The iPad has made a large and ever growing presence in our classrooms. The hands on and accessibility features and portability make it such a draw to educators and students. I’m always amazed at finding new ways of using it with students. Here are just 20 of those ways that the iPad can become a powerful tool for educators.
The Google App gives online access to your documents, calendar, mail, photos, blogs anywhere you go and on almost any device. Many iPad apps both import and export right into my Google Docs account providing me easy access for working on, sharing access to and storing projects and files whereever I may be. I love using Google Docs for student journaling!
There are tons of ways you can use a Google Form in the classroom; spelling quizzes, vocabulary or comprehension checks, classroom or student observations, book review, reading records, lab reports, exit tickets and more! Worried about the wireless going down? The FORMS app allows you to use a pre-created Google Form on the ipad and continue using even if wireless is not available.
I mentioned exit tickets on Google Forms, but Socrative takes this to a new level. It’s a free app/ website that turns any device with a web browser into a class response system. True false, short answer, pre-set up quizzes and reviews, exit tickets and more and then a spreadsheet report is sent to your email. Socrative Garden is a website full of lesson ideas for using this great currently free program.
Ever lost those paper notes from a meeting or project? With evernote you can snap a picture of your notes with the iPad camera or type directly into a note and they can be grouped into online notebooks that can be accessed later from any computer or device at the free evernote.com site. Check out Evernote Trunk on the site to see all of the other apps that integrate right into your evernote account.
Getting files off of the ipad can be a challenge in classrooms but Dropbox takes a lot of this headache away with its ability to share specific folders between different Dropbox user accounts and to give files a public link to share with others. Students can drop files/photos into a student account with a folder shared out to a teacher who can see the work even from home when logging into dropbox.com
Another way to get the students work or files off of multiple ipads to a teacher computer is with Printopia for Mac or Finger print for PC. Printopia is a robust program that allows any ipad on the same wireless with a Mac computer to both print and send files to that computer. No set up is needed on the ipads and it integrates with both Dropbbox and evernote so students can even be directed to send the files to a teachers dropbox folder that she can log into later from anywhere.
Fingerpint is very similar to Printopia except that it works on a PC and costs about half the price. If you have a Mac, I suggest printopia , but Fingerprint at 9.99 is coming on strong and also lets multiple ipads on the same wireless that can talk to each other print or send files to a teacher’s computer and has integration with Dropbox. You do have to activate the program on your computer to be sure its running.
Screenchomp and Explain everything are both apps that allow teachers and students to draw out a process on a whiteboard type space or on a picture and record their audio and drawn out steps. Screenchomp a free app is a little less complicated and easier to use for the younger students with its simple controls and has the export feature to view a movie elsewhere via a provided web link.
Explain Everything does have tiny price but has more robust features including multiple slides for more than one picture and to export to the camera roll to create stop animation type of clips that could be added to a movie project in apps such as iMovie or Reeldirector. Both apps provide teachers with a way to record an important process for the students and give them access to review or flip the classroom and watch before a lesson.
I am a strong believer in connecting educators to share resources and ideas. Having a Twitter account allows me to connect with other educational professionals in my areas of interest No matter where I am. I no longer feel like a teacher on an isolated island. Using apps like HootSuite to access my twitter account on the ipad, I can share and find resources and ideas with other educators anytime. 24/7 PD!
Classrooms and meetings have gone global using programs like Skype. Educators are inviting speakers from anywhere in the world into the classroom setting. You can also have a class-class project where classes from one part of the world work and interact with another class using this great connecting video conferencing app o nthe ipad. Break down classroom walls and connect your students with the world!
There are tons of great note taking apps for the iPad and many of them are free like Sundry notes that integrate with Google Docs and Dropbox but recently I found paperport notes (also free) which had a majority of the same features and included a speech to text option using the Dragon Dictation engine. This helps your struggling writes who can express their understanding of material but struggle with the actual writing down of their ideas.
Edmodo is my other favorite way to connect with educators to share resources and ideas. I use Edmodo on both iPad and computers to manage classroom content, connect with other edmodo using educators, share out my libraries of resources and keep parents current on their student’s progress. It also has great features for gamification with badges and rewards. Connect this with Google Doc files and other web 2.0 tools and you have a super strong classroom tool.
To use your ipad to present on the big screen, an SVGA adaptor or dongle is a must. I can present right from my iPad or iPhone 4s by connecting the dongle to a projector VGA cord and everything on the iPad becomes big screen. There are also adaptors for connecting cameras, ipods, computers and more. I love this picture as it reminds of what the contents of my briefcase must look like when laid out.
Although I like to connect my ipad or iphone with a dongle to the projector, it is missing the ability to see where hands and fingers are so I also like using my document camera. The one is this picture is very inexpensive at 69 but I’ve also used some very robust models closer to 1000. Not only can you see everything done on the ipad but it also turns any document or book into a big book or wall sized example.
The camera on ipad 2 and up is a wonderful tool not to be missed. I take pictures of student work, notes and more. You can also take screenshots by clicking the sleep wake and home button for a second of anything on the ipad screen to capture student work and artifacts. My students take screenshots of almost everything they do and later this can be used to create a journal of their work for the year.
I love using all of the great organizing apps especially for digital story telling/presentations. iBrainstorm is a free app for the iPad with a companion app for ipod and iphone that lets you place your brainstorming ideas on sticky notes and then organize them on a corkboard by color, placement and drawing annotations around them. The companion app makes sharing your boards a little easier on the same wireless or via bluetooth.
The biggest complaint next to fighting with a manual iTunes sync I hear in using the iPads is the inability to view or interact with flash content. Although many apps and sites are making strides to overcome this hurdle, for now I use the Puffin and Rover Web Browser apps that allow for viewing and some interaction with flash content. Usually connecting to an external server these apps provide ipad users with a way to view flash content but there are still some limitations that I’m sure will be overcome in the very near future.
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20 Ways theiPad Can Be a PowerfulEducator Tool Created by @jllowton 2012