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Old Jan 29, 2010, 12:25 PM   #1
VerdeVivir
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iPad for Teachers?

Like most of you, I've been thinking about the idea of the iPad since the announcement this week. There's no denying that it looks cool, but I'm having a hard time figuring out how I'd actually use it.

Ideally, I'd like to have my students send me .docx versions of their papers. I'd load them all onto the iPad and then be able to grade on the go, without having to schlep around sixty 8-page papers. I know that Pages has a post-it feature where I can type in comments, but I wouldn't want to use the virtual keypad on the iPad to do this. If Apple had an integrated hand writing feature in Pages, I could load up all those papers and correct them by hand all on the iPad. That would be awesome. I could handwrite all my comments and symbols and then convert to PDF and send back to the students via e-mail.

That's really the feature that would send me to the stores to buy the thing immediately.

Also, it would be great to have student work corrected on the iPad and then hook it up to my projector to workshop student essays in class.

As for eBooks: I use a four - five textbooks for my classes (you know those big Norton anthologies?) plus a number of smaller novels / memoirs. I'd love to load all my textbooks onto the iPad and carry only this device. But without being able to handwrite notes in the "margins," it's kind of useless to me. I often use my marginalia to pose questions in class. It's got to be right there on the page in front of me; not in some other document that I'd need to bring up.

So, yeah, the lack of an integrated handwriting feature in Pages and the ebook reader is a deal breaker for me. I'd love to see it, as I could easily imagine trading a shoulder bag full of dog-earred, carefully annotated textbooks and a bundle of loose student papers for a sleek iPad that allows me to read, grade, and annotate books and student work.

Maybe in the next version? Or am I missing something here and can I do those things on an iPad?
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Old Jan 29, 2010, 12:29 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VerdeVivir View Post
Like most of you, I've been thinking about the idea of the iPad since the announcement this week. There's no denying that it looks cool, but I'm having a hard time figuring out how I'd actually use it.

Ideally, I'd like to have my students send me .docx versions of their papers. I'd load them all onto the iPad and then be able to grade on the go, without having to schlep around sixty 8-page papers. I know that Pages has a post-it feature where I can type in comments, but I wouldn't want to use the virtual keypad on the iPad to do this. If Apple had an integrated hand writing feature in Pages, I could load up all those papers and correct them by hand all on the iPad. That would be awesome. I could handwrite all my comments and symbols and then convert to PDF and send back to the students via e-mail.

That's really the feature that would send me to the stores to buy the thing immediately.

Also, it would be great to have student work corrected on the iPad and then hook it up to my projector to workshop student essays in class.

As for eBooks: I use a four - five textbooks for my classes (you know those big Norton anthologies?) plus a number of smaller novels / memoirs. I'd love to load all my textbooks onto the iPad and carry only this device. But without being able to handwrite notes in the "margins," it's kind of useless to me. I often use my marginalia to pose questions in class. It's got to be right there on the page in front of me; not in some other document that I'd need to bring up.

So, yeah, the lack of an integrated handwriting feature in Pages and the ebook reader is a deal breaker for me. I'd love to see it, as I could easily imagine trading a shoulder bag full of dog-earred, carefully annotated textbooks and a bundle of loose student papers for a sleek iPad that allows me to read, grade, and annotate books and student work.

Maybe in the next version? Or am I missing something here and can I do those things on an iPad?
Unfortunately, no you're not missing anything, the iPad doesn't have any integrated handwriting feature..

Now, I know the keynote had a Paint program that was hand integrated as far as painting/drawing, etc.. but that was in the app itself..

So, that's not to say that a handwriting integrated app of some sort won't or can't be created.. but there's not one built directly into the iPad..
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Old Jan 29, 2010, 12:30 PM   #3
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The iPad can be software update to support all those feature. (handwriting recognition).

You can get Pages ($9.99) and do some editing there if you wish also.

Yes, I hear you with the textbook stuff. Me being college student and having to drag thick textbooks... I know what it can feel.
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Old Jan 29, 2010, 12:41 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by FSUSem1noles View Post
Unfortunately, no you're not missing anything, the iPad doesn't have any integrated handwriting feature..

Now, I know the keynote had a Paint program that was hand integrated as far as painting/drawing, etc.. but that was in the app itself..

So, that's not to say that a handwriting integrated app of some sort won't or can't be created.. but there's not one built directly into the iPad..
What about the ebook reader? Are there any reader apps out there that allow the reader to handwrite in notes?

