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In this new series, author and educator Aaron Quigley shows you how to stay up to date with the latest educational technology and classroom management techniques. Each week, he'll introduce you to a new tip you can use to be more efficient, and increase student achievement. Aaron covers concepts like the flipped classroom, Common Core Standards, and the role of social media in education. The series also covers a variety of productivity apps, learning management systems, and other technologies, using a project-based approach that simulates the real K–12 or university classroom environment. Check back often for new tutorials, every Monday with Teacher Tips.
Hello, I'm Aaron Quigley and welcome to another addition of Teacher Tips. This week, we're going to go ahead and look at the iPad and how the iPad can be used in your classroom. Apple recently did a push for iPads for educators and put iPads in thousands of classrooms across the nation. Also, more and more schools are starting to use iPads inside the classroom. Often schools will have iPads that you can check out to use in your own classroom. Or if you're lucky enough, you've established a class set of iPads. This week on Teacher Tips, I'm going to go ahead and share a few of my favorite iPad applications for teachers.
This first one is actually the Common Core application. It was created by Mastery Connect, and it is a fantastic application for allowing us to have quick access to the Common Core standards. Here you can see that they've broken out math into both traditional and integrated. Language arts has a tab. And they've also pulled out of language arts, history and social science, and science and technology. Let's go ahead and take a look at how this works. If I click on something like language arts, here I can see that it's a spiraled curriculum and I can choose any grade level from kindergarten all the way through twelfth grade.
I'm going to go and select the sixth grade language arts standards. Inside of 6th Grade, and I can tell it's 6th Grade because it's RL.6, I see that I start off with the Reading Literature. I can then scroll down and get to Informational Texts. As I scroll down further, I'll come up to Writing. And then inside of Writing, I have Speaking and Listening and Language. From here, I can click on any individual standard. Let's go ahead and come back to the Writing section and let's click on, Produce Clear and Coherent Writing. At this point, I can go ahead and see exactly what W.6.4 is as a standard.
Furthermore, I can also see the corresponding career and college readiness anchor standard. There's also some text to describe the standard itself, as well as what students should and should not be able to do within this particular standard. I'm going to head back to the Standards home page by clicking the Standards button in the upper left hand corner. As they've pulled those standards out of the ELA place that they normally belong. I can see it's broken down by middle school, lower high school, and upper high school. I'm going to go click on the Sixth Grade to Eighth Grade Science Standards. Here I can see the standard for reading science and technical text.
I can also come down to the writing history and science standards. If I click any individual standard, I can also bring that standard up, including it's corresponding college and career ready anchor standard. In addition to be able to access the standards, I can also go into resources. Here there's a variety of resources built directly into the application for us to use. Math teachers, if you click on Math you can go to Standards for Practice. Here it is going to describe the standards that have to do with practicing and solving math problems. It's also going to give you some descriptions of how those standards play out in your classroom.
For each of the resource areas, there's also a glossary you can access. I often will hand this iPad to students and allow them to access the glossary if they don't understand part of the language that's in the objective that I've communicated to them. In addition to this Common Core application, another great application I think every teacher should check out is Explain Everything. Explain Everything gives us the ability to record both audio and visual interactions on our iPad which we can then export to videos. If you're a teacher that's adopting the flipped classroom ideology, then this tool is a must have.
It allows you to go through and create a small video presentation of whatever it is that you'd like to describe and you can share that with your students. You can upload these videos to YouTube. You can save them on your computer and play them through your projector. It's really up to you. This application combines the ability of drawing with the ability of having slides such as in Keynote or PowerPoint. For example, here I'm on a slide. I can go in and freehand draw. Such as genetics. I can also choose to add elements like stars, and I can also go in and choose to edit those particular images by making them bigger, changing their border or color, or even changing their shape.
When it comes to adding text, I can quickly choose to create a text box and go ahead and type the text in. Once my text is in position, I can go and hit the Plus button. And I can see that I can now position it around the page. Furthermore, by clicking on the text to select it, I can also hold down the Text button on the left-hand side, and change its font, change its size, and even add a boarder to the text. If I grab the blue button at the bottom of the text box, I can also choose to resize this text box to fit my text more appropriately. If I want to, I can also insert an object.
I can actually bring video directly into this program and add an audio track on top of that video or during the video I could draw or add text on top of it. I could bring a file in, such as a lesson plan or a PowerPoint presentation. I could bring in an object from a web browser, add pictures, or even create a brand new video. The very middle of my control panel is this X button. Here with the X button, I can choose to tap various items, including whole sections of text that I've written. And quickly hit the X in the upper right hand corner of the box to quickly delete and move those around.
For example, if I wanted to delete this star, I could simply click the Star, hit the X, and delete that button. During the presentation, if I'd like the ability to have a laser pointer, I can choose to do this as well. As I move my finger around the screen, a laser pointer will appear. While you can't see the laser pointer because it's under your finger when you're looking at the iPad. When you record this video, that laser pointer will be noticeable. This is great way if you're showing video and you want to kind of circle a section of the video. You can quickly grab the laser pointer and highlight to students what it is that you're talking about. Now for any particular slide, I can also go through and change the theme of these slides.
By clicking and holding the Slide button, I can see all the slides I've created and I can change their template. Sometimes I'd like a dark background, so I can have better contrast with the things that I'm looking at. Or it might be appropriate if I had a dark background for the text or images that I'm trying to highlight. When I'm ready, I can go ahead and click the Record button. I can continue to talk as well as make movements and gestures. I can use things like the laser pointer and all of this will be recorded into a video. When I'm finished, I can hit the Record button again and I have the ability to play back that video. Or in the bottom right hand corner, I can export it as a video file, which I can then e-mail to myself or download to my computer.
At this point, we've taken a look at two very useful apps for educators. The next step is to look at a few apps that are very beneficial to students.
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