Thursday, February 10, 2011

An iPad in the classroom: My quest for the perfect app(s)

I think the iPad is a great addition to any classroom. But of course, it's not the hardware that matters, but the apps that help the hardware meet our needs as teachers and allow us to come up with new ways of engaging our students.

I recently got an iPad to use in a Teacher Training course I teach on Saturdays. The introduction of new elements in the classroom is always necessarily characterized by a learning curve. In this case, I've spent two weeks testing various options to come up with the best possible set-up for my class.

I will write about the apps and how they compare in the days to come. The conclusion that I came to after my first few days of trying to find apps that would do what my laptop does is that maybe it's time to think of doing things differently. For years, I have prepared content for my lessons based on Powerpoint slides and PDF files. This worked perfectly well and I felt comfortable with what made it work: a latpop, a projector, a laser pointer.

But in trying to make my old materials fit my new iPad, I've come to the realization that maybe I'm approaching this the wrong way. The addition of the iPad, with all its capabilities, should be reason enough for me to rethink how I prepare my materials, how I present and how I involve my students for a more interactive environment.

So far, the apps I have explored with varying degrees of success include:

iAnnotate PDF
Air Sketch
Air Display
Exhibit A
Whiteboard HD
PDF Expert

I have enjoyed the reviews and descriptions other educators have posted of these and other apps, and I will be posting my own experience hoping to help others who may be considering using an iPad in the classroom.

1 comment:

  1. IPad is a great addition to any classroom.This worked perfectly well and teacher realized comfortable with what made it work a latpop, a projector, a laser pointer.IPad apps are so good.Thanks for IPad apps.