I teach 4th grade and have two iPads to use with my class (along with some desktops and netbooks). We use the iPads like we do all of our other resources -- they are available for use as needed. Here are some ways the students used the iPad our first week of school:
In learning about the scientific method the students are conducting experiments using a game I have called Battling Tops. One of the students suggested that a control should be vibrations that might affect the tops. I mentioned that I have an app called iSeismo that measures vibrations. She used that iPad app to keep track of the vibrations.
We are studying measurement and tying it into human anatomy. Students are making "Measure Me" models of themselves and are including organs that they have to place in the correct location. I have several good free anatomy apps.
In our math warm-ups, I include problems that might involve research (such as finding out what Texas minimum wage or sales tax is). The iPads are quite accessible for finding out this info (the students also use the netbooks -- if I had more iPads, we'd prefer to use those).
I don't know if that helps, because I haven't had a full set of iPads, but the two that we do have we use quite a bit every day.
Response from a Middle School teacher in my district:
"I use it for a variety of things. Just today, a student had a question about 9/11 and he was able to look up the answer in minutes. It helps with their curiosity. Tomorrow, I will post documents to Edmodo to limit paper usage and help the students with organization. I have posted an assignment on Edmodo that is due in October and it helps because students won’t lose it. I may post videos that I want students to view but haven’t had time for in class. I may have them post a comment and respond to other students’ comments as well. "
"For a book project, students will use iMovie to create a book trailer. I won’t show them how to do it. They will teach themselves on their own time and ask questions if needed."
We recently supported one of the top private school systems for curriculum mapping, to align their curriculum / learning objectives with different apps. for tablets. We are doing it in phases as the transition will take some time and also the curriculum team needs to go through trial and error process to eliminate wrong selection. We selected three grades at a time and three disciplines, even with this selection for piloting we are not converting the whole curriculum in one go, that will also be in phases. Do have a look at the following;
Cindi, we would really appreciate if you can share more details about iMovie to create book trialer, are there some other apps also.
Wow! I loved the videos of the different ways that children are learning using technology (and without technology too!) and the different spaces they are learning in. What a wonderful way to encourage different models of learning. If you are using apps on a Windows device you may want to look at: If you are using Android devices you may want to look at the Google Play for Education app list on this presentation: 75 Ways to use Apps for Learning
Our geography teachers use online mapping tools on tablets to help students learn locations of countries and continents. The math teachers use tablets to help students learn geometry. Math students also view Kahn Academy videos to review material they do not understand well.
Another one of my Middle School teachers replied:
Integrating tablets in the classroom has been extremely beneficial for my class. In today’s world, almost all traditional testing questions can be answered by doing a quick google search. So we have to ask ourselves, what is the point of asking these questions when they simply can be googled. By having ipads in the classroom, it grants all of our students access to these “googleable” questions and then dive deeper. There are thousands of educational apps out there that help us incorporate the various levels of blooms taxonomy in our instruction. The bottom line is while having ipads in our class allows us teach kids how to think in today’s world, and not how to regurgitate information.
The tablets also expose students to today’s ever-changing world of technology. Today, technology is an integral part in our society, and to say that we don’t need to incorporate this type of technology in or educational system because it was around 10 years ago is concerning. Humanity invented the wheel for a reason. By withholding this technology from our students, we are doing them a disservice when they enter the real world. Which I believe our job is to prepare them for the real world. Tablets allow us to use traditional methods of instruction on a new and more engaging platform that will benefit our students in the long run.
Using Edmodo, Google Drive, and Know It All allow me to save on paper and provide all of my students with assignments and reading on their tablets. I simply scan one set of documents and suddenly have hundreds of copies to my students. The time and paper saved over the course of the year is rather significant. Once students have access to these documents, whether they are worksheets, readings or primary source documents, students can load them in their Adobe Reader where they can highlight and write notes over the presented text. Educreation, Show Me and Screen Chomp are all whiteboard apps that allow me instant feedback to student understanding, again less paper.
The previously mentioned apps are just a mere handful of the ways tablets can improve classroom instruction. This list does not even include apps that can be used for creating projects and presentations. The usefulness of the ipad is up to the instructor holding it. It can be as valuable as a paperweight or a brick of gold. I choose to treat it like the latter.
The iRead program in Escondido CA school district has been very successful in using tablets (iPads) to improve fluency and reading comprehension for ESL students. They have an extensive website with resources (Apps) and directions on how to use Garageband to help students determine their own fluency using iTalk recorder. It's real easy to navigate the site. I've modified the activities somewhat to meet my districts' needs (I work as a consultant with many districts) and in every case combining the activities with a long term project (like creating books documenting families' journeys to America for example), have been successful.
Here are a few links where you can read more about Escondido's projects and ours: