I’ve been using the iPads for three full weeks now, and my head is usually swimming by the end of the day. As a writer, that makes it hard to blog because I’m used to these flashes of poetry that lead me to clear themes. Lately, I can’t quite nail down a theme or even a clear emotion about the class set of iPads.
But here are a few disjointed thoughts…
My AP class seems to be loving the iPads. We installed a bookmarklet on each iPad called Professor Word. When in Safari and reading an article in that browser, they can select that bookmarklet, and SAT/ACT words are suddenly highlighted. Click on a highlighted word? Get a definition. It’s pretty slick.
Some (not all) also seem to like the annotating capabilities in iBooks and Adobe Reader. And I’ll admit–it’s a ton easier for me to throw PDFs on my class website and have them read articles on the iPad instead of destroying global forests. Honestly, the copies I haven’t made in the past three weeks is almost enough for me to really advocate school districts adopting iPads for their students.
Google Drive has been working pretty well–and I hope I’m teaching the essential digital skill of logging out (4 students across 4 classes share one iPad each).
So far I know I haven’t been using the iPads the way I envisioned or read about, but that all changes tomorrow. Students in three classes will create and share content relevant to our course of study. In two classes, instead of me droning on and on about the content, students will teach each other. And the great part is that even if they miss some of the key pieces of information, I’m still in the room to set them back on track.
It hasn’t all been perfect, not by a long shot. But that’s a post for another day. Hopefully a day full of poetry and clarity.