Carolina Biological OSE – April 2024


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General Science and Teaching

iPads in the classroom

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Ashley Westra Ashley Westra 225 Points

My school has been discussing the possibility of giving iPads to all teachers and students. I wanted to gather some thoughts about how iPads can be used to improve pedagogy. We also had a question that no one on our technology committee could answer. Can iPads be used to replace a Mobi/Interwrite board? Most teachers have a Mobi in their classroom to use, but if it can be replaced with an iPad, that would be an easy switch for our corporation. Thanks for your thoughts!

Sandy Gady Sandy Gady 43175 Points

Great question Ashley regarding replacing the iPads for the Mob/Interwrite board. I do not own one of these boards, but do have the Hitachi interactive projector that allows me to turn my regular whiteboard into an interactive surface. I have a Qwizdom Q7 presenter that allows me to walk around the room and interact with my board, much like the Mobi will do for you. I am not an Apple person by nature, I use my iPad for email and games mostly. To answer your question, I doubt the iPad would work just straight out of the box on the board. I believe there are apps that you can download that will turn the iPad into a writing surface that can be used with the interactive board. I have read some articles of folks using the application(s), and from what I know they are improving with time. I am sure it is just a matter of time before any tablet will have the capabilities of doing this. I have been following Brandon Parker and he seems to have a handle on the iPad and its many applications. The website address that might be of use to you is If nothing else, he might be able to suggest an app that will do what you are looking for. I would be interested to find out if others have found a way to use the iPads this way and how they made it work.

Ashley Westra Ashley Westra 225 Points

Thanks for your response! I was assuming I would have to have some sort of app to use an iPad in that fashion, but I didn't know if there was a particularly good one that people are already using.

Sandy Gady Sandy Gady 43175 Points

Ashley, I don't know if this what you are looking for, but I just received this as a part of an email from Tammy Worcester's "Tip of the Week", I believe this could be the first step in getting your iPad to function as a wireless tablet in the same way the Möbius does.

Jennifer Rahn Jennifer Rahn 67955 Points

We got a cart of iPads in the library this year. The kids are ecstatic, and we have discovered lots of things that we can use them for. We have discovered a couple hitches, however. The ipads are effectively individual devices, meaning that we need to have the kids wipe out all evidence of their activity each time they use them. That means that instead of using native ipad apps for things like word process, we are using Google Docs so the kids can save them for use later. Likewise, they have to save the documents to the MacBook that serves the network, so an admin needs to access the MacBook to print a document. Anyone else encountering similar problems? If so, how are you resolving them?

Maureen Stover Maureen Stover 41070 Points

How exciting that your school is looking at providing students and teachers with iPads! Depending on which system/software your school is currently using, eInstruction does have iPad app that turn your iPad into a Mobi board. Here's a link to some more information on eInstruction's Mobi App. There are many things that you can use an iPad for in your class room. One of my favorites the Class Cards app. This app keeps track of class participation. There are several apps that so this, but class cards is my favorite. You can also use your iPad for planning. I found a great app called [url=]Planbook[url=] (they also have a mac version, but I'm not sure about a version for PCs). It's the best lesson planning tool I've found. Using an iPad in class also enables you pull up information immediately so you can answer those tricky questions! ;) I've seen some clever ideas for managing student iPads. For instance, you can use different color cases or make the student number the background. Also, like Jennifer highlighted, sharing iPads can be somewhat hectic for saving student work. Google docs is a good solution. Another great option is dropbox. Dropbox enables students to save files and then access them from any device that connects to the internet. I'm not sure if anyone else watches Fringe, but a few seasons ago, they were in an alternate universe where pens were an antique, collectible because they were no longer used. I'll be curious to see if students 20 years from now still have 'pens and pencils' on their supply lists! I'm looking forward to learning how other teachers are using iPads in their classrooms! Maureen

Ashley Westra Ashley Westra 225 Points

The basic idea is to have 1:1 technology, so the students would not have to share if they received them. They would pay to insure, and at the end of middle school, the iPad would belong to them. We have the same system at our high school right now for laptops. As far as sharing though, it wouldn't be too bad because each student has their own storage place on our network for all of their work and documents. Students can also drop their work into a shared student-teacher locker on the network to turn things in or access from home. We have been able to work around many of the sharing issues, but most teachers in our school do not know how to use that technology effectively. That's why we formed the technology committee :). Thanks for all your responses!

Pamela Auburn Pamela Auburn 68625 Points

On November 10, 2012, David and Andy Henry presented "The iPad and Science," at the Metropolitan Detroit Science Teachers Association / Detroit Area Council of Teachers of Mathematics Fall Conference at Woodhaven High School, in Brownstown Township, MI. Here are highlights of the presentation:

Patty McGinnis Patricia McGinnis 25635 Points

Educreations is a free app that turns the ipad into a recordable white board. You might want to check it out

Michael Leslie Michael Leslie 2110 Points

I have heard from some friends that they might also be getting iPads for their classrooms as well but I have reservations for my class unless there is proper training. Like at my school the principal is great with finding funds to get mac-books for every class but I think there should be a training program for the students to use pages or spreadsheets properly. I find that i need to use entire class periods to just teach the students how to use the word processor. I pads have a great potential but only if programs are setup to use and to train.

