The Teacher and the One iPad Classroom

Recently I ran across an article in twitter that discussed tips on teaching in the one iPad classroom. The article share several great tips and I thought I would continue the discussion by providing some of what I have learned along the way myself.

Splashtop – this app was mentioned in the above article and have to agree it is great. Available in the app store for $2.99 this app allows the teacher to utilize wifi to control their teacher desktop from anywhere in the room. While it requires a bit of installation to get started, you basically stream across the network to your computer and you can see your desktop (PC or MAC) on your iPad. Sort of like using the iPad as a slate.

Socrative– who needs clickers when students can respond to your questions on their own devices via this free app. Teachers download the socrative teacher app to their iPad to create and deploy questions. Student’s download the socrative student app to access your questions via a code given by you. What better way to employ #BYOD!

HDMI or VGA Out cable – Depending on which type (HD or VGA) LCD projector you have in your classroom, you can purchase a cable for $40 or less to connect and mirror content from your iPad onto your projected screen. This is great if you are teaching from keynote, trying to demo an app, or simply teaching from the web. The only caveat is that you are wired to your projector. If you don’t like that, you can go wireless by connecting Apple TV to your projector and using AirPlay.

Flipping with videos- planning on flipping your classroom this Fall? Try one of these apps (educreations, screenchomp, or explain everything) to record your lessons and offer them up as short bits of lecture/homework for your students.

Thanks to Think-Share-Teach for the inspiration for this entry! Enjoy the new school year!
– Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Have Student Response Clickers Been Replaced?

This question is actually not a new one.  Clickers have been in decline in recent years as online options have changed.  But the topic came up recently as I worked with a few teachers in setting up a classroom for use with student response clickers.  The question came up as to whether student response systems were worth the time or if mobile solutions were better.

For those of you that may or may not remember, for years, eInstruction, Renaissance Learning, and Smart Response among others, flooded the market with Student Response Systems.  These systems consisted of a computer program in which the teacher could create and deploy test and review questions that students could respond to using hand held clickers.  Of course this was not a new idea as it had been around for years.  These companies had just gotten into the business of perfecting and selling the idea, which was a good one.

Flash forward a few years, and teachers started to see the emergence of free options that allowed students to use mobile devices to respond and interact with classroom content.  Some of the following may ring a bell:

Now Google has gotten into the mix in several ways.

Google Forms – You can use Google Forms as an effective quiz or testing tool by adding on a few Scripts or AddOns.  Create a Form and instead of form or survey questions, use test questions.  As students fill in your form, responses are collected in a Google Sheet.  Add-ons such as Flubaroo and SuperQuiz can be used to grade the results.

Google Chrome Apps – The Chrome Store has a whole host of Apps that can be used for student response, including Socrative TeacherSocrative Student , Nearpod , ExitTicket, and  VirtualClicker.  While some of these require that you have a teacher account, many of them are free.

What does this mean to the classroom teacher who can’t afford to buy an expensive set of clickers?  If you are in a school that has gone 1:1, or you have a checkout lab or iPad cart, these online solutions allow you to create and deploy tests in your classroom for free.  Free is definitely good in my book.  Plus if you use Google Forms, you could create quizzes or exit ticket questions to go with videos for the Flipped Classroom.

Whatever situation you are in, we are now in an educational age where free technology is closer to our grasp than ever.  Make use of it in any way you can to further your educational goals.  Just remember that technology is the tool, not the main focus.  We need to work hard as educators to help students learn that there are several tools out there to help them achieve their goals.

Flipping in Time

Coming home from the ISTE national conference in San Diego, I found on our doorstep, a copy of Time Magazine for the week of July 9th. As I flipped through the latest I found the following article (,9171,2118298,00.html) on Sal Khan called “Reboot the School”. It seems that in reading the article, the idea of the flipped classroom has reached Time Magazine. However, as I read further, I found the usual story of how Salman Khan went from Hedge fund manager to online tutor/teacher. As I read further, I discovered what the magazine describes as the flipped classroom, but refers to it as Khan’s Way.

Now I am a big fan of Khan, and while I am happy to see the idea of the flipped classroom reach such a wide audience, I was disappointed to see that other names such as Bergmann and Sams were left out of the discussion; or to also see that no mention was made of the success that is occurring in schools across the country where teachers have made their own videos through their own efforts.

While Khan Academy is a great solution for students who need additional help, and it provides a solution for teachers who are starting out on their own in a flipped model, nothing replaces the familiarity of a student being able to see and hear their own teacher in a video lesson as homework, and being able to relate the information back the next day in a hands on activity.

I would encourage anyone who reads this article and is interested in flipping the classroom to do the research. There are many examples of how flipping can be successful. I would also recommend that for teachers who are just starting out, Khan is a great starting point, but nothing can replace the teacher students are familiar with. So when you get the nerve and get over seeing or hearing yourself on video, start with a few simple tools such as Camtasia, Explain Everything, or Educreations, and make your own videos to begin flipping the classroom.

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

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