Last year, before our students had their own iPads I tried to use them once in a while when I had an oppurtunity to get hold of a few. Then I asked the students to use them for presenting group work they did during one lesson, and then there was only one iPad per group. That was because I found it difficult to find enough iPads which I could use, more often.
Today when our students have their own iPads I use them quite often and there have been changes in my way of teaching. One could say that I use the iPads for four different purposes: commenting and grading, writing, searching information, presenting.
First of all I do all commenting and grading digitally nowadays. I did some of that before but now when the students have their iPads I can ask them to read my comments in class, instead of at home. Then I can answer their questions and have them improve their work right away. My comments (my hard work) won’t disappear when the students bring their work home.
Secondly, the students take notes and do all their writing on the iPad. I use Google Drive and make them use it also. I share folders with them, using Google Doctupus. I give them instructions and comments there and they take their notes and do their writing assignments there. That way everything is saved in one place and the students can easily go back to my presentations and their own notes when they are working on a final assignment of some kind, oral or written.
Thirdly and fourthly the iPad is perfect when one wants tp present different “parts” within an “area”, for example “English speaking countries in the world” or “Scandinavian languages”. I don’t have to be the one “telling them facts” and giving flashy creative presentations. They can do that themselves by searching information and creating presentations by using a number of different apps. I will be there to help them sort out the best information and teach them how to give instructive presentations.
There is also a fifth way of using the iPad and that’s for reading articles and fiction. I haven’t got to using the iPad for that yet but I definitely will in the future. One reason for not doing that so far is probably because I want the students to be aware of and “feel” where the text originally came from.
I think the iPad is an excellent tool and I will go on finding new ways of changing my teaching.