iPads in the Classroom

Enhancing teaching and Learning with iPads

Week 9: Reflection and Feedback


Your comments ARE important!

Our  iPad in the Classroom Program needs feedback  from you.  Now that we have reached midsemester,  we need to  collect some information from  participants about how you have been using iPads.    We would like to know about  participants’ experience using the devices. We want  your  suggestions about how to improve the present model for deployment of the iPads to students in the library and in the classroom

We have asked IT liaisons to contact  participants to discuss with you  the kinds of iPad activities  you are using iPads for.    We hope that participants will welcome IT liaisons to visit your classrooms to observe firsthand  how students have been using the iPads in the classroom.  Meetings between participants and liaisons will also be a good time  for participants to discuss training needs, assess the apps you have used, whether you need different apps, sturdier iPad covers or peripherals like  VGA adpators. This is also a good time for you to let us know whether you plan to continue in the program next semester.

As a follow up to your meetings,   we would like you and your  IT liasion to post a brief comment  under the Week 9 post.  You are welcome, of course, to create a separate post on this blog  instead .  Please take a moment to share with all of us  your  perspective about use of the iPad and/or the mobile cart.


We will using your posts to create a brief evaluation survey that will be sent out to participants at the end of the semester.





  1. I have finally been able to implement the iPad into my classroom. I teach introductory astronomy to 85 plus students and am investigating whether the iPad can enhance a lecture type class.
    I am just getting a connector after the wiring in the room was finally improved. unfortunately, the portability of the iPad is compromised by the short adapter and the images that I am working with are not projecting well on the screen.
    I’m finding that there are limitations to downloading more visualizations which would be more useful without going online, but i’m working on that. At this point, I am not using it as much as I would want but like any new way to enhance a class, it has it’s growing pains.

  2. I’ve really enjoyed the chance to learn how to use the ipad myself, to use it in the classroom myself (to project ppts) and to give students a chance to use it. We’ve used it for the following:

    1) to do geography explorations in class using google maps – this was less successful than I hoped because street view did not work very well; we ended up using safari rather than the app

    2) to search and share videos

    3) to do practice quizzes on blackboard

    4) to read together

    I do think there is an unrecognized benefit for students – like the Hawthorn Effect, the attention they get being part of a program might positively effect their attitude toward the class. And the ones who have never touched an ipad get experience with it, closing the digital divide. But there are, of course, a lot of limitations/challenges.

    1) the time it takes to pass out the ipads, collect the ipads, find a resource,

    2) getting students on line. Some students can’t get on line, students get on line, but then get kicked off. Once, we never could get on line at all and I had to just collect the ipads again, wasting 10+ minutes of class time (This is also a problem with the mobile classroom.

    3) sharing ipads; i would see the non-holder of an ipad simply disengaged.

    4) having students come to the front of the classroom and hook up their ipads for sharing did not run smoothly – the adapter is touchy as many have noted, the cart would get jolted and we would lose internet

    5) it was hard to figure out what to subtract from the course in order to make time for adding ipad activities; I have a huge amount of content to cover, and “flipping the classroom,” though it sounds like a nice idea, is unrealistic when working with very busy (working/parenting) students and when exposure to content needs to be mediated by conversation.

    In sum, I would try this again but probably only need the ipad once every 2-3 weeks.

  3. I too have enjoyed the opportunity to use the iPad in the classroom. I have been using it in class nearly every day. Here are some of my comments.

    1. Keyote: I use keynote as my primary source of presentations for my class. I either created new presentations in Keynote on my laptop or converted all of my PowerPoint presentations to keynote on my laptop and then used them on the iPad. I love the ability of saving the keynote presentations to iCloud and then having access to them in my classroom. No more flash drives. No more CDs. No more emailing myself the PowerPoint presentations to make sure I have them in class. It also allows me to update the presentations on whichever device I’m using knowing that when I open it up on a different device, the changes will be there.

