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dec2011-iste-article-about-using-iPads-in-small-numbers-qxrko7

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									By Kristin Redington Bennett




               Less Than a Class Set




                Just a few iPads in a classroom can support and
         enhance learning and facilitate individualized instruction.




                                         December/January 2011–12 | Learning & Leading with Technology 1
O
              ne of my preservice teachers took iPads into     Educators who aren’t well versed in mobile technology
              her second grade class for the first time this   should not shy away from the iPad. It is so intuitive that
              year expecting to revolutionize her math         even kindergarten students need little or no instruction
              instruction. As part of her coursework in my     on how to manipulate the device. With innovative
elementary math methods course, she wrote lesson plans         instructional design, iPads can work especially well with
that used the iPad to support her teaching of money            inquiry- or problem-based learning modules. By creating
(pennies, nickels, dimes). She wanted to use the device to     app folders with a variety of content and creativity
help her students interact with the content in motivating,     resources, students can use the iPad to answer questions
authentic, and effective ways. She chose the iPad over the     and build knowledge.
school’s laptops because the device is more portable, can
                                                               Big Results from a Few iPads
be customized, and is alluring for kinaesthetic learners,
making it a natural fit for elementary students.               Building on previous experience using handheld mobile
                                                               technologies in K–12 classrooms, 17 preservice teachers
At semester’s end, her biggest accomplishment might
                                                               in the elementary education program at Wake Forest
have been this: She handed one iPad to a young boy who
                                                               University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, USA,
every morning caused a commotion in the reading centre
                                                               introduced 10 iPads in their student-teaching classrooms
before the instructional day started. She showed him how
                                                               at several area schools. Each student teacher could use
to download books he might like. From then on, he read
                                                               five iPads at a time. The only coursework requirement
with focus and concentration for at least 20 minutes each
                                                               was that, as part of their mathematics instructional unit,
morning—something she had yet to see him do in his
                                                               they were asked to use the Technological, Pedagogical,
previous six weeks in the classroom.
                                                               and Content Knowledge (TPACK) framework to create at
The iPad holds amazing potential for classroom use.            least one lesson that included the use of an iPad to
Unfortunately, it also can cost more than $500 when you        support their learning objectives. Many student teachers
factor in 3G access and a budget for apps. But don’t           took advantage of the opportunity to have iPads in their
dismiss the iPad because you think you can’t afford a          classrooms and voluntarily created lessons in other
classroom set. Just a few—or even only one—is enough to        subject areas too.
get results.
                                                               Both the student teachers and I worried that the limited
Having a class set promotes traditional, whole-class           number of iPads would hinder the effectiveness of the
instruction, but fewer iPads facilitate individualized and     lessons. We found, however, that fewer iPads required
tailored instruction.                                          innovative thinking in terms of instructional design, and
                                                               that resulted in excellent ways to differentiate instruction.
Assessing the Potential
                                                               We discovered several ways to put a few iPads to use in a
Start with the idea that iPads are like personal electronic    classroom:
whiteboards. They can deliver content in an interactive
                                                               Centres
way, but on a one-to-one level. They offer easy access to
the web, just like a laptop, but the apps work as              Put the iPad on par with other interactive media, such as
instructional modules, so you’re getting access to the         a whiteboard, a desktop computer, and an iPod touch. Set
internet, plus a multitude of activities. Moreover, iPads      up a similar task with an identical goal across all the
are less of a hassle for your IT department because the        platforms, such as a Google Earth scavenger hunt
apps are updated automatically across devices. You don’t       exercise, and note how students progress differently at
have to download a new software version and then               each centre. Include scaffolded instructions and a definite
coordinate updates for all of the laptops that share your      endpoint (such as the address for the school, if that’s
site license.                                                  what they must find on Google Earth), so the students
                                                               know what they’re looking for and can find it without
The interactive aspect of the iPad appeals to the
                                                               teacher intervention.
kinaesthetic learner because the apps motivate students
to manipulate the content. The device also cuts down on        Partners and trios
the disruptions that group learning with the whiteboard
                                                               Give the group a math task, assign each member a role
can create as students call out answers in chorus.
                                                               (one student reminds teammates to stay on task, and
                                                               another records the group’s findings, for instance), and

