Teacher Talk: To Tablet or not to Tablet?

I recently went to a training for my district for using Ipads in the classroom. Come January, we will be one-to-one Ipads, all day, e’rryday. I’m psyched because my kids will actually have a way to compose something in class on a piece of technology. I don’t ask for much. But in these trainings, the tension was thick! Many teachers think it’s a waste of money. Many see them being more of a distraction than a learning tool. Many do not believe that changing the form in which you drive instruction will make a difference. And there are just as many who disagree.

I’m not sure what camp I’m in, but I know from experience in my classroom that if we’ve got a screen then the kids don’t have to stare at me—and we’re all a bit happier for that.

It’s not easy to be beautiful at 6 a.m.

Useful Education Apps for Ipads

Our training focused on Apps like Socrative, where you are embedding engagement activities like quizzes or brainstorming into your presentation and the app grades the formative quizzes for you and arranges the data. Pretty cool.

Another app, Storehouse, is an easy way to create photo-journalistic pieces in a well-designed format. Much easier than blog-posting, with better aesthetics.

Nearpod is a better form of Powerpoint that embeds quizzes, lets you share pdfs, launch websites—basically everything you would be doing on your computer or device happens on your students’ devices. And they can take notes over everything. It’s pretty great, especially when you are working through problems in math/science.

I think a key point here is to get creative and resourceful with how you implement Ipads in your room. Check out the Ipad Archives of the blog TeachThought for a steady stream of ideas and resources.

If you want to read in-depth about the complexity of a techno-overhaul, read Edweek’s article about Los Angeles Unified’s Ipad implementation.

So, teachers, my question to you is: What are your thoughts about Ipads in the classroom? Do you use them? Do you have a love/hate relationship? Sound off! 

Comment below or via facebook at the Those Who Can Teach Blog Facebook Page!

-S

(feature image found on http://dedwards.me/2012/05/23/the-ipad-and-the-teacher/). 

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3 comments

  1. I have been in a district with the one on one initiative for 6 years. As a history teacher it is a great tool. So much at their fingertips to use as primary source archives etc… You always have the knucklehead that uses it as a toy, but good classroom management can eliminate that. Second, ask your admin/tech departments for a program called dyknow. You can see your entire class at anytime, take over their computer, or shut it off. As i am leaving the teacher ranks and becoming an admin guy this year I will always push for technology in the classroom. What career can our future have that does not involve a huge dose of technology?Teach them to use it as a tool, complement it with old school reading and writing…and the future looks bright!

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