iPads!

So my school received a bunch of money and had to get rid of it by a certain time, otherwise it would have all disappeared (we all know that kind of money…) so they decided to purchase about 130 iPads for the high school.  Well, there are about 170 or so students in the high school, but that’s an issue for another day.  Today I want to examine how I’m going to use it and hope to hear feedback from people who have tried this, or people who have used other apps, so let me know!

  1. Doceri — this seems to be the all-in-one whiteboard app, especially for a teacher who would like to walk around while writing on the projector at the front of the room.  One of my questions with this:  I have a smartboard, so should I use the native Doceri writing platform, or should I use the smartboard notebook interface?  I’ll have to try both out.
  2. “Scan” for QR Codes  — These, if we get several iPads per classroom, could do all kinds of different things.  From checking out of class, to submitting daily HW (here’s my demo implementation of this), to putting specific KA lessons on my version of theLow Tech Khan Academy“, to sending students to my website to ID what HW they missed if they were absent.  Oh, and enough students have phones with scanning capability, that they can use this even before we get iPads…
  3. Socrative — This is would require that every students have some sort of device, so I guess it’s technically not iPad only, but it replaces the CPS “clickers” that… oh wait, we don’t have those 🙂

So far these are far and away the best uses I’ve found for iPads, whether I have just a teacher one (in the case of 1) or if there’s a classroom set (2 and 3).  Some things I want done which I haven’t found apps for yet are as follows:

  1. PhET — this is an incredible resource for my Physics class, and I’ve yet to find an iPad substitute for it.  I can’t just use the website because it requires java… *shakes fist at Apple*
  2. Avogadro — there are some okay free modeling molecules applications, but none as extensive as this program.
  3. Geogebra — yes, I know they’re working on an iPad version, so there’s probably nothing out there like this yet, but I can still hope.  And Desmos is not a bad ‘substitute’ for the time being.

Any other programs you can think of for Precalculus, Chemistry, or Physics (perhaps a good accelerometer?) would be spiffy, if you happen to know and/or use them.  Free is better, but if you can vouch for a paid app, I think our school can help me get them.

Lastly, I checked out TeacherKit, but I’d like to use it like I use my clipboard: I mark students who are absent/tardy (which you can do), and I can quickly check HW and mark if they have that or not (which I can’t do), and I can look back over the week and quickly see if they turned in their HW or not (also can’t seem to do quite as quickly as pen & paper).  So holler if you know a good alternative!

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2 Comments

Filed under Teaching

2 responses to “iPads!

  1. You have found the doceri app, as well, awesome! How have you used it in your class? I have had it for a little over a week and think it is great! Students love it too.

    Thanks for the link back to my blog post on using QR codes for HW submission.

    Dan

    • Well, we got the iPads on Friday after school and so tomorrow (Monday) will be my first day trying out Doceri in class. I can’t implement the QR Codes just yet because students don’t have the iPads yet, but they’re really a great idea!! I will let you know how Doceri goes and how I end up using the QR codes–there must be a hundred different ways to use them that I haven’t even realized yet!

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