Note: this is a follow-up post to Can I teach a technology course with only an iPad?
I have been working furiously to plan my fall educational technology class, hoping to get the bulk of the syllabus, website, and readings prepared before the baby arrives. During this process I have made a couple of observations related to the iPad as a teaching tool:
1. Creating a course with the intend of using the iPad is easier than trying to transfer an existing course to an iPad.
This fall semester is my first time teaching the educational technology course. Over the past three years, I taught 9 sections of an arts integration course. What I’ve come to realize is that if I know I’m going to use my iPad as my main teaching tool, planning this course takes on a different form. Had I attempted to teach the arts integration class using only my iPad (with 9 semesters of files already organized and stored on my MacBookPro), I probably would have given up. I find it much easier to find a new resource and then to ask questions like: how do I get this onto my iPad? is there an app that will allow me to find this again? how to I archive this resource? etc.
2. Goodreader + Delicious are a dynamic duo for organizing course readings/content.
I’ve found that most of my course resources are either pdf files or web sites. I recently bought both Goodreader and iAnnotate to help me work with pdfs. The file transfer process from my MB pro to the iPad is very easy. I also realized my need to have web-based readings, videos, and images organized, and immediately thought about how I’ve been using delicious to tag these resources.
You see, when I come across a site that would be a great resource for a course I teach, I tag it with the course number. So in my delicious account, the tag “385” will pull up all of the resources I expect to use as resources in my ed tech class this fall. Here is a screenshot of http://delicious.com/lesliegates/385 from my MB pro:
So anyway, I was ecstatic to find a number of delicious apps that would honor this work I had already done to compile resources. I was disappointed that all of the apps were iPhone rather than iPad apps. For starters, I downloaded the free one. Here is how it works:
Screen 1 – I choose “all tags”Screen 2 – I choose “385”Screen 3 – lists all of my 385-related tags. When I click on one, it opens it in safari and I get my full screen back to actually see the sites.
3. Having a course website provides a home base.
I always have a course website that is a one-stop shop for students. The website contains the readings, course calendar, syllabus, etc. By having all of my course content web-based, I increase the chances of always being able to access what I need on my iPad.
4. Using google docs (and in so doing, remaining web-based) solves my need for an iPad-based gradebook.
Thanks to the google app for iPad, I can enter student grades, and they are immediately public on the google spreadsheet embedded into our course website.
That’s enough for now. I like this challenge, and I’m learning a lot by having a specific “project” related to my iPad.
On a different note, when I get sick of planning, my spouse and I have taken to playing Family Feud (Freemantle Media/Ludia) on the iPad. The $4.99 investment (and my only paid game app) has resulted in many laughs. We restraining ourselves from buying The Price is Right and Press Your Luck right away…