In a perfect world, every teacher would have a class set of chromebooks or iPads, wifi connectivity would be flawless, and all students would have devices and access at home to fluidly continue the learning that occurred at school. In reality, some teachers are lucky to have a single iPad or device at their disposal, PA announcements stating, “The Internet is down.” are way too frequent, and many of our students return to no tech households. So how do we ensure our students are getting proper exposure to technology and 21st century skills? By finding creative ways to utilize any and all mobile tech at our disposal, we can bridge the gap between reality and that perfect world.
Making the Most of a Single Device
One iPad; no problem! A single iPad or similar device can be utilized as a stand-alone piece of technology or linked to a projector for a whole-class display. Teq has some great connectivity options for that whole-class piece. Endless educational opportunities will be at your fingertips. Even with limited resources, you can do all of the following:
- In-flip — Small groups can view the direct instruction portion of a lesson while others are working with the teacher or on group/individualized activities.
- Transform Youtube/Teachertube — Take any video out there and personalize it to meet your instructional needs. Using apps like Zaption and EDpuzzle will allow you to add captions, narration, and/or embed quizzes in existing videos.
- Introduce an Expert — Bring the classroom to life by welcoming a guest speaker to share his/her expertise. Skype offers you the ability to link your students to experts across the globe. Students can take a real-time virtual tour or enjoy an expert chat with a live question and answer session.
- Teacher Tools — Mobile tech allows teachers to coordinate and manage all their communications and paperwork. Teachers can utilize sites like Edmodo or Schoology to interact with students, send information to families with an app like Remind, and streamline gradebooks, planners, notes, and to-do lists with apps like TeacherKit.
- Top Apps for the Classroom — the number of apps geared toward the classroom is endless. We’ve done the browsing for you and rounded up a few resources geared toward a variety of subjects:
- Top STEM apps — It’s About Time has compiled the top 25 apps for enhancing STEM learning. From app creation to real-life math scenarios, there’s sure to be something to entice students to explore STEM.
- Scholastic Top Picks — These 50 apps compiled by Scholastic run the gamut. Grammar games, a sushi math monster, and virtual pottery making are just a few of the top apps shared in this collection.
- App Generator — Not finding what you need in a collection? Use a site like Graphite to plug in the subject area, grade level, skills, purpose, and price (Yep, there are free ones!) to pinpoint an app that is best suited to your current need.
Don’t let a sparse number of devices limit your instructional options when it comes to technology. By being creative and utilizing whatever devices are available to you, your students will get exposure to a variety of 21st century skills. Part of being successful is making the most of your resources, and as you can see, student learning can be transformed with just a single device.