Category Archives: iPad in Education

Bring a New Dimension to the Classroom – Verso for iPad

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There are so many educational apps for iPad out there, many are total rubbish, some fall into the category of “Cool, but not quite good enough to give me a tangible educational benefit”. A select few though are real bankers and very occasionally, an app comes along which enables me to change something for the better in my classroom. Verso is one such app. The central premise of Verso is that it will collect responses, or answers to a stimulus and allows other people in the group or class to see them anonymously, which takes the worry out of who is saying what. The teacher, or group creator can see individual names of respondents so can see who as or hasn’t responded. Continue reading

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Osmo for iPad Review: Magical and Educational

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We are all used to interfacing with a computer through mouse, keyboard, and in more recent times, touchscreen. Osmo has created an educational game system that allows you to interface with the iPad through physical objects. It’s a new way of using the iPad to engage children in learning and it is as close to a magical experience as I have come using an iPad. Continue reading

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iPads in Education: Why iPad?

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There have been lots of interesting stories in the news recently about various iPad deployments in education, some good, some bad. Earlier this year our school made a carefully considered decision to deploy iPads to each student on a one to one basis and we are currently in the second phase of our roll out. This article will explore why we chose iPad. Continue reading

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iPad in Education: Huge New Rollout in Minnesota, Huge LA Project Suspended

iPads at St. Paul Elementary School

This week brings good news and bad news in terms of the iPad’s adoption in US educational institutions. Earlier this week it was reported – by The Verge and others – that the massive iPad rollout in the Los Angeles School District has been suspended, with rumors saying they’ll end up being replaced by Chromebooks and similar devices.

Meanwhile, the St. Paul School District in Minnesota is set for an iPad rollout that is said to be the largest ever for a state school system. It will bring 40,000 iPads on a one-to-one basis to students within the school district.

The approach to how the iPads will be used in classrooms in St. Paul sounds a little more freeform than some other deployments, as the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports. I like the quote they use from Craig Anderson, principal of Hamline Elementary in St. Paul – which rolled out iPads to all its students in grades 2 to 5 last year:

… But the point, according to proponents such as Anderson, is to have the devices in students’ hands so they can create and, hopefully, innovate.

Anderson, who likens the iPad to a pencil, warns of the danger of “overplanning” and limiting how far teachers and students can take it.

“As educators, we have the luxury of whether to use the tool or not,” he said. “But kids are not going to have the option of living in a world that doesn’t use technology.”

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Essential Education Apps for iPad: A High Schooler’s Take

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Every so often there’s a revolution in education. The iPad and the boundless possibilities it brings with it are one of those revolutions.

Whether you’re an iPad aficionado or simply a recreational user, the iPad has the power to make your life easier. Regardless of age or specialization, these are the apps every student should have.

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Teaching With An iPad

Francis Picabia, 1920, Image Source: Artforum
Francis Picabia, 1920, Image Source: Artforum

This fall I successfully taught two college courses using only an iPad 2 (and iPad Air) — no desktop or laptop. The experiment went easier than I expected but it was not without challenges.

I teach Art Appreciation and Art History at a local community college. For each session, content is presented on Keynote slides (typically consisting of 25 – 75 slides). Creating the presentations takes anywhere from three to fifty hours — most of that spent on the iPad. Naturally, the preparation involves a lot of time on the Internet for research, image selection, and administrative tasks.

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5 iPad Apps for the Productive 21st Century Student

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When I was at school, I struggled badly with random, un-filed bits of paper, leaky ink cartridges in my Parker Pen and terrible hand writing (as well as chronic laziness and an addiction to Cricket). I’m sure this approach to my organisation affected my school work. If I would have grown up in the iPad age I think things would have been different. The following 5 apps have been tried and tested by me and my students and rank highly as apps which work brilliantly to keep work organised in the cut and thrust of a busy school day.

Google Drive

The iPad is notorious in not having an accessible file structure. As we know, files are often saved in app, or to the camera roll or to iCloud where you can access the files on another device, as long as you have the corresponding app. The other problem is that the more files you generate, the more you eat into your precious iPad storage. Continue reading

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Apps to Get Your Kids Coding on the iPad Part 1

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In the past, coding was a pretty niche affair, those of us with our Acorns, Spectrums and Commodore 64s experimenting with lines and lines of code. I remember as an 8 year old, spending ages typing out lines of code on my beige Acorn Electron to draw….a line on the screen. To add insult to injury there was no way to save it unless I wanted to erase my tape of “Ice Ice Baby” and replace it with my code. Needless to say because we were put into the deep end in those days, like millions of others I was put off a bit by coding and just played computer games instead.

