So many teachers are purchasing iPads as a second device in their classroom. Going beyond simply watching videos and accessing the net the challenge is how to go further. Here are some thoughts on how an iPad can support teacher’s professional development:
Tablets are really good for drawing and sketchnoting. This has come to include my own professional learning notes, but also as a portable whiteboard for small group group. Initially, I was using Inkflow. However, I have since moved to Paper by FiftyThree. A couple of things that I really like are the ease of drawing and the ability to zoom in and out. The one thing that I have found important though is the use of a stylus. Although you can use your finger, using a stylus is so much better.
What I love the most about using the iPad is its portability. Whether it be capturing visual or audio information or taking notes, I often start with Evernote. I like that I can then open things up on other devices, such as my phone and computer. In addition to this, I also use Sheets for recording information and Docs for working on planners. Since the ability to access offline documents was added, this has changed the way I use Google on the iPad. More recently, I have started using Trello to organise myself. What I have found most useful about it is the ability to forward emails to different boards to create new notes.
In regards to engaging with written texts on the iPad, there are two different aspects: texts that I find elsewhere and read on the iPad and texts that apps bring to me. In regards to reading texts from elsewhere, I use Kindle and iBooks depending on the text. These apps allows you to search, annotate and email information. I particularly like the ability to have Kindle read texts out loud via the accessibility settings. In regards to PDFs, I use Documents as it not only allows you to search and annotate, but also link to Google Drive where I often save PDF documents to. In regards to consuming texts that comes to me my first port of call is Feedly. I have a quite extensive list of blogs which I follow. In addition to this, I often send interesting links from Twitter, YouTube and Google+ to Pocket. Linked with this, I have recently started using Lisgo to listen through the various posts in Pocket. Although many swear by news aggregation apps, such as Flipboard and Zite, they are still often my last port of call, while sadly I find Diigo frustrating on the iPad.
In addition to sketching, I use a range of apps when working with images. There are a few apps that I often go to in regards editing images, including Vintage Scene HD and Comic Book!. In regards to creating images, my go to apps are Phoster and Meme Generator. An app from left field in regards to the creation of images is Foldify. This app actually allows you to create and colour 3D shapes. In regards to storing all these images, I usually use Flickr to keep them, but assign them a creative commons licence.
For presentations, my go to is Haiku Deck. Not only is the platform smooth and simple, but it also allows access and attribution to a wide range of creative commons. Another app that I have come upon recently is Adobe Voice. Like Haiku Deck, Adobe Voice not only allows access to creative commons images, but also the ability to record audio to support. In addition, I sometimes use Google Slides, although it can be a bit limited.
Now I know that there are others, such as Google Hangouts and Edmodo, that I use that I have not mentioned. However, I use them more on my laptop so I didn’t really feel that they earn a mention.
So what about you? What apps do you use? Is there anything that you would recommend? Would love to know.