Thursday 14 February 2013

Why Every Teacher Should Have iPads

I have had a keen interest in using technology in school for as long as I can remember -- even way before I even thought of being a teacher. I can remember when I was in elementary school in 1984 when I used my new Apple Macintosh computer to produce my own report on Argentina. This report was fully typed in Venice 14 point and contained a drawing I did in MacPaint. I was way ahead of my time and I think the only report in the class that was produced digitally.

Now I have been a high school teacher for 13 years I am still working and using technology in new and creative ways.
Over the past two years I have been eating and breathing iPads. Not because I am an Apple Fanatic (but I might be close) but because the ease of use for educational reasons. Over that time I have had alot of trial, error and troubleshooting. But now I have the benefit of being familiar with iPads strengths and weaknesses. Most of the apps that I have listed in the presentation are ones that I have used myself or with my students. These apps have survived the test of being easy to learn, easy to use, and powerful. They are basically my top picks.

I gave my presentation/workshop on February 15th, 2013 for a group of public school teachers in SD73 Kamloops.

In this workshop, I focused on powerful apps to use as a teacher on the back end & great apps to use in the classroom. These will work if you have 1 or 30 iPads in your classroom.

I have organized the student apps into three categories:

  • Consuming 
  • Collaborating 
  • Producing

Below is an embedded copy of the presentation and a direct link to it in Slide Share. Also included are some recommended resources, sample student video's and criteria rubrics that are mentioned in the presentation. I hope you enjoy.

Slide Show:

Rubric Attachments:
      -Rubrics courtesy of Mr. Beeds

Science Dissection Lab Video's:
      -Links courtesy of Mr. Beeds

Other Interesting Blog posts on iPads I wrote earlier.
 Extra Links for iPad information:


  1. I was pleasantly surprised when I found this blog entry. I am a recently retired principal from the Kamloops School District who was involved with computer technology in our district since the beginning. It is great to see that you are using technology in your classrooms, but even more importantly, in my mind, that you are sharing your ideas and knowledge with other teachers in the district.

    It makes me think back to the time when I used to present workshops to teachers so that they could learn to use a word processor and spreadsheet. Now look at what they do.

    Teachers often don't have enough time in their lives to learn about new things that come along, so any leadership to show how technology could be used in the classroom is a positive thing.

    Congratulations on your work. I would have loved to have been at your presentation during the ProD day. Please keep up with your leadership for other teachers. I'm sure they appreciate what you know and what they can learn from you.

  2. Thanks for your comments Brian. I have had many positive comments about the workshop - it seems that basically every school is looking at or just got some tablet computers.

    One reason I enjoy sharing my ideas and thoughts on this blog (which I really wish I had more time to do more posts) is to make connections with other teachers interested in tech. We all have limited time and need to learn from each other.

  3. I noticed that looking through your list of suggested apps that many of the same apps, or ones with similar function, are available on the Android platform too. This is good news for those who want to save some money, or take advantage of some the more open nature of Android because this situation with the apps was not so good a year or even six months ago before the explosion of Android development.

    And for those that use a variety of devices or mix with BYOD, many of the apps are cross-platform and store their data in the cloud so that they can be accessed by any device...things like Socrative, Display Note, Nearpod, Evernote and, of course, Google Drive. My company deals with Android management, so we've learned a lot about these cross-platform apps lately.

    1. Hi Jarrett
      Thanks for your comments. I agree with you that Andriod is catching up very quickly with apps that will eventually make it pretty seamless between platforms. I have focused on Apple iPads because when I began two years ago the iPad was the only reasonable option & has so many educational apps.
      I also don't yet have much Andriod personal experience. But one current problem with Android tablets I have heard is that many apps are just blown up from a smaller phone size. Have you found this to be true?
      However, I think that this (if it is really a problem) will improve over the next year anyway.
      I could re-tool this workshop to "Why every teacher should have tablets".
      Again thanks for taking the time to comment.

  4. hi

    the great thing is that android is linux, and therefore closely connected to open source, if you use other open source such as linux, i for example use linux accounts with students that let them do a lot
    you can then hook the android into these linux accounts
    so it is an entire ecosystem that is not closed like apple is

    jemsher gill

  5. I'm so glad I stumbled upon your blog...

    My English department is getting two class sets of iPads this upcoming school year (we start in 3 weeks!). My department chair and I were wondering about the physical management of the iPads from class period to class period day to day.

    Can you help me think through beyond locking them up at night? Please? I really need some pointers to get us started.

    Thank you in advance for your time!

  6. I would have loved to have been at your presentation during the ProD day. Please keep up with your leadership for other teachers. how did u spend your vacation