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posted: 4.13.11 by Barclay Barrios

Yeah, I did it.  I stood in line outside the Apple store for four hours, moving from human corral to human corral, just to get the iPad 2.  I had lots of reasons for getting one: I’m sort of an Apple fanboy (fanperson?) and generally a very techie person, I travel a lot and was tired of my small but slow netbook, and I was starting to think about how having a device like an iPad might change my teaching.

Since it’s already mid-semester the real test will come when I teach this summer, but already I am exploring apps for teachers and thinking about how to create and manage assignments and, most importantly, how to comment and return student work.

I’ve already found that the iPad is not the teaching tool I long for it to be.  At the same time I’ve also found that it’s a unique piece of technology that offers pleasure—I can’t help picking it up and playing with it.  So I’m going to give it a go this summer.  I’m aiming for an all-electronic, all-iPad class. I’ll share my experiences as they come but, in the meantime, does anyone have any tips for me?  Has anyone tried something like this for a writing class?  Are there apps you’d recommend?  Pitfalls I might avoid?

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Categories: Teaching with Technology
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2 Responses to “Ipad-ucation”

  1. T. VanderArk Grand Rapids Community College Says:

    I recently bought one, too, and for many of the same reasons (both personal and professional). I agree that it’s “not the teaching tool I long for it to be”–and yet I’m still hopeful that I can make it work for me and my teaching next fall.

    I have no good advice about commenting and returning student work with the ipad, except to say that I would certainly need to invest in an external keyboard to make that workable for me (given the limitations of the on-screen keyboard). But for its presentation and its “passing around” possibilities, I’m excited.

    Here are a few of the apps I’m looking to use a lot in my class:
    –Keynote (takes some practice to create presentations “by hand,” as it were, but it’s a powerful program and projects well)
    –AirSketch (full version): Allows you to draw or annotate pdfs (including pdf versions of a PowerPoint) from anywhere in the room if there’s a desktop in the room that’s hooked up to the projector. (That’s not so great for conference presentations, but just fine for every classroom I teach in.)

    I’ll be checking back here to see if anyone has good ideas on other ways to integrate the ipad into teaching (short of having one in the hands of every student!).

  2. vicki moulson, College of the Albemarle Says:

    I plan to buy an IPad at the end of May and use it to teach online writing and literature courses this summer. I am anxious to see how it works for you and would be happy to add my two cents if I find any wonderful tricks. Good luck to us both! 🙂