So, you have a teacher iPad. What do you do with it now? How is one little iPad supposed to “transform” your classroom? The answer to that is simple – it doesn’t. 30 students cannot all get personal interaction time with one iPad as the basis for a single lesson. What it can do is serve as a valuable tool for you. iPads are meant to be highly personalized technology. Each person sets up their pad differently according to their preferences and needs by selecting apps to suit their purposes. As a building tech coach, I assist my teaching colleagues with their hardware and am always amazed at the differences in their teacher iPads! To get you started, here are several of my favorite uses for my teacher iPad.
I like to use the cloud as my filing cabinet, so apps like Google Drive, Dropbox and Notability are important for me. Any important information I download as a pdf file is stored in either Drive or Dropbox. Meeting notes, agendas, minutes and reports are stored and organized in Notability, which is not cloud-based (handy for those meetings with no wifi!). For hard copies, a scanner app like Scanner Pro makes it easy to snap a picture and upload it to my Drive. This is also perfect for printed materials I want to quickly project for my entire class to see.
I use rubrics for all demonstrated skills assessments, but the paper could be overwhelming. The Rubrics app was the perfect solution. I can assign a rubric to an individual student, group or full class and the reports keep my data organized. Using this app has cut approximately 80% of my paper usage and my assessments are always with me when I work at home.
Many of my lessons are in Keynote, and using the Keynote app allows me to control the presentation from anywhere in my room. This, along with the iTunes Remote app, frees me from my computer keyboard and puts me where I want to be – with my students. Remote apps can also greatly reduce transition time between activities and put additional materials at your fingertips. When I’m not working in Keynote and using ActivInspire or Notebook I present using Doceri. Doceri is an app with companion software that allows you to control your computer through your iPad. You can also record as you present! When I have important, key lessons or reviews I like to record the lesson and then upload the video to that grade level on Edmodo. Students can then watch the lesson again or, if they were absent, I can hand them my pad so they can quickly watch the lesson while the rest of the class is doing another activity.
These are just a few of my favorite teacher pad apps and tasks. Do you have a favorite that isn’t listed, or a question about your teacher pad? Let’s discuss!