12 Characteristics Of An iPad-Ready Classroom –

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Implementing iPads isn’t exactly a just-add-water proposition. While they’re wondrous little devices capable of enchanting learners for hours, to get the learning results you’re likely…

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iPad 1:1 Week 2 already? Saving trees with Skitch

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When a student began with ‘Remember in the old days when we didn’t have iPads…’ I knew that things were moving quickly. Just two weeks in and the device seems to have been here forever. I am tryi…

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iPad in the Classroom – Can we make it simpler?

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With many educational institutions choosing to use tablets for learning, it can be quite intimidating for teachers when faced with so many applications. The diagram below serves to illustrate that …

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3 Amazing iPad apps

As we become more familiar with the iPad and it’s full potential in our school, we are starting to produce some outstanding classroom resources.

Firstly, Explain Everything is a brilliant app for students and teachers alike. It allows users to discuss, describe, explain and evaluate various content including photos, text, websites. It has a simple interface and outputs as video. Below are two examples of how it can be used:

Secondly Videoscribe is an amazing app that allows you to create animation style presentations. It is easy to use and creates an impact with your audience in a few simple steps. Here is a built in clip bank of images and sounds and you can import images too. Students can use the app to present their findings on a topic, describe processes or extend their learning in many directions. Below are some simple examples:

Finally, Edmodo is a great app to engage students in a Facebook style environment. Students are safely and easily added to their teaching groups. They can interact with each other, specifically giving feedback on uploaded work, reflecting or setting targets. Teachers can set assignments, reminders add resources to a library and mark/assess online. This is a very powerful tool that has a iPad app and a web based application too. Here’s a quick overview, although you need to try it for yourself!

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Teachers or Facilitators? 10 Reasons Why Educators Should Step Out of the Way and Encourage Independent Learning

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10 Reasons Why Educators Should Step Out of the Way and Encourage Independent Learning http://t.co/pjcYhtIL #education

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iPad for Learning & Teaching Workshop

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Presentation slides for a hands-on workshop on using iPad for learning and teaching at the International Medical University (IMU) on the 9th January, 2013. It e

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What does the future hold for St John’s E-learning?

Before looking forward to what 2013 may bring, it is important to look at the progress we have made in 2012. In my opinion, there have been many improvements to the systems and infrastructure in place in our school, most of which goes unnoticed when things work. The VLE continues to be a well used resource and SAM Learning is continuing to grow from strength to strength.

However, the most visible change has been the introduction of iPads in school as both a teacher and student resource. The initial bank of bookable iPads has exceeded our expectations and staff are using this in many creative and engaging ways. Feedback from students is very positive in regards to the use of technology but more importantly the are aware of the positive impact on their learning.

Some of the apps used, including Explain Everything, allow students to approach tasks/activities in a way which challenges their deeper understanding of their learning. The iPads have been used well by all ability levels and some students are producing content and resources that they would not of had the confidence to attempt in another medium. The use of iPads will continue to grow this year and learning will evolve with it in our school. The number of apps at our disposal is ever growing but the most note worthy include: Phoster, Evernote, Explain Everything, Comic Life, Class Dojo, and Twitter.

Looking forward to 2013, we will add more iPads and apps to our school but the most valuable asset is that of our staff and students. As has been the case for the last few years, there will be many focused “Teaching & E-learning” workshops and Teachmeets. These have proved very successful in the past and have an important role to play in raising standards of sharing best practice too.

However, one of my main aims is to fully utilise the role of our student Digital Leaders. We always encourage student voice but the Digital Leader programme will allow students to take a more proactive role in aligning their and their peers learning where ICT is involved. It is my aim to have Digital Leaders to support their peers and staff in the roll out of new technologies, as they are the “digital native”.

I can’t finish this post without mentioning Twitter and the wealth of resources hat are at teachers disposal through building up a PLN. So many great ideas, shared views, and collaboration takes place and it is all for free! Great people to follow include @TeacherToolkit and his #5minlesonplan, @TotallyWired77 and @ICTEvangelist. Maybe you should consider setting up an account? See the image below from @teamtait for more on the reasons why.

There are many more exciting ventures planned for the year ahead, and as one of my work based resolutions is to blog weekly, there will certainly be more discussion on the progress of Digital Leaders and iPads. Also, this is only a snippet of the bigger picture that is developing in the school. It is great credit to the staff that they are embracing changes and rising to the challenges of new technologies.



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