5 Tips for Using iPads in the Classroom

Learning with the iPadUsing iPads in the classroom has been a popular topic over the past year, so it’s no wonder that our Learning with the iPad PD sessions continue to be a popular choice for educators looking to learn to use the iPad more effectively during daily instruction.

iPads can be used for project-based learning, assessment, flipping the classroom, content creation and much more. Whatever your goals might be, here are 5 tips to keep in mind when using iPads in the classroom.

1. Use built in iOS features to support student learning.

The iPad has several built in features that can enable a teacher, and more importantly a student, to be more productive in their learning.

  • Speak Selection – In the General Settings, select Accessibility to turn on this feature. For students who need assistance in reading text or who are auditory learners, this feature allows them to select text to hear it read aloud and/or see the word highlighted as they read.
  • Dictionary – This feature is built in to the iPad making it easy to access the definition of a word as you’re reading.
  • Guided Access – Also in the Accessibility settings, Guided Access is great for  students who need to stay focused a task within one app. Guided Access can keep  students from leaving an app, or interacting with specific features, like in-app purchases. A great feature if you’re using an iPad as a center in your classroom.

2. It’s not about the app, it’s how you use the app.

App workflow is extremely important. By this, we mean looking at how a variety of apps can be used together to achieve a desired goal.

For example Doc ScanHD, Skitch, Educreations, and Edmodo are some of the most popular apps we  see used in the classroom. While they all are great apps individually, working together these apps can create the a useful project workflow. The teacher can scan a document with DocScan HD, edit in in Skitch, and share it with students as an assignment in Edmodo. Students can respond to assignments in Edmodo by create content with Educreations, and sharing their content back to the teacher in Edmodo to be graded. The workflow of these apps and how they can be used together is much more important how they can be used on their own.

3. Paperless assessments are easy on the iPad.

The iPad provides a variety of ways to conduct paperless assessments using quizzing apps and online assessment tools. In our Ready, Set, Quiz webinar, we discussed some online sources for creating quizzes that are easily accessible on the iPad.

InfuseLearning is a great online assessment tool that not only provides teachers with the ability to ask traditional types of questions, but students can use drawing tools as well. Being able to give a student a graphing question and actually have them plot the points needed on the graph is one way that drawing can be used in an assessment.

4. It’s easy to share content between teachers and students.

One of the most frequently asked questions about using iPads in the classroom is related to how content and resources can be shared between teacher and student. While there are a few ways to do this, one easy way is through the Edmodo app. Edmodo has tons of features, but fundamentally serves as a way teachers and students can easily share content back and forth.

Many of the apps used for content creation can save to the camera roll on the iPad. Edmodo provides you with access to the camera roll making it easy to post or share those creations. In addition, many apps with the “Open In” feature can open content in Edmodo and store it in your Edmodo Library or Student Backpack.

Check out two of our webinars for more information about Edmodo: Using Edmodo in the Classroom and Going Further with Edmodo.

5. Choose apps that best meet the learning goals.

Any teacher using iPads in the classroom wants to find the best apps for education and see their benefits in real classroom examples. Searching the App Store and having a rubric as a guide can help you to find the more appropriate apps for your students.

One app that might help in your search is App Hits. It allows you to search apps in education that may be “On Sale” or “Free” for a limited time. Check out a recent iPad Appy Hour webinar or our Top 5 Apps webinar for additional information.

These 5 tips and more are all covered in our Learning with the iPad PD sessions.

What apps do you use with your students? What questions do you have about using iPads for learning?

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