From a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) programme to a 1:1 iPad initiative there are a number of options available to schools when embracing new technology in the classroom. Consequently it is becoming common for school leaders to purchase a device to trial in the classroom before making any real financial commitment.
As the iPad is currently the ‘class leader’ in education, there are many educators who have found themselves with an iPad to ‘see what it can do?’ The challenge is to demonstrate enhanced learning, so here are ten suggestions that may help:
- MULTIMEDIA OPTIONS – Use the camera/video to display student work to the rest of the class. A simple convertor cable will allow the iPad to be displayed on an existing VGA projector.
- AIR DISPLAY – Use the Airserver application to mirror your iPad to a Mac for projection. This allows the educator to move around the class and change the display when offering guidance. This has useful behaviour management implications. (If using a Windows PC, try the Reflections app.)
- SKITCH – Annotate any image/diagram before the lesson or in real time to illustrate a concept. Students can also be asked to complete annotations on the iPad.
- DROPBOX – A shared classroom account is a workflow solution. This can run alongside the ability to upload to Dropbox from the iPad and display on existing computer/projector via web based Dropbox.
- VOICETHREAD – A class account will allow students to collaborate online prior to the lesson and then view work via the iPad when they come together. The literacy implications of Voicethread make it an interesting initial collaboration tool.
- ITHOUGHTSHD – A mind mapping tool with a host of functions. Allow students to contribute to the discussion and link ideas to web addresses or photos.Works very well as the mind map can then be shared with the class.
- EXPLAIN EVERYTHING – Allow a student(s) to complete an interactive whiteboard slide that can be displayed as a plenary tool for the class. This has the added benefit of extensive sharing options for future reference to enhance learning.
- SOCRATIVE – If students have access to any internet enabled device (laptops/ICT suite) then this assessment for learning tool fits neatly into classroom practice. The instant-on nature of the iPad aids Socrative use whenever the educator wants to assess the level of learning. The ability to hide results is beneficial as it empowers students to answer without feeling too much pressure.
- SKYPE – Encourage collaboration across the school/country/world with other students and experts in the field of study. The mobility of the iPad allows individuals to enter the conversation or join together to contribute to discussion.
- EVERNOTE – Allows the educator to have resources readily available. Embed resources in schemes of learning and access them for display with one touch. The instant-on functionality of the iPad means lesson pace can be easily changed with resources to hand when required. Evernote can also be used as a shared folder utility with cross platform integrations making student access at home a simple process.
Of course there are any number of apps that will enhance learning as well as those above. From presentation (Keynote) to creation (Garageband), the beauty of the iPad is that applications are constantly being developed and with educators in mind. The ten listed above have proved successful but they are only a suggested starting point. The developing pedagogy is under constant scrutiny and the iPad should only be seen as an additional tool for the educator. That said, it is a fantastic addition to the toolbox and if you have the means I urge you to experiment.