"Have you read The Paperless Classroom with Google Docs by Eric Curts? http://bit.ly/104vztx ; If not, you should. It is a great way for Google schools to harness the power of Google for sharing documents, and establishing a workflow for students to turn in work for teachers to grade and return in a paperless environment. I love it. In fact, I liked it so much that I decided to pay homage to it with a version that is dedicated to doing the very same thing on the iPad using just the Google Drive app.
Regular readers will have seen my last post, How to Use Comments on the Google Drive iPad app http://bit.ly/14koJzE . For me, this was a key change to the Google Drive iPad app, and one that had huge implications for the iPad classroom. It inspired me to think about just how much you can do in Google with an iPad and the Drive app, and I soon discovered that you can do a lot more than you might think.
So, with the blessing of Eric Curts himself, I sat down and went through all the steps he meticulously outlined for the desktop version of Google Drive, and converted as many as I could to the equivalent actions in the Google Drive iPad app. Then I added some additional steps for other things like taking documents offline, or grading PDFs, images and movies."
"For my recent Engage post, I asked my students to review apps we had used to create presentations in our classroom. The apps included a variety of tools for making traditional slide show displays. But the beauty of the devices we are using in our classroom is that we can go so much further, and break past those conventional boundaries.
With that in mind, I would like to share some of the apps my students utilized in creating presentations that were of the less traditional variety. "
"Apple has released an update to its Configurator app. The OS X app allows users to configure and deploy iPad, iPhone and iPod touch devices in an enterprise environment, such as schools or government institutions. While no major changes were introduced, there are several minor improvements that administrators of institutions will find useful. Here's the news from the release notes:"
The basic lesson design sequence for Direct Instruction–established by Madeline Hunter–includes 6 fundamental steps: 1. Anticipatory Set 2. Objective & Purpose 3. Input & Modeling 4. Checking for Understanding 5.
"The iPad takeover of public education isn’t just confined to the mainstream classroom: Special needs educators, too, are finding that iPads can be a vital tool to support independence. What sets the iPad apart from other devices is the simple and visually robust user interface that can be used by almost everyone. It’s also a highly customizable device that can be set up with applications and assistive features to support a variety of special needs."
"Edit & Share is a free iPad and iPhone app whose name tells you exactly what it’s used for. Edit & Share is a free app for creating and editing collections of images. By using the app you can crop images, alter the colors of images, and add text notes to your images. You can edit and notate images on an individual basis or create collections of images with notes. Your images can be shared individually or as a group. To share you can Tweet, Facebook, or email your collections."
"I’ve shared some of my favorite iPad apps to practice pacing and stamina. Whether students are performing everyday tasks or in the middle of test prep, you might need a timer to help students self-monitor. The Best Sand Timer is a great free app that’s an alternative to traditional countdown clocks – try it out in your classroom!"
"After watching the whole of my tutor group playing 4 Pics 1 word app on their iPhones and iPods and getting very enthusiastic about finding out the answer I decided to try and use the concept of the game in one of my lessons.
For those of you that do not know the app, it is a very basic app but has become very popular with my students. Basically, 4 pics are displayed and the player must link them all with one word. Easy!"
"There’s plenty of free “wow your crowd” apps and Essential Skeleton http://bit.ly/14kpdpq ; is one of them! Users can manipulate a 3D skeleton, highlight different sections and read information about each bone. Multiple entry points make this a great app for students of all ages."
"Some of the best use I’ve seen of apps on the iPad is where teachers have engaged students using apps in conjunction with others. Filming activities, recording audio, adding the media to Keynote and annotating, demonstrating learning – that said, there are some great subject specific apps out there and in this post I’ll cover some of the apps available for the Humanities subject Geography."
"Note-taking apps for the iPad come at a dime a dozen. From the more popular offerings such as Evernote and Simplenote to fairly obscure ones, there’s something out there on the App Store for almost every kind of iPad user. And now, with Beesy, from French developers BeesApps the business user is also covered as well. It’s received rave reviews from publications such as MacWorld and was recently featured as an Evernote Pick — a pretty astounding achievement, especially from such a massive and well-established company."
"I think almost everyone enjoys a good movie. The cost of going to the theater, however, is becoming terribly cost prohibitive. The last movie I saw in the theater was Lincoln. It was a great film and it renewed my interest in the history of the Lincoln era and the Civil War. Living in Charleston where the Civil War began, I am able to walk on the very cobblestone streets that Union and Confederate soldiers trod."
"“Honestly, I think we should be delighted people still want to read, be it on a Kindle or a Nook or whatever the latest device is.” By J.K. Rowling
With more and more schools launching, ‘Bring Your Own Technology’ or ‘Bringing Your Own Device’ (BYOT/BYOD) I created a symbaloo of all apps and web tools that work on all devices to help educators get started. Even though I am a firm believe, it doesn’t matter what site/app the students use to show mastery of a concept, some educators need a starting place and many have loved this symbaloo so I, of course, want to pass it along."
Arguably, the iPad can be a great classroom tool. However, lately there have been concerns about Apple’s tablet and its current role in the classroom. For instance, many have suggested that some of our schools are making the iPad the center of classrooms instead of remembering that students must be at the center of the classroom. Inevitably, this raises questions about the future of the iPad in the classroom.
Does the iPad foster or hinder creativity? Is it a comprehensive tool or just a mere distraction? Do we use the iPad just because it makes our classroom look cool? Are we missing the forest for the trees here?"