Dorothy Ginnett Dorothy Ginnett 28240 Points

It would also be interesting to find out if the IPad can support digital textbooks.

Digital texts could help to reduce school textbook costs and also help to reduce the weight of student backpacks.

On example would be the new digital textbook for Biology - 'Life on Earth' by E.O. Wilson.

Part of this text is available now for IPad and via ITunes for a computer for very low cost.
Worth considering for a digital learning resource for your teaching and/or your students if you teach Biology and have access to IPads for students.

Jennifer Rahn Jennifer Rahn 67955 Points

The article below was passed along from a colleague. I have wondered whether textbook apps make the investment in iPads worthwhile. There are issues of licensing, and questions about how different the books really are, and whether they actually improve pedagogy, or just provide the sizzle. I thought it provided a little insight to the changing nature of the textbook publishing business.

How 'Big Three' Publishers Are Approaching iPad Textbooks

Patricia Rourke Patricia Rourke 45925 Points

Many teachers from elementary through high school were excited about using LabQuest2 and the Graphical Analysis app to use iPads and other e-devices to gather and analyze data in science at the recent VAST conference. Some pre-service teachers even make several presentations on using this technology to enhance science learning.

Here in Richland 2, we have a middle school where all teachers and students have an IPad. They are used for just about everything and there has been an interesting side effect...the students are learing why internet safety is so important.

Cristey Kagawa Cristey Kagawa 2980 Points

In the near future my school (elementary) will be getting Ipads for the students to use. I am excited to use them and I'm sure my students will be too. I know that there are thousands of apps that are used for educational purposes and since our world is leaning towards utilizing more and more technology, I'm sure that teachers will find apps to help with any subject area. I recall seeing apps for biology, language arts, molecules, volcanos, history, and many more. My school already uses a lot of online resources (KidBiz, TeenBiz, IXL, Edmodo, blogging, BrainPop, etc.)and I feel that the student will be highly engaged in learning once they get their hands on an Ipad.

Pamela Auburn Pamela Auburn 68625 Points Turn your iPad into a small smart table with this brilliant classroom game for up to four players. Futaba (Japanese for “Seedling”) is an addictive and fun iPad app designed for the classroom that helps children with word association, word learning, math, or even learning a 2nd Language. It encourages friendly competition, social play and can support any curriculum – Teachers can even make their own games! Here is the user manual and a review in wired magazine

Pamela Auburn Pamela Auburn 68625 Points, my favorite website for information on topics of current public discourse has just opened a new topic page: Should tablets replace textbooks in K-12 schools? Publishing for the K-12 school market is an $8 billion industry, with three companies - McGraw-Hill, Pearson, and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt - capturing about 85% of this market. Tablets are a $35 billion industry with roughly one in three adults owning a tablet. As tablets have become more prevalent, a new debate has formed over whether K-12 school districts should switch from print textbooks to digital textbooks on tablets. Proponents of tablets say that they are supported by most teachers and students, are much lighter than print textbooks, and improve standardized test scores. They say tablets can hold hundreds of textbooks, save the environment by lowering the amount of printing, increase student interactivity and creativity, and that digital textbooks are cheaper than print textbooks.

Ashley Garcia Ashley Garcia 3290 Points

Hi, Ashley! I think it is great that your school is thinking about providing their teachers and students with iPads. I previously worked at a charter school for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), and each teacher was given an iPad to use with his/her class. The teachers often used the iPads as a reward for good behavior. It was wonderful to see how these students responded to the iPad and the ease with which they manipulated the device. That being said, I think iPads can bring so much knowledge to the classroom. Now a days, there is a stealth of apps available online. These apps can compliment instruction and reinforce new content knowledge. Keep us posted!

Pamela Auburn Pamela Auburn 68625 Points

All I just found this blog on ipad apps for teachers and thought some of you might be interested

Pamela Auburn Pamela Auburn 68625 Points

Some of these are on my ipad Nearpod- (free) allows you to send a slide show to all students iPads. You control the pace from your iPad and you can insert questions in the presentation for the students to answer to make sure they are paying attention. Notability- ($1.99 on sale now for 60% off) allows you to annotate on documents. I upload my documents in PDF version to my wiki and students can do their homework on the iPad. Mahjong Chem- (free) allows students to practice with polyatomic ions, isoelectronic ions/atoms, etc. EMD Periodic Table- (free) not as nice and The Elements app but it is free and has a lot of information about each element. Popplet- (lite version is free) allows you to make graphic organizers, I think I will use this to review. Quizlet- (free) could be used for test review. There are flashcards and games involved. Quizzam- ($0.99) allows students to buzz in for exam review. I have not downloaded this yet but have seen another teacher use it. It is on my wishlist on AppShopper- fingers crossed that it goes free one day! TEACHER APPS AppsGoneFree- (free) sends you a list of the apps that are free for the day. A lot of them are games but sometimes you luck out and get a really awesome app for free! App Shopper- (free) you can create a wishlist of apps you like and it will let you know when the apps are on sale or free.

