When teaching, one of the great practical ways to inspire discussion, debate and higher order thinking skills is by categorisation/card sort exercises, ideally where a student can decide to put things in a certain order, and change their mind by moving their idea about depending on the discussion. Back in the ‘good old days’ (pre-iPad), I would spend ages making a card sort exercise – writing it out in Word, printing it, maybe laminating it (or if I was feeling lazy not bothering), cutting out all the cards and placing them in envelopes with paper clips on so they didn’t get lost. I’d then repeat this for however many sets I needed for the class. I’d feel my life force drain away in front of my eyes as I repeated this tortuous process for each of my classes, with the realisation that I still had a ton of stuff to mark and plan, but knowing that it would generate a good lesson of discussion, argument and discovery. Continue reading
Axel’s Chain Reaction by Laura Allison Pomenta Badolato blew me away with its features, and it’s no surprise why. According to the iTunes Preview, the storybook app has won several awards such as The Parent’s Choice Golden Award and the App Circus Online Competition, and it is recommended by the National Science Teachers Association.
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.
We’ve seen before that President Obama is an iPad user, and this week he borrowed one to film students and a teacher during a classroom visit at a middle school in Maryland.
The president was at Buck Lodge Middle School in Adelphi, Maryland – as part of the ConnectED initiative to provide students with greater access to high-speed internet connections. The classroom has a number of iPads in use by students and President Obama did quite a good job doing a short video with the iPad.
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.
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
This is a pretty fun video, done by the Connect School of Languages in Toronto.
Here’s a little of the backstory for the video:
We are a small language school in Toronto. We teach English as a Second Language to international students from around the world. We have transformed our school from a traditional classroom to one that is flipped and uses the iPad, iBooks and apps to help teach students.
We put these spots out on YouTube to poke fun at teachers who refuse to change with the times. The reaction we have had has been incredible – not only in the number of views on YouTube but by the comments and debate the ads have sparked. It has been intriguing to watch these comments flow into YouTube. For us, the iPad in our school has totally transformed the way we communicate.
My only suggested edit would’ve been to re-think the 2020 part of the tile. I think technology years are like dog years, on steroids. By 2020 I imagine the teacher with the iPad may well need to do some major changing with the times.
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.
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.
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).
Apple has announced today that they’ve received approval from the Los Angeles Board of Education on a $30 million rollout of iPads to the nation’s 2nd largest school district.
The iPad rollout in the LA Unified School District will start this fall and will bring iPads to every student across the district’s 47 campuses. Here’s a little details on the apps that will be used on the iPads and a great quite on the reasons why the iPad was selected:
“The Board voted unanimously for Apple because iPad rated the best in quality, was the least expensive option and received the highest scoring by the review panel that included students and teachers,” said Jaime Aquino, LAUSD Deputy Superintendent of Instruction. “The vote is another step forward in the District’s plan to equip every one of its students with a device by 2014. When completed, the LAUSD will become the largest district in the nation to provide each of its students with the technology.”
Apple will provide iPads that include the Pearson Common Core System of Courses delivered via a new app as part of the integrated solution. Apps such as iWork®, iLife® and iTunes®, in addition to a range of educational third-party apps are also included.
Good to see that the LA Board of Education missed the (Microsoft) memo about the iPad being only for consumption and can somehow get by without Powerpoint.
This week the Featured section of the iPad App Store is full of even more highlighted app collections than usual. One of the notable app collections that caught my eye is ‘Apps for Elementary School’ – as I have a daughter in 4th grade.
The collection covers a lot of ground. It includes around 275 apps divided into these main sections: Math, Literacy, Science, Social Studies, Art & Music, and Health & Fitness.
Each of those main sections has useful sub-sections to make it easier for specific apps that you or your elementary school age kids may be interested in. For example, the Math section has sub-sections for Measurement & Data, Shapes & Spatial Reasoning, The Number System, Drill & Practice, Beyond Drill – Strategy, and Beyond Drill – Brain Busters; and the Social Studies section has sub-sections for World Cultures, Geography, and History & Historical Figures.
I’ve spent a good amount of time browsing the collection and I’m still far from done – but I’ve already seen some of my daughter’s favorites and quite a few promising apps we need to try out.
You can find the Apps for Elementary School collection in the top rotating panel of the Featured tab in the iPad App Store.