Thursday, August 19, 2010

iPad Reflections

Welcome to the new iPad Reflections BLog. Put personal likes and dislikes in this section.

57 comments:

Anonymous said...

My obligatory opening comment.

Jason H.

Anonymous said...

I just got my new iPad

Anonymous said...

Got the ipad today. We we see how it goes. I will work on downloading apps tonight.

Mr. B said...

Sitting here with my TA, who has just been using it with the various Apps I've downloaded from the Education section of the App store (mostly free).
What she feels are drawbacks:
1. It's somewhat difficult to use the controls vs. a mouse inputed device, or a smart board.
2. Battery life still is worrisome if using throughout entire school day.
3. Dislikes that many of the free apps have to be upgraded (paid) in order to use many of the features
4. Believes she would prefer a textbook to the eReading for having it in her hand.

What she feels are benefits:
1. Having an approved music device while working is great as music helps concentrate.
2. Vs. a computer - much much faster
3. Smaller and more easily used at a desk space, more compact
4. Likes the reading possibilities.
5. She likes that iBooks comes with Winnie the Pooh.

That's all for now!

Mr. B said...

My TA also doesn't like how only 1 app at a time can run.

Anonymous said...

Last night I went through and just started adding the apps that were free. I had such a blast playing around with it. I am now at school, and have no WIFI (I have tried in my room, the hall, and the cafe....no luck anywhere), so I am only able to access the apps I already have downloaded. I am disappointed that I am not able to do more at school.

M.France

M. Broxterman said...

Melissa, I would agree that the wifi connectivity in some areas is an issue. I had the same issue here at EV.

Introduced it to my special Ed paras today.....we had some interesting conversations!

Melanie B.

Anonymous said...

This past summer we concentrated on getting the high school and middle school with WI-FI access. With next year's budget, I want to make sure that WI-FI for elementary buildings is included.

BTW-if you have the laptop cart near your iPad, you can get a WI-FI signal from that.

Terrie Neufarth

Anonymous said...

I wasn't sure where to put this link but apparently we aren't the only district using these with our students. I saw this article in the CEC online magazine
http://www.10tv.com/live/content/local/stories/2010/10/05/story-dublin-stay-connected-special-needs-ipad-education.html?sid=102

Dianne

Anonymous said...

I'm really enjoying finding & downloading the free apps for speech & language!

Anonymous said...

Love the size and convenience. So far finding educational apps is rather time consuming. While some apps are free, most apps do have cost which would add up quickly if class sets of ipads were purchased.

Anonymous said...

After several days, I'm left confused trying to figure out what I should be doing with this gadget in my role as an instructor.

Now, don't get me wrong: I love, on the one hand, having this thing. It is a cool device. But other than showing my son how to look at the stars, I'm not really finding much to do other than, say, check my email or surf the web.

I thought, perhaps, the Dragon speech app could be useful -- but it requires Wi-Fi connectivity to work. So I can't, for example, talk while driving -- or even use it in my room.

I just can't figure out what I should be DOING with this thing.

I understand, on the one hand, the eBook feature -- but I remain unimpressed with this feature when it comes to critical reading for school.

My wife, as an example, reads many books. She reads before bed each night. She is not taking notes, or trying "to learn." I imagine something like a Kindle would be good for her. Or an iPad. She could check Facebook, play games, mess with apps, and load it with books.

I'm not sure the eBooks can adequately replace regular books, though, from the perspective of critical study and notes. What is the electronic equivalent of, say, dog-earing pages, or drawing big stars in the margins so a page is easy to find when flipping quickly through hundreds at a time?

Besides, I'd hate to lose my entire academic library to something like a puddle.

I fancy myself pretty good with technology, and I am familiar with its various uses. But I'm just not finding a use for this one in my role as an educator. Perhaps I would feel differently if I could use the various teacher tools, interfacing with an online gradebook. Or if it streamlined with my SmartBoard. Of if all my kids had one and we were interconnected somehow. Or if my room had Wi-Fi. But that's not my circumstance. I just have this thing, and, like I said, I just don't know what to do.

- Jason

CommonMan said...

