Hello! Although I loved the idea of getting “jiggy” with the iPad in the classroom, and using it to show my students in language courses (Spanish and Italian) and communication courses (Public Speaking) neat ways to understand and practice the skills they were developing in the classroom, I found my inspiration came too late in the semester. It would have been a fun possibility if I had an idea of how to create activities, and use it as a fun and useful tool for the students and myself. First, I didn’t consider the tiny, but important fact that: I had never used an iPad or even an iPhone…so my skills were basically in ‘discovery’ mode. Second, it was already mid-October when I got my hands on the iPad lent to me by the awesome staff at Office of Innovations, so the time frame to ‘start’ using it came at the end of the semester.
So! If you’re thinking of getting a try out of the iPad let me suggest a couple of cool websites and ideas to ‘deal’ with this ‘tool consideration’ previous to asking for it – and hopefully it will be useful not only to follow through with activities, but to use it as a class management tool for you! A plus side is that after having the iPad with me, I ended up getting an iPhone, and have discovered that it might actually be quite fitted for many of us as a tool in class with students. Check out the ideas and suggestions below, and think of them as well for the iPhone (or a smart-phone). These are both excellent tools you can ‘teach’ about and with for your students' sake.
USES for iPad and iPhone (or other tablets/smartphones)
The camera: it’s just so useful! Either to record voice, video, or just a quick “click” to take a picture of the whiteboard material. Had several students do this with their phones, and immediately send it over to their email accounts. You can find some other ideas here: http://www.nbcnews.com/id/48293871/ns/technology_and_science/#.USfKM6FAQzM
AhCounter: counts how many times the speaker uses “Ah, um, er”, counts repetitions, and even interjections! Best thing--it’s a free app for the iPhone and iPad.
Hello-Hello Spanish (it’s available for various other languages, even English for ESL students) it’s a free-app that I’d recommend for my Spanish Language students. It provides a basic form of understanding meaning and words.
SITES TO CONSIDER
I thought I'd provide some links to sites and blogs that list or describe apps for use on an iPad/iPhone/iPod in the classroom and out of it, with several objectives of use for your particular purposes.
The edtechteacher blog It has a great set of charts divided by objectives of the iPad use in the classroom you might want to consider. Check it out: http://edtechteacher.org/index.php/teaching-technology/mobile-technology-apps/ipad-as
iPads in the Classroom (Kathy Schrock’s Guide to Everything Blog): this particular blog article will provide you with various possibilities for different subjects and objectives (it lists over 50 other articles and videos on iPad uses in the classroom) – check it out!
Apptivities a great little blog with many useful ideas on how to apply the apps in class activities. Check it out! http://www.apptivities.org/
Looking at the possibilities these technologies permit, I have to say that as a language and communications instructor, I was so looking forward to experimenting directly with the students…but the time was up for the iPad! I truly hope this blog entry becomes a useful ‘start up’ place for each of you. Good luck!