Monday, December 10, 2012

5 Reasons to Puffin

First, I just want to give a huge THANK YOU to my dear colleague Laurie for sharing the app Puffin with me! I fell in within the first few minutes of exploring it.  If you have an iPod, iPhone, or iPad you are soooo going to want this app!  Especially if you use any of these devices in the classroom.

Long story short, Puffin allows you to interact with flash based applications on your iDevice.  Yup, you heard me right!  Is that not a little slice of joy?  But, what does this actually mean for the classroom?  And why would anyone bother to download Puffin when there are plenty of apps to download?  Well...
If you have any flash based applications that you and/or your school have invested in you can now utilize the on any device.  The more devices you can access these tools on, the more likely they are going to get used, and the more learning that will occur.  One of the most popular games in my classroom this year is Sumdog.  They absolutely love it!  One little problem, though...it can only be played on the computer because of Flash.  Well, I can tell you that my kiddos will be excitedly hooting & hollering tomorrow when I tell them they can now play it on the iPods.

Read books online.  StoryLine Online is a great FREE site where actors reads popular picture books.  TumbleBooks is a great paid subscription to access books K-12.  However, both require flash.  As do PBS's Between the Lions, Cathy's Book, and GrimmFairyTales.  While you can download books into iBooks, it can be helpful to have other collections available.  Does this not change the whole meaning of classroom library?  All the kiddos have to do is login and they have access to TONS of books while meeting the diverse of needs of readers.

I know.  I know.  Using iDevices should not just be about consuming.  I whole-heartedly agree!!!  And yes...there are plenty of apps that allow you to create on iDevices.  However, have you ever wanted to create a glog on the fly? How about Blabber when you are not near your laptop or desktop?  Not so easy.  Well, you can with Puffin!!!

You can visually personalize the browser.  Yup.  You can add bookmarks, and they are right there on the browser's homepage.  Each time you click a new tab, there are your bookmarks.  Front & center.  This is fantastic for creating quick links for your kiddos to access! 

While there are other things you can not do.  Like make Puffin your default browser. (This would be helpful when snapping QR Codes that link to flash-based content.)  Or work with Java (I miss my wordle.)  This is enough to make life inside a tech-infused classroom more enjoyable and flow easier.  It means that if you are in a BYOD environment, then it doesn't matter what type of device your kiddos have because they can consume, create, collaborate, and contribute on any of them.  I highly recommend spending the $2.99 instead of downloading the free version.  Flash enable is only temporary in the free version. Well worth it!!