Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Using iPads in the High School Science Classroom

Using the iPad in High School Science

When I first got an iPad back in 2011, I wasn't quite sure what I was going to do with it; however, I knew that it had potential. Within a few months, I began to find uses for it that helped my teaching and student learning. It took nearly 6 months for it to fully integrate into my classroom teaching workflow, but I now realize that I could never go back to anything less. There are a number of great things about other classroom technologies, as well, and I'm not saying that the iPad is the best for everyone, but there sure is a lot of compelling evidence that suggests it might be.

Here are my top 50 uses for the iPad, as a teacher, from my first year using it to teach high school physics and chemistry. This list was compiled in 2012, after exactly one year of using the iPad in my classes to teach. Some of these uses are apps, many of them are free, and others are functions of the stock iPad system or built-in device actions. This post will soon be updated for 2013 to a version 2.0, but in the meantime, there are many great ideas for teachers who have an iPad to use with their classes. 

Bracket Maker App - to run and keep track of mousetrap car race tournaments
o Touch Sounds and Tone Generator - to create different tones and waveforms of varying frequencies to display using the laser or Ruben's Tube visualization
o SoundCloud, Meta DJ and Wave Pad - to show how waveforms graph the sound waves over time, and how waveforms are used in music production to visually cue the different sections of a song
o Meta DJ and GarageBand - to teach students about frequency modulation and effects production in music as it relates to modifying the equation for the sound waveform
o Camera and Photo Booth - to capture images and video from class to then post on Google+, Twitter, display on the board over AirPlay on the Apple TV, or to share using other applications
o Camera - to function as a mobile document camera or live feed camera to show what is happening in a lab experiment or demo on one side of the room to students on the other side of the room using AirPlay
o CloudOn - to manage, access and edit documents in a DropBox account using the Microsoft Office suite controls --> to edit and manage the standards based grading spreadsheet gradebook
o Numbers - to collect data on student performance, completion of tasks, field trip payments and permission slips --> allows for a star rating to collect data easily; spreadsheet can then be exported via email to merge with data master gradebook spreadsheet
o Paperport Notes - to write notes and create answer keys for in class use live over AirPlay or to export directly to Google Docs where class files are stored --> can open and edit a PDF document, uses graphing, lined, or blank paper
o Tuning Fork - used to teach about musical pitch and frequency of sound waves as well as to demonstrate the concept of beats
o Evernote & Evernote Peek - to create a Smart Cover flip quiz for chemistry vocabulary terms
o Splashtop Remote Desktop - to remotely control my MacBook (before I had an Apple TV) to use the iPad as an Airliner for the Smart Notebook software as well as control web apps such as physics simulations
o iMotion HD - to make stop animation videos of things that happened in the lab or in class (kind of for fun) and to post them on Google+ or Twitter
o Cinemagram - to make cool GIFs of things that happened in class and to post them on Google+ or Twitter
o Protractor - to measure angles in experiments, particularly ones done outside, e.g., rocket launching or banked turning angle of lean
o Video Physics - app for capturing video footage of objects in motion and analyzing their motion for its speed, direction, acceleration, and path
o SimplePhysics - a challenging problem-solving game for students to use their knowledge of various physics concepts to accomplish a building task, such as constructing a roof, staircase, or treefort, which has to accomplish a certain task (such as support a load of weight.)
o Mr. AaaaHh! & Angry Birds - an app for teaching about projectile motion and calculating acceleration due to gravity in a video game world
o Underground Basketball - a fun game to challenge students' knowledge of projectiles and motion in two dimensions. Students have to make baskets by changing the angle of trajectory for shooting a basketball
o Newton's Cradle - an interactive app that shows the conservation of momentum and transfer of energy in the Newton's Cradle toy
o Refractive - an app for calculating the angle of refraction and visualizing the refraction of light
o Quick Graph - graphing functions to help students visualize relationships in their data from lab experiments
o Calculator - calculations for lab data
o GoSkyWatch and Planetary - uses the movement of the iPad to match up to the star map and information on constellations in the app to view the stars that the iPad is facing. Planetary takes your music library and translates it into an outer space analogy display. Used to help students to think about the motion of the heavenly bodies.
o Skype, Google+ Hangout, and FaceTime - video chatting in real time for 1 on 1 or up to 20 persons (G+ only) -- used to allow absent students to view class, students communicate with project groups when they cannot arrange face to face meetings. Send students to collect lab data outside the classroom and report back to students in real time with lab partners in the classroom, or project on screen with Apple TV (like a roaming camera)
o TourWrist - 3D virtual tours of panoramic views from around the world
o Stick Pick - randomly select students to ask questions of in class; generates prompts for questions based on Bloom's taxonomy and keeps track of teacher ratings of students' responses.
o iReview - to make flashcards and quizzes out of Quizlet flashcard sets
o ShowMe - to create narrated whiteboard-style videos of explanations of homework or of class concepts. The videos get posted on the ShowMe website and shared via Google+ or Twitter
o Foursquare (with the mobile hotspot) - to run and manage a scavenger at Cedar Point
o Socrative - polling and quizzing application for audience (student) responses using devices or any web browser. Students can vote on surveys or polls, answer quiz questions, share ideas/hypotheses, or take a graded quiz. Works on any web browser and also has mobile device based apps (teacher version and student version)
o Skyfire and Puffin - web browsers that make web browsing more fully functional, e.g., to show flash animations, SlideRocket presentations from students, interactive applets, or embedded videos from a website. Also, to show YouTube videos that would be blocked on the school wireless, because YouTube is blocked on the school wireless entirely
o Music - to power the Ruben's tube, laser for music visualization; to power styrofoam plate speakers made by students in class.
o Web-Browser (Safari) - take attendance, reference information online
o Lino - an app for creating bulletin boards and sticky notes that can be collaboratively written on. Teacher can create a prompt and students can post sticky notes responding to the prompt. Students can take photos of something from their lab experiment and post the photo on the board. Accessible from the web or device apps. Saveable boards can be published. Can use like a display board for student work.
o DropBox + iBooks - storing, viewing and sharing documents from a scavenger hunt
o SyncSpace - students can collaboratively create a whiteboard to then display using the Apple TV AirPlay

