iPads- A maximum of 5 students per iPad
Apps: Notes(free), Pages(free), GoogleDocs(free), Flipgrid(free)
Additional Equipment: Projector with VGA out cable OR Smartboard with VGA out cable
If you are like me, you are not in a one to one iPad environment. While these one student to one device schools are becoming more common, in most cases districts are not financially able to subsidize this type of expense. So how can the everyday teacher utilize a small number of devices within a classroom? This entry will attempt to offer some suggestions for a classroom that has some access to iPads.
Cooperative groups are an asset to our students, but why not update that rather dated model with technology that makes the process more efficient and engaging? Depending on class size, four iPads will allow you to set up reasonably sized cooperative groups. Incorporating the technology can be as simple as note taking. Using the included note taking application, Notes, students can take notes on the group assignment and submit the notes through email. If you want to take one step closer towards the fabled “paperless” classroom you can even email the assignment for each group to the group’s iPad prior to the start of class.
For the more advanced, setting up a cooperative document on Pages or Google Docs can allow the entire class to interact via the iPads. If your not sure how to set up a collaborative Google Doc or Pages Document check out my how to videos on my Video Tips and Product review page. Your students do not need to stand up in front of the room and can present from their seats. This type of interaction can help students learn to overcome any inhibition they have about presenting in front of a class. This is also an outstanding forum for teaching students to give constructive criticism and taking critics from their classmates. This allows the criticism to be real time and gives a much more interactive vibe in the classroom. The iPad acts as a simple communication device within the classroom.
Finally, for the truly adventurous, you can easily used the iPad in a new role as a conduit for video responses. The incorporation of the camera allows you to unitize simple video applications for the recording videos. I favor an App called Flipgrid. Flipgrid allows you to present a video via a private group known as a “grid”. Once the question is posed the students answer the question with a ninety second video response. The students collaborate together in their group and create their ninety second response. Flipgrid allows the students to view their video prior to posting, and then allows the teacher to moderate the video before it becomes live on the group “grid”. This allows the teacher total control over what video content is posted to your “grid”. Once the video has been submitted the instructor can email responses back to the student seamlessly from within the App. Students can then view other students video within the App and comment and critic. This commenting and critiquing can be turned off if you’re not comfortable with the feature. The teacher can also turn off access to the web link attached to the videos so there is no need to worry that a student video will be linked through Twitter, Facebook, or Youtube.
The iPad has a lot to offer the average classroom. Jut because you don’t have one iPad for every student every day of the school year doesn’t have to stop you from take advantage of the amazing device.