iPads/Chromebooks in the Classroom

Website updated 07/30/2019.

Here's some super easy, definitely essential tips for making your iPad helpful for day-to-day stuff:

Make a Website an icon
    1. Find a helpful website that you use a lot, like Infinite Campus, or your classroom website while using the apple browser, Safari.
    2. Tap the export button (box with arrow pointing up).
    3. Scroll the grey icons on the bottom to the right and choose "Add to Home Screen."
    4. Name the icon something short and appropriate (Infinite Clicking).
    5. Done. Repeat for all useful websites.
Make folders, not infinite pages to swipe through.
    1. To organize your apps hold down on the center of one of them until all the apps start wiggling and have an "x" in the top left corner.
    2. Hold down on the app you want to move and drag it over the app you want to group it with. Name the folder something short and useful.
    3. Repeat.
      1. Advice: Keep any personal apps on a totally separate page in a folder so kids don't snoop.
Get a stylus if you plan to freehand notes.
    1. I can't actually tell you to buy anything with your own money, but a stylus is just as important as a comfortable colored pen for grading. There are several cheapo brands on amazon for like $0.99 each. Here are the ones I've used in the past.
      1. THE SUPER CHEAP ONES (rubber tips)
      2. iBart (metal mesh tips last longer, but the pen part breaks easily)
      3. Cross (expensive, a student bought me one once, you can replace the tips)
      4. MEKO (disc tip; not for everyone, not my cup of tea)
      5. Adonit Pixel (I got this for Christmas, works really well on newer iPads)
      6. Apple Pencil (This one obviously works the best, but it's the most expensive)
    2. If your handwriting is atrocious, don't torture the kids. Most of the note taking apps have a text typing feature as well. If PowerPoint (or Google Slides) are your go to method, check out peardeck or nearpod.
Get a protective cover with a keyboard!
  1. My favorite bluetooth keyboard right now is the one made by YEKBEE($49.99). The typing is flawless and the setup matches a 13 inch MacBook, so it's perfect for me. The only downside is that it's a little small, and it makes my carpal tunnel flare up if I don't wear my brace! I like that it can setup as a mini computer or as a tablet. Charge on the keyboard lasts a long time too. Make sure that you get the right size that matches the generation of iPad you have so that it fits!

Projecting your iPad/Chromebook screen
    1. Generally speaking, most of the computers in the classroom are hooked up to a projector. Make sure that the projector shows what you want it to.
      1. Options
        1. Make two desktop displays and only show one of them
        2. Show the kids exactly what you see
    2. There is a program on your computer called AirServer :)
      1. AirServer functions similarly to an apple TV in that it allows your to mirror your iPad or Chromebook screen.
        1. The only downside for iPad is that it will show your on-screen keyboard letter choices if you aren't using a Bluetooth keyboard (so be careful about passwords; I've set my iPad to open with a fingerprint).
      2. Your site techs or other teachers can show you how simple it is to swipe up, choose AirPlay, and pick your classroom.
        1. Some sites have a password for the AirServer, that's a good idea if you don't want kids (or mischievous colleagues) commandeering your screen!

Note: Since teaching this workshop fall 2017, I've learned about a new website that works well on the ChromeBooks called dochub. This site is a little clunky, but it has some of the features that notability has and we can use it to annotate PDFs. I've heard from some of my students that the website can be a little slow, but I feel like it can still be really useful for those of us working towards a paperless classroom.
Great Apps to Check Out:
Note: "Free apps" are relative. Most of them have in-app purchases to get full functionality.
Note: Many of the following apps do the same thing, so it's really up to personal preference.

For Delivering Notes
1. Notability ($11.99, but worth)
2. Penultimate (Free)
3. Bamboo Paper (Free)
4. **Peardeck (Sort of Free)
5. Nearpod (Sort of Free)

For Classroom Management
1. Best Timer ($0.99)
2. Team Shake ($0.99)

For Assessment

1. ZipGrade ($10/year)
2. Socrative Teacher (Free)
2. Socrative Student (Free)
3. **Kahoot

For Making Videos
1. iMovie
2. Explain Everything Interactive Whiteboard (Free)
3. Explain Everything Classic ($9.99)

1. Google Drive
2. Google Docs
3. Google Slides
4. Google Sheets
5. Google Calendar
6. Google Classroom
7. Gmail (if you dislike the built in email app)

**Not an app! Online tool that works well with iPad.