A Teacher Gets the Most Out of an iPad in Her Classroom

In this Inside Higher Ed article, Stephanie Hedge describes how she uses her iPad in her teaching. “Tablets hit the sweet spot between a computer and a piece of paper,” she says. “Tablets are mobile. Not only are they easy to bring to the classroom, they’re extremely mobile within it. I can carry my lesson plan around as I move between discussion groups, lecture from notes anywhere in the room, and refer to course readings held in one hand. Tablets remove the barrier of the screen between my students and me.” She lists other advantages:

• Saving paper by keeping grading forms, attendance sheets, lesson plans, course readings, digital textbook passages, and notes on the tablet.

• Tweeting her students during class and engaging the whole class in impromptu Twitter exchanges.

• Being able to grade papers, give handwritten or typed feedback to students, and jot ideas on a bus or subway ride.

• Using streaming video and projecting images during classes.

• Using clickers and polling technology to check for understanding and spark discussions. 

“Key to successfully using tablets is the right accessories, hardware, and apps,” says Hedge. She recommends the following:

  • A Bluetooth-enabled keyboard and a stylus;
  • A peripheral that links the tablet to a projector;
  • Dropbox for easy transfer of files between the tablet and other devices;
  • Notability, which allows the teacher to type, handwrite (with a stylus), highlight and annotate another document, import documents, webclips, and photos, use sticky notes, draw figures, take photos, and record audio files;
  • Pages for word processing, or Textilus for Microsoft Office documents. 
  • Paperless Teacher and TeacherKit for grading; 
  • Teacher’s Assistant Pro for tracking student behavior;
  • Air Sketch for whiteboard projection; it allows the teacher to sketch the answer to a complex math problem on each student’s device while walking around the classroom. 
  • For clicker questions, eClicker turns the iPad into a polling tool, sending a signal to all Wi-Fi-enabled devices in the room.

“Teaching with Tablets” by Stephanie Hedge in Inside Higher Ed, Nov. 4, 2012 (spotted in Education Digest, February 2013); the full article is available at 

http://www.insidehighered.com/blogs/gradhacker/teaching-tablets 

From the Marshall Memo #470

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