Innovative ways of using the iPad in the classroom

Daniela Baker

Daniela Baker is a blogger at CreditDonkey, where she helps college students budget and compare student credit card offers.

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By Mike Licht, - FlickrThe Apple company and teachers everywhere are coming up with innovative ways to use the iPad. This small computer lets people save trees by no longer using pencil and paper. It streamlines meetings with parents. Better yet, it can make higher education cheaper for college students. Below are a few ways people are taking advantage of this relatively new electronic device.

Textbook Replacement
Oklahoma State University thinks that iPads can replace textbooks. They have already put this to the test on a small scale with success. This move requires every school textbook being made available in e-book form. The university estimates that students recover the cost of buying a $500 to $830 iPad within two semesters.

The chances of an electronic book being lost or broken (corrupted) are slim. In addition, e-books are cheaper than physical copies of a book. Overall, students stand to benefit a lot from a move to an all-electronic textbook world.

Monitor Tests
Middle school teacher Anthony Bauer uses his iPad to monitor his students' test taking. Mr. Bauer sees a live feed of how well the kids are answering the test questions. They are taking the tests on laptops instead of using paper and pencil.

An iPad allows this teacher to do away with keeping a hand-written grade book. This means less paper is being used. “You still need backup test hard copies just in case something goes wrong,” he says.

Streamline Meetings with Parents
With a light tap on the screen, a teacher can bring up a student’s grades and attendance record. Sometimes, depending on the app used, all the teacher need do is click on the student’s picture. This is perfect for parent-teacher meetings. A teacher can pass the iPad to a parent to let them see a summary of how their daughter or son is doing in school.

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Download Free and Cheap Books
Some teachers download free or cheap books to their iPads. These books are taught to the kids, then stored to teach another class later. It is easy to find classics like The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and The Giving Tree. Like electronic textbooks, teachers need not worry about wear and tear. These books are forever.

By quinn.anya - Flickr

Free, Up-to-Date Dictionary and Thesaurus
A regular dictionary is big and not easy to quickly flip through. On an iPad, students type in the word on a dictionary app for a near-instant definition. This eliminates the need to buy new dictionaries every few years.

These are just a few ways teachers are innovating the classroom. As the iPad evolves and catches the eye of more educators, we will see even more creative classroom usage. For example, complete textbook replacement is likely not going to happen soon. However, it is a possibility that many students and teachers alike look forward to.

Articles you might find interesting:

Cnet News: Oklahoma State students, faculty tout iPad in classroom Midland teacher uses Apple iPad to keep classroom innovative and organized

The Nerdy Teacher: Using My iPad In The Classroom This Year

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