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Photo Credit: atmtx via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: atmtx via Compfight cc

Today we’re going to try something a little different with the blog post that is attached to the podcast.  Like always, I have a pretty extensive list of notes.  And in the past, I’ve tried posting them in a variety of ways.  This week I am going to actually edit my notes and post them with the podcast, almost verbatim.

And we’ll see how useful they are.

Show Notes

Earlier in the semester I had a conversation with our Technology Contact in regards to the technology I use, or want to use, as educational tools.  I talked about how I am already using the iPad in the classroom. I also spoke about the other technological items such as our 3D printer, Arduino microprocessor, and projections.
Recently I received an email from our Technology Contact at the college I teach at.

I hope you haven’t completely forgotten about me. I sure haven’t forgotten about your interest in using MACs and iPads.

Could you prepare a brief overview of how you could use a class set of iPads? Some objectives for how you could use them in your class. How many you would need?

The reason for these questions is I have found you are not the only faculty member that could use a set of iPads in his/her instruction. I would like to pilot a program to get a class set of iPads to be checked out and/or provided to specific content areas. This is just the early stages, but I am hoping with my research of the effectiveness of mobile devices in the classroom and your help; I can make some progress.

After a quick reply, she sent the follow up questions:

How do the iPads align with your curriculum?
How will you assess the effectiveness of using the iPads?
Are their apps available to support your curriculum? Is there a cost? Who will cover this cost?
Will you need students to check out? Can you share the iPad cart with other content area(s)?
How do you assess the educational value of purchasing iPads?

We will look at answering these questions a little later in the podcast.  Of course, I started brainstorming almost immediately. Truthfully I’ve always wanted to create lesson plans with the iPad in mind, I’ve just never gotten around to it due to it always feeling like a pipe dream. Now that I had an opening, it was time to do some research.

First off, there is not a ton of information in regards to teaching higher ed with the iPad. If I was teaching k-12, I would find a plethora of information. It seems that as soon as it entered society, the idea of using iPads in k-12 education popped into everyone’s head.

My initial ideas resulted in using non-education based apps in the educational environment. Though there are a variety of truly education based apps, I found that many of them are tailored toward the younger demographic. So I had to be innovative in regards to the way I might use apps in the classroom.

So, before we go any further, let’s look at the questions above and answer them.

Questions Answered

  1. HowdoiPads align with your curriculum?
    1. This is a fairly open ended question, and so the way I will answer it deals with my want and need to incorporate technology in a collaborative teaching environment. Theatre is already collaborative, and technology continues to push forward. The nexus of these two ideas might start with the incorporation of the iPads in the classroom.
    2. Using apps to reinforce what is read and taught.
    3. Using the iPad to create game based teaching experiences.
    4. Check out https://www.thetheatreprofessor.com/ttpp14/ for the gamifcation podcast.
    5. Incorporate the iPad into learning outside the classroom.
  2. How will you assess theeffectivenessofusingiPads?
    1. This is a tough one. Ideally I would teach two sections of the same class and do A/B testing. If this is not viable, due to other teaching restraints, then I would compare learning outcomes derived from previous semesters. Though not ideal, this should give a fairly good idea in regards to the iPads effectiveness.
  3. Are their apps available to support your curriculum? Is there a cost? Who will cover this cost?
    1. We will cover this in just a few minutes.
  4. Will you need students to check out? Can you share the iPad cart with other content areas?
    1. Yes, the hope is that students will use them for the entire semester.
    2. The reasoning behind this is that I want them to use the tool outside the classroom.
    3. Example, during the directing section of Intro to Theatre, have them photograph and annotate pictures of different “stage pictures.”
  5. How do you assess the educationalvalueofpurchasingiPads?
    1. Probably the toughest thing to do. Obviously, opinions of the students and whether the iPads helped or hindered them will be important.
    2. What is the price tag on education?

A Short List of Apps

Are Their Apps Available to Support Your Curriculum? Is there a cost? Who will cover this cost?

This is an interesting section. The sheer number of apps out there is huge, so deciding on which ones to use in the classroom will be a trial and error setup for the first couple of semesters.

Again, many apps are k-12 based, so I’ll be thinking outside the box.

  • Evernote
    • Pros
      • Possible class portfolio use.
      • Notebooks can be shared within the program, so I can keep track how well the students are doing, and they have a place to keep all their class work.
      • Can deal with images, sound, links, etc, even able to forward emails to it.
      • Free
    • Cons
      • Not a true word processor. Can save documents to it, but cannot truly edit those documents.
      • May be confusing at first.
  • Strip Designer
    • Pros
      • Great way to tell stories, which is what theatre is all about.
      • Useful in showing stage pictures in sequence. Again for directing
    • Cons
      • Has a cost
  • Procreate/ArtRage/Sketchbook
    • Pros
      • Art Programs – Great way to dive into the design areas of theatre
      • Easily share drawings among friends.
      • Work in groups and collaborate on designs, one scene designer, one costume designer, one light designer, and work on incorporating Aristotles Poetics into the design, specifically theme/idea and spectacle
    • Cons
      • Again, has a cost.
      • Not everyone is comfortable with drawing.
      • Would need to use fingers, as a stylus has an added cost.
  • Scanner Pro/Genius Scan
    • These are PDF creators, using the camera to create PDFs.
    • Pros
      • Great tools for research in the library
      • Share images with added notations, as well as bits of journal and book entries
      • Could be used as a classroom assignment, head to library, find this “historical figure” and then bring it back to the classroom.
    • Cons
      • Learning curve in regards to use.
  • Celtx
    • Scriptwriting app
    • Pros
      • Perfect for the playwrighting section of the class.
      • Easily submit files for reading among the class
    • Cons
      • Larger cost
  • Haiku Deck
    • Brand new to me, perfect for making simple presentations.
    • Pros
      • Free
      • Great tool for students to create presentations where the text is limited.
      • Can run the program with your iphone as a remote.
    • Cons
      • Too simple?
      • These are just a few to begin with. There are probably many more that I haven’t even come across yet.

And that is just a short list.  As I explore, I know that I will find many more that can work in the classroom.

So now, tell me, what apps are you using in the classroom, and how are you using them?

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