iPad Apps for Teaching Success

By Brantley, Barry | Techniques, February 2013 | Go to article overview

iPad Apps for Teaching Success


Brantley, Barry, Techniques


I WILL BE THE FIRST TO ADMIT I AM A LITTLE BIT OF A NERD.

When it comes to technology. I enjoy playing with the new devices. I resisted the transition from Windows-based devices to the Apple iOS system because I have years of files that I refer to often and didn't want to lose my ability to access them. However, once I purchased an iPad and started using it regularly, I realized my fears were unfounded. I haven't found a file yet that I cannot open on my device.

The biggest reason for mc to adopt the iPad device is speed. I have measured the time it takes to open my desktop and iPad programs for email and web browsing, and I can save a minimum of 45 minutes per day just in these key functions when I use the iPad. And as teachers, we need every minute we can squeeze out of the day.

Research and our experience have shown that our students are learning differently from prior generations. They embrace technology freely rather than fearing it or viewing it with suspicion. With this in mind, it is essential that we learn and use as many of the technological teaching tools available to engage and teach our students.

iPad apps are multifunctional. For purposes of this article though, we will focus on some of the iPad apps that have proven to be efficient and effective classroom tools for me and my students. You can use iPad apps for project-based learning, social media and gamification, to name a few. If you haven't already, consider using apps for scavenger hunts (think QR code quests), news reports, Instagram bulletin boards. podcasts and commercials.

Where the Apps Are

In researching apps available for teachers, Edudemic (www.edudemic.com), PC Magazine (www.pcmag.com) and Tap! (www.tapmag.co.uk) arc my preferred resources for discovering the new apps. Edudemic in particular is chock hill of ideas each month with some of the best-rated apps.

iTunes U (www.apple.com/education/itunes-u) is another resource for teacher-related apps. I am amazed at the diverse resources available through the site. It is my virtual library of apps by function, samples of best practices and links to peer instructors of similar content. As a lifelong learner, this library is exciting becuase it is a living, well-organized, fresh collection of innovative and relevant materials.

How I Do It

When researching teaching apps, I focus primarily on three areas:

1. Teaching organization

2. Student engagement

3. Student assessment

Teaching Organization

My favoritc app for teaching organization is &e mote www.evernote.com). It is an easy to use, highly rated app that functions as a virtual file storage system. Unlike other apps, Evernote allows you to search your files and folders, which proves to be a a huge timesaver. it easily allows you to store and access Microsoft Office files, PDFs and image files. It works well across multiple platforms of desktops, smartphones and tablets.

In order to create, open and edit existing Microsoft Office files, I have found QuickOffice Pro (www. …

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