This post is some short guidance for those teacher who have been given iPads to use in the classroom.
I created a rough guide to the apps that I find useful, and how I use them, as well as a Haiku which I have tried to embed below… If it’s not working the link should take you there.
The key apps I use are here:
It’s key to remember that the iPad is a tool and before you even think about apps you have a video camera, a microphone and access to the internet, word processing in one handy tool.
Connect to your whiteboard and you can share work and display photos, then begin to use apps and it soon becomes a key classroom tool.
Sharing is also about the using the iPad to share your pupils’ work – and it can be done very quickly by taking a photo and sharing it to the whiteboard. I create private You Tube accounts for schools so that video can be briefly stored there rather than on the school server.
This leads me on the next category Record – apps such as Notability and 2 Simple Early Years allow the teacher or the Teaching Assistant to take photographs and to annotate them. Many teachers use the camera very effectively and then a file organising app such as Dropbox or Evernote to keep, collate and possibly even print evidence.
Personalise learning is where the iPad can really come into it’s own though, and by this I mean adapting learning so as to appeal, enthuse and engage your pupils. Besides the content that is available from the web, there are some apps that really support giving your pupils a personal perspective on learning. You will be able to record their achievements, ask them to record their achievements, a TA can record your lessons or their explanations and it can then be shared with the rest of the class.
Organise is the next key areas – integrating email, calendar and a note taking system such as Evernote has been a brilliant time saver. Dropbox is also a huge help, and if the school has a Dropbox account can means the pupils can access resources that you have prepared at home.
Updating class blogs, and sharing good practice has never been easier! Most blogs have an app that updates both words and pictures easily. I have introduced Skype into the classroom using my iPad and Airserver – and the school now has a twitter account which can be used by teachers.
Finally I would say explore! – I began by using my iPad for sharing presentations – now when teaching I often let the pupils use it to record their evaluations of the lesson. Or a Teaching Assistant to support a group (Explain Everything works amazingly for Maths.) I some lessons I choose a ‘chief researcher’ who has the challenge of both creating and answering questions around our lessons.
One last thing to think about as well is how the settings on the iPad can be used in the classroom – You can make the iPad ‘Speak’ text on the screen, or make the visuals high contrast. You are able to make the text larger, or to change the language that it speaks in. ‘Guided Access’ is a useful feature for allowing the user access to one app only. Other accessibility features can be seen here.
Thanks for reading this – it is a whistle-stop tour, but I hope you have found it useful!