Sunday, June 13, 2010
First thoughts about using the iPad with my students
On Thursday night I was very excited. I rushed home, unpacked the box and switched it on. I loved the size, I loved the touch screen and everything was working fine. I hooked it up to my wireless network at home and went to the App Store to download some apps for trying out with the students on Friday. My first thoughts based on the visit to the App Store were that it was not very easy to search for apps that would be good for different age groups in primary. I went to Education and found 880 apps which I then sorted into most popular, but these were not sorted into either subject or age range, though when I searched for Kindergarten I did get to 6 apps designed for this age group and when I searched for Elementary I got to 3 apps (all maths). I installed several of these apps to try out with the students.
I then went to Reference and again searched using most popular. Some of these apps would be very useful for me (for example the Swiss Phone Book) but not very useful for me to use in class with my students. I found a translator and dictionary that looked good and went ahead and installed those. I went to the Books category and installed iBooks and Kindle. Then I went ahead and got a book to try to see if I would like reading on the iPad as much as reading a "real" book.
What I have learnt from this: I need to have some suggestions of apps that are good to use with primary students. Searching around and trying out different apps is very time consuming.
On Friday evening I went to visit a Kindergarten teacher. We spent some time looking for more apps for her students and I am going to give her the iPad to use with her class on Monday. I'm interested to see how the students get on with the apps we have installed.
So, does anyone have any advice for me, any apps that work well with primary and middle schoolers? If so please leave a comment. Thanks!