Jason..great comment. think of your self as having a sort of writers block as an author .... I'm not sure anyone knows the full potential of this device...and perhaps, at the end of the twelve weeks you will discover thatnit has no use for you instructionally....but keep reading the varios blogs I've linked to in the iPad page...lots of people are finding unique uses...and new apps are coming out every day.....

Anonymous said...

Here is another article about schools in Illinois using the iPad with special needs students

http://www.mcdonoughvoice.com/news/x83591713/iPads-opening-doors-at-West-Prairie-South-Elementary

Dianne

J Boyer said...

I was trying to work on Netrekker with my iPad. I've noticed though when I'm browsing through sites, I often get kicked off and taken back to my iPad home screen, sometimes only after a short while (few minutes). Wonder if anyone else noticed this. Not sure if I need to check my settings or if it's something with Netrekker.

D. Thrower, SLP said...

I am truly enjoying the iPad! I'm at the high school and so far one of the biggest drawbacks is that not all areas have Wi-Fi, in particular the 400 wing where the MD unit is. I work with those students a lot and some of the apps I've downloaded need the internet to work. Other than that I'm enjoying searching the app store.
I've found several "vocabulary" apps that I like to work on language, but I'd love to find one than can actually take in information. For instance if there was an app where we could input student's vocabulary words into then work on activities using the iPad, that would be great!

Melissa France said...

I have downloaded many apps, but have not gotten the chance to try them all yet. I find it fun to try them, but also time consuming. I do have to say I am still trying to incorporate it in my classroom. Does anyone know if you can hook it up to a TV, so I can show something to my whole class? I have not figured out a way to do that, but I think that would be a useful feature. I think that once this year is over, I may have to break down and buy one. My two, almost three year old twins love it!! My son likes to do the animal and letter matches. He has actually gotten pretty good and remembering where the matches are, and I really think it is helping him learn more letters. My daughter on the other hand loves the girl that you dress up by changing her clothes and the game Rush..Train (She calls it kids on the school bus, because it reminds her of kids getting on and off of the school bus). I personally like Brain Pop, but I can’t use it at school due to no WiFi. I do get frustrated with some of the free apps, and I have deleted a couple because you could read half of the book, and then it said to hear the end please upgrade. Also the test your IQ only gave you 10 questions out of 40. After I took the test twice, had my sister and brother in law take it, I realized 78 was the score we all got…..When I first took it and got a 78…I was a little concerned!!

CommonMan said...

Melissa (and anyone else who has read her request), there is a vga adaptor (and I have one if you want to borrow it. The unique nature of the ipad however makes this a little odd. When you connect the ipad to another monitor (or tv/projector) you don't actually see anything until you are in "presentation" mode....for example if you had keynote (mac = of powerpoint) you wouldn't see anything until you actually put the presentation up. In iTunes you wouldn't see anything until you actually watched a video....so if you wanted to display a podcast, you could....but there is that limitation. It's why (if you remember) we had to use the webcam when we did your initial training.

J Boyer said...

I know there is a section for apps and some bloggers have expressed concern about some of them...perhaps entertainment only, or not as productive as they would like. While apps are a feature of the iPad we're all learning, I do like the access to the internet. I do a lot of on line work with the students currently, The Stock Market Game, and work with Lego League, research, Edmodo, etc. Sometimes it's difficult to find enough computers available for us to use. I can't help to think we would use the internet a lot more, if students had an iPad readily available for them to use. Of course, access to wireless is an issue and would have to be worked out. Wonder if others also see this as something they would have students access more readily. Just something I am thinking about.

Renita said...

I agree that this device would make Internet searches much easier. Even in buildings with newer laptops, it typically takes at least 7 minutes for students to complete the whole startup process, and much longer if they can't resist the temptation to click before everything is loaded. So, this is definitely faster, but it would be nice if you could run more than one app. I often use multiple windows when using info found in searches. The battery life on the IPAD is a plus.

Anonymous said...

Works much better at school than the laptops. The students are really excited about working with it. I wish I had at least 3or4 so we could work on them in small group.

Anonymous said...

I took the iPad to P/T conferences and found it helpful to access Progress Book live while talking to parents. Additional information that was not on the grade sheet that we provided added insight for parents.

Renita said...

