I always love heading back to my Alma Mater every end of October for the annual Fall Conference. It is always the best conference for technology educators across NYS. Presenting at the conference also gives me an opportunity to connect with teachers who are doing the same things that I am. I have some amazing colleagues, courtesy of the Apple Distinguished Educator program, but not many are Technology Educators. The folks that I speak with at Oswego are all working in the same area as me, teaching the same classes, and dealing with the same state ed issues that my school is.
Using iPads in my classroom is something that I am passionate about. The iPad is an amazing tool. But again, it is just a tool. I firmly believe that it has the power to transform education, but that can only happen if teachers are willing to take that chance and try the device. So my presentation at Oswego this year was for those teachers who are just looking at getting iPads, maybe they have one to try, or maybe are bringing their own device into their classroom. Either way, there are a couple of things that I think teachers in these situations should know.
This is a must. I mirror my iPad to my projector in my classroom every day. It is a simple action, accomplished through a variety of ways, but it is something that is an invaluable tool in my classroom and many others. Being able to mirror your iPad to your big screen makes is easy to share websites, lessons, presentations, drawings, photos, videos, and more!
Of the three ways to mirror your screen from the iPad, I recommend looking at the AppleTV and a program for your computer called Reflection. Both of these solutions will allow you to walk around your classroom and wirelessly mirror your iPad screen. Investing in an AppleTV is more than Reflection, but it does not require a computer, where as using Reflection requires that a computer is still connected to your projector or HDTV.
Presenting Class Content
There are two apps for my iPad that I use extensively when presenting information to my classes. Keynote Remote allows me to control and advance my Keynote presentations on my computer that are being projected to my class. The app allows me to see upcoming slides and builds, and read my notes on the slides. The app is a mere $0.99 and developed by Apple, so you know its a good solid product.
AirSketch is a $9.99 app developed by Grayson. This app creates an interactive whiteboard-like experience. You can project and annotate PDF documents and images from your iPad to any computer with a web browser. You annotate and project in real time. As you draw or annotate, it is projected to your audience.
Student engagement is important. Without engagement, is can be a challenge to lead your classes to the point you want them to be. Every teacher knows how an engaged student will explore, learn, and challenge themselves. As teachers, it is our job to make that possible whenever we can.
There is one app that I use that really gets my students juices flowing! iMovie for the iPad is a $4.99 app, developed by Apple, which works very much like its computer counterpart, iMovie. This app allows students to plank record, edit, and share an original homemade video all on a portable device. Which means that it can be done anywhere! Take your iPad on a field trip to the museum. Kids take photos, and record videos. Then they made a video from them on the bus on the way home.
The following example is a video made in iMovie entirely on the iPAd. It was created as a review tool, along with other videos, all about historical events or figures.
The idea of “flipping” the classroom is a new concept in education. It is a reverse teaching model where teachers record quick 5 minute videos for students to watch for homework. Students watch the video after school, and then spend the class time the following day working on an activity that demonstrates understanding of the new concept. This model allows for more teacher/student one on one time, and less direct lecturing in class.
There is a great free app for creating instructional videos and saving them on the web for students to access. ShowMe is a FREE app, developed by Easel, which allows you to record and share instructional videos all entirely on your iPad. Videos are then hosted on Showme.com for sharing and embedding on your school website. See my quick example below.
The iPad is a transformational tool for today’s educational system. I think that when we look back in 10 years, we are going to wonder why carried books, calculators, paper, laptops, pens, and agendas (to only mention a few), when we had this tool available.