iPad in my classroom

Idea 1: Evernote.

The students at Montclair Kimberly Academy use Evernote to take notes in class and to do their homework. Teachers then comment on their work directly on Evernote. This allows the teacher to provide immediate feedback and to readily access student work whether for grading or showing parents during a parent-teacher conference.

What I propose for our use at Packer is to introduce students to Evernote on their computers and have them use it in every class. All of their work could be organized into folders in Evernote. Then for at least two weeks, have them use Evernote on the iPad. They would take the iPad with them to all of their classes for those 2 weeks. Students could type or use a stylus to write and draw diagrams. A drawing app would be necessary in addition to Evernote. Using the iPad would allow students to draw images and add them directly to their notes. Students could also hand in homework and pick up worksheets by simply tapping their iPad to the teacher’s iPad using the app. Taking notes on the iPad may improve students’ focus because they are only being asked to or allowed to concentrate on one thing, i.e. you can’t have email and Evernote open at the same time on an iPad.

Idea 2: Science Labs.

We do experiments about every other week in seventh grade science. An iPad would be a useful tool in the science lab. It would be easier for students to take video of their experiments and take photos of the organisms or preserved body parts using the camera in the iPad. Just in class today, a student dropped their sheep brain onto their laptop keyboard which is much more difficult to clean up then wiping off an iPad. Prepping the students for dissections using the virtual dissection app would help students feel prepared for the lab and would help them become familiar with the anatomy.

Idea 3: Science textbooks.
Digital textbooks are just beginning to be developed, so this idea is not ready to be tried out in the classroom unless you are teaching ecology–E.O. Wilson created a small textbook that exemplifies the potential of digital textbooks. However, I do think this way of presenting information could be revolutionary with the integration of visual and interactive diagrams.

Idea 4: More ideas, but what app?

As we move towards project-based learning with the strategic plan and taking our classrooms outside the classroom, what app would help my students collect data out in the field? (Numbers app?) They could use the camera to capture images and video things in motion, but what about connecting to probes or making charts from the collected measurements?

The iPad would be a great tool to use out on a field trip since it is so light, durable, and versatile. I wonder if there is an attachment to make it a field microscope?

Or how about using the iPad to create 3-D models of the eye that are anatomically correct?bWhat app would I use?

Re: Is class working for you?

On my way home I was thinking about the question posed at the end of class regarding the structure/activities of our TALL Tuesday class.  I think it’s hard to reach the needs and interests of such a large group of teachers that teach different subjects and age levels. So here’s my suggestion… What if we posted on the blog what new topics or Apps we’d like to discuss a week or two prior to our next meeting? The next meeting could be used to go over some of the ideas or issues listed.

Trying out the blog

This entry was written a long time ago…just wanted to see how to use this blog.

Reflection: day 1
My first concern is that I may not get enough sleep tonight because of the novelty of using an iPad. There are so many amazing things about this technology! When I look at my students’ digital science journal, the experience is completely transformed on the iPad. The interface of google sites was made for this. There is an intimacy and ease that is absent when using the laptop on these sites. I’m excited to grade their next lab entry using this iPad.
Questions: Is there an application that would enhance the skills my students are learning in 7th grade science, such as making detailed drawings of their microscope observations, collecting data for experiments, analyzing their findings and their peers’ conclusions, collaborating on designing experiments, and showing the process of designing and conducting an experiment for their science fair project. Are there apps that would enhance my students’ understanding of the content? Are there apps or ways of using the iPad that would facilitate my assessment of their understanding and skills? And provide more immediate feedback on their work?
In addition, how could this technology be used to address student needs? For example, are there benefits to having access to an iPad for students with visual impairments?
Final thought…can this technology foster a learning experience for 7th graders that is more creative, collaborative, and focused on critical thinking?

Later that evening…
It startled me when I opened the iCal app and my calendar was already up to date. The app had collected data from the iCloud and distributed it to the appropriate places before I had already thought of it. It was unnerving at first until I realized how it had been faster and smarter than me. I am the one in control, right?