In order to test drive practical applications for students, it would be helpful to have more IPADS available for group or individual use. Watching one or two students use it doesn't really give a clear picture of how instruction might change if all students had a device like this that could run course applications or be used for research. I'm trying to envision what that might look like.

Renita said...

I sat down to complete my Rosetta Stone lesson - sad news - it will not work on the IPAD.

Nancy Reed said...

I love it that I can use my Ipad to take notes at a professional workshop- it's so much better than handwriting them. When I'm finished, I can email them to myself and colleagues- nice feature!

Mr. B said...

I think that this is perhaps the most fun gadgets I've used in my classroom, but also one of the least applicable to students using it.

I like the use of ProgressBook mobile so students don't need me to "print off" their grade sheets to see them at their desks, but I don't care for the fact that I take 5 minutes to log into PB because of the complicated keyboard input (takes a while to go from letters, to numbers, to the underscore)

Lot's more input from students coming soon.

Renita said...

Another note about ProgressBook - as long as you only need one screen it's OK, but if you need the popups (like for report cards), you're out of luck. Discovery Education is awesome!

CommonMan said...

My general view, after having this for several months, is it's a handy device, but I wouldn't trade my computer for it. I haven't purchased a separate keyboard, but I don't think even that would do it. I'll be more interested to see what texbook publishers will do with this - it's a great device for reading, viewing (I watched a movie on the plane last week).....wish I could pump up the sound a bit. I have tried Pages, Office HD2, and GoDocs....nothing I would want to work on permanently.

Anonymous said...

Terrie Neufarth says....Just returned from a week long technology convention in Phoenix. The only tech items I took was my iPad and my Droid. Between the two of them I had everything that I needed. Took all conference notes using the notes application on my iPad, e-mailed them to myself to edit. It was easy to connect to different wireless access points and it was so light to carry around. I only had to charge it once during the week--still loving that battery life.

Melissa France said...

I also love the battery life, and when you do have to charge it, it charges quickly.

D. Thrower, SLP said...

I used the iPad to take notes during a 2 day conference last week. I began the conference taking notes by hand on my powerpoint handout, but after lunch on the first day, I decided to try using the iPad to record notes, and I was surprised at how easy it was. I found myself going to links that the presenter mentioned, so it was very convenient. Also liked being able to email the notes I took to my colleagues instantly.

CommonMan said...

Well, we tried to have a workshop...and I'm sure some folks learned something....but it started by having to move from one room (scheduled) to the library....then two fire drills in the rain, and finally power out entirely. My apologies for everything (not that much of it was in my control! The only thing that didn't mess up today was the iPad!

J Boyer said...

While it was a crazy day with iPad inservice, here are some of the main ideas I took away from it:

1) It seems to me that some schools have really invested in using the ipod & ipad for student usuage. We should tap into their resources they've made available. (Springfield, IL schools; Esquindido Union Schools in San Diego, and Canby Schools) I'll have to do a little research from the exact websites, but these is what were brought up today.

2) We need to think of the iPad DIFFERENTLY than an actual computer. We really need to think about using the iPAD for individualized instruction.

3) iTunes University, Beyond Campus; Kahn Academy; are places we all need to explore more. With all the apps available we should be able to reach all learning styles, (audio, visual, kinesthetic). We have this wonderful resource at our fingertips, we just need to learn to utilize it better.

4) I'm rarin' to go...we just need time & patience, time & patience, and so on...

Renita said...

I started looking through the IPOD project at the EUSD iREad website (Escondido Union School District). There is a plethora of information and I found it a bit difficult to navigate.

Some interesting facts from the project-teachers have to apply to be a part of the project, attend an initial philosophy/training session, meet on a monthly basis to exchange ideas and strategies, and complete three projects. Teachers receive training on IPOD use and software including GarageBand and ITunes. Projects have to include visual and audio components using the IPOD and Keynote. I am thinking that the ongoing support of the group is an important part of a successful program.

They are using the IPOD to allow students to check their reading fluency by recording their reading, then listening to it privately. The teacher might listen to the recording at a later time, or listen along with the student. They also use audiobooks, song lyrics and reading apps. They have over 100 elementary classrooms using IPODs this year.

Mr. Vince said...

Love this for the portability, speed, and convenience as a work tool. Works well for me at meetings and conferences.
I find myself using this more than my teacher desktop computer.