    Some of the problems that I’ve had with this however are: a.) manipulating and creating the keynote presentations on the iPad itself proves very difficult. You need a very steady hand in order to move things where you need them. I do a lot of animations in the language class where activities are projected and the answers slide right in to the activity in order to let the students see correct answers and correct spelling of words in Spanish. b.) often times photos that are in my presentations do not show on the iPad. I double checked them on my laptop in Keynote and everything looks ready to go only to go to the classroom and find that they did not transfer to the iPad. I need to download each and every photo that I have in the presentation from PowerPoint save them in a separate file, and then open keynote and insert them. This is the only way to make sure that the presentations appear on the iPad in Keynote. Note that you cannot save pictures in Keynote itself from the slides. You need to go to PowerPoint to be able to do that.

    2. Screenchomp: This is been my favorite go-to app that serves as a whiteboard that I can simply write information on and it is directly projected for the students to see and get immediate feedback. By double clicking the home button you can toggle between keynote and screen chomp quite easily. Do not try to use another app called “Whiteboard” because everything that you write on the iPad is turned upside down on the projector.

    3. Cables: I find the cable connection the biggest challenge of using the iPad in the classroom. I set my purse on the cable but the way things are set up it makes it difficult to not lose connection with the slightest movement of the iPad. If we had something available similar to airplay, it would allow us to walk around the class room and project what we need to from where ever we are in the class. It would also allow me to pass the iPad amongst the students and have them write answers, questions, information, activities etc.

    4. Movies: I still need to bring my laptop whenever I need to use a DVD in the classroom. I don’t like using the black boxes for this as I’ve never gotten them to work correctly.

    5. Flash limitations: There are sometimes limitations when trying to use a website that uses flash or play a video from the Internet that uses flash.

    6. Power: I love not having to plug in the iPad, therefore making things easier. I do, however bring my laptop as a backup because I’m not always good at remembering to charge up the iPad completely prior to my classes. :(

    7. Portability: I do love the portability. It is much easier to carry around. I wish I didn’t need to bring my laptop ever as a backup. I do wish we had better covers for the iPads to stop them from getting scratched in my book bag.

  4. Thumbs up on my use of the iPad in class. I use it everyday and will not go back to lugging around my laptop. The iPad enables faster and easier sharing and I really like the shortcuts it offers that a laptop does not. I do share Susan’s frustration with losing the connection and the projector screen going blue if I move or the iPad gets jarred in any way. As far as the case is concerned, I agree that the one supplied is terrible and provides no protection. I went ahead and am using a netbook bag of my own to carry and protect it (I also use a keyboard which provides a much more secure base when I am using the iPad plugged into the projector. I supplied the keyboard and the adaptor for use with the projector).

    My Use of the iPad: I use the iPad to project class activities including writing prompts, outline of class schedule for the day, write/record ideas from class discussion to be posted to the class wiki, accessing course readings which have been linked to the wiki, look up things connected to class discussion, show images, etc. I also use the iPad in and outside of class to grade all papers and to manage roster and gradebook.

    Student Use of the iPad: Students have use of the iPad one class a week (the course meets twice a week) and they use it to access course readings, take notes, look things up/do research; revise and share papers; do Peer Review, access course wiki, etc.

    I agree with Amy’s description of frustration with class time lost due to passing out and collecting iPads and various issues and limitations associated with the use of the cart. This seemed to improve as the semester went on. However, not having enough iPads for everyone in class is problematic. Some of my students have their own tablets and they began bringing them to class regularly which helped and, as the semester went on, other students regularly brought their laptops to class and used them when others were using the iPads. Using a laptop is not the same thing, however, which brings me to my other frustration. When students don’t have access to the same technology outside of class it limits or eliminates the kinds of things you can do with it inside class. I would like to be able to start projects in class that they can continue outside of class and that’s not always possible with the iPads.

    I plan to continue using it and would be interested in seeing more institutional support for this technology ideally making iPads available to students long term to be used outside of class.

    Agree with Susan that the lack of Flash can be a problem at times. I tried the app Photon which is supposed to address this but it doesn’t always work.

    Finally, a big thank you for the IT folks for making this possible and for including me and supporting my/our efforts.

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