iPads, iPods & Apps (42)
Interested in finding out how easy it is to use your iPad as a digital whiteboard?
As our experience and confidence in using the iPad in the education sector expands, using your iPad as a digital whiteboard may seem obvious. But whether you’re a confident Apple educator or just getting started, you might be unsure about how best to go about it.
Perhaps you want to broadcast a tutorial or e-learning resource to your students or maybe create a collaborative task that can be viewed by the whole class. I’ve trawled the app store, and reviewed some of the most highly-rated whiteboard applications and recommended our favourites. I’ve also provided a short set-up and installation guide to help you connect your iPad and project or TV.
This article originally appeared in the September 2012 Innovate My School magazine.
The iPad is perhaps the most talked-about piece of technology in teaching. Enthralled by tales of educational potential and egged-on by technophile staff, head teachers might be forgiven for investing in the trendy tablets without fully considering how they should be used.
Google Earth is certainly good for familiarising children with foreign geography. Socrative provides a quick way to gauge a class’s progress. The Numbers app enables pupils to produce spreadsheets and graphs, and the Math Bingo game can help them learn arithmetic.
But these programs (or very similar ones) are available on any computer with internet access.
The point is that for many tasks - including essay writing and accessing information - iPads are probably no better than desktops or laptops. Lacking a keyboard, they may even be considered inferior for some purposes. And are the mathematical benefits of Math Bingo really best realised when every pupil in the class is playing the game on a separate device?
Many of my posts look at ways to use the iPads in Literacy and Numeracy to enhance learning and engage, motivate and inspire children. But how can using the iPad also help children in other subjects like Science, History or Geography?
Here are some ideas about how using the iPad can help students to show, share and develop their learning in these subjects, with a distinct focus on Science.
As part of the proposed new draft primary curriculum for ICT, there is a significant emphasis on computer science. Below I've included a selection of apps which can be used in both Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2. The apps included range from basic skills in coding a Beebot to more advanced skills in coding games and simulations in apps such as Hopscotch and Codea.
I've also included some other useful 'ICT' apps, which can be used to develop a pupil's typing skills and spreadsheet skills.
There is a real danger that iPads are going to be the latest in a long line of products that schools have purchased more because of their marketing impact than their educational use.
Grown-ups love iPads, which means parents love iPads. Parents love the idea of having had an iPad at school. Parents are undoubtedly taken in by the iPad-loving school: "The British School in Paris Prep School has issued iPads to every pupil from age 3! what a forward-looking school!" So, let's buy some iPads! Parents will love them!
A word of caution: we've been here before.
Photo credit: kjarrett
As the Government abandons its plans to replace GCSE’s with English Baccalaureate Certificates, it has unveiled proposals to strengthen the national curriculum in England. The consultation exercise includes plans for a new computing curriculum designed to equip students with the basic skills and drive higher expectations and standards. Under the new approach, schools will be encouraged to shape the curriculum to meet the aspirations and priorities of pupils. But it overlooks one thing: how do you cater for and engender creativity and flair?
Imagination is more important than knowledge
It was Albert Einstein who famously said that “Imagination is more important than knowledge.” For many students, seeing the germ of an idea flourish and grow empowers them with a renewed confidence and teaches them so much more about themselves. As such, it is incumbent upon teachers to try and develop lesson plans that capture the passion and drive that resides in everyone and help draw it out. Nowhere is this more apparent than in app development work. There is something unique about app development that sparks the imagination and fires a student’s creativity and ingenuity. For teachers and education professionals alike, tailored lessons based on app development may provide the seed that engenders a spirit of discovery and engagement that ultimately can be built upon across the entire computing curriculum.
There has been a great discussion forum within our school system about iPads, Interactive Whiteboards (IWBs) and sharing student's work. It started with a question from a teacher just wanting to connect their iPad to the IWB. What then followed was an in-depth discussion about classroom practice and workflows.