I still feel though that I am still at stage where a laptop (productivity) that can print, save word docs, organize folders, use Powerpoint and is aligned with our current technology is more useful to me for student learning.

The Ipad is more of a ( consumption) tool and this does require us to look at this tool differently. It does offer many apps for learning. The technology does draw kids to it.

I currently would rather see my kids with their own laptop and a set of 5 ipads loaded with apps to use for individual instruction.

But it is clear that Ipad is going to affect how we look at and use technology in the classroom and I am open!



.

Renita said...

I am finding the IPAD useful in meetings and at conferences. It is also great for traveling and entertainment. When I have serious work to do, I need a laptop or a desktop. The single task aspect is somewhat limiting. While at Panera adjacent to th U of Pittsburgh campus, I noticed that the many students in the restaurant had at least two windows open on their computer screens as they worked. Most had more open. Still struggling with where this best fits in the world of academics.......

Melissa France said...

Well I realized the portability can be a pro and a con. I met my family for dinner last night, and the kids were getting a little restless. I remembered I had my ipad in my bag, so I pulled it out for them to play with. This was a great tool to keep them occupied, but I found myself checking school email at the same time! I am not so sure I liked being so connected to work. :)

Renita said...

Along the same line....my husband has very few nice words to say about this device because he says I am always using it.... It's not true.

Mr. Vince said...

I find myself taking this with me everywhere also . . . If we can develop a way for kids to use the device for more than music, games and social networking . . .this could be powerful. I am addicted.

Mr. B said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mr. B said...

I agree with the continued conversations about productivity not being the primary purpose of the iPad, and that as a consumption device it is very valuable.

To this end, my students have been very enthusiastic about using the iPad for research online. It is quick to start up, immediate connection to a WiFi source in the school, and allows them to open bookmarks from a menu page icon easily.

After loading multiple free eTextbooks however, my students agree that they would much rather use a textbook to read rather than the small screen. I wouldn't count out the possible eTextbook route, but at this time most of them are difficult to read, without significant zoom. And they are visually lacking, giving almost all text for pages, and then the occasional image or graph.

Perhaps my greatest concern is the amount of "distraction" apps that are on the iPad that would be nearly indistinguishable from other student apps running during class (games, facebook browsing, all sorts of things that I've found my students playing on in class when using it before giving me their reflections.)

Renita said...

For the question of the day- could the IPAD replace elementary laptops? The answer would have to be no unless they can fix the flash issue. Currently, we rely on too many applications that use Flash. I have been watching Skyfire to see when their app will be released for IPAD. Apparently it is working on the IPOD, allowing you to view Flash video. They are not addressing (or cannot address according to some tech sites) the interactive piece. In many cases, viewing the video would not suffice. They say Skyfire will be available for IPAD soon....

In the classroom, the IPAD would be great for web access, Study Island, e-mail, skill practice and note taking. It is a great tool for meetings! Perhaps a combination of laptops and IPADS??

Recently, I met the PBL coach from the new National Inventors Hall of Fame STEM school in Akron, Ohio. They ordered IPADS, but sent them all back, opting for laptops for each student. She said the laptops were a better fit for their needs. They are a grades 5-7 school.

MBrox said...

I'm not sure that the iPad could replace the laptop as the need for a 'productivity' component in education is strong. I think the web access and speed of the iPad is a plus for research or using apps. I agree with Renita that the FLASH issue needs to be taken into consideration.

From an intervention specialist perspective, I see the iPad being useful as a quick, portable, and novel way to have student work on some of the (often boring) repetitive takes (like tracing letters, practicing math facts, etc.). I could see each classroom having apps loaded for a specific purpose, like a math iPad, a reading iPad, etc. I also see that iPad as becoming the hot, new 'communication' tool. For less than $1000, an ipad plus apps relating to communication can be purchased with almost the same result (if not more versatile due to apps) as a $8000-10,000 communication device. Down side, insurance won't pay for iPad.....but will pay for expensive device. Hummmm!

MBrox said...

Has anyone used a 3G iPad? I was just curious if there were speed or connectivity differences or issues. I was contacted by another school contemplating buying ipads to use with students with multiple disabilities, autism, etc. and questioned the wifi versus 3G version.

