Any teachers out there?

stickybuns

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Oct 22, 2011
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How are you using your iPads during class? I'm thinking of buying one since there are times when I want to show my students how to annotate a text or how to correct a particular grammar error, so being able to write directly on the document would come in handy. But would it be handy enough to spend $500+?

We do have overhead projectors, which would cover many of my needs, but they're a pain to use since they're on the 1st floor, and I'm on the 3rd. Plus, transparencies need to be made in advance, which means no spontaneity.
 

WoodrowCall

macrumors 6502
Sep 20, 2010
274
36
Memphis, TN
I teach 12th grade English, and haven't found my iPad 2 to be that useful. That being said, I think that if you did have wifi in the school, it would be handy. I find it really difficult to load/unload documents at school with our blocked wifi. Also, if you want to show something on your iPad, I'm guessing you'll need an hdtv or lcd with hdmi input, an hdmi cord, and an adapter. It's fairly pricy just to show grammar corrections.
 

stickybuns

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Oct 22, 2011
384
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I confess that I also want one for the shiny new toy factor; however, my iPhone was my shiny new toy purchase for this year.

I thought there was a simple adapter for plugging into external monitors/projectors? The "smart classroom" podiums are set up to work with a laptop and just require an adapter to work with my MacBook, so I hoped the iPad would function the same.
 

Pete the Geek

macrumors regular
Mar 5, 2011
186
0
Sioux Lookout
I'm a teacher, currently in a role where I support other teachers in our district with math and technology. I'm involved in a technology demo class where they have class sets of iPads and iPods. In that case, I got the teacher everything he needed to connect one of the iPads to both a projector and a TV.

The projector doesn't take much time to set up, but it would be much better if you had your own, even a small portable unit. You can connect an iPad through the Apple Composite Cable, but any app you use would have to support "TV Out". More expensive projectors and TVs will have an HDMI connection and then you could use the Apple HDMI Connector and the iPad Display Mirroring feature to show anything that appears on the iPad screen.

If you want an iPad for yourself, you can also use it in class. If you are just thinking of trying one out for school, I suggest you try to borrow one, either from another teacher or even a parent of one of your students. There might also be technology grants available for your class, school, or board. Apple has lent my organization class sets of iPads for training, but I'm not sure how we got qualified for it (I took over the project at the point where I had to ship them back).

I can say that having an iPad or even iPod in the classroom can make a huge difference in spontaneity during a lesson. It also increases student interest in whatever you are doing. In elementary classes, I can get kids to do math problems until I make them stop just by giving them an iPad or iPod with a "worksheet" app! They love the immediate feedback. If you school has wireless Internet, it can make looking up a fact or word a matter of handing the iPad to a student who asked the question. I love handing a group of kids an iPad to watch a video... they pay so much attention and often rewind it to rewatch parts. It beats rolling in a TV/DVD player and having them sit while you get it started up... It changes learning from a passive activity to an active, student-controlled experience.

Using your own iPad in class is a bit of a risk, but I haven't had any problems at all in 18 months and hundreds of students. I routinely let kids use my personal iPad and iPod in class and I've never had a problem or concern about loss or damage. I do have to wipe it down thoroughly after the Kinders have been playing on it :eek::D. I make the younger kids sit on the floor to use it.

Let us know if you try it out! If you have more specific questions, feel free to ask here or PM me.
 

stickybuns

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Oct 22, 2011
384
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Thanks, Pete.

Our smart room podiums have DVI connectors for plugging in laptops, and I use a mini-DVI to DVI adaptor in my MacBook. At least, I think it's DVI--tough to picture it in my head. (ETA: It might be VGA. I can't quite picture the connector in my head)

Our department has a couple of iPads available to loan out during the class session, but they do not have the adaptors. If I buy my own adaptor, I want to be sure to get the correct one. The loaner iPads are a bit inconvenient since I can't load specific apps and I'm uncomfortable leaving my files on a shared device.

You mentioned iPods. Is it possible to test things out on my iPhone? Could I run Keynote presentations off of my iPhone?
 

Pete the Geek

macrumors regular
Mar 5, 2011
186
0
Sioux Lookout
Our smart room podiums have DVI connectors for plugging in laptops, and I use a mini-DVI to DVI adaptor in my MacBook. At least, I think it's DVI--tough to picture it in my head. (ETA: It might be VGA. I can't quite picture the connector in my head)

You mentioned iPods. Is it possible to test things out on my iPhone? Could I run Keynote presentations off of my iPhone?
I can confirm that I have used the Apple HDMI Adapter and an HDMI to DVI adapter cable (RocketFish brand) to connect an iPad to a DVI monitor. Display mirroring worked fine, but it would not play iTunes purchased movies (basically a digital-rights management issue with the setup).

A VGA connector has one group of 15 pins. An HDMI connector is larger and has two distinct groups of pins.

I use my iPod to show videos in class. I also show PowerPoints through the Keynote app on the iPod. It is pretty quick to transfer files to Keynote. You can use any computer with iTunes. You just have to set iTunes to NOT automatically sync.
 

stickybuns

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Oct 22, 2011
384
0
It's a native feature to the iPad 2.
Ok, I had read complaints about the feature not working with various apps--does this mean the complaints are about the iPad 1?

Question for the USA based teachers here: were you able to get a tax deduction on your iPad?

