Take one confirmed PC user, add an iPad, mix in the International Society for Technology in Education conference and stir well. Result- one iPad lover!
Prior to the conference I was struggling to find places where the iPad might fit in a classroom- given the limitations of some high poverty schools where 1 to 1 means one device to one teacher of 30 students.
My experience at ISTE began with meeting with a teacher from Melbourne Australia who told me that her school was rewriting their curriculum to use the iPads (one per student in this case). Hmm…
Next I met a teacher from Texas who was given an iPad as part of his “Best Teacher of the Year” award. He shared several great resources with me for math and science that he is able to use in his classroom. His iPad is the only one in the room. He offers the tool to his students as an incentive, uses specific aps for remediation and offers aps to his gifted students to engage and challenge them. Basically he is using iPad aps to create differentiated instruction time for his students and he raved about the game like aps whose “levels” allowed him to more easily differentiate.
Great information – but what about arts teachers? How might they use the device?
Then I attended a birds of a feather session led by a dynamic teacher from Chicago who is leading the creation of a website with teacher reviews of iPad aps. The dynamic sharing session that followed left me with a multitude of resources (I couldn’t type notes fast enough and I forgot to engage the record on my iPad Soundpaper ap!) that I have slowly begun exploring.
My favorites to date:
– iBand, iShred and drum meister – great music aps that can be used to start students down the road to learning chords, beats, etc.
– Soundpaper – great note taking ap allows you to record the speaker while typing notes. A keyword search through your notes will bring up the same spot in the recording. In addition you can share your notes (recorded and typed) through a link to your email
– iBanner – just for fun – this one creates blinking light banners
-In a World – mostly for fun but would be a great tool for Language Arts or Theatre teachers – this one allows you to create a movie trailor by inputting your own pictures with scrolling screen titles and the traditional theatrical voice opening. I can see having students create a trailor as a play synopsis or even turn a book report into a trailor…
– the Louvre – gorgeous images, detail and historical and cultural connections
– calibre – converts any PDF file into book format to read on your iPad – a real “page turner” …
Can’t wait to explore more at http://www.iear.org/