Archiv für den Monat: Dezember 2011

[iPad in School] TeacherPal – We get ourselves organised!

What’s the best way for teachers to get organised on the iPad? A tool to track students’ grades, cooperation, attendance and behaviour is needed.

I discovered a free app called TeacherPal that enables all those functions. It has a very straightforward user interface and a great deal of options to organise classes and students.

Even if you are terrible at remembering names this app will help you to improve quickly. I took a photo of each student, added names and the respective number of the iPad so students always got the same device.

If you have a special seating plan you can arrange the pictures according to it. Further, you can send emails to all students (and/or parents), make general notes, access and modify files in your Dropbox and add gradable items. The latter automatically calculates grades (if you add a max. grad and its weight).

TeacherPal by ITWorx in the App Store

[iPad in School] Annotating PDFs

neu.Annotate PDF

Since I think handwriting should not be underestimated and encourages hand-eye coordination, I downloaded a free app called neu.Annotate PDF. It allows handwritten annotations as well as typed text. Further, pages can be mailed as PNG, JPG and PDF, saved to photos and opened in Dropbox, iBooks, Adobe Reader etc. Shapes and highlighters, wrist protection, the ability to delete pages, insert pictures or new pages leaves little to be desired. Only the button to increase the width (of lines, fill or text) and change the colour was difficult to find for students (it appears when you click on one of the pens).

Link to app
by neu.Pen LLC

[iPad in School] File sharing with Dropbox

Dropbox – synchronised file sharing across many operating systems

I used one Dropbox account for both classes. The free 2GB account was enough to share pictures, slides, audio files and documents. However, I encountered two problems:

1) You can’t upload your files from apps like Pages, Numbers or Keynote without WebDAV, which provides a framework to change and move documents on a server. Here is a short and simple guide that shows you how to use your Dropbox account as a WebDAV: WebDAV guide

2) I had expected Dropbox to be more intuitive for students than it actually was. Very often they did not know where they were because they overlooked the back button in the upper left corner.

When they felt more comfortable with Dropbox, I uploaded instructions for some lessons so students were encouraged to learn at their own pace. I could help those who needed more explanations while others successfully completed one task after another.