Sunday, November 16, 2014

3 EdTech Tools for the One iPad Classroom

This article was first appeared on Daily Genius

iPads are amazing learning instruments that can improve instruction and student engagement dramatically.  Those of us privileged enough to work in 1:1 iPad classrooms can attest to that.  But lets be realistic: most classrooms around the world do not have access to the funds and resources necessary to equip a full classroom with iPads for each student.  There are numerous teachers who have access to only one iPad at school, or they just own an iPad and think it would be a great idea to be able to use in the classroom.  Luckily, there are several EdTech tools teachers can use in the One iPad Classroom in order to create lessons that are exciting, and provide unique educational experiences for all students. 

Apple TV in the One iPad Classroom
An Apple TV can literally transform the One iPad Classroom into an collective interactive experience for all students.  Due to the fact that the Apple TV supports AirPlay and mirroring, it is able to provide visual access of the iPad screen to all of the students in the classroom.  With the help of the little black box, the teacher can transform the iPad into a high definition portable document viewer that can be used to show teacher and student work in real time.  Furthermore the combination of an Apple TV with an iPad can enhance several parts of an everyday lesson.  For example, a teacher can use a digital book on the iPad to implement a read aloud.  The read aloud can now become interactive.  As the teacher reads the text from anywhere in the room, any student can use the iPad to highlight, annotate, and insert text and captions, transforming a simple read aloud activity to a highly engaging experience for all of the students.  An Apple TV is a great investment for One iPad Classrooms because it allows the teacher to craft highly engaging lessons that promote creativity and create spaces for collective engagement.  

Aurasma in the One iPad Classroom
Augmented Reality has always been a captivating concept.  People love watching impressive animations appear out of nowhere and provide the viewer with additional information that enhances the learning experience.  Aurasma is a free augmented reality app that can be used in the One iPad Classroom by students working collaboratively.  Students can take turns and use the iPad to take pictures of their work and turn them into time-lapse videos, or make short videos of each other explaining a math, reading, writing, or science concept.  Students that are technologically savvy can take it a step further and use appsmash and apps like iMovie or Tellagami to create even more sophisticated products as shown in the video below.
Here is a short tutorial on how to do that.

The students can work collaboratively and use these pictures and videos to create auras and triggers.  The teacher can post the triggers-images around the classroom, and the students can use the iPad collectively or individually to make the pictures-triggers come alive. 
Here is a short tutorial on how to do that

An Apple TV can easily transform the above activity from individual, to a collective educational experience.  By mirroring the iPad on the projector’s screen, every single student becomes an active participant of the lesson and the whole classroom is engaged in continuous learning.

Plickers in the One iPad Classroom
Up until a few years ago, audience response systems were extremely expensive, difficult to navigate and utilize, and often needed additional tech equipment, usually a smartboard, in order to function.  The introduction of tablets and laptops at schools changed that, as highly affordable, extremely effective, and completely free of charge apps and platforms such as Socrative and Kahoot made audience response systems user friendly and easily accessible.  However, these platforms require that each student has access to a digital device.  Luckily, there is an audience response system that One iPad Classroom teachers can utilize in the classroom to collect real time data from formative assessments, and its name is Plickers.

Here is a short tutorial on how to set up Plickers.

Pickers is an empowering application because it is armed with the unique ability to change the mundane task of taking a test into a highly interactive and enjoyable lesson that results in an authentic learning experience.
Plickers is very easy to set up and once it is up and running, it can be used by teachers to create assessments, exit tickets, or just simple questions.  Plickers allows the teacher to collect data in order to check student understanding in formal and informal ways, and it does so very intuitively, with the help of only one iPad and a number of cards with QR Codes.  Each card corresponds to a specific student.  The cards are equipped ingeniously with four options, which the students can select by just turning the card to a different orientation.  Teachers can use Plickers to spice up their lessons and engage students with the platform’s kinesthetic approach and its capacity to give students the chance to interact with the lesson collectively.

Want to learn more about integrating the iPad and other EdTech tools in your classroom?
Nik will be presenting at the Superior Schools Tech Conference June 17-19, 2015 in Clearwater, Florida.  Don’t miss out on the  Pre-Conference workshop featuring a hands-on workshop creating iBooks in the classroom! You can follow Nik on Twitter @chatzopoulosn

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