Did you know you can hack your iPad into any number of instruments, or use its current apps and capabilities in unexpected ways to encourage learning? Here are our top 10
Sure, you could buy a simple magnifying attachment for your iPad at any toy store, but why not go a step further and build your own microscope? This hack from Instructables is meant for an iPhone but is easily adapted for an iPad, and it only requires about $10 worth of materials.
The hack itself would make for an excellent group project, but that’s just the beginning of what you can do. Of course, any kind of scientific exploration or experiments you would normally do with a microscope can be done here, except now you can take photos and video of the action. As described in the Instructables video, students will be amazed to witness plasmolysis in red onion epithelial cells with
The fun doesn’t stop here. Students can then take magnified photos and turn them into photo projects, drop them into presentations or books, or even animate them for a creative story. The possibilities are really endless.
Field trips are even more fun when every step that brings you there is part of a treasure hunt. Orient students to the area by creating pins on a Google Map, whether they pertain to the local history or interesting aspects of the local geology. Then designate clues or objects for each point you’ll be visiting, send students the map so they can pull it up on their own iPads, and then give them time to hunt when you come to a marker. If your treasure hunt will stay near to your school (and its Wi-Fi), have students communicate with each other over Skype like they’re on
Take pen pal projects up to the next level by having your pals or the whole class video conference with a sister classroom halfway across the world. Relationships will be so much more meaningful when students talk face to face. You can even do group projects together on air, brainstorm great ideas, and celebrate your respective holidays together. You can even archive the sessions via Hangouts on Air to YouTube for parents to see. While this can be completed on the class computer, student iPads make one-on-one hangouts a much more feasible possibility.
If your school has a
5. Augment Reality
“What’d you do at school today, honey?” “
With iPad apps like Layar and Aurasma, this conversation will soon become the norm. Augmented reality apps are fantastic for demonstrative purposes, and they’re great for studying as well. Want to help students learn European geography? Have them scan a blank map with their iPad camera for a sneak
You already know that the iPad is a fantastic tool for customizing the learning experience; this is especially true when it comes to teaching digital storytelling. Have a student who learns best just by listening? Encourage them to make an audio diary of a big life experience or interview family and friends and turn it into a podcast. Taking the kids on a field trip to the museum? Have your visual learners record via photo and video, your more verbal students take notes on the notepad or in Stickies, and your audio students record everything they hear. In this way, you can use student iPads to customize the learning experience.
However, it is also important to encourage students to explore all modalities to expand their storytelling horizons across their senses. Who knows where they’ll find inspiration?
All of those creative performances may be exciting, but they’ll go even smoother when students have a little prompting here and there. The
There is a distinct period during the learning process when a student understands a
Alternatively, you can also use screencasting for show and tell or to let a struggling student tell the class all about his or her
With apps like 123D Catch, students can capture everyday objects using their iPad camera and turn them into 3D models. If your school has invested in a 3D printer or has a relationship with a Maker studio, these models can then be printed out. Whether students use this to create their own toys, take a model presentation up to the next level, or miniaturize their own classroom, an app like this will encourage imaginations to run wild.
You know what would make that iPad microscope even cooler? If you could animate the
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