Tuesday, November 5, 2013

iPad in Class

I started using the iPad as a teaching tool sometime this year. I have actually been using it off and on in my classes ever since I first bought the iPadto show stuff or copy exercises onto the chalkboard from the many ebooks that I carry in my iPad. And that was about 2 years back, if memory seves me right.

Anyway, Airplay on AppleTV made it possible for me to project whatever that is on my iPad onto the screen. And to get my school onto this bandwagon.... one day, I brought my AppleTV to school and hooked everything up. Then I asked my Principal to come and have a look. From there, I got the green light to get a set for the school. With that, I moved most of my classes to the room to have their lessons there. And the last few months have been an experience of sorts, one which also allowed me to embark on a journey of discoveries.

One of the best discoveries was this app called Doceri. Doceri is basically like the chalkboard in class. I guess I could likened it to a chalkboard on steroids! Lol! It is now one of my main teaching tools. Having it in my iPad means that I can now prepare my lessons anywhere, as long as I have my iPad with me. And I am one of those people who carry their iPads almost everywhere.
I can do stuff on it which one could only dream of a decade ago on my iPad. Back then, they would require a certain amount of knowledge in animation and sound softwares. And that was daunting enough for many. With Doceri, the animation that I made below took a mere half an hour.... Could have finished it earlier if I had not been that fussy.

I have been able to engage students with other apps that allow me to manipulate timelines, use videos, mindmaps and images. And the best thing is lessons become clearer and I am less tired. Cos now, I don't have the write the same stuff on the chalkboards of a few different classes. I have better eye contact with students too. Lessons become easier to digest because lessons can get very visual.
I convinced a good friend of mine to give this a try. Unlike me, she had to bring her own devices. Yet she persisted and our experiences have been more or less the same in terms of student response. I was an early adopter with the use of the computer in class many years ago. But I abandoned it because it was too much hassle. This shows promise.

The last few months have been a time of discoveries. I have been able to adapt and adopt ideas and try out new stuff in my classrooms. I have also learned that with the iPad, very often our own imagination is the limiting factor. My school will be setting up more of such facilities. I have shared my experiences twice with my colleagues and once with teachers from another school (at the insistence of another friend).

There are some still with the Luddite mentality that technology does not offer much benefits. I think not. Technology is a great enabling tool. However, it's only as effective as we make it to be. To do so, we, ourselves will also have to undergo our own transformations and change of mindset. To make it relevant, we have to relearn ways of doing things.

Life is about constant rejuvenation.... a story of the old passing to make way for the new... I guess technology is one of the agents if rejuvention in the field of education.... 8)

1 comment:

Ting Siamooi said...

M so impressed. M still in the dino age despite having an ipad and iphone and mac.....
going to download doceri and see what I can do there. Give me more tips.