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Apps and IPads as Education Tools

Posted by on April 8, 2014

ipad appsI was having a discussion with my PLN about IPads in the classroom–how teachers are using the apps–and I got this comment from David Kinane over at Dakinane . He has some great ideas for moving iPads from babysitters and static practice to interactive tools for formative assessment, sharing, and publishing.

I do have a range of techniques that enable the least promising of apps to release their information. I do this by using the best features of one app and then ‘layerng’ the output. By this I mean taking the content from one app and then putting that information into another app so that the students can then share their learning. I have presented on this often with the schools that I work for, but you can see a blog post I have written about it http://dakinane.com/blog/x_post/the-tablet—elearnings-panacea-00201.html

To answer your question I would use the following example: An app like WordsPyramid, which has good” word level” literacy work in it for students, but produces absolutely no usable information for teachers. When the students close the app, their work is gone! I teach the students to screen capture each of their efforts and then load these images into Skitch to annotate what they had done, or Fotobabble to notate and record what they have done or Educreations to annotate, collate and record what the group had done. By passing information in this way from one app to another, the students have been enabled to publish their WordsPyramid work to the Internet using apps like Fotobabble or Educreations. I have several videos on these apps on my blog just look for ‘App of the Week’ if you are interested.

Once the work has been published to the internet, apps like Fotobabble and Educreations allow users to embed the content into a blog, wiki, LMS or website of your choice. Once there other students can review the work, teachers can use the content for formative assessment and also parents can be involved in the learning processs. You will see the kinds of questions I get teachers to ask of their apps in the post link above. I believe that if the iPad is to be integrated purposefully into a classroom then teachers need to think about how to easily enable students to publish, so the ability for an app to be able to share with other information sources and critically enable embedding is critical.

For his entire blog post, The Tablet – Elearning’s Panacea?, click.

More on iPads and apps:

Dear Otto: Are there any Good Keyboarding Apps?

5 Favorite iPad Apps

Hundreds of Great Apps

The Tablet’s ‘Killer App’



Jacqui Murray has been teaching K-8 technology for 15 years. She is the editor of a K-8 technology curriculum, K-8 keyboard curriculum, K-8 Digital Citizenship curriculum, and creator of technology training books for how to integrate technology in education. She is webmaster for six blogs, CSG Master Teacher, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer, Editorial Review Board member for Journal for Computing Teachers, CSTA presentation reviewer, freelance journalist on tech ed topics, a columnist for Examiner.com, and a weekly contributor to TeachHUB. Currently, she’s editing a techno-thriller that should be out to publishers next summer.

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