So I know that I am a little late to the party; and many many teachers before me have raved about how an iPad has transformed their teaching. Regardless of how many times you may have heard it I am here to tell you that if you are still on the fence I would say jump off that fence and get one.
A few weeks ago I was talking to my administration about technology in the classroom and she mentioned that she had two iPads just sitting in the box just waiting for teachers to use them. When I got over my shock, horror, and surprise, I asked why. I was told that they were going to teachers that had no technology in their rooms yet. Being a “have” teacher (I have a smart board, document camera, laptop, projector and wireless) I did feel this was a fair distribution of resources.
However I still didn’t understand why these were not being used. I asked if I could take one home over the weekend and told her that I would set it up and get it going for the teacher down the hall then support her in using it.
After just 24 hours with it I was hooked! I went out and bought one for myself. Let me tell you it is amazing!
I am finally reducing my need for paper. No more need for plan books, filing cabinets and mark books. It is all done on my iPad!
I use an app called DocAs. It is not a free app but does have a trial version. With this app I take the Plan book template that I created to print in September and printed it to a PDF. Using Dropbox I open my weekly planning pages and write right on the page just like I would do if it were paper. I can rearrange the page order to reflect my weekly schedule and even add new pages. I now have a new file each week for my planner all saved in a file on DocAs. Really it is a PDF annotation app but it allows so much flexibility that I love it for my Plan book. I tried some specific planning apps but found that they just didn’t feel right or truly replace my paper Plan book. This app does that for me.
This program is fantastic. I can use the Remote Desktop of this program to control my smart board connected laptop from anywhere in the classroom. I can stand at the photocopier and get my welcome message set up at the same time. The whiteboard part of this app eliminated the need for a smart board. Your laptop is the board and you iPad controls it allowing you to write notes.
I just taught a lesson on area pulled up the flip chart paper on the app, picked the graph paper, drew a rectangle and write down the units. All of this was projected up for students as we talked about it. The controls do take some getting used to since many of us are not familiar with using our computers with a touch pad or at least I am not. However as I continue to us it I am sure that the possibilities will be outstanding.
Now this is no an app however I would encourage the developers to make one. It is a great an easy way to keep up my grade book. I can mark my students work and no more need for countless papers full of marks. This keeps track of it. It also prints out great little reports to send home with parents.