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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.
When it comes to using iPads with students, especially during class, Reflector is a great application. What Reflector allows you to do is to wirelessly mirror your iPad, iPhone, or IPod touch to any Mac or PC. So, for example, if I have my computer plugged into my projector. And I am projecting whatever's on my computer. I can then take whatever's on my iPad, send it to my computer to be projected on my board. That way if I have a great application that I'm working in, and I want to share that application with the entire class, I can choose to do so.
Reflector does cost money. It's $12.99, but that's a fairly inexpensive teacher tool that you'll probably use almost every single day in your classroom. I'm currently using Reflector for this presentation, and I'm going to show you a few other tips and tricks of how to use the iPad to engage students during lessons. Here I have a really basic slide set-up in the Explain Everything application. One thing that I like to do is to bring questions up by navigating to the next slide and then actually handing the iPad over to a student and letting the student solve it. At the same time, I'm using Reflector to project this image onto the board.
That way the entire class can watch the student work through the problem and offer suggestions and help if they need it. For example, a student might come down here and choose a nice, bright blue pen and then they would go ahead and rewrite the problem. And then they could go ahead and solve the problem. In my own classroom, to make sure students are being respectful and not interrupting one another, I use a nice try, good job system. If they're doing a good job, then my students can say good job. If at the end of the problem, they think that there is a mistake that needs to be corrected, then my students will say nice try, and I will take the iPad, walk over to the student that said nice try, hand it to them, and allow that student to go in, maybe choose a different color and make any changes that need to take place.
When I'm finished with that particular problem, I can simply hit the Next Slide arrow in the bottom left-hand corner and go on to the next problem for the next student. Another great application is Evernote's Peek. In Evernote Peek, you have the ability to create notebooks for students that they can then use to go through and check their content knowledge in a particular subject. I'm going to go ahead and click on the French Words notebook to take a look at how this works. Now, it's designed to work with a Smart Cover. And if you have Smart Covers great. Your students can simply close the cover and as they peek under the cover they can test themselves.
If you don't have Smart Covers, that's okay. The application has a built-in digital Smart Cover which you can access by clicking on the color tab in the right-hand corner and dragging it down. So here I've covered my iPad with a digital Smart Cover. At the very bottom of the iPad, I'm going to click on the Smart Cover and very slowly lift up. Here I'm going to see a clue. This particular one is, Comment vas-tu? And if I know what it is, I can simply close the cover and move onto the next one. Au revoir! If I don't know what it is however, I can also come up a little bit further and take a peek at what it is.
Oh, it's goodbye! If I did not get that correct as a student, at this point I could go ahead and mark it as an incorrect answer. You know what, I need to continue to work on that one. I'll come back to it. I can close my Smart Cover and keep going on. I'll come to the next one, and if I know this one, I'll go ahead and keep it marked correct and move on. If I don't know it, I'll mark it incorrect. And when I'm all the way done with the quiz, I'll open my Smart Cover all the way up, and I can see right away that I got one correct, and two incorrect. Students can use this application in class to quickly quiz themselves to see how much of the content they've mastered.
Now while this only tests the lower-order thinking processes, such as recall and comprehension. It's still a great way for students to interact with the technology, and to test themselves on whether or not they've mastered content. I hope you enjoy finding new applications to use as both a teacher and a student inside the classroom, and I look forward to seeing you next week with the next edition of Teacher Tips.
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