So there’s always lot of talk of how kids use iPads, but one area I’m working on with Alexandra and two other schools lately is using iPads as teachers.
Obviously the two overlap but there a lot of ways in which a teacher can utilise an iPad for admin and planning. Improvement in these areas should then benefit the children if the teacher is working more effectively and efficiently. So below are some apps and ideas that I would recommend teachers and management teams in school use to help them work more like a team!
Please feel free to comment and suggest areas I miss.
If you often need your planning to refer to or edit, then having it on your iPad is unbeatable. Use Dropbox to save your planning on your computer, download the Dropbox app on your iPad and suddenly all your plans are available wherever you are (if you have wireless, or favourite the ones you’ll need offline)
If you plan with others, the same applies. Put it in the Dropbox, share the folder with the others and it will be available for you all to see. Take your iPad into meetings, have it in lessons or take it home, for planning all day every day.
2. Sharing docs
Similar to above, but this time you’re thinking about any documents. You can save anything to dropbox on the computer, and most things will open on your iPad. There are apps that will play different video files. Check out Flexplayer or AVPlayerHD. So now you can share anything with others and you can share files with children if they have iPads or dropbox for that matter. So next time you make notes or create a policy and you want to distribute it, please don’t print copy after copy, pop it into Dropbox, let everyone know and get them to read it via Dropbox, and even add comments by opening it in the Office HD app and save back to dropbox.
3. Interactive whiteboard
Get your iPad up on the screen, with either Apple TV or a VGA adapter. Then use Explain Everything App to have a very function rich interactive whiteboard. So much more could be said here, but i’ll save it for a separate post in the lesson ideas section.
Make great presentations with Keynote. Next time you run staff training make your Preso on Keynote. There’s also a PREZI app if you like that. Rumours are there’ll be Microsoft Office soon too, so you’ll be spoilt for choice.
There’s so many note taking apps I’m not even going to pretend to share the best one. However Evernote is going to be hard to beat. Have your notes with you on your iPad, take pics to add to notes, and grab web clippings. My only bug bear is that to access your notes offline you need to pay. But personally, most places I go have wireless so not too much of an issue.
Use reminders to remind you! Reminders will appear on your iPad, iPhone and Mac (if there all set up on the same iCloud account) This function is only going to get better with iOS6 (the latest operating system for apples mobile devices) Get the app to remind you when you leave or arrive at places or at certain times.
7. Timetables and rotas
How often to do you create timetables for school? Class one, ICT suite one, Hall one, after school club etc etc. Create them and pop them into dropbox, from here then others can view the timetables and quickly see who’s slot it is in the hall, or when a club is on. They can even open them up using Office HD and put their name in the free slot and save it back to dropbox. (http://www.youtube.com)
8. Staff meetings
Possibilities here are endless really. Obvious ones are having minutes, notes, policies, newsletters, etc available in Dropbox so that all members of the meeting can access and view the documents being discussed. Not to mention paper saving again. You could have examples of children’s work saved as images ready for moderation. Open the image in Notability or Explain Everything apps and everyone can annotate the work and save the file. Brilliant. These are just some options.
INCERTs is in an app. A great assessment tool. The app allows you to take images and save them along side children’s targets. Take video of the children for evidence. Get children to use iMovie to record Assessment for Learning reviews of work. Make notes on children. Use Gradepad app for assessments. Again and endless list.
As you probable gather I could write so much more on each of these areas. However this is where I will be starting with staff at my own school and others this week. You can’t expect teachers to just pick this up and run with it, and some will be very sceptical I’m sure. You also need all staff to have access to an iPad or obviously it won’t work. Teachers dont need to have individual iPads to make this work, although some aspects will work better than others of course.
You will need strong leadership, and everyone will need to enter in to it together. For example, one teacher who doesn’t want to update school timetables via dropbox may hinder the whole process. Showing staff that using iPad for many of the tasks they do everyday, will actually save time and money and help the environment has to be the way to go.
p.s. It’s time to watch StrikeBack before for sleep, so there’s been no proof reading here. Apologies…