The biggest impact I see the iPad having in the classroom is with student
motivation. I have brought it to my class a few times already and the kids are so exited to
use it. I can also see how the iPad can be used for remedial work where students do more
drill and practice apps or review of material, and because they are so excited to use the
technology they are more willing to do the work. I don’t know that I will see student
grades improve drastically, but if I can increase their motivation and excitement toward
education that is also a huge gain.
In my personal life I use the iPad for entertainment. My husband and I play
games both together and independently. I also use it for recipes. I am not a good cook,
so I have spent many hours searching for recipes that are nutritional, easy and that I can
eat. In my professional life the possibilities are endless. I have already allowed my
students to blog from my iPad so they can begin to see how technology is not limited to
one type of device. As I stated previously, I can’t wait to begin using the apps I have
found with my students, and for them to share their favorites with me. I am actually
frustrated that some of my units are in spring because I want to use those apps now. I
have also used the iPad during a professional development seminar recently. I was able to
take notes using Google docs, but also access the speaker’s website, e-mail and
PowerPoint slides, which helped keep me engaged in his presentation.
There were quite a few apps from the class presentations that I found interesting.
One was the science glossary. I have quite a few ELL students who struggle with
vocabulary. If they had an iPad it would be a great resource for them when they get
stuck. Often they don’t to their work because they don’t understand the vocabulary, but
are afraid to ask for help. This would give them a little more empowerment. Another
app that I found to be applicable was the book trailers. I teach one class of reading and
I’m always looking for ways to engage my students. By watching the videos it would
expose them to different authors and genres, and then they could practice their skills by
creating a trailer of their own. The final app that would be useful in my class was the
Howto app. I teach a unit on models and designs and the biggest questions I get are how
does this work or how can I do this. This app would be a great one for me to have the
students look at in small groups and then report their findings back out to the class.
The app I shared was Green Planet 4 Kids. I loved this app because the
environmental science unit that I teach is very content intensive and students often get
bogged down by the amount of information. This app covers every topic that is in my
curriculum map, but uses more of a graphic novel approach to the content. It is broken
into 7 different environmental categories like Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Water, Electricity,
etc. Students can now discover the information in a very user friendly way, instead of me
lecturing and them taking notes.