                                                                 December/January 2011–12 | Learning & Leading with Technology 2
set the timer on the iPad’s clock app to limit each            Data to Off. Similarly, turn off Wi-Fi from the home screen
student’s time with the device. Use apps, such as Doodle-      by going to Settings > Wi-Fi and set Wi-Fi to Off. Most
Buddy, as a small-group whiteboard, where students can         apps function offline, so you can still get a lot of
answer specific questions with a visual representation and     instructional value even if your students can’t go online.
then save it to the iPad’s photo album for later review.
                                                               Think outside the app
Teacher only
                                                               The Apple App Store has thousands of apps for download.
Eliminate the need for a projector in your classroom by        But many are focused on lower-level thinking skills.
using the iPad as a digital display for instruction. The       Therefore, use apps that are not content specific to
teacher can hold the iPad while circulating around the         supplement apps that require problem solving and
room, or students can pass it to each other (invest in a       creative thinking. If you are teaching place values in math,
sturdy case to reduce impact if dropped). One of my            use a drawing app as a whiteboard and ask students to
student teachers gathered photos from around the school        indicate a number in three ways: writing the word, putting
and the internet and flipped through them as she               the correct number of shapes in the correct columns, and
described her lesson about geometric shapes found both         writing the number. The student would then save the
in the school and in nature. Another used it as a digital      answers to the camera roll, so the teacher could check it
book, because she couldn’t find the book she wanted in         later. In teaching geometry, you could use an app for
the library. Others used the iPad for formative data           drawing shapes and download books about shapes.
collection (using Google’s spreadsheet app) by creating
                                                               Engaging Students One on One
attendance sheets and easily accessible parent contact
lists.                                                         After using iPads for a semester in elementary-level
                                                               classrooms, my preservice teachers found they could
Lessons Learned
                                                               design meaningful and engaging lesson plans around just
Although each approach to using a limited number of            a few iPads and could often solve the toughest of student
iPads in a classroom has its own challenges and                problems with just one device.
opportunities, the lessons we learned often applied to all
                                                               So, though the headlines ring out with reports of entire K–
situations.
                                                               12 classrooms - or even whole student bodies - getting
Provide specific rules and self-navigated instructions         iPads, you can make a difference with just one. Treat your
Create an instruction card that explains how to use the        limited number of iPads as a chance to engage each
iPad (for instance, “If you close out of the app, press the    student.
main button to find it again”) and the rules for using the     Resources
device (for example, “Only one set of fingers on the iPad      App lists: www.kindergarten.com
at a time”).
                                                               Apple Distinguished Educators: http://sites.google.com/site/
Organize your apps                                             touchdownstory

Have all the apps you want your students to use on the         Apptivities: http://apptivities.org
first page or within a folder on the main screen, especially   Education Apps Review: www.iEAR.org
if it’s an unattended centre. Fingers slip; apps close. You    iPad & iPod User Group Wiki: http://wiki.canby.k12.or.us/
want your students to be able to restart their assignments
                                                               groups/ipodusergroup
on their own.
                                                               iPads and Mobile Media in Education: http://tiny.cc/ipadjulener
Turn off 3G.
                                                               Lesson plans: www.kbennett.net/WFU_Mobile_Learning_Lesson_
Use only your school’s Wi-Fi to access the internet, and       Repository/Home.html (available April 2011)
even then, make sure your iPad goes through the firewall       Teaching with handhelds: www.kbennett.net/WFU/Handheld_
to get online. Explain this to your administrator, who will
                                                               Resources.html
have concerns about students accidentally gaining access
                                                               Technological, Pedagogical, and Content Knowledge: www.tpck.org
to something they shouldn’t see. And be prepared to turn
off internet access altogether if you can’t convince your
administrator that it’s secure. To disable 3G, from the
home screen, choose Settings > Cellular and set Cellular

                                                                   December/January 2011–12 | Learning & Leading with Technology 3
                                                CLASSROOM


                                 Here are some of our favourite educational apps:

Curriculum                  Science                           Pages                             Simplenote

Art/Music                       Molecules (free)             Photo Frames                      Wikipanion

   Band                        Star Walk                    Photogene                         World Countries ALL-
                                                                                                   IN-ONE (free)
   Le Louvre               Social Studies                    Puppet Pals (free)

   Virtuoso Piano Free         Constitution                 Qvik Sketch

Language Arts                   Google Earth                 StoryKit (free)
                                                                                                             Kristin
   SAT Vocab Challenge         Google Maps                  Strip Designer
                                                                                                             Redington
    (free)
                                Historical MapBlarij      Reference                                         Bennett, PhD, is
                                                                                                             an assistant
   Spel it Rite (free)          Lite (free)
                                                              2Do Lite                                      professor of
   Word Warp (free)            Today in History Lite                                                       education at
                                                              3D Brain
                                 (free)                                                      Wake Forest University in
Math
                                                              aNotes                        Winston-Salem, North Carolina,
                            Special Education
   ArithmeTick                                                                              USA. For the past five years, she
                                                              Art Lite (free)               has been preparing elementary
                                Proloquo2Go
   Brainz                                                                                   preservice teachers to use
                                                              BBC News
                                Wheels on the Bus                                           mobile technology in the
   Cloud Math Free
                                                              BrainPOP Featured             classroom.
                            Productivity/Creativity
   Coin Flip                                                   Movie
                                Adobe Ideas (free)
   Coin Math (free)                                          Cool Facts (free)
                                Adobe Photoshop
   iMaths                                                    Dictionary!
                                 ExpressDraw 4 Free
   Kids Math                                                 Dragon Dictation
                                Colors! Lite
   KidsMathFun                                               EarthObserver (free)
                                Comic Touch Lite
   Mad Math Lite                                             ENG-LAT
                                Corkulous
   Math Cards                                                Facts (free)
                                DoodleBuddy
   Math Drills Lite                                          Google Earth
                                Draw 4 Free
   MathKingdom                                               GoSkyWatch
                                Filterstorm
                                                                Planetarium
   Math Magic
                                Google Docs                    History:Maps
   Math Step123
                                iDoodle2 lite (free)         National Gallery,
   Multiplication Genius                                       London
                                iThoughts
   Number Line (free)                                        National Geographic
                                iWorks
   PopMath                                                   NPR
                                Keynote
                                                              On This Day
                                Kid Animation (free)
                                                              Planets
                                Magic Drawing Pad
                                                              Presidents
                               Numbers

                                                              December/January 2011–12 | Learning & Leading with Technology 4

								
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