Teacher Lee Briggs on technology in today's classroom. Brought to you by Weekly Reader.

My iPad Arrives

In the darkest days of February, when the sun shone not on the frozen tundra of Wisconsin but for a handful of hours, I made a request of the mighty, turtle-necked lord of Cupertino. The request was a humble one: A 16GB iPad with a camera. Many moons did pass, and lo, plagues of consumer shortages, recalls, earthquakes, nuclear meltdowns, and an explosion in the factory stood in the way of deliverance. My faith was shaken that I would ever receive this glowing tablet. Last Wednesday my faith was rewarded, my iPad arrived with my name etched on the back.

They're here!

If I sound like this is a big deal for me, it is. Since the first iPad came out I have had my doubts about how the iPad could be used in the classroom. Mostly having to do with schools that shell out good money buying them for every student. That said, I wanted one soooo bad. Since getting my iPod Touch I realized how much I enjoyed having my documents, email, calendars, and notes all in one place. I wanted that kind of organization an convenience in my classroom. I wanted to streamline my professional work the same way that my SmartBoard streamlined my instruction.

I will have to wait a little longer before I can use it to its full potential. First, because it is a school iPad, I need to work with others to install the apps in order to share them with Scott, my partner in this iPad trial. Secondly, my students don’t show up for another few months. Only then, when my students are in the classroom and I am once again exposed to the pressures of running my classroom, will I know what works in the field and what does not. Which apps are useful, which are toys, and which are wastes of time?

I am developing a list of the apps that I will use in the coming school year. Any ideas on what should make the cut?

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Comments on: "My iPad Arrives" (8)

  1. Lorraine Ryan said:

    It depends on what you are teaching. I’m teaching a new course called STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics). There’s a lot I could do with one of those. But I wish you lots of luck with your new “toy” in the classroom! Have a great time with it!
    Lorraine

  2. What grade, subject, inclusion/SPED?

  3. Well, if you teach anywhere from PreK to 5th Grade, Math, Science, Language Arts & or Social Studies, we just released 12 iPad Apps that are digital workbooks students write on by hand using a Pogo or other such stylus. That’s on iTunes under neolithix, llc… here’s the link:

    http://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/neolithix-llc/id417606798

    All our learning content was developed by classroom teachers. Each App has between 14 and 20 digital workbooks (between 450 and 550 pages) using a new medium for student interaction: digital handwriting.

    If you work with older students, then I recommend you look @ http://www.eReadia.com... they have a web tool that lets teachers (or anyone else who subscribes) create digital books (called eReadups) using open-source content such as Gutenberg, Wikipedia and so forth. Will Delamater, a former teacher and now new-media expert is eReadia’s president & the founder of EduKindle, an educator group sharing ideas and best practices for eReaders in schools, including iPads.

    PS… enjoyed your dramatic prose… all it lacked was the 7 Plagues of Egypt… glad you got your iPad2 before all those frogs showed up!LOL

  4. Pandora, Dropbox, Dictionary.com

  5. Thanks for all the tips everybody! for the most part I will be teaching math, reading and technology to 6th graders, although my partner in this iPad pilot is teaching 6th grade science as well so I would be interested in seeing what things would work with science. I know that I loaded up Starwalk, The Elements and several other apps that looked really good.

    Michael, thanks for the work on the workbooks! while my district is not yet thinking about giving iPads to all our studnets I can see where creating a digital workbook would be something needed. we use bound workbooks and they are always such a drain on our budget to buy them each year. keep up the good work!

    • Thank you and “my pleasure”, Lee. The first “beach-heads” for our Space Board digital workbooks for iPads are Special Ed and After School Programs. But with pioneering, early-adopter educators, such as yourself and all your kindred bloggers, we believe it won’t take long for our digital workbooks and iPads to be showing up in core-day classes, as well.

      By the way, we have a promotion with WeAreTeachers.com, first 100 teachers to register get a Free Space Board App for the iPad ($49.95 value). Then August 1st we’ll have a drawing from ALL who registered in July, for a Free iPad2 and a Pogo digital stylus. So register quick, Lee, and you can get the Math 1st – 5th grade, which maybe you can use remedially or for tutoring.. and August 1st you might win your SECOND iPad2… wouldn’t THAT be cool?

      Oh, & my bad. It was the “10” Plagues on Egypt. I said “7”… proofing & editing is an lost art!

  6. […] my iPad to better organize my lesson planning and […]

  7. Hello i want to say thanks u and is a pleasure visit ur blog, great article

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