First week with iPads in the classroom

When the students received their iPads, on Jan 31st, I could see the delight on their faces.  They were curious, not in the least bit apprehensive and surprised although they knew this was coming.  Too good to be true, I guess.

Two of my students are in two classes with iPad projects, so I expect them to learn even faster than the others.

I decided not to be too directive at first and let the students explore the devices over the week-end before assigning any homework that had to be turned in through an app.

On Tuesday I handed them a quick questionnaire (anonymous, although one student -out of habit – still wrote his name on the half sheet I distributed!) asking how many apps they had installed over the w-e, what kind (games, reference, etc.) how many times a day they had been using it, and if they had encountered any problems yet.

In class, whenever I ask if they have questions or difficulties, they always say no, but in the quick questionnaire I was able to assess that although students think they know everything about this type of device, they don’t always. One response regarding problems encountered was “the is no Word app”.  I addressed the whole class on the following day and mentioned Pages.  No one was embarrassed in public.

I quickly realized after the first student sent me a journal written with Pages that I had to give them precise directions otherwise I was going to spend all my time going back and forth from laptop to ipad and program to program.

1.  if they are using an iPad app, the file has to be uploaded to the dropbox folder for the class.

2. They have to be careful with the title of the file: Journal 1_LastName for instance, which allows me to have the files organized by assignments # and organized so I can tell which students did not turn in their work.

This week-end I am going to tell students to start saving all the pics they find to illustrate what we learn in class on their iPad.  For instance, we had a section on 19th c technological advances which allowed a new look in public buildings in France (train stations, department stores, factories, libraries, the Eiffel Tower) using cast iron and glass structures.  Students had to find – among other things – paintings of train stations (Monet – Gare Saint Lazare) and other public buildings of the time.  When they start working on their oral presentations, they should have a rich archive of pertinent pics to use.



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