We have all spent time and energy creating resources for our IWB, but is it time we move to new technology? We can in fact connect our iPads to an IWB via the VGA Adaptor, but would you choose to if you had other options?
Since I began teaching over seven ago, I have always taught the Topic of World War 2. It's a subject I thoroughly enjoy teaching and always an area that the pupils show a real interest. The topic has developed from a stand alone 'History' topic loosely based on a scheme of work, to a topic which encompasses all areas of the curriculum - a creative curriculum.
With the introduction of 1:1 iPods in year 6 in September, myself and my colleague Mr Williams began to plan a scheme of work for the World War 2 topic, looking in particular at how using technology could enhance an already engaging topic. Initially the aim was to build up the pupils' ICT skills and confidence using the iPods, and in particular the creative apps such as iMovie, Sonic Pics, Pages, Strip Designer, Creative Book Builder, Keynote, etc (examples of pupils work using these apps can be found below). If we felt that using the iPods would enhance the learning process then we planned to use them. Ultimately, we wanted to develop the pupils' skills on a variety of apps, so as the topic progressed the pupils would become as independent as possible. We could then make informed decisions on which apps to use to aid them, and demonstrate their learning for a particular area of study.
Below you will find all of my iPad 100 posts covering everything you will need to know when investing in iPads for your school.
iPad in schools 101 – In the beginning http://buff.ly/TNmYa1
iPad in schools 102 – Why iPad? http://buff.ly/ZjYmuD
iPad in schools 103 – THE device http://buff.ly/TNnbdB
iPad in schools 104 – THE learning http://buff.ly/ZjYH0r
iPad in schools 105 – Workflow – How to save, work with multiple apps and share http://buff.ly/ZjYQkr
iPad in schools 106 – The importance of your infrastructure http://buff.ly/ZjYXwh
iPad in schools 107 – Why trialling is important http://buff.ly/TNnxRj
iPad in schools 108 – The importance of training & staff http://buff.ly/TNnF3o
iPad in schools 109 – Ways in which mirroring can take place http://buff.ly/TNnPYx
iPad in schools 110 – Stakeholders http://buff.ly/TNo31z
Photo credit: FHKE
Are iPads the latest big thing that will transform education, or yet another over-hyped technology that will be misused until the next big thing comes along?
Computers in the late 80s were going to change everything, but then we realised they couldn’t do very much that was really different. In the 90s, CDs with encyclopedias such as Encarta appeared which were going to kill the textbook, but that never really happened.
Microsoft put out the Where do you want to go today? adverts in the 90s, but we didn’t really seem to go anywhere.
Interactive whiteboards were the next big thing, with England particularly keen to adopt. Used well they can be highly effective, but the majority are used as little more than a white blackboard.
As my role this year involves me teaching across the whole school using a class set of iPads, I feel it is important to really experiment to see how using the iPads can impact across the curriculum and not just within ICT. Consequently, with the Year 5 cohort, I put together a project linking literacy with football. I decided to do this project for two reasons: (1) to see whether using the topic of football can engage the more reluctant boy writers in the class, and (2) to see how well linking digital media and speaking and listening can impact on the children's writing.
As I was working with the classes once a week, the lessons ran over a half term. However, it was the lesson the children looked forward to each week as they were completely enthralled and engaged due to the activities involving speaking and listening whilst using the iPads. I have found that the children's confidence and willingness to write after having the quality time to discuss ideas and experiment leading up to a finished piece of writing had a massive impact on the final product.
2012 has been an amazing year for my growth as a professional. The main catalyst of this growth was when I started engaging with like-minded educationalists around the world on Twitter in January of this year. In particular, I learnt about new methodologies like brain-based learning, flipping the classroom and a variety of technology-based teaching aids.
The area I explored most fervently was the bewildering array of educational software and apps for learning. In what follows, I would like to offer a round-up firstly of the apps I found particularly useful, as well as those which disappointed and annoyed me. I will finish by listing some of the most promising apps I would like to trial next year.
Photo credit: Sean MacEntee