Friday, 10 January 2014

iPad Class Instruction Essentials

When we embarked upon our technology journey, we realized very quickly that we would require a projector. There are numerous posts on the internet about how to use only one iPad in a classroom, but we knew that if we wanted the iPad to be in integral part of our teaching, and in fact change the way we teach, we would need a projector. We wanted the iPads to increase discussion and sharing and make our students' education be more collaborative and we needed a projector to not only model for our students but also for our students to share their ideas and amazing creativity.

There are two projectors at our school; one in the computer lab and one housed in the library on a moveable cart. We didn't want to be limited to specific times to use the projector, however, so together we purchased a projector for our exclusive classroom use. I imagine that some of the ways we use the projector is similar to some ways SmartBoards can be used in classrooms. Another option we could have used is Apple TV; however, with our resources the projector was the most cost effective option at the time. We also appreciate the portability of the projector.

Along with the projector we require adaptors for our iPads to connect to the projector. As Joanna's iPad is a slightly newer model to mine, we each have our own adapter.

Various Ways We Use the Projector:

  • In discussions, if we need to fill in gaps in student background knowledge by researching a topic or image on the internet, we do not have to book the computer lab. We can find out immediately what we want to know. In our large school we only have one regularly scheduled computer lab block, which is not practical for this kind of inquiry. An example of this is when we were reading about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. We googled images of the garbage patch and its location. 
  • Students can share their projects and work with the whole class easily. For a French project students took a photo of their labeled winter scene, and with their work projected to the screen, they read their phrases and sentences aloud to the class. 

  • I have used the World Atlas app from National Geographic projected onto the screen to show the locations when doing current events, instead of the traditional globe that every classroom seems to have. To show the whole class a location using the globe I have to walk around the room and point with my finger. With the app projected for the whole class, I can manipulate the digital globe to find locations and everyone can follow along at one, which enables a richer discussion. 
  • We use the projector to model how to use a new app, and then once students are working, we use it to share the unique ways they use the app with the rest of the class.

  • I have shown on line videos related to current news events. For example, during Typhoon Haiyan I showed videos of the destruction caused by the typhoon on 

  • When studying Connecting with Nature, a unit from the David Suzuki Foundation, we learned about the importance of pollinators and the threats they face. To bring pollinators to life for the students we watched a TED Talk by Louie Schwartzberg, The Hidden Beauty of Pollination

The ways to use a projector are really only limited by the imagination, and I can't see teaching now without the use of one. 

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