This is part 1 of a two part series on ideas for using Apple's new iPad in your classroom.
The much anticipated release of Apple’s iPad, a mobile device that’s situated somewhere between the wildly popular iPhone and a full-fledged MacBook, has educators speculating over the many potential uses of the iPad in the classroom. According to Mike Elgan of ComputerWorld, “Starting this year, kids will learn to read, write and count on iPads. They'll watch TV, movies and cartoons on iPads. They'll do social networking, play games, and even color in virtual coloring books. By the time these kids reach middle school, they will have been using multitouch user interfaces almost every day for eight years or more.”
The most exciting new feature offered on the iPad that’s related to education is iBooks. This application will deliver books wirelessly to the device, much like the Amazon Kindle. Using iBooks in the classroom will be extremely effective in teaching reading and comprehension, especially for elementary grade levels.
For those students who are having difficulty connecting written words with their spoken counterparts, plug the iPad in to your projector, view any book, and then use the VoiceOver command. The book will instantly be read out loud, providing both visual and aural stimulation to your students. It is not yet clear at this time, however, if all iBooks will be able to be converted to audio books using VoiceOver. Nevertheless, any written text on your iPad is VoiceOver compatible, and it speaks 21 different languages. This will certainly be helpful for ESL teachers and students.
Next week: Teaching ideas for the app store and the iPad.