by Marilyn Moore and Kareem Captan Marilyn Moore Kareem Captan
Integrating the iPad
Kareem Captan, a high-school teacher, uses iPads in his teaching every day. Teachers at the high school in Long Beach, CA, received iPads last school year to use in class. They underwent training and attended seminars in order to effectively use the iPad in the classroom. Students at the high school received iPads this year for classroom use. Students may also take the iPads home and use them to complete homework.
Mr. Captan was especially excited about one lesson using the iPad. The students watched a short historical video on their iPads. Since they watched it individually on their iPads, they could start, stop, rewind, and watch at their own pace. As they watched it, he had them participate in an online discussion about the material. The ongoing discussion was projected on the overhead. The result was an active and ongoing virtual discussion during class that the students could then refer back to for studying and reviewing. At the end of class, students shut the iPads down and had a verbal discussion about the material. At the conclusion of the lesson, he stated, “I was shocked on how effective this lesson worked.”
Literacy activities using iPads
During literacy instruction in the classroom, Mr. Captan uses iPad activities that focus on reading, writing, and peer editing. The following are a few examples of how his students are using iPads this year:
- Discussion Boards: Students post written discussions on the class website discussion board. The posts are viewed by the entire class and commented on by other students. Surprisingly, students are more conscious of their vocabulary, sentence structure, and grammar because they know their peers will critique them.
- Research and Reading: By using the Internet, students search for secondary and primary sources through academic websites. They read and analyze the material and comment on them on a class discussion board. The students create a collaborative reflection and analysis of primary and secondary sources.
- Dictionary App: When students don’t know/understand a word, they use the Dictionary App to find the definition. In addition, the Dictionary App pronounces the word for the student. Students have created collaborative vocabulary lists as a class. This has been a huge help for English Language Learners and students with learning disabilities.
- Note Taking App: This app is used while students read online articles on their iPad. They are able to read an article on their iPads and highlight, bookmark, and make notes on articles or books. This app also organizes notes for students. Once again, this has been a major assist for English Language Learners and students with special needs.
- Peer Editing: All students post their essays on the class website and edit their peers’ papers online. This transparency has benefited students who learn from each other and are exposed to the expectations of high-school writing. Moreover, the writing process has a more collaborative as opposed to an individual feel.
- Group Essays: Students are assigned a topic and assigned to a group. Each group composes one paragraph of a larger essay. These paragraphs are posted on a discussion board, and the students blend the paragraphs into a cohesive and meaningful essay.
- Resources and Tools: The iPads provide the students with instant resources and tools online. This keeps students focused and less frustrated in class. Also, they enjoy exploring resources and tools.
Mr. Captan has concluded that since the students have received their iPads, students are reading more, writing more, asking more questions, researching more, working together more, and are excited about being creative with their iPads.
Dr. Marilyn Moore (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a Professor at National University in California and serves as the Faculty Reading Program Lead.
Mr. Kareem Captan is a teacher at St. Anthony College Preparatory High School in Long Beach, California and a Masters Degree student at National University.