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One classroom, one iPad - more ideas

It seems like just a few months ago that I penned my first post on this topic area.  In fact it is over six months and already there are more ideas for making the most of your one iPad in class.

One oversight in the first post was the absence of Plickers.  Wow! What an app!  If you are looking for a way to assess your learners in a way which gives you detailed feedback the Plickers is it.  I have written more about it here, but suffice to say, with some simple downloadable cards from the plickers website and the app on your iPad you can get a full breakdown of just what your students know (or, indeed, what they do not know) and thus plan the next steps in class accordingly.

Another app that at the time I knew nothing about but that I now use a few times a week is post-it plus.  This tool takes an already excellent classroom idea and builds on it in a way that only technology makes possible. Students give feedback or write their ideas on a post it note in the normal way.  Post-it plus allows you to capture these gems, annotate them if you wish, straighten them up, make them clearer and export in a number of formats including PDF and PowerPoint. You can also share the post its to a number of social media forums such as Pinterest.  Either approach allows you to give your students access to their classmates' ideas or to complete some assessment work with the class itself at the appropriate time.  In fact, once you have done some peer assessment and annotated the note you could then share the notes with the class.  I love its flexibility and I certainly appreciate not worrying about throwing the notes away at the end of a class as I know that I have kept the information for longer term use.   For more information do check out the website.

These are simple ideas that can help advance learning. In a similar vein just using your iPad to take a photo of a piece of work being completed in class so as to discuss ideas or to spot errors can allow you to push along the learning and allow your students to make greater progress.  If you are not able to mirror your iPad to a screen in your classroom you can quickly email the work and display it as a picture.  

Up to this point I have suggested ways forward that leave you firmly in charge of the iPad.  However, as mentioned before there is nothing to stop you letting your students use your iPad to create content in ways that are not possible without technology.  Whilst the class are preparing mindmaps on a grammar point, connectives or key terms in chemistry why not let one student (or perhaps a pair) do their mindmap on one of many easy to use mindmap tools.  There's PoppletMagicalpad, iMindMap HD and many more and all of these are also available on the internet too.  For more information on mindmaps look here. With any of these tools students can add photos of examples, or relevant objects or indeed links to further details on the Internet and add extra depth to their work.  Here's my yr 8 example on the perfect tense in French:

Mindmaps are not the only tools that give students the opportunity to redefine classroom tasks.  Look at posters or perhaps consider using a video making all such as Vidra. This tool is easy to use and means that students can focus on content as opposed to how their work looks. Writing out a summary about the Tolpuddle martyrs could be tackled rather differently with the chance to make an easy video with text, pictures and diagrams.

For modern languages using an avatar remains an important tool behind which students can hide and thus Yakit kids remains a firm favourite for me.  Recently year 8 have used it to create imaginary interviews with Justin Bieber.  They had fun and they really hammered the grammar point too!

I hope you have a go at using your iPad in class.  Yes it is an excellent management tool but it can give you so much more than that too.  How do you use yours? Let me know in the comment box below.


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