iPads in the Classroom

posted Aug 14, 2011, 8:09 AM by Emily Kroutil   [ updated Mar 19, 2013, 4:13 PM ]

Ok, so at the risk of having everyone out there who does not have an iPad hate me, I’ll tell you: I have an iPad for my classroom that I purchased through a NSF grant affectionately called “OssaBEST”.  The grant aims to help teachers integrate technology in their classrooms and I received a $400 stipend last year to purchase technology.  Of course I purchased an iPad.

Here are a few of my favorite iPad apps for teaching:

  1. iWork (all 3):  Keynote, Numbers, and Pages are very intuitive on the iPad.  I actually prefer using the iPad versions to the desktop counterparts.  I’m enjoying them so much that its a rare occasion that I even open up Word or PowerPoint.
  2. Planbook Touch:  For more info on why I love this software, check out my Planbook Post.  Everyday I “fill out” my DBA (daily board agenda, something that is required in my district) using this app.
  3. AirSketch: This app allows you to wirelessly project any PDF file on your iPad to a computer hooked to a projector through the internet.  I convert PowerPoint presentations to PDF files, and it plays them like a slideshow.  Even better, I can annotate or switch to a blank slide throughout.  I can save these annotations or erase them.  It makes my iPad into what every ActivSlate wishes it could be!
  4. iDisk: This is part of MobileMe (look for a MobileMe post coming soon).  I upload every file for my classes to this “cloud” and can download them as I need to the iPad.  Even better, I can open the files directly into AirSketch
  5. Dropbox: it allows me to sync files between my desktop at home, school computer, iPhone, and iPad.  Its like iDisk, but a little easier.
  6. CourseNotes: I use this app to take notes at faculty meetings and during my education classes.  It allows me to keep track of all of those important faculty meeting notes without having to remember which pad of paper or scrap paper I took notes on during each meeting.

Other apps I use for teaching, though not daily are as follows (most are free):

  1. BrainPOP
  2. TED
  3. Discovery
  4. PBS
  5. VideoScience
  6. National Geographic Magazine
  7. Google Earth
  8. iCell
  9. Taxonomy
  10. Mitosis
  11. NASA
  12. The Elements
  13. Fluid
  14. Molecules
  15. 3D CellStain
  16. TeacherPal
  17. Evernote
  18. GroovyGrader
  19. Seafood Watch

Now if only Apple would create a way for me to mirror my iPad screen wirelessly….

[UPDATE: with the release of iOS 5 (sometime this fall), iPad2's will be able to mirror their screens wirelessly using an AppleTV.  Just hook the AppleTV to your projector using a VGA to HDMI cable and Ta-Da, iPad2 mirroring on the projector.]

[UPDATE March 2013: iOS 6 is alive and well and iPad wireless mirroring can be accomplished with an AppleTV (~$99), an internet connection, and AirPlay...see my Feb 2012 Blog Post for more information about this set-up]