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IPads for teachers

Discussion in 'Computing and ICT' started by Laridae, Jan 8, 2012.

  1. Our SLT has some money set aside for staff development and is looking to give teaching staff an Apple IPad to use in the classroom, and for planning, easy checking of emails and communciations etc.
    Personally I am sceptical about this, but want to know from anyone who has been bought IPads for use in schools by teaching staff, and any successful ways they have been integrated into the classroom.
    If I can make a plea: if you are just going to tell me this is a complete waste of time, money etc, please don't bother as this is what I think. I am looking to be convinced, and it will take a lot of evidence to make me change my mind, so I want to hear from the Job disciples out there to tell me how it could work.
  2. i-pads are used for the following activities by some teachers in my school...
    <ol>[*]Tasking the register. This is particularly useful for PE teachers who can take the register via wifi out on the playing field.[*]Controlling the IWB. Good if I want to stand at the back of a class, looking over all the pupils whilst showing something on the IWB.[*]Sending quick messages between staff. Very useful if you need help with certain situations.[*]Checking emails when not actually logged onto a computer.[*]A lot of documents, including lesson observation reports, learning walk feedback, Performance Management Reviews, hand books, Exam Board documentation etc are all kept in pdf form in each teacher's ibook bookcase.[*]Access the VLE to check work has been handed in. (On our system it is not actually practical to mark work on the i-pad, but it is useful for keeping an eye on the VLE activities).[*]Allowing pupils to write/draw and have all other pupils see what is being written/drawn on their own screens.[*]Storing a library of my CDs so I can play music to a class when appropriate.</ol>That's just some of the things some teachers in my school use i-pads for.
  3. JumpingStarfish

    JumpingStarfish New commenter

    I don't have iPads in the classroom, but have been trying to convince my Head for the past year they are the way forward! I think they can have great uses in the classroom, and they are the way technology is heading so should be used. Not just iPads, but tablets in general. I have been saying for ages, they'd be great for assessment, making notes etc. I have to put things on post-it notes/scraps of paper to be typed up/transferred at a later date - if I'd had an iPad I could edit documents/make changes/assess the children while working with them, without having to have my cumbersome laptop in front of me! I have an iPhone, which is always on my desk, so I can get emails easilyfrom work. Until my phone, I would check my work emails once a week at the very most!
    Also, developers have realised the possibilities for tablets in the classroom, so more and more educational apps are coming out. They can engage even the most reluctant of learners.
    In my classroom I have a visually impaired child. She has to have specially enlarged books bought for her to read. If she has access to a tablet she would be able to enlarge the print to an easily readable level without losing out on images etc. that are in the book.
    If your staff don't want them for your classroom - send them my way! [​IMG]
  4. JumpingStarfish

    JumpingStarfish New commenter

    markxtc123 - you can control the IWB using them now?! How? Can you also show things from your iPad on the whiteboard screen?
    This thread is just making them seem all the more appealing!
  5. If you just want to control an IWB you can use WiFi Touchpad HD Free. This gives you a touchpad and keyboard on your i-pad that is attached via wifi to the computer controling your IWB.
    If you want more control you can run a vnc service, like tight vnc, on the IWB computer and then run a vnc client app on the i-pad. this means your ipad screen looks like your IWB screen and you can control it without looking up at the IWB screen. This is especially good if you want a pupil to show something and the rest of the class to watch on the IWB. I also use this to monitor the multiple screen view of AB tutor so I can see all of the pupils computer screens on my i-pad. This can be even more useful if I am not in the classroom at the time!
    Finally I use an app called Airsketch. This allows you to draw/write over a PDF or bitmap image. Others can watch what you are doing using a webbrowser. They just enter the ip address and port given by airsketch. There is no limit to the number of pupils who can watch what you are doing on your ipad when using Airsketch.
  6. We've had a pilot scheme running with a few members of staff using them and I feel that it's been a fantastic venture. I was already of the opinion that they'd be useful in education so was really looking forward to giving it a go but I've actually surprised myself with how useful they'v been. Great to use as a planner synced up with my calendars and email through my work account but I've been using it for a lot of other things too.

    With my Year 11 iMedia groups I've got some classes where students may be working on three different units and I'm able to use iBooks to store resources and exemplar material from each of the units and quickly flip between. I can't underestimate how useful this has been as although I am very organised with my folders and keep the things in my documents easy to find it's just been a far less time consuming task flipping between documents on the iPad than it is if I were to try and load all the various documents on my desktop computer during the lesson. As a reference tool I find it excellent to have all of my resources stored centrally like that and I'm able to move around the classroom more when presenting by simple things such as having speaker notes visible to me on the iPad.

