Friday, 9 November 2012

Using Ipads in Educational Settings - 1

I thought I'd reflect and share where I am up to on the subject of Using Ipads in Educational Setting.    Having dipped my toe into the teaching with these devices and learnt a lot about the logistics of this activity, I am currently focusing on two things:

1. Curating, aggregating and studying web resources I find on the subject
2. Making sense of this knowledge by identifying and organising apps into types of activity

Curating, aggregating and studying web resources I find on the subject

I started off doing this on a diigo group, then a wikispace wiki whilst organising my ipad apps into folders.  Eventually I will develop my website - into something which display my ongoing knowledge.  But for now I am aggregating web resources on this pearltree:

iPads in education settings and Personal Productivity / News aggregation in Tom Preskett (tompreskett)

Each pearl around the central one is a type of web resource. Click on each of these to see the actual sites.  There's a lot of information out there much of which I am still to study in depth.  However, I share it here for anyone with the time and inclination to look at it themselves.  This is just what I have found so far, I'm sure there's much more.  However, I need to take stock so I'm not actively looking at the moment.

Making sense of this knowledge by identifying and organising apps into types of activity

I decided to do a mindmap.  This was an easy decision.  I need to articulate categories and choose relevant apps to go with these categories.  I surfed around the usual mindmap suspects and thought I'd use mindmeister on this occasion.  I also decided to cough up the minimal payment to make life easier.  I'm attracted by their new prezi-style canvas presentation option.  Unfortunately, it doesn't work on IE which is an issue for me at work.  Anyway, below is a snapshot of a first few hours work on this.  My ipad is a mess at the moment of I grapple with how to categorise the apps.  I'm composing the mindmap by playing with each app and then moving to the right category.  Every so often I rejig and rename things.  What will emerge is a neat, tidy mindmap mirrored by a neat, tidy ipad folder structure (I hope).  Below is a snapshot of where I got up to after a few hours work on this:

Sorry if you can't read this easily but I wanted to share this as an image so it is a snapshot of a work in progress.  I've started with the simple types of activity trying to make sense and recommend some apps for core activities like writing notes, or annotating pdfs/documents, or image creation.  On the outer layer are simply the names of apps that I have tried out and deem to be or potential value in educational settings.  Many have been rejected and I've started a rejected apps mindmap which I might share at a later date.  On my ipad I am mirroring what's on the mindmap.  There are many categories to go and I'm still to tackle a lot of the more interesting, multimedia types activities.  I'm more and more convinced that the best option for group work on ipads is apple TV.  We don't have it yet but will soon.  At the moment I'm using the apple 30-pin to VGA Adapter.  This keeps falling out!  Apple TV will allow participants to display their screen as well as the teacher and get rid of the wires.  I digress.

As we know learning is messy but I'm finding this really rewarding.  The motivation for this learning is that I am committed to running the workshop Using Ipads in Educational Settings in London on 30/11 for the first time.  The fact that it sold out in 2 days means I am on the right track with this.  Some school clearly want help with how to use these devices.  If you are based in the UK and this workshop interests you, contact us on T: 020 7612 6689 / 6245; E:

More to come....

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