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Nine Great Tips for iPad Integration

EducationWorld is pleased to present this article, which originally appeared in TechEdge, a quarterly magazine for Texas Computer Education Association (TCEA) members. To join or for more information, visit www.tcea.org.

Four innovative Texas educators received five iPads each as part of the TCEA/Association of Texas Professional Educators' “Let’s Get Mobile” grant. Recipients included:

Victor Cantu, a fifth-grade teacher at Trevino Elementary in Edinburg ISD, is using the iPads to assist his students in a project that teaches the students to identify birds and then share the data they collect throughout the year. He is using different apps that will help document the sighting, and then uses Keynote to create presentations to share their knowledge.

Pamela Simmons-Brooks, an eighth grade teacher at Sloan Creek Middle School in Lovejoy ISD, is using the iPads to do virtual dissections, build and test roller coasters, and even build a tree house.

Terra Farmer, a high school teacher at Alpine High School in Alpine ISD, is using the iPads in Anatomy and Physiology classes to build resources that will help her students in AP Biology and Anatomy.

Pamela Kerl, a kindergarten teacher at Donald Elementary School in Lewisville ISD, is using the iPads to access apps that provide engagement and learning opportunities for her students. She uses Educreations, Buzzle, ABA-Which Go Together, and Sticker Sudoku to increase the logical reasoning of her students.

ipad integrationNow that these remarkable teachers have had time to integrate the devices into their classrooms, we wanted to know what lessons they have learned and what tips they may have for other educators using iPads in the classroom. Here's their helpful advice for other teachers:

  1. Take a hike. Don’t be afraid to take those iPads on a scavenger hunt. The device can capture images and be used as on-the-spot reference, too.
  2. Focus on apps for creation like iMovie and GarageBand. Students will develop higher-order thinking skills while they exercise their own creativity.
  3. If you aren’t a 1:1 classroom, have students set up their own system for sharing the devices amongst themselves.
  4. Try the free Educations Interactive Whiteboard app for sharing knowledge and conclusions. Then, post the presentations on your class Web site or wiki.
  5. Have groups of students “test drive” new apps and report on their usability and functionality.
  6. With the right apps, your iPad can be used as nearly anything from a protractor to a soundboard. Apps exist for nearly every tool out there; see how you can transform your toolbox.
  7. Give your students time to explore apps individually, with a partner, or in small groups. This is definitely a way to use collaboration in your classroom, since some of your students may already know more than you do about iPads.
  8. Use free apps as much as possible, at least at first. There are so many places to look for them. Start with smartappsforkids.com and TCEA at www.tcea.org/ipad.
  9. Jump in with both feet. Consider how the iPad can streamline your day. Use it for capturing student responses, collating data, and organizing lessons. This one device can make a big difference in your classroom.

 

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