used iTunes or even knew what a podcast was. While that percentage has probably gone down somewhat over the years, most districts I work with still want the focus of PD to lean more towards creating podcasts and using the iPod as a playback device. I am always happy to work with teachers on this kind of stuff, but it is a little discouraging since I know the device could be used for so much more in classrooms.

While the iPod technology has developed rapidly, i.e. numerous models, video capacity, multi-touch interface, most of the teachers I interact with are still trying to come to grips with how to master using the iPod as a portable media player. My conversations with them are most often centered around “how do I download this,” or “can I put movies on this thing?” In the hustle of a school day, our conversations rarely get to grow beyond the normal troubleshooting variety. I never really get the chance to talk to teachers about the education potential of iPhones/iPod touch. This leaves me constantly searching for conversations with other people who understand what mobile devices would/could mean to teacher practice.




This is a personal blog. The resources, information and views presented on Raised Digital are solely the opinion of Jeremy S. Brueck, and are not meant to reflect the views of my employer.

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Why Raised Digital?

Today’s students were born digital but those responsible for their education were not. Youngsters arrive at school in tune with the social context and experience the Web offers. Children thrive when teachers find ways to educate them in a more flexible, hypertext manner. This space focuses on development of and support for teachers in their use of technology as they cultivate 21st century content knowledge and skills in their students.