Ok, blog world, I need your help.

All I wanted was an iPad.  I wished and hoped and worked to find a way to get one, and it happened.  My principal was able to get the money for 10 iPads for our school to share, and I currently have one in my room that stays there most of the time.

Here’s the problem.  I really don’t know what to do with it.  Now before you recommend your favorite apps to me, here are my problems.

Every time I read another blog or google great math apps, I hear about the following things

  • Whiteboard apps- There are a million.  I think they are a great idea.  I have played around with them and they seem pretty cool.  BUT they just don’t work with what I do with interactive notebooks.  It is kind of hard to demonstrate what I want the kids to write on a foldable on a whiteboard app.  And the success I have been having with the notebooks tells me that process is much more important than an app.
  • Math games/practice- Again, there are a million.  And I have had kids play them when we have some down time or during our homeroom time.  But with 1 iPad, that means 1 kid playing 1 game for that 15 minute period.  Is this really the best use of the iPad?  I mean it is clearly better for that 1 kid to play rather than it sitting on my desk, but I don’t feel like it is worth it to me.  Maybe I just need to create more of a schedule for kids to do this and find specific apps for specific skills I want certain kids to master.
  • Seating chart makers- While I think this would be really helpful and nice… did I really just get an iPad only to have it make me seating charts?

Those are the standard apps that I see recommended.  Nothing that has shattered my world so far.  I just hate hate hate that I fought so hard to get this, then I am at a loss.  So solve my problem for me.  Give me something inspiring to do or somewhere to look to find amazing ideas.  I refuse to let this iPad go to waste!


5 thoughts on “iPads

  1. If you have wireless access in your school/room and have a laptop and projector, consider the Reflector app, which needs to be loaded on your laptop. To me it much more than a whiteboard app. Through the airplay feature on your Ipad, it allows you to mirror anything that is on your Ipad to a projection screen. I have found it very helpful.

  2. Yes, the “Nothing that has shattered my world so far” was the feeling I had towards iPads when our administration announced that we would be getting a bunch for our students because the government messed up with our money and we HAD to buy a bunch of technology on short notice. I was pulling for laptops or netbooks because at least they can use Java and Flash AND you can type quickly on them.

    However, having said that, I have found a few good things about iPads. Most of these involve having multiple students, like using QR codes, but I like having one so I can project things quickly. I don’t know if you have a way to link the iPad to your projector (AppleTV or a program on the computer that is connected to the projector–I think it’s called AirPlay), but if I want to show a student’s work quickly to the class, it is much faster than any other way. Well, unless you have a document camera, which I don’t.

    If you look around enough, there are some pretty creative ways of using the iPad that you can’t use a computer for, most of which involve using the camera on the iPad. For example, I had a lesson on Parametric Equations where the students did a short stop-motion video (using iMotion HD) to demonstrate a Parametric Equation they created, and they loved their creations. It might be tough to get a whole class to do this only on one iPad, but if they worked in groups, then maybe you could get every group to have some time with the iPad. Or if students have their own smartphones or iPods, their group could use that instead (I’m not sure if the same app is available for that).

    Also, I know you said you’ve heard enough of whiteboard apps, and I really don’t know how interactive notebooks work, so I can’t say whether it will work or not, but Doceri (by far the best whiteboard app out there) easily project onto a computer, and you can import pictures to draw on, so you could import whatever you want students’ notebooks to look like and then draw/write on top of the picture. Just an idea. I hope you get a lot of use out of your iPad!

  3. I’ll be interested in learning from others. I have access to 10 iPads and used it one time. The students used the Doceri app to create, present and solve three fraction mutiplication problems. It took an entire block and only one student completed the task. There wasn’t too much of a learning curve in terms of the software, but the students didn’t work as efficiently as I would have liked–if you know what I mean.

    In terms of games, DragonBox http://dragonboxapp.com/ is the best app I’ve seen. Not sure how you could show this to the class, or have students save their progress. I played it on my pc but have not introduced it to the students (we can only download free apps).

    You could perhaps assign a project and have the students create an imovie, ibook or use it to access Edmodo or create a glogster.

    Good luck!

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