by Tara Seale
My school district recently purchased an iPad 2 for my classroom. Up until now, I was not sure how I could engage students using only one iPad in my classroom, and like most educators, I believe technology is only worth spending money on if it can engage multiple students, so I was not too excited about the first iPad. That has all changed with the iPad 2.
Why? The original iPad had great apps, and it served as a great experience for one student, but for an entire class to view an app and all of its features, a student, a group of students, or a teacher would have to demonstrate the product produced with the app under a document camera, which would produce blurry images, be difficult to see, and lack engagement. Not really worth the money.
The current version of the iPad has changed the blurry images into clear images which can be viewed using an adapter for a tv screen or an overhead projector. You need an Apple Digital AV Adapter for $39 if you are using an HDMI port or an HDTV monitor. I am not quite as lucky to have those options, and I doubt many classroom teachers have those options, but the $29 Apple VGA adapter works well with classroom overhead projectors. In my classroom, I run the VGA cable through the ELMO to my Smartboard, but you do not need an ELMO or a Smartboard, the ipad will connect straight to the projector with an adapter.
The apps a teacher can use with students for presentations are numerous. Teachers and students can present information to the rest of the students in the class in a variety of engaging apps. If you are interested in exploring apps to use in a high school classroom, check out the following links: iPads in Schools, best free apps for education, and Cybrary Man's website with numerous links to articles and iPad apps.
I took the photo at a the Hot Springs Institute for Technology conference Schools Without Walls iPad workshop. At the workshop, teachers used the app Puppet Pals to create puppet shows to tell the stories of famous legends. To show the audience the puppet shows, teachers placed the iPad 2 on the dock which has a port for a VGA adapter, as shown in the photo. The adapter is connected to the the LCD cable which projected the puppet show onto the screen for all to see and hear.