Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Early Merry Christmas to me

Last week, our principal offered a day of training along with a (school) i-Pad to two of our staff members. We had to submit how we would use the i-Pad in our classroom. Here's what I submitted:

If I were to receive the training and I-Pad, the first way I would use it would be to put together screencasts to upload to the internet for my students. A screencast is when you write on the screen and audio is recorded along with whatever you are writing so that it would be similar to being in the classroom (although they wouldn't see my smiling face). My intent would be to have screencasts for each concept and to use some examples that we went over in class and possibly additional examples as well. Students would be able to view these outside of class to help their understanding of the material. Although there are programs to do this with a computer and our SMARTBoards, it is very difficult to do between having a microphone close enough as you are writing on the board as well as getting the software to work with it. I have read several accounts of teachers doing screencasts and have noted which apps they have used to do it. My understanding is that it is much easier process to record the screencasts on the I-Pad since the microphone is built-in to the I-Pad.
There are also a couple of apps that will allow the I-Pad to control the mouse. It would allow me to write on the SMARTBoard while walking around with the I-Pad, similar to an airliner.
With only having one I-Pad in the classroom, I think for Math it would be challenging to use some of the math apps that are available for students in the classroom. There is a VGA to I-Pad cable available that would hook the I-Pad to the projector and would allow students to see what is happening on the I-Pad screen. I have a couple of thoughts of how this could be used in the classroom. There is an app called Wolfram Alpha that does a lot of mathematics. Although it is available on the internet, having the I-Pad in a student's hand manipulating the mathematics while others are seeing it could be one use of it. Also, in Algebra 2 we study the graphing of parabolas and bringing in Angry Birds could be interesting. When the birds are launched, they have a parabolic path and the path is left up on the screen. Students could find the equation of the parabola and use that to determine what to do next. I know of a teacher who has spoken with the developers of Angry Birds and he indicated that it is to scale, so students could find the equation accurately and go from there. This application does intrigue me a little, but I'd have to do a lot more research before launching it in the classroom (pun intended).
Those are the main thoughts going through my head at the moment. If I am one of the recipients, I would continue to research other viable options to try in the classroom.  Thanks for giving us the opportunity!

I found out today that I am one of the two lucky recipients! Yay me! Now for the somewhat scary part.... 

I know I have seen on Twitter that some of you have done screencasts on i-Pads and I did find some blogs that discussed this (Screencasting Apps for the i-Pad from langwitches.org, ScreenChomp from Teaching Math with Technology are the two I tagged in Diigo), but I'd love to hear from math teachers who have done this and what works well (or doesn't work well).

Does anyone else have any other suggestions of what I could with the i-Pad? I only have one for my classroom and I teach Algebra 2 and Math 1 (think Algebra 1 at a slower pace). Thanks for the help in advance!

Meanwhile, I'm trying to patiently wait until December 20th...


DKlemme said...

I use ScreenChomp pretty regularly in my class for the reasons you mentioned. I use them as sub plans. Today I was out for some math work and last night I made quick videos of some examples I wanted my students to review. Our school uses Schoology, I can post the link on there and all my students have access to the videos from their iPad or a home computer. Students have the app as well on theirs, so I have had students make a vid of them explaining a problem or concept and email me the link. It's bett than grading papers that's for sure. I also use splashtop app. My computer screen shows up on my iPad and I can run my computer,active inspire, websites as I walk around. They don't see the apps unless I have it attached to the dongle. The iPad is ok for me. As soon as a get a better handle on what the heck I am doing I would like to have my students use it more. I am having trouble letting go.

Nadine Herbst said...

Download sketchpad explorer by key curriculum press. It is a great resource in dynamic geometry. I am willing to be you will find some great application to algebra II as well.