During the current semester I did my first practicum in elementary school, and my associated teacher had the chance to have an iPad, a smartboard, and an Apple TV to give her lessons. That was a far cry from what I knew was possible in terms of interaction with technology when teaching. When I was in elementary school and high school, I was lucky if my classroom had an over-head projector. Anyway, it is certain that this kind of set up (the one from my practicum school) is not available in every school institution, but the iPad itself is a terrific tool in classrooms. At first I was not entirely convinced by what this device can bring, but now I know it is a tool every teacher must master.
iPads are made by Apple and now they come in two different sizes and there are over 5 generations. As it is the most widely adopted mobile operating system (for tablets), the iPad has the richest collection of applications (apps) for education optimized for its screen size. Thus, the iPad is the smartest choice as of right now if you want to own a tablet and use it in class. If you go in the iPad section of Apple’s website, the company will get you started with all the features an iPad has to offer. Their pitch is so well done and the website is so fancy that you will want to buy 2 of these little gadgets. It is a great way to know a little bit more about this product even if Apple is praising their product just a little too much.
What I want to talk about is the plus value of having an iPad in the classroom as a teacher. The first advantage of an iPad is its ease of use. Everything is easy to manipulate with the intuitive multi-touchscreen, and the apps boot up in an instant. It is effortless, fun, and portable. You do not have to bring your cumbersome laptop or to worry about having access to a computer in class. This way, you can use this tablet at anytime during your lesson and still be able to walk around the classroom; mobility and efficiency.
Now an iPad is not just made to be move around. It is a useful tool that can be use in many aspects of your teaching habits. The iPad is great for surfing the web and researching topics in or out of the classroom. You can also do revisions with your students using various mind mapping apps. You can also easily take pictures of students’ projects and then share them with your colleagues or with whomever you wish. You can even record your student’s oral presentations in order to give better feedback when correcting.
You can find a ton of apps developed by different companies in the App Store. What is convenient though, it that Apple has a strong lineup of apps of its own, and most of them are free. For example, with the Keynote app, you can rapidly make a nice presentation for your class about a new topic. Clicking on this link, you will fin a comprehensive list of all the best iPad apps teachers need. On this other website, you will fin all sorts of links for everything iPad related. It is another good way to get started. There a many interesting ways for using an iPad like using brushes to paint, draw, sketch, and doodle.
This piece of technology is the perfect tool to help unleash your creativity and captivate your students.