Thanks!
Melanie

Mr. B said...

I want this thing...
I don't know exactly when or why, but I became addicted to the lightning quick start up and fun little consumer apps.
I feel as though this is my introduction to the Crack Cocaine addiction my students have with their iPhones.

It is for this exact reason I don't think they are the new student laptop replacement, they are just too popular when it comes to downloadable madness!

I see laptops because most free games are online and can be blocked via firewall, but downloaded games that are EASY to download for our students? I'm not so sure about that one.

However, I still want this thing, so I see how it would be attached to our students everyday (no more forgetting your lab report or textbook at home).
NOR, would they wake up late, the Alarm Clock app is fantastic!

Renita said...

I would have to agree - this is a very useful device for some of the things that I need to do. I would love to try using it with the AIMSweb browser based assessing tools if we purchase that feature someday. (not so subtle hint to save many trees :-) But I am willing to wait to make a purchase until they add USB and a camera. I read a good article about the pros and cons for classroom use.
The IPAD design lends itself well to personal use as opposed to shared use. To maximize use in a classroom it would be nice to have one for each student.

The updated operating system now allows me to listen to Pandora radio while writing this. That's a nice feature. Multiple tasks are still limited - it's more like rapid toggling.
But I do agree with Mr. B - I can find many uses for it.

Anonymous said...

I am sorry that our session of working with the I-Pad is just about over. The children in my classroom (1st. grade) have loved working with it. (as have my teenagers at home)I am going to have to ask for one for Christmas so I can continue using it in my room.

Renita said...

When I think about a possible grade level for full classroom use of IPADS, I can visualize the devices in a middle school classroom - possible a language arts class. When I first started thinking about this, I was trying to fit the IPAD into what currently happens. (The examples I have seen from other schools sometimes include this type of use- including using the IPAD as a very expensive individual whiteboard!) Now I am thinking that what really needs to happen is that we need to think in terms of assignments and assessments that involve the use of Web 2 tools. Communication between all parties would be facilitated through the use of these tools. This means letting go of some of what is done now - a 21st Century transformation. Reading assignments would need to be availabe on the IPAD. Contributing to a blog might be expected instead of turning in a paper. Video and/or audio responses to literature and collaboration using tools like Google Docs would be the norm.

MBrox said...

Love the new OS isn't being able to file apps. I have downloaded so many free ones to trial, I started getting lost in the pages. It took me a while, by have most of them organized my category or theme.

The files have made it easier for me, but I think that if may be harder for my nonreader students to navigate. It will be interesting to see!

Melanie

MBrox said...

Re-post because i apparently can't type on winter break.....

Love the new OS for being able to create files to organize apps. I have downloaded so many free ones to trial, I started getting lost in the pages. It took me a while, by have most of them organized my category or theme.

The files have made it easier for me, but I think that if may be harder for my nonreader students to navigate. It will be interesting to see!

Melanie

Anonymous said...

My last post.
Final thoughts: for every teacher once USB is on it? Sure.
For high school kids? No, too many variables of being stolen, laptops are not as much a hot item and they can do more along with acting as the computer labs for the new school so we aren't filling the new space with labs.
I love it, but won't be buying one once this one is gone.

Thank you again Tim for this opportunity.

Renita said...

The best features include long battery life, reliable operating system and rapid startup. The apps are also great in quantity and variety, but not necessarily great for classrooms - yet. Adding these features to a lightweight laptop would work for me!

Bronwyn said...

Looking forward to a new and hopefully successful educational experiment with the iPad!

Bronwyn

Laura said...

I am so excited about my new iPad!
Laura D.

erin said...

I am very excited to start using the iPad and exploring the apps!

Anonymous said...

Day one of the Ipad journey has begun. I'm looking forward to grabbing some apps to help my ELL kiddos with their vocab. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I downloaded a few apps at home. Nothing spectacular yet. No wireless in my room is disappointing and the controls/navigation will take some getting used to. Other than that I'm really excited to see what this thing can do and very pleased with its functionality.

Mr. Whitehead-6th grade science

Anonymous said...

I was very happy to be in the group for the ipads. I am especially glad it is the end of the year. I teach Kindergarten. When I showed the class the ipad so many of them said they had one at their house. I am anxious to use it in my class.