iPad in the classroom

Tech in education-for teachers
With the evolution of educational technology and blended learning becoming a method of the present in classroom teaching, it is quite pertinent to integrate the newer technologies into your teaching practice, quite often we get hooked on to the past as it is convenient to work with what we already know, change is difficult. However some of the technologies are quite user friendly and much easier to use than one expects. I am exploring ways of doing this, what intrigued me most was how quickly one can start up your iPad, and the time it takes to open your documents or applications is amazingly less, if you compare it to the time one takes to get your pc up and running, that would be a real long wait. This is big time for me, I dont want to loose class time, usually it takes quite some time as most of you know. This in itself a great convenience for me, as I can have my class in engagment mode right away. But to make all this possible these are some of the contraptions and apps that I have brought and installed.

For the iPad
Hardware
1. A VGA cable for overhead projection from apple $36.99
2. A composite cable for overhead projection with audio $ 79.99 “Can do without this”
3. A stylus $19.99 may be cheaper now
4. If you dont have a composite cable with audio you may need a separate audio system and appropriate output cable
5. Digital overhead projector or an LCD or LED TV

Software
1. ‘Dropbox‘ – Free
2. ‘Keynote’ – $9.99
3. ‘Pages’ – $9.99
4. ‘Note taker’ $4.99
5. ‘iBooks’ – Free
6. ‘Explain Everything’ $2.99 for screen casting – video can be exported to iPhotos and then edited using iMovies

With the above apps you can easily get going and your life could be a lot easy.

Use of hardware
1. The VGA cable makes it possible to mirror your iPad on an overhead projector or a TV which has a PC input or a composite input or a HDMI if you have the HDMI dongle for iPad. Once your projection system is up, you need the software for your lessons. Just plug the cable into your iPad and connect it into your projector.

Use of software and apps
2. I actually did not create any power points or documents on Key note or Pages, instead I have all my documents made in Microsoft office as word, or power point. What I have done is I created an account with dropbox and included all the documents that I want to be available on my iPad in it. Installed the dropbox app on my iPad and synced the files, those files that I wanted offline I made them my favourites, now this will be available all the time.

3. To open my power point I can show the slides directly as is on the overhead from ‘Dropbox’ or if I want to use it as a presentation I can import it into Keynote and save it as a Keynote file. Most of the animations do work right away all it takes is a couple of seconds. So now I have my powerpoint ready to use in Keynote no worries there. The slide show works amazingly.

4. Alternatively if you want to use your documents .doc or .xls or pdf’s there are two options one use the dropbox display as is or import the document into pages, numbers or notetaker if you could save your documents as pdf on your pc and sync it with drop box all your files can be opened in iBooks, this makes it a lot easy as there are no issues with formatting.

Whiteboard
Updated
5. I find “Explain Everything” better than “Educreations” for exporting documents and editing them in iMovies.

Overall with all these contraptions you actually spend less time for set up of your class with flexibility in the type of interactive media that you have at minimal cost. Trust me the iPad will go a long way in education in the coming years.

Comments

  1. Can you post some practice sheets, problems or websites which have these on your website for thermodynamics. This is because we have practice problems for all the other chapters except for this.

  2. I wasn’t able to find a breakdown of the exam, neither on the website nor the forum. I could only find the exam review questions. Can you post the link to the exam breakdown on your homepage.