I guess they could add handwriting to an update of Pages for iPad. But I'd have to wait for that to be a definite before purchasing.
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Old Jan 29, 2010, 03:47 PM   #5
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any other educators want to weigh in on how they might use the ipad in the classroom or to help manage their workload?
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Old Jan 29, 2010, 06:06 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by VerdeVivir View Post
any other educators want to weigh in on how they might use the ipad in the classroom or to help manage their workload?
I'm a teacher, although not too conventional. There is no place for a PC in my classes but my Touch gets pulled out frequently to check photos or web references. I teach furniture design in a workshop where there is an ongoing design discussion alongside an escalating production process. My workload includes the assorted reports, grading, guest lectures given, a few papers, and some seasonal syllabi updating. A conventional notebook PC handles all of that nicely. I don't see the iPad anywhere in my work life. I would play with one if I had one though.
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Old Mar 31, 2010, 07:07 PM   #7
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I would also be interested in how teachers might use the iPad. I'm a university professor, and I'm always looking for innovative ways to use technology in the classes that I teach.

There's another relevant thread here:
http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=858972
but I don't see any really innovative ideas jumping at me from these two threads!
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Old Mar 31, 2010, 07:25 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mward333 View Post
I would also be interested in how teachers might use the iPad. I'm a university professor, and I'm always looking for innovative ways to use technology in the classes that I teach.

There's another relevant thread here:
http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=858972
but I don't see any really innovative ideas jumping at me from these two threads!
unfortunately, because the iPad doesn't have it's own OS and is dependent on having a computer to sync it to..

As far as an educational standpoint, it's kind of crippled in it's functionality, a few uses off the top of my head are, note taking, good battery life, easy to carry around...
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Old Mar 31, 2010, 07:27 PM   #9
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I'm a Univ. Prof. also - I bought one (ordered I mean) and will be pulling TONS of textbook and journal articles to it IFF I can do as you say, and write directly on the document (or whatever process will be required) so that I can have my notes directly on it. Having it in a file elsewhere like you say, won't work for me either.

Similarly, having to type it in doesn't seem like the solution, although something like the 'Stickies' application on my Mac, if it left them on the page I wanted them, might work. I'm also going to want to be able to highlight.

If this thing is supposed to be the education tool I hear rumors they hope it to be, these are HUGE issues.
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Old Mar 31, 2010, 09:33 PM   #10
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Just read a post about Dual use apps using iPhone/iPod Touch in conjunction with the iPad through bluetooth.

I currently use a Macbook with a Promethean writing tablet to project my notes onto a screen. I wondered the other day if I could tether my iPad to the Macbook and use keynote on the MB and use the iPad as a remote, allowing me to "finger" write annotations on the presentations. Thoughts?
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Old Mar 31, 2010, 09:54 PM   #11
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A big thing to me (as a teacher) would be the ability to remotely control PowerPoint/Keynote presentations from it (display the slides on the iPad and allow me to remotely control my Mac connected to the projector). I assume it doesn't do this, right?
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Old Apr 11, 2010, 09:03 PM   #12
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Yes it does

Quote:
Originally Posted by FSUSem1noles View Post
unfortunately, because the iPad doesn't have it's own OS and is dependent on having a computer to sync it to..

As far as an educational standpoint, it's kind of crippled in it's functionality, a few uses off the top of my head are, note taking, good battery life, easy to carry around...
The iPad does have it's own OS. iPhone OS. The fact that you have to sync it to a computer is just that your computer is the "hub" of the device. Think of it as the iPad not having the storage to store all your content and your computer does. You just sync over what content you want. This could be cheaper for schools in that they could have fewer computers as the "hub" of the iPad devices to go around to the students. So the iPad could be the "one device" that are the text books and the computers for all the students.
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Old Apr 11, 2010, 09:29 PM   #13
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im hoping someone will write some educational (elementary school) apps for interactive math lessons... similar to many of the various websites that have great games (but are almost ALL flash based)... also a vocabulary app that can have different words plugged in, then it provides various activities like putting the words in abc order, matching the words to their word families, matching the words to their definations... etc... there could be so many amazing educational apps and please do let me know if these exist already... ill be checking whenever I decide to pull the trigger on an iPad.
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Old Apr 11, 2010, 10:05 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by VerdeVivir View Post
any other educators want to weigh in on how they might use the ipad in the classroom or to help manage their workload?
My wife is a college professor who teaches some pretty big classes (like over 100 students in one class type sizes) & she's using it to keep all her class notes on & stuff like that when she's up lecturing. This keeps her from fuddling with a bunch of papers, going back & forth to her desk, etc.

We're actually trying to find a way to wirelessly patch the iPad's built in microphone into the classroom's audio speaker system, so when she speaks, she doesnt have to shout & everyone will be able to hear her.
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Old Apr 11, 2010, 10:11 PM   #15
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A big thing to me (as a teacher) would be the ability to remotely control PowerPoint/Keynote presentations from it (display the slides on the iPad and allow me to remotely control my Mac connected to the projector). I assume it doesn't do this, right?
There is the Remote app that allows you to do this. I use it from my iPhone all of the time and according to the Geniuses, it'll work on the iPad.

