Being such a diverse group and having just the one iPad in the room, the day soon became a VERY personalized training. We brainstormed ways that each and every teacher could use the iPad, like:
- Using the camera mirrored to the projector as a document camera and to show student group work instantly.
- Using the slide show function with albums to show content specific images to activate prior knowledge, intro or conclude an activity
- Using Speak Selection text function for websites and iBooks for the emerging reader. (And, those teachers that lose their voices! Ha ha!)
- Using the Reader function to help with distractions on web pages.
- Navigating the App Store.
- The power in connecting with Twitter!
- And, apps that each teacher could utilize for whole group, small group, one on one instruction-
- Clock App
- Mental Case
- Educreations and ShowMe
- My Whiteboard
- Scribble Press and Creative Book Builder
- Voice Thread or PixNTell
- and more...
Teachers were also just given time to explore, network with each other, and share in an App Smack Down. The individual teacher could mirror to the projector through my computer and the Reflector Software. This was excellent practice for using that slick device in the classroom.
But, enough about the day...
Let me share my main message-
Utilize your iPad to solve problems. Start your implementation by addressing those areas that you want to better in your classroom. Go with the mentality that the iPad isn't being forced into your lesson. It is being utilized to compliment the great work that you are already doing, AND it can be an amazing problem solving tool in your toolbelt!
For example, do you want a more interactive way to solve math problems? Pass that bad boy around and let students use the app My Whiteboard and change colors as they work through the problem. Or, allow students to record the HOW behind their problem solving with an app like Educreations. Do you think this would bump up engagement?
Or, do your students struggle with some content vocabulary? Utilize the Mental Case app and have students record their voices and pictures after inserting the word and definition. THEN, jump start class with a quick review...using their voices!
Or, want an alternative assessment? Try out VoiceThread out!
Need to give your students (and yourself) a guideline on time? The clock app is there for use!
The list goes on.
While the teachers were exploring the apps, I heard some great conversations!
- "So, you know (insert student name)...this app is perfect for helping them with language support."
- "I just found this app for solving your cursive writing problem! Check it out."
- "Just found a way to bump up the engagement level on memorizing countries. This is definitely going in a station!"
- "What do you think about using this app for creating cartoon strips?"
Teachers were just diving in! They were critically examining their classroom, students, and needs. And, they were solving problems! I stressed the importance of taking the one iPad and making it a community iPad. Passing that device around is key!