iPad…what we really wanna know is can it be useful?
iPad – Making more of IT
Yes, I bought one, yes it created quite a stir at school when it arrived (a day ahead of release) & yes I LOVE it.
But i’m a fan of technology, I like to find out how to use it, so i’ll try it anyways.
What people really want to know is does it have merit in a classroom setting? Could a teacher do things with it to make life easier, faster and more productive for them and their students?
Well, I think yes. And here are some of the first reasons why…
First thing you have to do is accept that its new, it’s different and it will mean looking at a lesson or an action from a different angle to see where you can use it, with that in mind, read on.
1. Calendar: iCal
If you’re a school that has all staff using Outlook then you know the benefits of everyone seeing the year/month/weeks activities in almost real time and on the move! However if you’re not then you are missing out on one very powerful way of easing that communication problem most large schools suffer from. Apples iCal offers a solution to this.
Using either their iCal or integrating Google Cal into the system staff can see colour coded events in near real time, and on the go! Imagine the ease of that, everyone knowing when meetings, activity days, and then even personal events were, well in advance! And being able to email ‘e-vites’ to each other from one device that can be added instantly to the iCal?
Can you say that wouldn’t help you run a day more smoothly?
2. Additional Apps
There are thousands, some good, some very good, and some, well lets face it worthless!
Starting with the basics, Apples own ‘Office’ style apps, Pages, Numbers & Keynote – Word processing, Spreadsheets & Presentations are flagship apps designed for the iPads touch technology. So far I’ve found the most impressive uses for Numbers.
An ‘App’ that makes those spreadsheets more interesting…
Any teacher out there familiar with APP or other similar forms of assessment will know that keeping track of the data, the tasks completed as well as your own notes is a bit of a pain, and sharing them with everyone else is in need of a 21st Century twist … I think I’ve come across “an app for that”!
Numbers allows you to very easily create complex Spreadsheets, and, this is the smart and classroom worthy part, Numbers creates automatic and fully functional data entry forms or your spreadsheet.(see image)
So in the classroom you only look at the very user friendly interface when assessing a pupils work. as you make your notes, tick your boxes and make observations your iPad is updating your much more complex class spreadsheet!! Very Cool!!
More coming soon…
Notable ‘Apps’ to excite teachers and students:
An amazing fully interactive and intuitive app for Science, each element can be ‘opened’ and explored hands-on with access to masses of data which can be expanded further if an internet connection is available! Incredibly powerful tool for a science lesson!
Mind maps are a useful tool for planning, both teachers and students use them. Mindo for the iPad allows you to create the mind maps using your fingers, its on the Pad so its easy to hand over to a team, or individual to add their thoughts.