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Old Apr 11, 2010, 10:21 PM   #16
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I'm an English teacher in New York City, and I've ordered a 3G model. I'm anticipating this to be a terrific way to carry around calendars, papers, and presentations. I love that Keynote is an available app, and Numbers also has templates for grade books (I use a Numbers grade book on my iMac right now).
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Old Apr 12, 2010, 12:16 AM   #17
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I teach several courses on Critical Thinking and Contemporary Culture. I'm planning to have all my lecture notes and countless hours of video on the ipad. As well as almost all my textbooks, additonally I utilize tons of journal articles my students don't have access to. I can store all those PDFs on the ipad, have them uploaded to my iweb page and cut and past key sections into a keynote for class discussions. I've already contacted 2 of my publisher reps and they assured me their are digital e- versions of the books I use. I contacted a third and told her no digital copy means I shop a new textbook for the fall, she seems eager to keep my business.

Grades.. I admit I can't figure out how to reconfigure the numbers grade book template to conform to my grading rubric. ( I'm sure it could be done, I'm just not that savvy) but I'm testing Snapgrader right now a web based grade book that will allow me to update my grades, give my students access and back up my gradebook automatically. Also allows me to view and grade on my iphone.

I can also develop power points on the fly to enhance my lectures... As an adjunct professor I can easily see this cutting my travel bag down by 15 lbs. that alone is worth it to me.
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Old Apr 12, 2010, 08:35 PM   #18
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I teach 2nd and 3rd graders and I see a lot of uses for the iPad.

I would use it similarly to the touch tables that SMART and other companies put out, but the iPad is MUCH cheaper, portable, and flexible. SMART tables
These sorts of tables are great for cooperative group work and somewhat hands on activities.

I would use the physics apps avail, many of the puzzle/problem solving apps out there, etc.

I would put the video book reviews my students did with my MacBook's iSight camera and photo booth. The students read their written book reviews for the camera, then I put them on an Ipod and displayed the books with the iPod. Then students could browse the books, tune in the ipod to a student created book review and listen to see if they are interested in the book.

The thing about the iPad is I can get one for the cost of a cheap PC which doesn't last long in an educational setting and is fragile. The iPad is much cheaper than a MacBook, less fragile on a student desk, and is more interactive and intuitive for little kids.

My wish list-
I would like to be able to have students create a powerpoint type slide show (something like the old HyperStudio stuff) where kids can easily take multimedia and create projects to display on smart board, iPads, etc.

I really think there are tons of uses for the iPad in the classroom that have yet to be discovered. Some issues need to be resolved, but I think Apple will figure those out. I think creating a way to sync a classroom set of 24 easily with one computer and a charging station cart.
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Old Apr 12, 2010, 08:41 PM   #19
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I hope that apple does update the software to enable handwriting recognition. Currently, the screen recognizes your palm resting on the screen while you write with a pen does not help.
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Old Apr 12, 2010, 10:56 PM   #20
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I hope that apple does update the software to enable handwriting recognition. Currently, the screen recognizes your palm resting on the screen while you write with a pen does not help.
Here is a quote about capacitive screens from somewhere on the web: "Supporting a stylus is hard because it must be made of conducting material and must make sufficient contact to change the capacitive property of the screen; in several areas the accuracy tends to be lower than resistive e.g. around the edges of the screen, combined with the lack of a stylus and lower sample rates makes things like handwriting input very hard. "

Last edited by Doctor Q; Apr 24, 2010 at 12:53 PM. Reason: edited quote
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Old Apr 13, 2010, 12:07 AM   #21
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Handwriting

I have been able to take handwritten notes in the iPad with the Pogo Sketch stylus. This weekend I used Adobe Ideas and took a few pages of handwritten notes. I just downloaded School Notes Pro and have been testing it out. It does a really nice job of integrating typed text, drawing and photos. the only problem is that it has been crashing and losing the page that it crashed on. Once Google Docs starts working properly teachers should be able share docs with students and give comments. I saw an app in the App Store that allows annotations on PDFs, I could see this being a useful way to give feedback to students if there is a sharing feature.
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Old Apr 14, 2010, 01:38 AM   #22
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Also take a look at PadNotes. You can put a custom background behind it, such as a PDF book (they include one in it). And it has typing plus 'pen' input. I have only started messing with it but it sounds like it might be what some of you are looking for.
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Old Apr 14, 2010, 02:41 AM   #23
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A big thing to me (as a teacher) would be the ability to remotely control PowerPoint/Keynote presentations from it (display the slides on the iPad and allow me to remotely control my Mac connected to the projector). I assume it doesn't do this, right?
The Keynote app itself has a presentation mode where the ipad turns into a remote control to present your Keynote presentations. I believe the Remote Control app works with the iPad as well but the Keynote app is probably a better solution.
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Old Apr 14, 2010, 07:08 AM   #24
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I am not a teacher, but smartnote (mysmartnote.net) just came out last night and is 0.99. It is a great app and something worth trying at the low price point.
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Old Apr 14, 2010, 09:24 AM   #25
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Being able to annotate PDF's would be great.
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