November 14, 2010

I have an iPad. Now what?

I'm using this iPad in two very different capacities, reflecting the two roles I play everyday- as dean and as teacher. The ipad has come in handy in both roles and has me curious as to what else we can do with these things.

As a dean, it has helped primarily with the speed and effeciency I receive and respond to student occurrences. Before, I would receive the email on my phone and have to hope to find a computer to load up the occurrence and then respond. Now all of that is happening in one place, and whether I am on the move or in a classroom, I can immediately know what is going on, and respond accordingly.

Also, it has helped me continue to develop relationships with the students down in the lunchroom and in my office. Besides being able to play the "you want to play with the shiny new toy?" aspect, sitting down and simply showing students pictures, or games, or songs, or just what an iPad has allowed me to connect with more students in the lunchroom and get a better feel for these students.

As a special educator, I am often faced with students who lack the basic skills needed to do more complex problems. For elementary skills, the iPad has proved invaluable. One app in particular (math board plus) allows students to practice their basic skills through a variety of quizzes and problems. If a student forgets how to do a problem or requires some step by step help, they can use the problem solver portion of the app which will lead them through the problems.

It also helps largely with differentiation and changing the speeds you can go along ith lessons. In my classroom, the gap between the strongest and the weakest student is large often requiring me to move some students along to different math concepts while working out the kinks ith others. The iPad has allowed to both at once. For example, student A is struggling with the concept of slope while student B completely gets it. I want to move B on but don't want to leave A just twisting in the wind waiting for me. With the iPad, I can set a brain pop video to reinforce some slope concepts with A while I set up student B for her assignment. Or the other way around. And instead of this being idle time or time wasted as we try to provide each student with the individual attention they need, we can do both while keeping students learning through an entertaining new option.

1 comment: