iPad - Perfect Teacher's Tool?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by Lioncrazz, Jul 25, 2011.

  1. Lioncrazz macrumors member

    Dec 3, 2009
    Hey guys, before I get into my question, let me say that I absolutely love apple and I personally think the concept and design of the iPad is awesome. I do not own one yet but may very soon. Also, I am not trying to beat a dead horse so I did a search but didn't find exactly what I wanted.

    My question is, as a teacher, will the iPad suffice as a stand alone device? I would need it to create assignments, tests, keep records for my classroom - things of that nature. It doesn't have to do any real heavy lifting but I definitely need it for word processing and document creation. Can you anyone give me input on how well the iPad would meet these needs? I want to get an iPad for my classroom due to the portability of it but don't want to expect something and be disappointed.

    Thanks in advance!
  2. LiloThePleo macrumors 6502

    Aug 8, 2010
    It won't be suitable. Anything that requires any considerable amount of formatting is best left to a full computer. It can be done, but it sure is fiddly to do. Having said that the iPad 2 is fabulous on a smart board. Much less hassle to set up than a laptop and it'll run all day without needing a recharge. It is not interactive, you can't have students come up and use the smart board to control the iPad, but for slideshows, videos, sharing photos and some apps (solar system explorer is sensational) it can't be beat. I used it extensively on my last prac and at least one teacher has now gone out and bought one :)
  3. Lioncrazz thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 3, 2009
    That's what I was afraid of. I did not know how good or easy pages was to use to format documents.
  4. g0odfr1end102 macrumors 6502


    Dec 5, 2010
    Montreal, Canada
    I totally agree with Lilo :)
    I personnally think the iPad is great for a class of students between 4 and 10 years old due to its interactivity, but above that age I think you should consider something else- a macbook air would be, I think, the perfect tool for your needs: extremely light yet extremely performant for formatting

    Hope this helped, and as a student I apologize for any probable spelling mistakes, I'm french :p
  5. 4DThinker macrumors 68020

    Mar 15, 2008
    Perfect Teacher's Tool? You'll need to find a perfect teacher first, then ask it to try an iPad out. :D
  6. palpatine macrumors 68040

    May 3, 2011
    i disagree. the ipad can do quite a bit for teachers.

    but, you'll want to be aware of its limitations. i posted a thread called "getting things done with the ipad." that will give you an idea of how i use it (graduate student/researcher/instructor).
  7. shane.reid macrumors newbie

    Jul 18, 2008
    My wife is a 1st grade teacher and only uses an iPad - no computer. She makes assignments, does grades, uses it in class, all of it.

    Probably depends on the types of assignments you are creating. For her, a lot of pictures, so pages is great with touch and drop.

    The worst limitation she has had is no fonts. She would want to install a few fonts such as cursive dotted lines, etc.
  8. Lioncrazz thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 3, 2009
    Thanks for all of these responses so far!! Lots of great insight and information.

    I will be using the iPad mainly to make worksheets and reading assignments for my students (grades 6-12). Are you able to export documents from pages to drop box? If not, how do you print from the iPad if wifi is not available?

    How does the tv out work? Do I need wifi for that or is there a special cable to hook the iPad up to the TV?

    I'd love to hear more opinions from people who own iPads. I love my iPhone and have not encountered any limitations with that, and I don't mind spending the money for the iPad. However, it's gotta be able to do what I need it to do. I have a MacBook but I would rather not log that around. Plus, the iPad will start up faster and do more of what I want it to do.

    @g0odfr1end102 - pas de probleme! Je parle le francais aussi! Merci pour votre aide.
  9. Omegaman02 macrumors newbie

    Jul 16, 2011
    The Land Before Time
    I'm a high school English teacher and I just bought an iPad this summer. I'm looking forward to using it during my classes. One app for the iPad that might be useful is an app called TeacherPal. It basically gives you a gradebook on the iPad. I don't know what type gradebook program your district already uses, or if you use one at all, but hopefully it will be able to be sync. I also plan to use it with my smartboard. I think the only way to figure out the ways to use the iPad in the classroom is to use the iPad in a classroom. Also, check out the iPad section on the Apple website. They may have some good ideas.
  10. Lioncrazz thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 3, 2009
    Awesome! Thank you for the response! I have TeacherPal on my iPhone currently. Definitely a useful app.
  11. henry72 macrumors 65816


    Jun 18, 2009
    New Zealand
    Don't worry, you will love Pages. It is the easiest Word processing program to use, much better than Microsoft Word. There is Pages for Mac, you can try it on your Mac if you want.

    I reckon the iPad is a perfect tools for you, however is also a big change for you as well. It will take you a while to get use to it.
  12. palpatine macrumors 68040

    May 3, 2011
    i email pages docs to evernote. it doesn't have a way that i know of to just move files into dropbox. it can print wirelessly, i think, but you need a certain kind of printer. as long as you can use email, thouggh, you should be able to get it to a computer that can print. the inability of apple products to use usb is annoying, but only a minor inconvenience for me. if the printer is networked, you can send directly to its ip address.
  13. LiloThePleo macrumors 6502

    Aug 8, 2010
    You can get pages on the iPhone now too can't you? Why not try it out, it will be a bit small but it will give you some idea of what it can do.

    I've created assignments and worksheets on my iPad, it all comes down to what you want to put in them. Basic formatting is not a problem, but if you want complex tables you will be asking for trouble. You mention you have a Mac if you get Pages on there you can create quite complex outlines and then transfer them to your iPad for further editing. I found that transferring in that manner allows the iPad to handle everything I have thrown at it so far.

    The entire iWork package is worth getting, keynote is wonderful for presentations. When my class reviewed maths lessons I would put examples up on the smart board with keynote, and they could draw over the projection with markers. Worked very well.

    Connecting to the smart board will require either a VGA or HDMI adapter from apple.
  14. erawsd macrumors 6502

    Jul 1, 2011
    It can be done but you're sacrificing a great deal of efficiency and functionality -- honestly, there are almost no advantages.

    1) Creating lessons. You could probably create lessons/rubrics/tests using Pages if you're ok using very basic formatting. You'll also need to buy a compatible printer, you'll probably want a BT KB also.

    2) Presentations. Again, you're battling limitations. iPad's keynote is ok if you aren't interested in using a lot of multimedia in your slides. Another issue is actually using the iPad to view the slideshow, we found it to be pretty cumbersome vs just using the remote that comes with the projector.

    3). No CD or Flash support. Unfortunately, a lot of available content for schools still comes on these aging formats. For example, our mathbooks come with CDs that have a ton of supplemental content to go along with book material. Likewise, the new reading program for next year has an online component built in flash.

    Where the iPad really shines is in the hands of the children themselves, the interactivity is something that really draws them into the lesson. Rather than replacing the 10 year old desktops in our 1st grades, we're exploring the idea of "iPad learning centers". They're half the price of the desktops we'd be forced to buy and a lot of the nicer apps I've seen targets early learning.
  15. rillrill macrumors 6502a


    Jul 27, 2011
    New York
    I'm going to have to second the previous post. I'm a high school English teacher, and I bought an ipad to see how it would work in the classroom. I have a 15" macbook pro and carrying that around from class to class is a total drag. I thought the ipad would be able to replace my laptop for my day to day lessons, but I ran into some hurdles.

    First the good - the 10 hr battery life is amazing. There are some interesting drawing programs (these can be done with a 5 cent piece of chalk and blackboard though), and if you grade essays, you need essay grader. iBooks is also interesting for annotations.

    The not so good - files! Any teacher that uses a computer to make worksheets, presentations, grade assignments, etc will probably be disappointed with an ipad. While the ipad versions for keynote and pages are impressive, they reformat all of my documents and take out important things. My keynote presentations do not play my audio or video clips. Apple needs to make the mac and ipad versions of iwork the same for me to continue using an ipad. And where am I going to save creations on an ipad? Hopefully icloud will solve some of these problems...

    Next is grading - my school uses powerschool, which doesn't run properly on an ipad. There is a powerteacher app for the ipad, but it is terrible.

