Tips for using the Futuba iPad App in the Classroom
There are number of powerful features in the Futaba application which are covered in this article, including step by step instructions for using Dropbox and iTunes Documents to create your own custom learning sets to fit your own lesson plans or curriculum.
How to sync with Dropbox and back up your learning sets:
One of the great benefits of Futaba is that users can add their own learning sets to play in the game and back them up to Dropbox. Teachers can propagate this backup to all students in the classroom by creating a Dropbox account and allowing all students access to that account as the restore point for their iPads. After creating a learning set the process is simple:
1) Go to the Settings of Futaba and tap ‘Backup’.
2) Tap ‘Create backup now’ and the backup will take a short moment. Your backup will be conveniently placed under ‘Restore’ on the right side pane of Futaba’s settings.
3) Tap Sync with Dropbox and if you don’t have an account with Futaba, you’ll have to sign up for an account with Dropbox. Select ‘Create account’ on the Dropbox window that appears and on the next screen fill in your personal details. If you don’t have a Dropbox account you can create one here.
4) Next select ‘Sync with Dropbox’ once more and a copy of your backup learning set will be uploaded to a folder named Futaba in your Dropbox account.
5) ( If you would like to load your backup onto any iPad where it doesn’t exist such as a new iPad or a clean slate iPad in your classroom, First have the user of the iPad sign into the Dropbox account that holds the backup. and then tap the FutabaBackup.fgz file under restore. The backed up learning set will appear on other iPads automatically after they have completed step 4 by ‘Syncing with Dropbox’.
6) You are able to make multiple backups of your learning sets to Dropbox. If you wish to access any backups of yours that you had synced with Dropbox previously, simply touch ‘Sync with Dropbox’ and restore that file that you need.
How to load images via iTunes File Sharing:
1) Connect your iPad to iTunes and navigate to the Apps tab of your iPad.
2) Scroll down on this page to ‘File Sharing’ and select the Futaba application. Click the ‘Add’ button.
3) In the window that pops up choose the image files that you want to add. You can choose more than one. Note: adding files this way will preserve PNG transparency, while adding them view your Camera Roll will not
4) Once the files load into your iPad you will see them in the ‘Futaba Documents’ window.
5) Go to the Game Content tab on within the Futaba’s Settings and select ‘Add/Edit Content’.
6) Click ‘Add Learning Set’ and input your learning set name then select ‘Save’.
7) Select your newly created learning set from the available learning sets on the left. Then select add new item.
8) In this window select iTunes Documents and wait for your pictures to load. From the list that propagates select a photo, name it and then save it.
Repeat this process until you have completed making your learning set.
How to make basic vocabulary flashcards for the Futaba app using Keynote on a Mac.
Keynote comes bundled with a purchase of iWork on a Mac and is a very useful tool for creating vivid flashcards for your classes. One of the merits of Futaba is that it uses images to teach with but using Futaba to review vocabulary words may be of benefit to some teachers. You are able to save each vocabulary card as an image file for use in Futaba.
Please consider the following method for creating content for your learning sets. A similar method is possible via Pages but this how to will focus exclusively on using Keynote. You can follow roughly the same procedure on Power Point if you are using Windows.
These vocabulary cards can be used in your language classes and other classes as well.
1) First open Keynote and notice you are presented with a Theme Chooser. Let’s choose the ‘Watercolor’ theme. Scroll down, select it and click choose.
2) Let’s make the total number of cards we’ll need for our learning set by copying and pasting the initial frame
3) In this case let’s make some language cards and in the field where it says “Double-click to edit” let’s type in the word for ‘cat’ in Japanese. If you’d like, you can adjust the number and location of text fields, font sizes and types here.
4) Once you have made all of your cards you can conveniently export them as .png files for use as a language review activity for your children or students in Futaba!
File>Export> select ‘Images’ > Next > New Folder (Give it a name!) Create >Export.
5) Now you’ve got a folder with your learning set. Drag and drop it into the Albums pane of iPhoto and you’re ready to seamlessly sync that folder with your iPad (or add to your “Futaba” folder in Dropbox if you have a Dropbox account).
6) After syncing the iPhoto folder with the iPad you’ll be ready to import each vocabulary word .png file into your learning set by the Add/Edit Content button in Futaba’s Game Content Pane.
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