Sunday, February 3, 2013

Edtech and iPads

I had a pretty long blog post about using iPads in my day to day teaching life. This isn't that post. The Blogger app has problems, and it decided not to save my post. Hence the angry rewrite. I'll try and recreate the magic I had earlier.

I am well on my way to converting fully to the iPad for my daily classroom tasks. I still use a pen and paper for marking, because that is how I started this year and I don't feel the urge to digitize everything. Occasionally, a pen and paper is more convenient for other things too (quick notes), but I have largely switched over to Apple's little device. I figured I would list a few of the ways that I use it n the classroom.

Notes/reminders/calendar - I'll get the vanilla apps out of the way first. I have tried other versions of all of these apps (some paid), but for my average day as a teacher I only need the functionality that these three provide. I use the Notes app for writing up long form reminders and for some anecdotal notes. I use Reminders to lay out my ever-changing to-do lists. And I use the Calendar app to schedule meetings and important dates.

Class Dojo - this app is a functional representation of the website. It doesn't have any bells or whistles, but it is solid. I love having the website open on my pc and the volume turned up while I walk around the room with my iPad in hand. I will often give points for students working on task, helping others, taking initiative, etc. Students hear the bell that alerts them to a new point, and they immediately (most of them) start to correct any problematic behaviour. It isn't foolproof, but what is.

Edmodo - I don't use this often IN my class, but rather I love the ease of use and fingertip access when I am not in the classroom. I post all of my homework on Edmodo, and I always check my account at night in case any students have pertinent questions.

Teacherkit - I use this free app to take attendance and make on-the-fly behaviour notes. It offers more functionality than that, though. There are a wide variety of these sorts of apps, but I like the intuitive and quick nature of the program.

Anyway, that's about it for tonight. I had a wonderful post written up (walla, I swear) but it is lost to the ether now.

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