Fast forward to the iPad era and coding is coming back in a big way. Some very talented developers with a love for coding have produced some spectacular apps, turning the iPad into a coding studio in your hand. There are some great iPad apps which take the pain out of coding for the layman and can teach your children (and you) some excellent skills.

This article will concentrate on the best coding apps available currently for your children aged 2-9. A follow up article will look at apps for older children.

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iPad in Education: Great Kindergarten Case Study

iPad Kindergarten case study

Talk about a great endorsement – they just don’t get any better than this. Just in case you can’t read the quite text on the image above, here it is:

For the first time in 22 years of teaching, 100 percent of my kindergarten students went to first grade reading above grade level.

That’s from Kristi Meeuwse, a kindergarten teacher at Drayton Hall Elementary School in Charleston, South Carolina. Apple’s case study on how Meeuwse has used the iPad in her classroom, and how much her students have got out of it, is a fascinating read – and a real feel good story as well.

Meeuwse has created her own books, tailored to her class and her city, to address the lack of non-fiction books for her students’ age group. Students are even creating their own content to respond to respond to assignments – and getting engaged and excited about their class work.

Here’s another huge benefit of using the iPad that’s highlighted:

With 25 students in her classroom, Meeuwse used to teach toward the middle. She would struggle to pull up the lower students, and the students working ahead were left to spin their wheels. iPad, however, allows Meeuwse to personalize learning for her students by creating leveled books. Once she creates a book, it’s easy to duplicate it and create different leveled readers from it, allowing students to learn at their own pace.

Microsoft can shout all they want in their TV ads about tablets for ‘doing real work’ – but I’m hard pressed to think of any better work than this. Not just getting kids more engaged and exited about learning, but getting such great results – that’s work worth bragging about.

Check out the whole case study at this iPad in Education page.

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iPad in Education: 7 New Schools Open in Holland with iPads as ‘Virtual School’

iPads at Master Steve Jobs School

Image Source: | Source: O4NT

Today seven new ‘Steve Jobs Schools’ have opened in the Netherlands. These schools have a radical new approach, with iPads right at the center of it. The schools are located in the Dutch cities of Sneek, Breda, Almere, Emmen, Heenvliet and Amsterdam. They’ll be following the principles of a program called O4NT – Onderwijs voor een nieuwe tijd, or ‘Education for a New Era’ in English.

This program places the iPad right at the core of the student experience – with one iPad per student and the iPads replacing textbooks and serving as a ‘virtual school’. As MacRumors reports, One of the key purposes of using the iPad is to help students develop ‘information and communication technology (ICT) and information processing skills, collaboration techniques and a critical, problem-solving and creative mind’.

Some of the other notable points about the O4NT program include:

— With one iPad per student, the schools are said to have more flexibility to adapt to the needs of individual students rather than tailoring lessons to a group.

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Los Angeles School District Plans to Rollout iPads to All Its 640,000 Students

iPad-in-Education

Image Source: http://www.larkin.net.au/blog/2013/03/01/vic-ipad-workshops/

Wow. More details have come out this week on the massive iPad rollout by the Los Angeles Unified School District. The country’s 2nd largest school district will get free iPads in the hands of 31,000 of its students this school year.

And that’s just the beginning of their huge iPad program. As CiteWorld reports, the plans are to rollout iPads to all of the 640,000 students in the Los Angeles Unified School District by late in 2014.

Here are some of the impressive details about this iPad rollout:

— Phase One will get iPads to students in elementary schools, middle schools, and high schools – and it is targeting kids who likely do not have their own computers right now.

— The school district is stressing the importance of preparing their students for using the technology they’ll need to be comfortable with when they graduate.

— Each student will get their own iPad that’s pre-loaded with educational apps. Another part of the project will bring digital textbooks to the students’ iPads through a deal with a major educational publisher (which will also save the district money when compared to printed textbooks).

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