ETA: Never mind. I found the answer here http://taxes.about.com/od/deductionscredits/p/EducatorExpense.htm

I'm not a K-12 teacher. No tax bennies for college instructors from the looks of things.
 
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silverblack

macrumors 68030
Nov 27, 2007
2,676
838
Check your local craiglist. I already have a 3G iPad for personal use at home (kids use it too), and didn't want to bring it back and forth. So I found a 16GB wifi only on kijiji for $400. With the Black Friday sales, you may see some similar good deals.

For me, I converted all my notes to PDFs, and share them with students. I use iAnnotate to mark up the notes in class. One really nice feature was the ability to zoom in any parts. This way, I don't need to worry about enlarging the content just for projection on screen.
 
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stickybuns

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Oct 22, 2011
384
0
Unfortunately, I'm going to miss the sales. I'm adjunct faculty, so I need to wait and see if my contract is going to be renewed before I make any major purchases. With any luck, the iPad 3 will be out, and I'll be able to get a decent deal on an iPad 2.
 

palpatine

macrumors 68040
May 3, 2011
3,130
45
i've used the ipad in lectures and presentations at universities. i think it is a fabulous tool, and in many ways more convenient than a laptop.
 

Abazigal

macrumors G5
Jul 18, 2011
12,809
10,847
Singapore
Not much here. I have seen PE teachers use it to show clips to their pupils on the proper way of executing gymnastics moves, but that seems to be pretty much it.
 

Mcclure

macrumors member
May 10, 2011
50
0
I'm a math and engineering teacher (high school) and I use my iPad every day. I have a projector that has an HDMI input which is nice. I also use an Apple TV that allows me (with an iPad 2 and iOS 5) to mirror the iPad wirelessly. This means I can give presentations and be anywhere in the room (great for classroom management). I can also write notes, annotate over a pdf or really any document if you prepare for class, and the really nice part is I can set it on a students desk and have them answer the questions. It's also nice that you can take a photo of a students work (almost like a document camera) and annotate it with some of the note taking apps. The other great part of it is that in all the note taking apps I have you can export your notes as a pdf and put them on a website for students to access.

My wife teachers English and I am trying to convince her that it could really change the way she teaches as well. She just got an interactive whiteboard shortly before I started using the iPad heavily in class, so she wants to stick with that.
 

Pete the Geek

macrumors regular
Mar 5, 2011
186
0
Sioux Lookout
I have a projector that has an HDMI input which is nice. I also use an Apple TV that allows me (with an iPad 2 and iOS 5) to mirror the iPad wirelessly. This means I can give presentations and be anywhere in the room (great for classroom management).
That is a nice setup, thanks for the idea! I will see if we can do this in our tech demo class. I will also make sure the next projector we buy has HDMI.

I like NoteTaker HD for taking notes and I've tried using it as a virtual whiteboard, but I find it a bit awkward in that role.
 

atomicbloke

macrumors member
Oct 10, 2011
33
0
Teachers are way underpaid and disrespected because most Americans don't value education as serving an useful purpose. That's the reason the Chinese and Indians kids are stealing America's lunches.
 

Mcclure

macrumors member
May 10, 2011
50
0
That is a nice setup, thanks for the idea! I will see if we can do this in our tech demo class. I will also make sure the next projector we buy has HDMI.

I like NoteTaker HD for taking notes and I've tried using it as a virtual whiteboard, but I find it a bit awkward in that role.
I agree that it is not the greatest for a virtual whiteboard, but if I prepare ahead of time and make notes up (I use SMART notebook a lot and export to pdf) it works out a lot better. Then I just need to solve the problems or annotate over the circuit and not draw everything out. I've also found the more I use it as a virtual whiteboard the better I have become at it. Being able to quickly swipe between apps has been something I have been working on. Also taking screen shots of different documents (keynote, and iCircuit are two I use a lot) that I can then bring into the note taking apps is nice, it means less drawing, quicker, and the students can read it better than my handwriting. If there is a question on the fly that I didn't already have in my prepared lesson it works really well (or if I didn't have time and didn't prepare as well as I should have). I also find the more I use a stylus the better I get at it.
 

stickybuns

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Oct 22, 2011
384
0
I love the idea of taking a quick screen shot and then adding annotations.

My husband has an HP Touchpad with Android ported to it. We've agreed that if the "HPad" can serve my needs as well as the iPad, I'll just use that, but it really sounds like the possibilities with the iPad will be far greater.
 

toblerboy

macrumors member
Dec 29, 2011
58
0
There are some great suggestions as to how to use the iPad here - our school has recently considered using macbooks in our school; but this has clouded the issue - perhaps the ipad would be better than macbooks?
 

3lionsbecks

Suspended
Jul 19, 2010
607
119
Ontario, Canada
There are some great suggestions as to how to use the iPad here - our school has recently considered using macbooks in our school; but this has clouded the issue - perhaps the ipad would be better than macbooks?
I teach high school History and a Macbook pro is much more versatile and probably a better investment as an educational tool.

IMHO
 

toblerboy

macrumors member
Dec 29, 2011
58
0
3 lions - just been having that very discusion in thread about macbook v macbook pro! Consensus seems to ge going towards macbook...
 

Mcclure

macrumors member
May 10, 2011
50
0
If you only have one or the other I would always go with a MacBook. There are too many things an iPad can't do, I use the iPad for 80% of my lessons at least, but the laptop could fill in for that. The iPad can't fill in for the last 20%.
 
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