    I've been reviewing a few apps that could be used with students in my groups such as tools for making mood boards, mind maps and the students who I have piloted this with in the smaller groups have been very motivated when making use of the technology for themselves. Yes these tasks could be completed using the standard desktop computers the students have but the intuitive nature of a device like the iPad just makes such tasks so much easier and a lot less time consuming.

    Personally there have been a few apps which have helped my own teacher development such as the TED talks app ad the Pulse website reader. I've been interested in TED talks in the past but only dipped in and out of the categories on a very infrequent basis yet with the iPad I've been a regular viewer and found some fantastic resources just through the ease of using the app to access the talks. Pulse has also been a great application to allow me to keep track of some developments in the design side of my subject by grouping together all of the websites I frequently visit but stripping down the webpages showing me just the information I require.

    Overall I've been delighted with being able to use this device as an aid to teaching and learning in my school and I feel if any school were to pilot the idea like we have with a small group of willing staff you'd see the benefits for yourselves.
  7. DEmsley

    DEmsley New commenter

    I may be dim but isn't the IWB intended to control the commuter? Shouldn't need an IWB for just projecting and controlling from back.

    I'm doing this on my iPad and I can't find how they are better than a laptop. 500ukp is a lot for what they are. I remain unconvinced of their usefulness in the classroom for the way I teach and for the subjects of ICT and computing. None of applications I teach with are available through it.

    Register, email and vlr are all available via my phone anyway.
  8. Yes the IWB does control the computer, but sometimes it is useful to be able to control the output to the screen from elsewhere in the room. We are about to kit out a classroom with a 60 inch LCD screen controlled by two I-pads, one for pupils and one for the teacher. Still have an interactive element but much cheaper than an IWB.

    Regarding laptop vs I-pad, the I-pad is much lighter, easier to carry about and lasts for an entire day without needing recharging. Also the auto on/off action of the I-pad is much more convenient than booting up a laptop when you want to use one.

    Just my opinion, each to their own I say.
  9. School Boy Error

    School Boy Error Occasional commenter

    Wow, you only logged onto a computer once a week?! How on earth did you manage I'm on mine all the time.
  10. JumpingStarfish

    JumpingStarfish New commenter

    Possibly not for teaching ICT in secondary. But in Primary, when the children are meant to be getting a broad education and dabbling in a little bit of everything, I think they're great. We currently have &pound;250 mini-laptops. They are used almost exclusively for web browsing. I had to replace the batteries because they wouldn't work without being plugged in, which was &pound;40 a laptop. That takes me to nearly &pound;300 for something that has an hour or two battery life and is very fiddly to use. Add another &pound;60 and we could have had iPads instead that would last the majority of the day. I know what I would have rather the money was spent on, and they would be able to do far more than web browsing!
  11. JumpingStarfish

    JumpingStarfish New commenter

    No, I only logged onto my school emails once a week, not a computer! Now I don't know how I managed it, but at the time it was just hassle. I just get them pushed to my phone now - makes me so much more organised!
  12. School Boy Error

    School Boy Error Occasional commenter

    Surely, if you're on a computer logging into your email isn't a great chore? I don't know how you got away with it let alone managed it!
  13. My iPad to laptop use is now approximately 80:20. Email, Web browsing and basic document creation are all done on my iPad. If a student needs a password reset then I use AD helpdesk. I login to my SIMS server using PocketCloud to take registers. I use Wunderlist for task management, Notability for note taking and Dropbox to store my files. If I need to access our file server to read or edit shared files then I use Filebrowser. All my textbooks, past papers and mark schemes are kept in iBooks. I used to link my projector to my laptop and then control my laptop using Splashtop, in lessons. Recently I purchased an Apple TV and now I simply link that to my projector and use AirDisplay to show my Keynote presentations. If I want to display a student's work then I can use the camera and AirDisplay to show it on the board, or VNC onto the student's computer. Plex gives me access to all my video files. Socrative or eClicker allows me to interactively quiz students with instant feedback.
    A year ago I would have dismissed iPads as a gimmick that had little value in the classroom, and probably harped on about their inability to play Flash video. Well, we've all seen who has won that battle. I firmly believe that tablet computing is the way forward. iPads, at the moment, are the most advanced and useable tablet devices. With further development in HTML5 web apps, this might change in the future, and we could well see a Chrome tablet or some such device take the market lead. In the meantime I advise any department in our school to invest in iPads and am currently looking at rolling out an iStudent program to our sixth form.

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