Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Using an ipad in science lessons

Back in June, I was loaned an ipad.  Since then I've been trying to use it in lessons.  I'm still waiting for a cable to connect it to the interactive whiteboard, have no wifi in my classroom and all the apps I've tried have been free - hopefully something here will be useful if you are starting out.

This is a really useful app for collecting all those pictures and video clips you see on the internet and want to show your classes.  You add contacts (many of mine have come from twitter) and you can see what they have "pinned", add it to your boards and by clicking on the picture, go through to the webpage.  I know some teachers set up boards that their classes can access and add things too.  I think you need an invite to join pinterest - shout if you want one and I'll try and find out how I can send it to you.

Again, someone on twitter put me onto this.  You set up a teacher account and it allocates you a room number (that doesn't change). Pupils in your class log in using that room number, using a PC or their own mobile phones.  You can then orally ask true/false questions, short answers or multiple choice ones - the pupils respond on their devices and the app sends that information to you - it displays as a bar chart for the true/false and multiple choice ones, and shows you exactly what was typed for the short answers (which you can then ask the pupils to vote on). Using it in this way takes no preparation.

If you have a bit more time then you can write and save your own quizzes. TES also has a collection of them which you can easily search for by typing in "socrative".  A great way to use these quizzes is in the built in Space Race - groups or individuals can be allocated colours and they race space ships across the teacher's screen - the more they get right, the further their rocket moves.  This function will also email you an excel spreadsheet of who said what in response to each question, it even colour-codes it for correct and incorrect.  I got one of my classes to write quizzes for me as part of their revision, which I could then use with other classes, and for them in a later lesson.

There is also an exit ticket section - pupils put their names in and answer basic questions about what they understood in that lesson and what they might need more help with.

iMotion HD
Love this. I've enjoyed using it so much in lessons that it's now installed on the school itouches and lots of other science staff are using it too.  It allows you to make stop motion animations - the possibilities are endless - I've used it to get classes to explain how enzymes work, what happens to atoms in a car engine, phagocytosis, explaining how natural selection takes place....

Lots of amazing apps available, I need a cable to really use these in class. Try Spacecraft 3D if you haven't already.

I use this more than anything at the moment - I like to photograph the work that pupils do - recently year 7 made egg landers, so I took a picture of them before they dropped them, printed them out, and they are in their books as a record of what they've done.

The thing I'm going to be using it for the most over the next few month is to video my own teaching. Up until last week I'd never seen myself teach! It was a bit scary but I could look at it later and I could see things I needed to do to tighten up my teaching (like, how did I not spot that kid doing that thing they shouldn't have been doing?!) It was also good to share with another teacher (who teaches a different subject to me) so he could provide feedback without having to miss his own lesson.

I'm interested in hearing how other people use ipads in teaching and what their favourite apps are.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Angela, really enjoyed your post about ipads in teaching. Its something we're using a lot more of at the National Science Learning Centre. Many of our course folders are now being solely produced on Ipads and all our courses from September (2013) will be using them. We have recent research which shows that a significant number of schools are using ipads in class -significantly more than any other tablet.
    My recommended app would be PDF Expert - it costs, but allows you to annotate pdfs in the same way you can annotate in ibooks.