IPads, whiteboards, radio plays and audioboo

I’ve been working without a laptop that connects to the whiteboard all week and today decided to make more use of my iPad instead of the laptop. The whiteboard works only as a dataprojector, and I’m limited to not having sound, as I connect the two using the VGA apple adaptor, but we managed fairly well today. I had saved two presentations I wanted to use in lessons as pictures (a save as feature in MS PowerPoint) and uploaded the photos to my iPad via iTunes and syncing.

As the iPad was out and connected to the whiteboard, I made more use of it with the children than I have done before:

  • I used a photo background in doodle buddy for children to mark on the angles they could see on the structure of a roller coaster as a plenary to a lesson on using protractors and measuring angles.

  • I made an impromptu visualised by having a child hold the iPad while another demonstrated how to use a protractor (a bit wobbly, but it worked!)
  • I took photos of the work that children produced in a science lesson on laptops when the network went down and they could save what they had done. Displaying these back on the whiteboard made a great plenary and enabled the children to see other examples of work when we would have otherwise lost their efforts.
  • I used audio to record children’s ‘radio plays’ to retell the story of the Trojan horse. I hadn’t planned to do this, but again, because the iPad was out, I realised that this would be a much better way for the children to share their work than performing it as I knew that if they stood up in front of their peers they would begin to act ‘visually’ rather than putting their thought into the ‘audio only’ context.

The main restriction with using the iPad with the whiteboard is the lack of sound output and connection. It looks like this may be possible with another cable to connect the AV. I shared the audioboos online so the children listened to them on the PCs in the classroom, but it would have been much better to listen to them as a class.

The interesting point for me about the day was that having the iPad out and in use lead to several different uses of it that were inspired in the moment, when the tool suited my need at the time. All of these things I could have done with other devices, but the iPad did a pretty good job today!