Although I am not a classroom teacher, I teach technology integration in many of my professional development trainings. I'd really like to hear from you about how you are using the iPad in your classrooms.
What isn't working?
What are the big problems/concerns?
I have an iPad in my classroom. I LOVE it. I have been using it for quick research, accessing the powerpoint presentations I have on my website, I can show my lesson starter videos on my iPad, and I am experimenting with all kinds of fine art and educational apps. I have even used some of the "touch" games (Tesla Toy, Uzu) that use color to explain "abstract art". My students absolutely love Star Walk to see the constellations and APOD to see the NASA photo of the day. Also, 3D Brain is ultra cool. I have used "Talking Fred" to make announcements to remind kids to study for quizzes. "Fred" is ugly, but the high school kids listen to him, laugh, and get good grades on their quizzes!! LOL
Right now, I am trying to think of ideas for iPad to be used in group activities. We will be getting enough iPads for students to use too. I want to be able to do class lessons using the iPad soon.
I have just had my classroom iPad for a month, so I haven't had a chance to see it's full potential.
I will be anxious to see what other teachers say here.
The only problem is that the iPad does not have Flash and therefore will not support the Thinkfinity interactives. I know this first hand from experience. I am in your current Thinkfinity Trainer course. I've tried doing the interactives from the course lessons on the iPad but they will not work. Some of the "work arounds" that people have talked about only work for Flash videos not for Flash interactives. At least that has been my experience.
IMHO - Joanne C
I'm working with teachers in my school to help them make great use of iPads. One of my alltime favorite apps as of today is called GoodReader. It allows you to read and interact with PDF (as well as other file type) documents. It also helps you easily transfer files from your laptop/desktop to your iPad. We've loaded electronic versions of our textbook series so that teachers have access to their Teacher Editions and ancillary materials on the iPad. So cool. Am also exploring with lots of free apps. Would love to hear about apps that others are finding useful.
One of my big concerns about using the Ipad with Thinkfinity in the classroom is that it does not allow use of the interactives or videos because of the lack of Adobe flash player. Is there a way to get around this? Will Thinkfinity create an App so that these resources will be available on the Ipad?
There are so many new programs being developed as work arounds.
I think we are going to see more and more change in this area.
In my school the biggest problem is we received the iPads via a grant from Gear-Up. With the grant we got 24 iPads and one MacBook computer. Outside of my Music Department, its the only Mac in the school. Teacher don't know how to use it, nor do they feel like they have the time to learn. They have their PC's and they are happy to be blissfully ignorant to the workings of a Mac.
Honestly, I don't blame them. Teachers have enough to do in a day besides learn a new operating system, and just having one computer makes it hard to fight over to learn outside of the building. I am getting ready to put on a professional development seminar in my building explaining how to easily find apps-without the MacBook; and how teachers can utilize these Apps without have to do much in the process. I'll link the video that is on my county's Community. It won't be fully helpful, but maybe it can shed some extra insight to how simple finding the perfect app can be.
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Nice presentation - well done Fortunately, the teachers don't really need to interact with the Mac computer other than to use iTunes to add apps to the iPads, and it sounds like you have that covered by personnel in the media center.
Here are a couple of other sources for app information that you may or may not know about...
Good luck with your project and feel free to let us know how it goes!!
Verizon Thinkfinity Community Host
My school is looking to purchase some type of tablet device whether it is a Samsung galaxy, Motorola xoom, or Apple iPad, still to be decided. We are curious on how they are actually being used in classroom setting if your actually using these devices. Our questions are:
How are you using iPads (or similar device) to support small group instruction?
How are you using iPads (or similar device) for data collection?
How are iPads (or similar device) influencing the way you bring Thinkfinity resources to students?
Thanks everyone look forward to hearing from you all.
The iSwifter app allows you to play Flash video AND Thinkfinity Flash interactives on the iPad. It runs a little slow but it is a step in the right direction.
Download through the App Store.
I've just been experimenting with iSwifter. Its very interesting. It definately runs slow and I couldn't get it to work on either of the Arts Edge interactives that I tried. However, I did just play an rousing game of concentration and it worked fine.
I think this is the best work around I've seen so far but I'd test out any interactive I'm thinking of demonstrating before planning to include it in a training.
Thanks for sharing this app. I think it's going to have a lot of value.
