We have just completed one full week of classes, and I have begun using the iPads on an almost every-day basis for my 6th graders. They have been using the Schoology app with consistent success, accessing homework and video links and using headphones to watch the videos as they are published. I believe that the overall phones is a positive one, though many of my “high strung” kids gave a breath of fresh air with the announcement that tests will be of a traditional, paper-based delivery. Perhaps more practice using the iPads and the Schoology app is what is needed. I’m going to continue issuing quizzes online, so I hope the next round comes with a little more confidence from these concerned kids.
On a daily basis, the kids have been working on handouts using the iPads (we have been editing pdf files using the UPAD Lite app). It’s been really good for most – they can finish their worksheet and email it to themselves. However, some kids have seen trouble using the UPAD’s delivery method (png files). In watching my costs, I made the decision to drop the UPAD app, whose paid version would cost $2.50 per license with the volume purchase program, and instead purchase Notability for $0.50 each. Notability has the same power as UPAD, it’s more fun to look at, and the price is unbeatable. Further, we can export to email using PDF files, so it’s MUCH more practical.
Another app that the students are about to get into is the Nearpod Student app. It allows my students to watch a slide show that I have pushed to their iPads and one that I control. My teacher version of e app even allows me to see who has clicked off the app (it has a registered vs. active viewer counter). Additionally, the students will receive one or two question quizzes on this app, along with free-write activities that I can use to review what they have learned after watching videos.
I still think it would be wise to get a printer for the iPad cart, especially since the online printing option has been placed on the back burner in the Middle School. I have spoken about this in a conversation with my headmaster, but we will see what is going to happen in the next week…
I have also recently obtained all of the necessary cables to begin using my AppleTV! I’m really excited about doing this…it will be very nice to get my projector up and going. I am a bit concerned with the security of the display; will all my iPads have access to the mirroring feature that I will use? I need to see if I can encode the mirroring option so that a password is necessary to connect to the projector.
Finally, I am very close (a couple of weeks) to begin teaching with Khan Academy. I am going to need the students to sign up for free accounts, so I’ll need to find time for them to work on that. More notes on this in the future.