Summer is over…more tech for the classroom
What a summer! Where did it go? Time for new students, a new year and new technology. One thing I did this summer was try out some of the new tablets that are out there. I am certainly not Consumer Reports but I can tell you my experiences. I tried two different Android tablets. The first was the Acer Iconia A500. Now I have an Android phone so I am fond of the operating system. The new Honeycomb was nice but took a little getting used to as all new things do. Lots of nice applications that are available which are usually free. Overall I liked this tablet but it did lock up every other day or so for two weeks. That was not pleasant to deal with. The other Android tablet I tried was the Asus Transformer. I liked the way this tables was set up right out of the box. It did not crash or lock up once when I had it. You can get a physical keyboard and attach this tablet which is nice but I did not try that feature. The biggest drawback with this device was the speakers, microphone and camera. I used both tablets to do Google Video chat with my brother and this one was unacceptable. My brother could not hear me well and I could barely hear him. It was frustrating.
Now I am working with an Ipad 1. I was holding out going with the Apple but I must say that it is pretty handy. It has not crashed at all. I have found several apps that are useful for teaching. I have found an app to keep attendance, TeacherPal, and I can access my text books with ease. I did not find that very easy with the Android version. E-mail and calendaring has been effortless. My favorite productivity apps, DropBox and Evernote work well on the Ipad. Now I know that the Android version supports these applications as well but it does not seem to work as well. Granted I cannot do a Google video chat with my brother on the Ipad 1 but if this keeps going well I will upgrade to the Ipad 2 (or 3?) at some point.
Here is a good blog post on applications that fit into Bloom’s Taxonomy for the Ipad. I like how it is laid out. This is assuming some of the students have Ipads though. Another useful site for Ipad in education has a lot of good information. Every day I seem to find more applications that are useful. Notarize is a nice app for taking handwritten notes and writing on top of PDFs. It integrates with lots of other applications such as DropBox. If only it did flash…
So let me know how you use your tablet in the classroom for for productivity. Leave a comment!