As you may have noticed, I am not a huge fan of technology even tough I believe that Internet can be a very useful tool for teacher. After one of my course at University, I was surprised to find myself wishing to possess an iPad ! During the lecture, it appeared that the iPad can allow a teacher to conduct an impressing number of activities and projects with your class. It must be mentioned that a growing number of schools and school boards buy iPads for the students and that those iPads can be borrowed on demand by teachers. If it is not the case in your school, you can go on the Apple website and sign in for offers. Most web sites I talked about so far in this blog are available on iPads, iPhones, and stuff, but there are many, many applications that you can download on the iPads to personalize the activities and contents to be learned. There are applications available for any grade you are teaching, so because I am not yet a teacher, I decided to look for 2 specific applications I would use with any group of elementary or high school grade.
First, I found Endless Reader. This application is perfect for ESL teachers in primary school because it offers introduction to sentence construction and spelling. There are interactive puzzles in which students can see the words, recognize them and memorize them more easily. It is then easy for a teacher to get activities and small practice for students with this app. Working in teams to the construction of sentences sounds to me like a simple and fun task that elementary students would like. This way they can help each others and learn at the same time. The iPad then becomes a collaboration tool. Despite working in teams, what is more fun than little cute monsters everywhere, huh ?! Nothing !
The app is free, but you can purchase packs (see the left-hand side of the page “Top In-App Purchase”) that give access to more words. The same developers did another application for alphabet learning it is called Endless Alphabet. This application also targets elementary students.
The second application I came across is Comics in the Classroom. This app is perhaps more appropriate for high school students. It is a good tool for students to learn about historical events and famous people and to practice their reading comprehension skills at the same time. It is probably an application for individual work or whole-group questions and answers type activities.
At first, students can see short movies about the chosen event and after they can take a look back at the story and fill speech bubbles to put their new knowledge to action. It must be noted that the application has comic titles from various periods of time, and different continents. With the read-along feature, students get to practice their reading and listening skills. This application would bring a diversity in class that the students will appreciate.
For teachers, resources are available to download. These resources include PDF’s versions of the comics packed with research tasks, and ideas to introduce comics in the classroom.
Both applications presented here are only a small example of what can be done with iPad applications in class. There are also several applications made for the teacher such as presentation, organization and gradation tools. For ideas, or advices regarding iPad apps, click here