“The functions of an interactive whiteboard can be mimicked with a large screen TV and a Chromecast device, which also allows teachers to use any device available whether it’s a document camera, phone, iPad or other tablet.”
After yesterday’s post about making the most of Google Keep I received a few emails from readers wanting to know a bit more about how Google Keep works. To answer those questions I recorded the short video that you see embedded below (click here if you cannot see the video).
instaGrok is a next-generation research engine intended for academic settings to allow students to research any subject and see results in an interactive concept map, or “grok.” The grok features key facts, concepts and their relationships, images, videos, quizzes, and a glossary. Students can pin the information that they want to use to their grok and keep a bibliography or research notes in an integrated journal.
What makes instaGrok indispensable to teachers is its ability to facilitate self-directed learning of several critical skills, including researching and integrating discrete concepts.
My note: App for Android and iOS tablets is NOT available for smartphones and iTouch
The rising prominence of mobile devices in education and our private lives prompts us to revisit the “tablets” group of 2012/2013. Back then LRS and ITS faculty and staff, who were given iPads and Android tablets, met monthly to share ideas and experience.
With Dean Vargas’s support we plan to reconvene this group. We recognize that many more of us now have mobile devices, including tablets and smart phones, so we invite anyone who has a mobile device (not only a tablet and not only using iOS or Android, but any mobile device or operating system) to meet with us and:
a. share experience and knowledge,
b. seek answers to questions and/or
c. brainstorm and develop ideas as to how we can use these tools more effectively at work and in our private lives.
The group is initially christened as SMUG (smart mobile users’ group, not for our attitude, but for fun). We expect the group to create its own personality and name.
From: Perry Bratcher [mailto:email@example.com] Sent: Wednesday, November 06, 2013 9:01 AM To: ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’ Cc: Michael Providenti; Michael Wells; Millie Mclemore; Perry Bratcher; Stephen Moon Subject: [lita-l] RE: Classroom iPads
All – Thanks to each of you for your responses to my email regarding classroom use of iPads (see email at the bottom). Listed below are is a summary of the comments I received. I cut/pasted and have reconfigured these comments for this email, so some may be taken out of context. NOTE: My systems staff have adamantly opposed using the Microsoft Surface. We have a campus “tech bar” where student/staff can check out new devices for experimentation. My staff said that the Surface doesn’t work in our particular situation for a variety of reasons and they prefer the iPad tablet option (if we go the tablet route).
Before deciding on implementation of PCs vs. laptops vs. tablet for use in a classroom setting, one needs to consider the motivation for doing so. Space? Portability? Availability of apps? Is there a demand for using personal devices for research, etc? What type of portable device to use (iPad, Microsoft Surface, etc.)
Pros for using iPad/tablets:
Keep a few in there to provide examples of how to search on mobile devices.
The amount of apps and types of apps out there. Great education apps exist that do not exist elsewhere online or on other platforms (Android or Windows).
The iPad is flexible and allows you to regain that floor space you lose with computers and give the user privacy.
If setup correctly, the devices can be erased when they are returned so any private data is wiped.
Users can download additional apps, even purchase apps if you allow them.
They hold a charge much longer then any laptop or ChromeBook on the market.
Apple sold 94% of its iPads into education – the reason being that it’s a great education and research tool.
Another advantage that I can see boot up time. The iPad is instantly on and connected to the network. Perhaps this most applicable to last-minute library instruction or ad hoc group research? However, if I had the choice, I would equip a classroom with MacBook Air SSDs
UVA has been using iPads for instruction for about 2 years. They have been very pleased with the results.
Our electronic classroom is very small, so we purchased 30 iPads over a year ago to allow teaching in our larger meeting room. There are definitely distinct advantages: flexibility, mobility, lack of technical infrastructure needed (wires, ports, etc.), and the myriad possibilities of apps.
Cons for using iPad/tablets:
Most mobile devices have not become “workhorse” devices as of yet, so much of the students’ research will still need to be done on a computer.
We haven’t seen any advantage to having them either – but our librarians use them sporadically for instruction.
Charging, syncing, configuring, Apple ID’s, erasing, cases, restrictions, printing, presenting, etc. For example if you want to present with these, you will need an Apple TV or an adapter. If you want to print you will need AirPrint supported printers or software. If you want to configure and erase you will need a Mac.
The challenge I have found is trying to use an inherently personal device in the typical one shot classroom environment. There are lots of things you need to consider. How will they access the wireless? What about taking notes? What about apps that require login? And much more.
Someone on staff is equipped and has the time to manage them.
We have a pool of 30 loan laptops, recently we have supplemented this with 11 loan iPads. The iPads have generally been very popular but wouldn’t work as a substitute for laptops. As many have mentioned when it comes to getting real work done they are inferior to laptops and people have commented as such.
As a complement to laptops though they are great – they are more portable and our nursing students love being able to carry them around and quickly access medical apps, take notes, check calculations etc. I definitely see them as being a valuable resource but if it’s an either/or proposition then I would go on the side of laptops.
My personal opinion is that it’s not a bad idea as a supplement to existing systems, but I’d be wary of replacing more flexible with more limited ones, and am particularly wary of committing to one operating system/vendor (particularly one that tends to charge half-again to twice as much as their competitors with only limited advantages).
In a classroom setting (e.g. instruction room) I see little advantage of tablets; their sole advantage from I can figure out is their portability. Why force people into a limited device if it is only going to be in one room anyway?