During my last exam I decided that with the encouragement of other IPad users that using Google Docs could be implemented fairly easy to gather information. I quickly created a form to gather data on how my students answered the Document Based Questions on their exam. I wanted to know whether they were confident, unsure, or guessed when answering their questions. I needed to know not only did they have the correct answer but did they fully understand the questions posed to them. This information would be used to further my instruction in Document Based Questions.
As I began explaining to my students that they would fill in a Goggle Doc form in addition to completing their exams, I worried that the IPad would be distracting, affect their ability to complete their exams in a timely manner, or force me to run around with an IPad in hand to ensure all of my students were able to input their data with the three IPads I have. With great pleasure my students were able to complete both tasks and I in turn had some valuable data that has guided my instruction. I plan to continue this practice of gathering data not only in my Social Studies class, but also during our extended day, when students are practicing skills that allow for success on their state exams.
Overall I am still learning and open to the many possibilities the IPad provides. It is much quicker than the laptops I have available in my classroom (although they are very much a luxury), super portable, and has tons of appeal with all my students. I have become more confident in its use, therefore I am more comfortable using and allowing my students to use them in the classroom. Finally, the IPad has become more of a useful tool than a gadget I fear.