    Lastly, I just work faster with a keyboard and mouse. Cutting and pasting, editing video clips, and more take so much less time on my macbook. I just value my time too much to spend 10 minutes trying to get the cursor on the right line.

    I'm leaning towards one of those macbook airs to replace my aging pro, but I'm going to wait until the new ios 5 to see if apple can fix my issues with the ipad. You might want to buy the iwork apps for your iphone to see if you can work with them first.
  16. CHSeifert macrumors 6502


    Dec 28, 2010
    Copenhagen, Denmark - Scandinavia
    I think - based on the previous posts - your best shot as a teacher is to get both an iPad 2 and a MacBook Air 13 !
  17. jsh1120 macrumors 65816

    Jun 1, 2011
    I'm sure Apple agrees with you. And that might help explain some of the deficiencies in the iPad.
  18. Sydde macrumors 68020


    Aug 17, 2009
    Except that that premise would be backwards, for all accounts. If I have an iPad to supplement my computer at home, I want to be able to compose initial ideas in the office, park, cafe, train, where ever, and be able to transfer the files to my computer, and back, seamlessly. When I get home, I should be able to take my portable draft, dress it up on the computer and transfer it back just like that. Otherwise, what is the point of having both? If the lines of communication between Pages and iPages, et al, are crippled, how does that encourage me to use (i.e., buy) both devices?
  19. melman101 macrumors 68030

    Sep 3, 2009
    Honestly, if I were you, I would go to the Apple Store and discuss this with the genius's. They can probably show you the software on the iPad, and bring with you the types of assignments and stuff you want to create.

    As for typing lengthy documents on it, you will want to get one of those bluetooth keyboards definitely.

    I think the iPad may work for you if it's the sole device that you are creating content on, just be quite sure before you purchase that it can make the content you so desire.

    I know my answer isn't very helpful, but until you use it for yourself, you will not know if it can do everything you want it to do.

    For instance, I can create some Excel's on my iPad (using Numbers), but I doubt I can run the newest version of an Excel 2007 document with tons of formatting on it. In fact, I'm gonna try it right now, and I bet it's gonna be an Epic Fail. I'll keep you posted.

    We do some heavy duty work in excel (the excel files are generally 20mb and larger). Let's see how it fairs.
  20. worlet macrumors newbie

    Jul 25, 2011
    I would need it to create assignments, tests, keep records for my classroom - things of that nature. It doesn't have to do any real heavy lifting but I definitely need it for word processing and document creation.

    I think those are a computer does, an ipad is not so convinent for you to do those work, you can consider a laptop is more suitable for you as a teacher.
    Hope it helps.
  21. Lioncrazz thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 3, 2009
    That's actually an awesome idea!! I may do that this weekend.
  22. thelookingglass macrumors 68000

    Apr 27, 2005
    Sounds like you just need to download a couple of apps. Use Docs To Go instead of Pages or Numbers and you'll find a lot of your formatting issues addressed. Use Goodreader and you'll be able to save files and even sync with Dropbox. I have all of my most critical files synced to Goodreader via Dropbox and it works great.
  23. jimmywhitetrix macrumors newbie

    Jan 13, 2010
    Some other excellent teacher resources

    Hi there,

    I teach at a school which runs a Macbook 1:1 program. I recently bought an iPad and am very excited about its roll in my classroom. Especially the ability to share my ipad screen onto a projector using the VGA converter kit.

    Apparently ios 5 will allow wireless screen sharing to an Apple tv. The potential here to allow any student share the screen wirelessly with the rest of the class is awesome.

    Check out this teacher resource website - www.isupport.com.au . Pretty handy for a teacher in a Mac environment.
  24. shane.reid macrumors newbie

    Jul 18, 2008
    Is docs to go truly worth it? I've been making due with pages.
  25. thelookingglass macrumors 68000

    Apr 27, 2005
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_3_5 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8L1 Safari/6533.18.5)

    For me it is. Two reasons. One, I never have a compatibility issue with docs other people send me and I've never had any formatting lost in translation. Two, it syncs with my Dropbox account so I can make changes on the fly. I suppose this second reason will be moot once iCloud is launched.

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