I discovered this article while browsing in the Community - A day in the life of the iPad Classroom. Perhaps the iPad classroom is closer than we think?
Don't forget to search the Community, in addition to Thinkfinity.org, for great resources from our colleagues.
Although I am not an ipad user currently, I ran across an interesting slideshow by Tom Barrett that provides 56 Interesting Ways to Use an Ipad in the Classroom (and tips). For teachers who are ipad users, perhaps some of his suggestions will be helpful.
Thanks for sharing this resource.
I just read a recent article in eSchool News about student engagement and increases in test scores:
It is early in the implementation stages and I would love to read specific research addressing this topic in a longitudinal study. The engagement factor is critical for certain students. I'm hoping that the iPad continues to engage students beyond the initial stages of being a new technology.
I just have to share this with all of you. Recently, I got a "Thinkfinity" grant. I created a lesson plan to coincide with a Thinkfinity lesson in their database. My lesson has to do with the study of astronomy. Specifically, I am teaching the kids about constellations and Greek/Roman myths. I am using the Star Walk app on the iPads to help the kids learn about the constellations and having them research the myths. Ultimately, the kids will create their own constellation and write their own myth. Their constellation will be painted on our space mural and their myth will be put into our student created, "Space Mural Guide to the Stars" book.
Anyway, I work with special ed kids K-12. Behavior disorders are one reason these students have been placed at my school. WELL, let me tell you. I have used the iPad all year now. When we started this particular project, even I was amazed at the response. These kids LOVE this. The combination of telling them about Greek mythology and then letting them find the constellations using the iPad has turned out to be such a huge success. Even the most challenged kids want to "take notes" as they research using the iPads and Star Walk app.
This is such a grand finale to our school year.
I really don't need to read the research about student engagement. I am LIVING IT!!
Hooray for that!!
P.S. Thank goodness for THINKFINITY too! Without this grant money to do our project, it would not have happened.
Thanks for sharing your wonderful success story working with ipads to teach special ed students K-12 about mythology and the constellations. If you think they might like further study of space exploration, you may want to check out some great resources in the discussion thread Are Your Children Fascinated with Outer Space?
It's always rewarding to see your students engaged in learning. Keep up the good work!
I used the Verizon lesson plan as a starting point. Since I am an art teacher and tend to want to be creative, I made my own lesson using the Verizon lesson as a idea starter. I am at home now and I don't have my Verizon folder here. I know the lesson was called something like "Let's See the Stars" (or something like that).
Regardless, the project is coming out better than I expected. The kids have learned about the constellations (Many didn't even know what a constellation was!). We have learned about the greek myths surrounding the constellations. The "STAR WALK" iPad app we used curled the toes of even my most challenging students.
The art students have created their own constellation images and myths. These constellations are being painted (with glow in the dark paint) on our Rocket Room wall mural.
It is too cool for school. Just to give you a hint. When the kids go and look at their work on the Rocket Room mural, they love it. However, when I turn the lights off and tell them to look at the constellation they made, I hear gasps. Seriously.
I am not sure I will be able to document ALL of this. I have started to create a "Guide to the Stars" book using the student created constellations which will be used as a reference in our Rocket Room. I don't know if I can photograph the results so well due to the glow in the dark aspect.
However, I will be very willing to share the other stuff (our guide to the stars and general pics of the project)
We will be finishing up in the next week or so. I can upload photos to my web host and you can see it all.
Just this week I attended a presentation on iPads in the elementary classrooms. It is a 1:1 initiative by a tiny Texas school-Memphis ISD. They are doing absolutely amazing things with their students and the devices.
Their website is
They are anxious to share their experiences and are a demonstration site for Apple. You can contact their technology department or elementary principal for more information.
I just read an article from eSchool News about "Seven ways to make the iPad better for education."
Here's a brief summary:
After you read the article and consider these points, please share your views on ways to make iPad better for education.
Has anyone seen the PowerPoint prepared by Mke Amante titled Creative Uses for iPad in the Classroom? It offers suggestions for apps and examples of using them in the classroom. The presentation includes some QR codes that you can scan to get the lists of apps that Mike Amante recommends.
For those who would like to view the presentation in PDF format, I have attached the file in this reply. Please share what you think about the ideas presented in this PowerPoint. Do you have other suggestions for ways to use iPads in the classroom? How did this presentation inspire your thinking?