Pamela Auburn Pamela Auburn 68625 Points

Here are some more apps for ipads and tablets DW Brooks Steve Marsden Edinformatics Interactives scroll down Greenbowe Iowa State Molecular visualization Eric Martz Dave Woodcock Okanagan Coll H Unger Cabrillo Coll drill down into the Chem course material and the exercises. chemsketch

Mary Ann Ng Mary Ann Ng 3385 Points

Thank you for all the links. I have my personal ipad which I have been using to take roll and answer email at work. I bought my ipad with the intention of replacing my larger ( heavier ) laptop.

Isaac Field Isaac Field 250 Points

Hello everyone! I have seen several different school setting as a Senior ES Ed. With several of them having personal Ipads; which then comes the new question for security. How locked down should they be for them to be effective. I have seen one where the students hate it because it is so locked down that it is just a glorified paper weight and others where it is not locked down at all and a determent to the learning environment. With the later most of the teachers have felt guilty about making students place them on a communal table to prevent them from even being used inappropriately. Do any of your schools have a happy medium between the two or an awesome policy that is easily enforced in your classroom or school wide?

Sue Garcia Sue Garcia 42675 Points

Our school, last year, invested in an iPad for every teacher. The school then briefly trained 9 other teachers (we have 60 teachers at our campus)to assist with the initial integration of iPads into our teachers classrooms. There has been additional training (I don't think enough) but, as each day goes by...our teachers have found another new way of using them in their classroom. As we use our iPads more and more, we find new uses that were not even talked about in our initial training. This year, we are going to try setting up a "demo" room that will exhibit different things that our iPads can do. Teachers will then be encouraged on their conference time to go to the classroom demonstrating that particular app or strategy using the iPad. The "demo" room would be in the regular teachers room. They will do their regular classroom procedure using the app and the visiting teachers can see if they would like to use it in their own class. The "demo room" switches to different teachers as they volunteer to let other teachers watch them while they work.

BELITZA GARCIA Belitza Garcia 1645 Points

Educreations is an amazing app, we are currently using it in the school I am doing my hours in. It's like a white board but the students can interact and it can be linked up to the smartboard in the classroom.

Jessica Minton Jessica Minton 6945 Points

I don't have iPads for all my students, but I do have the one that we can hook up with the connector. I love being able to use it. I know it's a bit costly, but the Elements app is students love it with the song (you can find it on youtube) and the models of things that are made from each element. I have the hardcover book that is similar to the app. I search the free apps for education and I also put BrainPop and MythBusters on mine for more video interaction too. I wish we could get iPads for the students. I know that iBooks have free samples of several textbooks, but I don't believe all of them are on there. You can save pdf files on iBooks, then pull from the library when looking something up that is a pdf online.

Rebecca Falin Rebecca Falin 71530 Points

We have several iPad labs we can sign out. I use the Socrative app for review/test prep. Its an online student response system. It allows me to ask them multiple choice or short answer questions and after they've answered I can put a bar chart showing how many choose each answer. Helps me identify areas of weakness so we can spend some extra time on those areas. The kids ask for it. You can also use the browser with another student response system on the iPads called InkSurvey ( that allows students to draw answers with their finger or stylus. I've used this for problems (stoichiometry, etc) and molecular representations.

Dylaneigh Reardon Dylaneigh Reardon 1485 Points

iPads would be a good study tool but they are not the most effective for note taking. It would be too frustrating to try and type notes on iPads rather than a laptop computer. iPads can be a great study tool, though. Quizlet is a great app for anyone in the education department.

Carmen Cruz Carmen Cruz 2125 Points

iPads have great applications for students to learn while conducting research and experiments. I used an iPad in my classroom by hooking it up to my projector and apple TV. I think they are great learning devices, but just like anything else, you may have to utilize other resources and technology when teaching depending on the lesson and students learning style and ultimately should not be your only teaching tool.

Patricia Rourke Patricia Rourke 45925 Points

It is so neat that this and other threads continue on a cycle of interest. I thank everyone for their contributions. I use this application with my iPad when I lead PD for school systems or at conferences. It enables me to roam the room with my iPad and to share it with others or to have others interact with what ever experiment we are doing as a class or with any presentation I am projecting. I also can use a small laser pen for additional highlighting etc. Most of my sessions involve using a Vernier interface and sensors to gather data but this can also be done remotely and depicted on the screen and/or via my iPad and analyzed with Graphical Analysis for the iPad. Anyway, if there is interest, you can get a free trial period of AirServerand the app is not too expensive. AirServer - The Most Advanced AirPlay Receiver for Mac and PC Cached AirServer is the most advanced AirPlay receiver for Mac and PC. It allows you to receive AirPlay feeds, similar to an Apple TV, so you can stream content or Mirror ~patty

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