Wednesday, September 21, 2011


There's an article in GothamSchools today about how teachers plan to use iPads in their classrooms. I too have a DOE iPad, purchased by my school during last year's "the DOE is not going to let schools carry over their extra funding" spending spree. I honestly didn't see a use for it at first and wasn't sure how I would put it to use in the classroom. But I'm a big believer in making an effort to use all the resources provided to me -- especially ones as coveted and as expensive as the iPad -- so I started to build a library of apps that slowly but surely are making my teaching more effective. There is an app called Confer that is designed for the workshop model. For each subject, I can group my students by level or arrange them into groups of my choosing (in writing, for example, whenever I do a small group for a certain strategy, I rearrange the groups in the app). Each time I meet with a student, I can list the "tag," "strength," "teaching point" and "next steps" of our conference. The best part is that the app saves everything I enter so that I can enter it again if I find myself, say, using the same teaching point over with another student. It's also really nice for small groups so I don't have to put in the same information on four different sets of conference notes. Also, I can list my students by date, so I can see who I haven't conferences with in a while. This year I even started doing my running records on the iPad, which has taken some getting used to but which is cutting down tremendously on the amount of paper and ink I use. I open the running records from the TC website in an app called iAnnotate, which allows me to type directly into the PDF file. I use an app called TeacherPal to keep track of attendance and grades; it also has features for tracking behavior and personal information (for example, I have my students' parents' e-mail addresses in there and I can quickly send an e-mail to my class list from it). Lastly, I always have this problem where I type up my plans, print them out and then promptly misplace them before a lesson. Now I just load everything into Google Documents or Dropbox and then they're always available when I need them. I don't think I'd go out and buy an iPad if it hadn't been provided for me, but I'm lucky to have one and I'm looking forward to figuring out other ways I can make it work for me!


Ms. Peace said...

Hi Ms. Brave, I've decided to come back even though I was found out by a co-worker last year. He was sworn to secrecy and I trust that he will not divulge my identity. Just in case, I have changed the URL for my blog. It's now
If you can, please update your link. Thanks! (oh and don't publish this:)

Ms. Peace (peace in the classroom)

Mrs. Silverstein said...

I'm nuts about my iPad. I bought mine last year, when I finally felt secure that I wouldn't be laid off, and I've brought it in to school pretty much every day this year. Our school provides laptops, but that's often tethered to the projector cables. I'm using mine for really basic stuff--attendance, portable access to our online gradebook--but I really, really love it as a camera/video camera, because I always have it with me. Last year, I used my Flip a lot, but more often it was out of batteries or I forgot to get it out or whatever. Now, the iPad is always in my hands, and BAM--I'm recording a discussion or a rehearsal.

Thanks for the great blogging--I've been following for a few years and just started my own. Stop by this post if you like–I’ve tagged you for a blog award!

wow gold said...

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We're New York's Brightest said...

Miss Brave,

Your blog is AWESOME. Please keep on blogging and keeping us up to date with your adventures! :)

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