Friday, March 15, 2013

A Look Into a 'Bring Your Own Device' (BYOD) Classroom

Students using their own device in the classroom? It sure is!


Recently, I discovered that I am part of some "73% of teachers," according to an article published by Mashable, who are using cell phones in the classroom with students for learning activities. Leveraging mobile devices for learning is nothing new, and many classrooms have invested in 1:1 device initiatives, such as iPads, for students. Despite its apparent benefits, this can be costly and not always the most beneficial route. Though the jury is still out on iPads for every student in the classroom, a much more accessible alternative exists--allow students to use the devices they already have. Of course, this approach is not going to look the same everywhere, nor at each grade level, yet it is still one worth exploring.

Many students are walking into classrooms each day with mobile technology, and often that technology is more powerful than the technology available to them at school. The potential for using devices in learning to collaborate, communicate, and create content is endless; however, policies currently in place in many schools make it challenging to allow teachers to explore device use in classrooms. Nonetheless, there are many aspects of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) that can inspire schools get started in considering policy changes that would allow device use for learning. What is the potential for BYOD in the classroom? Seemingly, the possibilities are endless. The REMC Association of Michigan put on a showcase video, entitled the Connected Educator Series, featuring the BYOD teaching and learning that takes place in my classroom this year.

Students can engage in what is referred to as 21st century learning, create digital notes or portfolios, collaborate in real-time, journal and reflect on their own learning, or participate in blended learning opportunities. In my own classroom, we use devices for so many different aspects of science class, that it has rendered us nearly paperless. The basics of a BYOD policy for students should be not all that different than a policy for employees and adults in the workplace or higher education. To introduce some of the basic elements of BYOD, put together this infographic illustrating what it is and some ideas for use. Getting a sense of the BYOD realm is the first step toward considering how it can function in your classroom.

  Going BYOD